North Texas families are getting creative to make ends meet amid rising inflation.
Housing costs are up 5.5%, groceries are up more than 10%, and gas prices have nearly doubled from a year ago, according to NBC News.
A mother enlisted the help of her children to earn some extra money using an unconventional approach that she hopes will grow throughout North Texas.
In an effort to make ends meet during tough economic times, Plano mom Lisa Jackey was inspired to get creative.
She says she thought of a way to earn extra money with her children while meeting and helping her neighbors offset some of their needs.
“I just thought it would be a great way to cultivate community, help my family do things together and make some extra money,” Jackey said.
With the blessing of her children, the single mother of four recently took to the NextDoor neighborhood forum and posted: “Family for Rent.”
Mom, her three teenage sons, and her 11-year-old daughter come together to offer services to neighbors who, like them, are struggling against rising prices for products and services.
“Packing is one thing, yard work,” Jackey said, listing some of the services they can provide. “Pulling out weeds, planting flowers. My youngest son loves gardening, so maybe someone needs to plant a garden.”
Another example is if someone is moving but can’t afford to pay $500 for professional moving services. You may be able to accept $100 to help complete the move.
So far, most of the people who commented on his post provided information about the places they are hiring. Some have offered some work at home.
“There always has to be a couple of negative comments. People say, ‘I don’t know what’s going on,’” she said with a smile. “But I know what my heart is and I know my heart goes beyond making money for my family. It also serves to strengthen the community.”
Jackey says she lost her corporate job in February and has been looking for a long-term position that matches her experience and education.
He is also working on his second Ph.D.
Like many Americans, Jackey has found himself struggling to keep up with inflation that is at its highest point in 40 years.
And it’s not just at the supermarket or gas station.
“I have a gas water heater and my gas has tripled,” he said. “Dog food, I just went today and it was $16 more than I normally pay.”
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Derrick Kinney, financial expert and host of the good money podcasthe says that dealing with inflation with threats of an impending recession should involve the whole family.
“What you want to do is set goals as a family,” he said. “Could we drive less? Can we share a car? Can we share something with a neighbor?”
It’s also important to simplify your finances, keeping in mind the family’s most important financial goals.
“We know that the average recession, if we go into one, usually lasts 12 to 15 months. We want to be very simple, very focused. That way the family can work with you to find ways to help you save money, make more money, but you’re going through this as a family and not alone,” Kinney said. “What I suggest people do is what I call a ‘financial x-ray.’ On one piece of paper write, this is what I have minus what I owe and on the other side of the piece of paper, write here are my monthly expenses. What you want to do is focus on the highest, most impactful expenses that you can cut or reduce.”
It’s also important to keep some expenses to help you get through financial struggles from months ago, Kinney said.
“The bottom line, though, is if you really enjoy your subscription service, keep it but find somewhere else to cut it while still saving money but enjoying life in the process,” he said.
Jackey’s daughter has just applied for a lifeguard position and both teenage daughters are studying for their driver’s licenses.
Her mother spent part of her day helping a friend move out of her house for a little money. She is grateful to be able to help friends and neighbors.
“[If someone tells me] ‘I can’t afford this, but I can afford half’, to me that’s not an insult. If someone can pay me half, but he’s helping me and I’m helping him and I’m getting to know him, I think there’s much more to be gained from it,” Jackey said.