By Margaret H. Johnson
On the Solutions blog we talk a lot about budgeting and saving money, because personal finance really is about how much you spend compared to how much you make. But there is a point where you just can’t scrimp and save another cent than you already do, and there’s a point where you don’t want to live the lifestyle of an extreme cheapskate as seen on TV. So the solution is to find more income. Yes that is easier said than done, but it may not be as hard as you think.
Acquiring new, albeit small, sources of income can make a huge difference to your overall finances. Let’s review some of the ways you can bring in more income.
Part time job. This option is great for guaranteed extra income, but unfortunately it’s time consuming as well as can be challenging to even get a part time job. If you have any contacts willing to hire you, start there. If not, you may want to skip the McDonalds application and look into some out-of-the-box income sources.
Buying & Reselling. You can make extra money by acquiring items for free or low cost, and then selling them to the right buyers for a great turn-around profit. If there is a certain niche that interests you, educate yourself on market prices and then get busy turning a profit. You can use Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Facebook bidding groups and more to find your buyers. You will likely find your items from Craigslist (check the free section often!), local thrift stores and garage sales, where people are unaware of the market value for items or are simply in a rush to sell. Your niche could be collectibles, designer clothes/accessories, antiques, furniture, art, coins and more.
Freelance your day job skills. If there is no conflict of interest or breach of contract with your current job, you can moonlight by offering services on a freelance basis. Contact potential clients to let them know you can help them outside of your 9-5. Spread the word with your network and wait for the calls to come in.
Virtual assistant. If you are computer literate, you should be able to perform some duties of a virtual assistant. Virtual assistant jobs can vary wildly, so you have a lot of different tasks to choose from. Sign up on a virtual assistant website, where you will find jobs to do and clients can find you to hire you. Jobs may include data entry, making reservations, replying to emails and many other online tasks. Check out www.freelancer.ca and other virtual assistant job boards.
Here’s a few other common avenues for more income:
- babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting
- mystery shopping
- filling out surveys for cash and prizes, and free samples
- entering contests and giveaways (because you never know!)
What do you think, will any of these ideas bring you some more income? What else could you do to make extra money?
Ask yourself each morning: “what can I do today to make some extra money?”
If you can’t imagine fitting more work into your day, think about what you could cut back on in order to make time. Do you watch a lot of TV in the evenings? Do you play video and social games for hours on end? Do you spend a lot of time browsing social media, watching random youTube videos and surfing the net? Try to set a time limit for these activities and schedule time in your day for making more income. If you can dedicate 1 hour per day to attaining a source of income and/or making more income, that will boost your income quickly.
Also, keep your motivation front and center by creating financial goals and posting them in a visible place. Set a goal of how much extra income you want to earn, and what you intend to do with the money. Pay down your debt, save for a big purchase like a home or new vehicle, go on a vacation… whatever it is, create a visual reminder and use it to keep you motivated every day.