making extra money en-US 34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Finding ways to come up with the rent before the end of the month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you are short on rent, $300 might as well be $3,000,000. Finding the money seems impossible. But don't despair! Here's a list of ways to come up with the rent this month and every month.</p> <h2>1. Call in your markers</h2> <p>Do people owe you money? Now is the time to call in those loans.</p> <h2>2. Return your recent purchases</h2> <p>Did a recent shopping spree put you in this rental money crisis? You can even <a href="" target="_blank">return unused items through your credit card</a> if the store refuses.</p> <h2>3. Ask for overtime at work</h2> <p>Let your employer and your coworkers know that you are looking for additional shifts.</p> <h2>4. Take over a contract</h2> <p>Is your employer paying an outside contractor for work you could do on the side? Offer to do the job for a flat fee (to be paid outside your regular paycheck).</p> <h2>5. Be a great reference</h2> <p>My husband's company pays up to $5,000 per referral to employees who successfully recruit top talent.</p> <h2>6. Cash in on commuter benefits</h2> <p>Some employers allow their workers to make pre-tax payroll deductions to help pay for commuting costs. Other employers offer money saving commuter perks like free parking to carpoolers, free use of company bikes, or paying for public transit costs outright.</p> <h2>7. Get a second job</h2> <p>This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be shocked by how many people don't look beyond their 9-5 job for extra cash. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a>)</p> <h2>8. Join the gig economy</h2> <p>Drive for Uber, Lyft, or Caviar. Find a job using TaskRabbit or Upwork. Use Fiverr and Mechanical Turk to find micro gigs that you can complete in minutes. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a>)</p> <h2>9. Create your own job</h2> <p>Every job that I have ever loved <a href="" target="_blank">I have invented</a>. Find something that needs to get done and do it for money. Babysit for your neighbors. Monetize your DJ abilities. Shovel snow. There are all sorts of long- and short-term jobs that require your skill set.</p> <h2>10. Offer day labor on a farm</h2> <p>Farms are always short on labor. It's a physically demanding way to make a buck, but if you like working outside, day laboring on a farm might be a solution to your financial woes.</p> <p>Also, a side perk of many farm jobs is access to free produce. Reduce your grocery bills and get the rent paid!</p> <h2>11. Tuneup your finances</h2> <p>Are you paying for services that you aren't using? Go through your monthly expenses with a fine-toothed comb. You might be shocked by how much money you are wasting. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>12. Delete duplicate accounts</h2> <p>Are you paying for multiple streaming video services? Can you entertain yourself with just one? Or, can you suspend or delete all of your subscription services until you get a grip on your finances?</p> <h2>13. Audit your accounts</h2> <p>Examine your bank statements closely. Are you paying extra fees for services that you don't use? Call your credit card company. Are you getting the best interest rate that you can get?</p> <h2>14. Clear out costly apps</h2> <p>There are many free apps and programs that provide a premium service for a fee. Are you using each of the pro versions enough to warrant the extra costs?</p> <h2>15. Cash in your credit card reward points</h2> <p>One of my friends tracks all her reward programs on an Excel spreadsheet so she never misses a perk. Are you leaving money on the table? Can you cash out your reward points for gift cards that you can resell or use to offset other line items in your budget?</p> <h2>16. Sell your stuff</h2> <p>The average <a href="" target="_blank">American home contains over 300,000 items</a> and many of those can be sold off for cold hard cash. Bonus: If you have been trying to downsize, now is the time to purge your home of unwanted items. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>17. Sell your gift cards</h2> <p>In some states, you can get cash for gift cards with a low balance. But there are a number of other ways to <a href="" target="_blank">convert gift cards into cash</a>.</p> <h2>18. Sell your collections</h2> <p>Collections can be hugely valuable. But before you hock Grandma's jewels, look around your house for hidden treasures. You would be shocked by the value of your old Starbucks mugs, concert T-shirts, and other random housewares. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>19. Sell your nostalgia</h2> <p>My husband just made $960 selling his old Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Dreamcast games. But even more recent games can have value. Last year, I sold a copy of Kuon, a PlayStation 2 game, for $200.</p> <p>Vintage analog toys such as board games, Breyer horses, Matchbox cars, Lego sets, action figures, and dolls can all fetch a small fortune on eBay. My friend Steve sold his collection of vintage Blythe dolls for $29,000, enough pay for the down payment on his home!</p> <h2>20. Sell bulky items on Craigslist</h2> <p>Sell bulky and hard-to-ship items like furniture, cast iron pans, and glassware on Craigslist so you don't have to fiddle with shipping.