How do you get enough money to leave an abusive relationship? What financial help is there and how do you access it?
I have personally experienced domestic violence. This article contains some of my personal experience along with that of others who have shared with me. It may cause triggers, although I have tried to keep it relatively neutral.
Leaving an abusive relationship is extremely difficult for numerous reasons including personal safety, emotional turmoil and financial issues. In many abusive relationships the abusive partner has control of the finances and leaves the abused with no money, no options or worse still, with all bills and debt in their name and no way to get rid of it all.
Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that these are options, not personalised advice for your own situation. These are things you can do, resources that might help and ways to financially help get out of or recover from an abusive relationship. What you do is your choice and personally, I think if you can, always seek professional help through counsellors, lawyers and financial advisors. Not realistic in most domestic violence cases, I know. I have in this article some advice for that as well.
Financial preparations for leaving an abusive relationship
Preparing to leave an abusive relationship is scary and risky. Along with getting all your important papers together such as birth certificates, bills, bank statements, passports etc. You need to arrange your finances. One time when I was preparing to leave I opened a private bank account. I explained my situation to the bank and all statements were to be kept at the bank, not sent to me. They were never to call me and it was supposed to be completely confidential. Unfortunately, they rang me and my ex happened to be home. He was furious. I was forced to go down and close the bank account. Because of my experience I hesitate to suggest it.
Admittedly, this was quite a few years ago and now you can have online only accounts, bank through the Post Office, set up a separate email address etc and hide it all easier. However, your abuser may have installed spyware to track your movements, so I would be careful doing this.
Instead, look at how you can accrue cash!
1.) Get cash out with the groceries
If you pay by eftpos, ask for an extra $20 out each time you do the groceries then store this cash in a secret place. The cash out often doesn’t show on the bank statement, only the total amount and where the purchase was made shows. Check your own bank though as some like The Commonwealth Bank list the cashout amount separately to the amount paid for groceries. This was suggested by a reader and I love it. I always squirreled away cash where possible, but had never thought of doing it this way.
Hide it somewhere it cannot be found such as a false-bottomed drawer, hollow out a section under your lounge or bed, or if you trust someone, hide the cash at their house along with your important paperwork.
2.) Do cash jobs
I was a hairdresser by trade when I was leaving, enabling me to do haircuts on the side for cash without him knowing how much I was earning. I did declare my income on my taxes and obeyed all regulations etc. Look at ways you might be able to earn cash such as through cleaning, gardening, ironing, baked goods etc. Check out 101 ways to make money from home and 31 ways to save $200 or more and make money!
3.) Sell items on consignment
Do you have anything you can sell on consignment in stores? You might be able to make beaded jewellery or other items to stock in stores on consignment and have an arrangement where you collect your payments in cash.
Cash is king when leaving an abusive relationship. If you can save it, hide it and take it with you, they won’t know how much you have and cash gives you more options.
Knowledge is power when it comes to domestic abuse
Learn all you can, in as safe a way as possible. For example, sites such as Women Talk Money have articles and resources to help you with finances in various stages of your life, including abuse. They also have a quick escape option, as in if you hit escape when on the site it will immediate load Google so if anyone comes in they will not see what you are looking at. This is an excellent safety feature.
1.) Know what help is available
Women health centres are available in many cities which have community lawyers, counsellors, classes, meditation, naturopaths and other services for free or minimal cost. The assistance of a community legal can prove to be extremely valuable when you are trying to leave. It is not the same as having a lawyer on call for everything, they can help you plan things out and give advice though to assist in leaving or after you have left.
Free legal advice, free counselling, 10 free psychological visits on a mental health plan, parenting payment (if you are a parent), along with rent assistance and advance payments to assist with leaving an abusive relationship, social workers, no interest loans, free food, bills paid and other financial assistance are all available to victims of domestic violence or anyone facing financial hardship.
Health centres, community legal centres, churches, charities and not for profits all provide different services. Most of the time it is simply a matter of asking, outlining your situation and accepting the help offered.
2.) Find out the documents you will need to access assistance
If you haven’t left yet, find out what documentation will make it easier. For example, are you going to be eligible for payments from Centrelink and if so, what will you need to prove what has happened, how much you earn etc.
3.) Get advice asap
Talk to a lawyer, know your rights and what assistance is available to you. Keep documentation of everything, report abuse to the police, if there are witnesses get them to provide statements. Do everything you can to protect yourself and your children if you have them.
Claims for financial assistance for domestic violence victims
Most states have a service that is a financial payment for victims of violent crimes, which domestic violence falls under. The assistance varies from state to state but can include a payment to you based on the crime, financial assistance for counselling, financial assistance for moving or costs involved with your safety and other costs that can be directly attributed to the crime. Each type of assistance has a value attached to it and you do not have to claim immediately. There is assistance to help you fill out the necessary paperwork, be prepared though as it can be traumatic going through the process.
Use the links below for each state/territory to find out more:
In Australia, Centrelink is the obvious safety net to help financially. Last year they had 22 million unanswered calls. Be prepared. I do not know anyone who has dealt with them and it went well. It is best if you arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before talking to them. Most things can be lodged or done online and this will speed up the process a little.
To give you an idea, some of the payments you may be entitled to, depending on your circumstances include:
– Parenting payment
– Rent assistance
– Carers payment (if you have children who are traumatised and need extra assistance)
– Family Tax Benefit A and B
– Childcare rebate
It depends on your circumstances, income, assests, if you have children or not etc. Once you get it, make sure you use the discounts available for concession card holders. You can check the complete list here.
There is also child support. I strongly recommend you go through the child support agency for this and never rely on it coming it. I view it as a ‘bonus’. I went for a long time with no payments. He paid once before we went to court for his assault conviction. It certainly looked like he made that payment to look like he cared about his kids and to get a reduced sentence, which worked.
It wasn’t until he lodged his tax return and the Child Support Agency were involved so they took his tax, paid it to me then set up an arrangement with his employer for child support to be deducted from his wages.
If he quits his job, we are back to square one. They say child support will continue to accumulate as a debt, however, try as best you can not to rely on it as I know too many women who never received a cent as there are too many ways to get around the system. At least if you go through the child support agency it is all on record and documented, not just him vs you.
Be gentle on yourself
This situation is not your fault. You have done the best you could and if you are reading this you either have taken steps to leave or are about to and for that I applaud you. You are stronger than you can possibly imagine. Leaving was the hardest thing I have done. I went through hell and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. My life now is better than anything I ever could have imagined. Be gentle on yourself. Don’t blame yourself. Allow yourself to cry and feel your emotions. Allow yourself to get whatever help you need and don’t rush yourself. This is a slow process. Take it one day at a time.
Also, you aren’t alone. Many have gone through it or are going through it. You can read about some experiences of others, their regrets and tips for finances and divorce in this post, including some quotes from me. Then, when you feel ready, check out how to rebuild after an abusive relationship too.
You might also like
How to ask for help
20 ways to build confidence
What to do if you are or are at risk of becoming homeless
Financial Assistance for domestic violence victims and survivors
Assistance for low income families
Joining up with All Mum Said.
What if I make the wrong decision?
Decisions can be difficult. Our fear of making a wrong decision can be paralysing but have you asked yourself what are you scared of and why? You won’t always make the best decision, but a decision and a plan of action is better than standing still. While ‘wrong’ decisions can feel awful when they happen, we learn and grow from them. They are part of our lessons in life.
To make decision-making easier and faster, there are some steps you can take.
1.) What are the pros and cons?
Write down the advantages and disadvantages to the different aspects of the decision you want to make. Be realistic though. Often with a pros and cons list we are “nicer” to the decision we want and “harder” on the decision we don’t want. If you know you are likely to do your list this way, find someone objective and impartial to discuss your decision and list with.
2.) Work out the cost
Money isn’t the only cost to consider when making a decision. How much will each option cost you in time, sacrificing other things you want to do such as quality time with family and how much will it cost financially.
My friend Miranda wrote a great article on opportunity cost here, using the example of how a $200 pair of sneakers actually costs $75,000.
3.) Set a time limit for when the decision needs to be made
The longer you leave a decision, the more likely you are to avoid making a decision. Set a time limit in which to decide, make a choice and stick to it.
4.) Research, but within reason
It is easy to do a little research on whatever it is you are trying to decide. Search online, check out forums and be very specific about what it is you need to make a decision on to ensure you get accurate information. Don’t make the mistake of spending too much time researching though.
5.) Go with your initial gut feelings
Your initial instinct about something is usually right. For example, a few years ago we bought a car I did not want. I didn’t want to take it for a test drive and I was walking away from it to have nothing to do with it again. Someone else was adamant it would be great, the test drive was ok but it ended up being a dud and cost us a small fortune. Had I listened to my gut instinct and walked away I would not have wasted so much time and money on that car.
6.) Discuss it with someone you trust
Discussing decisions you need to make with someone you trust and respect can be helpful. Be extremely careful though as they need to be someone who will not judge, will listen, be objective and impartial. Those people are usually hard to find as most of our friends want to make us happy and not all decisions make us happy.
7.) Flip a coin
Shake a magic 8 ball or do any other game of chance thing to help make the decision. The reason behind this method is you make one choice heads, the other tails. When you flip the coin in the air, in a flash you generally hope for either heads or tails. The one you hope for is probably the decision you should go with.
Ultimately the decision is yours. You need to trust yourself and realise that even if the decision you end up making is not perfect, you will still learn something from it. Plus you will never know if you don’t take the chance, make the decision and go for it.
Remember, once you make the decision, do it with your whole body/mind. Not just half heartedly. You made the decision and it will only work best if you put your whole self to it!
How do you make decisions?
A compliment I have been getting a lot lately from everywhere, even complete strangers is that I have a very positive energy. I am clearly extremely happy both within myself and with my life in general. Previously I battled with depression and borderline personality disorder throughout large portions of my life the with treatment was cleared of this in 2013. It has not been an easy road to get to the point I am, but I am grateful for every experience along the way as they have shaped me to be who I am today.
Here are 12 things I have done to cultivate happiness in my life and help change my attitude.
1.) Cultivate and attitude of gratitude
I have a gratitude journal where I write at least one thing a day I am grateful for and it has helped change the way I look at things. Instead of focusing on all the negatives of a situation I look for what I could be grateful for, what lesson I could learn etc. Ask yourself what you can be grateful for today then with every negative situation ask what lesson you can learn from it, what opportunities could come and why it could be beneficial.
I tried this on and off for years but couldn’t seem to ‘get it’. Once I tried guided meditation I found it worked for me much better than simply trying to clear my mind. There are so many different ways to meditate, just try different ways until you find what works for you. Mine changes depending on my mood, but I can feel it when I have not been meditating as I am more irritable, decision making is harder and I feel run down.
Get rid of anything you are not using, you don’t need or don’t love. Having a lot of stuff around, clutter on every surface is depressing. It drains you of energy and without realising it your mind is sometimes thinking about the mess you need to clean up or sort out, which distracts you from other tasks. Clear out your home, your car, your workspace and inbox to make room for things that really matter to you and to create an environment where you feel more relaxed and enjoy being.
4.) Get organized
When you’re living in chaos it’s hard to feel happy and have a balanced life. Get a schedule, automate bills and anything else you can, get a budget and stick to it. Don’t go so far as to plan every tiny aspect of your life because you still need spontaneity, but for those every day, mundane things, get a schedule happening. Get a planner or use an app on your phone to put in all appointments and things you need to do. Menu plan then shop accordingly. Streamline the aspects of your life you can so you have more time for fun.
5.) Love and be loved
I have often felt unworthy of love. I have a huge capacity to love others, but often hated myself. I had to change my thinking, realise I am worth it and that I deserve to be loved. Doing this has increased how much love I surround myself with and how much more I can love others, how their opinions no longer affect my mood as severely and my own confidence and belief in myself has soared.
6.) Help others
Volunteering for a cause I am passionate about has made a huge difference to me. I can be having the worst day, but then go in and see all the wonderful people I spend time with and I feel so good again. Thinking about other people, serving other people and treating everyone as equal takes the focus away from things that you might think are wrong in your life and instead makes way for the warm, fuzzy feelings.
7.) Take care of yourself
Make time for yourself, dress nicely and take care of yourself. If you need a break, take one. If you need to do some beauty treatments, do it. If you need a massage, get one. Making your needs a priority and taking care of yourself makes a huge difference to how you feel. Putting yourself last all the time is not a way to project your self worth to the world. It’s a great way to get run down and discouraged though. So instead of putting everyone before yourself, take some time to focus on your needs and look after yourself.
8.) Know who you are
I was pretty lost for years. I went through the motions instead of knowing my core values, who I am and what I am passionate about. I did what others expected of me or wanted me to do. I played the role that I had sort of fallen into and I hated it. It wasn’t me. I wasn’t being true to myself. I decided to take time to focus on who I am, who I want to be, the sort of mother I want to be and how to change myself and my life so I can live true to myself. It was quite a journey and has been well worth the effort and time it took.
9.) Realise your attitude is your choice
I fail at this at times, but that is ok. No one is perfect. How you feel, how you react to situations and what you do is your choice. I am not saying you can’t get angry or sad or upset. But realise it is a choice, no one is making you feel that way. Things will happen that upset us. Express that, let yourself feel the emotions, but don’t dwell on it. You can choose to be overwhelmed by all the negativity or you can choose to learn and grow, take the lesson and be happy.
10.) Release people from your life
If they are not helping you, if they make you feel bad about yourself or trigger negative feelings, if they drain your energy and are not contributing to the sort of life you want, but instead are essentially toxic, get rid of them. Release them from your life. You don’t have to keep anyone in your life you don’t want to be in it. You can change jobs, you can stop hanging out, you can delete people from social media and just because someone is related to you, doesn’t mean they have to be in your life. If you can’t cut someone out of your life completely, work on cutting back the amount of time you spend with that person and how much you think about them.
I used a variety of therapies to help me such as psychology to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, reiki, massage, acupuncture, naturopathy and a range of other therapies and treatments to help heal my mind, body and soul.
12.) Live in the moment
Stop worrying about your past or future and start living in the present. If you get organised like I said above, set times to check your finances and things that will matter in the future, you don’t need to worry about it. Let go of the past. All you can do is learn from it, not live in it. You can’t change it, so stop using your energy wishing things were different. Live in the now. Appreciate the life you have now and do what makes you happy.
What makes you happy? How have you changed your attitude?
Originally posted in October, 2013. Revised and republished June 2016
Have you ever noticed how successful people seem really confident? Do you struggle with confidence in yourself or your ideas?
