Sure, it’s what most people do – they go to work and in exchange they get a check every week or two. Isn’t that what everyone does? That is what I used to do until I discovered alternative income in the last couple of years while I was still at my corporate gig. I used to just go to work, deposit my check, and then spend it on my monthly bills. There was not too much room for anything other than my expenses and a little bit of savings, and I was not making the kind of headway I could have been making had I started working on alternative means of making money a little earlier! Sticking with that “1 job, 1 paycheck” scenario can also damage your finances if you were to suddenly get laid off or fired, like I did when I was working for an internet start-up back in Boston. I went from “fine” to “broke” in no time flat…ah, the good ole’ days. But no more.
In the last couple of years, I have had many opportunities to make extra money on the side. At first I used this money to supplement my income and to pay off my remaining debt, which made my life a lot easier. Once the debt was gone, the money started going into a savings account to be used for bigger purchases like a computer or something like that. But now that we don’t have any smaller purchases coming up, our next big one will be a car for when we move to New Mexico. There is no way we can get by with only having one car out there, and we want to buy a Subaru Outback because it has room for kids (when they come), AWD, and it still gets decent gas mileage. So now, all my alternative income is going straight into the car fund, where when the time is right, we will be putting down at least half of the cost of a new Subaru, effectively cutting any monthly payments in half as well. (or cutting the term of the payments in half) Either way, this money is going to be put to good use, and it did not affect our general finances at all – in fact, it was painless and it was very easy to put it aside!
So if you have been trying to figure out a way to make ends meet and/or save up for that big purchase, start your alternative income plans today. In an upcoming post, I will be covering the different sources of my income and how you can implement some of them into your life, so be sure to stay tuned!