My belief is that you should focus on buying value on the things you enjoy, and you should focus on making big wins to reduce your expenses on non-essentials and things which don’t bring you joy. For example, in our family eating out is a treat. We save a lot of money by not dining very often. But, when we do dine out we focus our efforts on nights where kids eat free. Not only do we save money this way, but if my son decides that tonight’s dinner choice is not high on his list of priorities, we didn’t waste money on a meal. This takes the financial tension out of any wasted food and allows my wife and I to enjoy the meal more.
My medications are extremely expensive and each month I have to pray that I’m successful with my continual game of “Russian Roulette,” because I’m forced to pick and choose which medications I can afford each month verses my being able to eat healthy diets and not totally rely on the processed food choices of the $1.00 microwave meals, which could only be described as a stroke waiting to happen.
Another great way to earn money from your home office is to sell your skills or knowledge by teaching classes through Udemy or Coursera. For instance, if you’re an exercise guru, you might start an exercise class in a large spacious area in your home. People are willing to pay to learn about many fields of knowledge, from cooking and gardening to soap or candle making. Playing a musical instrument, child birthing, dancing, dog training, yoga, and even foreign languages are all great topics for expert classes.
Experience. Whatever area you want to work in as a consultant, you must be able to show clients that you’re qualified to advise them. If there are organizations related to your field, make sure that you’re a member of them. Similarly, if you can take a course and become certified or registered in your field, do it and then add that to your credentials.
Work Space. When acting as a consultant, the probability is high that clients will be visiting your home office. Therefore, you need to have a neat, professional home office that is welcoming to guests. Try to locate your work space in a quiet, even secluded, area of the house. A converted garage space with its own entrance works well, giving you a private space for work and adding to your credibility.
In college I earned a good amount of money by flipping our car. I took the old beat up piece of junk car we already owned and listed it on Craigslist for about $800 more than I thought it was worth. It took a while to sell at the higher price, but it eventually did! Then I bought another car with the additional $800. I flipped my car about 4 times per year (my state only allows 5 sales per year before you have to be a dealer) and each time rolled the earnings into a new car. Eventually we had a much better car and it hadn’t cost us a dime.
Reduce your utility bills. Electricity, gas, and other utilities can deeply impact your monthly budget if you let them. So don't. Be smart about ways to keep your home cool during the summer and warm during winter. You may even consider investing in or building solar panels to channel the sun's natural energy into electricity. Keep your utilities low, and watch the money you save start to mount.
Have a yard sale to sell things you no longer need. Choose a day or a couple of days to have your yard sale. Advertise it in your local paper and online, such as on social media and classified websites. Then, on the day of the sale, arrange the items on tables, blankets, shelves, or in other ways in front of your home. You can arrange the items into groups by price, or price them individually.
Monetize a hobby. While some hobbies actually cost money, others can be transformed into a profitable business venture. Ultimately, it depends on what your hobby is and how talented you are. You could turn your love of photography, for example, into a part-time gig taking family portraits and wedding photos or selling prints on Etsy or at arts fairs.
Nowadays, people are going online to find experts at things they themselves may be struglging with. A growing trend is hiring an expert versus hiring a large company to come in and help fix problems. One resource is Catalant, which hires out experts from $15 an hour to $280 an hour. That's one option if you're looking to help others with your knowledge.
Developing the discipline it takes to pay yourself first is a process, and so it’s helpful to use automation tools to help hold yourself accountable. You can set up automatic paycheck deductions for your 401(k) or IRA so that savings is automatically deducted. You can also use a savings platform or application to set up automatic savings contributions.