What if I just don’t have the money? 10 actionable steps

It was another cold winter’s night in Dublin and I’d just knocked on my twentieth door.

It was opened by a scruffy bearded man, the smell of the beer hitting me before his slurred words. Behind him lay his lady on the couch under a crocheted blanket, her words grunting something to the effect of, “What do they want?”

I opened my mouth and let out the spiel. It was the bargain of the week – a coupon booklet for Dominos pizza. “It’s only 20 Euro a month and look at all you get.”

I’m not sure if they slammed the door in my face – I was getting kinda used to it – but I walked away with my head slumped, dragging my feet. What the hell was I doing walking the streets of the housing commission in North Dublin trying to sell Dominos pizza deals?

The week before that it was a gym membership. Night after night of rejection, hoping that the next door would help give me my measly $9 commission.

Later that evening, my team leader tried to pep me up with a seller’s chant. “Everyone has the money, you just need to show them the value.”

I argued back. “We’ve just been in the housing commission. Have you seen how they live? They don’t have the money for membership deals to pizza.”

“Yes they do. Everyone has the money.”

I knew at that moment, I wouldn’t be showing up to work the next day. I just couldn’t sell something so unnecessary to people who had little options just so I could make a commission.

The truth is not everyone has the money. For many, money is a struggle and they certainly can’t – and shouldn’t -find a few extra dimes a week for  a pizza.

You might feel like that when you read our blog, or see another Instagram picture of someone enjoying that destination you long to visit.

I just don’t have the money to make it a reality for me

I understand how you might not have the money to travel more. We offer so many tips and strategies on the blog to help you find more money.

But what if you’ve exhausted all options and you just don’t have the money? What if everywhere you turn you just don’t see any hope of ever finding it?

All the money talk on this site never comes from a place of us having a lot of money. It’s never been the case. The door knocking catastrophe is just an example of the lengths I had to go to try and get some money coming in.

I’ve turned up in countries before without a dime to my name, I almost went bankrupt, and then had to recover through a period of being jobless, pregnant and living with family to recover.

I’m going to share some tips I’ve personally followed to help me get over the problem of really not having the money. There are options for you to change that.

1. Don’t ignore your power to create it

Many times we say we don’t have the money because what we’re asking to spend our money on is not really a priority, or we’re frightened that we can’t make it work.

But, a lot of the time when we say we don’t have enough money we’re truly not lying. We seriously don’t.

] However, what you are ignoring is your ability to create the money.

You are far more powerful than you give yourself credit for.

You’ve got to activate that power within you that can create the money. No more talk about what you can’t do – you know that already- you have to step up and say I’m going to make it my mission to find ways to create the money I need for the dream (or perhaps just to pay the bills to start with.)

Belief is key to any movement forward.

2. Know you are not alone

There are obviously many cases where some people really have no one else to turn to. But, I think for most of us, there is someone we can turn to for support.

We have family and friends who can help, or if you are in a country as wonderful as ours – the government. I know the shame and sadness that courses through your veins when you have to reach out your hand for help. It’s like admitting you’re a complete loser (you’re not really, you’re just too hard on yourself)

You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Know that your money struggle is only temporary. Understand we’re all to help each other, and commit to doing everything you possibly can to turn it around.

We’ve had friends help us out with work, family help us get back on our feet, and we’ve taken government assistance. I use those destitute feelings as motivation to never be in that position again.

3. Don’t focus on how poor you are

This is the worst thing you can do, but the absolute hardest. When you don’t have the money, it’s almost impossible to not focus on the fact, that you don’t have the money.

But, it’s vital that you do everything you possibly can to keep your emotions high. You have to use strategies and tips to trick your mind into thinking the money is on the way and you have so much abundance.

One of the easiest ways for me to do this is to get out in nature. Leave the bills and worry behind and go for a walk in the forest or on the beach.

Clear your mind and focus on just how beautiful and abundant nature is. Make it a daily habit to feel good. Schedule in happy movies, singing in the kitchen while you cook, dancing with your children or lover, and going for a run.

You must discipline yourself to pivot from the pain and negativity to positive joy.

I always believe in faking it till you make it.

4. Let’s just try and see

A lot of the time we look at an opportunity, but immediately shut it down because we think we know why it can’t work. I didn’t think I could teach in Dublin because I could not speak Gaelic, hence the door-knocking sales job.

But, I was so bummed and down about that (and the telephone sales job trying to sell envelopes before that one) that I decided to just try and see.

I visited the department of education and discovered I could teach, but only in a casual position. Then an ad appeared in the paper looking for a permanent position teaching English as a foreign language.

Why don’t I just try it?

I surprisingly got a phone call from the principal, John. He wasn’t meant to hire me, but invited me to Christmas drinks for a “chat” anyway. He spoke to me the entire time about Gaelic football and then told me I had the job.

