1. SQUEEZE MORE OUT OF WHAT YOU HAVE
A few years ago, my husband was abruptly downsized out of his job. With just a small amount of savings, we had to drastically cut our expenses to the bare necessities. We stopped all discretionary spending except for food of course, but I managed to reduce our food budget by 75%! Simply by planning menus, paying attention to grocery store sales, and visiting 3 different stores to get the best prices. Granted this takes a little bit of time, but it may be worth it.
One of the best financial gurus for helping the average Joe save money is Dave Ramsey. I highly, highly recommend his books, podcast, and classes. A few years ago I signed up for his Financial Peace workshop, and we used his “Complete Money Guide” for our textbook.
The basic takeaways are:
-Pay off smallest loans first.
-Tear up credit cards.
-Get rid of any recurring subscriptions.
-And use your checkbook or cash.
2. EARN MORE MONEY
If you are home with your kids, could you offer baby sitting services to other moms? Or moms-day-out? Can you sell possessions on Ebay? Could you go to yard sales on Saturday morning, buy up the bargains and resell them on Ebay? Can you sell crafts on Etsy? Can you have a yard sale? Can you offer tutoring services? Can you sell something you are reasonably good at – your gardening skills, your home decorating skills, your sewing skills, your knitting skills? With Facebook, it is easy to make others aware of the services you offer. You can also just email your friends and ask them to spread the word.
3. ASK FOR MONEY
Let everyone know that for your birthday and Christmas you’d love contributions to your start-up business, or ask for things that you’ll need to purchase.
4. SCALE UP
Start as small as you can to generate revenue with your business, plow all profits back into your business, and scale up when you have the money. For example, if you want to start a photography business, you need at the very least an SLR camera, a decent lens, a computer. Even if your ultimate goal is to have a $3000 camera and two $2500 lenses, photographers have launched businesses with an SLR kit from Costco, which sells for between $800-$1200.
5. CHARGE IT
This is an option, but I personally don’t recommend it. It will just put additional pressure on you to generate revenue and will be a source of stress and negative energy if you can’t pay it off in a month or two. And I speak from experience here — I purchased a full-frame camera in my first year of my photography business and it took me months to pay that off.
This is part 2 of a series about obstacles to success. To read part 1 click here.