Let me make this clear from the outset: I really mean if I have no money at all.
Because some people clearly have very little idea about having no money.
You want an example?
Well, you can have a look at this article on Lifehack.org; a site otherwise I have a lot of time for. This article, however, is so much out of touch that I was even surprised that it was published.
If you want to save yourself a bit of time – ten, fifteen minutes you’ll never get back – let me tell you what made my blood boil and my mood curdle.
You would never guess what the first thing you should do when you have no money at all is. You should…
…wait for it…and…yes, you should join a beauty or a fitness contest.
For crying out loud!
It’s been a long time since I had no money at all but entering a beauty contest was the last thing on my mind. I’m not sure whether the notion of beauty was even in my mind.
But wait! There is more.
Later the author of the blog post come up with suggestions like ‘build a mobile app’, ‘grab your camera and take some photos’ and ‘get yourself a new look’.
Gosh. Who can come up with this kind of sh*t? I find it slightly offensive, really.
Now, I know that I’ve written before about things to do when you have no money at all.
But today, I’d like to ask YOU to ask YOURSELF:
What would I do if I have no money?
And I’d really want you to imagine that you have £20 in your pocket and there is no other money coming in.
Because I asked the question, I suppose I can go first. This is what I’d do if I have no money (in that order).
#1. Check all possible places where there might be some money hidden/lost (done that often when I was at university).
#2. Check all kitchen cabinets, the fridge and the larder for food. Make an inventory. (How long can I last on what is in the house; and of course I’m assuming that I’m in my house.)
#3. Depending on the outcome of #2, I’ll set aside money for food (basic need and I get relay grumpy when hungry). Have to make sure that I can eat for a week (it is about peace of mind as much as practicality.)
#3. Make sure I have, and keep, shelter. Contact my mortgage provider/landlord and negotiate a break.
#4. Ensure I have transportation (probably will buy a bus pass).
#5. Go to the nearest park (best do this in the morning or in the evening). I’ll ask dog owners whether they need help walking their dogs; or even, whether they need someone to look after their dog from time to time.
#6. I’ll travel to a prosperous neighbourhood and take a walk. Will look at the gardens and houses and offer to clean the garden/outside the house when I notice a need. (Make money.)
#7. I’ll go to a public library (if my computer is not working or have none) and search for a website on which people post small domestic/DIY jobs. Will apply for those.
#8. I’ll make sure I make money this way until I have built a bit of reserve. (You know, it doesn’t matter, in my experience, how large or small you money buffer is; because it is not even so much about the money, it is about the way it makes you feel and the security it gives.)
#9. Once I have the crisis under control, I’ll start looking for more long term solutions.
#10. I’ll look in the mirror; often. This is not so that I could enter a beauty contest, I’ll have you know but so that I make sure I look like someone people will trust enough to give work.
#11. Once I have a little bit of cash reserve, I’ll build a store cupboard.
#12. Throughout the crisis I’ll make sure that my usually high hygiene standards are maintained (whether I may need to get creative with places to take a shower or not).
When the crisis is over, I’d think of ways to make enough money for my life. I’ll start small(ish) and aim to make between £300 and £500 per month. When I feel comfortable with that, I’ll aim to make £1,000+ per month.
One thing I’ll make sure is that I never find myself with no money again.
I asked John what are the five things he would do if he has no money. He said that he’ll do only one thing: he’ll knock on every door, every business and ask for a job. He won’t stop. (It is true though that the first thing he said is that he’ll mend computers. You see, some people have the moves…).
Now it’s your turn. Ask yourself:
“What would I do if I have no money?”
And please do share when you find the answers.
PS: Reading some of my posts you may get the impression that I’ve never been in such sotuation. You’d be wrong. When I arrived in the UK twenty five years ago, I had $20 and a suitcase half full of books. (Okay, I had a scholarship but it wasn’t enough to cover rent and food. Hard choices had to be made a bless the humble egg: I probably ate little else for months.