budgeting

65 Creative Ways to Afford Your Dream.

The number one reason that people tell me they struggle with when it comes to achieving their dreams is money.

They say they simply can’t afford the things they want. End of story. 

Whether you think it’s cheesy or not, I’m telling you that you must banish “I can’t afford it from your vocabulary” if you want to become a dream wrangler.

Every time you utter that phrase it’s like screaming a big, fat “NO!” to the universe. You’re shutting down the possibility without even exploring it. 

I want you to entertain your desires, to dwell on them, savour them, and allow yourself to almost taste them without worrying about where the money will come from.

Trust me, I know what it’s like to feel broke all of the time. For everyday purchases, like going out for drinks or buying a new dress make everything feel tight and restricted.

But the fact is, when we want something badly enough, we dedicate ourselves to finding a solution.

I have a friend who launched the charity he’d dreamed of starting by spending a year as a “professional guest.” He’d stay with someone for a couple of weeks at a time rent-free in exchange for performing some task for them, whether it was cooking, cleaning, or coding their website. He saved money on rent so he was able to work less and pursue his passion. And another friend successfully set up a crowdfunding page to fund the start of her writing career. 

All across the world there are stories of people going on epic adventures, launching businesses, filming movies, and funding other enormous dreams without any startup capital. It’s not necessary to have a massive savings account or even have extra income coming in, if you’re willing to get creative and believe that funding your dream is possible.

When you shift from a scarcity mindset to a place of abundance, you begin to look for solutions to your money dilemmas and you trust that you’ll have enough for everything you need. While it might not feel like your savings is filling up by drips and trickles, with a bit of trust, intention, and creativity, you can make sure you get to your goal. 

In The Daydream Revolution, everyone gets training and one-to-one support to create a fundraising strategy that's unique to their situation and dream. At the end of 8 weeks, each participant will have a detailed action plan for every step of making their dream true and a clear picture of how they’re going to afford it.

Below are 65 ways to get creative about making and saving money, so that you can afford your dream. I hope they'll inspire you to think about your finances more creatively (and optimistically!).

