Why do some people do it easily while others struggle? It could be luck or talent, but most likely it is good work ethic, entrepreneurial skill, determination and persistence. If your life depended on bringing in this money, I bet nothing would stop you from getting it.
- 1. Keep your eye on the prize. The goal is to make $5,000 per month and to see that money in your bank account. Pretend you are a salesperson with that quota requirement. Either you reach it or you are out of the game.
- 2. Cut your expenses. Money not spent is cash earned. I moved from an almost $2,000 per month luxury apartment to a house with roommates that costs me less than $1,000 per month. That extra $1,000 will definitely go to my savings account and part of my down payment to purchase my own condominium. My friend rents a $1,700 per month two-bedroom apartment two blocks from the beach in Santa Monica. He rents the other room for $1,000 and thus, is only responsible for $700. Nice!
- 3. Keep the inspiration as your motivation. My friends always tell me to downgrade my car and get a cheaper one to lower my monthly expenses. They think I am crazy for not heeding their advice. But I will always drive a brand-new BMW, not only because it makes me happy, but because it represents something to me. Sources of inspiration vary for different people. But for me, driving the car of my choice represents a certain level of success I have achieved and a standard of living that I refuse to go below no matter what. When the going gets tough, I run my fingers through the emblem of my steering wheel and am reminded that nothing is beyond reach.
- 4. Sell your talent and price it competitively. Each one of us is good at something and has a marketable talent or combination of talents. If you are not already using that as a skill in your main job, do so on the side. It is always good to have a regular source of income. However, it does not hurt to have a supplemental source of funds. Who knows, it could even turn out to be a business someday. Voila! What’s the fastest way to become a CEO than to own and run your own company. Just make sure you are priced competitively, highlight the uniqueness of your service and have value-added to assure yourself of a constant stream of highly satisfied clients who will be happy enough to spread the word of what you have to offer. Free advertising never hurts.
- 5. Devote more time to work than play (at least in the beginning). If you want to make more money or have a set $5,000 target in mind, expect to work a little bit more than your peers. It’s either you render overtime hours; accept special projects to do on weekends; sell stuff on Craigslist, eBay or Amazon; write eBooks or articles for online publication; baby sit or basically anything that you can do on a recurring yet flexible basis over and above your main job or responsibility.
- 6. Work smart not hard. My former boss in commercial real estate told me once to work smart not hard. Of course, he worked hard. However, he prioritized and devoted his time more on actions that brought him the most amount of money. So if you have limited time, make sure you focus on tasks that will most likely bring you bigger chunks of money if you succeed. Ideas that come to mind which can exceed $5,000 per month earnings are real estate and the potential for big commissions; writing and perhaps being a bestselling author or your work becoming the basis of a screenplay (just think Twilight, Harry Potter, He is just not that into you, etc); being a masseuse; technical, web development, and IT (Information Technology) special gigs; consulting projects; real estate investments either via flipping properties or renting out what you own; and for the lucky few, money-making modeling and acting assignments.
- 7. Look for a higher paying job. The best time to look for a job is when you still have one, so they say. Discretely scout the market of opportunities and salary ranges. It is always good to know your market value. Remember, you are only as good to the company you are working for as long as you are generating them money. Other than that, no matter how loyal you are to your employers, if your company is not profitable, your job will be in jeopardy. Of course, you need to consider your tenure and what benefits are attached to it such as medical insurance, 401(k), profit-sharing, stock options, housing or transportation perks, etc. Plus when you look for another job, you have to assess if you will fit in the culture, the new environment which covers both location and the demeanor of your new coworkers.
- 8. Invest. Make your extra money work for you. Putting some of your money on 401(k) combined with your employer’s matching scheme and amount is definitely a winner. Just keep your eye on how it is performing so you can best decide how conservative or aggressive you should be in your choice of how to allocate your fund. If you are one of the luckier ones who can afford to buy a property for a good price and then flip it quick for good profit then that can easily be more than $5,000 per month if you spread the profit over a couple of months. If you have extra rooms in your house or apartment, consider renting it out especially that the rental market is at a high these days. You can also purchase things at a good price and sell them for profit. I believe in quick turnover versus holding something unless it can give you income in the meantime prior to selling it.
- 9. Save as a fallback and for a rainy day. Having money set aside not only gives you peace of mind that you are somehow protected should you lose your job or if an unexpected emergency comes up, it also gives you the capital in the event you are ready to try a venture. As they say, it takes money to make money.
- 10. Cash is king but protect your credit score in the event you need financing. Cash is normally preferred in a sales transaction. However, there are times when financing will be your only option or what will make sense for you at a particular time. Having a good credit score will put you in a good negotiating position; allow you to avail of better rates or even ask for a credit; can put you in the first position as the preferred buyer of a seller. All these mean savings for you and equivalent to money in your pocket or bank account.
A number is just a number. I can write down any number as a goal but it is you who will determine how much you like to earn per week, per month or per annum. The first step is to determine what your financial goals are and how much of your time are you willing to spend on making money versus other things. It is a personal choice for each one of us.