</p> <h2>21. Host a garage sale</h2> <p>My husband and I throw three garage sales a year that net us between $500 and $1,000 annually. Our garage sale inventory consists of random crap we couldn't sell elsewhere for more money. We price our garage sale merchandise to move, typically charging $1 to $5 for just about everything. The way we see it, if people are paying us to declutter our home, they deserve the bargain.</p> <h2>22. Set up a lemonade stand</h2> <p>To augment our garage sale profits, we sell lemonade or brownies for $1 per serving. In cold climates, you can sell hot cocoa or coffee to your shoppers.</p> <h2>23. Trash pick and flip</h2> <p>Are you already a minimalist who sold all her stuff ages ago? Don't worry. You can always sell other people's stuff! Since most rental contracts start at the first of the month, the last week of the month (when people are moving out) is always a great time to scrounge for curbed furniture and other items that renters don't want to pay to move. Sell your found treasures at a garage sale, or use Craigslist or an app like 5miles to advertise your merchandise to local customers.</p> <h2>24. Recycle</h2> <p>Why give the $.05 rebate per can that you paid for to someone else? University campuses and concert venues are a prime place to scrounge for bottles and cans.</p> <h2>25. Sell your books and music</h2> <p>While you will make more money selling your media on sites like Amazon and, you may not make an online sale in time to help your rent payment. For fast cash, sell your books, movies, and music to brick and mortar stores in your area.</p> <h2>26. Have a plant sale</h2> <p>Do you have a green thumb? Root cuttings from your garden or hook up with a local landscaper for their castoffs.</p> <p>Or, sell heirloom vegetable seedlings. A package of 25 tomato seeds costs me about $8, or $0.40 per seed. But I can sell my tomato seedlings for $2 each at my neighborhood farmers market.</p> <h2>27. Sell your body, legally</h2> <p>There are numerous legal ways to sell your body for money. You can sell your sperm or eggs for thousands of dollars, but those donations require that your money be escrowed for at least six months and an equally long time commitment. For quick rent money, you can sell blood, platelets, plasma, breast milk, and, <a href="" target="_blank">if you live in Massachusetts, your poop</a>.</p> <h2>28. Stop driving</h2> <p>Do you have a less convenient, but also less expensive commuting option? Now is the time to learn to love the bus. Save on gas money and car repair costs by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation to work.</p> <h2>29. Monetize your commute</h2> <p>My friend Duke operates a mobile record store every Friday on his train commute to work. My neighbor knits hats during her daily bus rides. She makes enough money each month with her commuter knitting to pay for her metro card.</p> <h2>30. Advertise with your car</h2> <p>And if you can&rsquo;t do without your car, make some extra dough by turning it into a rolling billboard. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>31. Rent out part of your house</h2> <p>My brother-in-law rents out his spare bedrooms in his suburban mini mansion to foreign students who are attending the local college. In addition to offsetting his mortgage, his daughter gets free Mandarin lessons. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>Pro tip: If you can find a housesitting gig at the same time, you can double up your house-renting profit.</p> <h2>32. Become an Airbnb host</h2> <p>Even if you don't have space to rent out, you can still be a host via the <a href="" target="_blank">Airbnb Experiences</a> program. Airbnb is a great place to advertise your local expertise as a specialty tour guide. For example, a chef could host a two-hour cooking experience or an experienced hiker could host a multiday camping excursion.</p> <h2>33. Leverage your parking space</h2> <p>If you live next to a university, hospital, concert venue, or sports arena, consider renting out your parking space. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <h2>34. Rock the garage</h2> <p>Rent your garage out to your favorite local band as a practice space. Or, if you value your peace and quiet, rent your garage as studio space for photographers, sculptors, and woodworkers.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Max Wong</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Online Affiliate Programs That Can Make You Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">4 Easy Ways to Get Richer In 2018</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income making a budget making extra money rent rent money saving money saving tips side gig Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1929795 at 5 Ways Everyone Can Make More Money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-everyone-can-make-more-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="cash in planters" title="cash in planters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If someone asks you whether you'd like to make more money, I bet most of you would say yes. The follow-up question would be &quot;Why aren't you making plans to make more?