You have an income crisis, not a spending problem

By glblguy


I get many emails each month from people asking for financial help and advice. A very common theme in these emails is something along the lines of: “I am very frugal and spend little to nothing, but still don’t have enough money to make ends meet“. My reply? You don’t have a spending problem, you have an income crisis. At some point you can only reduce expenses so far. Once there you are faced with only one option: increasing your income. Surprisingly, that may not be as hard as you think.

If you’re having an income crisis, here are just a few ideas to stir those creative juices for ways you can earn extra income:

Get a second job

Proverbs 10:4 says: “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”   One of the best ways to get extra income is to get second job. While it might make for long days, its a guaranteed way to increase your income. With our current recession, part-time and second jobs can be a bit hard to find. If you stay persistent there are people and companies hiring. Look for companies that are doing well as a result of the recession: Discount stores, food industry, security, house and car repairs, personal care (Barbers, hairdressers, beauticians and cosmetologists). These are just some of the job areas you can focus on.

Make sure that your second job won’t conflict with your primary job though, or you might be putting your primary job at risk. Also, make sure you read through your primary jobs ethics or employment guidelines to insure they allow you to work a second job. Some companies don’t or at least frown on it heavily.

Both parents work

While not an option I like, the bottom line is that if you are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table the stay at home parent might just need to become a working parent. Consider this option very carefully though and do so only if absolutely necessary. I believe that having a stay at home parent makes a huge difference in your children. Now, that isn’t to say children of working parents have issues, I just think having a stay at home parent is better for your children.

Also carefully consider the financial implications, as it may not be worth it either depending on the addition income. A few things to consider and factor in are:

  • Will you need another car? Don’t forget to factor in the additional maintenance and gas expenses too.
  • Cost of daycare and summer camps
  • Will the new job require uniforms or nice clothing?

Side work

One of my favorite ways to earn extra income is by doing side work. That’s exactly what I do with Gather Little by Little, my other blogs and Empty Cabin Media. I’ve taken some things I really enjoy doing and turned them into side income. I work my day job (and always give it number one priority) and then in the early mornings, evenings and weekends I work on writing and side jobs.

The only caution I’ll throw up on this option is be careful to not burn yourself out. This is something I’ve struggled with a great deal recently as the workload at Empty Cabin Media has really increased. I’ve found myself working way too much. The trick is the pace and schedule the work. I’ve also set dedicated times for doing side work, and I’m working diligently to avoid working weekends and dedicating them to my family. For example, by dedicated times are 5 – 7am, and 8 – 10pm Monday-Friday. Of course sometimes that varies a little.

Find something that you enjoy doing, are good at, and is marketable and start promoting yourself. For Empty Cabin Media, I just mentioned it in an article I wrote here on Gather Little by Little and began participating in a few web development forums and the next thing I knew I was getting 3-4 jobs a week! The work has grown enough now to where I am actually subcontracting some of the work to keep up with the demand.

I know lots of people with very successful side businesses doing: website development, software development, handyman work, baking, catering, power washing, landscaping, lawn care…well you get the idea. The opportunities are endless.

Passive income

Passive income is everyone’s dream. Passive income is basically “Making money while you sleep”. Passive income is income earned while you are doing nothing for the business. Now, with that said finding true 100% passive income is next to impossible, as everything requires some level of investment to sustain it and grow it, but it is possible. For me, Gather Little by Little is some level of passive income. Even if I stopped writing today, I would continue to earn money through advertisements for a good while. But, without new content and promotion, the traffic would slowly die off, as would the revenue.

There are lots of opportunities for passive income on the internet: Blogging, affiliate stores, eBay stores, product sales…the list goes on. Do some research on passive income and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities available.

Readers, how do you earn extra money? What creative ideas can you share with others who might be in an “income crisis”? Add a comment!
Photo by: vår resa

20 Responses (including trackbacks) to “You have an income crisis, not a spending problem”

  1. Craig @ MoneyHelpForChristians Says:

    At times it is essential to increase our income. I would add that when doing so we should keep our goals clear. Many times people purse additional work and achieve their initial goal, but do not revert back to a slower pace of life. In the midst of seeking extra income many families are sacrificed. Make your extra work a blessing, not a burden to your family by setting goals and finishing when you have accomplished the necessary task.

