Increasing your income is. There’s only so much cutting costs can do. If you earn $550 a month yet you pay $200 on rent, $150 on food, $75 on transportation, $25 on books or leisure, $50 on clothes, there’s not much to save, is there?
Making more money though, on the other hand, allows you the luxury of paying for all your expenses and a few more extras without having the guilt of not having anything left to set aside for a rainy day, your travel fund, or to pay down student loans.
What all these frugal living sites fail to mention is that living within a budget, while self-fulfilling, can be self-depreciating. It’s like living in your own personal finance prison. You restrain yourself from buying some necessities because you don’t have enough and limit yourself from doing the things that you really enjoy.
Cutting expenses is actually a sacristy behavior while trying to find ways to increase how much you’re making is an abundance behavior.
Finding ways to earn more money won’t only fatten up your bank account, but allow you the financial freedom we all want to achieve.
Blogger and author of The Art of Non Conformity, Chris Guillebeau, discusses the abundance behavior perfectly in his blog. According to him, the abundance mindset is like expanding a pie.
Fighting over a Small Pie = dumb idea, rooted in scarcity, fear, and small-mindedness.
Expanding the Pie = abundance, rooted in a belief that there is enough for everyone.
He further explains that you shouldn’t have to worry about expenses; increase income instead.
The way out of debt is not through clipping coupons, skipping lattes, or buying discount toilet tissue. It is found through increasing your income. Ramp it up!
Abundance-minded people are interested in creating new resources, yes? Artists create new art and entrepreneurs create new businesses. What new resources are you creating this week?
Ramit Sethi, author of the popular I Will Teach You to Be Rich
book and blog, fully supports this idea:
It’s not just about money — it’s about living a Rich life where you can control your income, not be subject to the whims of a corporate HR department or boss. Use the extra money to tackle your goals. Use the extra income to pay off debt, save more, or spend on the things you love (e.g., trips to Vegas).
There’s a limit to how much you can save, but no limit to how much you can earn. Think about that — for someone with experience in earning more, it’s far easier to earn $1,000 than to slash $1,000 from your budget (see for yourself using this simulator to balance California’s budget). And more fun.
Now that they’ve established that you need to earn more, what can you do to actually earn more? I have listed down several interesting jobs you can do on a part-time basis. I understand that you may not have the opportunity to leave your day job so these are ones you can do on your free time, like after your 9-6 job.
Car Service Driver
If you love driving around and wouldn’t mind company while on your way to work while earning $35 per hour, it’s time to download the Lyft
app. Lyft and Uber are transportation services where one just requests a vehicle by logging into the smartphone app. The app would then match you with a driver who is near your area.
As a driver, you just have to log into the app to show your location and availability. Once someone requests a ride near you, you’ll be notified. Payment will be processed within the app as users need to encode their credit card info when they sign up.
Aside from the hourly rate, Lyft also provides drivers with additional insurance, including a liability insurance for the vehicle. There is no minimum or maximum time for Lyft drivers. You may sign in anytime you’re available to take on a passenger. You may do this before or after your daytime work, or during weekends when you have a lot of time in your hands.
If you enjoy being around people and talking (a lot!), pay your tourism office a visit and they might need a part-time tour guide to show tourists around your scenic locale. Guests usually visit during weekends so if you have Saturdays and Sundays off, this could be a perfect side job for you. All you have to do is know the historical spots in your city, and a little bit of story about each one, as well as interesting restaurants which specialise in your city’s own cuisine and you may snag a slot.
Not all tourism offices though may be able to afford an external tour guide. If you have foreign friends, let them know that you’re available to tour their family or friends when they come see them. Do not forget to mention that it’s your part-time job but you’re only charging a very minimal tour guide fee. You may also share this in your social media accounts so people would know they could approach you.
If you want to travel around the world yet do not have the resources to do so now, what you can do in the meantime is be a travel planner and work your way to a travel-savvy bank account. To be an awesome travel planner, you should be good at research, poring over the nitty-gritty details to ensure that your traveler encounters as little inconveniences as possible. You don’t even have to leave the comforts of your home to be a travel planner. As long as you have laptop or desktop and an internet connection, you’re good to go!
Create an itinerary, offer as many accommodation options as possible, look for interesting things your clients can do aside from the usual stuff the country offers. It’s important to know your traveler before you proceed with the planning. Would they enjoy the normal touristy things, or would they want to experience the local culture by going to unexplored, yet safe, terrains and cities? Learn their preferences so you could offer the best ways they could enjoy their trip.
Another option worth looking into is to be a travel agency’s home based partner. This may require a small fee so you can have access into their system but it means being able to book airline and hotel accommodations and getting a percentage of the agency’s earnings.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are many other ways to earn extra income so you don’t only live an enjoyable life but also have more than enough to cover other financial aspects like savings and debt payments. What are you going to do to make more money? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments.