What would you do with an extra five to 15 hours each week?
If you made a weekly $150 from your efforts, you’d generate an extra $7,800 per year!
You might also spend an hour or two each week looking for and implementing ways to cut your expenses.
A cheaper car or home insurance, as well as installing energy-efficient devices in your home, could save you hundreds of dollars each year. Smart grocery shopping alone could save you more than $1,000 per year.
Time is money.
And if you spend a little less time on daily activities, you can free up several hours each week — and use that free time to develop new income sources or work on ways to spend less.
Here are some of the surest ways to free up time for making smart financial moves.
1. Reduce Your TV and Video Time
The U.S. average for time spent watching video (television and online content) is five hours and 31 minutes per day!
If you reduce your video consumption to three hours each day, you’ll free up almost 18 hours per week! That’s enough time for a second job.
2. Sleep Less
Reading recent sleep research convinced me I was sleeping too much, so I cut my time in bed by almost two hours each night.
Apart from the health benefits, I found sleeping less lets you make more money.
If you sleep nine hours each night (like I was), you could free up 14 hours per week by sleeping two fewer hours.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests as little as six hours of sleep may be OK for some people.
Maybe stay up an hour longer each night researching ways to make and save money, then get up an hour early to implement what you’ve learned.
3. Reduce Your Commute
The average U.S. work commute is 26 minutes — one-way. A 52-minute round-trip adds up to 4.3 hours per work five-day work week.
Maybe you can’t immediately reduce your commute. But keep it in mind when you move, and get a place close to work. Cutting your commute in half could open a couple hours per week to spend making or saving money.
The other alternative is to convince your boss to let you work from home.
“23 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home,” the BLS reports.
Even if you can only work from home two or three days a week, the 30-second commute from bed to desk could save you a couple hours.
4. Reduce Your Gaming Time
Do you play games on your tablet or smartphone?
The average mobile gamer plays two hours per day, according to The NPD Group.
Cut the time in half and you can still get your fun fix, plus free up seven hours per week for more lucrative financial games.
5. Limit Your Email Time
Polled U.S. workers spend more than six hours daily dealing with emails (both personal and work-related), The Huffington Post reports.
“More than 90% of the workers admitted they checked personal emails at work and 87% looked at business emails outside of working hours,” the article says.
Statistics for time spent on email outside of work are harder to come by, but chances are good you can cut back and save some time for more important goals.
6. Avoid Your Phone
We spend an average of 90 minutes per day on our phones, according to MobileStatistics.com.
That includes time spent gaming and web browsing, but there’s probably still a way to knock 30 minutes off this figure, saving you another 3.5 hours per week.
For example, if you need to tell someone something, text the necessary information instead of risking a long conversation.
Or do what I do: Make and return calls just prior to entering a no-service area, so you have a good reason to cut them short.
My daily phone usage is under 10 minutes.
7. Avoid Facebook
U.S. Facebook users spend an average 40 minutes per day on the site. Who can resist cute kitten videos?
But is Facebook really that important?
Reduce Facebook time by 20 minutes per day and you’ll free up more than two hours per week.
8. Run More Efficient Errands
We spend 45 minutes shopping each day, and more than five hours per week, Retale.com reports.
Some creative procrastination can help. Let necessary shopping and other errands pile up until you can complete them all on an efficient route.
You could spend an hour less running around town if you get everything done in one trip.
9. Make Quicker Meals
The average time spent on household chores is one hour and 47 minutes per day, including meal prep time.
Unless you really love to cook, why spend so much time doing it?
Have healthy convenient snacks available instead, or learn to cook quick healthy meals.
You can delegate other household chores to save time.
Put the kids to work, or pay someone to mow the lawn.
But do the math. If you can make more money with the free time than the delegated tasks cost, go for it.
For example, maybe you can have someone thoroughly clean the house once for $100. During that time, you rearrange your bank accounts to make or save an extra $200. Or, you make calls to find cheaper auto and home insurance.
11. Simplify Your Life
Everything you own or commit to takes time.
Even knickknacks on a shelf need to be dusted, and a big yard means hours of yard work.
The fewer things you have — the simpler your life — the more time you’ll have for making and saving money.
So free up a few hours each week, and check out our list of 103 ways to make money at home.
Your Turn: How many hours can you free up to use for making and saving money?
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).