I come across as confident and there are many things I am confident about in my life. I wasn’t always this way though. I do not know anyone who is confident all the time, however, the successful people I know don’t let failure or fear stop them. They embrace it and use that nervous energy to push them forward. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, they focus on what could go right. If they are nervous before going on stage they use that nervous energy and jump around or dance before going on stage. It gets them pumped instead of scared.
Building confidence can be a slow process. I had none when I was married, then after I started blogging and I was offered opportunities like a book contract, speaking and freelance writing my confidence grew. I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder during this time and want to make it clear, that while the tips I am about to give help me, if you have severe anxiety or other underlying issues, I highly recommend professional help.
To gain more confidence, try some of the following methods.
1.) Know your purpose
Know why you are doing something. Having a strong sense of purpose gives you the confidence to keep going when things get hard. If there is no purpose behind what you do, there is no strong motivation to keep going.
2.) Write a list of things you like about yourself
Sit down with a pen and paper and list out things you like about yourself. The first time I did it I aimed for 100 things I like about myself. It was extremely difficult as I had severe depression at the time. I started with 10, then did the next 10 and the next until I reach 100. I started with simple things like “I have great eyebrows because they are shaped nicely naturally and I don’t have to wax them”, followed by “I have long eyelashes that curl up” and “I am good at helping other people”.
I thought about things others said about me. I asked close, trusted family members and friends what they thought my strengths were, what they liked about me and I listened to compliments people gave me. I was careful with where I sourced the compliments and only listed ones from people I trusted who I knew were honest and genuine.
Once I had my list I made a few copies to place in various locations as a reminder of my qualities and valued when I felt low. I put one in my wallet, one on my bedroom wall, one on my computer and took a picture to keep on my phone. At times I struggled to believe they were all true. As I read them and thought about examples of each thing such as a time I helped someone or the discussion with a family member about the qualities they admired in me, this list became more believable and eventually I stopped needing it.
3.) Have a daily positive affirmation
I mention affirmations a few things throughout this book because they are powerful. Affirmations are not simply about repeating a quote or line to make you feel good. Affirmations are meant to change your mindset and create a genuine belief within yourself based on the affirmation.
One of my favourite quotes that I use as an affirmation is “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~Carl Jung.
I repeat this to myself whenever I need a pep talk.
4.) Write a list of your achievements
Similar to the list of things you like about yourself a list of achievements can help you see how amazing you are, the impact you have had on the world and why you should be confident in yourself and your abilities. Achievements are not limited to awards. Recently when I was looking for ideas for my bucket list I was reading through other people’s lists and was surprised by how much on other people’s lists I have done. I didn’t think I had done much, but when I wrote down some of these things I was amazed and quite proud of my achievements.
5.) When someone gives you a compliment just say thank you
Don’t talk it down. If someone says they like your top/shoes don’t say “this old thing, oh, it’s nothing” just say “Thank you, I love it too.” You can compliment them back, but stop putting yourself, your things or your work down.
6.) Change your mental dialogue
We are our own worst critics. Whenever you start to think negatively about yourself, whip out your list of things you like about yourself or the list of compliments and read it. If you are not in a position to do that just change what you are thinking. It can be hard at first, but try to remember your achievements. Think of your daily positive affirmation and repeat it in your head.
7.) Make self-care a priority
I see many women guilty of putting themselves last. I spent years putting myself last, not going to the beauty salon despite it making me feel so much better. I felt bad if I spent money on clothes or things I wanted. I allowed myself to get frumpy, overweight and lacking confidence. Part of this was because of the abusive marriage I was in. I was too scared to stand up for myself. When we got married he stopped me wearing pink or pretty lingerie because he didn’t want other men looking at me. He felt I looked too good in pink. I was not allowed to talk to other men and because of the way we ate, I gradually put on more and more weight. He made me feel like no one else would want me. I was depressed, unhealthy, unsure of myself and undesirable. Because of this, I stopped dressing in clothes I liked, often didn’t do my hair or make-up, neglected my health and put myself last.
When I divorced, one of the first things I did was overhaul my look. I am fortunate that my sister, Jac Lambert, is a personal stylist, designer, make up artist and has a keen eye for all of that naturally. She helped me find my style which boosted my confidence. I started booking in monthly to go to the salon and scheduled time with myself for other beauty maintenance such as regular facials, body scrubs and things at home. I started putting myself first and my confidence grew as a result.
Stop telling yourself you aren’t worth it. You are. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel happy with your health, mind and body. Take care of you.
8.) Watch your body language
Our body language is a clear indication of our level of confidence. Sitting or standing with our legs crossed, our shoulders hunched or arms in our lap are all submissive poses. You are trying to make yourself smaller than the other person.
If you want to be confident, act confident. Use strong, confidence body language such as a super hero pose – hands on hips, shoulders back, legs apart. Stand tall, with good posture. Claim and own the space you are in.
Not only does it increase your confidence, it is better for your overall health. .
9.) Take care of yourself
Many people are guilty of neglecting themselves, especially parents. We get so caught up in everything else we forget about ourselves. Often when we are young we spend a lot of time doing our hair/make-up/dressing nice/wearing perfume/cologne etc… Then life happens and we get too busy, or just do the basics. Take a step back and start taking care of yourself again. The confidence a good hair style and a well put together outfit will give you is a fantastic feeling.
Music is powerful, it can change your mood completely. Look how music is used in movies and the media to coney emotion, make you sympathetic to the victim, get your blood pumping in dramatic action scenes or scare your in a horror film. Music impacts your mind.
Start taking note of how music makes you feel and create a confidence playlist to use when you need a boost. I have playlists for motivation, working out, cleaning and certain songs I play before I go on a stage to speak. Music can help you overcome fears and project a sense of confidence.
11.) Act positive
Being happy, smiling and giving compliments will make you feel better about yourself and it makes thinking positively a whole lot easier. There used to be days I would dread doing certain things. By making a decision to act positive, try to think about everything in a positive way, over the course of the day i felt happier and more confident about what I was doing.
12.) Be prepared
Know what it is you are doing or talking about. We all have to start somewhere when learning, so accept which stage you are at, learn as much as you possibly can and be prepared. When you know what you are talking about or have to do you are a lot more confident than if you don’t know.
With public speaking, I could confidently get up on stage and discuss homelessness, domestic violence, going from homeless to CEO, motivation, my personal story, social media, blogging, blog monetisation and goal setting because these are topics I know a lot about, I speak on often and I cam confident in them. I prepare beforehand, I have key points, I refresh my memory with current statistics as needed and know that when I get up I have prepared myself as much as I can. If I was to simply get up on stage without preparation I would fail miserably, have no confidence and everyone would see right through. Preparation is key.
13.) Be true to yourself
What are your standards/principles/values? What do you live by? Without principles we have no guidelines or direction for our life. No direction is no reason for confidence since you aren’t working towards anything. When you have direction and aim you are more confident because you know what you are doing.
14.) Do something you love or are good at such as cooking, swimming, gardening, piano, painting
Whatever it is, do it regularly. Doing something you love and doing it regularly gives you positive feelings about yourself and what you are doing. These positive feelings can then overflow into other areas of your life. The happier you are and the more you achieve, the more confidence you will have.
