Thursday, September 27, 2007

How To Make Money Without Having A Second Job

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against getting a second job and may end up going that route. On the positive side, second jobs are good for paying off your bills because they leave you no time to be out getting into trouble (a.k.a. "shopping".) But negatively, second jobs tend to sap your strength and leave your friends and family wondering what you look like these days. In my experience, most second jobs end up being retail, standing on your feet for hours and you're lucky to make more than two or three hundred a month.

I've been doing tons of research on how to increase my monthly revenue without resorting to a second job and this is what I've come up with:

1) Clipping Coupons can save you big, especially on drugs, new food items and cleaning supplies. Not to mention, restaurant coupons for two-for-one-entrees ... what's better than free food!?! Well worth buying the Sunday paper.

2) Recycling (see previous post), my suggestion is to find a place to store your garbage bags full of recycling and take them in twice a year for a payoff sizeable enough to make it worth your while. Keep a trash bag in your trunk for bottles and cans you find at work and when you are out and about.

3) Selling: on ebay, and craigslist can be simple and lucrative. Everybody has extra stuff around the house taking up storage space. You need access to a computer and a digital camera, the rest is pretty easy. Garage sales can also be a great source of emergency, end-of-the-month revenue. You can make two or thee hundred bucks for a morning of work.

4) Renting out rooms. This is a wonderous source of income. You can easily make $400 or $500 a month renting out even a little tiny bedroom. It would be hard to make that much money working a second retail job. It has it's drawbacks but I've been doing it for over 25 years now (ever since my divorce,) and haven't had any major problems. Just make sure up front that your renter has reliable (and legal) sources of income.

5) Working one shot jobs ... promotions, trade shows, conventions, food demos. These usually require standing somewhere or sitting at a table, being friendly and passing out things. Call your local convention center and ask if they hire local help. Also watch the paper and craigslist for these opportunities. Once you are on an agency's list, you'll get called periodically for jobs. Doing this once in awhile can be fun and get you out of the house working on your mingling skills. You don't have to be young and cute to do these jobs (but it helps.) Even senior citizens do them.

6) Catering jobs - banquet bartending, serving, food prep. Start by getting a food handlers license (a quick, easy process) and then calling the catering companies. You'll probably need a white shirt, black pants and shoes. Frequently you get paid the day of the event in cash. Last season, my daughter made a hundred dollars at a party and all she did was wander around for four hours refilling people's water glasses.

7) Being paid to have advertising signs on your car. For years I thought this was an urban myth but there are actually jobs like that. They send you the sticky decal and instruct you where to put it on your window or will even paint your entire car. You just drive around doing your thing and get checks each month. You'll have to do a bit of digging to find these opportunities - online or in national newspapers.

8) Work from home. I once had a great data entry job working from home part time entering new food items in a database for salesmen to order from (I don't consider it a second job if you can do it at home, sitting down and on your own schedule.) It was actually kind of fun! It paid $20 an hour. I got it by knowing someone who knew someone but I can attest that these jobs actually do exist.

9) House and pet sitting. This job isn't as easy as it looks. It's almost like moving. You have to take enough clothing and toiletries to get you through the duration and leave the house intact and pets alive and as clean as you found them. But it can be very lucrative and there's a big need. People hate to kennel their pets. Check with the local kennels and pet and house sitters and find out how much they charge. Don't sell yourself short, charge a good rate. Try it at first via word of mouth. If it works for you, gather references, get bonded and make up brochures and business cards. Also, there's an agency near where I live that provides doggy day care. They also provide over night care in people's homes. They advertise that these are the homes of people who don't work and have pets for your dog to play with. This would be good secondary income for senior citizens who wouldn't even have to be all that mobile.

10) Home based businesses - Amway, Avon, Cookie Lee, Mona Vie. Some people make money at these multi-level businesses, it always cost me more than I ever made though. I'm not good at signing up my friends to work under me but there are ways around that, you can advertise or have booths at trade shows and sign people up that way. If you are a go-getter and can sell your product to your coworkers at your main job, it would be well worth a try.

11) Get a skill or provide a service. Mobile notarys can make tidy amounts. It's usually a weekend seminar to get your notary license. You can only charge $10 per signature but you can charge a fee for your travel. Dog grooming in people's home is a great service, as some dogs hate car travel. Learn to do taxes, or face painting/clowning at kiddie parties, or ... well ... the opportunities are endless.

Anybody got any more ideas?


Di said...

I shop at Walmart, and they will match prices in their competitors grocery ads. It saves me in gas from having to drive to 3 different stores to get the best price on things. Plus if you have a coupon, it's an ever better deal.

Dee Dee said...

I didn't realize until I read this that one can use coupons at WalMart. So the next time I went, I whipped out the ole' coupons and they took 'em!