As I prepare for the coming lay-off at the end of April, I have moments of pure relaxation and and say things like, "Things will work out for the best." or "I'm not too worried now, I'm just glad I still have this job for a few months longer." And I have moments of true stress that makes me say, "This is not going to end well, I can see it now." Overall, a nice bipolar swing that moves along day in and day out.

Ultimately the unknown both freaks me out, because it is the unknown and puts me at ease because I can scream in agony if I don't know how bad the pain will be. But pulling together options does allow me a buffer. Sometimes I just see myself as a small child standing at the long end of a bowling alley with pins so very far away and a too heavy ball that I have to roll down the alley and hope it knocks over a pin. To describe to you the picture in my mind; my job options are my gutter bumpers, my ball is my resume and experience and the pins are my future career. And away we go!


Recently CouponSherpa posted ideas on getting quick cash - 24 ways to make some extra money - and I thought I would save some of the ideas for the future. They say that 2 out of 3 billionaires were made by starting from scratch. Who knows, even Col. Sanders started his franchised business late in life and it wasn't technically a new idea.

A few ideas caught the interest of my eye - I won't go through all of them

2. Clean Houses - I worked for a couple of guys who were in college, I was their first employee (they were so proud) and we cleaned empty houses, complex building and office buildings. They only had the basics with a vacuum, lots of rags and cleaner and elbow grease. Though these days I would want to be bonded and licensed to keep up with competition.

3. Donating Plasma - I have never done this, but I have watched it being done. I will definitely need a book and some iron pills for this. However, the nearest Plasma Center is a good 30 minute drive so the $35 I get may go for gas there and back... maybe on second thought.

4. Walking Dogs - I have a dog of my own, I know what it takes to walk dogs and since I live in an apartment complex, I know that those dogs probably get cooped up while their owner is away at work.

10, 18, 11. Delivering Phone books, Newspapers and Being a Census Worker - I have delivered phone books and newspapers before, so I know the work involved and wear and tear on a vehicle. The phone books are already done for the year. But they are still hiring for Census Workers, I would need to be available in the evening and weekends when people are home.

15. Monetize Your Web Site or Blog - I currently do this on this site and I appreciate you all clicking on the links and checking things out... 30¢ a click or a link ad on the site does add up

16. Human Billboard - I see those people on the corner flipping the real estate signs around and dancing to their iPods to get our attention as I drive by. I could do that, sure not as good as this guy (vid), but I could do that.

20, 21, 23. Sell Your Stuff, Refundable Glass and Scrap Metal - Back in Iowa they have refundable bottles but they don't do that here in Colorado (all states should require this in my opinion). However, I could still pick up the cans and store them in a garbage container and get the cash for the aluminum on a per pound basis. And I've been selling my stuff for a long time, so that isn't hard just post it to craigslist or ebay.

A couple items I didn't see that are ideas:
Pooper Scooper - Cleaning up the dog mess that people are too lazy to bend down and pick up themselves while walking their dog. My main concern would be a face mask and someplace to dump it legally.
Dumpster Diving/Reselling - After finding the dresser and fixing it up, a table and chairs set and the nice blanket chest I could see making a decent amount of money from finds here at the complex at the beginning and end of the months and sometimes all it needs is a little re-drilling, glue and sanding.
Process Server - Someone mentioned this to me while eating lunch, it is an idea that might work. I have to check my state for what kind of licensing, if any, would be needed.
Market Research - I did this once, for 2 hours of my time, I gave my opinion on what the new Spiderman movie should be about I was paid $75 (two years ago) and I'm still on their list and get contacted by email, I just never have the evenings available to come in now... but I may in the future.

I'm sure there are more ideas out there. I'm not very crafty but I have heard of people buying last years large calendars and putting them in picture frames or doing some cool sewing with the pictures of old t-shirts.


What ideas have you tried for side jobs or extra money during the 'dry season'?

6 Comments

  1. Regina // Monday, February 22, 2010 7:44:00 AM  

    I worked for a franchise in Denver that cleaned commercial accounts. The hardest one but the most rewarding was a food distribution center. The truckers bathroom was DISGUSTING but the center's policy was to throw anything away that that a tear or dent in the packaging. Got big bags of dog food, trays of canned cat food and master boxes of cereal and oats for free. There was more than enough to share. Everyone's cat ate free for about a year and we all had breakfast!

  2. Lisa // Monday, February 22, 2010 9:01:00 AM  

    I have sold unwanted items on ebay and craigslist. I have also donated items to various non-profits that pick-up at my home and have taken a tax write-off on them (I took pictures of the items and looked at the IRS website to get the value that the IRS says they're worth). I have had garage sales and placed signs on the road to avoid advertising fees. I have also had garage sales with the neighborhood and had everyone chip in for the advertising fee in the newspaper. I have posted photos of items for sale at our local gyms since they allow that. I mention items that I no longer want to co-workers and I make sure it is appropriate for that group (mention purses to my younger co-workers or flooring to those that do home projects). Hope this helps!

  3. Jalyth // Monday, February 22, 2010 4:01:00 PM  

    Donating plasma takes on average 3-4 hours, and often only pays $20, not $35. I can't un-recommend it enough.

    Delivering phone books...this is very hard work. Heavy and on a per-hour basis, not lucrative. Plus, nobody wants the phone books. Last resort job! Newspaper delivery is better, depending where one lives.

  4. Chris at yardsalequeen.com // Monday, February 22, 2010 9:08:00 PM  

    I just brought my broken clothes dryer to a local scrap metal place and got $7.20 or it. Getting free money for something you were going to throw out anyway is great!

  5. Dawn // Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:21:00 AM  

    @Regina
    That was a wonderful benefit of working there. The cleaning company I was with didn't clean out enough abandoned apartments because there was some awesome stuff in them.

    @Lisa
    I would agree, sometimes the DIY route for selling (anyway to save money) gives better rewards. Thanks for telling me your experience.

    @Jayleth
    The cost to value ratio doesn't seem very good on some of those jobs - especially plasma

    @Chris
    If it can be recycled, that is wonderful... seemed kind of a low price for such a heavy object.. but what do I know.

  6. Life Insurance BC // Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:18:00 AM  

    Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.