Raising a family can be tough on the finances. Raising a larger than average family, even more so. Taking the leap from employment to self-employment and running our own business was not something that many people supported us in doing. As it turned out, it was the best thing we could have done and, if given the choice, we would definitely do it all over again.
I have written before about the things we have learned about starting a businessbut self-employment and running your own business comes with its own concerns. The lack of a reliable pay packet is the main concern. You cannot guarantee when work will come in, the level of demand or the reliability of client payments. You still need to account for your own staff’s payments and your business costs and your own personal living finances.
As a result, the one thing I will stress over and over is that multiple income streams is a vital key to keeping the financial boat afloat.
Why Create Multiple Income Streams Anyway?
The years have gone where people need to rely on a sole source of income. No longer is there the job security where a person can find employment with a company and remains there for many years, perhaps until retirement, as the older neighbours I had as a young girl would do. The internet has changed the working world, and the working world is now global. This means that the potential to earn money is no longer limited to a commute.
Creating multiple income streams allows your finances to deal with the feast and famine periods that are inevitable when it comes to working for yourself.
So how do you go about creating multiple income streams? Here are a few things we have done to create a steady trickle of income from different sources:
We Got Entrepreneurial
We created a business that is an umbrella under which a number of services operate. We built a reliable team to provide these services and we oversee everything ourselves. We find gaps in markets, we fill them (or employ someone who can), we study and we research. Things that were never once our fields of speciality have now either become so, or we learnt enough about them to find out the right kind of person we need to fulfil the task in hand. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to learn, to study, to research and to work.
We Invested in Property
We were lucky enough to purchase property during housing lulls and to sell them during booms. When it comes to property buying and selling, timing is crucial and needs to be in your favour. Ideally, one plan that is next on the list is to purchase an investment property that will provide us with another income stream for our retirement. Although the property market does tend to slow down, it also rises for the long-term, so investing in property is always a good idea if you can do so. For example, my parents bought their 3 bedroomed Surrey home for £36,000 back in the early 80s. The first property we bought less than twenty years later – a one-bedroomed flat – was more than three times the price. More information on this kind of thing can be found here.
We Invest in the Stock Market
I am no Warren Buffet but have had an interest in stock market trading for a few years now. I stopped for a while and have recently begun re-investing once more. If you do have a little extra money that you are prepared to lose (because investing in stocks is not a sure thing and you can lose your investment as well as gain), grab a couple of books from the library, do some homework and start off small.
*This post was brought to you in collaboration with SunLife