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Getting and Staying Out of Debt: Step 4

By Erik Folgate

Many of us do not have a ton of disposable income, because our debt payments suck up all of our money.  It would be nice to think that I could find an extra $1,000 per month to put towards paying off debt if I tightened up my budget.  But in reality, there is only so much money that one can squeeze out of their budget to put towards savings or paying off debt.  So what if you only have an extra $100 per month to put towards paying off debt?  Do not use that as an excuse for living in debt the rest of your life. 

It WILL feel like an impossible task to become debt free if you do not have much money to put towards paying it off.  Step Four of the five step program of getting and staying out of debt is establishing alternative sources of creative income.  There are an unbelievable amount of ways to boost your household income by selling old possessions to starting your own small business. 

Ways to Make Quick Money:

  • Have a Garage Sale
  • Sell some stuff on Ebay!
  • Sell your Car/Boat/Motorcycle (Remember, you can buy a Harley later when you ACTUALLY have the money)
  • Participate in a Research Study (It sounds scary, but there are plenty of non-invasive studies that pay anywhere from $500 – $2,000 for your time and opinions.
  • Take Online Surveys

Ways to Make Residual Income

  • Start your own small business.  This may sound easier said than done, but I am talking about something low key that focuses on one of your passions or talents.  Are you a great piano player?  Start giving piano lessons for $25 per half hour session.  Become a private math or science tutor.  Do handy man work.  Pressure clean driveways.  Become a part-time wedding photographer (BIG INCOME POTENTIAL).  Start a retail web business selling a niche product.  Clean houses.  You get the idea.  These are all things that can be done in your spare time.
  • Get a part-time job.  This is one the least glamourous ways to boost your household income, because part time jobs do not seem worth it.  But the question is, how much debt are you in and how badly do you want to get out of it?  Delivering pizzas or waiting tables an extra 2 or 3 nights a week can give you an extra grand at the end of the month. 
  • Write a book, e-book, or publish articles for magazines.  If you are a great writer, then this would be a great thing to do.  All it takes is one thing to get published and you’ll be seeing royalties checks for years to come
  • Write a song.  Same thing for songwriters.  If you write a song and sell it to someone else to produce and perform, you can make some big time money. 

I could write a book about all of the creative ways to make spare money, and maybe I will write a book about it someday.  But the purpose of this post is to get your juices flowing.  I know that there is something you can start doing today that will start bringing in some immediate cash.  All it takes is determination, people skills, some business cards, and a good attitude. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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