When you are busy, overwhelmed and distracted it is easier to lose confidence than it is when you are calm, in control and feel secure within yourself. Take time out each day to meditate in whatever form you are most comfortable with. Getting centred regularly enables you to clear you mind, focus and feel more confident.
16.) Set some goals and achieve them
To begin with it might be something simple like pay your bills, or a to do list such as groceries, banking, return library books etc… Set it and complete it. Having goals gives you something to strive for. Starting small gives you mini confidence boosts when you achieve them. Having big goals to work towards gives you direction. Don’t make goals so big you will not be able to achieve them though. If you break them up into sub goals, every time you achieve one of those sub goals you are a success. Check out 10 steps to success with goals for more information.
17.) Recognise what makes you feel insecure
Take note of your feelings doing certain things. What makes your confidence waiver? Why are you insecure about it? What can you do to change it? I am insecure about dancing because of an incident that happened when I was a teenager. I have taken dance classes since and done well. The thought of dancing in a group or in public at all strikes fear into my heart. I dance with my daughters in private at home, that is pretty much it. This is something I am still working on.
18.) Keep good posture
Standing up straight and ensuring your back is straight makes you look confident plus as mentioned further up, it is confident body language. When you are projecting confidence you can’t help but be confident. Keeping good posture improves health as well.
19.) Get rid of toxic people in your life
What are toxic people? They are the ones who are always negative; leave you questioning yourself and what you are doing. They don’t encourage you, they just tear you down. They are often people who have been in our life for quite a while, so we don’t realise how bad they are for us. Also, they are NOT really friends. Back handed compliments are common with people like this. Everything is all about them and they leave you feeling drained. You do not need that in your life. They chip away at you and bring you down.
When you are focused you are studying, getting to know what you need to do and doing it. This leads to achievements and success which boosts your confidence boosting!
What do you to do improve your confidence?
You might also like:
An interview with me about confidence
10 ways to motivate yourself
Time saving tips
Weight is irrelevant! Stop weighing yourself and drop dress sizes
How to stop feeling overwhelmed and stop overloading yourself (lessons from my body shutting down.)
Originally posted on October 13, 2010. Revised and republished May 23rd, 2016.
How do you do it all? How do you manage multiple websites, speak publicly, be a CEO, attend events, spend time with your kids, travel and everything else you do?
Right now I run Occasio Enterprises, I speak publicly and attend numerous other events, have multiple websites, am an author, write for other sites/magazines etc, am a mum to two kids, travel internationally, am an advocate/ambassador for a few charities and spend quality time with my family. I have previously let all I do get out of control and ended up quite sick, paralysed and needing surgery as a result. Now I feel I have a good blend happening in my life with all I do.
1.) Get organised
You need a routine or some semblance of a routine at least. You need specific places for things so you are not hunting all over your house for paper work etc. This will save you a lot of time and the routine will ensure you are more productive as you know the set times you have to do things in, making you less likely to waste it.
I have a to do list with the three most important things I need to get done that day. I have another to do list which is longer and has other things on it, but each day I focus on the three most important tasks and anything else I get done after completing those tasks is a bonus.
I map out my day, my week, my months and have it all on a calendar plus use a diary to help me stay on track.
2.) Do not try to do everything at once
Choose a time for everything and stick to it. Instead of having multiple tabs open on your laptop, jumping from writing to Facebook to email and having a TV show going in the background I try to focus on one thing at a time to the point where I have installed a Chrome extension called SelfControl which enables me to block certain sites such as Facebook for a period of time.
3.) Know your values
I write about working out your values a little while ago. I am pretty clear on what is important to me, the life I want and my core values – integrity, family and health are my three big ones closely followed by freedom as in financial freedom, career freedom, travel and a lifestyle I love. Take the time to sit down and work out what your core values are and ask yourself if your life is in line with those values. If it’s not, what do you need to change?
4.) Say No!
No is a complete sentence. You don’t need to provide excuses or reasons, you can simply say ‘No”. Don’t take on things you don’t want to do. Don’t let others pressure your into things or make you feel guilty. How you spend your time is your choice. If you are clear on your values and purpose, it is easier to say no. We decided this year if something wasn’t a “Hell YES!” then it’s a “Hell NO!” Meaning, if we weren’t totally pumped about something, if it didn’t line up with our values, goals and plans for our life, then we weren’t going to do it.
5.) Work when you are freshest
I am not a morning person and I am ok with that. I struggle first thing in the morning and it’s a battle to get anything done. Once I accepted this and started working in the times that suited me better I got more done.
A typical day for me will often look like:
Get the kids ready for school and take them, come home and do emails, clean up a bit and basically not do anything that requires too much thinking. After lunch I get into work, pick my daughters up in the afternoon, spend time with them and in the evening work after they’ve gone to bed.
I have days where I attend events, am away for work or travelling etc, which is a few times a month lately. Each day is different, but I know I work best in the afternoon or evening. As such I plan my writing and similar tasks for those times and easier tasks for first thing in the morning.
You don’t need to do everything. Our time is limited, spend it doing things you enjoy and things that matter to you. In both your business and personal life outsource tasks where you can. If you spend all your time doing the little things, you won’t have time for the big things. For example, at home, I could outsource the cleaning, ironing and cooking to free up hours of my time. In my work I have a virtual assistant, someone else doing graphics and have a team of professionals who help and do different things in my business. You can’t grow if you try to do it all yourself.
It’s a balance and often not easy to do to begin with, it’s a good investment though. Start with paying for 1 hour of outsourcing anything that is cheaper to have someone else do than it is to do it yourself then spend that time doing something that earns more. As an example, I know many who earn $50+ per hour. Tasks such as ironing or cleaning at home and scheduling social media, answering emails etc in their business can be outsourced for under $25 per hour. By paying someone $25 instead of doing it themselves, they free up their time to earn more.
If you want to learn how to find more time, read this post about finding an extra 30 hours a month.
7.) Do double up tasks
Sometimes you can do two things at once. For example if you are cooking dinner you can cook a double batch and freeze half for later. This will drastically reduce the dinner preparation time another night meaning you have basically done two things at once. It is not the same as checking emails, social media and writing a blog post all at once. It is about choosing certain tasks such as cooking where for a small amount of extra effort you can save significant amounts of time later and reduce your overall workload without impacting on the quality of work you are doing.
8.) Be kind to yourself
There are only so many hours in a day and only so much you personally can do. If you can’t do something, don’t feel guilty. Do what you can, only take on what you know you can accomplish and congratulate yourself on the things you achieve. Beating yourself up over something you didn’t do is not going to change the fact it didn’t get done. It wastes more of your time, makes you feel awful, demotivates you and is counterproductive to everything. Acknowledge you didn’t do it, accept it, learn from it and move on.
9.) Recognise your accomplishments
Often we focus too much on what we haven’t done which will get you nowhere. Take time to recognise your achievements, not matter how small. Set your goals then when you achieve them celebrate. I am guilty of achieving what I set out to do then moving straight into the next thing without celebrating or really acknowledging what I have done.
Getting everything you want to do done requires planning. Schedule your time. Set your goals (check out 10 steps to success with goals). Work with your plan to get everything done. A failure to plan is a plan to fail.
What tips do you have to help you do everything?
First published 12 May 2016. Edited and republished May 2016.
Do you struggle with motivation? What can you do if you lack the desire to do anything or get things done?
