Cash-strapped and feeling stumped or stuck? Set aside, for a moment, thoughts of bringing in thousands or securing the perfect new position. Instead, consider the various ways that you can generate a very small sum–say, a mere five dollars–with a sliver of effort and ingenuity. I bet you could come up with dozens of easy methods to drive in a few bucks.
Take a moment to brainstorm ideas, then write them down. To get you started, here are just a few suggestions:
- Walk a neighbor’s dog or feed their cat while they’re on vacation
- Sell one little, unnecessary item on EBay or Craigslist
- Help a colleague edit a resume
- Recycle some cans and bottles that you’ve got laying around
- Complete an online survey (see the CashCrate review)
Why go through such an exercise for so tiny a return? Because one of the most common mistakes people in financial straits make is having too narrow a focus. Perhaps you had a career that you enjoyed and trained for and that’s all you want again, or you were earning a specific salary and you’re not willing to budge from it. High standards are great, but being closed off from all possibilities isn’t.
In fact, a myopic financial vision can lead to inertia: A dreadful sluggishness that impairs your ability to move in any direction, including forward. That brings us back to the list of modest money makers. When you’re done with the list, put a few of your ideas into action immediately. In a short time you’ll not only add some extra pocket change to your wallet, but you’ll also benefit from dropping the heavy chains of “woe is me” by jumping on a positive trajectory.
Of course, while you’re making some Lincolns by doing almost nothing, you can and should also concentrate on ways to acquire those Franklins. Income-bearing opportunities do exist in a contracted economy, but you’ve got to dig for them. If you don’t care for the ones you find, even in the nether regions of possibilities, develop your own. This may be the perfect time to start a business, return to school or pursue a professional certification. By expanding your horizon to all the potential ways to earn a little, you can keep it broad to identify ways to earn a lot.
In short, if your checking account is echoing, break free from your comfort zone. What’s $5? A beginning–and you can’t have a prosperous middle and end without it.
This guest post was written by Go Banking Rates contributor and financial expert, Erica Sandberg. GBR brings you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide.
photo by the ritters