“I have ways of making money that you know nothing of”
John D. Rockefeller
One of my big things is to try wherever, whenever and however possible to take something that 99% of people pay for, and come up with a way to not only get it for free, but to make money doing it. Ms Simple says it’s an addiction. I say cheaper than heroin and better for my health than sniffing glue!
This post, more than any others, probably encapsulates my perspective the best. By Killing Bill I avoid wasting significant amounts of my time doing silly things prescribed by fools with money. This frees me to fully enjoy the life of a penniless aristocrat.
The first step in my Kill Bill Programme is to fit all of your liabilities, expenses, bills and outgoings into the following framework.
Reduce: We are continually focused on the most efficient use of resources possible. Example – Turn off a light to reduce electricity costs.
Breakeven: Gaining access to a resource that we need without any cost. Example – borrowing a floor sander from your neighbour.
Profit: Turning a liability into an asset. Example – Renting out something you are paying off.
Here are some thought-starters to swing this powerful mindset right into practise.
10. Hire purchase bills
Reduce: Put down the biggest down payment you can and only buy on 24 month interest deferred.
Breakeven: Have someone else buy it for you by renting the purchase out for the cost of your fees. You get a perfectly good quality item for the rest of its life for free.
Profit: Save, buy in cash and run a community tool shed with a regular or per item charge.
My first rule: never buy on hire purchase. Hire purchase is greedy bankers way of telling you that you can’t afford it. However, if you have possessions lying around that you have already bought, that you’d like to keep, that you use infrequently, and that you are still paying off consider renting them out. You might be surprised how many people will contact you if you put a notice up in the village or at a cafe. Unless you are an extreme minimalist it likely you have lots of things that you use so infrequently that they can be regularly rented. These trickles of income can become torrents at times. My friend runs a community tool shed. His rates are way better than commercial and he also can help organise some volunteers for the big jobs (so long as you a willing to pay it forward or back when someone else needs a hand).
A caution here: people typically thrash rented items, but that can be overcome by holding a bond. Also if you don’t know them personally make sure you know where to find them (in case they don’t return on time). Best to lend to people that are connected to you through the community (kids schools, sports teams, churches or antenatal groups).
Reduce: Live in a smaller flat or house. Pay rent rather than high mortgage costs.
Breakeven: Share a house with tenants or find a job that provides accommodation free.
Profit: Buy a cash positive rental property, subdivide a home or progressively acquire a small apartment building.
Take a job that pays you with accommodation or pays for your accommodation for you (think Army, contractor, travel writer, hotel manager or…[insert your ideal job here]). It’s also surprisingly simple to find people willing to buy a house for you!! Think rental.
8. Car payments
Reduce: Drive a smaller car, own less vehicles, drive less.
Breakeven: Company leases your vehicle.
Profit: Operate a vanpool, ride a bike or walk (health benefits).
There are jobs that pay with cars (or fully paid fuel and car lease in lieu of salary). In addition learn to fix your own car. Use those skills to fix other peoples cars to break even on the auto you operate.
Run a vanpool with a mileage contribution from users.
Talk to local car rental companies they always have cars that need to go places = free travel and some travelling cash. This is good if you are spontaneous and would enjoy free unplanned road trips and holidays.
7. Education costs
Reduce: Source the cheapest comparable qualification or pay for assessment only (meaning you must learn the curriculum content yourself)
Breakeven: Find free community education or self educate using resources from the public library.
Profit: Teach a night school class on topics that interest you [Highly recommended].
If you have the confidence you could teach a night school class on a topic that you’d like to know more about. You only need to be a few steps in front of your students to provide value. Think of it this way – you are being paid to learn, you will be highly motivated because you will be standing in front of a class soon enough and in answering the questions from your students you will gain a deep and rich understanding to the subject area (if you are wondering if I’ve actually done this the answer is yes! Topic – exercise physiology).
If teaching sounds like a stretch just select jobs that will pay you to complete qualifications or give you on job training in useful skills that will advance your devious plot to live simple. Don’t feel bonded to the company. Once the useful training is finished. Just take that next step in your education by working for their competitor. Only be as loyal to a corporation as they are to you (which is generally not at all).
6. Fitness bills
Reduce: Find a cheaper gym provided by the city council, a university, a hotel or a community centre.
Breakeven: Play outside for free.
Profit: Become a part-time Personal Trainer (guessing you’ve figured out why I was teaching night school now).