&quot; When a specific method to make money is mentioned, people usually make a quick decision as to whether it's feasible. Some people can quickly adapt to the method and start making money, but what if you are the type who keeps saying no? Are you actually ready to make more money? To help you figure this out, let's look at the handful of ways people are cashing in, and see if you are willing to do what it takes. (See also: <a href="" title="25 Ways to Make Money Today">25 Ways to Make Money Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Start a Business</h3> <p>Many people find their riches from a company that they started, but opening for business doesn't always mean looking for capital from investors and trying to materialize an idea that may take years. An entrepreneur who mows his neighbor's grass runs a business, and the lady who consults on makeup for people's weddings has a business too. I started with no funding, and it's grown to an enterprise that supports multiple people. You can start small too.</p> <h3>2. Change Jobs</h3> <p>Loyalty is cherished in any company. There's no doubt about it, but there are very few success stories of a person who moved up the ranks of the corporate ladder working for only one company. For most people, the big break (in other words, the huge increase in salary) really only occurs when they change positions to a totally different company (or at least department). Do you want to make more money? Perhaps you should dust off your resume and start trying to land interviews. People are paid to contribute, and one of the best ways to improve a business is to hire someone from a totally different company who can inject fresh ideas. Who knows? You might become the star at your new job just because you adapted what you already know from your old company to the new culture.</p> <h3>3. Ask Your Boss</h3> <p>If you like sticking with the same company, then <a href="" title="Underpaid? Here&rsquo;s How to Fix It.">ask your boss</a> how you can earn more. Let him know, respectfully of course, that you'd like to earn more money and see if the pair of you can work out a plan. You will want to have specific goals with a reasonable timeline so when review time comes, you can be factual about your progress.</p> <h3>4. Get a Second Job</h3> <p>Using more hours of your day to make more money is tough work, but it's probably the quickest way to earn more bucks. I would argue that you should find part-time work that can grow into a better source of income than your primary job, because when you work two jobs, the first job will usually suffer. Examples include a small business you are trying to start or a different career that you think is more promising. Either way, don't take this decision lightly and weigh the pros and cons.</p> <h3>5. Start Saving, and Enjoy Passive Income</h3> <p>Once you have amassed a small fortune, you will see the benefit of saving as your passive income grows without much intervention. Dividends, interest payments, and appreciation are mainly why so many people can seem to live without doing much work. There are ups and downs, but if you can stay the course, the long-term picture is usually pretty.</p> <p>These five methods are how people generally earn more. I bet you already knew all these right? But if you always thought you wanted to make more money and haven't yet, re-read all of the above and honestly ask yourself whether you are willing to do what it takes. Are you really ready? If you are, here are 15 more specific ways to earn more money.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">David Ning</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Online Affiliate Programs That Can Make You Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">3 Real Costs of Self-Publishing a Kids&#039; Book</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Times You Should Demand a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Is Starting a Small Business for the Tax Deductions Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&#039;t Require Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Extra Income making extra money passive income side income Tue, 23 Nov 2010 14:00:05 +0000 David Ning 323158 at Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining - Image Courtesy of Stock XChng" title="Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining - Image Courtesy of Stock XChng" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a standard mantra in my house when I was growing up: &quot;make the best of what you&#39;ve got&quot;. If we were between paydays, that might mean eating grilled cheese sandwiches or eggs and biscuits for dinner, taking our lunch to school or foregoing that new outfit at the mall. To my Dad, it meant finding a way to make due in order to avoid even the smallest expenses. And my Dad lived what he preached, tying knots in his broken shoelaces and sewing up holes in his socks. </p> <p>Were we poor? Actually, no. We weren&#39;t rich by any means but as middle class families go, we were doing pretty good. My Dad just had a different perception of what qualified as a legitimate need for spending money and had no qualms about foregoing material luxuries in order to keep a few extra dollars in his bank account.</p> <p>Now that I&#39;m grown and have a family of my own, I&#39;ve realized that maybe Dad wasn&#39;t so far off the mark after all - don&#39;t tell him I said that, of course - he&#39;d never let me live it down.