I have three possible routes to work. Depending on the timing or traffic, I decide on which route to use. Even one of the routes has a sub route within it i.e. you can choose to get off the main road if there is traffic and use an internal road to get to the other side. You too may also face these choices every day. Creating choices is part of our lives. I would really feel stuck if I had only one possible route to work. We feel stuck in the same way with money and wonder how to make it through. How do I pay off debt? How do I deal with the rising cost of living? What do I do now that I have been retrenched? How do I survive with my business going through hard times? What do I do when I retire? The answer to a lot of things we are facing is as simple as creating different routes of getting things done (Click to Tweet this thought). Find different ways of bringing in income to your life.
Firstly, understand that you will have to invest something to get this income. There is a cost. What resources are you going to deploy to generate this income. It could be time, money, skills, experience or a combination of different things. You are going to put down something as a deposit. Far too many people want financial magic to happen in their lives without being willing to actually do or spend anything. What do you have that you can use to open up income routes? Perhaps these stories will help you identify that.
Samantha has a full time job but she also makes cakes, mandazis and other pastries to sell at work. From this her colleagues have also asked her to cater for private functions over the weekend. She can make anything from Kshs 15, 000 to Kshs 40, 000 per month. Not only has she cleared a good chunk of her debt but she tells me it has really helped her with school fees. She now consciously knows that school fees money comes from selling cakes and guess what, that has been a load off her back. What was the cost to her? Firstly image. She had to get over being bothered by what people thought about her selling snacks at work. Some may have snickered behind her back but she ignored it and it eventually quietened down. Next was time. She had to wake up earlier and organise some things in the evening to be ready for the next day.
Ken my next example, also has a full-time job. He loves to cycle. He used to do it by himself but figured he could help other people especially children learn to love riding. On weekends (Saturday and Sundays), he takes children out to ride. It has now become a riding club and parents pay for this. He is now also thinking of getting someone to help him over the holidays due to the demand. He makes Kshs 7,000 per weekend. He is currently just saving the money so he can have the resources to employ somebody and the opportunity to build this initiative. What did it cost him? His Friday nights. Before this he would always be out but now he has to get a good night’s sleep and ends up saving money in the process.
For Derrick and his wife Wangeci it was simple. They had extra land next to where they had built the family home a couple of years back. They put up single rooms on the property and they are now renting them out. They use that money to cater for household expenses. Since their children are now at school, Wangeci has also gone into a joint venture with their house help, Jacinta, to breed dogs. Jacinta gets a share of profit when they sell the dogs hence she has incentive to ensure that they are properly looked after. What has all this cost them? Money to put up the single rooms and of course to buy and maintain that breed of dogs. They get a good chunk of money about twice a year from sale of these dogs.
Akoth bought her first apartment in Kitengela ten years ago. From then she has just been buying an apartment at least every three years. Her strategy is simple. Buy an apartment in an upcoming area and in two to three years pay down any debt on it, then move to the next one. She mainly used her salary and bonuses from work to do this. Akoth now has four apartments and all have tenants in them. She gets a monthly income of about Kshs 105,000. Akoth has recently been retrenched. Whilst she is not happy about losing her job, because of these investments she can actually take care of herself for the most part as she figures out what her next step will be. It is also giving her the leeway to start considering starting a business as opposed to finding another job.
Peter on the other hand traded his experience in for some extra income. He is very good in the technology space. Because of this he writes every month for a publication and gets paid. He also sits on a board of a small company who need his expertise and networks. They meet every month and he gets a sitting allowance for this.
These are just examples and not necessarily what you imitate and do. I’m in no way suggesting everybody should start breeding dogs. However hopefully they have opened your eyes to how different people have used what they have to create more routes for income to flow. You are most likely sitting on the solution to your problems and the answer to your prayers (Click to Tweet this thought). You always have something you can use.
Waceke runs a Personal Finance Program and Entrepreneurship at Centonomy. For details Email her on email@example.com | Facebook/WacekeNduati| Twitter@cekenduati