In another post, I mentioned that I am hopeless when it comes to saving money. I am also hopeless at budgeting. It's something I cannot (well, choose not to) do. However, what I am good at is spotting opportunities for the occasional financial windfall, something that I refer to as a "Financial King Hit"; where it can replicate the effects of months, even years of saving. Some things I have done are:
1. Making the most of "Pure Dumb Luck": Entering contests in rural areas. Its surprising how few entries there actually are to compete with. I entered two contests in Kingaroy; and won both; by purchasing a much-needed home utensil and won a truckload of electrical appliances for our home. I sold some, gave some to family and kept the others. This was cool! (The second "win" was a new fangled cordless phone for the home when they were a big deal).
2. Making Redundancy Work for You: I applied for a voluntary redundancy package after working for an employer for a bit over three years because the conditions of the package were so good, and I had something to go to. I used it as a deposit on a house and some other real estate with the proceeds, and got into the tyre and wheel business after I took three months off with my wife and baby daughter. I effectively had a mini-retirement at age 25 that energised me for the next ten years.
3. Appreciating Real Estate: I bought even more houses, sold some, and had another mini-retirement for six months at age 35. I walked my kids to school every day, had lunch with my wife, and explored the countryside. I also added value to my existing home, ready to sell it a couple of years down the track.
4. Market Mania: Is there a really large market or annual swap meet in your area? If so, is there something you can offer that will be seen by tens of thousands of people? My brother and I would save up all of the automotive-related junk that nobody in the city was interested in, such as farm tyres and wheels for pickup trucks ("Utilities" in Australia) and bull bars, driving lights etc, and we would go to a couple of large rural swap meets a year and make absolutely thousands of dollars in cash.
These are only some of the things I have done, but I hope you get the idea.
Life Hint: Learn to look out (and be prepared) for opportunities. Realise that money can not only buy "stuff", but can buy you some quality time with your family, that I call "mini-retirements".