</p> <p>Granted, he went to the extremes to avoid spending money but his basic idea was right on. And the reason it worked is that he wasn&#39;t worried about wearing the &quot;right&quot; clothes or driving the &quot;right&quot; kind of car. He would have never spent $100 bucks on a pair of sneakers - not when he could get shoes that worked just fine at PayLess or WalMart for a mere ten-spot.</p> <p>Which brings me to the point of this article: as bad as the economy is, maybe there&#39;s a bright side after all.</p> <p>Now, before you start typing out angry comments to this post, hear me out. I&#39;m not saying that losing your job or your house is a good thing, although I&#39;ve known lots of people who lost their job and then later discovered it was the best thing that could have ever happened. But that&#39;s another blog.</p> <p>Nor am I saying that we don&#39;t all deserve to live the &quot;good life&quot;, because we most certainly do. But what exactly defines the &quot;good life&quot;? Is that really measured by our net worth or isn&#39;t it more based on the amount of happiness that we derive from our existence on any given day? And as we all know (and as we&#39;ve seen), if there&#39;s one thing money can&#39;t buy, its happiness. </p> <p>What I am saying is that this dismal economy has forced many of us to come back down from the clouds and start being realistic about the way we look at money.</p> <p>And maybe that&#39;s not such a bad thing.</p> <p>Our society has become a people of convenience. Our food is processed and microwaved so that we don&#39;t have to waste time cooking it. No-one carries money anymore - instead we just charge our purchases on that magical credit card because it allows us to worry about how to pay for the item later. That same mentality is a big contributor to the mortgage crisis we&#39;re now seeing as millions of borrowers bought houses they really couldn&#39;t afford because greedy lenders gave them a way to &quot;bump&quot; the higher prices to a future date through creative financing called adjustable rate mortgages and balloon notes.</p> <p>As a result, we not only stopped seeing the &quot;big picture&quot; but we became oblivious to its existence at all. We have been focused on the &quot;here and now&quot;, with the idea that the &quot;here and now&quot; was intended only to appease our flights of fancy without regard to the price we might have to pay later. Don&#39;t believe me? Just look at the environment. If that&#39;s not arrogance, I don&#39;t know what is.</p> <p>We distorted the proverbial &quot;American Dream&quot; to become something that represented an obnoxious amount of wealth that was free of any scruples or morality. And as long as Corporate America was willing to let us charge and extend our financial obligations, that skewed American Dream stayed in tact.</p> <p>But we should have known better.</p> <p>It doesn&#39;t matter who you are or how rich you are, reality will always come crashing in. Its just a matter of time.</p> <p>And that&#39;s what happened here. </p> <p>Our main export is actually debt - yes, debt... about <a href=",9171,1844547,00.html?xid=rss-topstories">$700 billion per year</a> in financial securities that until recently were backed by a seemingly booming economy. But now that our economy is struggling, those financial securities aren&#39;t as appealing to foriegn investors which makes our economy worse, which makes our securities less attractive and so on and so on. But what&#39;s really sad is that we didn&#39;t diversify our incomes like we did our portfolios. America doesn&#39;t really &quot;make&quot; a ton of other things so when selling debt stopped generating cashflow, we had nothing else to take up the slack.</p> <p>The trickle down effect of the Wall Street fiasco is that your average Joe and Jane are suddenly faced with limited incomes and rising prices. Ridiculously rising prices I might add - I saw a guy bringing back a roll of foil at the grocery store the other day - it seems the store had failed to give him the sale price of $7.95 and instead charged him the full price of $9.59. $10 for a roll of aluminum foil? It better do the cooking for me.</p> <p>My point is, now everyone&#39;s feeling pinched and not just in the &quot;two more days to payday&quot; kind of way, but more of the &quot;what the hell are we going to do now?&quot; kind of dilemma.</p> <p>And that&#39;s a scary place to be.</p> <p>But before you throw your hands up in the air, take a deep breath and relax. While its doubtful that the big conglomerates have learned their lesson from this experience (visit AIG), you and I can actually come away from this with a new and enlightened perspective while managing to keep the shirt on our back. Its just going to require a little shift in perspective.</p> <p>For starters, while I don&#39;t want to encourage not paying your bills, the truth is that creditors are much more likely to work with you if you&#39;re falling behind. Stay current on your obligations and you aren&#39;t as likely to see that accomodation. So if you&#39;re staring at thousands of dollars in credit card bills, you need to make some decisions about your priorities.