A friend of mine wrote a post today asking if the 9-to-5 job was dead. I’m not sure if the regular day-to-day working job is dead, but one thing is for sure – the work environment of today is changing.
Years ago we got wise to the concept of multiple streams of income. We spent some time thinking about how interesting it was and about how we like for our family to gain some other income sources one day. At the time, he had a job in the manufacturing industry and I was a full-time stay at home mom. We were blissfully floating along in our financial ignorance, trusting that employers had the same faithfulness to their employees as Rick had to his employer. Rick is an awesome worker. He’s smart, inventive, never calls in sick, etc., etc.
But I’ll never forget the day when the idea of multiple streams of income became more than just a “good idea”. In February of 2010, Rick called me from work to tell me that he was being laid off. Financially, we were not at all prepared for a job loss. Luckily, they gave him a six-week notice and a three month severance. We did fine financially throughout that whole thing, but it woke us up to the reality that by only having one stream of income, we were ridiculously vulnerable. Add that to the fact that we had no savings at the time, and you realize real quick that our financial situation was a disaster waiting to happen.
Why You Need Multiple Streams of Income
A while after the layoff happened, we started looking more seriously into this “multiple streams of income” thing. We now are more than a one-income family, and if (God forbid 😉 ) there was another job layoff here, we would have other sources of income to help us make it through. Friends, we are in some different times here in America. Right now, the media is raving about how wonderful the economy is, but we’re still looking at an 18 trillion dollar national debt and an 11 trillion dollar consumer debt load here. Those are some traumatizingly big numbers, my friends.
Many families (over 25 million) these days are still living paycheck to paycheck. Times that times four (assuming the average family is roughly 4 people) and we’ve got a full one-third of American families that would be devastated financially by a job loss. This is where multiple streams of income can save a family financially. If there were 1 or 2 extra sources of income when a job loss hit, it might still cause some bruises on a family’s income, but if there were a few other income sources to help make ends meet, at least they could put some food on the table, and if they were willing to implement a bare bones budget, those multiple income sources might even help a family make it through until another job is found.
I’m a firm believer in having multiple streams of income for the sole reason that no one job can be depended on in this day and age. Even if a job layoff isn’t possible in your field, there is the possibility that some other event could force you out of work, be it a back injury or whatever.
Multiple Streams of Income: Ideas for You
So what are some ideas for adding some extra income streams to your life? If you’re truly considering adding some extra income, try these ideas on for size:
- Real Estate Investing
- Dividend-paying stocks
- Finding a side biz that you can do. What are your gifts and talents? Use them to start a side business.
- Freelancing or contract work in your field of expertise
- Getting a second job that fits in with your schedule
- Being “on call” for a friend who’s a biz owner
There’s no shortage of ideas, really. Here’s how you can determine what streams of income are best for you:
- Determine how much money you have to invest in starting up another income stream
- Make a list of your abilities and talents
- Search the Net for ways to make extra cash
- Make a list of potential side income streams that fit your means and your lifestyle
- Narrow the list down to the 3 or 4 most realistic side income opportunities for you
- Get to work making one work!
Today my husband and I are comforted by the fact that we do have other sources of income should his main job go by the wayside again. Do yourself a favor by putting yourself in a position where you have some other income streams besides your main job – you’ll be glad you did.