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How to Rise above the Soaring Cost of Living

woman in desperate and anxiety sitting alone

It is easy to become depressed and despondent when we look at the current state of the world. In the UK and USA, inflation is at 40-year highs. The price of fuel has skyrocketed. Food prices are at unprecedented levels. Many are cash-strapped, financially stressed, and drowning in debt.

With the economy in a mess and rising inflation causing the cost of living to soar, you may be battling to make ends meet. These are tough and challenging times, but I want to encourage you to hold on. Persevere. Endure. It is not over until God says it’s over. If you have been knocked down, put your hope in God, and get back up.

I pray that God will open doors of opportunity to help you not only survive these crazy times but thrive.

Today I want to give you a few ideas and a fresh perspective on how you can rise above the soaring cost of living.

The only two ways to improve your cash flow are either to CUT COSTS or EARN MORE.

One way to Rise above the Soaring Costs of Living is to Cut your Monthly Expenses

When the cost of living is at high levels, your cash flow will be strained. Make sure that you cut unnecessary expenses during the tough times.

A few ways to cut your Monthly Expenses…

  • Review your budget.
  • Differentiate between your “needs” and your “wants”.
  • During tough times it is important to reduce your costs as best as possible. Try to reduce your travel. This will reduce your fuel expenses.
  • It is also important to cut out the nice-to-haves for a season and only spend money on essentials.
  • Keep a close eye on your bank statements and track your spending.

“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” —Dave Ramsey

Don’t spend any money that you don’t need to spend. During a storm, you need to batten down the hatches. You need to do your best to make ends meet, without taking on further debt.

“The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.” (Proverbs 14:16)

Make sure that you manage your money carefully during times of high inflation.

Another way to Rise above the Soaring Costs of Living is to Look for Opportunities to Earn some Extra Income

Why don’t you consider using your skills and special talents that God has blessed you with to earn extra income?

Maybe you can start your own small business that can bring in extra income.

I pray that God will give you a vision for your future and that he will open up some doors of opportunity for you to not just survive, but to thrive.

God is able to give you the ability to make money:

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

So, let us look at a few basic ideas you can consider to start your own side hustle…

You could use your qualifications, skills, experience, and your talents to set up a business to provide a service or sell something. Start off small. Work from home if possible to cut costs.

A few Examples of Opportunities to Earn some Extra Income…

  • Do you enjoy administration work? All you will need is a computer and an internet line.
  • Do you love cooking? Do you make delicious food? Do people often compliment your cooking skills? Then why not start baking or making food that you can sell to your friends and family. All you need to start off is a kitchen and some ingredients.

    In 1982, Ina Paarman started a cookery school in her garage. She had no marketing budget, but roped in her teenage sons to drop hand-made flyers in postboxes. The business had a slow start, but over time it grew into a family business, and now has been transformed into a fully-fledged food manufacturer. Today, Paarman foods is a household name in South Africa and exports to 32 countries around the world.
  • Are you good with your hands? Maybe you are a keen carpenter.  Why not start making furniture or fixing up old things from your garage? You could then sell your furniture or products at a market. Maybe you can fix things!

    Peter lost his job during Covid. His hobby was woodwork. He started making wooden toys in his garage. With the help of his daughter’s social media marketing expertise, they turned their toy-making hobby into a successful busniess. Peter passed away at the end of 2021, but his daughter has continued to take the busniess further. They have outgrown the garage and have had to move their busniess into a factory unit, and it continues to fly!
  • What about your expertise? You could use your current work experience and your expertise to provide a service to others. You could offer solutions to other peoples’ needs or provide a service in line with your knowledge and experience that can benefit others.
  • Can you find a product or service to sell that can help make other people’s lives easier? I suggest that you do not sell something you wouldn’t buy yourself. Be a person of excellence. If you would buy it, I am sure you can sell it to others. There are many products that companies are looking to market, and in return, they will pay you a commission. All you need is a few basic selling skills.