We all have moments where we need help getting motivated, life throws curveballs and it can be a little difficult to overcome them at times. I’ve certainly had my share of demotivating experiences. Here are 10 ways I motivate myself when I need it.
The affirmation/quote that has gotten me through many hard times, especially my divorce and homelessness was “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~Carl Jung.
I have affirmations everywhere – on my mirrors, in my wallet, on my screensavers for various devices and I repeat them to myself, with conviction. I select affirmations or quotes that resonate with me or inspire me and change them every few weeks. The Carl Jung quote has stuck with me for years though.
I share some affirmations and quotes I like regularly on my Facebook page and twitter too.
2.) Physically see your dreams
I used to have in mind my dream home and that was something I was working towards with my business and income. When I felt unmotivated to work or save I would look it up online or attend open homes of the properties similar to what I was after.
I found this physical reminder helped me refocus and get motivated again. If you can, physically look at or touch whatever it is you are going after/dream of/working towards and imagine yourself there.
3.) Attitude of gratitude
Our thoughts and mindset our often underrated when it comes to finding motivation. When struggling with any difficult aspect in my life, one of the most useful actions I can implement is to write a gratitude list. It has taken time to get used to doing it and I tend to stay in a funk for longer if I don’t do it. Once you put it into practice you can do it mentally whenever something challenging happens that slows your motivation.
To do it, get out a piece of paper. Think about what is happening right now that has demotivated you, what is going on in your life then at the top of the paper write “Reasons I can be grateful for … (whatever issue you are facing…)
Then underneath that, list out the reasons you could be grateful for what is happening, lessons you can learn from it and what positives might or are coming from it.
To give you an example, in 2012, after leaving my abusive husband I came home to my new home which we had moved into that week to discover I had been robbed of everything including my underwear. I freaked out, then sat down and wrote a list like this:
“Why I can be grateful I got robbed”
– We weren’t home, so my daughters and I were not in danger and they do not know it happened
– I am insured and can now replace everything at no cost. Replacing bad memories from certain items I owned, I won’t have to wear clothes bought by him/for him (meaning my ex-husband).
– It was just stuff
You get the idea. I managed to list 10 reasons to be grateful/lessons to learn/positives that would come from it. This helped me get on with things, lodge the insurance forms and cope day to day. When I felt overwhelmed I pulled out this list and read it.
I lost a lot in that robbery – jewellery such as my mothers, my grandmothers and great grandmothers diamond rings, jewellery given to me at the birth of my children, specially made items etc. However, it’s just stuff. My kids and I were safe. Stuff is replaceable. I haven’t replaced my jewellery though.
Exercise helps me to clear my head, gets my blood pumping, gives me great ideas and enables me to cut through whatever it is that is going on in my head to get back on track. Try going for a run, doing a gym class, swimming at the pool, anything that gets the blood and endorphins pumping will make you feel good, energized and refocused.
5.) Life review
Do a complete review if you haven’t done it before. Review your goals, look at how far you have come not only how far you have to go. Despite my accomplishments there are many times I have felt I was failing or was not successful.
List some of your accomplishments, no matter how small, work out your values and see if how you are living is in line with them. If it’s not, it’s hard to get motivated!
6.) Motivation wall
My motivation wall includes my vision board, quotes and affirmations, my goals including graphs tracking my savings for certain goals and anything I find motivating. I found this more effective than the vision board on its own.
7.) Talk to someone
Counsellors, friends, being part of a mastermind group or even talking to online friends/acquaintances in private Facebook groups can be helpful to get you motivated and back into whatever you were doing. I have a few groups on Facebook I have found to be very supportive. Alternatively, create your own group or a mastermind group who help each other.
If you have someone who knows about your challenge, when you feel like giving up, they can help you see how much you’ve achieved or why you will achieve it and shouldn’t give up.
I read blogs relevant to whatever I am lacking motivation in. If it finances I will go to my favourite finance blogs, or I might Google finance blogs and see what comes up.
9.) Help someone else
Volunteering where possible or doing random acts of kindness is a great way to not only help the community but also feel good. You should help others out of the kindness of your heart not just to make yourself feel better. Helping others takes your mind off your own problems, gives you a different perspective and you often meet interesting people.
10.) Time out
Sometimes you are simply burnt out. You have been doing too much for too long and need to step back, take a break and look after yourself. I do this regularly and will go somewhere that has no internet connection sometimes or at the very least will switch off my devices and go do something I enjoy. Getting completely away from it all is confronting at first, you feel like things will fall apart without you there, but it’s liberating once you get into it. The world won’t end because you took some time-out.
What tips do you have to motivate yourself?
*Originally posted May, 2011. Revised and re-published 12 May, 2016
Recently I had the opportunity to have an all expenses paid trip to Indonesia for the total solar eclipse. I had wanted to see one since I was a kid plus we were going to a UNESCO Heritage listed site as well (I want to see them all.)
I literally had a few days to work out childcare, get clothing and everything necessary for this opportunity and had something like this come up last year, I could not have done it.
I don’t believe in luck. One of my favourite quotes is “Luck is where opportunities meet preparation!”
To create a life you love, you need to be prepared, know what you want and actively be doing things to enable you to be prepared when opportunities arrive.
With Indonesia, I was invited because I have actively networked with the right people, out myself out there, am a writer, speaker and have an audience. I have worked hard at it. Everyone I know who has been called lucky has worked for years before a great opportunity skyrocketed things for them.
How can you be prepared for opportunities?
1.) Know what you want!
Do you know what sort of life you want? Your goals, what sort of career, lifestyle, travel experiences, hobbies and family life you want? If you don’t know what you want you can’t prepare for it and be in a position to jump on opportunities.
Work out your values, spend time truly working out the life you want. I have a page with my favourite articles and resources to help you create a life you love here.
Work on it
You know what you want, what are you doing to make it happen? I have 10 steps to success with goals here which helps, but there are many other things you can do each day to help you get the life you want.
I use a planner, daily affirmations, vision boards and each day outline what I want to achieve that day. I have to do lists, but they are different now to how I used to do them. I have 3 things I must complete and if I do those 3 things the day was a success. Our to do lists can get out of hand. I have found by keeping it short and focussed, I achieve more. Separate to the 3 things I want to achieve I also have my list of everything I need/want to do and in my planners I have weekly, monthly and quarterly to do lists. I used to do annual or longer as well but found my life changes so much that sticking to quarters to achieve goals has worked better.
If you know where you want to be, taking a small step each day will make it happen much easier.
How did I make the most of Indonesia?
I love to travel and the opportunity to head to Indonesia, going places other than the typical Bali was amazing. For me to make the most of it I had to embrace things I would normally not.
Firstly, I did some research, then made a plan. I pitched articles to other publications, arranged some speaking and incorporated my trip into other aspects of my life and business when I got back. I wanted my trip to Indonesia to be beneficial for Indonesian Tourism.
I decided on the trip to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. Indonesia had not been high on my list of places to visit, so at times I felt a little out of my comfort zone, the more I pushed myself, the better the experience was.
A few of the amazing experiences included:
Swimming over a coral reef only metres off shore while waiting for the total solar eclipse at Pantai Kilo Lima.
Photo by Travis Longmore Photography
Experiencing the total solar eclipse itself with the whole community cheering. The atmosphere was incredible. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Travis Longmore Photography
Swimming at Salodik Waterfalls in South Sulawesi. Our guide told us these weren’t even good ones!
