Today I read about a young woman who was offering $1000 to anyone who could find her a job. Even though her unemployment had run out and she had depleted her savings, she was willing to use a large part of her first month’s salary to reward the person who ended up successfully connecting her with a job.
People are getting desperate and the job situation doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon. If you find yourself in a similar situation, why not find a way to get by until that time comes? Admittedly, there’s no guarantee that your efforts will be successful, but your job search so far hasn’t been successful either, so maybe it’s time to at least try creating your own work.
However, before you start, you should take a good look at your financial situation. How much money do you need, and I mean Really Do you need to pass? Forget lattes, movies, the latest electronic gadget or video game that catches your eye.
Make a list that includes rent or housing, car expenses, food and utilities, and not much else. Maybe a little more for emergencies, but we’re talking about real basic needs here.
Then divide the total into 4 weeks and you will see what you have to do each week to get ahead. It doesn’t seem so scary now, does it?
With this new number in mind, think of some ways you could get this amount before a week is up. If you write, as many of my friends do, estimate how many items it will take to raise that amount of money. If you think you could babysit, how many babysitting hours will you need to find to reach your goal?
Oregon, where I live, requires consumers to pay a deposit each time they purchase a glass or metal container of soda or beer. That means cash back when these bottles are returned. Since the deposit is only five cents per container, many people don’t bother to return them because they think it’s not worth it. A man from my neighborhood walks around the neighborhood once a week with a bag, collecting cans and bottles that have been thrown away in the park, and from the neighbors who occasionally leave them in a bag. What a great way for a family to get some exercise while also paying the electric bill and putting some food on their table. It also makes the neighborhood look cleaner!
Maybe you don’t write or babysit or live in an area where bottles and cans require a deposit. Can you work in the garden? This is a great time of year to set up your own small business as an independent gardener. Pick a neighborhood that seems fairly prosperous and start knocking on doors. If you can print a brochure listing the services you can do and what you charge per hour, along with your name and phone number, that would be a real plus, because those people who don’t have a job for you today may need someone with your skills tomorrow, next week, or even next month.
Post a few of your flyers on supermarket bulletin boards to attract additional business, and ask your friends if you can use them for referrals.
Several times over the past year, I have hired a young man who did exactly what I have described above. He left me a brochure that had a long list of tasks he was willing to do and what his hourly rate was for doing it. He also had a note at the bottom that said if there was anything he hadn’t mentioned, ask about it and he’d be happy to try it too.
Although I had not thought of hiring any work done, I was impressed by this young man’s enthusiasm and desire to work, and his flyer reminded me of several things I needed to do around my house, so I decided to give it a try. , and it has worked very well. Later, when my daughter needed someone to shovel and level a spot to set up her son’s above ground pool, guess who I recommended?
The above is just one way to get by when times are tough. If you put your mind to it, you can probably find dozens more. Even if the money you earn falls short of the amount you earned before you lost your regular job, cutting out unnecessary expenses can help you at least break even and continue as you expand your new business.
Who knows, you might find that you like living frugally and decide to make it a lifelong habit.