  1. Clear out your closet and sell the best pieces at a consignment shop.
  2. Have a yard sale.
  3. Start a crowdfunding campaign. Ask each of your friends to donate their talents so you can offer some really kickass rewards.
  4. Sign up for ClickWorker and do some data entry work in your spare time.
  5. Think of something you know how to do that other people would want to learn (bake a lemon meringue pie! file your income taxes! edit photos like a pro! french braiding! cutting your own hair!) and host a mini course from your house.
  6. Or you can get people to pay you for that service if they don’t want to do it themselves.
  7. Collect all of your spare change in an empty soup tin.
  8. Start a side hustle and take on some freelance work.
  9. Give something up in the name of your dream and save every penny you would have spent on it.
  10. Take instant photos (with a Polaroid or Instax) of tourists on the street for $10 a pop.
  11. Package one of your services in a new way and have a limited time offer.
  12. Ask a loved one for support.
  13. Sell CDs, DVDs, and video games on Music Magpie.
  14. Sell old electronics or gadgets you don’t use.
  15. Throw an event and charge a small ticket fee. Lots of pubs or bars will let you use their space for free if you have a cash bar. Ask up-and-coming musicians and poets who are looking for exposure to perform. Create a theme and find fun ways to make it a complete experience.
  16. Rent out your spare room or offer your apartment on AirBnB when you’re away.
  17. Review products through a company like ciao.co.uk or sign up to be a mystery shopper.
  18. Recycle your old phone for cash.
  19. Sign up to be a life model at your local art college.
  20. Take on some pet walking or babysitting work during evenings and weekends.
  21. Sign up for Zaarly.com and find odd jobs that match your skills.
  22. Host a mini bake sale at a local fair or on your front lawn.
  23. Figure out what you can make yourself (fancy coffees! cocktails! lunch at work!)
  24. Mend and make do. You don’t always need the newest, best, and brightest.
  25. Pitch your services to someone who needs them.
  26. Sign up for Eat With and host supper clubs for travellers visiting your town.
  27. Perform at children’s parties! Dress up a clown, a princess, or any other fun character. Bonus points if you know magic tricks.
  28. Take on some cleaning or personal organisation work if staying tidy is your jam.
  29. If you have any old furniture, appliances, or bits and bobs gathering dust around the house, list them on Craigslist or Gumtree.
  30. Are you a great cook? Sell frozen dinners or ready made lunches to the busy bees in your life.
  31. Teach a class online with SkillShare.
  32. Write a short ebook or video tutorial on one of your area’s of expertise (think about something you could teach people how to do) and sell it for a few bucks a pop.
  33. Create a subscription service around something you like to make (cookies! paintings! jewellery! poetry!)
  34. Revamp or mend thrift shop finds and sell them on Etsy.
  35. Take all of those empties back to the beer store.
  36. Host a themed cocktail party and charge a small premium on the drinks you serve your friends (let them know what you’re saving money for and I promise they won’t think it’s tacky!)
  37. Join Lyft and get paid to taxi people in your car.
  38. If you’re academically inclined, try tutoring students. You’ll make an excellent hourly rate! Look into advertising in local schools or get in touch with parents you know to see if their kids need any help with their studies.
  39. Become a Direct Sales Vendor (with a company like Usana or Avon). You’ll make a commission on everything you sell and also get some great freebies.
  40. Ask for overtime. Will your boss let you work some extra hours?
  41. If you have a van, offer junk removal services.
  42. Waitress for a catering company. The work is ad hoc, so you can take on weekend jobs as your schedule allows.
  43. Look for promoters in your area who will pay you to distribute leaflets and put up flyers.
  44. Rent a Friend literally allows you to be a friend for hire and in addition to an hourly fee, you can end up being someone’s plus one to swanky events.
  45. Look out for movies and TV shows being filmed near you, and see if you can be an extra.
  46. Set yourself up with a typewriter in the park and write poems for a fee.
  47. Is there something you DIY for yourself? Maybe it’s beauty products, cleaning solutions, vanilla extracts, Filofax printables, infused oils, or anything else. Make an extra big batch and sell the extras to your friends, family, and coworkers who are always jealous of your homemade goodies.
  48. Bust out a musical instrument and busk in the park.
  49. Be a language tutor online with iTalki.
  50. Become a “professional guest.” A few years ago, when my friend Dave was starting a new project, he put a post on Facebook offering his services as a professional guest on Facebook. In exchange for cleaning, cooking, writing, babysitting, or doing other tasks around their home, people gave him free accommodations in their house for a few weeks or even a few months. He was able to save all of the money he would have spent on rent and poured into his project.
  51. Compile your favourite recipes into a short ebook and sell it for a few dollars on Gumroad.
  52. If you have a blog, sign up with an agency like Nuffnang and you might get paid to write a few sponsored posts.
  53. Sell your photographs online.
  54. Set up a Patreon page and allow people who believe in your dream to become your monthly patrons.
  55. If you have a large Twitter following, see whether you can pick up some sponsored tweets with PaidPerTweet.
  56. Clear out your wardrobe and sell the clothes you never wear on Depop or Ebay.
  57. Move in with a family member to save on rent while you work towards your dream.
  58. 58. Would the cost of your dream be lower if there were more of you doing it? See who else you can get on board!
  59. Offer a service on Fiverr.
  60. Students can sell their class notes on NoteSale.
  61. Create a font using your handwriting and sell it on Creative Market.
  62. Assist a wedding photographer on the weekends. It’ll mean a lot of schlepping gear but you’ll learn a lot in the process.
  63. See whether there are any salons or hair schools in your area that pay for hair models.
  64. Some banks offer a “save the rest” program where your purchases are automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar or $5 increment and the difference is deposited in a savings accounts.
  65. Use BookScouter to see who will pay the most for your old books.

This list is meant to get your creative juices flowing and demonstrate that there are many ways to save and earn extra money. There will be some that are unique to your dream and I’m certain that you’ll be aware of opportunities that I’m not.

Today, brainstorm a list of every single way you could make your dream happen. Don’t worry about the practicality of them at first, just start exercising that idea muscle and see what comes up. If one of them inspires you, be sure to share it with us in the comments!

And if you want the support and training to figure out exactly how you're going to afford your dream, consider joining us in The Daydream Revolution.

Sending you lovebeams across cyberspace!

You might also love:

13 Badass Ways to Live More Mindfully, Even if Meditation Isn't for You.

I've written a quick and dirty guide to meditation before and I'm working on a new resource for anyone who wants to learn to meditate. But I know there are other people who have given it a try and it's just not their jam. I heard from one Romance Yourself student that she love, love, loved the course but she just couldn't get into the daily meditation practice.

Until you've settled into a meditation practice for 40 days or so, it's difficult to say that it's definitively not for you. It can take a while to begin quieting our monkey minds and it's easy to get frustrated that we're not "doing it right" (spoiler: you can't "do" meditation wrong).

But Rhi had given meditation her best shot and it just wasn't jiving for her. She was looking for other ways to incorporate mindfulness into her life.

