It sounds funny, I know, but so does pretty much all my advice, so let’s roll with it. You’ve probably had a time in your life where you’ve needed more money, whether long term or for an emergency. We have too! Eight years ago we found ourselves in a financial hole that we couldn’t dig ourselves out of. We were living simply, and we really just needed some more cash flow.
When life gets tough, work your assets. When there’s too much month and not enough money, find your assets and use them. Most people think of assets as large scale items and think, “Just because I’m a little short this month doesn’t mean I’m going to sell my house just to pay my cable bill!” And I agree– that would be silly!
But think about it… if you haven’t been grocery shopping in awhile and all you have is some peanut butter, a loaf of bread, and some tuna way in the back of the cabinet, you’re not going to say, “Oh well… I guess I won’t eat today.” Instead, you’re going to chow down on a peanut butter sandwich. Peanut butter is your asset. It’s something you already have and can provide you with what you need. And when you get sick of peanut butter, you’ll start in on the tuna. Sure, you’d rather just go to the grocery store, but if it isn’t an option, you find a way around it.
Finances are the same way. If you need money and your job isn’t going to cut it this time, look at your assets. There are two main types!
Assets You Sell: Sometimes an asset is good for selling– like having a garage sale and getting rid of old clothes, books, toys, etc. Those are assets that you don’t mind (and even want) to get rid of and can turn them into cash. Sometimes they are bigger items, like a house or a car. It’s anything, really, that you can put a price tag on and get rid of it in exchange for money. The only thing is, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Assets That Produce Income: These aren’t always tangible, and they are often skills. I can babysit children or walk dogs. Those are skills I can use to make money continuously, and I don’t even have to buy anything to do them. Your job is an asset. Your time is an asset as well!
So think about it… what are your biggest assets?
This is exactly how I went about quitting my marketing job in 2013. I loved the company I worked for and the people I worked for, but my time is an asset. And I reached a point where if I put the time into Fowler Studios, it would yield a higher earning than if I continued to work there. Being a business owner himself, my boss totally understood, and we still have a great relationship to this day.
What are things you are good at? Are you good at mowing your lawn? Could you mow your neighbors lawn as well and make a few extra bucks while you have the lawnmower out anyway? It doesn’t hurt to ask. We don’t even have cable but we pay someone to mow our lawn. The hours and frustration we save are huge to us! And we don’t have to figure out how to fix a broken lawnmower.
You’d be surprised at what services people are willing to pay for if you ask! I always wanted to have a house cleaner, but was always scared to look at the cost because I figured I couldn’t afford it. Turns out, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought– and they didn’t have to come clean my entire house every single week– they could do a few rooms once a month if I wanted!
It was the same with yard work. When we first moved in our home we paid a friend to do it once and then it was winter and we didn’t have to think about it for a few months. In Spring, we were a bit paralyzed because we were looking at having to buy a lawnmower and weedeater and spend hours each week handling it all, and we really hate yard work . We reached out to the previous owners just to see what they did and we found out they hired it out– and it was worth every penny! He’s an expert and spends a few hours on it each week. I’m a novice and I’d probably spend 7 hours a week fighting with the yard and it would look terrible. Worth every penny.
Teaching is also a great way to turn your skills into assets! Are you great at what you do and can teach others how to do it? That’s an asset! I have a friend who teaches people how to paint. She brings canvases and you get a group together at your house. She can work it around her schedule and have fun doing it! Maybe you’re great at Photoshop– there are tons of people who would love to learn!
Cleaning houses, cleaning cars, mowing lawns, filing paperwork for a small business, babysitting, tutoring, posting on social media for a small business, yard work, teaching others how to paint/photograph/design/garden. There are so many ways to work your assets.