When blogger Kylie Ofiu’s husband was laid off earlier this summer, she quickly came up with a plan to earn more money: She would sell more of her things online, which she had already started doing. She would continue to focus building an audience for her blog and related book on saving money. And she would find a short-term position at a salon. Through the help of friends and family, she also found some free food to cushion the family budget.
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Ofiu, 26, who is based in Sydney, Australia, says the secret to surviving a sudden income loss is to find multiple ways of earning more money quickly, a topic she frequently discusses on her blog. After all, when money comes from many different sources, then it’s more stable.
Here are Ofiu’s top tips for others recovering from a lay-off in the family:
Go back to your roots. Ofiu is trained as a hairdresser and beautician, which means she can always fall back on those skills if necessary. She picked up the salon job quickly, and also spread the word among family and friends that she was accepting clients again.
But also find other sources of money. Ofiu writes her blog and is also author of two money-saving books, 26 Ingredients and 365 Ways to Make Money. She also freelances as a writer to further supplement her earnings, and picks up a small amount in advertising revenue from her blogs.
Think long-term. Her book contracts took months to earn money, but Ofiu thinks of both projects as long term investments in her career.
But hustle for the immediate buck, too. Mortgages, phone bills, and other household expenses don’t stop when you lose a job. That’s why Ofiu found her part-time salon position to help fill the gap, and she sells items she no longer needs (such as books) on eBay and elsewhere. Her husband also picked up some extra work. “It has been varied and not reliable, but those small amounts do help,” she says.
Expect it to be hard. Ofiu admits replacing her husband’s lost income is a struggle, and how she often feels all the weight of earning and maintaining her household rests on her shoulders. There’s nothing easy about that.
But know you can do it. Despite the challenges, Ofiu says she’s optimistic about the trends in her money making, and she expects to soon be able to replace her husband’s income with her various projects and become the chief breadwinner for her family.
In retrospect, Ofiu says, she wishes she had started building up revenue from other sources well before the lay-off happened. She recommends that everyone review their “Plan B” every few months to see what they need to improve. She says, “It will help soften the blow and it’s easier to increase side income than it is to start from scratch.”