Pick up any newspaper or turn on your TV and you are instantly aware of the global financial crisis and how it has hurt the banking industry and dried up all available credit to business and individual alike. If you need some extra cash don’t despair. I have an alternative source of money for you and it’s called a “Social Lending Network”.

A Social Lending Network also know as Peer-to-Peer lending is an organization where members lend and borrow money from each other at better rates, bypassing the banks.
Here is how peer-to-peer lending works. One person has money to invest and another needs a loan. The two connect on the Internet through sites such as Prosper, Loanio, Virgin Money USA or Lending Club. Borrowers get loans to fix their cars, pay for college tuition or start a business. Lenders and borrowers are anonymous. But lenders learn something about the people they loan money to because borrowers list their profiles on the group’s website.

Try it Now! Join Lending Club.

1. Save some of your paycheck, don’t spend the whole thing. Tip – start out by saving small amounts of your income. Try to save approximately 15% of every paycheck, but don’t get worried if you see that you cannot save that much. The important thing is to save a little on a consistent basis.

2. Reduce your amount of ATM fees
Every time you make a withdrawal using your debit card, you are charged an extra fixed rate. That fee is even higher if you’re not making the withdrawal at your own bank. Don’t make multiple withdrawals, estimate how much cash you’ll need for the week and make only one withdrawal at your own bank. If you have any money leftover at the end of the week, put it into your savings account.

3. Keep track of your money
Keep track of where you’re spending your money. Those who know where their money is going tend to spend less and save more. By keeping track of your expenditures, you’ll have a better idea of how much money you have already spent and prevent you from going over your budget.

4. Pay off your short-term loans
Money that you’re spending on interest payments is money that you could be saving. Try to reduce or eliminate any short-term debts such as credit card balances, or car and student loans.

5. Set up an automatic savings plan
Many people tend to procrastinate. This is not a good trait when it comes to saving money on a consistent basis. Arrange to have as little as $20 to $30 a month deducted from your bank account and deposited into a savings or mutual fund account.