If you have a family and work in full-time ministry, you’ve probably had a month or two where you had no idea how you were going to make it to the end of the month financially. I know I’ve had several of those kind of months: months where we had to decide which bills to pay and which ones not to; months where we were crossing our fingers hoping our landlord would wait a few days before cashing our rent check; months where we prayed nonstop that God would somehow provide.
If you have a family and work in full-time ministry, then you probably have little to no time to pick up a second job or do extra work to help provide some financial cushion in your life. So what do you do?
First and foremost: make a budget. I cannot stress that enough.
Second: ask for a raise. But before you do that, make sure you read this article from Chris Wesley on how to increase your salary.
Third: find a way to bring in additional income doing what you’re already doing (or should be doing)!
That third step is what this article is about. I want to share with you a few ways that you can make a few extra bucks by capitalizing on things you’re already spending time on. Now I’d be surprised if you break the bank with any of these ideas, but think how your life would change if you could bring in a couple hundred dollars extra each month…
Share What You’ve Created
I would bet that you’re regularly creating content for your ministry at the parish, right? You’ve probably got a dozen youth nights and a couple of retreats on your hard drive right now collecting digital dust, right?
Why not share those with youth ministers around the world and make a little bit of money while you’re doing it?
ProjectYM is building a storehouse of tried and tested youth ministry resources from people in the trenches of youth ministry – people just like you.
You can check out the submit page for more information, but basically this is how it works: 1) you upload that youth night you created for last month; 2) we review the resource for content, concept, and marketability; 3) if we think it’s a good fit and useable by other youth ministers, we take it through our editing process – it’s checked for grammatical and theological errors and given a beautiful facelift by our design team; and then 4) we add it to our online store. When someone purchases your resource, she’s able to download it right away and use it to help their ministry, and then you and ProjectYM split the money.
There’s more details available, but what it boils down to is a way for you to get paid for the content you’ve already created!
Help Your Friends Get In Shape
If you’re circle of friends includes a lot of youth ministers, then chances are some of them (and maybe yourself) and fallen victim to the youth ministry diet – you know what I’m talking about: tons of pizza, junk food and soda. After a few years in ministry, eating like a teenager reeks havoc on your health.
What if there was a way to get in shape, start making better food choices and get your friends to do it with you all while making a little extra income? There is. It’s called Advocare. Now before you write this off as a scam or waste of time, give me the benefit of the doubt and hear me out.
A couple months ago, I was out of shape and overweight. I was eating crappy and drinking 4-5 sodas EVERY DAY. When I found out my wife was pregnant with our third child, I decided to use that as the kick in the butt I needed to get in shape. For months I’d been hearing from close friends (and reading Facebook posts from not-so-close friends) about this thing called the 24 Day Challenge. Basically it’s an intense 24 days of restricted foods, vitamin supplements and some exercise. After EIGHT different youth ministers recommending I try it, I decided to give it a go. 24 days later I had lost 14 pounds and kicked my soda addiction (haven’t had one in almost 3 months).
It worked, so I knew I had to tell other people about it. And the great thing about Advocare is that they’ll actually pay me to tell people about how their products have changed my life.
Here’s the thing: if you have time to put 5 or 6 hours a week into it, you can actually make a nice chunk of change recommending and marketing Advocare products like my friend (and youth minister) Matt Regitz:
“I have been a full time youth minister for 12 years and I never got into it for the money. Actually I have never heard anyone in Catholic ministry say they got into it for the money but it is still a necessity for raising a family in society. As my family grew so did our expenses and I wanted to find another way to supplement my income to so I could stay in ministry as long as the Lord might call me without having to exit back to the corporate sales world from which I entered just to make ends meet. This is where Advocare came in for me and my family, as a solution to the gap between expenses and church salary. Now a family of 6 with 4 kids 8 years old and under, I know life will only continue to cost more. In about 6 months, a monthly income bump of $1,000 a month has been a huge help and this is only the beginning. I am thankful for the blessing Advocare products have been both to my health and to my finances…and how it has played a role in my continued ministry to young people.” (Matt Regitz)
Matt’s story is awesome, and if you (or your spouse) has a few extra hours a week, you can totally transform your life with Advocare – for example, Matt’s wife is able to stay home with their kids full-time because of the extra money he’s making through Advocare.
But if you’ve only got a few minutes to spare every week, you can still generate additional income with Advocare. My life is crazy right now, and other than setting up my site, I haven’t spent any time marketing or working on Advocare – all I’ve done is talk about my experience with the 24 Day Challenge and replacing soda with Spark (in real life and on Facebook), and I made a hundred bucks last month. Now $100/month isn’t as life changing as $1,000/month, but that’s a bill that might not have gotten paid otherwise.
Recommend Tools You Love
I’m a techie person. Scratch that: I’m a nerd. I love finding new web-based tools that make my life and my ministry easier. And more than that, I love sharing those finds with my friends, coworkers, peers and pretty much anyone who will listen.
What’s even better: getting paid to tell people about those tools!
A lot of the tools that I use everyday in my ministry actually have affiliate programs – basically I get paid a referral fee for each friend who signs up for the service based on my recommendation.
There’s tons of tools out there that offer affiliate or referral programs – start finding some by checking the sites of your top can’t-live-without-it tools.
Some of my favorites include: Formstack, Bluehost, and ProTexting. I want to make special mention of ProTexting because it makes up the largest of my affiliate commissions (currently about $200/month). Why? Two reasons: 1) It’s the best group texting service for ministry; 2) They’re commissions are recurring – meaning as long as people stay customers of ProTexting, I’ll get a percentage of they’re monthly bill EVERY MONTH.
So what do you do? Once you’ve signed up as an affiliate for a service you love, simply be on the lookout for opportunities to recommend it WHEN IT’S RELEVANT (in live conversation, in a Facebook group, in a comment on a blog you frequent, as a response on Twitter, etc.)
Here’s the most important part of recommending affiliates: only recommend companies/products/tools that you absolutely LOVE. Don’t send your friend to sign up for lame service just because you’ll make a couple dollars. I recommend Formstack, Bluehost, and ProTexting because I use (and LOVE) all three.
BONUS: If you’re interested in signing up as a ProTexting affiliate, I’d love to have you on my team! Use this link to sign up (and comment below to let me know you did), and I will hook you up with some cool perks like video walk throughs to help share with people about ProTexting, cool graphics for social media, and CASH bonus for your first referral.