The first steps of The Debt Free Designer

Getting to debt free and then getting wealthy.

When you sit down and work out your total debts, including mortgage, credit card, monthly bills, living expenses and the rest, it can be kind of depressing to tally it all up and find you are well over the half a million mark. Even looking at it on a month by month amount, it still gets a bit much.

Setting goals to reduce the highest interest rate debt first is probably the best idea, or organising to get a personal loan to reduce credit card and car loan debts to a lower interest rate.

I can admit to having a credit card almost maxed out all the time. It is partly that most of the bills have to be paid that way so it gets hit every month the same way. And hit hard!

So my first goals are:
# clear off any overdue bill
# get the credit card down
# hit that first 1,000 of debt cleared.

To make it interesting I want to set myself 4 to 6 weeks to hit that mark. It probably isn’t possible, but that is what goal setting is for! Pushing yourself that little bit harder. For hitting this reward, I am going to reward myself with either an album I have been wanting, or the upgrade to my laptop operating system that I have been wanting to do. It’s a mac so the upgrade is around the same as an album would cost me. More likely it will be a case of beer, but if I make sure I reward myself ONLY if I hit that amount before deadline it will push me harder next time to make it if I don’t get all the way there. Consolation prize being a nice coffee from a local coffee shop if I don’t get all the way. I need to keep myself motivated so having the whole journey from the start recorded will keep me on track. Hopefully you the reader can take away some gems of ideas to put into practise for yourself to make a bit of extra money, or just have a laugh at some of my adventures/products/insights/failures.

The first steps of The Debt Free Designer.

First up is this website, putting myself up in this way isn’t easy, admitting how much debt there is, is a whole other level higher. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step is admitting there is a problem. The problem? I no longer want to be, for want of a better word, poor.

So this first goal is my first attempt at seeing what is and is not possible within a set timeframe. I have an end goal of being debt free and wealthy, but reward milestones along the way will help keep me going.

Starting with my current bills, debts and anything that is getting overdue (or are now overdue) I am going to have to prioritise the top ones.

Some businesses are okay with you calling up and asking for a few weeks extension on your bill, others are not. But if you don’t ask then you are definitely going to get slapped with the overdue administration fee they so love to add in. So there will be a few calls made to hopefully push a few of the new ones to my next pay cycle so I can focus on the ones that are more urgent.

So, first days in, and I have some existing passive income streams that I can look at boosting further with more content, and applying for seller level access to various websites that offer stock images and design templates. These passive income streams won’t be paying off in the first reward goal timeframe, so I won’t spend more than a day or two adding to them and refining them. It is fast cash injection time. eBay and freelancing are the best bet for that. Once I have got a few things up for sale and have spent some time sourcing freelancing work, I can do a bit of research on Fiverr and put up a service offering that I know I can do and not spend a huge amount of time doing. I look at it as if it takes me ten minutes to earn $5, then each hour is worth $30 to me, which isn’t bad at all. That pricing doesn’t even cover the potential of up selling further services on top of the original $5 which would be a much more reasonable hourly rate with the potential for acting like a doorway for those clients to my freelancing work. Up selling works, why else do you think MacDonalds staff are drilled into automatically saying ‘Would you like fries with that?’ When bottom line is making money, you can follow tried and true sales methods to hopefully make more for yourself.

Public holidays are your key to unlocking double earning power.

Here in Australia we have more than a few long weekends, and the next one is for Australia Day. It normally involves the beach, barbecues, beers and cricket. For me this year it is going to be hitting the laptop to try and finish off the last chunks of my eBook. The one I have been writing on and off for years on design, as I keep adding and changing things and rewriting it as I am never totally satisfied with it. I have a feeling I am being overly critical of myself as it is my first book and I want it to be filled with great content and with constantly changing needs for a reference book, it means any delay outdates

The other item I will be looking at is a kickstarter project. I have a children’s book idea that I would love to print and sell. There is no way I can pay for printing myself in advance, so in the short term kickstarter might be the best way to get it into print for the first time.

One last thing I will want to squeeze in is some marketing of all my online stores, eBay auctions and of my freelancing. Hitting twitter, google plus, Facebook and any other channel I can find to help put my name out there. Free classifieds may not be the best channel, but they are free! And if they drive a bit more traffic to my website and make a few sales or get me some freelancing work then they will have more than paid for themselves!

Best part is, on a public holiday you are already getting paid, so you can double your income earning hours that day! More money is good. I like money.

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