Start a local yoga group, a parkour club, a novice bicycle ride group or morning fitness boot camp and charge a modest fee that you will pay back at the end of a certain number of sessions. If people don’t participate you keep the money or a proportion relating the sessions they missed. Having people relying on you is an excellent motivation to get up in the dark, cold or rain. You’ll likely get into and maintain very good personal fitness at the same time you can really help and inspire other people into a healthy lifestyle. This is so rewarding that it is worth doing voluntarily.
5. Internet bill
Reduce: Limit your internet use at home. Avoid mobile internet data use on your phone.
Breakeven: Use only free Wifi connections at cafes or downtown.
Profit: Sell residual Wifi to your neighbourhood.
Selling unused Wifi data from your plan to your neighbours is quite easy and is cost effective for everyone. Most people have plans that are too big and most of the charge is the fixed fee component (sometimes called the line charges). A Wifi range extender can expand your signal range quite a distance. If you are considering sharing your net you need to be sure that your neighbours won’t use your connection to do anything that they shouldn’t. Pricing this you can fairly charge people enough to fully pay your connection or pay your connection plus. You can also include additional services to make this extra fee more attractive. Most people don’t have very sophisticated computer skills so having someone on call to come and help them with their usually fairly simple issues (all for a few pennies) offers them great value for money.
4. Grocery bill
Reduce: Eat less. You could live happily on one meal a day or choose smaller portion or eat cheaper simpler foods.
Breakeven: Work as a chef or dumpster dive (the new way using the internet to hook onto free food opportunities).
Profit: Eat from your garden. Sell or make some surplus items to buy whatever you can’t produce or make a profit.
Grow expensive fruits, vegetables or other plants and sell them at organic markets, food shows or at local fruit and vegetable markets. Having a surplus (beyond what you need) of the right items can help subsidise or pay for the grocery items you can’t grow yourself. Lookout for free bulk goods on freecycle or other local swap and trade forums. Sell home-made baked goods to the local cafe. Make 12, sell 10. Eat free or price to make a profit.
3. Mortgage bill
Reduce: Save a larger deposit. Live in a smaller house.
Breakeven: Take in ESOL borders or residents to help cover mortgage expense.
Profit: Subdivide once income from a tenant is greater than outgoings to pay the mortgage.
Rent out your property so that rental income fully pays the mortgage bill. This is effectively having someone buy your house for you. You could also subdivide your house and rent it to fully or partially pay your remaining mortgage. There are also options like renting a room to an English language student, operating one room in your house as a bed and breakfast accommodation or temporarily renting your house out when you are on holiday. As your loan dwindles all of these become cash flow positive.
2. Entertainment bills
Reduce: Consolidate your hobbies.
Breakeven: Choose only cheap or free hobbies.
Profit: Monetise your hobbies.
Next time you feel like partying consider selling tickets. There will be no cost to you and you will get to meet a bunch of new people. If you are organised you might make a small return on the deal. Learn to play an instrument you can entertain with around a bonfire. Guitar is good. Ukulele is better. If it becomes your entertainment – entertain others. Busk, play gigs. Record put it on iTunes. Who the heck knows. You’re probably the next big thing. If not do it anyway. Just 200 crazy fools with click happy fingers can keep you in beer and biscuits for year.
If you start to think about it there are a zillion other ways that you could monetise your hobbies. So many perhaps a separate post is necessary…
1. Electricity Bill
Reduce: Conservation of electricity.
Breakeven: Home generation of all personal electricity.
Profit: Generating a surplus of electricity to sell to a neighbour or back to the grid.
Generate your own power and sell any surplus back to the city for a tidy profit. Check out this essay.
As you can see I am fascinated by liability alchemy. Turning a red bill gold or green is delightful! I’ve also noticed that this idea is embryonic. A few of my friends have mulled it over and it’s grown on them. Slowly, but surely I see them putting their own versions into action. Pounce on the idea if something grabs you immediately. If not give it time to percolate. Good things take time.
In that vein…the slow burn…I’m also working to become known as the neighbourhood handyman who’ll fix your stuff for a song (or wicked sweet barter, trade or swap). Unfortunately I’m still more dangerous with tools than handy. Check back in 40 years though. I might have an interesting and eclectic retirement living!
Got any other ideas to kill bill? Please, please share!! …I’m a stone cold kill bill cotton shooter! 😀