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6 Ways to Make Ends Meet in Lean Times

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Nearly everyone on Earth has gone through a financial rough patch at least once. Sometimes jobs and businesses don’t work out. A sudden illness or repair work wipes out your savings. Maybe worse. When times are tight there’s always a way to make ends meet if you stay positive and take advantage of your resources.  Here are 6 ways that can help you do just that.

Use Your Skills

Offering a service can help you find work when there are no jobs to be found; they help fill in a few extra hours on your terms.

Make a list of every possible skill you can think of, even if you don’t think it’s that strong yet. If you know how to do it, write it down. You could be great at cleaning or organizing, cooking, or repairing homes or cars.  You could be great at keeping your lawn and garden green and bountiful. Better yet maybe you have specialized training from your job. Whatever your skills, pick freelancing task that aligns with your strengths.

Once you decide what you’re good at you have to get the word out. Tell your friends and neighbors about your new business. Set up a Facebook page. Post an ad on Craigslist (or Angie’s List). It shouldn’t take long to find your first customer.

Don’t Discount Babysitting

If one of your skills is childcare and you have enough space and time to watch a few kids before and after school or on the weekends, you stand to make a nice extra income. You don’t have to watch many kids for it to be a profitable business.

Start a Market Garden or Hog-Share

Rural areas have a lot to offer in terms of using the land.  You can easily create a market garden or hog share to help your family in several ways. You can reduce your grocery bills, have a product to sell, and even add a few small improvements to your property.

Even if you don’t know how to work the land there are plans and programs out there to help you. Many areas have gardener’s clubs or a CSA program that can help you get started or provide you with a mentor.

Start Driving for Uber or Lyft

Any decent driver with a car can drive for Uber or Lyft. It doesn’t take much to get started, and you can make enough for a decent payday in as little as 1-2 weeks.

Though Uber is known for offering more work, Lyft passengers may tip better. Your success will depend on if you are able to work consistent hours and where you live.

Sell on eBay, Etsy, and Consignment Shops

If you need cash right away, clean out your closets and take your things to a consignment shop or list them online.  You will get more than you might think.

Ebay is best for electronics; consignment shops are great for furniture and home goods. Etsy is a good place to sell vintage items, homemade crafts or craft supplies. If you prefer to deal with your buyers directly, you can also use Craigslist or Letgo.

Take a Hard Look at Your Expenses

Paying less doesn’t always have to mean getting less. When things look financially bleak, you have a chance to really evaluate what services and subscriptions you might be paying for that are just not right for you.

Making the switch to a different service provider for cable, phone service, the internet and even electricity or gas could save you a lot of money—even if it’s just for the next year.

Prices change over time. That great deal you got when you signed for a service doesn’t last forever.  However, before you switch, make sure to mention it to your current provider. There’s a good chance that they will match or beat their competitor’s offer to keep you as their customer.

Negotiate Your Way to a Better Place

Whether you are going through a financially tough time or not, negotiation can help lower your expenses, get a job, or raise your salary. Most people don’t realize that you can negotiate so many things and just go ahead and pay face value.

You can negotiate credit and loan payments, credit interest, medical bills, electricity and gas bills, cable prices, repair work and services, and much more. Plenty of your regular bills might have discounts you qualify for already.  You just need to ask.

Conclusion

Everyone falls on financial hard times at some point during their lives.  If you use some of these tips, it will help you keep your head up and your nose to the grindstone in order to persevere through them and come out on top.

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