Kelley Keehn is an expert in money psychology and contributor to On the Money. Learn more at KelleyKeehn.com
Surviving tough financial storms
Navigating through a financial storm like Jim and Mary'sfrom last night's show will take some very creative income-producing solutions, as Carmen suggested. The couple needs to do whatever is necessary to bump up their cash flow, reduce expenses and get back on track. Like a ship hitting rough waters, they need to throw everything over board that isn't absolutely necessary. But it's only temporary. Once they achieve smooth sailing again, they can replace that which was cast away.
Often times, adversity can equal opportunity. Jim and Mary are exhausted so they're going to need the support of each other and the entire family unit to think creatively about creating more cash flow and get the team on side to help.
It may seem there's no hope, but there's always a way if one is willing to think differently. It just starts with a fresh sheet of paper and a pen.
Income solutions outside the box
- Make a list of all of your hobbies. You never know when something you love to do could be a future gold mine waiting to be discovered. Do you love to cook and have a busy friend that would gladly have you prepare their weekly meals for their freezer? You might be able to slash your grocery bill by simply making a little extra and charging friends. Or perhaps you or your teenager is a computer whiz. What about running low-cost workshops teaching and sharing those skills? Or a "computer set-up/trouble shooting" side business?
- What do you have that you could better utilize? A friend of mine that was laid off unexpectedly and on a single income quickly turned her home into a bed and breakfast to cover expenses until she found her next job. Perhaps you have a car lease or loan you can't get out of but the payment is tough to manage. Could you turn that liability into cash flow by starting a driving service for seniors on the weekend to assist them in grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions and more?
- Make a list of what you can sell right now. Consider garage sales, flea markets and eBay. Stuff you own that's just laying around can turn into fast cash.
- Create a list of everything you could do. Don't judge the list, just write down everything that comes to mind. Could you drive a cab in the evening, take on a serving job waiting tables, clean homes or businesses on the weekend, write a book, consult for others in your industry or more?
- Now scale down your list to what you would do. Enlist the family for help, ideas and buy-in.
Worrying about finances can be as stressful as the situation itself. By proactively creating and focusing on the solutions you'll empower yourself with energy and the strategies to weather your financial storm.