Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gaining Control - The Third Step to Owning Your Money - Increasing Your Income

So now you've faced the harsh reality of what your finances look like. If you have a hole to work out of, like we did (and still do truthfully), it might look hopeless. But it truly is not.

If your income comes up short in covering your expenses you have three options:
  • Increase your income.
  • Lower your expenses.
  • Do both!
One of the first two might seem more difficult than the other to you. The third might seem nearly impossible. However, I'm hopefully going to help you see how doing both is truly possible and is certain the best way to eliminating your debt as quickly as you can.

There are a few ways you can increase your income and you have to decide what is going to work best for you and your situation. Remember that the more work you put into it, the better the results will be.

  1. Get a job! Another one, that is. A lot of people will tell you that "in this economy" that would be tough. The fact of the matter is that it is difficult to get what are more career oriented and full time gigs. Those part time ones, they can come pretty easily right now. One of the biggest success stories I can share with you that used this option is Jeff from Deliver Away Debt. He got a part time job delivering pizzas in the evening to pay off his debt. The tips were the key here. And it worked! You can do it too. Or maybe you could start a candy vending company. It worked for this guy!
  2. Side hustle. Find something you can do to earn money on the side on your own. Maybe it is extreme baby sitting or house cleaning. Maybe you can knit adorable items and really market them locally and via etsy. Maybe you can make cakes for kids' birthday parties. You could house sit, walk dogs, do lawn care (spring is just around the corner), teach music lessons, or run errands for neighbors for cash. You could also build websites if you have an eye for graphic design or if you are a musician you can play at weddings, parties, funerals, or other gatherings. Maybe you could do organization consulting on the side. Change the oil for a neighbor's car or detail it. Shovel snow all over the neighborhood. The list here could be endless--get creative!
  3. Direct Sales. Be very cautious with this one. You want something with low start up costs because you trying to get OUT of debt, not get into more! Some people are very good at this. Others not so much. I did this at one time in my life for "fun money" for the family and did a decent job. But it just isn't in the cards for us right now. It takes time and usually involves weekends and evenings so you'll have to break away from family time to do this one. And if you do this one, make sure it is something you are passionate about or you'll never be any good.
  4. Online money. This comes in a number of forms. You might get paid in cash for doing surveys (Opinion Outpost [affiliate link] is my favorite that pays in cash) or answering funny and ridiculous questions (ChaCha doesn't pay huge, but it is fun - if you're interested tell them sent you!). You might get paid in Amazon gift cards (I like Lightspeed surveys for this one). You might get paid in products (like the items we review for giveaways). You might get affiliate payments for ads on your blog (this is not as easy as it sounds unless you have an established readership). Find something that works for your schedule and makes the time you spend worth the income you get.
  5. Rent out a room. If you've got room in your home, a finished area over your garage, a MIL suite, or something that would work as a rental, use it for income!

And I'm sure there are others. But the point is, find something that you can do that will pay you. Something that fits into your lifestyle. Not something that you want to do for the rest of your life, but something you can do until this monster is off your back.

Do you have any other suggestions for side money that you want to share?

Photo credit: LeoSynapse


  1. Can you do Cha Cha at anytime you want, or do you have to be on at the times you specify?

  2. They ask when you'd like to be available, but you can do it whenever you have a free moment.