When we live more mindfully it becomes easier to accept things exactly as they are, tap into our intuition, and align ourselves with where we want to go. We begin to quiet our minds, reduce our stress, and gain clarity.

This is for you, Rhi! I've rounded up amazing ideas from some of my favourite people to bring you: 13 badass ways to live more mindfully, without sitting on a meditation cushion.

Plus I wanted to share the ways that I try to live mindfully outside of my meditation practice. I've created a PDF of 30 of my favourite ideas. You can download them at the bottom of this post. They're all tried & tested by me and will allow you to begin living more mindfully today without beginning a meditation practice.

Go for a walk & see the world anew.

Gala Darling presents us with the question: what if a simple walk can change our reality?

And it definitely can. In this article she outlines how walking can be not only a meditation, but a process for infusing our day with magic. By simply challenging ourselves to look at everything as if we're seeing it for the first time and as if it was created just for us, we become completely tuned into the present moment and enchanted with the beauty that's all around us.

I did this recently on my home from work and was delighted to see carved faces above the doors of every house on a street I walk down every day. I'm usually busy listening to a podcast and thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner, so I'd never noticed them before!

I highly recommend reading Gala's description of the exercise and giving it a try today. It's so simple, you can even practice it on your way home from the bus stop!

Chew slowly and eat mindfully

Did you know that for proper digestion we're meant to chew every bite of food 20 times?

I don't know about you but I'm more likely to plow through my meals before moving onto the next thing, which means I'm never getting the full nutritional benefits of what I eat.

But the benefits of eating mindfully aren't only health-related. Slowing down and really focusing on what we're eating allows us to savour each bite, turn mealtimes into a ritual, and really enjoy our food. We end up being satisfied with less because we've taken time to notice and appreciate what we're eating, and because our stomach has time to register that we're full.

I was particularly inspired by this article on Zen Habits that walks through the steps of mindful eating. It's a really comprehensive overview of the "how" and "why" and is definitely worth a read!

Related: I wrote a post about how your diet can be an act of self-love, which you might find interesting.

Ask what lights you up.

We all want to live with more passion and purpose, but how do we actually do that?

Most of the time we're busy with obligations and routines so we don't time to stop and actually notice what it is that we actually want. And the answer might surprise us.

Rebecca Campbell has an incredibly simple tool for getting on the path that's aligned with your heart's desires: simply ask yourself "What lights me up?" and then listen.

But before you give it a try, listen to her video where she shares a story of how she did just this. The answer she got didn't seem to make any sense but when she followed the advice she received it help her transform her life and led to her publishing the book she'd always dreamed of writing.

Loosen the grip of your ego.

Okay, okay, this one IS done on your meditation cushion, or your yoga mat if you prefer. It's a kundalini yoga practice so it's a much more active form of meditation that combines breath work with yoga postures. But I swear, using breath of fire is SO powerful for clearing your mind and creating intense breakthroughs when you're feeling stuck.

Gabrielle Bernstein has a video that will walk you through the ego eradicator - and it only takes 3 minutes, so don't worry about getting bored.

Something about the combination of rapid breathing with the yoga posture really forces your mind off of whatever it's been dwelling on.

Whenever I do it, I feel like there just isn't any room left in my brain for other thoughts. It's like there's this wonderful swooshing sensation clearing my mind like a reset button and afterwards everything feels clearer and calmer.

 

READY TO ZEN THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR LIFE?

Click below to download my list of 30 tried & tested ways to live more mindfully (WITHOUT meditating).

Become an idea machine

James Altucher starts each day by writing down 10 ideas. They might be ideas for a business, how to live his life better, how to improve something, or anything else, really. The subject isn't as important as the process of coming up with the ideas. The point isn't even to come up with good ideas. In fact, he admits that most of them will be bad. But the practice has turned him into an idea machine.

It has trained his mind to focus on a problem and not just to come up with a solution, but many solutions.

This is an exercise in mindfulness because it requires complete attention to the task at hand and it cultivates your ability to see possibilities rather than getting caught up in fears and doubt.

James has written a comprehensive article on becoming an idea machine and his wife has written an entire book on the subject!

Cleanse your calendar

Most of us follow the same routines week after week. Our calendars fill up with obligations because we feel like we have to do them or they're what we've always done.

We feel constantly busy but we're not necessarily getting where we want to go. We're always complaining that there's no time for the things that we really want to do.

That's why getting very intentional with how you spend your time is so powerful. Are you aware of how much time you spend scrolling through Facebook or watching TV? How would it feel to say "no" when you don't really want to go out or to let go of commitments that are filling you with dread?

