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Aargh my wallet is thinning! Where to get extra money?

May 15, 2008

Rising prices are seriously cutting into your lifestyle. You desperately need more $$$. Which road will you take?

1. Fight for a promotion
2. Get a second job (freelance)
3. Get passive income
4. Quit your job and set up a business
5. Job hop to the highest bidder

Fight for a promotion
Pros: Maintain the same working life, little change
Cons: Dead slow, 50:50 chance, have to fight the other 10 people eyeing the same position, office politics may cut your life short by 5 years

Get a second job
Pros: Keep current job, make more money
Cons: Less time for your lifestyle, easily tired, can lead to blowout

Get passive income
Pros: Keep current job, avoid burning yourself out, can be fun
Cons: Income can be pitiful and can put you in a worse financial situation.

Quit your job and set up a business
Pros: Independence
Cons: Can wipe you out financially

Job hop to the highest bidder
Pros: More certain
Cons: Dodgy job history

Guess what I would do. I would choose the last one. Send my resume to 10 headhunters and let them find me something that pays 30% more. I don’t have to torture myself, my employer doesn’t have to know about it, and everything’s pretty much done by the headhunter. There are only 2 complications. First, am I marketable enough to “sell”? I must remember the other 15,000 people eyeing the same job, some more experienced than I am, and many headhunters are just shooting resumes like darts and seeing which one sticks. Second, how many times can I job-hop before potential employers start saying wait a minute, why do you have 5 jobs in 5 years? But desperate times call for desperate measures and this is the best strategy to get more money in less time while staying in your safe zone.

My second most favorite is #3 – get passive income. Not by blogging and going crazy with those click-thru ad models though. Lets be honest, how much effort must you put in to Nuffnang or Advertlets before you get enough to buy a bowl of curry mee? Remember the goal is to put food on the table, not bragging rights and take photos with blogger personalities. Nope, I would rather pick a short term investment plan that’s well managed. There are many to choose from, from stock market based to real estate based. If you learn to spot a scam a mile away and stick with reputable brand names, this can yield some decent money. The setback of course is a) the risk, b) you must have capital to sink.

Freelancing is my 3rd favorite. Spending Saturdays doing work that puts an extra $1,000 in my bank a month will help. The only thing is whether people want my skills badly enough to pay for it. Another way is to get into online business. Set up an ebay store, sell something other people want. Its not as difficult as it sounds.

In the current economic climate, if you’re dreaming of resigning from your job and dumping your life savings into a new business, don’t! Take it from someone who’s been there. Once you jump out it can be very difficult to get back in. Test your ideas while you still have a job, get a few paying customers first and make sure you can survive on the business income. Wait a few months to see if it is sustainable. Then only throw in your resignaton letter.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    May 26, 2008 4:39 pm

    Budget. There was a time, years ago, when I quitted a dead-end job and was back at bottom of the pile. Had to start all over. With one kid and another on the way, wifey & I recorded whatever we spent and kept expenses under control. We did that for many years until the last kid went to school and we felt it wasn’t fun anymore…(huh). But we’d already set the standard family practice of not going shopping on empty bellies. No impulse buying.

  2. Damien permalink*
    May 27, 2008 12:12 am

    Yeah there’s only 2 things one can do – spend less or earn more (or both). I believe in debt-free living, short term debt that is (can’t do much about house or car purchases unless one is cash rich). You’re right about impulse buying, that’s why I learned to lock up my credit cards so far away that by the time I drive halfway to get it, I’d say forget it and turn back.

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