Last year, when I started my, albeit brief, time as a single mother, I had to work extremely hard to make ends meet. And I mean extremely hard. I was not going to accept help from anyone and I spent a lot of time doing whatever I could to earn or save money. And I’ve no shame in that, in fact, I’m darn proud of it.
I have learnt a lot of ways to make money go further, and new ways to earn pennies too.
So here are a few tips to help you, if you’re in the same position as I was.
Sell items online
Are you tired of the clutter sitting around your house? It’s time to segregate those items! I remember, just before Bill was born, I went on a crazy sorting spree and sold a lot of unwanted items, from clothes, to books. I made a few hundred pounds, which helped me massively at the time. Sort the items that are still in good condition, but you no longer need and put price tags on them. eBay is such a brilliant tool – I’m a huge advocate of it. And why let something gather dust, when someone else could make good use of it?
Rent out space
If you have an extra room in your home or your apartment, you can rent it out to someone who needs it. This is especially useful if you live near a university or college where there are plenty of students who are seeking a place. By doing this, you are sure to have a set monthly income coming in to add to your savings. I almost considered this last year, which was hard for me, as I wasn’t sure if this would be the right thing to do with a toddler. Luckily I ended up getting a full-time ‘lodger’ in the form of Mark, but if I could have helped someone else with a cheap room, it was always going to be an option for me.
Walk dogs or pet-sit
If you are someone who loves pets, one thing you can do to earn extra money is to walk dogs for your neighbours or pet-sit. You can do this during your spare time. If you get pet-sitting gigs, you can earn more money. If you get enough neighbors to let you do these little tasks, you will be able to save up enough money for the things that you need, and build some great relationships too.
Become a coupon queen
Collecting coupons or making the most of deals is only ever going to be a wise move. I have started buying freezable food in bulk and the Facebook group, ‘Feed your family for about £20 a week‘ is a goldmine of money-saving meal ideas.
Recycle scrap metal
Aside from the things that you can sell around the house, you can also collect scrap metal for cash. It’s true, I’ve not lost the plot! Get all the metals that you can find in your home – old appliances, furniture, a bicycle, an old car, or metal beams. Bring them to your local salvage yard for some quick cash in your pockets. And less junk in your home too!
Turn your hobby into a business
It’s certainly what I have done with this blog. And I feel so blessed and thankful to the Charlotte from years ago who decided to start writing. It is important to enjoy what you are doing while earning, so why not turn one of your hobbies into a business where you can get profit? For instance, if you love to knit, make a few items that you can sell such as sweaters, beanies, or gloves. Arts and crafts items sell like crazy, and you can start selling them online. Take the brilliant Katie who has set up Gin Bunny Prints (best cards ever).
Learn something new
If you want to expand your skills, you can learn something new and be more valuable to other people. For example, you can enroll in online classes for cloud computing training and use your new skill to apply to part-time jobs or short gigs that will get you the money that you need.
These are just a few ideas on how you can earn extra pennies and save some too. I know it’s hard to make ends meet at times, but it is possible.