Want to See Our List of 10 Income Streams? Negotiation Power - Part 2

I omitted a material element in my previous post on how accumulating liquid courage in the form of savings can help us rethink the stakes in a negotiation.

What did I omit? Creating multiple streams of income.

That fact became clear while out for breakfast with an acquaintance yesterday morning. I say acquaintance but I think we might have turned into friends after our 2.5hr meal! Part of our conversation reminded me that the F2P household is multi-skilled and multi-focused, which means that income and efficiencies come from a variety of sources. In our case, that's ten in all. 

That’s right. I couldn’t believe it when I started to list them all out!

Our 10 Income Streams

Here’s a list of the ten income streams we’ve benefited from over the past few years.

Almost 1/2 of US residents report worrying about their debts. Although the relationship between income and happiness is fairly weak among Americans, there is a much stronger relationship between individuals’ happiness and whether they have difficulty paying their bills. In other words, what we owe is a bigger predictor of our happiness than what we make.
— Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton, Happy Money (2013), p. 95.
  1. Plumbing (Mr. - main occupation)
  2. Consulting (Ms. & Mr.)
  3. Speaking/Facilitation (Ms.)
  4. Coaching (Mr. & Ms.)
  5. Construction (Mr.)
  6. Handyman work (Mr.)
  7. Dog sitting (Mr. & Ms)
  8. Writing (Ms.)
  9. Investment returns (Mr. & Ms.)
  10. Selling items we no longer need (Mr. & Ms.)

Some of the above sources are quite small, some of them bigger but still, TEN!

The big reason I didn’t think about including multiple income streams in the last post is that I have difficulty with the general message we always hear that it’s not spending that’s the problem, it’s that all budget shortfalls would be solved if only everyone made more money. What a crock!

The trouble with that belief is two-fold:

We experience freedom when we choose a path that provides us both meaning and pleasure. Whether or not our subjective experience of work is freedom depends on whether we choose to be slaves to material wealth or to emotional prosperity, slaves to others’ expectations or to our passions.
— Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier (2008), p. 98.
  • Making money requires time and effort (ask anyone who works on a side hustle).
  • Earning more is likely to lead to lifestyle inflation, which leaves us no better off.

The key to mitigate these two points is to ensure that the multiple streams of income are coming from activities we’d like to engage in regardless of whether they pay or not. It’s things we like to do for the challenge and the intrinsic rewards associated with them and we’re happy to provide the help for an appropriate return that ensures both we and others also value our time and effort.

I find being involved in a number of income & benefit-related activities keeps us on our toes by encouraging us to learn, stay curious and stretch ourselves in new and different ways. As mentioned in this post about the importance of managing one’s personal identity, trying and doing different things, especially those we chose and define for ourselves, are powerful sources of strength and increased self-sufficiency, the latter of which seems to be increasingly missing in our ever-more-specialized world.

Take discretion, engagement, and meaning out of work and people feel less “called” to it and get less satisfaction from doing it.
— Barry Schwartz, Why We Work (2015), p. 17.

And that last fact is what makes multiple income sources nearly as effective as having built up substantial savings by living below our means. (Yes, I said nearly, because having savings is a sure thing and even multiple income streams can dry up in a hurry. Remember 2008-9?) That said, put the two activities (or “lifestyles”) together and the likelihood that anyone can increase their ability to negotiate from a comfortable, secure position increases exponentially.

What’s your preferred source of strength when it comes to increased confidence while negotiating for what you want?

Want to read the original post? Here's Part 1.

Image credit/copyright: dexchao/freedigitalphotos.net

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