Personal Finance is a tricky business. When you have a decent amount of money coming in each month budgeting seems almost pointless. As long as there is money in the bank then buying a few things here and there shouldn’t matter. Should it?
Well that’s the way my wife and I used to think. Luckily we have no debts, except the mortgage, and manage to pay off our credit cards every month. After a while though this started to become a little harder each month, having to move money around from one account to another to make sure there was enough to cover each bill.
One way to cope with this is to create a budget and try to stick to it. This sounds like the perfect solution but it is very hard to keep track of every part of a budget. The more I focus on one area of the budget the further of track another part seems to get… I have a project to create an app for that, which should help me keep on track on all areas of the budget more easily, but that is still a way off yet.
Overall though budgeting is definitely a good thing as it highlights where the money is going and allows you to make changes as you deem fit. It has certainly helped Shirley and myself become a bit more frugal without feeling like we are missing out on anything.
There is another way though… Earn some extra money!
Start off by trying something very simple and then slowly move up. There is probably a fair amount of money just lying around your house if you looked hard enough. No I am not talking about the loose change down the back of the sofa…
A great place to start is to get rid of some clutter and hopefully make some money from it. I recently purchased a copy of another product by Adam Baker from ManVsDebt called Sell Your Crap and have already made some income by selling some old books and films that have been sat on my shelves untouched for years. There is plenty more stuff I have started to get together and plan on selling soon.
The book gives a great explanation of how to go about the decluttering process and then the best ways of getting rid of different items. There are detailed tutorials on the best ways to sell stuff via Amazon and eBay. As with a lot things it is from the US so not everything may be applicable but it has certainly helped me…
Working in a 9–5 leaves you a bit restricted when it comes to earning more money. There may be the option of overtime or you could be really brave and ask for a raise.
Another option would be to take on a second job, maybe working nights or weekends. This would restrict your free time immensely but could be a great way to boost your income temporarily if you are willing to give up some more of your time.
You could always start working for yourself in your spare time? It doesn’t have to be a full blown job you could just spend an hour or two here and there with the hope of earning some money down the line…
Create A Lifestyle Business
I have talked a bit about Lifestyle Design recently so I thought it might be a good idea to try and explain what it means to me. The basic idea is that you can base how you spend your time around your ideals rather than being restricted to evenings and weekends along with the time after you retire for any big adventures.
The topic has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years due to a book by Timothy Ferriss called The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich. The title sounds a little unrealistic so I never actually got around to getting myself a copy of the book.
I have, however, come across some stuff written by, and about, him which certainly seems to suggest that he is the authority on the subject of Lifestyle Design. So it probably about time I got around to read it.
If you create a small business around this principal, basing the business around how you would like to spend your time and what you enjoy then this can be referred to as a Lifestyle Business.
I am by no means an expert, yet, but this is basically the premise of what I am trying to achieve. I did take the hard route though by quitting my day job, but that just felt right for me at that particular moment in time. A more practical way to tackle this would be to start creating in your spare time, maybe just an hour or two a week. The main thing is to focus on something that you enjoy as this should help inspire you. Also keep your targets fairly low, at least to begin with. Remember you are only trying to create a side income so don’t start looking for investment or expect to sell your company for millions down the line…