How to Make Money When You Don't Have Disposable Income

incomegap

It takes money to make money.

The problem is most of start start off without much disposable income. I didn’t have much to invest in my business due to credit card debt, student loans, a car loan, rent, and I wasn’t paid too much immediately after college. However, I never let excuses stop me from trying. If there is a will, there is a way.

The following is my thought process on obtaining more money for your goals. It’s not sexy. The perception of success in internet marketing’s quite distorted. Part of it is that guys who teach internet marketing for a living have an incentive to make it easy in order to sell more courses. Also on social media I guess it’s cooler to show off your success than to talk about your struggles on the way up.

I’m just trying to help you by showing you what I went through and my thought process.

The Income Gap

Personal finance can be simplified into income and expenses.

Income: How much money you make.

Expenses: How much you spend

The Gap: The gap is the difference between your income and your expenses (hopefully it’s a positive one). The higher your income was and the lower expenses means the larger your “gap” is.

What did I do with this gap? I invested it into internet marketing; I paid for campaign traffic, rented VPS servers, I bought marketing tools, I bought eBooks, I hire designers for my landing pages, etc.

Saving $200 from not going out and eating meant I had $200 for a new campaign. That $200 for the new campaign could be the one that turns into $200 a day profit.

thegapIncrease income and lower your expenses. Invest the different. 

Increase Your Income

If you’re currently employed, is there a way for you to earn more? Pick up for hours, inquire about a promotion, and do work on the side if it doesn’t conflict. You can always pickup a part time job.

Leverage Existing Skills.

Think about what skills you have that you can turn into cash. If you’re good at programming or designing things, you can always

What did I do? I noticed on some forums such as WickedFire that high quality, 500-word articles could sell for around $15 a page. I advertised myself as a student at Georgia Tech, and that my articles were better than outsourcers. I started to get a nice list of clients and brought in an extra $150 a week that went straight into my campaigns.

It doesn’t have to be internet related. If you’re a math wiz than tutor some kids. If you’re great at Tennis then go give some Tennis lessons.

Borrowing Money

I’ve met a lot of newbies that want to borrow money to finance their campaigns. They’ll charge thousands on their credit cards and hope the campaigns profit. That is a horrible decision.

There’s a huge difference in the psychology involved. Losing $1,000 of my own money is stressful enough, but your stress is tripled when that $1,000 is borrowed. Emotions and stress will cloud your campaign making decisions. 

The only time I would suggest borrowing money is if you have a campaign that is already profiting, the company is reliable when paying you, and you’re having severe cashflow issues.

Sell What You Don’t Need

Look around your place – What can you sell for cash?

I sold my Xbox and 15 games because I didn’t need it anymore. Video games would cut into my internet marketing time. Give up that Magic the Gathering collection. Do you make $10 an hour but have a $2,000 Jordan collection? You know what to do.

Hustle Hard

I stood in line every Sunday morning at 6am to buy Nintendo Wii’s for $250, and flip them on eBay for $500. Since I was limited to one, I would pay Mexicans next to home depot to wait in line with me so I could buy more than 1.

I bought imported items from China and sold them on Craigslist.

Get my point? There’s money out there, go and get it.

Become Lean by Lowering Your Expenses

The more money you can save, the more money to invest into your business. There’s two big categories: fixed & flexible expenses.

Fixed Expenses: rent, car, student loans, credit cards, etc. These aren’t easily changed. However if you’re paying $1,000 a month for your own apartment, are you willing to get some roommates to drop your rent down to $400?

I’ve seen some people sacrifice hardcore to make it. One guy sold his BMW 335i and downgraded to a $5,000 Civic. He also moved back in with his parents and lived rent-free. More disposable income meant he could afford to launch more campaigns. Now? He is balling as fuck.

Flexible Expenses: This means cutting back on the things you don’t need.

  • Watch Netflix at home instead of going to the movies
  • Eat at home more instead of going to restaurants so much
  • Cutting back on luxury goods
  • Fuck your Starbucks

This is what I want you to do. Get an excel sheet and write down everything you spend money on the next 30 days (or use mint.com). See where your income is going and think about what you can cut. The first step to lower expenses is to figure out where it’s going it each month.

Making Money with No Money

Lets say you just can’t come up with the money for internet marketing. Maybe you have a lot of kids, in a lot of debt, and things aren’t gonna go your way for a while. That’s fine, we’re all in different situations.

