When You Just Don’t Make Enough Money
I previously wrote a post on how to build a budget that works. You can read it here. In that post, I suggested ways to make changes such as cutting back expenses in order to save more and reach your goals faster. The expense reduction model works best for someone who is spending too much or someone who just wants to increase their savings.
But, what if you are planning every paycheck, only spending on essential items, making good money decisions, but still can’t get ahead? Sometimes, even when you drastically cut expenses and you are very disciplined with your spending, you may still not have enough money to save or to cover all your monthly necessities. When the problem you have is the income problem instead of the spending problem, then traditional budgeting advice may not be very useful.
Tackling the income problem
When you have actually reviewed your spending list and have already eliminated all non-essential expenses and you are still struggling to save or make ends meet, you need to simply figure out ways to make more money. It’s that simple!
In some instances, earning more can be as simple as asking for a pay raise or finding a higher paying job, but that is not always an option. Fortunately, everyone is good at something. In fact, we are typically good at many things. When I was a college student and for many years after graduating from college, I was braiding and styling hair on the side to be able to achieve some specific financial goals. We all have skills and talents that we can simply use to bring more income into our household and sometimes, we can do these side hustles right from our home. I personally know many people who are accomplishing great projects and reaching their financial goals just by setting money aside that they make driving uber/lift , doing food delivery, childcare, or making & selling products from their homes.
Set a goal for the extra cash
To get ahead though, you need to set goals for the money that you make when you start your side gig. That goal needs to be something that will help you improve your financial situation. Some examples may include: to set up a rainy day fund, to pay for training or classes that will help you earn more money, to pay down high interest debt, to save for down payment for a house, etc…I cannot stress enough on the importance of the rainy day fund. If you are struggling financially, and you have figured out ways to make extra cash, setting up this cash aside for potential emergencies will prevent you from having to borrow or to add more debt on your credit cards.
Plenty of options
These side job opportunities are not new. We all read about them online, our friends talk about them,… ideas are literally around us. So, if your income is too low compared to the needs of your household, if you are struggling and you haven’t been using your skills and/or time to grow your income, then you might need to reflect on what is actually keeping you from making more money. There could be several reasons but sometimes it’s the mountain of excuses and negative thoughts that you keep repeating to yourself: “I don’t have the time”, “the kids keep me so busy and tired”, “I don’t have the education or knowledge” or “my situation is not that bad”…
A couple of weeks ago, my son said something to my niece who was listing several reasons why she did not get her homework done after school. When I heard my son say the phrase, I turned around and looked at him and I was wondering where he got it from because it was so true and I had not heard it before. He said this: “If it’s important to you, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse (Ryan Blair). We can find ways to improve or find excuses not to. The choice is ours!
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