I love Alexandra's posts on "cleansing your calendar" so much. She walks you through the process of getting rid of the to-do's you're resenting and actually letting them go. We might think that being busy means we're important or fulfilled, but often it's a form of procrastination. When we take a hard look at our calendars, we can begin to mindfully build our days to create the lives we truly desire.

Use a cash budget

Am I ever going to stop harping on about this? Maybe. But only if I find a better way to manage my finances mindfully while still having lots of fun.

It's easier to be mindful of our finances when we're actually seeing the money in our wallet depreciate.

Another way to become more mindful of your spending is to track it with an app like Mint or YNAB or Wally. We all know that a daily latte or drinks every weekend really add up, but until you account for every dollar and look at the results at the end of the month, it's hard to realize how much it adds up.

Related: I wrote a full guide to using a cash budget, which will you walk through the process as well as the benefits.

Speak seductively.

Have you ever listened to a speaker and noticed that they have a vocal tick that comes out again and again? They might end every sentence as if it's a question, add a nervous giggle in every so often, or say "um" way too much.

We all have these little ticks but we aren't usually aware of them unless we listen back to ourselves on an audio recording or if someone points them out. In fact, we speak mindlessly most of the time. There are lots of ways that our speech can do us a disservice. If we raise our voice at the end of every sentence, we don't sound like we're confident in what we're saying. Many women speak in a higher voice than is natural for them and leads to people taking us less seriously.

What if instead we mindfully chose words and even a tone of voice that seduced our listener so that they hung on our every word?

Of course seduction isn't just a sexual thing. It's a way of being that expresses who you are through every word, every action, every look.

Kitty Cavalier is the queen of seduction and she has written an excellent article on speaking seductively - and I bet it doesn't involve what you think!

And when we bring this mindful intention to what we're saying, we're more likely to express ourselves clearly, ask for what we want, and stand up for ourselves!

Shake it off! 

Shaking is part of every Qoya class and that's where I was first introduced to it. But it's actually an ancient practice that is used by yogis as well as in shamanic healing rituals and even by wild animals in nature. It's one of the most simple practices but it allows us to release fear and reset our body.

Qoya founder, Rochelle Schiek suggests you try this as an experiment: "Shake your right hand only as much as you can for about 30 seconds. Shake rigorously. Shake intensely. Shake like you mean it. Keep shaking...a little bit more. Shake 10 more seconds, with more enthusiasm at the end and then stop and gently cup both hands in front of you, as if you were holding a globe, and feel the difference between your right and left hand. Feel how one hand is stronger and at the same time lighter. Notice how you feel increased energy, vitality, and mental clarity after shaking your right hand for 30 seconds."

To give shaking a full go, put on an upbeat song and start by shaking your hands vigorously for 10-30 seconds. Shake one foot and then the other. Lie on your back and shake your legs in the air. Stand up and shakeyour hips. Shake your shoulders. Shake everything at once! While your shaking you can picture any fears or anxieties or frustrations being flung from your body and going back into the earth.

Whenever I do this I end up feeling calmer and more energized at the same time.

Rochelle has a video that will show you this practice in action.

Connect to your intuition

I think we all want to live more authentically and be true to ourselves, but how can we foster that kind of connection? How do we discern our intuitive voice from our fears and all of the other yammering going on inside our heads?

We all have an inner knowing that's connected to our deepest desires and our best self, but it can be difficult to hear it among the noise. And even harder to trust it when almost everything it tell us to do is fucking scary.

Jess Lively has a fantastic exercise you can use when you're facing a life choice and want to connect to your intuition to figure it out.

She suggests literally writing out a conversation between your ego and your intuition. Write the question from your ego and then intuitively free write a response. I know this might sound a little crazy but it's surprising how quickly this inner knowing can spring forward when we let it. You can get a full explanation of the exercise and a real-life example on her website.

Feel your feelings

For the most part, we live in a society that encourages us to put our uncomfortable feelings in a box, slap on a smile, and forget about them. But that just leads to tensions brewing beneath the surface, waiting to erupt. And we grow more and more out of touch with who we are, what we want, and the direction our lives are taking.

Louise Androlia's "feel your feelings" mantra is so powerful.

She encourages us to really tune in to how we're feeling and declare it to ourselves: "I'm feeling __________." Feel the feeling in your body and breathe into that space. Tell yourself: "I'm feeling ____________ and that's okay."

