Money Tips I Learned While I Was Broke

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When you hit a rough patch in your life the last thing you might be thinking about are the lessons that could be learned from it. After I graduated in April 2016 my plans were to immediately move. It seemed like a smart plan since I was doing all the things I was told to do, but I didn’t think to have money saved in case no one wanted to hire me -- BIG L

Along the way, I ended up having 2 dead-end jobs, couch suffering, having my bank account in the red more than once and doing some creative things for money. It hasn’t been a glamorous part of my life and some points were embarrassing, but I will say that by undergoing these trails I’ve learned a lot about finances.

There Is Always A Way To Make Money

Moving home meant no bills, but I had to leave the life I loved behind to revert back to a lifestyle that no longer fit who I was becoming.  I was desperate to move out. In my desperation, I came up with a motto: There is always a way; you just have to find it. I’ve seen an obese woman making a living from recording herself eating. I have seen a man who gets paid of balancing items. There are so many unique things that people will pay for. Some of the ways that I made money included: freelancing, wreath making, selling old/unwanted items, creating graphics, saving all change and survey websites. Some of these things only brought in a few dollars, but that’s a few more dollars than what I had. Think outside of the box! The best advice I’ve gotten is to think about the craziest things you’d do to make what you need to happen, happen. You don’t have to actually do that thing, but in thinking about it, it helps open your mind and motivate you. I had never made a wreath in my life and ended up creating and selling 3 for $45.

Always Have A Side Hustle

Even if you don’t desire being a full-time entrepreneur I still recommend that you have a viable side hustle. Relinquishing the power over your finances to someone else is far too risky. I was finally able to get a job after months of searching at a fabric store. I wasn’t proud of it, but it was a job and I made plans to keep that job until I saved enough money to move. That plan was shattered when I got laid off. After the setting up the store my boss decided she had too many workers to run it and I was one of the ones to get the cut. I ended up only pulling 2 checks from that job. Don’t allow your money train to start and stop with someone else. Your employer is not obligated to show you loyalty. They don’t have to care about how firing your, cutting your hours or delaying your check can cause major problems in your life so don’t give them that much power over it. Find something you like to do, you’re good at and that can help others and go get that money.

Prioritize Your Spending

Being broke has let me know that I can survive without a lot of things I might want. I couldn’t splurge on getting my hair done, my eyebrows done or any of those things that I was used to spending money on.  It taught me about the importance of figuring out what you really need and what you want and prioritizing those things. When I meet a crossroads of deciding how to spend my money when I’m facing something I want I ask myself “will you die if you don’t have this now?” Sounds dramatic, but if you’ve been months or weeks without it you can survive an extra 2 weeks until you have taken care of more pressing matters first. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but many of the things that are in store for Negus Graduate come from me saying “no” to a few things that I really wanted and it’s well worth it.

There’s Always A Reason To Save

I’ve finally gotten my first apartment but that doesn’t mean I get a spend like I’m balling. There are still so many reasons to save money. I have bills to pay, projects to fund and yes, I do want to live a little and go to dope events like the BET Awards. The ways I save are by following the tips above. Always find a way to make money and have it as a side hustle and don’t spend your money on things you really don’t need. I still buy things that I want, but I keep things in moderation by finding great deals and practicing minimalism. Plus I am always looking for hacks.

I’ve went from being terrified of paying my first bill to having the confidence that I know what I’m doing. The confidence that God knew I needed since I grew up pretty sheltered and didn’t learn these things until later in life. No matter what season you find yourself in good or bad take a look around and ask God to show you what He wants you to learn.