Digging yourself out of a financial hole is a multi-faceted process that can be long, arduous, frustrating, complicated, and in all other ways an absolute pain in the neck. But, it’s worth it- right?
The first step we talked about was pretty simple, emotionally difficult maybe, but simple. All we had to do was track what we were spending. It took about 5 minutes to set up Mint.com account and maybe another hour or so to get everything dialed in properly. But in the end, it gave us a lot of visibility into our financial lives. The second step was equally simply, but a little more difficult in practice. It can be hard to have the mental discipline to spend an extra 30 minutes shopping for something online, when its easier and more gratifying to go down to the mall and buy it there. But was that extra 20% or 30% purchase price really worth it? It’s difficult to humble yourself into generic brands or unknown labels, but knowing that that decision improved your family’s ability to eat and pay the mortgage should be worth it.
This is where a lot of people will fizzle out in the long journey towards personal financial freedom. It’s also very simple, but incredibly difficult to achieve. In a nutshell, the concept is to find opportunities that will make you money. There are opportunities out there for the taking: network marketing, work at home jobs, pay per click, social media advertising, and all other forms of “fake” jobs that will pay you cold hard cash for spending a few minutes on their website. If you were able to make another $100 a month from a “fake” job that you do at night or on the weekends, don’t you think that would be worth looking into? Global Gas Card, joltleft.com, Mechanical Turk, and others are great ways to sit down for 20 or 30 minutes and make a $1 or two. Why not? I can hear the fizzling now, “it’s too hard,” “I’m too busy,” “it’s too risky,” “I don’t know anybody else who does it.” Here’s the issue with opportunities like these, they take effort and discipline. There is no magic formula to make money appear out of thin air, you have to work for it. Are there more fulfilling jobs? Yes. “Easier” jobs? Yes. Higher paying jobs? Yes. But how many of us really have one of those jobs? I’m of the school of thought “If your ship doesn’t come in- start swimming.” (Jonathan Winters) Making money is not easy, climbing out of a hole is not easy, but you have to start somewhere.
I would encourage everyone to spend an hour researching opportunities like the ones I mentioned. That’s how I found joltleft.com, a website that lets me write about my passions (and might even pay me a little bit if people give a rip about what I have to say).