He said not to worry about the non-Gaelic thing, he’d find a way to work around it.

Read more of the jobs we’ve had around the world using the let’s just try and see approach

5. Learn new skills

I’ve always been afraid of not having a job or money. I think it comes back to when I was young, I associated work with freedom. I was head strong and determined to get what I wanted, but without a job I was at the mercy of my parent’s rules.

I knew if I armed myself with as many skills as possible, I could get a job and pay my own way. I’d work many jobs at a time just so I could have enough money to travel and do what I wanted. We had no idea what we were doing travel blogging, but we learned so many things along the way that eventually helped us to create our own income in these different ways.

If you’re struggling for money, what new skills can you learn to increase your income or give you more opportunities?

6. Get rid of debt

When we returned from the US broke and jobless, our first priority – after getting income coming in -was to pay off our debt.

Debt puts the fear of God into me and I know how crippling it is to your sense of self worth and your freedom.

It’s vital to come up with a plan that will help you eliminate your debt, it will give you more money to do what you really love. (Just make sure you follow this plan to spend your money on the right things)

7. Start door knocking

And if that means you have to try and sell crappy pizza deals then just do it. Just choose better neighbourhoods!!

What I really mean is get out on the streets and find the money. No not by picking up loose coins, but by asking for jobs. When I arrived in Dublin (the first time I lived there in 99, not during the 02 sales job) I had 72 pounds to my name and I knew no one. I had to find a job quick.

I went to the main tourist district, The Temple Bar, and walked into the pubs. By the third one, I had a job starting that evening. Thanks to the tips, I walked out with wads of cash every evening.

We had to knock on many doors with our travel blog and still do. It’s terrifying and we’re frightened of failure and rejection, but we know if we don’t do it, we’ll be stuck forever in a life we don’t like being broke.

You have to step over those fears and knock anyway.

Repeat this mantra:

Life mantra 2

And another of my favourites

Handling rejection quote

8. Who do you know?

Don’t be afraid to call on people you know for help.

I reached out to my brother’s old boss in Dublin to score some lunch-time shifts at a pub and make more money. My brother helped us get work on a pearl farm in 04 when we arrived home from Africa broke. Five months later we had $20,000 in savings ready to move to the US. We’ve had friends help us out with work back home when we’ve been stuck.

We’ve had many income opportunities open through our travel blog because of people we know, so start building relationships with some new people. If you want to earn more money, start hanging around people who earn more than you. Their thinking and star power will start to rub off on you.

Who do you know that can help you get more work? Are there some neighbourhood kids who need tutoring? Does your self-employed friend need help organizing their books or managing a few admin tasks?

If you don’t ask the answer is always no.

9. Pretend you have the travel dream

One of the biggest things we did returning home almost bankrupt from America was to pretend we had the travel dream. We knew feeling good about travel would help us create more of it. So we became a traveller in our home town. It didn’t really cost us any extra money at all.

It helped us to appreciate what our home region offered, and it got us in a much higher vibration of discovery, fun and joy – vital emotions needed to attract more of the same into your life.

So pack a picnic and go for a bushwalk on a trail you’ve never been on before. Visit the neighbouring beach or attend a local festival or markets. Get out and embrace life – just because your finances are in transition does not mean you can’t enjoy living.

The more you enjoy that the more abundance will flow to you.

10. Take the time to look at how you’ve been supported in the past

Money is just an energy exchange and we block it for many reasons – mostly unknown to us.

Lack of money can put you in a space where you feel you are not supported and nothing ever goes your way. Unfortunately, you will continue to create what you feel. So if you feel hopeless and desperate, you’re going to create more situations to help you feel that way.

I tell you, I created a shit storm, when I lived from this space. All the other times, I’ve been able to turn my broke status around to money flowing in, has been when I’ve believed that I could and I’ve just taking action.

A good way to snap yourself out of your funk is to think about all the ways you’ve been supported in the past.

Write a list. It might be that you lost your job, but then two days later another one miraculously appeared. Or, you found $20 shoved in your jeans pocket, which you really needed that morning for fuel.

Write a list of how powerful you’ve been in the past as well. What incredible things have you created or achieved?

You’ve got to start believing in yourself and trusting that the Universe has got you covered. The best way to do this is use evidence from the past.

Our travel story: Making it work on little money

  1. Episode 1: Solo Travel and Working Abroad before we met
  2. Episode 2: Our 5 year honeymoon living and traveling the world
  3. Episode 3: The Dark times and Birth of the girls and travel blog
  4. Episode 4: Embracing Family Travel and our 18 month Australian road trip
  5. Episode 5: Getting a green card and traveling the US (our dream realized)

How have you overcome the problem of not having the money before? Which of the above action steps are you going to implement today?

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