Find novel ways to boost income

Are you always left with too much month at the end of the money? If you are struggling to stretch your monthly income far enough to cover all of your expenses and debt, you are not alone.

According to chief executive officer of Debt Rescue Neil Roets, more and more financially stressed South Africans are faced with no choice but to turn to debt review for rescue.

In a story which appeared in Business Report recently, Roets said more than 250 South African families were losing their homes on a weekly basis to sales execution as they fell behind on their bond repayments, with a higher rate of repossession of both fixed property and motor vehicles this past year alone, when compared with previous years.

Adding to these woes, the downgrading of the country’s foreign debt to junk status by rating agencies Standard & Poor and Fitch, may hit consumers’ pockets hard as the price of petrol and food goes up.

How can consumers ensure they stay afloat or even manage to scrape a little money together to reward themselves with a holiday?

WorldVentures – a home for independent representatives who sell group travel packages – suggest taking on extra work to supplement one’s income.

In a statement issued by general manager Kemble Morgan last week, he suggested several opportunities, which are:

  • Using your car to provide transport services locally;
  • Cooking or baking easy dishes to sell at work;
  • Volunteering with marketing companies to assist with surveys;
  • Taking on house, baby or pet sitting for colleagues and friends;
  • Tapping into your hobbies, interests or natural abilities to see how they can make you money;
  • Joining a sales company; and
  • Roping together social media friends and family and hosting an event – charging an entrance fee.

“Using your car to transport children to and from their extra-mural activities is a good way to supplement your income if you have your afternoons free.

“If not, apply to become a…driver and transport people at night to and from their respective destinations. As drinking and driving laws become stricter, there’s a greater need for responsible drivers to transport people from their social engagements where they may have consumed a glass of wine or a couple of beers,” Morgan said.

“Find out from your boss if you could provide your speciality dishes to your colleagues once a week for a fee. It will create a nice atmosphere at the office as there will be something to look forward to during the work week and it will add a little to your monthly income.

“Marketing companies charge a fortune to research hypotheses and analyse market trends and to get the research done they need volunteers to participate in surveys.

“If you’re a budding photographer, think about joining iStock or Shutterstock and use them as a platform to sell your photographs.”

For the physically fit, Morgan said dog walking, which can be slotted in either before or after work or on weekends is another option.

“Or if entertainment is your special talent be it in the form of ‘caught on camera’ type clips or ‘DIY’ [Do it Yourself] type, make some videos and post them online. If they get enough hits you can use Google Adsense to monetise your videos.”

Wilsonia resident Eugine King – a saleslady by day and a Buffalo City Metro street sweeper by night – said she had become tired of trying to scrape together a living from her salary alone.

Now selling a brand of bedroom linen, perfume and a range of health and skin care products, King said she was able to afford food, clothing and transport for herself and her two children.

“I decided to start selling because I love it. Selling is in my blood. Even when I was at school I used to sell to my classmates. So when I was looking for a way to make extra income it made sense that I would think of selling,” she said.

King said she peddled her goods to anyone who would stop to listen to her – from colleagues at work, passengers in a taxi to her neighbours.

“I walk around with catalogues and samples in my bag and I randomly speak to people and tell them what I’m offering. I get a lot of sales, especially the ladies’ perfumes.

“With the economy we live in, everything is very expensive and it’s only the super rich who survive without any financial stress.

“I need these two incomes and they balance each other out,” she said.

Shantel Pretorius, owner of Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice, which for the most part opens on weekends, said she had heard about the opportunity to sell adult toys at a demonstration party she had attended two years ago.

Worried about expenses such as food and school fees for her five-year-old son, Pretorius said she jumped at the opportunity. It was after buying the store that she branched out into selling cosmetics and jewellery as extra income lines.

Pretorius, who is employed, said she started selling mostly as a hobby.

“These are hobbies mostly. I don’t make much money from the shop. Most of what I do make goes back into the shop for things like buying stock and paying rent but when I do make a little extra profit I use it to buy myself something nice.

“I generally make a little more money from selling the cosmetics and the jewellery.”

Co-owner of Psalted Designs, which specialises in ethnic wear, Gcobisa Ndudane, said making and selling clothing was a second income to her main poster-making business.

Ndudane said her sister, Noxolo Dyobiso, designs the clothes, while she assists by sewing them.

Dyobiso, who studied fashion design, also designs promotional posters for Da Gama Textiles, which more often than not usually feature designs from her collection.

“So we are making money from both the posters and the clothes sales. She gets paid to make the posters and she features her designs on them, which is like getting paid twice. It’s a win-win situation for everyone really,” explained Ndudane.

For those who love romance and also have a flair for writing, compiling a Mills and Boon novel could be an option.

On their website the publishing house provides a list of guidelines for budding authors who wish to get published.

Listed among the key elements needed for a modern romance novel is a hero who can command and seduce, a heroine who isn’t afraid of standing up for herself and scenes of high sensuality and sky-rocketing sexual tension which will quicken the pulse.

Manuscripts can be submitted via their website.

There are also work-from-home opportunities, which include data capturing and envelope filling.

However, among these are many scams too, which an article in Business Owl warns against.

According to Business Owl, people should always seek clarity in areas such as how they will be paid where the salary is commission-based before joining, and check to see if the sales targets are not unrealistically high.

If the advertiser is promoting unusually high salaries then it would usually be a scam.

Apart from the incentive of making money, both Pretorius and Morgan said people considering extra work should always follow their passion – as well as investigate what their target market really wants.

“A lot of women are into adult toys, although many will never admit it. I see it when I host parties.

“Many are too shy to buy in front of the others but then my phones rings constantly as soon as I leave,” Pretorius said.

“Take control now, spend a bit of time deciding what you can do to cushion your bank account every month and settle on something that will not only add financial value to your life but something that will also make you happy,” said Morgan.

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