Summer is here and so is my slowest period for work, but I am determined this year I am going to fight back by taking on a second job, selling everything I can, and in general looking for other ways to earn extra money.
Why am I going crazy with generating extra money?
- I am tired of having my income drop during the slow times and then playing catch-up when it increases.
- Free-lance work was slow through the first half of the spring semester and I was not able to save up as much as normal for the fall tuition. In fact, at this moment I do not have anything saved up.
- I am motivated to save everything I can by cutting expenses or trimming costs in order to build up my 3 month emergency fund.
- There are just a few semesters left to pay for my husband's school. I want to have tuition saved up for and/or paid for in its entirety as soon as possible.[Tweet "How to successfully get through a slow work period"]
Do you ever wonder how to successfully get through a slow work period?
Is there anything you can do to successfully get through slow work period?
Why, yes there is. Here are several ways which have helped me get through slow times and a couple more I am going to implement this summer.
1. Work Ahead
As preparation for the slow summer, I have been picking up as many hours as I can over the last few weeks. Sometimes, my hours remain steady throughout May, however work started to drop off last week.
2. Apply for a second job
The drop in hours early in the month pushed me to decide it is time to add a part time job by going into Video Relay Interpreting (VRI) as I mentioned in my April Savings report. I sent in my application earlier this week and am just waiting to hear back. The good news is if this call center does not hire me, there is another one which is also very close to my home and I will apply there as well.
3. Extra money? Put it towards next month's bills
May will be a higher income month. After much thought, I realized it will be best to apply some of the extra funds towards the money needed for the bills in June. In the past, I have been able to save up a month's worth of expenses before the month begins and I am working really hard to get to that point again.
When you have money in your account from last month, you can just pay your bills without thinking. A weight is lifted off; you do not have to juggle the paychecks and the bills plus there is some cushion for unexpected expenses.[Tweet "When you have money from last month, you can pay your bills without thinking."]
Making this decision to put money towards being a month ahead seems counter productive towards my savings goal of building a 3 month emergency fund, but in reality it is very helpful.
When I am able to get a month ahead of my expenses, I will be 1/3 of the way done with my emergency fund, right?
4. Decrease expenses
As you have seen, I have been consistently working on decreasing our regular expenses and have now lowered our bills to equal what I would receive should I ever need to file a disability claim. I feel pretty good about getting my bills down to that amount, however, I still need to increase my emergency fund to cover the gap between a claim date and the payout.
(side note) You really should look into disability insurance as the risk of becoming disabled is higher during working years and you will need some way to replace your income if you are unable to work for several months due to an injury.
5. Plan in advance
I will need to put some time and thought into planning for several baby showers, birthdays and events which will be happening this summer. If I can make gifts, it usually is easier on the budget, but I need to factor in enough time to put the gifts together.
Avoid making large purchases during the slow time if at all possible. When your business is cyclical, you can plan ahead and know when are good times to buy.
6. Be flexible and creative
Additionally, I will be looking for more opportunities to earn some extra money. My goal is to earn an additional $500 this summer from selling things and any side hustle work.
Selling things on e-bay or craigslist seems like such a chore to me. I love getting cash for something I did not want, but posting the items and dealing with flaky customers takes so much energy.
However, I just read an article that coupons and toilet paper rolls are hot items to sell on e-bay. Seriously? I can do that.
How do you manage selling online?
7. Be willing to be inconvenienced
As I remember the larger goal of why I am saving money helps to put aside my petty preferences. You may have to work long hours, shifts you do not like or jobs you do not care for, but the payoff is great when you are able to get successfully through a slow work period without going backwards in your financial picture.
8. Be thankful
Thankfulness allows me to be grateful I still have a job which does provide for my family, even though at times work is slower. I still have the ability to work and to get to work. It is through changing my perspective to one of thankfulness, striving constantly to pick up more work becomes less arduous and I am nicer to be around.
9. Don't spend in the good months
Keeping your budget constant through the good months and the slow ones allows you to put money aside during the good times to help balance out the times when there is not as much money coming in. When you spend all the extra money in the good months, you will be kicking yourself later when you really need it. [Tweet "Keeping your budget in check helps prepare for the slow times. "]
Hang in there, friend, if you are going through a slow work period. Remember the slow times will not last forever and once you successfully get through this, there are ways to plan for future down times so they do not have as a big of an impact on your finances.
How do you successfully get through a slow work period? Please share your thoughts!
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Hi! I’m Charissa. I’m on a mission to help hardworking women overcome money struggles and gain financial peace with a Biblical perspective so they can have the freedom to impact their families and communities. Ready to make some changes that will impact your finances in 2020? Click here to get a free worksheet to help you make it happen!