By Dean Petrich
If you are at absolutely rock bottom financially, most likely your emotions and attitude are down as well, and often everything starts falling apart at the same time. To get yourself back up and running, here are some steps you can take right away. Follow this order.
- Infrastructure. Get your infrastructure working smoothly. This costs nothing but time.
- Clean your entire house. Maybe even wash the windows.
- Clear off your desk: sort, file and throw out papers
- Keep surfaces clear and things clean; do the laundry and dishes
- Look for and find everything that is missing or lost
- If you cannot find it, do your best to replace it
- Know where things are. “If you can’t find it, you don’t own it.”
- Create spaces for everything: organize your office, your house and your yard.
- Always keep glasses, keys, wallets and anything you need quickly and regularly in the same places every time
- As soon as you are done with it, put it away
- Reorganize the location of things to increase efficiency
- Keep flat surfaces empty and free of clutter.
- Clear off your desk.
- Sort, throw away and/or file all papers.
- Nothing should be on the floor or on chairs
- Build shelves, attach things to walls
- Designate a container or drawer for things you can’t decide on, and schedule a routine day for sorting through these contents
- Fix anything that is broken or not working properly
- If it costs money to fix, find someone who can fix it for trade
- If it takes a lot of time to fix, you now have the time to fix it yourself
- If you don’t know how to fix it, find someone who can tell you how, or do some research at the library and on the internet
- Take care of what you have so that nothing else breaks
- Make a space for fixing things
- In this space, keep glues, clamps, rags, etc.
- This space can serve multiple purposes
- Health: Stay healthy. This costs nothing and will greatly enhance your life.
- If you don’t have your health, you won’t have a vibrant productive life
- Eat organic
- Drink ample water
- Get sufficient sleep
- Exercise much more than you are now
- Breathe, relax, take time out to play
- Consider taking high quality supplements
- Surround yourself with healthy positive people
- The people you spend time with significantly influence your attitude
- Seek out smart, active, creative friends
- Avoid negative people who compare, complain and criticize.
- Add humor to your life
- Humor is healing
- Humor lightens up your attitude and makes life less serious
- Humor relieves burdens and broadens your perspective
- Humor helps you pace yourself and makes your process fun
- Set goals for yourself
- Happiness is when you are making progress toward your goals.
- Goals are dreams with time limits.
- Begin with your desired end. Write it down and post a picture of it.
- Break down the steps into long-term goals and short-term goals.
- Now list the baby steps that would be necessary to reach each short-term goal that will get you to your long-term goals.
- Current Finances: Get your existing finances in order. The goal is to decrease your expenses and to increase your income. This costs nothing and can actually produce income.
- Take a close look at your finances and write them on paper so you can see your income and expenses side-by-side. Know where you stand.
- Whom do you owe?
- How much do you need to pay everything off?
- What expenses are coming up?
- Who owes you?
- List every person who owes you anything.
- Categorize this list by how easy or difficult it would be to collect.
- Gather contact information, dates and amounts for each person.
- What is your current net worth?
- What is the total amount you owe?
- How much do you need to live comfortably?
- What is the difference that you need to break even?
- Never spend more than you make or have.
- Collect any and all money owed to you
- Make phone calls, send emails, write letters and make personal visits
- If people cannot pay in money, work out a fair trade for them to do something that would truly help you
- Reduce your expenses
- Stop buying things.
- You don’t need stuff.
- Find ways of getting what you need for free.
- Borrow tools and things that you need temporarily
- Check out thrift stores, garage sales and Craig’s Free List
- Figure out which bills you can eliminate
- Cancel anything that is unnecessary
- This might include TV, internet, a second phone, etc.
- Let subscriptions expire, simplify online spending, etc.
- Reduce what you can’t eliminate
- At this point your attitude should be focused on how little you can live on and still get by. Can turn down the heat? Can you travel less?
- Pay off anything that is costing you interest
- Do not ever borrow money again
- If you must borrow, only borrow money that you can re-pay in a week.
- If you can’t re-pay it in a week, you can’t afford the interest on the loan anyway: do not borrow to begin with.
- If you can re-pay it in a week, then wait a week to get it and pay with debt-free cash: do not borrow money
- Create New Money: Enough new money will solve all your financial concerns.
- Cash out accessories
- To a certain point you can sell off things you don’t need or use
- Often you can buy low and sell high with eBay, garage sales, etc.
- Do trades with people using your time, skills and knowledge as leverage to obtain their material objects that can then be sold for cash
- Consider being self-employed.
- If you already have your own business, get on the phone
- Since you have no money for postcards or advertising, personally touch base with your past and existing clients over the phone to provide reminders or to inform them about new products, services or other updated information.
- Send a catchy email to your distribution list offering a discount.
- Take advantage of the free internet with social networking
- Place ads on Craig’s List and other free services
- Write up an informative article on what you do and submit it to your local newspaper.
- Create or improve your web site.
- Get out and meet new people.
- Network and collect phone numbers.
- Go to social events and carry your business cards.
- Accept invitations to parties and gatherings
- If you do not have your own business, think about starting one. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make more money?” Brainstorm your options.
- Take out a piece of paper, sit down with a friend, and write down every idea that pops into either of your heads, no matter how wild or unrealistic the idea may be. Go crazy with possibilities. Don’t pre-judge or eliminate: add and expand. Think outside the box.
- Develop a source of cash that can be repeated
- Any type of cleaning that needs to be done again and again such as raking leaves, washing windows, house cleaning, etc. Think both residential and commercial.
- Any type of repair or maintenance service
- Something that you can make and sell
- Classes that you can teach over and over
- Start a low-cost business that produces residual income
- Write a book.
- What could you own and rent out?
- Set up a crew of workers who work for you.
- Start a CDF or MLM business, but choose wisely.
- Find a new job or a second or third job
- Put the word out to everyone you see about your skills and availability
- Submit applications frequently
- Personally visit work places and let people know you exist
- Consider completely changing professions
- Go back to school
- Go to another country and meet all new people
- Work for free at a new place until you are good enough to be hired
- Work for another company until you have learned enough to quit and start your own company
- Partner up with someone compatible and develop a team operation
- You make money not by working for someone else, but by owning the business yourself
- Create a totally new industry.
- What do people need?
- What would benefit the society and the world?
- Invent something.
- Re-design core needs, such as housing, transportation, medical, agriculture, energy production, and communications
- Invest in assets
- Spend money only on things that will make you money
- Buy tools, not toys
- Rich people don’t rent: they own
- Own things that you can rent out, anywhere from water filters and musical instruments to apartments and cars
- Purchase things that will increase in value
- Do not buy liabilities: things that will lose money or cost you money
- Your house and car are liabilities because they cost you money
- Poor people buy cheap low-quality items that break within six months and are then thrown out.
- Look into investments
- Real estate and rentals is how most wealthy people make their money
- Learn how money works and copy people who are successful
- Follow trends
See also Instant Money.