Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Suggested Strategy #1: Increasing Income

A couple of days ago I mentioned two strategies that are commonly suggested in order to tackle a debt burden. Strategy #1 is to increase income, and strategy #2 is to reduce expenses. As I've already dedicated a couple of posts to reducing expenses, today I am going to muse about increasing my income.

See, my hands are a little bit tied here.

I went back to full-time work when my son was ten months old. As a single mom (with very good timing) I was eligible for a city daycare subsidy, and I managed to find a space in a daycare centre at the other end of town. Leaving my son there each day was torment for both of us, and I could hear his sad wail as I left the building, and it would haunt me all the way to work.

A job posting came up for a position that offered a higher hourly wage, and reduced hours. I submitted a resume first, and then spent days making lists and agonizing over whether I could afford to take a decrease in pay of about $350 a month.

As I was contemplating making the change, I realized that by continuing to work full-time I would no longer qualify for Interest Relief and that the NSLSC would soon be demanding a monthly payment of about $350. I did the math and realized that if I accepted the part-time job I would still be eligible for Interest Relief. This to me was a temporary solution to a large debt that I hoped I would be better prepared to deal with at a later date (the usual rationality of a person in debt).

Accepting a position with reduced hours (and reduced pay) also kept me in a lower tax bracket, meaning that I would receive a larger Child Tax Credit and GST rebate.

Ultimately my decision was not made on finances but on how much time the new position would give me to spend with my son. To me, time is worth more than money. Reducing my work hours gives me at least an extra two hours a day with my son, and also means that his time spent in daycare is for about six hours a day rather than eight. And since we got a spot in the daycare at my work, I can also be there whenever they call, like when he had a fever of 104 last month, or when he got stung by wasps last summer.

So, long story short, it's very difficult for me to increase my income. I sell a few things here and there on ebay, and I take Bean's outgrown clothes down whenever the consignment store will accept them. I'm thinking of renting a table at the local farmer's market to sell a product that my Dad has developed, and I hope to blog about that at a later date.

Any other suggestions for me to help increase my income?




3 comments:

  1. How about work online? Like payperpost or something like that? It seems like a lot of bloggers generate income by getting sponsored to write pieces or doing surveys etc.. Just a thought.

    By the way, thank you for the info on your progress widget. I will look into it very shortly.

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  2. I agree with working online, but that's difficult to do.

    As for surveys, if you're in the States, go for it. They get a LOT more opps and money than Canadians (we're shafted with 'points')

    I think you made a great decision, time with family should not be underrated

    And as for the interest relief deal, that's a good idea, but is there any way you can cut down on the expenses again? Maybe a cheaper place? Selling furniture? Trying to help out once in a while with someone for a couple bucks?

    Or you could do a child daycare... that's always a good option for moms with a kid at home, and lots of toys.

    Daycares are very expensive, and parents would probably trust a neighbourhood person, or friend to take care of their kid rather than a big daycare.

    That's the only idea I can think of right now.... That, or book keeping at home if you have skills in that area.

    Other than that, cutting back is the only thing that you can do to make sure you make money and start putting SOMETHING towards the debt, because interest relief won't last forever, unfortunately :(

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  3. Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm looking at online options and would like to take some accounting courses so I can freelance as a bookkeeper.

    I'll just keep pluggin' away ... :)

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Thanks for commenting! I will have it published as soon as I can ~ Karissa