    20 years ago I had a client who lost his job. He had a simple philosophy. He needed to make R1000 a day to cover his family’s living expenses. He looked for sales opportunities, he supplied merchandising, and he even purchased and sold goods to ensure that daily he made the money needed to cover his family. He did whatever it took, and so can you!
  • Can you add value by repairing or restoring things?
  • Do you have spare time? You could also use your spare time to meet a need in your community. I was at a client a few weeks back who had employed a dog walker to take their dogs for a walk a few times a week. Maybe you can consider giving up some of your after-hours time to become a babysitter or offer lifts to the elderly.
  • Do you love caring for people? Maybe you could start an after-care facility for small children or provide a service of caring for the elderly.
  • Are you a skilled musician? Why not use your talents to teach music?
  • Are you experienced in computers? If you have an IT background, you could consider an online business venture, web design, or providing a service to others.
  • Why not start an Instagram account that can add value to others? My sons do this! We have built up a social media presence of over 500 000 followers between us! Not only does this inspire and offer great value to others, but you can start making Dollars.
  • You could even start an online Blog or Podcast. Make sure you do something you are experienced in and that you are passionate about.
  • Are you a good communicator? You could use the skills that you have developed over the years to be a personal trainer or coach.
  • Do you have a car? You could start a private taxi service or provide a shuttle service, or even become a tour guide.
  • Do you have green fingers? Are you good with gardening? You could grow plants or do landscaping.
  • Do you have a unique idea that could add value to others? You could offer solutions to problems.
  • While you do not necessarily need money to start your own entrepreneurial venture, if you have cash flow available, you could buy a small business or use the funds to buy products.
  • You could even become a bargain hunter where you use your skills and talents to buy something at a low price, fix it up and then resell it for a profit.

A good business opportunity can also be a simple solution to solve common problems. If you can identify a gap in the market, you may be able to use your skills and experience by offering a specific product or service that can meet this need. (Please make sure that you have the right licenses and certification if this is needed!)

If you start a small business, you basically need…

  1. Product or service that can add value to people
  2. Clients who could benefit from your product or service
  3. A simple business plan and structure to ensure your business can run efficiently

What are your passions?

What are your skills or talents?

How can you make a positive difference to others?

How can you make other people’s lives easier?

What solutions can you provide to other people’s problems?

You may be sitting on the brink of a new business opportunity that can add value to other people while allowing you to earn an income doing what you love to do!

This will help others achieve their goals and meet their needs, all the while making some money.

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”  (Proverbs 21:5)

Set up a business strategy and be prepared to work hard.

“Hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty” (Proverbs 10:23)

And don’t forget to invite God to be your business partner…

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:4)

Hand the Reins of your Life over to God

You do not need to face your current difficulties alone. Surrender your burdens to God. He wants you to bother him with your problems. He cares about you and he wants to walk the journey with you.

In my early 20’s I was earning a good income, but I was living above my means. Then trouble hit. A company I did a lot of business with closed suddenly. Most of my income stopped, and my debt mounted and spiralled out of control. It happened so quickly. I had no savings. I was left with a mountain of debt. And, I did not have enough income to make ends meet. I was left cash strapped and in arrears on my debt repayments.

I was left stressed out. It felt like I had a heavy load on my shoulders. I was so over-burdened. I got to a stage where I couldn’t take it anymore. I remember returning to the home I was renting, that I could not afford. I threw myself on the floor before God. I just groaned. Oh God. Oh, God. Please help me. I just cried my heart out. I surrendered everything to God.

God did something supernatural in my heart that day. While my debt was still there, he removed the heaviness. I knew God was with me. Over the months that followed, God supernaturally undertook. I could see God’s hand on my life. This became a wonderful close time with God. God provided. Over the next few years, God helped me out of my mess. At times, my car even ran on petrol fumes. God got me through. I never went hungry. God helped me through it all!

Over time I ended up settling all my debts. I became determined to manage my money better. I decided during this time to never get into bad debt again. I learned from my mistakes and grew in my walk with God.

If you are in financial trouble or under heavy stress, I want to encourage you to surrender your burdens to God. He is interested in you. He loves you. He can help you. He wants you to bother Him with your problems.

“Cast your cares on him, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

God is able. Nothing is too difficult for him. He can do all things. God is strong and mighty. He has no limits. He knows all things. He knows what is up. He can fix what is broken. He hates seeing his people in bondage. Give the reins of your life over to our gracious God.

In Summary…

If you are cash-strapped, financially stressed, battling to make ends meet, or drowning in debt, I want to encourage you to…

  • Cut unnecessary expenses from your budget (SPEND LESS),
  • Look for opportunities to earn some extra income (EARN MORE)
  • Look to God. Give him your burdens. Trust Him. He has a good plan for your life. (SEEK GOD FIRST)

All you need is…

  • A vision,
  • A plan,
  • A little discipline and hard work.

With God’s favor and an excellent work ethic, you will have the ability to succeed.

May God open doors of opportunity. May God bless you. May you flourish and thrive.

With God at your side, you can rise above the chaos. Dare to dream and aim high. May God give you wisdom! May He birth a business idea in you that will not only help you to soar above the rising cost of living, but that will lead you towards financial freedom, that will not only bless your family, but that will create opportunity for others too.

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