7 Ways To Find Cash When You’re Stone-Cold Broke
Yes, there are a few sneaky ways to find cash when you’re struggling to pay your bills and make ends meet. We all go through times of financial stress; that’s just part of life. Finding ways to make money easily are worth investigating, especially before you do anything drastic like take out a bank loan, or think about borrowing money from friends or relatives.
Let’s face it – being stone cold broke sucks. I know, I have been there before, and since having a baby 10 months ago, The Boyf (he is actually my husband now) and I are going through a bit of a cash-flow crisis. I pride myself on being very good with money, which basically boils down to having a job, paying my bills on time and saving a portion of what I earn. It also involves planning for my retirement (superannuation here in Australia), making sure my tax is paid and ensuring I don’t rack up mounds of credit card or government debt.
Related post: Want to know some Quick Ways To Heal Your Relationship With Money?
Sadly, The Boyf is not as keen on these rules as I am; and subsequently has massive debt (credit card, government and tax), is behind on his tax returns, and is currently long-term unemployed. Since I can’t nag him anymore, I thought I would put this very sensible list together about ways to find cash when you’re stone cold broke. Rule number one should be “get a job if you don’t have one”, but sometimes good advice just falls on deaf ears. Let’s look at other options, shall we?
#1: Start a side hustle with your in-demand skills
Everyone has skills they can use as a side hustle, and it’s never been easier. Have a look at 5 Jobs That You Can Freelance on the Side for some tips; but to recap: think of the skills you have that are saleable; including graphic design, writing, bookkeeping, gardening, odd jobs, lawn mowing… there are even entrepreneurial types in my local neighbourhood who identified a gap for end-of-lease cleaning services, ironing pickups and oven cleaning services. Head to websites like Fiverr or Airtasker to get started.
#2: Sell your unused things
I used to make a lot of money selling my unwanted clothing on eBay. It had to be good quality, name brands, in good condition, with great photos. However, personally I have stopped using eBay to sell things as I find that things just don’t get the visibility they used to, and many people agree with me, it seems.
There are now many options out there to sell your used items, including Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and fashion recycling sites. The tip is to go from room to room, and think of what you don’t need, that also has value. Even things like furniture and knick-knacks can make you money.
#3: Lease out a property you aren’t using
If you are really strapped for cash, you might consider renting out your house or apartment (if you own it) and renting somewhere cheaper while a tenant pays your bills. Using a property manager like American Real PM might even make the job quite easy. Check your local area for local agents.
It’s not as hard as you might think; there are several questions that a property owner should ask a manager before leasing a property, and remember that your home requires proper care and maintenance, as well as repairs once in a while. It is also a plus to work with a property manager that can take care of repairs as part of their responsibilities. You could be sitting on a cash cow, and not even know it!
#4: Get up to date on your tax, credit and bonuses
Do you have money lying around that you haven’t even thought of? Are you due for a tax refund that you haven’t applied for yet? Could you knock off the interest to your credit card by transferring to another lender? Have you called your local government agency and checked whether you’re applicable for Family tax Benefits, child care rebates or other bonuses?
It’s worth taking a look at your current situation – as things may have changed since you last checked; particularly if you’ve gotten married, separated, had kids or suffered the loss of a parent. Do your sums!
#5: Rent out your spare room, storage or parking space
These days, people where I live in Sydney are earning thousands of dollars a year by renting spare rooms on Airbnb. Hate houseguests? Well, you can also rent out storage, or even rent out car spaces. Check your local listings for prices, opportunities, and new platforms. The ones I have linked to here are just a starting point. If you want to find easy cash, it can be done.
#6: Ditch the products and services you aren’t using
Ugh. I am still paying $30 a month for a dongle I never use, that The Boyf warned me not to get. It was a 24 month contract, which is mercifully about to end. Today, so many providers want you on a payment plan, or a direct debit option. Even Microsoft programs want you to pay by the month now, whereas back in the day, it was a onetime purchase.
Go to your bank statement, check-out what you’ve signed up for, what you’re paying for, and what you can combine and ditch. Bundling services under one provider can even save you cash. Be brutal, and if you’ve been charged for something that you haven’t used, get in touch and see if you can gain a refund.
#7: Ask for a salary review from your employer
One of the first things you should do when you’re looking for ways to find cash is to simply ask your employer for a raise. No, no – don’t just come right out and say it – you need to plan well in advance and argue your case. Read my article Getting a Promotion: How to Get Ahead in the Workplace for a few tips to start.
You need to check your value against current marketplace metrics, look at your achievements over the last few months, highlight your key wins and then appeal to your manager for a process meeting. If they are unable or unwilling to give you a raise/promotion outright, then it’s reasonable to ask for a review in six months, or to job seek for better, higher paying opportunities.