Is it Time for Drastic Measures?

Not enough income to bust up the debt and get ahead?

Do something radical. Get crazy and creative. Bump up the income and/or slash the expenses.

Sell stuff. Gather up all the unused things in your house and start selling them. Besides getting some needed extra cash, you’ll de-clutter the house a bit and learn some detachment.

Create an eBay and PayPal account, if you don’t already have one, and start listing things. There are plenty of articles online on how to do this. We did this last Fall and sold over $2,000 worth of things. Find things that are easy to ship.

List things that are hard to ship on Craigslist. Just be careful. Don’t sell to some psycho-killer and end up as the subject of some crappy movie on the Lifetime network.

Have a garage sale, get other families involved and make it a large sale to attract more buyers.

Get a side gig: cut-grass, delivery pizza, wait tables at night, leverage your existing skills (handyman, computer repair).

Get rid of other money sucks:

Too much house? Move and downsize. Besides a lower payment, the taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities will be less. Or just rent for awhile if rental rates are good in your area.

Car payments draining your funds? Sell the car(s), payoff the loans and buy some reliable older ones. New cars can be a huge waste of resources. After 5 years, the average new car as lost 63% of its value. Your $30,000 car is now worth $11,100. Be the person who buys the 5-year-old car and keeps it for another 15 years. Buy an air freshener if you want that “new car smell”. They make them in that scent.

Spending a bunch of money each month on pets? Get rid of them. No I’m not talking about dumping Fido in the country. A cat maybe, but never a dog. Find a good home for them. Better they go and that the kids are fed.

Get rid of the expensive gadgets. A free pay-as-you-go flip phone will make a call just like that Smart Phone.

There is nothing wrong with going a little crazy every now and then to avoid going insane. You are not your khakis.

Teaching Kids About Money

Topics to discuss with kids:

  • Saving vs spending. You have a limited amount of money. You can’t spend all of it. You need to save some of it, at least 10%.
  • Delayed gratification. “You can’t always get what you want” Jagger/Richards. They need to learn patience and how to save up for something they want to purchase.
  • Savings – get them a piggy-bank or an old jar to save money in. Open a savings account and teach them about interest.
  • We don’t do allowances, they get fed. But consider allowances, and use them as a way to teach them to work for money and what to do with the money they make.
  • Teach them to give of their money and time. Have your kids give away some of their own money.
  • Be careful using credit cards around them. They will think that whipping out a card is all you have to do to buy things.
  • Teach them about credit cards. Make sure they know not to use them unless they have the money to pay them off in full each month. That they will have to pay interest (a lot of interest) if they carry a balance.
  • Teach them that it’s better to use cash or debit cards for purchases.
  • Teach them how to shop (take them to the grocery store). I know shopping with kids can be more painful than watching a Miley Cyrus video, but take them with and teach them how to comparison shop and how to stick to a list of items that you need. This will also teach them some math skills. Have them hand the money to the cashier, not a credit card, and make sure they get the correct change.
  • Teach them how to balance a checkbook.
  • Teach them how to make a budget. And why one is important.
  • Teach them to protect their financial and personal, data. Be careful who has your SSN and account info. Be careful shopping online.
  • Teach them about legalized thievery. Taxes.
  • Explain how loans work: mortgages, cars, student loans.