Travis Longmore Photography
Being a caucasian, I was asked for so many selfies! At some places I couldn’t even take one step without multiple requests. Even police, military and local government officials wanted their photo taken with us. (I was travelling with social media influencers and photographers).
Being able to write from anywhere at anytime, with breathtaking views was a spectacular experience.
Here is the view I had. We went to this cafe twice. Once on the way to our hotel, then again for breakfast another morning. We tried a drink our guides called ‘ginger tea’ which was a mixture of ginger, egg, sugar syrup and milk. We loved it. Fried bananas were served pretty much everywhere we went too.
We went from Luwuk to Toraja, both kind of remote areas. On the drive to Toraja we stopped at Bukit Kenari Hotel & Restaurant, Pare-Pare, Indonesia which has this stunning pool. We stayed for sunset and it was a moving experience.
There is so much to Indonesia, beyond Bali. It was such a beautiful, friendly country. I can’t wait to return.
Opportunities come up all the time. It is how prepared you are to take action that determines whether you can act on opportunities or not.
What are you doing to enable yourself to act on opportunities you want? What sort of lifestyle do you want?
One of the most common things I hear from women, especially mums is that they have no time for themselves or they don’t take care of themselves. I had an atrocious year last year with paralysis and a cancer scare, had I taken better care of myself and prioritised myself, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point.
After experiencing that, and previously domestic violence and homelessness with my two daughters in tow, I decided at the end of last year to focus on creating the life I want and how to help others to do the same. I wrote about how to create the life you want in January because with a lot of effort, I have managed to create a life I love. One of the big changes – I started putting myself first. I can’t help anyone, I am not a good mum and can’t do all the things we want to do if I am not taking care of myself.
How do you take care of yourself?
Redefine what success means to you!
In this post I wrote about how often we view success only in terms of finances or career. Because of this we put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything, be perfect, achieve everything and live a life that we think others expect or is the ideal in society. What is success to you?
Learn to manage your time
We are all given the same amount of time each day. How we manage it determines how much time we can spend doing things we enjoy, travelling with the family, starting a new business or whatever it is we want to do. Last year I went to a conference and listened to Kate of Time Stylers. She gave great tips on how to manage our time better which I wrote about here. You do not need to be the one doing everything everywhere. It is ok to outsource cleaning, ironing, whatever you want. It is your time and up to you how you spend it. Also read how to stop feeling overwhelmed – lessons from when my body gave up.
Balance or blend your life
Work can overtake our lives if we let it. Too many of us are working longer than we should be or are taking work home with us. I wrote about blending aspects of your life including learning to say no and getting rid of toxicity and knowing your values to enable you to have the balance we all desire here. Also, here are 7 habits to create work life balance from Our Urban Box which we do here as well.
Do things for yourself
What relaxes you and helps you recuperate? Being constantly on the go will wear you down and reduces your quality of life. Whether it be a bath, a walk or meditation, make sure you take time to schedule it in. Check out 10 tips to turn from crazy to sane this week from Live it Do it. Both of these posts have great ideas to look after yourself.
Drop the guilt
It’s ok to take time for yourself, do things you want and put yourself first. We don’t enjoy it as much and it isn’t worth it if we are constantly feeling guilty about it. Here is how to have “Me time without the guilt” thanks to The Multitasking Woman.
Get help when you need it
I let myself get totally overwhelmed and pushed through until I broke down and simply could not go on before asking for help. This is the worst thing we can do. People offer to help because they genuinely want to. When I finally reached out the response was amazing. Here are my tips about asking for help thanks to that experience.
Along with asking for practical help, seek out professional help. I have been to counselling at different points in my life and it amazes me how much stigmatism there still is around seeking help like this. Happy Healthy Souls wrote a great post about it here.
Realise your worth
Having your own time, your own interests and taking care of yourself are as much about time management as they are about self worth. Often we devalue ourselves, don’t see ourselves the way others see us or struggle to love ourselves. You are worth it. Take care of yourself!
How do I take care of myself?
Wonder Woman Diary
See the Wonder Woman diary in the photo? They is a diary where I write down compliments I receive. An activity like this helps you to see your talents, things people appreciate about you and can reveal some of your passions without you realising it. It is not about being vain. It is about helping you see your self worth.
Use products I love
I do most of my beauty routine myself including cutting and colouring my hair, manicures, pedicures, facials, even making some beauty products. I love a good body lotion or body oil, body wash or body scrub. I also have a few preferred make-up items like BB cream, mascara and red lipstick.
I know when I dress in the style I love, I feel better about myself, more confident, happier and I am more productive. To me, dressing in a style I love is a way of telling myself and everyone else I am worth it.
Use a vision board
I have found with a vision board I have more of a focus, take better care of myself and know where I am heading. My vision board focuses on my goals and every area of my life. It’s easy to create one for yourself. Seeing everything I am working for helps me schedule my time better and see when I am not taking care of myself and keeping my life in balance.
Simple self care
Some of the simple things I like are:
– Total body care including a full body scrub, body lotion, manicure, pedicure and facial
– Working out
– Going for a walk or run
– Meditation, especially at sunset
– My favourite dessert or treat
Self care doesn’t need to be a full day at a salon or day spa. You do need to make time to do the things that make you feel better, drop the guilt, learn to ask for help and make yourself a priority.
What do you like to do to take care of yourself?
The definition of success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” yet many seem to view success in terms of fame or wealth. That without being famous or being wealthy, we are not successful.
In conversations with people I view as successful in various aspects of their lives, it is apparent that most people do not see themselves as successful and they do not celebrate their achievements. This includes me. Despite going from homeless victim of domestic violence to CEO living the life I want and created for myself, I have had many moments of self doubt.
How do you know what success is to you?
At the end of 2015, I was feeling decidedly unsuccessful. I felt I had not fulfilled what I set out to do, which was a result of my health issues (paralysis and a cancer scare) for most of that year. When I mentioned my insecurities to my partner, he nearly choked. He pointed out my many successes, not only in my career, but in my personal life, with my family and within myself. Despite my health and lacking abilities as a result, it was quite a successful year – I was a finalist for Young Australian of the Year in the ACT, named one of 15 women to watch, runner up for both Rising Woman of Spirit and Emerging AusMumpreneur, awarded the first ever Plutus Foundation Service Award, spoke at numerous events and was in media including tv, radio and magazines for issues relating to homelessness and domestic violence, I had started dating again, my daughters appeared to have overcome many of their learning difficulties and other issues stemming from our abusive past and we were finally settled and happy. I pondered on what he said and decided to step back, take some time for self care and self reflection and work out what success means to me.
I realised, I was basing my success on income and finances only.
The definition of success is not how much money you make or have!
To know my definition of success I needed to know my core values and review my goals. I have 10 steps to success with goals here and I have achieved most of the goals I have set myself since implementing this system. Looking at my core values and what matters to me in my life, I have been incredibly successful and I am grateful for that. I don’t often see it. I rarely celebrate my achievements, in fact it is usually straight onto the next project or event instead of doing anything.
This needs to change. I think too often people downplay their achievements, they don’t celebrate the small victories and we spend so much time comparing our lives to others that when we have small successes we don’t share them as much as we should because someone else has done it bigger and better.
What is success to you?
I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and while I no longer belong to the church, there is a quote that bounces around in my head constantly and is the driving force behind all I do.
