Money Options During Tough Times

Times are tough out there right now. It’s hard to decide whether you should be more worried about your family’s health and yours or about your finances. Although it might not be possible to replace all of your income while you’re not working, there are ways to make the financial burden a bit easier. Think about these five suggestions.

1. Start a business with no money upfront.

If you have more than just a working knowledge of dogs, start a mid-day dog walking business. People who are still working will appreciate the service. You could also sell items online. Drop shippers have hundreds of items to choose from and will mail them to your customers. You don’t need to have any inventory on hand and don’t pay for the merchandise until it sells. You could get a quick start on Craigslist.

2. Borrowing options.

Temporary financial hardships can be made even worse if you happen to have bad credit. Using credit cards and bank loans to make ends meet is usually not an option. However, bad credit loans exist for those who qualify. Just be sure you can manage the monthly payments and remember to read the fine print.

3. Turn your car into cash.

Food delivery services are swamped with business and need drivers. This is a great opportunity to make some extra cash if you like to drive and can carry heavy bags. You don’t need to have any contact with the customer. Just leave the bags outside the door and send the person a text letting them know the groceries are there.

Grocery shopping. No, this isn’t where you earn cash when buying your own groceries. Instead, you’ll go shopping on behalf of others. You find the items on their list, go through the checkout line, hand the groceries over to a delivery driver, then wait for the next order. If you love shopping, this job’s for you. You’ll need to lift heavy bags and boxes though. Can you pick up a case of water and put it in a grocery cart? What about a 40-pound bag of dog food?

4. Work online.

Companies pay people to do surveys and other simple tasks online. These jobs don’t pay well. But if you work at them for several hours a day, you can make decent money.

5. Economize Without Feeling Deprived.

There are ways to stretch your dollars without giving up everything you love. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Use dishcloths and dish towels instead of paper towels. They’re kinder to the environment, cost less than rolls of paper towels and last forever. Substitute liter bottles of flavored seltzer or bubbling water for soda, too. They taste great, are better for you and are less expensive than soda.

  • Cut back on meat. Check recipes online for delicious, easy-to-fix meals made with rice or beans. Your budget and the planet will thank you.

  • Consolidate your errands into one trip a week and plan a “route” so you don’t waste gas driving back and forth across town.

  • Cut the cable and buy an antenna. You’d be surprised by how many over-the-air channels there are, and you can find ways online to see some of your favorite cable shows for free.

  • Try asking. You might be able to save on your phone, TV, Internet and utility bills just by asking your provider if there’s a lower pricing plan.

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