URUS bersama Suraya | Learn to Earn: 3 Methods to Earn an Extra RM1,000 a Month

Learn to Earn: 3 Methods to Earn an Extra RM1,000 a Month

You know you need to save a lot of money. You need it to cover the ever-rising cost of living, fund your children’s education, pay for insurance and takaful, contribute to your parents, and hopefully have enough leftover budget to go for fun family holidays.

However, your salary is not increasing, and despite the many resumes you send out, you still haven’t found a better-paying job. So what can you do?

Thankfully there are lots of opportunities to make money on the side in Malaysia. Significant effort is needed, of course, but if life without money is going to be hard anyway, you might as well do the hard thing AND earn some cash along the way.

The Cash Flow Quadrant

Before we start, have a look at the Cash Flow Quadrant below. These are the 4 ways to produce income. Most people earn by being an Employee, and if they are aware of the effects of inflation, they will also become investors. Being a Business Owner is out of reach for many people for the simple reason that you need a lot of capital to start the business / inherit it from your parents.

The final category is Self-Employed—the subject of today’s article and what you can focus on.

3 methods to make an extra RM1,000 a month from a side income

Let’s figure out some ways for you to earn from selling products/services. RM1,000 per month is a great benchmark to aim for—some people end up earning more from their side income than their day jobs!

Method #1 - Sell first and deliver later

“Love your customers, not your products”

Most people who start a side income are fixated on their products/services and spend a lot of time choosing what to sell… but find that there aren’t many buyers/there’s too much competition. Think about it; don’t most people buy their stock first, THEN look for buyers? If they’re lucky, the product sells itself, but if not?

Pure loss.

Instead, look for buyers first. Find out what people are looking for and offer your products and services to them. Organising pre-order sales is an excellent way to implement ‘sell first and deliver later’ with the least financial risk.
If no one joins the pre-orders, no harm done; just delete the listing and you can try to sell another product/service. If you get buyers, great! Collect the deposit (always collect deposits!) and proceed with ordering and delivering the items to your customers.

As for what to sell, it could be anything! You could offer:
- Personal tutoring in a subject you are good at
- Services that save people time (for example, personal shopping and delivering)
- Selling any type of food/beverages
- And more!

If you know what you want to do, all you have to do is do it. Yes, that sounds overly simplistic, but it’s true. Open your social media accounts. Make your ads. Tell people you offer this product/service. Find marketing channels to focus on. Solve every obstacle as they come.

Method #2 - Follow a practical course

This method is suitable for someone who does not know where and how to start earning a side income. You could spend time looking for and perusing all the free materials… other than that, you could just pay for a structured course that tells you exactly what to do and how.

The trick here is to follow ONE course at a time and follow the guidelines as closely as possible. Do not look for other options before you finish the course. Of course, learning is always encouraged, but too many people use learning as an excuse to delay earning.

Another thing to consider is the price of the course. Do not get into debt just to finance the course—avoid the ones with 4- and 5-figure price tags, especially if you’re still starting out. There are many amazing courses priced affordably and still contain fantastic information.

There are many places to pay for a course. As a start, you can check out Institut Keusahawanan Negara. You will find many types of courses, from starting a food business, sewing courses, opening a barbershop, and more.

Method #3 - Monetise your hobby

Monetising your hobby is a great way to earn some extra money, but it can also be tricky as it is tough to love your customers more than the product (your hobby). You may end up not solving your customer’s problems at all simply because you want to keep your hobby ‘pure’ and ‘true’.

This is the same idea behind artists who sell their artwork but find few if any, willing buyers. It is not a ‘people don’t appreciate skills’ thing, it’s a ‘product/service that does not cater to the needs/wants of most people’ thing.

Furthermore, you may also justify a lot of costs to get the business running because, well, it’s fun to spend on hobbies, plus now it’s a justifiable cost because it’s ‘an investment for business’. Photographers, for example, can easily spend thousands of ringgit to buy different lenses—a great idea if there are a lot of paying clients, but hard to absorb if there are none.

Therefore, if you’d like to start monetising your hobbies, do so, but use Method #1 at the same time—find buyers first. The potential upside? Earning money from doing what you love is worth the trouble.

Make this the last article you read about earning a side income for a while; what you have to do now is to DO. Start it. If you have no idea, then Method #2 is for you. Don’t wait for passion and motivation before you start; it will come naturally when you start making money because earning is exciting!

If you’re lucky, you’ll start earning straight away. However, most people will take at least a few months before their efforts start working, so don’t give up.

As mentioned earlier in this article, earning is hard, but not having money is also hard, so embrace the challenges and give your best, for the sake of your family.

This article is contributed by Suraya Zainudin—writer, speaker and digital marketer for one of Malaysia’s top personal finance websites.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Credit Counseling and Management Agency (AKPK).