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” ~ President David O. Mckay (who was reportedly quoting J. E. McCulloch or Benjamin Disraeli.)
The way I read this is it is my responsibility to raise my daughters to be better than myself, to give them a safe, loving home and to lead by example. Leaving my abusive ex husband in 2012 saw me start a whole new life and have a strong view on this quote. I wanted to show my daughters I could provide for them, love and support them, give them everything they needed, teach them to be compassionate, loving, intelligent, confident and funny.
In 2013, we ended up homeless after domestic violence and I felt I was failing. I continued and now have gone from homeless domestic violence victim to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and I have created a life I love. It took a few years, I now look at my life and am in awe.
Success to me is overcoming obstacles, turning them into opportunities and creating a life you love. Living a life true to yourself.
I asked others I know to give me their definition of success:
“I believe we should create our own definition of what we want our success to look like, it doesn’t have to be about fame and fortune at all, despite what society would have us believe. Arianna Huffington talks about this in her book ‘Thrive’ and she suggests re-defining success in terms of wellbeing, wisdom and giving. My definition would be slightly different from hers, I think happiness, family and achievement are more closely aligned to the way I measure my success and the priorities I have for my life.” ~ Peace Mitchell, co-founder AusMumpreneurs.
“For me success will be sitting down at the end of my days and feeling that I made a positive contribution to the world, that I spent my time doing what I love and what I’m good at, and that I truly loved.” ~ Tara O’Connell creator of The Baby Diaries and CEO at Tara O’Connell
“Am I happy at the end of each day? Do I feel like the work I am doing is making a difference? Am I enriching people’s lives and likewise feeling enriched myself? Do I wake up wanting to go to work each day? If yes, then I am successful. What good is an overflowing bank account if you are too tired/stressed/busy to do anything with it. Get the foundations of success right first and the riches (whatever they are for you) will follow.” ~ Sara Keli Editor and Chief at Kid Magazine
“I believe that we define our own success. I feel successful all of the time because I am living my passion of writing and publishing books. Today an amazing illustrator connected with me asking to collaborate on future projects with Serenity Kids. This is going to skyrocket this division of Serenity Press. Making Magic Happen almost every day is how I define my success.” ~ Karen Mc Dermott of Serenity Press
“My head hits the pillow and I have a sense that ‘who I am’ embraced God, self & others… Memories were created – life spoken, light shone & love shared.” ~ Natalie Wood
“Success for me can change from day to day. Sometimes it is purely getting through the day with as few toddler tantrums as possible and then other days, it is knowing that I have been able to help and make a difference in people’s lives smile emoticon I feel it is important to find something successful for which I can be grateful for in each day.” Lorrie Brook of Our Children
“Success for me is being present in each moment for whatever I am doing. Sounds simple but is really difficult in practice.” Brooklyn Eller of Lil One Photography
“My definition of success is all around being a B Corporation and using my business to effect positive social change. I am really proud of the projects we have been able to support and to be able to tackle kids health issues head, which is a much bigger motivator for me than just selling product. Interesting listening to Blake Mycoskie from TOMs Shoes. He’s given away 50 million pairs of shoes over the past 10 years to families in need but he says that if it was only ever 1 pair, that would still be just as, if not more important than anything else. I agree wholeheartedly with this. No matter how big or small a business, it’s what we are doing right now to give back that matters the very most.” Monica Meldrum of Whole Kids
“It’s easy to get caught up with the end results of success, like losing a certain amount of weight, earning an amount of money, or retiring by a certain time. But I love the advice of Viktor Frankl, a brilliant man who survived the holocaust during World War II. He said ‘Don’t aim at success … for success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue.’ The more I’ve tried to become successful, the more I’ve realized it’s about the process. If you put in the work and focus on the fundamentals of your craft, you can’t help but also enjoy the fruits of success that will come. And the growth you experience along the way is as rewarding as the end result.” ~ Chad Carson, you can check out his post on it – Let Success Ensue
“For me, success is having a reason to put a smile on your face in the morning. When I wake up, I know I will be doing things I enjoy. Otherwise, I know I can have someone do them for me, or I know they’ll be just a one off, then I can resume having an awesome day.
Money helps, but mostly, it helps buy the freedom to live such days. I could make five times as much sitting at a desk, and it wouldn’t feel as good.
Success is also being able to give freely and pass it forward. When I help people without compromising myself, it is a great feeling.” ~ Pauline from Reach Financial Independence
“My definition of success has evolved over the years. In my 20s, I was living the “Sex and the City” lifestyle – spending money on shoes and martinis while living in downtown Philadelphia. A prominent corporate career was what I thought was the key to being successful financially and in my career so I devoted a lot of time and effort to climbing the corporate ladder. It wasn’t until six years ago in my early thirties that I realized my financial situation was a mess and slowly paid off my $56,000 of debt. Through that debt repayment process, I began to focus less on the material things in my life (including the corporate climb) and focused on other definitions of success – being happy in my career path (which I am currently changing), focusing on quality relationships with other people and spending money on experiences vs material things. So here I am at 38 renting a 1 bedroom apartment with no debt, traveling (including some missionary-type trips) and building my side business which I love to leave the corporate world. I am so much happier and feel more successful now than I was in my 20s because I am focusing on the present and enjoying what I have now.” ~ Jessica Garbarino of Every Single Dollar
Jon Dulin discusses success as being what were have accomplished along the way. Even in failures, we learn something new and that is a success. You can read it here.
“Success to me is the benchmark that you set yourself. It should never be compared to where others are or what is outside your business focus. Success is reaching that milestone and creating another so that your comfort zone shifts and you grow as a business person and individual, whilst gaining solid skills and life experience along the way.” ~ Julie Okely of Dilkara Essence of Australia
“I am more inclined to see it as achievement and it is a very personal thing. In my work, I find those who align their version of success/achievement to personal values, life vision and every day micro moments are nailing it.” Kylie Bartlett of Women of Achievement
“I believe success is when you create a life you love. A life that blends all the roles we play together with ease and flow. A life where serving others brings more greatness than serving yourself. Success is looking at each day with a full heart and with gratitude for all the peaks and troughs that bought you that bit closer to your truth. Alignment, authenticity & integrity.” ~ Annalisa Tuoto Siefken, of Bare Movement
How will you define your success?
Take some time for yourself, work out your values, your goals and celebrate your achievements. Recognise all your success, big and small. Success is not only about the money.
What is something you have been successful with lately or an achievement of yours? How do you define success?
Do you want to travel as a family? Are finances holding you back?
I see a lot of articles on ways to make money travelling and most are aimed at the single traveller. I’ve travelled as as single person, part of a couple, as a family with and as a single mum. Each type of travel is quite different and the income options vary based on your circumstances. Most of the articles on ways to make money travelling didn’t apply to my situation as I was married at 19 and had kids young.
Some of the ideas in my list depend on the ages of your kids or you might need to arrange some childcare. Most of them can be done by families though. Check the legalities and regulations for the area you are in so you don’t break the law and end up in trouble!
Firstly, look at investing in different ways to create residual/passive income. I have always been partial to shares, particularly blue-chip shares. I know the market goes up and down, however, if you invest for the long term, reinvest the dividends (or split them 50/50 using 50 to have fun with and 50 to reinvest if you want), they create a great long-term investment solution. Other investments include property, businesses, blogs, things which cost a little upfront but will provide income over the long term if done right. This means you can travel and still earn without thinking about it too much.
