Water to wine

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things you have?  Be they possessions, skills, qualifications, family, friends, good health, a steady job, almost everyone has many many good things in their lives, even when it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.  However how many people really take full advantage of these things and make use of all the great resources available to them?  Could some of these things even be used to generate extra income?
There are many ways of making money, or reducing expenditure by maximising the full potential of the things that you and your friends and family already have.  Maybe some of these ways will involve some ‘work’, however the time and effort spent on it can be entirely determined by you and may even be enjoyable. 
  
I have only recently started thinking in this way and admit that I am vastly under utilising the things that I have available to me, however I have had a few ideas, some of which are as follows. Not all of them will suit everyone, but they definitely provide some food for thought.
  1. Your premises may provide a good source of income, or be used to reduce costs in other areas.  You could sell or rent out your garage, rent out a room to students or lodger.  You could fill your garden with fruit trees and bushes, as well as growing vegetables.  You could also use a spare room to see clients or customers if you wanted to run a business from home. 
  2. Your skills are far wider ranging than just those used in your job.  Assess your skills and think about what you can offer yourself and friends and family.  You could sell your skills locally to friends, family and the wider community, or find opportunities online.   Examples of opportunities online include: becoming a self published author through Create Space , selling homemade items via Etsy or Folksyand selling expert advice over the phone, email or online via this website: Ether. You can save yourself money by fully utilising your skills.  For example if you are good at DIY, have a go at fixing a leaky pipe yourself instead of calling a plumber, or if you are good at sewing, homemade curtains are far cheaper than shop bought made to measure curtains.   
  3. Make the most of your free time – for example if you want a night off in peace and quiet from the rest of your family, you could babysit for others.  If you sign up to an agency or advertise locally this could be another source of income, or you could simply do swaps with friends.
  4. Your stuff: Declutter, declutter, declutter! All that unwanted junk is taking up unnecessary space in your home and in your head. Instead you could, sell it, rent it out, upcycle it (i.e. make something new from something old), swap it or give it away. Once you have cleared out all your unwanted things, you may find you had more space than you realised which may open other options (such as renting out your garage/ spare room) or remove the need to move house.
  5. Fully utilise your technical equipment – most people nowadays have computers or laptops, mobile phones, internet access, cameras and printers. In fact all the tools you need to start a small business from home. Any other ideas for how these items of equipment could be made to work harder for you? Please leave comments below with your ideas.
  6. Make more of your waste – instead of recycling bottles, jars, tin cans and cardboard boxes, think of ways in which these items could be upcycled, either for a small home business, as gifts for others, or for use in your own home.  Examples include reusing glass jars for homemade jam, using tin cans as pen and pencil holders and using scrap cardboard or paper for kids or even adult art projects.

Any other ideas, thoughts or comments on this subject area are greatly appreciated and welcomed below.

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