I found a blog you might like, Thrifty Mommy, where she quoted a survey stating that 1 in 10 workers in America have had to take on a second job to make ends meet in this tight economy. Then there’s the numbers of people that haven’t taken on another actual job but do odd jobs for extra cash.
Here’s a partial list of some of the unusual (odd) jobs she listed:
* Sell catfish dinners off the front porch
* Use a portable propane burner to heat oil (huh?)
* Make Star Wars costumes for people
* Donate blood plasma
* Research stories for a gossip columnist
* Juggling chainsaws in a talent competition
* Pose for an art class (yikes – I’d rather juggle the chainsaws)
* Take notes in class for college students
* Take items from the Lost & Found and sell them online (NOTE this is not a job, so not sure why it’s on here – that’s called petty crimes)
* Give people in the office hair cuts
* Testing recipes for a book
* Work as a movie extra
* Participate in product testing for bandages
* Participate in university research studies
Now, my question is, HOW did they find some of these jobs? I haven’t seen any ads for movie extras lately, and as much as I’d love to test recipes for a book, my guess is you’d need to be a relative for THAT job! What about that selling cat fish dinners from your front porch? Testing bandages? Are you kidding me?
Let’s look at some ideas that might really work for us average moms:
Participate in university research studies
However, participating in research studies is one that I found a source for, and some of the available studies were as simple as emailing the study for a survey and then they will pay $20 when returned. We live near Nashville, so Vanderbilt is a good source for that here. Just go to the website of whatever major hospital you live near, and see if they have any research studies available.
The link for Vanderbilt’s is http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/site/services/studyfinder/default.aspx
If you are good on a sewing machine, I could see how this could be a way to make some extra money. Maybe place an ad on Craigslist or your local paper advertising your business, or make some flyers and post them where you can. Point out what a great birthday gift a costume of your child’s favorite character would be, and be sure to save photos of all your work. You could do very well at Halloween, I’m sure! As a seamstress, you could always branch out into home decorator’s products like drapes, pillows, etc. Giving classes is also an option. Knowing how to sew well is a gift others are willing to pay for, but please, be reasonable.
With 3 boys and a husband, I used to always cut their hair to save money. However, when friends of ours or our children asked me to cut their hair, I always declined. I was anything but a pro, and my results were very irregular. If I goofed up my family’s hair, they’ll still love me, and the price was right (free). But goofing up someone else’s hair would be an entirely different issue.
However, I know several women that aren’t hairdressers, but if they could’ve if they wanted to be. Those of you could definitely make a little extra by offering to cut other’s hair. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to venture into home perms and coloring….
Research stories for a gossip columnist
Now this one may have been laughable, but if you are a good writer and/or researcher, there are plenty of freelance jobs out there online. Finding them is the problem, until I discovered Genuine Jobs.com. I have searched hundreds, maybe thousands, of websites to find online jobs for others and this is the first legitimate, free site that actually lists available jobs. Blogging is big business nowadays, and the majority of businesses are obligated to have a blog and need writers. Gone are the days of having your webcopy written one time and your site is done. Now they need copy for their websites almost daily. Go to http://genuinejobs.com/
Baking For Others (other than catfish dinners)
To create food products on a large scale, there are health dept requirements that must be met. Locally, you could offer your culinary skills and make some money. Making candy and cookies at the holidays always is a great way to make a little extra, just be sure to calculate your costs accurately. Homemade breads, or special food items like gluten-free or sugar-free products could be a hit. One mom that was known for her delicious fudge, now has a thriving business selling it. (see her story at http://video.about.com/sbinformation/Small-Business-Marketing.htm)
Selling Your Garden’s Overflow
This wasn’t in the list, but it’s something you may not have thought of. I don’t think you could get rid of your extra squash for obvious reasons, but one year we had a HUGE yield of jalapeno peppers. Since my two older boys had done a large part of the work that year in the garden, my husband took them in to talk to the manager of a small local Foodland and they bought them all. We let the boys keep the money for their labors. I don’t remember what we got for them, but I do remember they sold them for a large markup.
It can be a great family project, so if you have a significant overflow, it’s worth a try! We know one family here in town that grows a large crop of watermelons and sells them to a local grocer every year. Fresh cut flowers and herbs are always great sellers. Grow what you love!
Now you have some ideas to get started, I’d love to hear what some of you have done to make extra money! As for me, excuse me while I go practice juggling a few chainsaws. . .