Do you have a desire to change your career, start a business, or do something else that speaks to your heart, but the fear of how you will pay bills while you make the transition stops you in your tracks? This is something I have experienced and has probably been the biggest obstacle for me to fulfil all of my dreams. That fear about whether or not money will come in the door can be all-consuming and, worst, block us creatively. We start doubting ourselves and begin questioning the value of our dreams. Or, we outright quit pursuing our dreams because we do not believe they can, or ever will, pay the bills.
I've been there more than I'd like. But, after years of trial and error, failure and success, I have come to realize that an empowering way of living our lives is by getting paid to do what we love. It may seem obvious, but it is really one of the keys to having a fulfilled life.
A shift began to happen for me when I started to look at money as simply an "energy system." Energy flows where attention goes. Whatever you put your energy into, it will return a reward. If you believe in yourself, you can find a way to earn a living from your creativity. At the end of the day, we have to pay bills. At least if we enjoy earning a living by doing something we love to do, it takes the focus off "gotta pay the bills" to something more inspiring -- like living a full life.
So if you need to save more money to make a career transition or get your creative project off the ground, or complete it, try these money-saving ideas:
10 money savers to fund your creative dreams:
1. Make money by using your talents in a variety of ways. Explore every possible means of earning a living by what you love to do and what you are good at. There may be areas you have not even thought of or yet discovered that could be lucrative.
2. Sell assets. Even if it is just to tide you over until you earn a living doing what you love. You might need to inject some cash to kick start your dream; so if you have assets, now might be the time to take advantage of it and then build up your assets again once you are in a position to do so.
3. Rent an apartment or house. Home ownership is costly and you might be able to save money by renting a place. If you own a property and decide to sell it, be sure to invest the money to make more money. Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, the case may be the opposite, where you might want to buy instead of renting.
4. Make lifestyle changes. Even if it is a minor adjustment, it might be what you need to let go of old ways of thinking and habits that no longer serve you, enabling you to move forward in a new direction. Sometimes a complete lifestyle change or paradigm shift is required.
5. Shop at dollar stores. This is especially important for materials such as stationary supplies, as well as basic household items. Even if you are saving a few dollars here and there, it is still saving money you would otherwise be spending on the same items elsewhere.
6. Check-out community centres for free courses. You might find all sorts of fun and interesting courses you can take at your local community centre that are free-of-charge, if you seek them out.
7. Watch for junk mail special offers. Pay attention to junk mail and emails offering specials. You would be surprised what you can save by taking notice of that annoying junk you get.
8. Start a creative dream bank account. For every paycheque you get automatically put a portion of it, even if it's 10 per cent, into a "creative dream" bank account or mutual fund, or some other investment. Watch it build up as you dream about what you can do with the earnings at a future date, which will keep you inspired to save.
9. Limit spending on meals and entertainment. I personally don't believe a strict budget works, but if you pull back on areas that are not necessary or could be put on the back burner for a time when you are making money again doing what you love, it might be a wise accounting decision.
10. Spend according to your values. If we spend our money on what's most important to us, it serves us well. If you value education, then you can't go wrong by investing in developing your mind and expanding your knowledge. If you value fashion, then it is important to you to look good, and that will impact how you feel and your energy.
There are many different ways to save money so that you can kick-start your dream, make that career transition or get a new business off the ground. What is key is to discover what works best for you.
Modified excerpt from Shannon Skinner's "The Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity."
Shannon Skinner is an author, speaker, consultant and host/producer of Extraordinary Women TV.