Hi everyone,

We are working on an article for a coupon blogger site called Obsessive Coupon Disorder – and we thought we’d share it with you here…We hope you enjoy it. It’s more of our personal story than we’ve shared before. We hope it inspires you.

I’ve used coupons my entire married life – almost 17 years. It’s a Sunday morning ritual. But in 2008, we hit a financial crisis that coupons couldn’t rescue us from. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say our fixed expenses shot up by almost $2,000 a month. To meet the challenge we looked at our budget and made some changes, but we knew we’d need at least $1,000 a month of new income if we were going to make it. My stay-at-home mom days seemed numbered.

My husband encouraged me to think long-term, and avoid doing dead-end jobs, or worse, taking a job that would require me to work long hours into the evenings and weekends. He proposed we take one of my skills, and build a home-based business around it. So with the goal of earning $1,000 a month, and a lot of prayer, we started two part-time businesses: Cinnamon Miles Photography and Liberty Jane Clothing.

Being a professional photographer wasn’t for me, so that was short-lived. But my talent for making doll clothes started to get people’s attention, and when combined with his enthusiasm for online selling, Liberty Jane Clothing took off. Our $1,000 a month goal was achieved.

Fast forward to 2011 and we have a thriving business, which will finish this year with revenues in the six figures. I’ve also become an official brand ambassador for Bernina, the world’s premiere sewing machine maker. And in many ways, we are just getting started.
Here are my 3 suggestions if you need to increase your income quickly:

First, embrace the desperation. I’m convinced that most people fail at money making ventures because they aren’t desperate enough. If failure is not an option, you probably won’t fail. Get hyper motivated to reach your first income goal.

Second, take your best skill, and brainstorm ways it could make you money. Try your best to develop a solid business concept associated with your passion or hobby. Become a student of business models.

Third, as they say, ‘find hungry people and feed them’. Don’t make a product and then try to convince people to buy it. That’s really hard. Instead, go to the sites where people are buying daily, look at what is selling well, improve upon it, and jump in. You’ll be a sensation. Sites to look at include EBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and Fiver.

Tell us your story – Have you had an expense explosion that required money making, not just money saving? Leave a comment and tell us about how you did it.

Cinnamon Miles

Liberty Jane Clothing

2 Comments on Battling An Expense Explosion

  1. My expense explosion came from my ever climbing electric bill. I am on average monthly payment but my electric has gone from $80 to $110 in one month and the only explanation the electric company can give me is you had two months during the winter where you amount per month was $200. I was having a hard time excepting that but with my doll clothes sales it is a piece of cake!

  2. We had been living on “easy street” while we were living in Virginia; housing was affordable, utilities were bearable, and convenience was right around the corner. But then we got orders to Maine, and money started to loose it’s green; EVERYTHING was more expensive in Maine. Being a military family, we were on a fixed income added with the fact that it was decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom, we were barely staying afloat! So starting up this little business venture of mine really helped, especially during the holiday season; not only could we be sure to keep our heat on (chilly Maine winters!) but our Christmas tree was filled with delights for the kids.

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