I recently wrote an article here on The Huffington Post about how to SAVE money, "Top 10 Money Saving Tips". The list was comprised of the money saving tips I have shared on my money saving website, www.MummyMoneySaver.co.uk, and are all things I myself have tried, tested and found to be effective in my own quest to save money.
When I quit my job last year to start my own business, I not only had to start SAVING my money, I also had to think of ways to start MAKING money so my family and I could make it through until my business started making money. I had to get creative and think outside the famous box, I had to change the way I thought about making money and what my time is worth. When you have a highly paid job, you start thinking that your time is worth a certain amount, and you don't bother with going out of your way, to make small change. But when you are in a position where you know that you will be £300 short of paying your regular bills at the end of the month, you need to reshuffle your mind, swallow your pride and adapt your thinking.
And that's what I had to do too... When all bills were paid and I'd set £40 a week aside to food shopping for myself and my family, I was £400 short of having enough money to pay our bills. I hope this list will help someone who has found themselves in a situation where they have less than they need, or inspire someone to start MAKING money rather than living on credit cards and loans.
1. Stop thinking it isn't worth it.
In case you jumped straight to No. 1 and didn't read it in the above opening, you need to read it, it's important.
You need to realize that the most important thing for you, is that you make it to the end of the month with enough money to pay the bills. Because if you don't, you're on the slippery slope to debt, spending on credit cards and borrowing money, a slope you don't want to find yourself on if you can help it. You need to realize that it is more important that you have money to pay your bills, than it is to have stuff in cupboards or time in front of the TV. So "unlearn" any bad thinking habits about what your time or your stuff is worth, and you're ready to start making some extra cash.
2. Rent out a room, your driveway or your garden.
Have you got a room in your house that's really only used for storage or that you can do without, you can re-arrange your house a bit and rent that room out instead. It might not be convenient or something you would ever have considered previously, and you might not like the idea of sharing your private space with a stranger, but it's a great way to make a sizeable and steady income for 3, 6, 12 or more months and you should consider it if you have the space.
In areas that have little parking and many cars, your driveway could earn you anything from a couple of pounds all the way up to £25 a day, something definitely worth considering.
And if you have a large and suitable garden, you can rent out a square of it for someone who doesn't have a garden but fancies making a vegetable patch.
3. Teach your skills to others.
Do you paint? Are you a skilled knitter? Do you speak a foreign language? Can you train dogs? Do you know computers? Can you design websites? Or is there ANYTHING you are good at? Of course there is! Teach your skills to others, either at your home or at a community hall or anywhere you can host a class with little or no outlay.
4. Make something to sell.
If you can make a cushion or a bookcase or anything, really, you can try sell your wares locally (post a free ad with a picture of your items in a shop window), at boot sales or even directly to local shops.
5. Start a little local business selling what you make.
Imagine you were great at sewing. You could visit the home wares shops in your area, check out their styles and what brands they sell, make a cushion or a quilt that you think would look good amongst their other products. Visit them, show them your product and ask if they would be interested in buying some from you to sell, or taking them in to sell for you and you could offer them a commission when it sells.
If a shop owner says No, don't be discouraged, ask them why they're not interested (it could be that it had nothing to do with you or your product) and use what they tell you constructively, then visit another. You never know, this could be the beginning of a real, lasting business for you.
6. Sing on street corners.
You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. If you sing or play an instrument, take it to the streets... hey, it beats sitting at home crying about being poor and you'll make some cash if people like what they hear.
Remember to check with your local council where you are allowed to perform.
7. Don't think cash back sites are a source of income.
Cash back sites are NOT for those who are looking to SAVE or MAKE money. They encourage spending, which is the last thing you should be doing when you have no money. By all means, if you have to buy something anyway, check out a cash back site to see if it's on the list of items they have offers on, but other than that, you have no business there.
8. Offer babysitting or dog walking actively to those who know you.
Contact everyone you know (reasonably well) and offer your services. As they know you, they are more likely to give you the odd job of babysitting and dog walking - even if it's just on an occasional basis, every little helps.
9. Sell your stuff.
Most of us have stuff that we don't use hidden away in cupboards, and we all have things in our lives, that we can do without. Everywhere in the UK you will have a Saturday and/or Sunday boot sale somewhere nearby, and boot sales are great for when you need cash quickly and if you don't want the hassles of internet selling where you have to answer questions on emails, package and ship stuff. Websites like Gumtree and eBay are great places to sell your things because you can reach a much bigger audience and thereby achieve a higher price.
I swear by Gumtree.com because it's FREE, whereas on eBay you have all of the palaver of waiting for an auction to end and you pay high fees to them even if your item doesn't sell. I do use eBay as a buyer, though, as you can get some incredible bargains there.
10. Offer your services worldwide.
Do you have a skill that you can offer someone that doesn't require you to be local? Like web design, writing or drawing. Websites like Guru.com and PeoplePerHour.com are worldwide sites where people offer their services and employers search for people with certain skills. There's more competition on these sites, of course, but you are also reaching a much, much bigger audience so it's definitely worth your time.
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