Is money tight for you right now?
I guess that’s a silly question considering the state of the economy and the fact that entire countries (Greece and Italy to name two) are about to belly-up.
Even if things are going OK for you financially, just the general anxiety about the economy and our financial future is enough to make us feel like all of our money could evaporate at any moment.
Fear is an awful negative motivator.
When we are afraid . . .
We clutch on to what we have.
We look around corners for disaster.
We shut down and close ourselves off to creative thinking and optimistic living.
We feel like we’re going to hell in a hand-basket.
And unfortunately, we’re injected with a huge daily dose of fear about the economy and our financial futures from the media, the politicians, and the office cooler chit-chat.
If you could brush fear away like a low-lying dark cloud, maybe you could see a clear vista, an open road to finding cash (or the opportunity for it) where you didn’t see it before. I’m not talking about a magical attraction principle. I’m talking about a creative action principle. Eradicate fear, and you can see clearly and creatively. You can find ways you never considered before to put cash in your hand.
So would you be willing to try?
If I got the ball rolling with one idea a week for the next six months, would you be willing to implement just one small action toward cash creation? Hey, it could be fun! I typed the title to this post before I came up with any of the 26 ideas, but just thinking about it has opened my creative channels.
Now, before you start, there are some rules of the game you must follow:
Rule #1: Get yourself a big box with a lid (a bit larger than a shoe box). Securely tape the lid shut. Slice a thin hole in the top just large enough to shove bills into it. This will be for the cash you accumulate over the next six months.
Rule #2: Tell your family and/or friends about the box, and let them know that neither you nor they can open the box until the end of six months. Make this commitment to yourself too!
Rule #3: Pull out some advance cash every month ($200-$500) to use for the weeks you forgo spending on something you might otherwise have purchased. (You’ll see what I mean below.)
If you agree to the rules above, you are ready to begin! Here are your 26 weekly actions should you choose to accept them. Have fun!
Look in your wallet or purse right now and put all of the cash you have in the box. Scout around your house to find spare change or hidden cash, and put it in the box.
Find three useful items in your house that you don’t need or want that are in good shape. Take several good photos of these items. Advertise them for sale on Craigslist or eBay. When they sell, put the money in the box. (If you get a check, cash the check and put the money in the box.)
Research some part-time jobs for the holidays. Retailers desperately need additional sales associates for the weeks leading up to Christmas. Here’s a great resource for seasonal jobs. Put any money you make in the box.
Don’t go out to dinner this week. Calculate how much a dinner out would have cost you. Pull that amount from your advance cash and put it in the box.
Contact several people you know with children and offer your services as a babysitter sometime during the week. The average hourly rate for babysitters is $10 or more an hour. In one night, you could make $40-$50. Put the money in your box.
Skip a week with one of your household services (housekeeper, yard service, etc.). Pull the money you would have spent on this service from your advance cash and put it in the box.
Offer your services as a “caterer” this week and prepare a large batch of your favorite dish. Find some busy families who would love a home-cooked meal, and charge a reasonable rate for the dinner (less than a dinner out). Put the money in your box.
Go back in to your wallet or purse and put all of the cash you have into the box.
Skip going out to lunch this week and brown-bag it. Put the money you would have spent in the box.
Collect any books you’ve read and no longer want and have a book sale. Set up a table in your neighborhood or building, and sell your books at a greatly discounted price. Or sell your gently used books on Amazon.com.
You can earn extra money at CashCrate.com by taking part in daily research surveys, doing your shopping online, and referring other members to their program. Put any money you earn in your box.
Offer your services as a tutor. If you know families with school-age children, let them know you are available as a tutor. Contact local schools and give them your name and number. You can charge anywhere from $15-$50/hour depending on your experience and the subject.
Time to find something else to photograph and sell on eBay or Craigslist. Put the money in the box!
Make something as a gift. Rather than buying a gift for someone, create something for them. If you aren’t handy or creative, then write a beautiful card or letter expressing your feelings. Put the money you might have spent into the box.
Try your hand at freelance writing. Elance.com is a great place to find freelance writing jobs.
Make $5 a pop for something you can do or offer at fiver.com. This is so cool!
Eat no meat. Have a vegetarian meal week and don’t purchase any meat. Put the money you would have spent in your box.
Do you have a truck, van or SUV? Rent it out for some extra cash.
Go back to your wallet or purse and put all of the cash you have in the box.
Offer your services as a pet sitter this week. Put the earnings in your box.
Pick up some consulting or freelance work in your industry. If it’s not a conflict of interest with your full-time job, offer your expertise on Craigslist or industry-specific websites.
Teach English to adult non-English speaking people. You can find jobs at local schools or colleges tutoring English as a second language.
Go to a thrift store or dollar store and pick up items you could sell for more on eBay or Craigslist. Photograph and list them for sale. Put the cash in your box!
Think about something you’ve been considering purchasing — clothing, a new gadget, etc. Can it wait? Do you really need it? If not, put the money you would have spent on it and put it in the box.
Start a business with a direct selling company like Avon, Tupperware, or Pampered Chef. You can supplement your existing income or transition to full-time work if you want. Here’s a list of the top 100 global direct selling companies.
Empty your purse or wallet of all cash. Cash any checks you’ve earned. Grab any of the extra cash from the advance you pulled out this month. Put it all in your box.
Do you have any ideas to share for creating some extra cash? If so, please share them with us in the comments.