Survival

When One Income is Not Enough

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Life happens.  Sometimes at a pace you can’t keep up with.  Unexpected medical bills, creeping credit card debt, or (like in my case) a burst underground sprinkler can sneak up on you during those moments of calm.  It’s overwhelming to be sent a bill you can’t pay.  What are some simple ways to bring in extra cash when one income is not enough?

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First – Tighten your belt:

If money is short, then put yourself on a spending freeze RIGHT NOW!  Take an hour to look at what you spend money on (food, bills, lifestyle purchases) and decided what you NEED to do this month and what can wait.  Make food at home using whatever is in your freezer or pantry.  Avoid excess shopping trips.  Cancel your cable.  Put your cellphone on freeze.  Don’t buy the fundraiser tickets from the kid next door (we’ve all been short on cash, your neighbor will get it and get over it).  A huge one for me is to disable my one-click ordering and subscribe and save on Amazon.  Do what it takes to stop unnecessary spending.

Now that you’ve got that handled, let’s talk about making some money.

Ways to earn money NOW:

  1. Search your home for items you can sell.  Most homes have (at least) a little excess that could be posted to Craigslist or Facebook for quick cash.
  2. Check your closet for clothes you don’t wear.  There isn’t a lot of money in this, but consigning is a great way to clear clutter and earn a few dollars in your pocket now. ThredUp and Swap are good online choices if you don’t mind waiting for funds, while Plato’s Closet is a brick an mortar store that can pay you out immediately.  You can also Google search for other local consignment shops in your area.
  3. Sign up and drive with Uber (or Uber eats). There is an approval process to this, but it will get you ‘on the road’ to quick cash.  Payouts can be done several times a day if need be.

Ways to earn money this month:

  1. Freelance.  If you have any artistry or writing skills, you can put these to good use here.  Fiverr is a great place for beginners to get started.
  2. Check with your credit cards and bank(s) to see if you have any cash rewards or gift cards you qualify for.  Sometimes these need to be shipped to your house, so they are often not immediate payouts. I have done this in the past.  A gift card for a grocery or big box store can carry you through the month, while the money in your account is freed up to be used for bills.
  3. Babysit. Tell your parent friends when you’re available, or post it on Craigslist or Facebook.

There are tons of other resources on Google for making money in a pinch.  Sift through a few other websites and try what feels comfortable to you.  Just know that anything you try should never require that you pay them in order to be paid. With a few minor exceptions, those are scams you don’t want to mess with.

Longer term income:

If quick cash isn’t going to cover your expenses, then (like it or not) picking up a second income may be the way to go.  Whether it be part time or full time, there is a lot to consider here.  Weigh your options carefully.  I know for my family, it is more economical for me to stay home with our kids during the day than have me go to work and pay for daycare.  Consider jobs that may not have been on your radar pre-kids.  Shift work becomes a very real option if you are trying to avoid paying for childcare.  Stocking shelves at retailers, food service, manufacturing/production work, or customer service jobs usually have secondary shift hours.

Depending on your location, working from home may be a great option for you.  RatRaceRebellion is an excellent resource for pre-scanned work at home jobs.  These are not necessarily your familiar 9- 5 type gigs, so read the descriptions thoroughly. They often include weekends, nights, holidays, and sometimes super early mornings; so try to be as flexible as your lifestyle will allow.

I’m right here with you on this.

Whatever your finance issue is, Momma, I hope it passes quickly.  I know how money troubles can weight on your heart, your relationship with your spouse, and your sense of well being.  I know that tightness in your chest at night when you can’t sleep.  I know what it feels like to be haunted by bad money decisions in your past. As difficult as it seems, you just have to let those feelings go and move forward.  Make smart decisions from here on out.  Stop spending, start earning, get this frustrating season of life behind you so you can get back to the good stuff!

You’re gonna make it, Momma.  Keep your head high.

Melissa, xoxo, Sign off

 

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