Works For Me Wednesday has a theme this week. I get to ask you what works for you, and you get to answer in my comments! How fun is that? Fun for me anyway!
So I’ve been thinking, and thinking, what to ask.
One thing that is big on my mind lately is money. I’m not feeling secure in my job, and narrowly escaped being jobless all together a couple of weeks ago with no warning at all. We were not prepared for that loss of income. For whatever reason the current economy has been slow to affect us (thankfully), maybe because both of our jobs are tied to addictions. (Kevin is a casino dealer, and I’m a substance abuse counselor…) But it’s starting to tighten up in these ways:
- While Kevin is not in danger of losing his job, and people are still coming in to play, they aren’t tipping. His tokes (casino speak for tips) are down by close to half over two years ago.
- My ex-husband, who is Adrienne and Nick’s dad, is out of work. He’s in construction, so it’s some kind of miracle that he worked this long in Las Vegas. Really. But he’s out of work now, has moved up here to the mountains, and is not paying child support for the time being.
- My hours were reduced to 20 in August. And even now, with the other girl in my office quitting a couple weeks ago, my employer wants me to do both of our jobs (previously two people working 60 hours) by myself in 32 hours a week. Prior to August I was working 40 hours each week. So regardless, that’s still an eight hour reduction in hours compared to the last two years.
So you can see, money is slowly tightening up. I would say that our income has been reduced by about a third over two years ago. I’m finding it important to find other streams of income. Swagbucks is great, who doesn’t love $5 or $10 a month at Amazon? (and if anyone isn’t using it, it’s super easy, takes no extra effort. I’ve been involved for a month and have 78 points, which is nearly enough for $10 in Amazon gift certificates. That’s without referrals. Please use my button over there if you’re interested though! lol) But I’m talking about real, actual money that the landlord will accept.
Here are my ideas so far:
- Sell more of my books through bookscouter.com. Obviously this isn’t a long-term solution as at some point I will run out of books, but I bet I could raise close to a thousand dollars this way, which would help if I’m unemployed.
- Keep freelance writing. I know that I could make this a full-time gig if I had to. Someone recently posted to my comments that they made more than $2000 a month at Demand Studios. I don’t see why I couldn’t do this, too, if I had to.
- Keep up my substitute teaching license. It’s a good way to pick up $100 a day, if I have to. If I lost my job and had to substitute again on a regular basis, I could probably pick up enough jobs to make between $1000 and $1500 a month.
- Sell other stuff. For me, this means vintage clothes. I already have a good stock of it. I don’t have an open store right now, because there are only so many hours in a day. But Kevin and I are in negotiations for re-opening as a family business. It’s been my experience that second-hand stores and garage sales are filled with things that can be bought, fixed up, and resold. I’ve made extraordinary amounts of money this way. (My best story is the coat I bought for $20 at a thrift store and sold for $750 on eBay. Etsy is my favorite place to sell vintage now, but eBay has it’s finer points, too.) In the past, when I could focus a lot of energy and attention to my shop, I was able to earn about $500 a week selling vintage clothes on eBay and Etsy.
What are your two cents about income streams? What is your plan B?