The United States government has entered the longest shut-down in history. As a result, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are now going without pay. Each day, we hear sad stories of people selling their cars to make rent, worrying about foreclosure due to missed mortgage payments and having to choose between buying food or paying for medical prescriptions. Times like these remind me of how important it is to try to build an additional source of income beyond one’s job. While government employment was once viewed as the ideal “safe and secure job,” the facts have shown otherwise. In this article, I’ll outline three ways to build an additional income.
First, if you have an investment portfolio, consider purchasing some income producing assets within it. These are companies that make dividend payments, typically on a monthly or quarterly schedule. They can include dividend stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and investment funds. There is a plethora of options available across the world. Many of them can also be held within tax savings accounts, like Roth IRAs and 401(K)s. Earning regular cash flow from your portfolio can help displace expenses. This can be especially useful during times of financial hardship or loss of employment income.
Note: be sure to do your research carefully before making any investment!
Second, consider starting an online business. This has a low start-up cost. You’ll typically have to buy a web domain and maybe a merchant account (Shopify, etc.). All of this should add up to less than $100 per year. One of the advantages of having an online company is that you can operate it from anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection, then your company is live! Moreover, you won’t have the burdens of things like office space, employees and inventory. As well, unlike brick-and-mortar shops, you are not relegated to selling to a local customer base. Rather, you can make sales internationally and across time zones.
Third, and in a similar vein, try selling some of your old goods on Amazon. We all have junk and stuff that we no longer use. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure! Disposing of things that you don’t need anymore can have obvious financial benefits. But it’s also an intelligent way to get rid of the clutter that we all despise.
I am saddened for the US federal employees who are facing hardship as a result of the shut-down. The government has failed them. Even worse, there is no end to it in sight. However, I hope that there are a few silver linings in this fiasco. I believe that one of them can be a reminder of how necessary it is to prepare for the worst financially. Even the safest jobs can have risk. One should always strive to be ready in the event that they temporarily lose their income. Of course, many people live cheque-to-cheque and they are also strapped for time. But even committing an hour a week to a venture that could build wealth may be worth it in the long-run.
About the Author: My name is Alexis Assadi. I’m an entrepreneur, real estate investor and writer. I enjoy going for walks with my dog, tasting new whiskeys and travelling around the world.
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