We are spending these few weeks on bringing in extra income, and although we are going to focus on it over these few weeks, it doesn’t mean that the ideas, the tips, the tools or even your own brainstorming and research need to end after we talk and focus on it. In fact, it is going to be much more successful in the future if you learn and grow from your ideas and experiences that these attempts at earning extra bring in!
All of life is a learning experience. We can always grow to learn more, do something better, figure out what works well, what doesn’t work and mature in this area! These initial ideas and attempts may.not.work.well. Most every successful person – no matter what they are attempting (sports, business, exercise/diet, etc.) often fails the first, second, third…even the fourth time. However, the huge difference between those that succeed and those that don’t are the fact that they didn’t give up!
Life is frustrating. We live in a fallen world. We live in a world where hard work is required to accomplish most anything. There are very few in the world where things just “fell into their lap” and success knocked them in the side of the head. Don’t look at those very few examples, but rather the thousands…really millions, who had to try and try and try again!
We want to say that because we ourselves are still dealing with that today! We have done many money making efforts in the past, many that failed miserably, many that were a waste of time, many that we worked for pennies an hour and some that were more fruitful to help us get to where we want to go. We can’t say that we’ve had total success anywhere, we haven’t had that breakthrough, or that “we have arrived” feeling and we haven’t had floods of success or money ever flowing in via our money making experiences now or in the past, but we have learned to work hard and to keep going and to take that money that God has given from those opportunities and stretch it, use it wisely and make the most of it… basically be wise stewards of both our time and the money from these efforts! That is the key to success!
Just remember all of this as you venture into this next task. Let this be the starting point to going many more places and going up from here. Sure, one day it would be nice to say that we are one of those six figure bloggers (in case you didn’t get that hint…not even close…we’re often just happy to “keep the lights on”), or a billionaire like Dave Ramsey, a best-selling author, a highly paid speaker on finances/family, but we are so VERY thankful for the life experiences we have learned and the any of the extra money we have earned in the process to help us reach our goals sooner all while trying to keep our lives in perspective.
But we also have to realize our priorities and our limitations. That is the next thing to keep in mind. As a society, we have a tendency to “idolize” success, like in the case of Steve Jobs – but what we don’t always see and remember is the sacrifice of his children, and many speculate his health, in order to gain the massive success he’s had. In the end, is that worth it?
We are a young, large family – all 6 of our children are 11 and under. We homeschool, we have a church and community that we want to serve, we are part of a family and need to continue to nurture and grow our marriage. Alex has a full-time job, Cassie homeschools from when she wakes until 3 pm everyday – plus we love to have family time outside of school and work hours. These are just a few of the more important commitments that we have. That means that these things all become and should become priority. That means that we are going to get out of a money making venture what we put into it. It also means we can’t compare. I know many others that are earning money in the same efforts that I am, but much more successful. I have to step back and realize that my efforts are FAR less because of my time and my priorities = less success. Once I give myself that reality check, I realize that this is all reasonable and life is not “unfair.”
So keeping those above things in mind, realistically figure out how much time you can devote to earning extra. We can tell you from massive amounts of experience, there are little things you can do to earn a little extra to help you get over a financial hump and there are big things you can do that may turn into a full-time endeavor! But we would recommend starting small and working up to help you be realistic, learn and grow and keep priorities in check…which is why we talk about that 2% monthly goal! That’s it and it works well and often leads to success that you didn’t know you had (even if it isn’t a Steve Jobs or a Dave Ramsey :)).
So What Is The Task This Week?
Now that we have shared a bit of our heart and minds with you on this topic, let’s actually talk about turning those brainstorming money making ideas from last week’s challenge into REAL MONEY!
You need to figure out which of these ideas to begin with and run with. There are basic questions that you need to ask and then basic research that needs to be done.
You want to have a plan.
Just brainstorming is not a plan – brainstorming is a plan to start planning.
The old adage states, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” It is so true.
Step#1 – Ask yourself and your family the following questions about your level of dedication
- How much time can we realistically devote to this effort?
- How many of us will be doing this? Often times, this is where the stay-at-home parent can start with money making efforts at home with small jobs/services/etc. shared on our Over 130 Money Making Ideas list or the previous week’s task.
- How much time is needed to even start before we make our first dollar?
- What is the timeframe in which we want to start? We encourage start something small that can be started sooner before trying to come up with something “too big” right now.
- How much can we invest and how much do we need to invest to get this started? Again, starting out, we would first recommend providing a service, time, small job where no major equipment is needed initially. Move up from there!
Step#2 – Ask yourself and your family the following questions regarding the industry you want to earn extra money from
These questions will probably require some research online or other wise to help you pinpoint what you could be doing.
- Is this a service/product/job that is in need?
- Do I live in an area that will benefit?
- Are there competitors out there providing the same service already? How many? How will our business be set apart from theirs?
- How much could I charge?
- Are people looking for this?
Thoughts to help you start
Honestly, this can be something simple as discovering quite a number of families (or even just one) in your neighborhood/area/groups that are looking for after-school child care, preschool, music lessons, tutoring, etc. This can be/become a bigger commitment, but maybe after answering the above questions, this is a perfect option for the stay-at-home mom.
Maybe you’ve noticed/discovered a number of businesses close by that would be interested in either a one time seasonal yard/grounds clean-up or an ongoing yard work effort.
Maybe you live in an area with great yard sales and can turn a profit on buying old, dirty, used items that need a little TLC to be sold in local classified or online (like eBay).
Are you great at writing, editing or just have time on your hands at home to do online Virtual Assistant work for successful online businesses. This one can be super flexible to a more rigid set-schedule based on what you find.
Maybe you want to make and sell something. We have thought about making square foot garden boxes to sell locally. We have made so many, can make them quickly and have figured our low construction prices and see that stores are selling them for 3 times as much as we are making them for. It would be a commitment for a season, which is sometimes the best type of extra money making effort and enough work for a month or two that working double time (your current job and this side effort) for a month or two would pay off big time for the rest of the year.
Our brother-in-law started a window washing business last summer while he was between school semesters. He couldn’t find any summer work that would accommodate his schedule and finally just decided that he needed to just sell window washing after realizing it was only a small investment in supplies.
One summer a couple of years ago, we noticed an ad for two local young men offering mobile car detailing. They would come to your home and detail your car in your driveway. This was something we hadn’t seen before and such a smart effort in earning extra money. We hired them and it was great! They said that they were having quite the successful time, more work than they could handle!
We have shared a lot of information with you today! So now it is time to give you the quick two-line summary of what this week’s tasks entail:
Take your money making brainstorming worksheet from last week’s challenge and do further research on these ideas, along with asking the questions above to “pin point” a starting point in earning that 2% extra!
Narrowing it down and researching it means making your final plan for this first (or second, third, etc.) attempt to earn a little extra. Your plan does not need to be miles of pages long, complicated or wordy – a simple plan will do. You can almost consider this a primitive business plan. That’s what you are doing!
Next week, we are going to be sharing how to actually hit the ground running on your ideas turned into a plan and marketing tips on a no/low budget!
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licenses financial planners. We are only a couple that have been just a hair-breadth away from bankruptcy and found our way out of debt with a goal to now help others. Please make sure to consider any advice given on our site and in this challenge as tips we have used ourselves; they may not work for everyone. If you have questions please make sure to contact a licensed professional.