Unlike many members of my financial blogs, I got street credits (credentials) when I was poor. When we moved to San Jose (CA) in the early 1980’s, my family lived with another family until my parents saved me from renting an apartment. The house we lived in was a typical three bedroom, two bath home located on McLaughlin Avenue. My parents were friends of the adults who rented this home. They met in Chihuahua, Mexico.
When my parents were able to rent an apartment, things didn’t get any easier. All they could afford to work full-time was a single room at Sunny Court. My sister and I slept in the living room. The food was not always plentiful. I often remember that there was not much to eat and I used to have only one regular meal at school. Clothes were bought according to the needs of the secondary store. The shoes came from friends or if you saved money from Payless Shoes.
In those days, living for months was stressful, even for a child. There’s nothing worse than trying to get your parents to make money and not being able to help you. On my way back to Mexico, I would go out and sell chewing gum or shiny shoes to raise money. But there are laws in the United States … child labor laws. Also, you need to be able to speak the language in most cases. At the time, I was just starting to learn English.
I’m not ashamed to admit that when I was a kid I dumped in the trash, stole from supermarkets, and worked as a cleaner for the neighborhood adults. Anything to help my family. I’m not proud of the illegal actions, because now I see them as things to avoid with the eyes of an adult, but as necessary for me in those times. A life without remorse is not a life at all.
From my experience, I am now able to provide ways to raise money that may be very popular among poor people, but not so much among middle class people. Okay, maybe my middle class brothers know these ways to raise money too, but they might see it as “below” them.
Most people take these actions because they need money to pay their bills, eat, and survive. I did this because I wanted to invest money and I wasn’t ready to use the lever (debt).
1) Store aluminum cans and glass bottles instead of in a recycling bin. Four months later, I take them to the Oceanside (CA) recycling plant and sell them for $ 15 to $ 25. Not much is known, but multiply by 3z, and you get $ 45 and $ 75 more a year. Poor people don’t recycle; they look for cans, plastic and glass bottles, and sell them!
2) Sell something worthwhile in the pawn shop for quick cash. I sold the watches I didn’t carry (birthday / Christmas presents) and electronics. It saves a lot of time.
3) Sell things on Craigslist. Don’t use your bike more? Make a Craigslist ad and sell it to a private party. Around the house that you don’t need to find and aren’t worth selling on Craigslist. If you have a lot of things but don’t have much value, do it # 4.
4) Garage or patio sale. Jessica and I have garage sales at least twice a year. We put in about $ 100 of garbage sold each time.
5) Sell a gift card in cash. What !? Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. Sell it to a friend or go somewhere and head over heels. Ask the person to take the card and check the balance if they don’t trust you.
6) Sell blood (I’ve never done this … chicken too). Find your local blood bank and sell that plasma!
7) Sell your hair on eBay. Yes, you can sell your hair online. I’ve never done it because no one wants my hair, but if I had Fabio’s keys …
8) Do you have coins? Look under your sofa cushions, in your bed, in the dusty drawers, under your car mat, anywhere. If you’ve been saving up a spare change, then it’s time to head to the supermarket and find your nearest Coin Star machine. It’s easy to use. Just throw away all your changes and the machine will count every penny, print you a receipt, then take you to the line and take the money out, like in a casino!
9) Start using coupons and take a break from organic. Poor people don’t have a choice when it comes to buying canned food and junk food in the grocery store. For them, price is the selling point. But for us, we can choose healthier foods from Trader Joe’s, for example. They don’t tell you to eat below your resources, but if you want to save a little extra in a few months, this may be an option.
10) Take the bus or go to work. It is an opportunity for the poor. A bus pass will cost you about $ 30- $ 45, depending on the city where you live. You’re likely to spend double that amount, even if the price of gasoline goes down, when you go back to work and home every day. Like top # 8, this would also be a temporary strategy. Don’t you want to sit among the poor? Convince a colleague to join your savings plan. Or if you haven’t sold your bike, go to work for a month.
11) Buy cheap wine. I bought a Cabernet Sauvignon for $ 11-15. I would drink about two bottles a month. Then I found Sutter Home Moscato and Cab for $ 3.99 for sale! On the way back from the bell I drank malt liquor and bad beer. Now I’m talking about tasty wines and cheap micro / craft beers. However, at the same time, I have reduced the cost of investing in a “program” savings. You can prepare yours!
Being poor once gave me a view that most people in my wealth do not have. I can put myself in the top several options without feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed. I’m pretty confident with my situation that for me, the above scenarios are the only way to raise money for investment purposes. But what about people who need to rely on these strategies to raise money to survive? I can imagine. If this is your life, I can tell you a big piece of advice: Let others blame you and feel sorry for yourself! This will not help you at all. Instead, start creating a list of ways to improve. What to improve? Here are some tips to help you get started:
1) Free ways to improve myself (what I know and what I can do).
2) Ways to improve my decision making.
3) Ways to improve what I spend my money on.
4) Free ways to improve what I know (finding money is smart, having “better” people as part of your network). You can count on me as part of your network!