Like other young couples, my husband and I have many dreams for our little family. We dream of buying that dream house and saving for our daughter’s education. We hope to set up a business of our own, travel more often, build a stable reserve fund, and eventually save for retirement.
While dreaming of these #familygoals seems exciting, working towards them is a different story. When you’ve got bills to pay and a child to raise, building that extra fund for the dream home is never easy.
I’ve learned from different financial sources that in order to save, we need to cut down expenses and/or increase the income. With a constant set of household expenses including housing cost, electricity, water, food, transpo and baby care, cutting down on expenses is quite tough for new parents like us. While we consciously practice some money-saving tips, there is just so little that we can do to cut back on the monthly expenditures of our family.
A more workable solution for new parents is to grow our income. While both my husband and I are working full-time, our combined salary is still not enough to build extra funds for our other family goals. Thus, we look for ways to increase our income.
While money doesn’t grow from trees, they can be harvested from elsewhere. Here are some income-boosting ideas that young families like ours can try:
Invest in stocks
It’s a good thing that many Filipinos today are becoming aware of the importance of investments. Quite a few of my millennial friends now have stock investments. Investing in stocks used to be intimidating for Filipinos. Thanks to the resolute education campaign of The Philippine Stock Exchange and other financial organizations, learning about investing in stocks becomes more accessible for Filipinos.
The benefits of investing in the stock market are many, and it is one way of attaining passive income. But returns are not guaranteed, and it is possible to lose your money when investing in stocks. Since the risk is high, it is important to learn the basics first before you dive into stock investing. Don’t worry if you have zero knowledge about it. You can attend seminars that teach stock market investment basics. One seminar you can attend is the FREE Stock Market 101 Seminar of Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Check out PSE’s Facebook page for details on how to pre-register.
Invest in pooled-investment vehicles like mutual funds
Banks and other financial institutions offer pooled investment schemes like mutual funds, Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITF), and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). What’s good about these investment vehicles is a fund manager will be the one responsible for investing your cash. So if you don’t know much about investments and don’t have the time to monitor fluctuations of asset prices, this is a good option for you. However, there is still risk in investing in mutual funds and UITF. Since your money will be invested in stocks, there is no guarantee of returns, and there is a possibility to lose your money.
Just like any investment, make sure to invest the “extra cash” that you have and not the money intended for your family’s basic needs. Inquire from financial institutions about these pooled funds and choose the investment fund that suits your current financial goals and risk appetite.
Avail of investment-linked insurance plans
While you may think insurance plans are so “lola”, getting an insurance plan is important, especially when you already have your own family. An insurance plan should be part of your preparation for the future. But of course, insurance plan is another expense on our part. For instance, I set aside around PHP1,700 every payday for my insurance plan’s premium. But I don’t regret getting it because aside from the financial security it brings, I get a good amount of cash (which I can spend or save) from time to time as endowment from my insurance plan.
It’s a good thing that nowadays, insurance plans do not only give financial protection and security. There are insurance plans that include an investment component. Look for these types of insurance to maximize the earning potential of your money.
Generate extra income from your passion/hobby
Whether it’s writing or designing, why not take the extra step to turn your hobby into a business? For instance, some Facebook friends of mine have turned their love for make-up into a lucrative part-time job, while some who love to do arts and crafts now sell their Instagram-worthy creations online. With the right business strategy and a little bit of good marketing skills, your passion or hobby can bring you more than just self-fulfillment.
Airbnb your extra space
If you have a property or a space that’s not being used, you can join the Airbnb bandwagon. Of course, every millennial knows about Airbnb! It’s convenient if you want a travel accommodation, a place to rent that’s near your workplace, or just a venue for that needed staycation. So if you’re lucky enough to have a place (of course, other than your family’s private place) that you can offer to the public, let Airbnb help you achieve that additional income.
Spend with a cash back
I used to think that all credit cards are evil, but experience taught me that proper usage of credit card does not have to end up in shattered dreams and broken bank account. Believe me, I earned a bit from spending because of my credit card with a cash back feature. Getting PHP400-700 cash back for every cut off isn’t a bad thing. So if you were to spend, spend smart. Then again, if you’re the kind who can’t control spending when you have a credit card, then better not try this option.
There are certainly other ways to boost our family’s income. With discipline and proper financial management, we can surely reach our #familygoals someday soon.
I’d love to hear other ways to earn more. Please feel free to comment, fellow parents! 😊