In my last few posts, I have been talking quite a lot about saving money but, although it is an essential part of having healthy finances, it is not always sufficient.
So, I am starting a series of posts that will give you ideas on how to earn extra money.
Why am I doing this when there are already so many blogs and websites on that subject? The answer is simple: when I was looking ideas, most of the advice I found was not practical for me or not applicable to my situation.
- Find a better job.
- Go back to school to train for a better job.
- Find a second job.
- Work more hours.
Do any of these ring any bells? Yep, I thought so. I am not denying that, in some cases, it can be sound advice but not for everyone.
At the beginning of my journey to free myself of my debts I was in my late forties, I had just been made redundant and the world was in recession so finding a job, any job, felt like winning the lottery. It took me over a year and hundreds of applications to get one offer, I was not going to refuse it. Unless you are very highly skilled in a very specialized field, if you’re reaching your fifties, companies are not competing to hire you.
At that age, option 2 – training for a better job – is not any better. First, you would have to find the money to pay for the training and to live on while you go back to school. Then, after a year or two, you would be an even older jobseeker with no work experience.
Finding a second job could be a good ideas for some people but not for all. I work irregular shifts so finding something that would fit around my funny hours is not practical. What about people with children? If one of the parents has irregular hours – and that’s quite common nowadays – the extra income would be swallowed by the cost of child care. Same goes for single parents.
As for option 4, great if you can get it but, in my experience, most companies try to cut the hours as much as they can get away with.
In order to get myself out of debt, I had to come up with a different solution. And I did. I found several ways of earning a little here and a little there. The advantage of that approach is that, if one fails, you don’t lose it all, you still have other sources of income.
Of course, I am not talking about getting huge amounts of money but when you are, like me, on a shoestring budget, even a few pounds (or Dollars for my readers across the Pond) will make a difference.