</p> <p>Your mortgage, your utilities and your grocery bill all come first. If you can pay something on the credit cards, great. If not, then you need to come to that realization and accept it. Yes, your credit score might tank before this is all over but take it from someone who knows, you can rebuild that credit. Its a long and winding road, but trust me when I say it can be done.</p> <p>Once you&#39;ve got your priorities in place, you need to learn, as my father did to make the best of what you&#39;ve got. Its okay if we can&#39;t buy all the latest gadgets on the market. Its okay if we need to keep driving the same car beyond two or three years. In fact, pay that puppy off and discover what its like not to have a car payment at all.</p> <p>Downsize where you can and believe it or not, start saving. Seriously... even if its only $10 a payday. That little emergency fund could definitely come in handy some day and if nothing else, it will give you a sense of security and accomplishment, something we could all use right now.</p> <p>Stop putting in so many hours at the office and start looking at the millions of other ways to make money. The truth is, there&#39;s still money out there. Its not as free-flowing but I can tell you as a freelancer, that this month may well be one of the best I&#39;ve had this year. </p> <p>The reason is that I diversified my skills and branched out into areas I don&#39;t normally tackle. And I&#39;m being rewarded for those efforts with enough funds to cover all my obligations. Did I strike it rich? No, but I do have a little breathing room which is really something considering where I might have been instead.</p> <p>You can do the same. Maybe start your own virtual assistant business. Clean out that garage and start selling on eBay. Go sling drinks at your local bar on the weekends. The point is, take action. Don&#39;t just sit there biting your nails wondering where the money will come from. The opportunities are there - you just have to act on them.</p> <p>And if you think now is not the time to start a new business, think again. Many small businesses are pulling in the reigns and downsizing. They&#39;re cutting services and products because they want to control costs. But you don&#39;t have any overhead and if you play it smart, you can keep it that way making any money you earn pure profit.</p> <p>Cancel your gym membership and start running or walking in your neighborhood instead. If you&#39;ve got the space, grow your own vegetables - lettuce, cabbage and broccoli are a few good winter varieties to start with. You can even plant a tomato plant in front of a sunny window in your house and enjoy fresh tomatoes all winter long. Don&#39;t think that will make a difference? Oh yes it will. At about $2 per pound where I live, tomatoes can do some damage to a grocery bill. </p> <p>If possible, wash and iron your own clothes instead of taking them to the cleaners. Learn to cook again instead of dining out and discover the beauty of a PB&amp;J sandwich and a glass of milk. Examine your lifestyle - can you rent DVD&#39;s instead of going to movies? Can you spend a Friday night playing cards with friends instead of going out on the town? There&#39;s is no shame in saying &quot;I can&#39;t afford that right now&quot; and certainly not in saying &quot;I don&#39;t need that right now&quot;. </p> <p>Look around, take stock and re-evaluate how you approach your money. You don&#39;t have to tie knots in broken shoelaces but you can start making changes in what qualifies as a necessary expense. You&#39;ll likely find that while your &quot;cuts&quot; aren&#39;t always pleasant, they are usually doable and make a noticeable contribution in your quest to survive our economic catastrophe.</p> <p>And then when the economy does finally bounce back (and it will) we&#39;ll have adopted an entirely new way of living. One that doesn&#39;t depend upon the greediness of others but relies solely on our own creative energies and practical state of mind.</p> <p>And then perhaps, we can start teaching that lesson to the powers that be.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Credit Cards General Tips Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing Shopping budgeting Economy financial crisis Making Extra Cash making extra money Wall Street Sun, 19 Oct 2008 19:20:50 +0000 Kate Luther 2532 at Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Spinning wheel with yarn" title="Spinning Wheel with Yarn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="227" height="399" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hobbies generally end up in the expense category. Depending on the hobby, you may be paying for equipment, supplies, books and magazines, classes, training--the list goes on. Short of turning your hobby into a business, is there any way to get your hobby to pay its own way? Very possibly.</p> <p>Most hobbies offer you a shot at any number of income streams. And, besides actual income streams, there are also ways to use your hobby to reduce expenses--which any economist will tell you is just as good. (Maybe better, because you have to pay taxes on any income.)</p> <h2>Sell your stuff</h2> <p>The most obvious income stream is to <strong>sell stuff you make</strong>. This really only works for hobbies where you make stuff, so it works better for potters and jewelry makers than for people whose hobby is mountain climbing or scuba diving.