Now we are on the other positive upswing of changing our finances! Last week, you should have determined the 2% cut from your budget and started working on implementing this cut throughout the month! We hope that you’ve found that it’s really not hard at all, but surprisingly very easy. If you are supposed to spend $60 less (for example) over the next month – that’s only about $15 per week!
Anyway, in the same regard, we want to also encourage and help you find ways to increase your income by the same percent! The idea is that you will have more money available this month to work with and apply to debts, savings, financial goals, etc.! Of course, your consumer debts (all debts minus mortgage) need to be a top priority!
Step #1 – Determine How Much You Need To Bring In
First, you need to get out your 12-month budget planner and on the second page at the top, write in what your 2% income goal is this month. You should be able to determine the 2% by summing together all your income (after taxes) and taking a simple 2%. Note we have also addressed how to handle this for a family with variable income.
Step #2 – Begin the brainstorming process
Now it is time to take the time to figure out what are some real possibilities with earning extra income. The great thing about this process is that it can start small and provide the 2% increase each month with just a bit of effort but there really is no ceiling! Unlike the spending decrease, where you will get to that rock bottom budget, your income increase can go on forever. That has been the case with us!
Granted, we have many months where income was less than the month before, but the overall chart of extra income increase is progressively going up… which means in the long run, we are seeing greater success.
What’s fun about this process too is that it is not so overwhelming as you’re setting small goals each month. If instead you were shooting for a big goal it could become frustrating – and even a stopping point for many. But if you have a “little” goal that builds on itself, you will have money flowing in before you know it – all the while you feel like you are accomplishing huge a huge feat each and every month!
With anything, you are only going to be successful if you actually put in the effort! Money is not going to land in your lap and in fact these first few months; it might just be some very random things you do that happen to get that extra $50, $60, $70 or whatever it is that you need. Then before you know it, as you gain more ideas and see what opportunities match up best with your family, you are doing well!
The ideas surrounding bringing in extra income are extremely broad and also very specific. We have and will continue to share many money making ideas, but at the end of the day – it’s up to YOU to figure out what you can do.
The factors to consider are:
- You or the talents and skills of those in your family.
- Are you an expert in something? Baking, decorating, organizing, music, photography, specific educational subjects, sewing, gardening, etc. These areas of expertise allow you to advertise for private lessons or classes. If you add one music student at $60 a month, you’ve covered your goal! If you teach one photography class a month, you’ve met your goal for this month, etc.
- You can also take your talents and expertise to the books – meaning we live in an age of ebooks galore which has opened up the world and all peoples to the world of writing. Consider writing a book with the intent to make it an ebook that is sold on Amazon or other outlets (incredibly easy compared to published book writing). Note that there are some expenses and steps involved with this, but something to consider working towards.
- Can you offer a service of some kind? Handyman, mowing/yardwork, babysitting, dog walking, pet babysitting for vacationers, sewing services, etc.
- Online work-at-home opportunities are everywhere! We’ve shared many and again, will continue to share many. You can check out our list of ideas so far. Be sure that you are also subscribed to our regular email to help you find more ideas! These will be sent in our regular email newsletter. We want to focus on sharing many of these ideas with you!
- We have also shared dozens of ideas in our ebook “How to get $1,000 in 30-days.” We know that we just completed the $1,000 in 30-days task, but reviewing and continuing these steps to help meet your monthly 2% income increase goal until they have been fully exhausted is a great way to start, and then from there move into the other categories and ideas above!
- We have compiled a list of over 130 extra money making ideas – with dozens of ideas that address each of the above factors.
So we want to share a little story about our first efforts at bringing in extra income. It worked well, but it was hard work, but motivating enough to get the ball rolling and start being more and more creative. As we share our story, you will hear more and more of our progression into finding ways to bring in extra income.
We were at home one early Saturday morning. We had our new 6 week-old baby and had already been working on dropping our budget. But since we hardly had any room to spare and no wiggle room, we really needed extra income ASAP.
Well, our newspaper arrived at the door (and we were paying for the newspaper to get the coupons as we had really started couponing and this was helping us immensely). Attached to the newspaper that morning was a call for newspaper carriers in the area. Alex showed it to me, we decided we needed to talk to the area manager that had delivered the paper that morning (due to lack of carriers). So Alex ran out the door and caught up with him. Within a few minutes, we were ready to start delivering papers.
We did this for about 4 months. I will say, it wasn’t easy work. We earned every penny that we made. We had to wake up EVERYDAY around 4:30, wrap up the papers in rubber bands, bag them in bags if it was wet and get out on the road just after 5 to have them all delivered by 6 am. There was not one day that you could “take off,” it was literally everyday. So we loaded our newborn in the back in her carseat, newspapers in the seats and I would do most of the driving while Alex ran along delivering the paper. Then after that, we would go back home and he would shower and get to work, just to start over the next day.
This hard, little job generated about $13 a day – for both of us working for 1.5 hours, it wasn’t the best per hour paying job – like $4 an hour each, but it was something we could do together, outside of the “real jobs” and at least got us up and running in the morning! At $13 a day, this meant around $400 extra per month for those first few months – this was honestly a LIFE SAVER! Our budget and bills were so tight, that this $400 help us break loose enough to at least meet our bills and it was way more than the 2% we needed!
But this little job opened up the world to us – made us realize that we could find ways to bring in extra income, but we got smarter and found better ideas for our abilities, talents, skills, resources and time! And then overtime, it just kept growing! For example, I started making items and selling at craft shows (and still do some of this today!). I also started an ebay business that was quite successful, but took many hours per week, but worked well to help us meet our goals for a while. After that and over time, I became so good at couponing (like real Extreme Couponing skills) that I started teaching coupon classes – which produced quite a bit of income for about 2.5 years and I just focused on this since it took so much time.
Alex is a computer programmer by trade and found that he could find odd jobs for companies and make quite a bit per hour, even if it was only an hour or two of extra work per week – it often exceeded our 2% goal with just his extra work! He would get one-time jobs, on-ongoing few hours per week and even retainer clients (and still does today). We also continued to do the things we list in our ebook on how to find $1,000 in 30-days. But in the end, it made sense to stick with what our skills were and build jobs and opportunities off of those skills!
Since the beginning when we had one new born and $100k of consumer debt to today, our lives have completely changed. Since we reached our debt-payoff goal (over 5 years ago), I stopped teaching coupon classes so that I could be home in the evenings (I was gone 3-4 nights a week and many Saturdays teaching) and find things I could do from home. We now have five children (and one-month from baby #6!) and make extra money with crafting projects, writing projects and blogging (which our blog started as a way for us to continue sharing couponing ideas and skills and how we paid off our debts without actually having to leave the house and teach) to help earn a little extra from home while I am at home with our precious children and to help us continue to meet goals today!
Anyway, that is a very short synopsis of our money making journey. Keep following our story to read up on the details of this part of our journey.
So, with this next task, the tips and the backstory, we want you to now start on step #1 to create your story! It all starts will brainstorming and coming up with ideas for earning extra income.
Don’t be afraid of this step and don’t belittle it either! You never know what you can accomplish without trying!
We have provided a free download form that you can print out and fill-out to help guide you through this process. That is the task for you do to this week – start the brainstorming process!
Just print off this Brainstorming Download and start planning! This is a very basic planner and not meant to be comprehensive, but it will be enough to make a plan!
This is also a fantastic learning, growth and responsibility task for children and teens!
|<== Download your printable Brainstorm Extra Income Ideas Plan HERE|
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.