As you know, I take on a number of side jobs to earn money and help pad the monthly bottom line. Most of my income from side jobs goes to my Financial Freedom account, which is growing every day – penny by penny, but still growing. Every penny has a purpose.
Even when I am not working, I am thinking of ideas that could work into work. Or thinking of workable ways to create income. I’m slightly obsessed.
When Bill Spaid is here, I put a lot of chores on the back burner, because loved ones are most important. That’s why I am on this journey – to create a lifestyle that allows me to see my friends and family whenever I want. If they are my focus, it seems silly to neglect them along the way. But that doesn’t mean I’ll lose the willpower to manifest financial freedom. This week, Bill and I ate our meals at home, had a lot of fun running errands together, and we watched Star Trek Voyager on Netflix (he sprang for several pints of Ben and Jerry’s, which is still cheaper than cable or an evening out at the movies).
I noticed that Bill was paying more attention to his spending habits. I had forwarded a Staples rebate coupon to him earlier in the week, and he bought a computer hard drive using the coupon. But it was defective (the hard drive, not the coupon), so he returned it while I was at Job #2. He came home with an even better hard drive. After using several coupons and rebates, and a price match to the same product for sale on Amazon, he ended up getting the second computer hard drive for less money than the first one! The coolest part was that he was so excited and proud that he had worked to get the better deal.
Our childhoods can have an effect on our money habits as adults. I had always felt I was really careful with money – I have a great credit score and I am always on time or early with payments. But over the last 6 months or so I realized how I subconsciously kept myself at a certain income level. If I earned more, I spent more. And usually I didn’t realize I was doing it. I would spend a little more on groceries, or donate more to a cause, or decide I “needed” something to replace something that was wearing out. I have learned to step away from the “need” and ask myself more questions; is it really a necessary item? Can I find the same item for less money? Could I compromise with something less expensive? Or can I do without it altogether, at least for the time being? I recently asked myself these questions when Bill found a snow shelter for a great price. I decided to pass on the snow shelter and make do with a windshield cover, sharing the story with you in a recent post.
Many people grow up thinking that money is a way to show love. I won’t go into the reasons why, but I had created a money mindset of “poverty is love.” When it became evident that there would be a little extra at the end of the month, my brain started working overtime to figure out how to get rid of it. And because I was creating that intention, the universe was happily helping me out by offering opportunities to spend. For completely different reasons, Bill had a similar money mindset. He is now determined to change his perspective and ultimately his financial future – and I love him even more because of it. It is so wonderful to have a partner who is supportive and engaged in the process.
So today, Cronies, on my way to one of my side jobs (I’m taking care of two adorable cats over the holiday) I thought offside jobs that will help you and I tuck away some extra money in the financial freedom jar this winter. We’re in this together, you know. I came up with a list:
Clearing snow and ice from other people’s windshields. This idea made me laugh, because I just bought a windshield cover to avoid having to do that very thing! But hey, if you have no problem scraping, and you live in an apartment building with lots of other people with cars, maybe you could post a note on the bulletin board that you will clear their windshields or dig out their car after a snowstorm for a fee. I think you’ll find more than a few takers.
2. Use your car for advertising. I recently saw a guy on Fiverr.com who would use washable markers to write an advertising message on his car windows and drive around downtown Los Angeles for a set number of times in a week. He had a long waiting list for his offer.
3. If you have a blog, set up an account with a few affiliates. The money comes in slowly, mind you. I’m still trying to see two figures on the right of the decimal point from this very new blog. I have a number of affiliate sites in the sidebars, and I do make a little money if you click on and/or use their services. But I am picky about the ones I list, which limits how I earn money.
4. Pick up visitors or tourists at the airport. People are flying in to visit family, and the family is already strapped for time. Advertise your side jobs services with friends and family, or take out an ad in your local paper. Ask for fees that will cover your expenses and your time.
5. Be a server. Big parties need servers and bartenders. Contact catering companies and ask about temporary work, or advertise for individual parties. Don’t forget to tell your friends you are looking for gigs.
6. Clean house. I just picked up a gig cleaning a vacation rental home. It isn’t long-term or regular weekly work, but $50 for a few hours work isn’t bad. You could also clean houses after the parties – be a server, then stay for the cleanup.
7. Take care of pets. I am feeding and caring for two really great cats in their home over the holiday. Boarding can be expensive, and my rates for two cats are still less than the owner would pay to have one pet stay at a boarding facility. It is less stressful for the animals, and the owners feel better about leaving them behind over the holidays. Offer something extra to stand out from the crowd in your advertising – I will water plants, take in mail, or clip nails during a long gig.
8. Flower shop delivery. It is the season for cut flower delivery, so contact your local florist and sign on as a driver. See Debt Run has a great post about delivering flowers on Valentine’s Day; Christmas ranks near the top for flower delivery as well.
9. Babysitting. Offer to watch kids for a few hours while parents go holiday shopping, or attend a party. You should prepare to pass a background check and have impeccable references.
10. Package delivery. This is a favorite of the side jobs I listed. Big name delivery companies use temporary help during the holidays – UPS and the US Postal Service, for instance. Furniture companies use extra help to deliver bulky items like sofas or armoires. If you own a truck, you could rent it out and charge a fee for driving it.
11. Tree lot salesperson. It’s a cold and lonely job on some nights, but it can be fulfilling when you help someone find the perfect tree or wreath. Still have that truck? After you sell it, deliver it.
12. Decorate for the holidays. After you deliver the tree, charge a fee to help decorate it, or hang the lights on the outside of the house. Some people love to decorate but don’t have the time or energy to do it, and are willing to pay someone to do it for them. Don’t forget to schedule a removal of the same decorations after the holidays.
13. Gift wrapping service. I will not be doing this one. I cannot wrap a pretty present even if someone paid me. Whoever came up with gift bags was a genius. So go find people like me who are incapable of creating Martha Stewart-worthy box corners and ruffly bows, and charge a reasonable fee for your talents.
That’s a baker’s dozen of ideas for side jobs, Cronies. Tell me about your own ideas for holiday money making!