</p> <p>My wife spins and weaves. Each year the local spinners and weavers guild has a show and sale where members sell what they produce. Some members go beyond the single annual sale. Some set up booths at any number of arts and crafts sales. Some set up booths at the farmers market. Some sell things on consignment through local shops and galleries. Some run web-businesses to sell their creations.</p> <p>A single annual sale keeps you solidly on the &quot;hobby&quot; end of the continuum. The other options are all steps down the road to, essentially, running a small business. That's fine if you want to run a small business, but can take the fun out of a hobby.</p> <h2>Teach your hobby</h2> <p>The next obvious income stream is to <strong>teach the skills of your hobby</strong>. Some hobbies are very easy to pick up, and others have practitioners who are so excited by new adopters that they'll teach people how to do it for free. In either of those cases, it may be hard to make any money teaching. But, for many hobbies, there is plenty of opportunity to make a few dollars teaching classes or workshops.</p> <p>Some hobbies, such as scuba diving and parachuting, are dangerous enough that there are certification processes to make sure that instructors meet certain minimum levels, but in most hobbies anyone can teach.</p> <p>There are a hundred ways to get paid to teach. Around here it's possible to teach classes under the auspices of the local community college, the YMCA, the park district, and the public schools continuing education programs. Other places to consider are senior centers, youth centers, community centers, and public libraries. If your hobby has a local club, it may very well organize classes for members. Local businesses that cater to your hobby may offer classes as well.</p> <p>To be successful, a class requires students, which probably means getting the word out to potential students. Fliers at libraries and related businesses are a good idea, as is networking with local hobbyists. Develop relationships with others who teach related classes.</p> <p>If you've not taught before, it can be quite a bit of work to design a class, and then it often takes some experience teaching before you develop teaching skills to match your hobby skills. Knowing how to do something is not the same as knowing how to teach it.</p> <p>Besides teaching a class, it may also be possible to tutor someone one-on-one.</p> <p>Because of the work involved in developing, marketing and teaching a class, it too can turn into a small business, if you let it.</p> <h2>Sell a training DVD</h2> <p>A related option is to <strong>create a training DVD</strong>. The big attraction of this option is that, once you have the DVD, you can sell it and go on selling it, with minimal extra time and effort.</p> <p>The equipment to record, edit, and produce such a DVD is cheap and readily available, but of course this option requires not only that you know the skills of your hobby, and how to teach them, but also how to produce a video. Still, even if you need to learn new video-making skills, or bring in another person to help, the attraction of being able to go on selling DVDs makes this an attractive option.</p> <h2>Write articles or books</h2> <p>An obvious possibility is to <strong>write articles or books about your hobby</strong>. You can sell them to magazine or book publishers, both those that specialize in the area of your hobby, and (possibly) mainstream publishers.</p> <p>Start by surveying what's already available. Many hobbies have a vast array of specialized book and magazine publishers. Many pay quite well for well-written books and articles, especially ones that cover an area that isn't already covered.</p> <p>One advantage of non-fiction writing (over fiction) is that you don't have to write a finished work to market it. Create a proposal for an article or a book and shop it around to potential publishers. If no one wants to publish it based on your proposal, come up with some new ideas.</p> <p>Just as teaching is a separate skill from those of your hobby, so is writing. There are innumerable books and articles on writing books and articles (duh), so check out a few.</p> <h2>Become a local rep</h2> <p>If your hobby require specialized equipment or supplies, you may be able to <strong>act as a local representative for a supplier</strong>. For certain hobbies, it can make sense to do this simply to get the materials at wholesale prices. It may also be possible to sell to fellow hobbyists in quantities that will bring in some actual cash.</p> <h2>Give talks</h2> <p>If your hobby is interesting, it may be possible to get people to pay you to <strong>speak about your hobby</strong>. Many groups have regular meetings and want a speaker at each one--they often have a budget that allows for paying an honorarium to the speaker.</p> <p>Unless you're a celebrity, you're not going to make a living out of speaker's fees, but even a small fee can go a some ways toward paying the costs of your hobby--which is the whole point.</p> <h2>Lead groups</h2> <p>You can make money--or at least reduce your own expense--if you're willing to <strong>lead a group</strong>. Many hobbies--kayaking, rock climbing, bird watching, fishing, scuba diving--are more fun some places the others, meaning that participants end up wanting to travel to those places. If you're willing to do the work of organizing the travel, it is often possible to arrange things so that your own trip is subsidized.