Backwards WFMW

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?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Backwards WFMW

  1. Dang….your tips or ideas ROCK!
    If you can make that kind of money…..that’s huge to me.

    I would love to write and get paid. I’m going to check out some opportunities!

  2. I don’t have any tips for bringng in income. I do have some for cutting expenses here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/shoppingwisely.aspx And I have lots of recipes on my site that are realy inexpensive (I’m working on adding some new ones, too).

    We’ve had a huge cut in income for the last several years. We went 8 months with no income and it’s been declining ever since. We’ve cut and cut and then cut some more (even lowering our electric bill drastically, depsite the quarterly raises by Nevada Power for the last several years).

    Well, I’m off to plant some more lettuce in the garden! I hope you find some things.

  3. Like the others, I’m amazed at your ability to make money through multiple income streams.

    For me, I just never wanted to need to live above a certain income. I still believe that I could easily live on $1600 a month even though I know that I would likely need more than that to pay the mortgage and etc. If it was just me, I could easily live on less. As a single parent who needs to be completely financially independent, I don’t really have the time to develop multiple income streams right now, I’d just have to find a way to work and make money. It gets harder and harder for me because one’s expenses always expand to fit their income. My plan through increased income has always been to save it instead of adjust to living on it. I fear I’ve gotten a little away from that lately….it means I’m going to buckle down and tighten up. Right now, I probably have a year’s worth of living expenses saved up and I only want that to increase not decrease. I’ve never been materialistic but money sure equates with security to me. There’s only so much you can control but money is one thing that I can control…..it also helps that my one and only child is not in daycare.

    The things I’ve done in the past include taking on a roommate (hopefully something I will never have to do again), participated in Fareshare and other programs, worked multiple parttime, oncall and contract jobs including being a secret shopper.

    • Being a single mother (for seven years) with a special needs kid that made it hard to work full time outside my home has made me the queen of income streams. I think I’ll write a whole post about that. I just have a knack for figuring out how to make money doing…something. Knowing I could make more from home is making it really difficult for me to stay at my 9-5 that I’m not enjoying right now. Having little rivers of income, or at least knowing you could have them, is freedom to me.

      I want to make it clear that I’m not doing all the things that I posted. Holy cow. There are only so many hours in the day. Right now I’m only doing some freelance writing (nothing like what I would do if I wasn’t working nearly full-time), and working. I pick up vintage clothes at the local thrift store when I see them, adding to my stock. I think that in the next few weeks we’re going to start up a store online. But I can’t do it alone and work.

      So it isn’t about actually activating all those streams. It’s just lining them up, knowing they’re there, and cultivating them so that when or if you ever need them you can use them. For years when I was a single mom, child support was a major income stream. It’s been nice still, but obviously no where near as necessary now that I’m able to work and I’m married to a man who works. If I had been a single mother fully dependent on child support and it just stopped–yikes.

      Yep. I’m going to write more about income streams soon.

  4. In all types of economies the two basic factors are supply and demand.

    Personally, I believe we have more control over the demand side. The Complete Tightwad Gazette (available in libraries) is a good place to start. It amazes me how little we can live off of. I would also consider moving to a smaller home in a less expensive area if finances became tighter for us.

    But since you’re asking about the supply side, what about an at-home daycare or at least babysitting for working parents?

    • Great idea Meghan! It isn’t on my immediate list of Plan Bs, but years ago when I was a single mom, taking in other people’s kids was my go-to way to raise some money when I wasn’t working outside the house myself. I loved doing it, and it made me feel useful, which was really important at a time when I was utterly overwhelmed and often felt like I wasn’t doing much of anything really well.

  5. wholesomewomanhood

    Survey companies…I haven’t made a lot doing this, but I did make enough to pay for most of our Christmas gifts this year. And I only spend about an hour or less in the morning 4 days a week doing them. My favorite survey companies are mypoints, inboxdollars and surveyspot.

    ~ Carrie ~

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