Everyone has a moment of financial desperation. A moment when they wonder, how can I make money FAST? An unexpectedly big bill, an opportunity too good to resist, a sudden overseas trip … the list is endless.
The only thing in common is that you’re in a financial bind and in need of extra cash, quickly.
Here are seven ways you can make some extra money to get back into the black … and stay there.
1. Get a second job
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If your financial situation is serious and a promotion or pay rise is just not on the cards, it’s time to work out how to generate more income.
We’re not necessarily talking about moonlighting as a bartender here, although that is certainly an option. You might look at freelancing in your area of expertise, selling your crafts at the markets on the weekend, driving for Uber or even starting a side hustle. Basically, you’re looking for another reliable, regular gig that will start bringing money in straightaway.
2. Sell your assets
Do you really need a second car that spends most of its time sitting in your driveway until it’s time to renew rego and insurance again? Could you sell some of the equipment you bought when you decided it was a good idea to take up golf, surfing or sea kayaking?
Selling your unused possessions is a quick, tax-free cash injection that can help you make money fast (and clear out your garage too).
You will be stunned how much a well organised garage sale can raise from getting rid of your Aladdin’s cave of unused “stuff”.
Also helpful: Top five tips for improving your financial health
3. Or make them work for you
The alternative to selling your possessions is to set them to work.
If you have a spare room, why not list it on Airbnb? If your car sits at home for most of its life, you may be able to put it to work earning money through a service like Car Next Door or Drive My Car. A campervan, caravan or camper trailer that you use only a couple of times a year can make money for you the rest of the time via sites like Campify.
We have some friends who live in the country who let their adult kids stay in their city apartment. When the kids were away on holidays, they decided to stay in the city only to find complete strangers in the apartment … their boys had rented it out on Airbnb. Future property moguls in the making?
4. Take control of your spending
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, doing up a budget is the simplest and most effective way to get on top of your spending habits.
Set aside an evening as soon as possible to work through it.
List all of your income on one side, and all of your expenses (regular and irregular) on the other. Go through a month’s worth of receipts to get an accurate picture of your spending, including things like clothes, eating out and other wants. From there, you can refocus your spending habits and better align them to your needs.
Try these: 10 killer budgeting strategies
5. Cut the fat
By ‘fat’, we mean expenses that are optional, but that you’ve come to believe are necessary because you’ve been paying them for so long.
So that gym membership you’ve used once or twice? Cut it and enjoy the $30 a week that’s back in your pocket. Streaming services? Ditto.
If you take a good honest look at your regular expenses, we’re willing to bet that there’s more than a few that can go (at least until you’re back on your financial feet).
6. Take control of your debt
If you’re drowning in debt, it’s time to face up and tackle it head on.
Get a full picture of everything you owe, the interest rate you’re being charged and your monthly repayment options.
First, is it possible to reduce or minimise any of them?
For example, a credit card balance transfer can provide you with up to 18 months of breathing space from interest charges. Or you may be able to organise a repayment plan for a bill you can’t afford to pay, rather than just letting it lapse.
Once you’ve reviewed and minimised your debts, use your budget to work out the maximum amount you can afford to repay each month, and focus on getting rid of them as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your own home, chances are your housing is your biggest expense each month.
If you’re in a financial bind by paying too much for the roof over your head, an extreme but effective solution could be to consider downsizing.
Whether that’s moving further out to cheaper digs or ditching a spare bedroom for a smaller place, it’s certainly worth considering if you don’t see any other way out.