9 Ways to Multiply Your Sources of Income and Pay off Your Debts
This year, I am facing one of my biggest personal finance challenges: I need to pay back my parents loan on November 1st, 2010. The amount owing will be $31,000. We had borrowed this money as cash down for our first house and the deal was to reimburse in full (plus interest) after 5 years. So I have only a few months before I write “the big check” and I am looking at different ways to pay off this debt.
Sometimes, the best defence is a great offence
I am a big hockey fan and ever since the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup with Mario Lemieux back in the 90’s, I have understood something: in general you are better off with a strong defence play but there are moments where an attacking offence is the best way to defend yourself. So when you want to pay off a debt, you have 2 options: 1) cut down on your expenses (defence) and 2) multiply your sources of income to increase your cash flow (offence). Since I am not great at cutting down expenses, I have decided to take option #2:
#1 Sell your stuff
There is no easier way to generate a few extra bucks every month than selling your old stuff on eBay. While this has become a clichÃ© for most personal finance blogs, I still think this is one of the best way to gather a few extra dollars and put it down on your debt. Compared to the traditional garage sale, eBay is superior in terms of the time and effort required. You can also expect a higher price for more valuable or popular items.
#2 Get a sideline
There are plenty of small jobs that are not good enough to be a full-time job (either because it doesn’t pay much or it doesn’t require 40 hours of work a week). However, they can be perfect as a sideline. Among the most common sidelines you can find, there are; painting, cleaning (houses but possibilities for commercial space too!), taking care of pets, delivering, barman/barmaid (on the weekend), salesperson (in boutiques), secretary work at home (resumes, professional letters, transcription, etc.)
#3 Start an online business
As many other of my fellow bloggers, I am earning a few bucks from my blogs and this helps me to pay off my debts. There is a very interesting article about how to start an online store here. The beauty of an online store is that you don’t need much to start with: a computer, internet access and a few rudimentary technical skills. If you don’t know much about programming and html code, you can always outsource this part using a forum such as SitePoint or Digital Point.
#4 Teach people
You are good in English or know another language? You know something about computers or you can raise pets in a easy way? Use your talent and teach people. We all are good at something (just think about what your friends ask you to do for them), it is now time to structure your knowledge and offer it to the world. Some people can make quite a good income by tutoring.
#5 Become the intermediary
If you have access to a specific product, direct from the manufacturer or distributer, there is nothing stopping from you delivering the goods to people you know. Some companies are already structured this way but they often are known as multi level marketing companies (such as Mary Kay, Primerica or Goldstar). I am a bit divided about those companies but there is nothing stopping you from creating your own distribution network. For example, my wife is presently looking at distributing local fruit & vegetables in her neck of the woods. If it works, she will provide a good and healthy products to the neighbourhood and will make a few bucks on each delivery.
#6 Repair stuff
Since most Americans concentrate on paying off their debt and saving money, they will definitely be reluctant to buy new stuff. Especially if they have the possibility to repair what they own already own, at a decent price. One of the best businesses right now is repairing computers. We all know that computers slow down, even stop once in a while. Sometimes, you just need to replace the computer fan ($15) and it runs like a new ;-). You can also repair cars or furniture according to your knowledge.
#7 Open a daycare
This is perfect if you or your spouse stay at home. Even if you are currently unemployed for the moment, taking care of a few kids could be a nice way to keep your day busy (and your mind away from negative thoughts) while earning a few extra bucks.
#8 Find a service for your community
Since we are all moving towards a more frugal way of living, if you can find ways to improve frugality within your community, there is a big chance that your neighbours will follow and help your out. As I previously mentioned, my wife is trying to build a local product distribution system so we can all eat fresh, bio food. Hope it works!
#9 Fill out taxes
If you can afford to buy a tax software (such as TurboTax for example), you can surely pay for it quickly by doing a few tax forms. If you take simple cases (salaried individuals without anything fancy in their personal finance structure), you will surely do a great job and earn a few extra bucks in the meantime!
What about you? Which one do you use?
How do you multiply your sources of income? Have you ever tried to make more money? How did it go?
Image source: danielbroche