Many of us are pushed and pulled by family or work-related demands, easily delaying tasks that could generate some cold, hard cash. As we approach the end of the year, I challenge you to identify opportunities that could yield dividends and prioritize the task you’ve intentionally put on the back burner. I took the challenge, and these are the activities I executed to fund a home improvement project:
- Decluttering my home is something I do a couple of times year. Instead of making my customary trip to Goodwill, this was the first year I was actually curious to see how much money I could make. I coordinated a multifamily garage sale and pulled together some premium items (i.e., mountain bike, home electronics in good condition, modern home decor) to reach my financial target. Anything not sold at the garage sale was photographed and placed on Ebay or Craigslist. This by far was the most work!
- I finally completed my Tax Return. After traveling a good bit the first half of the year, I filed an extension. It took me a day and half to wrap up this looming task, and WHA-LAH, I had a third of the cost ready for deposit once the federal government opened for business.
- My employer offers a “Wellness Reimbursement” for up to 50% of the costs I incur to be a healthier employee. So I gathered and submitted the receipts and supporting documentation for all eligible expenses – from race registrations to monthly gym membership receipts – and received another deposit to apply to my home improvement project.
- Finally, I came across some soon to expire stock options. Thank goodness the market value was two times the amount of the exercise price! Cashing out my options gave me another third of the cost – This felt too much like the easy button.
Within four weeks of deciding to move forward with a home improvement project and wondering where the money would come from, I accumulated 80% of the cost by brainstorming and taking action on a few key payouts.
I want to hear from you. We could all use extra money to pay for holiday gifts, make an additional deposit into the emergency fund, or to fund a retirement account. What are you intentionally postponing today that could payout some nice dividends?