Please enjoy this guest post and giveaway by Brent from VOSA. Brent’s a world record holder, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur, world traveler & eternal optimist. You can read more of his writing about personal finance, entrepreneurship and travel at VOSA.com.
There it is again.
The pit that start to form in your stomach, the lump in the back of your throat and the general jitteriness that you feel as the anxiety sets in.
The physical sensations are real and they are exhausting.
You want them to stop. You want them to go away but you know that as long as you keep living paycheck to paycheck the anxiety associated with the question “how am I going to pay for this” that you have asked yourself more times than you care to remember.
You’ve long grown tired of looking at your bank account balance only to realize that you’re going to have to figure out, yet again, how to cover the rent, mortgage or eat anything but ramen noodles for the rest of the month.
Before we go any further, rest assure that you are not alone.
Knowing this won’t necessarily make it any easier but sometimes it can be comforting knowing that other people are experiencing the same struggles that you and that countless men and women just like you have overcome these obstacles and you can too.
First things first. How are you going to cover the expenses for the rest of the month before your next payday?
Of course you could dip into your emergency fund. Wait, you have an emergency fund… right?
Even if you do, let’s save that for, well… an absolute emergency.
Life might have thrown you a curve ball and, truth be told, you might strike out. But, for the love of Plutus (the ancient Greek god of wealth) if you’re going to strike out I want to see you go down swinging!
6 Ways To Make Money Quickly and Legally
1. Sell your old cell phone. Little do you know, but you could be sitting on a couple few hundred bucks in old cell phones. Knowing how to sell your old cell phones for cash is a great way to raise money quickly and fairly easily in a pinch. Don’t get discouraged if you have an old Blackberry, or another phone that you don’t think is very popular. You will be amazed at how much virtually any cell phone will sell for on eBay.
2. Collect on your debts. If you’ve lent friends money in the past, maybe it was that time your best friend forgot their cash at the cash only diner or when your brother needed to borrow some money to start his business, now is the time to call those loans. Of course, if you already have some established repayment parameters that were set at the time of making the loan, you need to honor those. If this was a more casual loan, pick up your phone (so probably best to do #2 before you do #1) and ask for repayment.
3. Profit from your talents. What are you good at? What problem can you solve for someone else? Spent some time figuring how you can make someone else’s life easier and then head over to craigslist to advertise your services. This could be anything from tutoring math to teaching golf lessons or providing conversations in a foreign language via Skype with someone who’s working to learn the language.
4. Hustle hard. I like to use this term to describe doing virtually anything legal for money. I’ve know people who literally spend the majority of their free time taking jobs ranging from assembling Ikea furniture, to mowing lawns, shoveling snow, stuffing envelopes and showing rental property for understaffed property managers during peak rental season. Finding these types of jobs is easier than ever with the invention of the Internet (thanks Al Gore!). Head on over to Craigslist and see what kind of work people are offering. More formally, you can sign up to work for a site like Task Rabbit or drive for Lyft or Uber.
5. Sell, Sell, Sell. Walk through your house and take a picture of everything that you no longer need or use. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used the item for 6 months of more, sell it. Of course, some things have more value than others (unfortunately, used clothes and furniture have terrible resale value) so make sure you spend your time selling the items that will net you the most money first. Sites like eBay, Amazon and Craigslist are great places to hawk your wears.
6. Cash in your co-op accounts. This is an often overlooked way to come up with money fast and, technically, you’ve earned it so you can call it “money made”. If you’re a shareholder at a local co-op (like I am at my grocery store and gas station) you likely have a dividend check waiting for you when you close your account. I earn cash back on the groceries and gas that I buy at this particular grocery store. A portion of my dividend, over $100, gets returned to me via check each year. The balance is accrued in my account earning me a higher dividend each year. When I close my account they are pay me the amount that I have accrued over time. The maximum that this particular co-op will accumulate in your account is $2,000. You might not have $2,000 built up in your local co-op dividend account, but it might be worth looking into how much you do have.
As a last resort, in a true emergency, you can always dip into your emergency fun. This is, of course, exactly why you started and automated your emergency fund a long time ago (right?).
As our time comes to an end together today I want to make sure you know that “this too will pass”. You are probably feeling terrible about being behind on your bills and your mind might be consumed with trying to figure out how to make money really fast. Rest assured that things will get better. You will get through this.
These six ways I shared with you today are great when you in a pinch but please don’t continually rely on them month after month.
Building, setting and trying as hard as you can to stick to a realistic budget will help you break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and start living this month on last month’s money.
An incredible piece of software that can help you with your budget is YNAB (You Need A Budget). This tools has helped countless people gain total control of their money, pay off debt, save more money and break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
Right now, I’m giving away 10 copies of YNAB (total value = $600.00) for free so you can get started with that budget that you need.
Click here to enter the sweepstakes for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of this incredible budgeting software.