2.) Rent out your home
I have done this through AirBnB. I have also used AirBnB for accommodation a fair bit when travelling (if you use this link you get $28 credit). They have an insurance policy and dispute resolution process if you need. I haven’t had to use the insurance, I did use the resolution process once when the accommodation was not as described and AirBnB were great. Another option is renting to friends or family or people they know.
If you choose to rent out your home, there are some things to consider:
– Lock away all your valuables.
– Are you comfortable with strangers being in your home, potentially going through your stuff, using the things you own etc.
– What will you do about your mail while you are gone?
– If you rent through AirBnB make sure you read the conditions carefully. Provide basics such as towels, linen, soap, shampoo, conditioner etc.
– Do you want to rent out your whole house or only a room and have a friend or family member stay in another room to keep an eye on things?
– Factor in electricity, gas, internet and other bills. You might be frugal with usage whereas others are not.
– Have everything in writing. Be extremely specific and do not assume anything!
– Check your home and contents insurance in case of emergencies or issues.
3.) Rent out your car
If you are leaving your car behind there are companies who will rent your car out for you, you could rent it to friends and family. There are big risks with renting out your car including if your insurance will cover you, what happens if there is an accident and you come home to no car? What if they completely thrash it? I have had friends rent their cars out and been really happy with it and the money they made. It is a very personal decision, much like renting out your house.
Making money from photography is often touted as an easy way to make money. It is not! Good photography is a skill, knowing how to sell is a skill! So how do you make money with photography and travel? Offer to review places you want to go and provide photos.
– Sell your photos on stock photo sites.
– Sell them as prints, calendars, cards.
– Offer the photos to local businesses of the areas you are visiting.
– Hold an exhibition.
– Rent yourself for the day to tourist. People are now paying photographers to follow them around and take photos of them at all the iconic places within a few hours or one day then they go back to all the places and visit them properly. It is better for them than asking a stranger and potentially losing the camera or getting blurry pictures and it’s not a selfie!
People always need childcare. With travel, there are many options such as being an au pair (if you are single or a couple), offering babysitting services, being a nanny or in home/hotel care.
6.) Tourism and destination marketing
With a strong social media following and some photography/videography or writing skills you can make money doing destination marketing through promoting places on your social media, writing articles for magazines and books or providing content for local tourism companies. There is heavy competition for this so find your point of difference such as a whole family review, video as well as photography, high engagement on social media, allow them to use your content from your sites, pitch some unique article ideas and have a different perspective to enable them to promote what you are providing easier.
Work reception in hotels, take care of the caravan park or clean in the hotel. You often get accommodation, sometimes food and pay in exchange for doing this sort of work.
8.) Freelance work
What skills do you have that you could make money from freelancing? I mentioned photography, you could also do writing, website design, graphic design, virtual assistant work or offer options on sites like fiverr.
9.) Farm work
Farm work is year round and there are seasons where farmers are in need of extra hands for work such as fruit picking, harvest, planting seeds, repairing buildings, animal care and so on. Some farms provide accommodation as well as pay as they are so far from anything. It can be a great experience for the whole family, although it is a lot of hard work.
10.) House sitting
Generally, house sitting is a way to save money on accommodation. If you are good at it, have a good reputation, testimonials, a point of difference, leave things better than you found them, then people will pay you to look after their home while they are away. You can do this for anywhere you want to travel to and make money on accommodation instead of paying for it.
Jobs as a movie and TV extras, callouts for models for tv, magazine and promotional material can be found online. The pay varies a lot, as does the type of work. Also look out for reality tv shows in your area you can apply for, some are travel based and can be a great way to travel, make some money or interesting life experiences.
12.) Pet minding
Like housesitting, pet minding can be a free and easy way to travel that can also be a paid option. You do need to adhere to how they want their pets looked after, many include house sitting with the pet minding so it can be a great way to earn income, save on accommodation and experience having a pet.
13.) Work remotely
Many occupations can be done remotely. Ask your employer about the options, try it from home to being with and see if it works for everyone. If it does, ask for longer term so you can travel.
Anything you know can be taught to others for a fee such as languages, music, dance, craft, cooking, yoga, fitness, surfing, diving. What are you passionate and knowledgeable about? How can you run classes (like walking tours teaching English, cooking class in a local cafe after hours)?Once you know that, look at ways to promote it such as community noticeboards or Facebook groups, then off you go!
Walking tours of the local area, bicycle tours, photography or anything you are teaching can be done as a tour. Alternatively, become a tour guide. If you are doing the tours yourself you can promote them as family friendly and do them with your family.
16.) Public speaking
Public speaking is many people’s worst nightmare, yet it can be a great way to get paid to travel. You can speak at conferences, on cruise ships, at library’s, local events or create your own speaking circuit to travel and speak on. Payment varies from travel expenses only through to thousands for speaking.
Sell things at markets such as things you have sold, draw pictures/caricatures, work on someone else’s market stall or find out about working on their marketing team to promote the market more.
Blogging can be done from pretty much anywhere and can be monetised in a variety of ways. Check out this post for a lot of options.
19.) Haircuts, beauty or massage
I strongly recommend checking the regulations for these. I know of many people who have stuck up a sign in a hostel or caravan park offering cheap, basic cuts and colours. They worked one day and made enough money to get by for the week.
20.) Timeshare sales
With the gift of the gab and get sales skills you can sell timeshares in exotic locations as you travel. This works especially well in resorts and some cruises.
21.) Tasks for others
There are apps and sites where people write what they want done such as their stuff listed on eBay, their house cleaned, a document delivered and you pitch your fee then do it if they accept your offer.
22.) Mystery shopping
Not a big income earner, it can cover meals here and there, clothing and other things. The pay is often low, however, over time if you build a good reputation you can get all expenses paid trips as a mystery shopper as well as the little cafes and takeaway jobs.
23.) Affiliate links
A lot of things we buy and services we use have affiliate links. Even without your own site or strong social media following you can use the affiliate links with your friends and family on Facebook and still make and small income.
With Uber you can earn by being a driver (which you can’t do with your family in the car), be referring other drivers once you are a driver yourself or you can earn free rides by sharing your affiliate code. There have been cases of Uber drivers using their cars as their personal showroom to sell other items with great success too. It’s up to you how creative you want to be.
25.) Sell on eBay
If you are travelling somewhere you can sell souvenirs or things local to that area on eBay. If you are travelling to the USA, makeup and clothing are often significantly cheaper than where I am in Australia and can be bought then resold for a profit.
Many magazines offer payment for jokes, stories and photos, some even have cash prizes for pictures of their magazine in different locations. I have seen payments of $25 – $3,000 for stories, photos and jokes from every day people.
27.) Online surveys
Online surveys can be done at night when the kids are in bed, at the bus stop or anywhere else you are waiting. Payment isn’t huge though. Sites such as SwagBucks have been good for me.
28.) Social media
Making money from social media is a great way to make money during travel. Along with the options listed about you can also do sponsored tweets, Facebook mentions, Instagram photos. Apps such as Tribe make this easier.
Something that can be done at night when the kids are in bed if you are travelling as a family is transcribing. You can do it for people wanting to publish books, doctors, lawyers and similar professions.
What have you done while travelling to make money?
This post does contain some affiliate and paid links from resources I have personally used.