Wednesday, May 30, 2018
4 REAL LIFE Budget Boosters – MoneyMomma
We’ve all done it. Thinking about how to make our budget balance and the answer is: boost the budget. So we go online and are berated with ideas that seem unattainable and extremely time intensive. No, Bill, I don’t have 86 hours to do online surveys to earn 50 cents each. No, Linda, I don’t want to pay $300 to join your MLM so I can be like the .005% who drive a BMW! Ugh. The frustration is real, I get it.
Nonetheless, for most, the answer to achieving more stability truly is to increase your income. The results can be amazing. Not only can you pay down debt and increase savings, but the feelings that come with this security are well worth it as well. So what are our options? There are many, but here are a few options to start that can be accomplished with varying levels of commitment.
1) Part-time Patty
The most obvious solution to budget woes is to find a part-time job. While we’ll never admit it out loud, there are two main reasons why people have mental push-back against this, so it warrants addressing. They go something like this:
I’m too good to accept a lower level part-time job
Usually it’s people with a full time position outside the home that feel this way. As they’ve reached some semblance of success at said career, accepting a lower position to supplement this somehow negates their success. Sorry, that’s crap. No one cares what you do for a living or how you make your money. There. Stop worrying about it and apply for the job. If you follow my other tips it won’t be as painful as you think.
I don’t want to spend more time working
I get it. I’ve had multiple jobs all my life. Especially when you feel like you should be making it with one job, it’s tough to put away those feelings that you’re being handed a raw deal. But here’s the kicker: No one’s really making it like you think they are. They just use more credit cards. Secret’s out. Also, wages have been stagnant for years while the cost of living has skyrocketed. Getting ahead is tough, but staying behind is tougher. Deciding to get a second job can be a big strain on families. Make sure you’ve reviewed your other options first with your partner and advisor to see if there are any other ways to reorganize the finances.
After that, keep a few tips in mind as well:
Steer clear of high-pressure sales
You’d be surprised how many places are super high pressure nowadays. As a part-time job, this is not where you need to be putting your focus and worry.
Avoid places you shop
This seems counter-intuitive because employee discounts are the bomb. But nothing wastes your time away from your family like taking a job at a children’s store and realizing after your payday shopping spree you’ve worked 15 hours this week for $8.47. One job I selected was at a jewellery store. Phenomenal discounts. Didn’t matter. I vowed to purchase nothing, as even with discounts the least expensive item was $100, or a whole day spent away from my fiance. However, I understand the desire to work somewhere you enjoy the products. So, be smart. Every dollar you earn there is time away from your family. What is it worth?
Know how much you need
Your budget shortfalls will indicate how much you need. To keep some semblance of balance make sure you don’t go overboard on hours. More money can be great, but it has a price.
2) Reap what you sew. Literally.
Everyone sees the adorable outfits at trade shows and on Facebook, and we pay top dollar for those cutely patterned leggings with the matching knotted headband. But what’s amazing is how simple these items can be to make. If you have even the most basic in sewing skills you can likely pick up making a couple styles or items quickly. And luckily, that’s all you need to start. Many of these sellers started out making one type of headband or pant, then as they grew they had time to branch out a bit. Start simple with one item. Use a borrowed sewing machine or serger. If you have neither, consider purchasing one from Kijiji.
You have my full permission to go Pinterest and youtube crazy for inspiration. Click around and see what you find! You may find something fast and easy that is cute and fun!
The key is to pick something simple, and something you like. After you have a few made, make a free facebook page and share on your social media. Maybe some interest will generate and you can go from there! Put in as little or as much time as you want, but try to block off a few hours a week to get started…maybe the kiddos can go to Grandma’s?
3) Crafty Carrie
Ok, sewing isn’t your thing. Fair enough. There is still an amazing assortment of items you can make to sell. Toys, t-shirt screening, and headbands are just a few examples. Just like sewing, go Pinterest crazy my friend. But remember, as with any craft project there are guidelines to be followed. Some born from my own stupidity:
Keep it easy-peasy
Attempting to make some huge leap in skill to create an item above your current skill level is not the goal. Developing skills you already have and working with a project you are confident you can complete and sell is the goal. Getting from inception to completion quickly is how you will begin to earn the income you need, keeping you motivated.
Narrow your focus
Pinterest and YouTube are masters of overwhelming us with possibilities. There are always a thousand different projects that look fun and interesting. Attempting more than one at a time is the fastest way to waste money on materials and time spreading yourself too thin. You know where you end up? A jack of all crafts, and master of none. Focus on ONE item. ONE. Make them, hone your skill and get to selling quickly. In time you can introduce new items, but don’t rush.
Control your budget
It’s easy to walk into a store to purchase your supplies and get swept up in the symphony of sequins. Take control. Know how much you want to spend on supplies, and how much you’ll need to sell each item for, to pay for supplies + your time. Make a list and err on the side of conservative spending. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a thousand items you don’t need, and you’ll need to sell your onesies for $39 each to make back the money. Woops.
4) Skills to pay the bills
I’ve almost never come across anyone who doesn’t have an in-demand skill. Whether you’re crafty, love cleaning (eww) or are a website whiz…. In this day in age everyone knows that what you don’t do well, you outsource. Back in college, I knew a girl who wasn’t a genius by any stretch, but she was good at grammar. So she started with word of mouth offering to edit papers for $4 per page. Eventually, she had to limit her clientele as she was short on time from so much interest. I have a strange brain when it comes to math so I charged a fee for tutoring students in my statistical analysis course. Now is the time to flex your talent muscles. If you’re good at something you’re probably already doing it, so ask around and see who might need your services. You’d be surprised how a couple of hours a week can equate to a nice supplement.
Not sure what to do? Ask a friend what they think you might be good at. Another important point is that your financial advisor is there to help you with these types of ventures. A good ear and some sound advice about how you can get going might be all you need.
The sky’s the limit, my friends.
In closing, boosting your income is all about motivation. Everyone says they are motivated by money. It simply isn’t true. We are motivated by what money means to us. Maybe it means a better future for your kids, a more reliable vehicle, or sleeping better at night knowing you’re not struggling this month. No one wants to work more, but at the end of the day, if it must be done, just do it.
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