How to make more money when you don’t have free time

Repeat after me: I have enough time to do exactly what I need to do.

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I’ve been hanging around the debt free community hashtags and personal finance crowd for a while and the advice is usually all the same: make a budget and spend less than you make. But many of them tend to miss the fact that many people aren’t making enough. In fact, too many are severely underpaid. So, of course, you need to make more money. But it’s not easy when you are already spending 60 hours a week doing a job you hate yet need. Not to mention, you may have school work, kids to tend to, dinner to make and more. There simply isn’t enough time. You know you need more money. But how to do you make more money when you don’t have free time? That is the common struggle and a dilemma I can actually relate to. As it stands, right now I have several articles to write, a colorful toy shelf to build, a child to feed, and doctor offices to call. The struggle is real!

People love to throw around the phrase, “You have the same amount of time in the day as Beyonce.” However, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. You don’t have the same amount of time in the day as Beyonce. She’s a world icon who can BUY more time. You don’t. She can hire a chauffeur so she saves time driving. She can hire a tutor so she can save time checking homework. And she can hire a chef so she can save time cooking. She uses her money to protect her time. You don’t have the money to do all that, which means you simply don’t have the same amount of time in the day as Beyonce.  But I’m pretty sure you have 5 to 15 minutes and that’s meaningful too.

How to make money when you don't have free time.

The truth is you have everything you need to make a life change. You don’t need to find the secret sauce, because it’s already in your hands. The same applies when it comes to making extra money. Yes, you are already working 40 years a week, helping your sick grandparents on the weekend, overwhelmed with stress thanks to unresolved issues uncovered in the pandemic. Plus, spend one hour on the train each way commuting to work. But even with all that’s already on your plate, I’m pretty sure there are some moments you are forgetting that can help you make money even when you don’t have free time. It may not be hours, but if all you can muster up is 5 to 15 minutes daily, start with that. It may not seem like much, but there are a lot of things you can do to help you make more money in that short period. The key is to think small rather than focusing on the big picture.

Too often in life, we get overwhelmed because we keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and forget that we're holding a flashlight. Share on X

Too often in life, we get overwhelmed because we keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and forget that we’re holding a flashlight.  Sure getting to that big bright light at the end would be great and helpful, but that low but steady beam in your hand is enough to get you there. So instead of thinking about the 100 extra hours it will take you to make an additional $1,000, think about what you can do in a spare 10 minutes. What if you took advantage of the ten minutes to yourself while the kids are taking a bath? Use that time to post two items for sale on your favorite Facebook Yardsale group. Or use the ten minutes to find two pairs of shirts you can cosign at Thredup to make some extra cash. Or take advantage of your work commute without the kids. If you drive yourself in, use that time to listen to a podcast about your industry of choice to do some self learning. The Thought Card Podcast about finance, travel and business comes to mind.  Or if you take public transportation, us that time to read blogs about side hustles. I absolutely love the I Like to Dabble side hustle blog for tips about making money. During a five-minute shower, you can take the time to perfect your elevator pitch – something that will surely help propel your income and professional forecast if you do it correctly. Pauleanna Reid credits her stellar elevator pitch to assisting in launching a six-figure business.

Instead, of asking yourself how you’re gonna write a 20,000 word book when you are already filled to capacity, ask yourself when you have a moment to write down a few sentences. Send yourself an email throughout the day every time you come up with a new line or paragraph for the book. Just one sentence. You likely have time for it. Do it consistently and you’ll have a book written before you know it – a book you can self-publish and sell online. (Michelle Jackson makes a killing with self-published ebooks and affiliates.)  Never underestimate, the small things you do every day that contributes to the big picture.

And don’t forget it only takes a few minutes to make meaningful connections. Meaningful connections is what building businesses and finances is all about. So if you do find ten minutes to spare, actually use the time to connect. Send a sincere message on Linkedin or actually get to know one of your “friends” on Facebook. Not only can it be a potential lead for financial gain, but you just might find a genuine support system.

And of course, recognizing that you do indeed have enough time to make more money can be applied to anything in life that you think you don’t have.

A lot of times people like to focus on what they don’t have. For example they say…

I don’t have the skills I need to start a freelance writing career.

I’m pretty sure you know how to write and have access to blogs to learn about freelance writing careers. Start there.

I don’t have the right camera to start making videos for YouTube.

But you have a camera phone, so start with that. 

I don’t know anyone who can edit my book for me.

But you do have friends and family who enjoy reading, ask one of them for help. 

Bottom line: Doing little by little, day by day equals a lot over time. Whether it’s finding a few minutes a day to make more money or a collective one hour in a week to learn how to sew, it’s just enough to put you on the right track to make some major life changes.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for this article. This is the reminder I needed. There is so much time in my day that I am not using wisely. And yet I feel like I don’t have enough time. It’s there. I just need to use it in little 10 minute pieces of time, which always seem to end up being longer since the other things I have to do really aren’t that important and I can give up that time.

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