I have three possible routes to work. Which route I use at any given day depends on time or traffic. Even one of the routes has a sub-route within it; I can choose to get off the main highway if there is traffic and use a side road to get to the other side. You may also face these choices every day. Making choices is part of our lives. 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 will 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 the many dilemmas we are facing is to create different routes of making more money.
First, understand that there is a cost involved. What resources are you going to deploy to generate this income? It could be time, money, skills, experience or a combination. You are going to put down something as a deposit. 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. Her colleagues have also asked her to cater for their private functions during weekends. She can make anything from Sh15,000 to Sh40,000 a month. Not only has this helped her clear a good chunk of her debt, she also tells me it has helped her with school fees.
What was the cost to her? First, image. She used to worry about what colleagues would say about her selling snacks at work. Some may have mocked her behind her back but she ignored them and it eventually quietened down. Next was time. She had to wake up much earlier and organise some things in the evening to be ready for the next day.
Ken also has a fulltime job. He loves to cycle. He figured he could help children learn riding. On weekends, he takes children out to ride and parents pay for this. He makes Sh7,000 per weekend. He is currently saving the money for expansion.
WHAT DID IT COST HIM?
What did it cost him? His Friday nights with friends. Before this, he would always be out but now he has to get a good night’s sleep.
For Derrick and his wife Wangeci, it was simple. They had extra land next to where they had built their family home a couple of years back. They put up single rooms on the property and they are now renting them out. 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 the profit when they sell the dogs twice a year. This motivates her to look after the dogs well.
What has all this cost them? Money to put up the single rooms and of course to buy and maintain that breed of dogs.
Akoth bought her first apartment in Kitengela 10 years ago. From then she has 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 and 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 who pay her a monthly income of about Sh105,000.
Akoth was retrenched, but she can take care of herself as she considers her next step. She also has the leeway to start a business as opposed to finding another job.
Peter traded in his experience for an extra income. He is very good in the technology space. Because of this, he writes every month for a publication and gets paid to do someething he enjoys doing. He also sits on the board of a small company that needs his expertise and networks. They meet every month and he gets a sitting allowance for this.
These are just examples. I am in no way suggesting everybody should start breeding dogs, but I hope these stories have opened your eyes to how various people have used what they have to create more routes for income to flow. As you read this, you are most likely sitting on a solution to your problems. You always have something you can use.