22 May 2011

Will You Be Wanting Popsicles with Your Pizza?

I have a very busy life. Just in case you didn't know that, it's true. Very busy.
I work weekends at a weird little government gig. I just started a second contractor position at another company. I have a website that is doing well enough that I need to have it redesigned and rebuilt in the next several months in order for it to continue to grow and expand. (Er, not to be confused with making money or covering its costs. NO to either on that question!) These three things alone poke big holes in my day, not to mention my bank account.
Yessirree, I'm busy for about 16 to 18 hours out of every day.
Oh, and I work out like a nutcase to make sure that I am healthy enough for all this insanity. Yes, I am busy.

But I also like financial health. My mother commented recently (in that dotty-random-outburst-at-a-party-given-by-their-daughter way that old ladies acquire in their seventies) that "Marti's cheap." I'll admit when she made that comment combined with one other, what I really wanted was to excuse myself for a check of her bathroom cabinet to see if she was off her meds. Or if I could borrow a few. Ugh.

Anyway, whether I am or am not cheap doesn't matter. I know a lot of people who are worried about money these days. And here's my tip for what YOU can do about it.

Do something extra. Do. Something. Extra. Why? To make money for yourself, of course! And not just for your life currently, which no doubt sucks every nickel out of your pocket, but for your future financial health. (If you're in debt, obviously, then use the money to pay down the debt first. I'm not in debt, therefore, I save.) And the best news is it doesn't have to be big.

For instance in the last year, I was contacted by an online group about writing for them. For several months toward the end of 2010 and in early 2011, I did their online writing. It only required a couple of hours per week. But in fact, I had so much of writing work that I couldn't do it all when combined at the time with my weekend job, website operation and making a full-time job of looking for a full-time job, right? Right. So I hired someone else to do a little of the writing. I passed one subject that I knew little about to a favorite friend who herself wanted to pick up some supplemental funds every month.

That work agreement ended a few months ago and in the newly restored "glut" of time, my mind cast about again for what else I could do to make money. I didn't have to look far. I went to auctions with a couple of guy friends and considered re-selling things I could buy there. I pondered putting up a website to do more online writing. (Still mulling that one over) Heck, I even considered taking a waitress job and pouring coffee at some breakfast diner. Perhaps. (That mental journey didn't go very far) I ruled that one out. Kind of fast, matter of fact.

What I came up with instead was expanding on a favorite hobby, adding some extra knowledge (that's called "value added") that I had gained years back, putting in a little financial outlay to buy supplies and getting busy on it. Altogether, that's hobby+added value knowledge+cash investment+sweat equity.

To that end, I now have a living room that is... unlivable at the moment. It's been a small, bearable bit of a downside as large amounts of fabric and quilt batting started piling up. Some weird smelly things are stashed in the front closet. And an etsy account awaits which already amuses me and I hope to start filling later this week.

I make this "extra" suggestion knowing that some of you will say "Oh, I'm already so busy doing such-and-such. I really can't take on anything new." I think you should reconsider. What I'm talking about isn't converting YOUR living room into a sewing workshop with a huge mess of fabrics, fluff and stuff strewn everywhere. (That seems to be my personal passion and only within the abilities of those of us that live alone.) But you can do something. You can find something. Skip any "collecting aluminum cans" ideas. You'll lose money on the price of gas, driving to and from the recycling center. You want something you can do along your life's regular circuit with a small bit of extra effort.

What will you get out of it? I expect to end up with is enough cash to cover my costs, my annual IRA donation and maybe buy a few popsicles this summer.

Personally, I like popsicles. Don't want popsicles? You might make a few extra mortgage payments. You could put some money in a fund to pay for a few extra textbooks for a favorite college student. You could take the hubs out for pizza once a month and probably afford to pay for a gym to work it off again. Whatever you want, including debt, IRA, popsicles or pizza after taxes.
I'm not saying you're not already working harder than ever, but you probably can squeak something else in, which might help you shake out better at the end of the year. And with a little extra moola, who knows what you could do, right? Maybe you'll only make enough dough for the pizza (or in my case popsicles), but we all prefer life with pizza and popsicles rather than without, right?
So what are your solutions to making a little extra money for the pizza/popsicles of your life?

(Disclaimer: all photos today were chosen with abject weirdness in mind and may or may not have actual relevance to the subject. But... I do like popsicles.)

No comments: