If you are ready to achieve your financial goals faster, look no further. Welcome to the second part of this 4-part series.
In the first part, I covered the high-level equation of a zero-based budget. If you want to review the components of this essential tool, read the section “Anatomy of a Budget”. I also walked through the first two categories (there are four) for increasing your INFLOW.
As I said in the inaugural installment, the more money you have coming in on the INFLOW side of the equation, the more money you must have going out. In other words, you are reaching your goals faster!!
In this post I will walk through the second two ways to INCREASE INFLOW.
Achieve Your Financial Goals by Selling Stuff
The online marketplace is booming, and you can take part. This strategy is not a continuous stream of INFLOW like income. It is better described as accomplishing big chunks of your goal to help speed up the process.
While I was getting out of debt, I remember having fun selling anything I could find around the house that wasn’t nailed down. I sold old textbooks, my collectible beanie bear collection, clothing, and more. There was this pile of foreign currency I had collected from around the world that I needed to exchange. I even sold my wedding band and got a $24 replacement from the mall.
When you are serious about getting out of debt (as I was at that time), or saving up to buy a house, or hitting your retirement number (as I am now), you will increase INFLOW to make those dreams a reality.
Is there a such thing as too much stuff?
I’ve seen people open their garage and have more stuff than anyone should be allowed to have. I believe that everyone has something they can sell; some have more than others. If that’s you, selling stuff could be the way you can reach your financial goals faster!
Clean up and/or restore some old furniture and sell it on Craig’s list. Have a garage sell and beef up the INFLOW with hotdogs and hamburger for the “lookers”. Get those trinkets out of those boxes in the basement, take a picture, and place those eBay ads.
If you are handy, Etsy could be a huge catalyst for your increased INFLOW. An Etsy shop could also fall under the category I mentioned in Part 1, Achieve Your Financial Goals with a Side Gig. I’ve seen people create an excellent second income by starting an online business.
You may decide to sell your professional camera, lenses, and accessories because you don’t have the time to learn how to effectively use it at a high level. (You can always buy an even better one later, and pro camera equipment brings big bucks).
Or, instead of selling the camera, if you know how to take a decent photo, sell what the camera produces. There are several places online where you can increase your INFLOW by selling great photography. I’ve even seen this done with a mobile phone camera.
Selling things you may not have thought of selling
I couldn’t believe it when I learned that selling plasma, sperm, and egg cells was a thing. You can make money doing what? I’m going to be honest with you, this one was not for me, but if you do not mind needles, as I do, go for it.
Sell the use of your car through one of those car-sharing companies. This could be a great source of income if you are working day and night or just not driving very much. Your car could be making money while you are making money. How awesome is that?
I’ve seen people take this to another level by wrapping advertising around their car for even more INFLOW. And of course, you could just sell the car. If you live in a big city where you can get to work by public transportation or you enjoy riding a bicycle, that car could provide a big boost toward your ultimate goals.
The last one I’m going to mention is selling a spare bedroom or a part of your house. Some people like using services like Airbnb, but you may be someone who does not like the risk of having strangers staying in your house. There are alternatives.
While we were getting out of debt, our son had a college friend who needed a place to stay over the summer and we had a spare bedroom. We were able to help him with a cheap place to stay and we accelerated the debt demolition process. You may know someone at your church who needs a room for a few months but doesn’t want to get into a lease. Ask around.
This list of ways to sell stuff could go on forever, and I’m sure you get the point. Some of these are easy decisions and will provide quick cash. Some will be more time-intensive and may not be as obvious. But they are all worth doing. Every penny that you can add to the INFLOW side will tilt the scale in your favor.
Achieve Your Financial Goals with Miscellaneous Inflow
A dollar earned is a dollar earned. I remember just starting off on my own after college; every dollar counted. As well as the first year in business; I carefully guarded every penny.
Zachariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
Have you cracked open your piggy-bank? I used to have a Coke bottle that I filled up with loose change. Those coins build up fast! Roll it, deposit it, add it to the debt snowball.
There are several websites that will pay you for completing surveys. Be careful of the scams, but there are many legit ones. You can even get cash for sharing your opinion on review sites. The best ones will most likely pay you with gift cards, which leads me to the next one.
You have been holding on to the same gift card that you partially used three years ago; it’s time for it to contribute to your financial future. You could use that Amazon gift card to buy groceries for next month, saving on that category of your budget.
Also, if you have a completely unused gift card, there are websites that will buy them from you. There will be a fee, of course, but right now it is not doing much good sitting in your nightstand.
Do you have a health plan that has a medical mobile app? You could earn a gift card for walking. And, if you are like me, you need to exercise anyways. Many of these apps max out at $300 a year, but the more dollars the merrier.
GO FOR INFLOW
That is how you achieve your financial goals from the left side, increasing INFLOW into the budget. Some of these will take more effort than others, but they all will feel good when you get that check, gift card, or rebate. Your brain loves that feeling of gain, that feeling of winning, that feeling of having more.
Don’t hold back. Go through these four areas again (the first two are in this post) and try as many as you can squeeze out of your life.
Do you have any suggestions to help others increase INFLOW? Share them in the comment section below.
In the next 2 parts of this series, we will explore the OUTGO piece of the puzzle. Stay tuned!