We live in shaky financial times. If the last 5 years have taught us anything its that everything can change in a matter of days. You can go to a good paying job that you have worked at for years and then suddenly find yourself laid off. Some of us know this from personal experience and the future holds no guarantees. The finical problems in Europe show no signs of stoping as each week brings a new problem. What to do?
Some people have gone back to school, they have switch careers and moved into fields that may offer more stability. I have several friends that have moved into the medical field, I know others that have moved into law enforcement. Their thinking is that no matter what the economy does people will still need these services. This is sound logic and I have thought about doing so myself, but after some serious consideration I choose another path. I want to work for myself.
The path towards this goal will be gradual. I suspect it will take about five years to get there. What will I need to start? A sizable but manageable sum of five thousand dollars. I think this is a good figure for most small businesses. It is an achievable goal that shows you are committed to your dream. The big question is how to get there?
The easy answer is to save 100 dollars a week for one year. If you can do that great, but many of us can’t. Some might suggest borrowing it. I think this is a bad idea. The extra stress of that burden is too great. You don’t need to worry about a new monthly bill. The best course is to save or cut your way to 5000. Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t Buy a New Car – You just finished paying off your five year car loan and you are feeling great. Then you start to get some e-mails and offers form your local dealership enticing you into buying or leasing a new car. DON’T DO IT! Instead take that 200-500 dollars you were paying in car payments and put them into a savings account. In twelve months you will be that much closer to your goal.
- Refile You W-2 – Some people just can’t save. Money burns a hole in their pocket. We all have this tendency and if you can’t over come it then you need to take serious action. If you refile your W2 and elect to take out extra money form your check you will get it back when you go to file your return. Let’s say you decide to over pay your taxes by 30 dollars every week. That is 120 a month and $1440 a year. When you file your taxes you will be refunded the money you over paid. You have just forced yourself to save all of that money. I know a guy that does this, every year he overpays 4-6 thousand dollars on his taxes. In april he gets a nice fat check.
- Get Cash Back – Many credit cards offer cash back, some as much as 5%. American Express offers a credit card with 6% back on groceries. How much do you spend every year on Gas and Groceries? Five thousand dollars? Ten Thousand? Depending on the size of your family this is entirely possible. Five percent back on 10k is 500 dollars. That brings you 10% of the way towards your goal and all you did was change the way you paid for your items.
- Switch Insurance Companies – I saved 800 dollars a year when I switch my car insurance provider. Perhaps you have some savings waiting for you?
- Online Surveys – I believe that it is entirely possible to make between 100-250 dollars a moth participating in online surveys. SwagBucks, GlobalTestMarket, OpinionPlace, Synovate, MySurvey, are all great places to get paid for your opinion. If you made and saved 200 bucks a month you would be almost 1/2 way to your annual goal.
- Get a Second Job – A Sunday morning job that nets you 75 dollars a week is a great way to hit your target, one that pays 100 dollars is even better.
Each of us is unique, but I believe that if you used some combination of my suggestions you would be able to hit the goal I set. With a little effort the steps towards starting your small business is with in your reach. Think about it.