How many times have you heard the catchphrase “spend less than you make?” If you have some debt or want to save for the future, all prudent financial advice usually points back to that one statement.
While I certainly agree with spending less, I look at things in a slightly different manner. “Earn more than you spend” is another catchphrase that basically means the same thing, but with a subtle difference—the focus isn’t about putting your spending on an enforced diet, but rather finding a way to make more money to afford the things you want.
Like saving, earning more still requires delayed gratification. For example, you won’t want to commit to buying an item until you actually earn the required money.
In some cases, earning more money simply means taking on an extra shift at your current job. But that option isn’t available for most families, so it may mean taking on a second job for a few hours a week. I know parents who deliver flyers one night a week, offer babysitting or tutoring services to kids to make some extra cash.
Perhaps you can turn a hobby into a possible income stream. A local running shop, knowing that I have more than 20 years of running experience, offered me the chance to teach a learn-to-run class one night a week. I got paid a few extra bucks for doing something I love and sharing that passion with others.
You should also consider selling some of your stuff on Craigslist, Kijiji and/or eBay. I used to think that I had nothing of interest to others, but in the last year I’ve made more than $1,500 selling everything from small appliances and furniture, to children’s items, musical instruments, rare magazines, CDs and DVDs.
Deanne Gage has written about all matters financial since 1999. She writes, edits and strategizes out of her Toronto home that’s partially under construction. Besides money issues, she enjoys running fast, jazz music and drinking a quality glass of Merlot. Her two-year-old daughter is quite familiar with money: she borrows it from mom’s wallet for her toy cash register.