I love this practice. It brings more awareness to our lives and I've found that it allows me to sit with a feeling without getting drawn into a panic about it. It gives me permission to allow whatever I'm feeling - no matter how shit it is - to flow through me rather than resisting it. Because what we resist persists, but when we go with the flow, the feeling can run its natural course.

Plus, when we're in touch with our emotions, we can begin to use them as a compass for what's working in our lives and what could use some retuning.

Take a look at the stories you're telling yourself

We all have those stories we tell ourselves. Some of mine are: I'm not an athlete - in fact, exercise just isn't my jam; my ex-business partner totally screwed me over, and I've always been afraid of heights.

But are those stories really true? Do they have to be? Is telling myself them contributing to me being my best self? Do they empower or disempower me?

Usually we allow our thoughts to mindlessly swirl around our heads. If we've been telling ourselves these stories for long enough we just accept them as gospel, without ever questioning them.

Sarah says it's time to cut that shit out. Instead, ask yourself: "What would happen if you reframed that experience? What would happen if you tried to view your struggles through a lens of empathy and growth?"

Pausing to examine our stories allows us to view them as just that: stories. And we're the ones with the power to rewrite them and create new endings as we please.

Use your breath to fuel your workouts

We can use our breath to fuel every area of our life. We can use it to call in stillness or to push us further. We can breathe out our anxieties and negativity and breathe in whatever it is we need in the moment.

This article walks you through using yogic breathing to bring mindfulness and a sense of strength to your workouts. It's a simple technique that brings additional benefits to getting fit as you use that time to create peace of mind and personal growth. Pretty cool, right?

Ultimately, mindfulness is about settling into the present moment. Embracing it even. We let go of our stranglehold on the past and stop obsessing over the future. The present moment is all we really have.

These are practical ways to begin incorporating mindfulness into your life. Pick one and rock it out!

If it turns out that one doesn't groove with you, try something else. Notice that there are opportunities to be mindful in every moment. The more you practice, the more you'll train your mind and the easier it will become to stay in the present moment. That's where the magic is!

So to make sure you have a plethora of ways to start living more mindfully, I've created a bonus list of 30 more ideas and they've all been tried and tested by yours truly.

READY TO ZEN THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR LIFE?

Click below to download my list of 30 tried & tested ways to live more mindfully (WITHOUT meditating).

5 Freebies for Designing a Life You Love.

Migrating all of my content over to this site gave me an opportunity to go through all of the content I've written over the past few years. It made me realize that some of my favourite posts could use some updating. I wanted to create tools that would allow you to put these ideas into action by using the exact exercises and strategies that I do. And since these are my most popular posts, hopefully give you more of what you want. So I've created these five freebies for designing a life you love. You can download them from the respective posts by clicking on the titles below.

50 More Ways to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town

Travel is something so many of us crave more of, but time and budget constraints mean that most of us can’t jet off on holiday whenever we want to. ‘Adventure’ is one of my core desired feelings, so I’ve been trying to infuse my life with it, even when I’m stuck within the confines of my 9-5. We get to choose what our life looks and feels like, so instead of letting it get dull or mundane just because there isn’t an epic vacation on your horizon, commit to spicing up your day to day with endless mini adventures Here are 50 more ways you can go on an adventure without even leaving town.

The Daily Writing Planner

There’s no magic formula or course you can take that will make you a writer. Of course reading a lot, learning the tricks of the trade, and getting critical feedback will push you further. But the simple act of writing day in and day out is how you'll finish your projects. It’s what will make you a writer. Creating a daily writing practice is a personal process based on what inspires and motivates you. I've created the Daily Writing Planner to figure out what will work best for you.

Punk Rock Note Taking Worksheets

Note taking is better when it's pretty AND easy to implement what you're learning. Use the punk rock note taking worksheet to up your note taking game so that you can make the most of a book or course and actually apply it to your life.

Cash Budget Calculator

Using a cash budget means that I never get part way through the month and feel absolutely skint. I always know that I have enough money in the bank to live modestly but comfortably. And if I spend too zealously one week, I never have to wait more than a few days for a little top up. But if numbers freak you out, don't worry: you can download the Cash Budget Calculator worksheets for free.

The Daily Practice Tracker

I think that creating a daily practice that’s realistic and nourishes every part of us is important, as long as we allow for a certain amount of fluidity and check in with ourselves regularly to honour how we're feeling and take care of what we need on that particular day. Keeping track of how you're nurturing each of the pillars of your daily practice will help you figure out what works best for you.

I'd love to hear how these tools work for you, and whether there are any other posts you'd like to see updated with worksheets, mini guides, or additional resources.

Happy Monday!