</p> <p>Even in cases where no travel is involved, it's often possible to get discounts on supplies, equipment, the use of a location, and so on, if you undertake to arrange an event where the other participants pay to attend.</p> <h2>Barter your products or your skills</h2> <p>Americans are so tied into the money economy that they often don't realize just how much opportunity there is for barter. You may be able to <strong>barter items that you make for other things that you want or need</strong>. This can work very well with individuals and local businesses; typically not so well with big corporations.</p> <p>You can also work out barter arrangements with your skills. Help someone make a yoga video in exchange for yoga lessons. Swap massage therapy sessions for rock-climbing lessons.</p> <h2>Make gifts</h2> <p>At gift-giving time, always think to <strong>give something that you've made</strong>. It's more personal and more thoughtful than buying stuff.</p> <p>I know lots of people who love the jewelry, quilts, scarves, hats, pottery, paintings, photographs, stuffed toys, and handmade books that people have given them, made with their own two hands.</p> <p>It's not an income stream, but remember--to an economist, not having to spend money is just as good as getting paid.</p> <p>All these ways of making your hobby pay its way work synergistically with one another. Writing articles gives you contacts for teaching classes which gives you contacts for leading groups which gives you contacts for bartering services, and so on.</p> <p>Any one of these activities could easily blow up into a business, if you're not careful. Most of them wouldn't blow up into a big enough business to actually support you, unless you have not only the skills of a hobbyist, but also the skills of a small businessperson. But one of them--or two or three of them--could go a long way towards bringing in enough money that you can enjoy your hobby and not be out-of-pocket for supplies and related costs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Who Cares if there&#039;s a Recession? I just started a business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">11 Ways to Make Money on Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">iStopOver: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap, and a Special Promotion for Wise Bread Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Money making hobby: panning for gold</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Extra Income Lifestyle Art and Leisure extra money hobbies hobby make money Making Extra Cash making extra money sell teach writer Wed, 12 Dec 2007 00:41:57 +0000 Philip Brewer 1491 at Sweeping 101: What the Real Winners Know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sweeping-101-what-the-real-winners-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="baby with prize" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="278" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Hi, my name is Linsey, and I’m a sweeper.<span> </span>It is sometimes difficult to admit, but I belong to that persistent group of individuals who go to considerable lengths to enter sweepstakes.<span> </span>I also win fairly regularly. My recent winnings include a bicycle, a home automation system, 2 satellite radios, hotel stays, cell phones, gift cards, cash, DVD’s, spa visits, clothing, baby items, video games, gaming systems, office supplies, a digital camera and printer, a trip to San Francisco, and so much more!<span> </span>Winning is more about knowing than anything else, so I’m going to give you the basics to get started.<span> </span>You can’t win if you don’t enter!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What is a sweepstakes?</strong><span> </span>Simply put, a sweepstakes is a random draw of entries for a prize.<span> </span>Generally sponsored or paid for by companies wishing to promote their products or services, sweepstakes are a billion dollar marketing tactic by thousands of companies a year.<span> </span>You should never have to purchase anything to enter.<span> </span>If a sweepstakes requires a UPC code, special form from a product, or a “winning game piece” there will always be an alternate means of entry, or it is not a legal sweepstakes. If entry into a sweepstakes requires an entry fee or raffle ticket purchase, it is not a true sweepstakes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Where do I find sweepstakes?</strong><span> </span>While sweepstakes are simply hard to avoid these days, there are some very good resources for finding all the good ones in one place.<span> </span>The top sites that sweepers use are <a href="">Online-Sweepstakes</a> and <a href="">SweepsAdvantage</a><span> </span>Both are very good resources with much different formats. Other places to find sweepstakes are in magazines, email newsletters, grocery stores (the liquor aisles usually have tons), and local radio stations.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>How do I get started? <span> </span></strong>While all you really need to get started is a computer and some extra time, there are some tricks to the trade that you should know.<span> </span>First, get a separate email for your sweepstakes entries.