  2. Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth Says:

    I disagree that increasing income is essential. My family happily lives far below the US poverty line, as does 85% of the world’s population. However, we have several opportunities available to increse our income if we need to. I think it is the ability to increase that gives us freedom, but we don’t need to take those opportunities. In fact, taking those opportunities would bring down our quality of life.

  3. AnnMarie Says:

    My I suggest that, since you have other writers now, you make it more obvious who the author is? I’ve never noticed the little line in the blog or in Bloglines. I only realized this was you and not your new author because of the mention of LCM. Then I scrolled up to make sure it was you and that you hadn’t sold that to the new guy as well.

    I’d suggest that by lines be the first line of the actual blog post, or at least start like “GLBLGUY: I get many emails each month…”

    This drives me nuts at other blogs, too.

  4. Craig Says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with having both parents work and in today’s age it almost has to be done in order to financially afford the lifestyle people have become accustom to. Even 2 jobs may not be enough anymore especially with the lack of job security around. That’s a sad realization but having multiple streams of income is necessary now.

  5. Kim Says:

    The “who is the author?” question has been mentioned before. Both on the blog site and in my reader the author is noted under the article title and above the picture.
    Hope that helped.

  6. Gina Says:

    I agree w/Craig@MoneyHelpForChristians.

    For me, I took on a 2nd job to get out of debt (the goal) – it was originally a volunteer position that turned into a paid position. It is an usher job at a local concert venue that is only open during the spring/summer – 25 shows over 5 months (what, pay me to watch a concert? I’m in). On those nights, my husband takes care of the family. My kids have started to notice as they are asking more questions (why, where, how long are you gone, what do you do, etc.). It has given me an opportunity to teach them about setting goals and delaying gratification.

  7. Paul Says:

    I sell electricity and natural gas to commercial client here in the Northeast. It is passive because after the client signs…the income comes in every month for the length of the contract. This is my own business that requires networking in the evening one or two client meetings but the rest is over the phone and e-mail. There are many companies like Ambit that allow others to do this for residential customers.

  8. Dramon Says:

    I think you can also make your self more valuable at your existing job. You can do this by increasing your skills, looking for ways to be more productive and taking on additional responsibilities. While these are not guaranteed to get you a raise, it will make you a more valuable employee. So, I agree with the statement you can get a second job, but be aware that if this makes you less valuable at your day job, it is not a good idea.

    I think these are good discussions on choices, we all have more than we think

  9. Monroe on a Budget Says:

    I love the headline, & I think a lot of my local readers would agree with that point.

    But I’m in a community in Michigan where the unemployment rate has hit 17 percent. Income by any creative direction is hard to come by.

  10. Mike Says:

    Emily, depending on which kind of lifestyle you want, increasing household income may be easier than cutting down on expenses. In the end, this is a very personal choice.

    Also, I will modify the articles in order to have the author name within the post as of next week!

  11. larryecm (glblguy) Says:

    Since I wrote this article, I’ll chime in. The blog has been sold and I am no longer writing on it. This article is an article I wrote for Mike and Pierre before the sale to publish, after the sale if they so desired.

    As someone already said, to determine the author on most any blog, just look under the article title. This is not different than when reading a magazine.

    If you subscribe via email, you’ll see it there too and also in Google Reader if you subscribe via RSS…be aware though, that not all RSS readers show the author name, but there is nothing the blog owner can do about that.

    Glad to see everyone still here! Feel free to stop over at Empty Cabin Media and say Hi!

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  14. DDFD at Says:

    Great post! Cutting does only go so far, eventually you need to fatten the calf . . . become a Defensive Entrepreneur!

    Side gigs are an excellent approach and can save you if your primary income is impaired or eliminated.

    Best time to start a side gig– before youreally “need” it.

  15. ewen chias secret affiliate weapon Says:

    Hi there, I just think that your story is very interesting and, thank you!

  16. make money from home Says:

    True! Most of us just dont realize how to be frugal.
    NO matter how great online business opportunities come our way, it is useless if we mismanage our finances.

    Thanks for posting, It’s enlightening.

  17. Kristen Says:

    SELL YOUR STUFF! A short term way to raise capital is to sell off your stuff. You may have more or less stuff depending on other factors, but it is at least something to consider. My in-laws have an income problem, but they also have 7 junker cars and 65 trumpets that he bought on eBay to refurb. Get busy!

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