Finding ways to increase your cash flow
Week 8 of the Bermuda 14-week financial review to improve your financial lifestyle.
What are additional income-producing ideas to increase your monthly cash inflow?
Yes, searching websites reveals endless generic (and some very innovative) lists of ideas, but what may work elsewhere often means tailoring the product or service to our environment. Some detractors may feel that it just can't be done with Bermuda still mired in tough economic times: people are unemployed; or working in static current jobs, but too, many are hopeful of a better future. Don't we all want to see better days ahead?
Fortunately, there are still predominate numbers of individuals successfully employed in our workplace (since our economy is still functioning). The price of that success, though, is longer hours than ever — 60-80 hours a week — accompanied by lots of stress. They may need outside assistance due to the ever-present demands of their jobs.
Truism. I am ever the optimist, I firmly believe that it can be done. You just have to find your way.
You need to be optimistic, too, by being alert to these opportunities. You want to be the one that provides that help and gets paid for it.
Think about what people need. What they cannot do for themselves because of job priorities. Explore products or services that will make their hectic lifestyles a bit easier.
Here are some ideas to make extra cash. I've culled them from various resources and reader feedback and have only featured those that appear workable in Bermuda.
It won't be easy to do this, is it ever? Keep the four-cornered approach to earning extra income in mind as you must:
1. Be willing to do whatever the job needs doing.
2. Use creativity and innovation — know what services/products are in demand, understand and carefully research your market for products that will sell again and again.
3. Be persistent, never stop trying.
4. Have strong belief in yourself and your destiny.
• Baby sitting
• Eldercare relief for primary provider
• Home-prepared meals or novelty baking items
• Concierge services, anything and everything
• Personal Coaching
• Word processing at home
• Personal shopper
• House sitter
• Dog walker
• Animal groomer
• Vendor stall
• Use eMoo / other to sell unwanted items
• Shop yard sales for resale
• Rent your things, lawnmower, bicycle, etc
• Rent a room
• Rent your home
• Find a part-time job
Entrepreneurship is touted in Bermuda. Be your own boss; work your way from your bedroom to a major storefront. The key concept — give people what they want at reasonable prices with good service.
How easy is that?
Start-ups are never as easy as they seem. Start-ups need cash, particularly, if you plan to sell merchandise. Know your client market. Little to no sales, no profit. Keep up with trends. Surf Instagram, Pinterest and others for product ideas.
Look for retail or service niches that require little initial cash outlay. This concept is important as many self-starters fund costs for a new business right from their savings, then still have to borrow from the bank.
Start small, carefully, and conservatively. If you are close to retirement wanting to own your dream business — be extra cautious. You never want to use your home as collateral for a business loan.
And, be sure to comply with Bermuda regulations for food preparation, vendor licences / registration, payroll taxes, and so on.
Leverage off existing jobs. Many part-time positions can grow with you, but continuing education is key to that growth. Online universities and the Masters world is replete with free courses.** Take them.
Bermuda still has numerous foreign workers employed in jobs where Bermudians do not have the current skills and/or do not want to do the work. The answer then if you want to improve “your lot in life” as us oldsters often say, then you have options to get ahead.
1. Learn those skills and then aggressively lobby for a job upgrade, or find a new position — never leave your old job — until the new job is absolutely secured!
2. Take on, at least, temporarily a job that you normally would not accept to earn the cash to:
• Start the business you want;
• Acquire the home you want;
• Get the education you want;
• Build the cash cushion you need for the future.
Composite case of a Bermuda survivor. She is an incredible single mother who owned her home and raised two children. She advanced steadily in her primary position: loyal, dependable, no matter how tough the day, she was amazingly perfect at job performance, while very popular with clients and co-workers. Just about every evening around 6pm she headed off — not home — but to her second job as a cashier. “You see,” she once said to me, “my second job is my safety net. It has provided the extra income to pay my mortgage faster, educate my children through university, and it is a great meeting place for social contacts.”
The bottom line is that if you want to get ahead, start thinking outside the box, and be willing to work creatively and extraordinarily hard to achieve your goal. Millions of people have done it, so can you. Get going.
Next week: Another obvious way to increase income is to increase dividend-paying stock positions in your investments. First, however, you need to have an investment portfolio, and if you don't, you have to find the extra money to start one. Back to square one. We review pensions and investments starting next week.
Google search: “Ways to earn extra income” This generates a huge group of lists to review.
Online universities — offering free courses with certificates, even Harvard and MIT
Open University free
Martha Harris Myron CPA PFS JSM Masters of Law: International Tax and Financial Services. Appointed to the Professional Tax Advisory Council, American Citizens Abroad. https://americansabroad.org/ Principal: The Pondstraddler* Life™ Consultancy providing international financial planning, publications, presentations for Bermuda residents, their multinational families and connections. Contact: email@example.com