"Never depend on a single Income. Make investments to create a second source"
So moms, let's talk about kids and money, can we be real about that today?! I am certainly going to be real about it with you, OK! Children are expensive! Raising children costs a lot of money and this is not going to change anytime soon. Instead, it's going to get tougher and tougher as we may have seen during the Christmas and back to school season and the preparations thereof.
It is also no secret that we are living in tough times economically, multiple income streams have become a must have for many of us if not all. Now, as parents we can either sulk about this and murmur and complain or we can look around for possible solutions as I am quite sure that we all want the best life for our children and we also don't want them to grow up with the same sort of financial struggles that we grew up with and it does not have to be that way really. I say that because I believe as this generation of mothers we are more privy to information, opportunities, education (formal& informal) than our parents were.
We can dive and talk about the limitations and struggles that our own parents had to face to be able to provide but that can take over a million words and we might not get to the point of this post.
By no means am I suggesting that we do not have our own struggles that we must push through, no! if we were to unpack those, again it would need a whole separate post.
My point is, we are parents and the provisions to the needs of our children are becoming more and more expensive by the day and our nine to fives are barely hitting the mark. I believe there are things that we can do to supplement our income, create wealth and create a life our children can happily live. To supplement a current income or even create an income we can start where we are with what we have or can get, it doesn't have to be a million rand solution or a first of it's kind solution, no. Below I have listed some ideas that I think are ways we can start to supplement our income and potentially grow from... as Vusi Thembekwayo says...
"Start small but don't think small"
> Start An Online Business.
An online business does not have to be a fancy complex e-commerce solution website, at least not in the beginning stages. It can be a simple , visually appealing website with low maintenance costs from where you can offer service or sell a product. The advantage or running a business online is that you get to cut down on startup and operational costs. You can even leverage your Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts to draw clients, market and advertise your business and lead them to your business site. You can even track the traffic to your business online as well to inform about the performance of your business or the impression it is making on your target market . By no means does Online mean easy, there is no easy business but it is platform that you have readily available to you and you use it everyday without putting much thought into it, you just need to be intentional about it.
Mot of us have a skill that we are either using at work or as a hobby. If you are using it as a hobby, see below the point about turning your hobby into a profitable business. If you are using it at work, perhaps it's what you are hired to do, look into your contract, get help to understand what your limitations of trade are but definitely look into freelancing. If you are a Graphic designer, think about developing graphics for people on a personal capacity like creating logos, inforgraphics, educational material etc. , if you're an accounting professional, Tax season can be your season, help people do their books at a fee. Free lance is an umbrella term and does not specifically refer to any service or profession, think about what you can offer on a freelance basis whether it's writing, there are people that can use your skill as ghost writer for then and start strategizing how you are going to go about doing it
> Sell your knowledge
Similar to freelancing but here you literally teach people what they don't know and you have acquired knowledge about it through experience and over a period of time. You can build yourself as a brand, a coach in that particular field or niche and sell your knowledge. Crate e-books to package the information, set up webinars or even start a blog, vlog or a podcast on the topic where people who need that kind of information can gain access to it. This will require for you to market yourself as a brand that can offer that knowledge to people who need it. I have seen many people do it and succeed in it.
> Turn a hobby to a profitable business
As I have mentioned above, you can turn a hobby into a very profitable business. Some people call this starting a passion project. This is because you turn your passion or what you love doing anyway into an income generating skill. The nice thing about this is that while starting or running a business is never easy, this will be rewarding and fulfilling because you are doing what you love. I have friends that have turned their passion for hair, skin and beauty, talking (yes talking, you can get paid good money for talking) into businesses and are now cashing in doing what they love. I'd like to believe that we all have that one thing that we can do for free cause we enjoy doing it. So go ahead start charging for that thing and build wealth for your children. Once again, wont be easy, if you were doing it casually, a whole lot of work and thinking and planning will have to go into it to give it the structure and discipline required to turn it into a business.
> Buy a rental property
OK. So I know that we don't all have money sitting waiting around to buy a whole apartment or house to rent it out ok, lol! But hear me out! A friend of mine got appointed in a new position and got a raise with that and instead of letting that extra income go towards the normal expenditure she pledged it towards bond repayment for a new property that she is renting out. Now, if we are honest, most of us when we get extra funds we don't immediately think about investing them, we think about spending them and that kind of mindset does not create wealth unfortunately, it creates instant and temporal gratification. There are some spending behaviors that we can definitely do away with in order to make way for wealth creation behaviors and free some funds to secure property that can work for us instead of us working for it. Property is one of those topics that i feel we need to go deep in and unpack strategies to start and maintain a property business.
I hope some of these tips and ideas will resonate with some mom or even one mom that would have been one too many :-)
Let's continue to encourage and exchange information that will help us be the best moms we can be. Until next time...
Mommy-ing In The City!