There are plenty of other ways to do internet marketing that aren’t as income intensive.

  • Blog – I don’t recommend this. It’s very low ROI when compared to the amount of time you have to put in.
  • Create products – Are you an expert at something? Create a course or eBook and sell it. You can always do research and find an underserved niche and create something for them.
  • Arbitrage Virtual Assistants – This is always viable. Find local companies or small businesses that need a logo, website, menu work, etc. Charge them $150 for a logo, get one made for $25 with virtual assistants. Shapow!
  • Search Engine Optimization – I don’t know much about Penguins & Pandas.

Even if you don’t have money, you can make progress. DO SOMETHING. Learn some coding, learn how to build landing pages, setup a domain and install a tracker, spy on some websites and see what people are running etc.

Steady progress keeps you motivated.

How Bad Do You Want it?

It took me 6 months from the day I discovered affiliate marketing until the first day I profited. Some people will sacrifice their whole lives for a chance at glory: starving artists, pro sports players, and actors / waiters in LA. At 22, I decided I would spend the rest of my life if that’s what it took to succeed at this. 

Too many people say they want this, but their words don’t match their actions. Instead of going clubbing on Saturday nights, I stayed home and coded landing pages. In 2007 my car died and I needed a new one. The bank offered me $40,000 towards a new car. I said fuck that and borrowed $7k for a used car.

Why? I don’t want to look rich, I want to be rich.

Sacrifice, work hard, take action. We’re all gonna make it.

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  • Justin

    #demfeels #stronghugs

    • drngo

      the struggle is over brah, no more ramen noodles and cheeseburgers

  • Steve

    “Sacrifice, work hard, take action. We’re all gonna make it.”

    Have to agree with you, Dr_Ngo,

    Many are brain-washed into thinking it’s easy, but when starting out 7 days a week is the norm. Most will not make it, it’s those who know how to really make sacrifices and are hungry that will.

    I’ve never had new cars, all the cars I had were under $3000 (I’m not in the USA), even when I could have afforded much more expensive ones, it never appealed. Much rather be out of the limelight than in it.

    • drngo

      Same here. I prefer to be low key but for some reason I have a blog.

  • Kenna

    Great post. Whenever I get in a funk, I use this same strategy to scale back everything that I’m wasting money on and just focus on the campaign at hand.

    • drngo

      Never stop giving out Chili’s gift cards bro

  • Ken

    Bravo Charles,

    This is an ass-kicking article.

    Many want success but aren’t willing to pay the price to get it.You’ve paid the price and deserve your success.

    • drngo

      Thanks. I think people just have a misunderstanding of how difficult the industry really is. The rewards are well worth it though!

  • River

    Amen.

    If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. Was on around $900 a month working a shitty 9-5. Id save $150 a month for my marketing stuff. After 2 months I mastered running things on a budget and had a small campaign making $30 a day which lead me onto bigger and better things! Keep going & read every resource available, this blog is a great start!

  • http://www.facebook.com/faisonw Willie L. Faison

    Great blog! I can identify with your journey, as I’m trying my best to learn this craft of affiliate marking through blogging without much disposable income at all. I used to read blogs and keep it moving without comment, but not anymore especially when one hits close to home. I learned something from you in this blog, keep up the good work inspiring Us.
    Willie Faison

  • Mitchell

    Started from the bottom now we here.

  • Mr Myron D. Gaines

    What you didn’t know about Charles is that he built his initial testing budgets through the act of wizardry. (srs).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skuQUmS_imQ (2000% ROI)

    • drngo

      brah that is kinda creepy (srs)

  • Abdo Boussakka

    Thanks Charles you are really inspiring, see you in the affiliatefix.com

  • Turd

    This was a fucking STUNNING post, Charles.. thanks!

  • Art

    “I don’t want to look rich, I want to be rich”
    this line is tattoo worthy.

  • https://twitter.com/jonnyhaski jonnyhaski

    Keeping your personal income in excel(or whatever) will empower you to spend only on useful things not on trash. Also you would say thank you for that when runnig the campaign budget. Do your personal savings like said in here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Richest_Man_in_Babylon_(book) and read this book. It is sort of simillar to Rich dad, poor dad.

    Excel by itself is great motivation at this point)

    Leverage existing skills is pretty hard to do(yeah this is my excuse I am trying to reach). Because you could think that nobody needs it. The thing is that we could go to specific forum and seek for what others do, for what price and do the same. That is just simple.