Mid December is here already!
To most of us, December comes with a lot of joy for the festive season. We start making plans for the holidays. Some of us don’t make plans for the holiday, we just move with the flow. We step out of the house in the morning to buy milk at the local shop in Roysambu and find ourselves at Nakuru later in the evening.
But to you, it is a different story. You have no plans and no cheer. You are unable to make any plans. Why? Because you are broke.
To you, December’s arrival means spending more money which, for you, at the moment you do not have enough of to allow you some fun.
It doesn’t have to be all gloom during this festive season because you are broke.
Here are a few suggestions of what to do if you consider yourself broke.
One of the most awesome moments: catching up with your friends after the hectic job season.
One of the least great things while you are broke: doing it at a very expensive restaurant you cannot afford at the time.
It is a lot easier to propose an affordable activity right at the start of the text chain than trying to change the course of the conversation once everyone has decided on a restaurant they would like to check out.
So take that initiative and be the one who suggests a hike or a potluck.
The Christmas period is usually filled with a plethora of activities and having fun while creating memories is the main theme. People spend a lot of money going to fun parks or engaging in activities at the best joints they know.
However, it doesn’t always have to be about spending to create good and memorable times. Look around your town. There surely are some places you can visit that cost very little to no money, like picnicking at Central Park, going to the public beach for a swim if you are near the ocean.
Remember that the point is to have a good time.
So many people find gift-wrapping a chore. Even I, an arguably avid gifter, do not know how to wrap gifts. I did a terrible job the last time I tried. You could step in and offer to do it at a small fee for people.
Best place you may want to set up, you may ask? A gift shop or even outside a supermarket. Supermarkets are everywhere and most people find it easy to just pop in and get a gift from there.
Plus the wrapper is easily available inside the supermarket. You can charge per gift.
If it is possible, you can offer to provide extra services like gift pick-up or delivery.
Here’s a perfect Christmas hustle if you are broke. During this period a lot if not all stores become extremely crowded with people doing their shopping for Christmas, and purchasing gifts can be a real hassle in addition to taking up a lot of time.
You can go out of your way to help people by doing their shopping for them, for a fee. Your charges could be fixed, or based on the number of hours you spent shopping and the distance to the shops or you could base it on the size of shopping.
Christmas is known all over the world as a time to give. As a result, there is a lot of gift-giving. The gifts make Christmas more special. However, when you are broke you do not have the luxury to buy a proper gift to give to someone. Do not fret. You do not have to buy one. Make one with the resources you have.
People like things that have been made uniquely for them. Could be Monogrammed towels and linen, mittens and scarves, or even personalized hats and aprons. Those are a few examples of the many gifts you can offer. What’s more, you can easily turn your ability to make gifts into money by selling them - see Mats By Vee’s incredible story.
The Christmas period is a busy period for everyone, and some things may be left unattended as people are in a hurry moving around preparing for the holidays.
You could approach your friends, neighbours, or relatives and offer to run their errands and attend to their chores like lawn mowing, animal feeding, house sitting, and so on for a fee.
If you do a great job, word will spread. Soon after you will be busy racking in some good money.
One of the most time-consuming jobs during Christmas is having to make food especially when there is a gathering. If cooking comes so naturally to you and is your passion, you can offer catering services to the hosts so that they can spend and enjoy more time with their guests instead of spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
You have to market yourself properly for this to work. Some people start their Christmas parties well ahead of the day itself, so ensure you have your advertising planned early with sufficient time for people to book you for your catering services.
If possible, you can organize a tasting session where people can sample your cooking before deciding on a menu for their events. Moreover, you can offer to prepare the food at their homes and hire more staff if it becomes necessary.
As is the behaviour of most Kenyans, we like to travel upcountry to spend time with our families. But one challenge that occurs is in transportation. There is more demand than supply.
You could take advantage of this opportunity by giving them rides to the nearest town to their destination. You could make a lot of money while at it. You can also put out your car for hire. Some Nairobians like to go back home in style and will pay you good money to use your car to and from.
While your income may take some time to change, you could change spending habits immediately. Bring spending down closest to zero as practical. But this doesn’t mean that you cut down on spending completely.
It would not make sense to put off any necessary medical expenses and let a medical condition worsen. Sometimes the cheapest way could be the most expensive.
It doesn’t have to be all gloom and no fun this festive season. Being broke shouldn’t be a reason to feel so miserable and cut off any enjoyment there is to be experienced.
The way I look at it, it can be a win-win if you take up some of these suggestions and others that you can come across. You would enjoy your Christmas and get some income. You could even choose to use the income you make to treat yourself and your family.
Consider these suggestions to see if any of them will work for you.