<span> </span>While the chances of spam aren’t that much greater (assuming you are only entering legitimate sweepstakes), you will receive some sponsor newsletters as a condition for entry into some of the better sweepstakes.<span> </span>You really don’t want that cluttering up your work or personal inbox.<span> </span>Also, make sure you have a physical mailing address set up for your entries.<span> </span>Some prize fulfillment companies do not ship to P.O. boxes, as they want to guarantee “one prize per household” rules.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What tools will I need?<span> </span></strong>I’m a big fan of the <a href="">Firefox</a> browser with the <a href="">Fasterfox</a> add-on.<span> </span>This saves my pages for quick viewing later, and if you are entering some of the same sweepstakes daily, this will save you time.<span> </span>(Just be sure to clear everything weekly or more to avoid PC clutter and security issues.)<span> </span>Also, I have been using the free version of <a href="">Roboform</a> for filling out all of my forms quickly.<span> </span>This doesn’t violate the terms of most sweepstakes regulations which prohibit automated entry, as you are manually entering the contest by loading the page and hitting submit.<span> </span>(Some sweepstakes, especially those sponsored by Microsoft specify “manually keystroked” entries.<span> </span>This just bugs me, so I sometimes skip them.)<span> </span>I do want to point out that the newest version of Firefox doesn’t yet support Roboform, so you may want to use the previous version until it is updated.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>How do you have time to do this?<span> </span></strong>I make time.<span> </span>Seriously, like anything else, I maximize time spent entering to get the biggest bang for my buck.<span> </span>I only enter for things I want, need, or can sell for a nice chunk of cash.<span> </span>I spend 30-45 minutes a day during my morning coffee or an afternoon snack entering the sweepstakes that are ending the next day, and I sometimes glance through the instant wins for things I really want.<span> </span>By being selective but persistent, I have a good chance of getting in entries and not ending up with some junky prize that I have to <a href="/how-to-get-rid-of-your-junk">make room for later</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>How long before I win something?</strong><span> </span>I don’t know.<span> </span>But I will say that as a general rule, it will take at least 6 months to really see the fruits of your labor.<span> </span>Or you may be one of those really, really unlucky people that don’t ever win anything.<span> </span>But I tend to think that those people just aren’t entering all that often, or they give up after a month or two.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What about taxes?</strong><span> </span>Pay them.<span> </span>You should get a 1099 for any prizes valued over $600.<span> </span>You should also be an honest person and figure the value (true fair market value) on your other winnings.<span> </span>Claim it as unearned income on your return, and pay up.<span> </span>It really is no big deal for most people.<span> </span>My trip to San Francisco cost me $120 in taxes on a trip valued at over $2500.<span> </span>While this will all depend on your tax bracket, it is still a really awesome deal!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>I hate sweepers.<span> </span>Aren’t they just greedy people trying to get stuff for free from hard-working companies?<span> </span></strong>I’m sorry you feel that way.<span> </span>I love getting stuff for free, and that is my main motivation for entering.<span> </span>But most companies love sweepers.<span> </span>Entering sweepstakes exposes me to thousands of new products and offerings that I may not have otherwise been aware of.<span> </span>By being a part of that marketing effort, I am 10 times more likely to buy something than if I had just seen an ad in a magazine.<span> </span>My opinion of the company is more favorable if they like “giving back” to the consumer.<span> </span>And I can’t tell you how many products I have become brand-loyal to because the sponsor sent a small sample or a prize that I went on to love forever.<span> </span>Sweepstakes are marketing genius.<span> </span>And if you figure that the cost of these sweepstakes campaigns are figured into the cost of the product that we all buy anyway, shouldn’t you get in on that sweet deal?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Sweeping can be a fun way to win prizes you can’t afford to buy.<span> </span>If you’re already spending 2 hours a day on MySpace or playing online Sims games, just pop open that extra browser window and enter a few now and again.<span> </span>Who knows, you just might be a winner!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Secrets to Finding and Winning Facebook Promotional Giveaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Be a Winner with Your Dinner (Or not)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Can I Really Make Money Taking Surveys?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Making Extra Cash making extra money sweepstakes winning Mon, 06 Aug 2007 13:21:32 +0000 Linsey Knerl 957 at