Are You Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
For those who are looking for extra holiday cash, it can be stressful to think about all of your upcoming expenses when you compare it to the incoming funds you’re going to have available.
There are so many things we have to plan for around the holidays, which last spanning a three-month period. Of course, we all have a variety of holiday stress situations – from relatives who make things uncomfortable to travel inconveniences – but it’s our finances that top the list of holiday stress for most people.
The first holiday of the official “holiday season” is Halloween. It might sound simple – like a night of knocking on doors and asking for candy, but when you love the holidays, it’s easy for the expenses to add up.
You might have to pay for (or want to pay for) many things, including:
· Decorations for inside your home as you usher in the Fall
· Outdoor décor that shows your holiday spirit – and this can be changed from Fall décor to spooky or fun Halloween decorations
· Pumpkins for decorations and for the whole family to carve
· Candy for the trick or treaters that you can hand out (and depending on your neighborhood, you might have to buy quite a bit)
· Costumes – for your kids and for yourself, if you plan to go to any Halloween parties
Plus, if you have kids in school, you might want to splurge on candy or crafts for the kids in the class, fall festivals where you have to buy tickets, etc. By the time Halloween is done, you might be broke and dreading the remainder of the holiday season!
Now Thanksgiving sounds like a simple holiday where you just bake a bird and relax in front of the TV to watch football. But not for some families. Thanksgiving is the first holiday season where kids get a vacation at school and many families have expenses that add up to quite a bit. Let’s take a look at what you might have to spend money on:
· Fall decorations (sometimes beautiful centerpieces for family meals)
· Tons of groceries – and have you priced a turkey lately? Depending on how large your family feast is, this can break the bank
· Airplane tickets to visit relatives out of town
· Gas if you’re traveling by car instead of by plane
· Hotel accommodations for your travel destination
Even if you’re staying at home, a stay-cation can still add up. When the kids are out of school, you might want to go do fun things around town – and having money to do things is a real blessing.
This is where the big money comes into play. Some families tone it way down compared to other people – sometimes not because they want to, but because they have no other choice.
Let’s look at all of the expenses you have during Christmastimes:
· Decorations inside – Christmas trees cost around $150 or even way more, depending on the type you buy, as well as the size. Then there are other indoor decorations, like lights and other décor.
· Outdoor décor – does your family love those giant inflatable decorations? Or elegant décor? Manufacturers discount these decorations after the holidays, but that won’t do you any good before the big day arrives.
· Groceries – just like Thanksgiving, families usually cook a large, expensive meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
· Gifts – This is the biggest punch to your pocketbook. You have to buy gifts for your spouse, the kids, parents, teachers, friends, coworkers, classmates, and more. And depending on what’s on your list, this can be a slight strain or a dream you wish you could make come true.
Maybe you’d like extra money so that your family had some to donate or buy presents off of the local Angel Tree. An additional income stream could make that happen and bring lots of added joy to other families – as well as your own.
The Problem with Living Without a Disposable Income
Living paycheck to paycheck is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you unable to spend the holidays in a way that makes you happiest – and sometimes you’re downright broke and depressed – but your whole year is spend worrying.
Medical needs are something you might incur over the course of a year. And what’s worse is, the biggest cold and flu season when people get sick even more occurs right around the holidays!
You have co-pays or entire doctors’ visits to pay for as well as over the counter medicines or prescription medications that can cost a tremendous amount. When you’re sick, you also miss work – so that’s a double whammy because you miss work and sometimes don’t get paid for that – plus, you now have added expenses.
Car repairs are another year-round cost that creeps up on us. Sometimes it’s the monthly or yearly maintenance that you have to pay for – like routine oil changes and tire rotations.
Other times, you’re left in a lurch without any money to pay for a car repair emergency. Something major that ranges from the $300-3,000 total can devastate your finances when you’re living paycheck to paycheck – or it can leave you without being able to get your car fixed, so you’re stranded.
Home maintenance costs are something that all homeowners have to deal with. Sometimes it’ll be a minor repair like a toilet that needs fixing to the tune of $75. Other times, you’ll have something major happen like your pipes burst under the house, resulting in a $5,000-10,000 fee.
Back to school expenses are a big addition if you have kids. They can include:
· Class party fees
· School supplies
· New clothes or uniforms, plus shoes
· Sporting equipment or fees
Sometimes these fees don’t exist, or the school covers them – but sometimes, they’re on you. And this doesn’t include the times when your child receives 3 birthday party invitations in one month and you’re out of pocket for all three!
Self-care is something you need to do – or probably want to do as part of your family budget. It helps to have money to do some things that make you feel good, like a stress relieving massage, a new haircut or makeover for yourself, new clothes, etc.
Without a disposable income, you can’t achieve everything you want to do. You might squeak by with enough to cover what you have to pay for – but for some, even that’s not a possibility.
The Earlier You Start Your Cash Creation, the Better
Your quest to make some extra holiday cash can happen quickly, so even if it’s the week before Christmas, there is at least one option that will help you achieve that goal.
But for some of them, you have to start early – because it could take some time to get the payments you’ve earned. Regardless of when you’re starting, keep this plan as a way for you increase your income whenever you need it – including as a way for you to build up a best egg if you’re lacking retirement funds.
You Pick and Choose Which Income Stream Works for You
In the following pages, we’re going to look at four specific business models that you can do online. This will allow you to work at any hour, so if you’re currently working a fulltime job, this works perfectly after hours or on the weekends.
Some, you may feel like you lack talent for – and in those cases, you can either learn the tactics or bypass them for something that you feel more comfortable doing.
You can choose one business model to pursue - and move forward full steam ahead. Or, you can mix up a combination of the various options, so that you’re growing your income by leaps and bounds.
The four options found in this guide require little to no start-up costs. You can find free ways of doing almost anything online – and your reach is a global market of hungry buyers, so you should have no problem earning extra money for your holiday season!