Make your dreams happen

Do you wish you could live more comfortably? Or have big dreams to achieve? We spoke to Susan Hayes Culleton, author of the The Savvy Guide to Making More Money about how to break selling into “SMART” steps and how to hold onto those savings We all have big dreams. It’s all too easy to dismiss them and assume they won’t happen because we don’t have money right now. However that’s the wrong attitude. If you have items you are willing to let go of, and sell on, you can make money. And with discipline you can then save that money towards your big dream. Known as the “Positive Economist”, Susan Hayes Culleton has written three books; one of which is called The Savvy Guide to Making More Money. The first step for any DoneDealers is to break their selling down in into steps. How to be SMART Susan suggests starting with a “SMART” framework. i.e. Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Timing Specific Think of something specific. For example, college text books that cost €80 each and are otherwise gathering dust in the boot of the car could be turned into money, let’s say €40 each. Measurable Something measurable – how do I actually gain from that? A really fantastic motivator is to think in terms of equivalences. Referring to the earlier example, selling a text book is the equivalent of a week’s shopping for a student. In a family scenario, €40 might equate to sending the kids to violin classes for a couple of weeks. It’s a contribution to a household bill. It could be anything. Attainable and realistic Do you have the time to sit down and put all of the details on the site? Is this a realistic time frame? As another motivator, ask yourself how long it takes you to earn €40? If it takes longer than an hour, then this exercise is more than worthwhile. Timing It’s great to say you’ll generate €40 a week and then that week never comes. Put it into a calendar saying I’m going to create my profile Tuesday, take pictures Thursday, upload the product Friday and by Monday it’s going to be in the ether and I could be potentially making money by the end of the day. How to turn cash into savings Now you’re in the swing of selling, you want to start saving the cash to that big dream. Susan believes everybody has a “financial thermostat”. By this she means, “each person has a number in their head. This represents the amount of money they’re comfortably with and as soon as they go above that, they start to spend their way back down to a comfort zone.” On the other hand, continues Susan, “as soon as go below that number, we go on autopilot to save our way back up. That’s why some people are happy to always live in debt – their financial thermostat lives below freezing. Others can have thousands in the bank… and leave them there.” However Susan also believes that we can absolutely take control of our thermostat and the following steps will get you started. Write down what you want to save for Before you get the money or have the feeling of having the money, write down what you’re going to do with it. When you think in advance of an experience or a product and what you’d do with it, you’re far more likely to hold on to the money until you can spend it on what you have in mind. Write down the benefits Ask yourself “what’s the benefit of holding on to the money?”. By spending €75 proceeds from selling an item on a shopping spree you’re equating enjoyment with spending. Instead try and equate enjoyment with saving. What would you do with €2,500? It could be a family holiday. It could be two weeks off work, it could be investing in the stock market. Take steps Rather than thinking €75 is the end goal, think of it as step 1 of a 10-step process. After all, every €2500 starts off with €1. Reach for the sky Once you start achieving something you’ll think where is the limit? You’ll think of an upper limit and then push that higher to a further upper limit. €75 could be a great achievement today but you could probably go around your house and into the shed and find enough things to make €2,500. 4 steps to making more money on DoneDeal (and saving it) Think of the equivalences Ensure that your DoneDeal goals follow the SMART framework Plan what you’re going to do with the proceeds in advance of receiving them As you start to see the money coming through, repeat the SMART process to plan an even bigger goal #Finances