There’s a saying that when your neighbor is out of work, it’s a recession. When you’re out of work, it’s a depression. There are many causes for a person to have their own financial depression, but it seems like in our economy, it’s sure helping a lot of us along. Whether it’s your small company that closed or another stock market crash, it’s always a good idea to have a little nontraditional insurance. I highly recommend—whether you’re working or not, struggling or not—find additional ways now to make money. And I don’t mean anything that involves punching a clock. I am a big fan of the idea that everyone has a talent and innate skills or available resources that can benefit others. (And yourself in the pocketbook) There are lots of things you can do to hedge against your own personal depression or the one I feel strongly is coming. Regardless, the time to do that is now. Here’s a list of some things I came up with that you can start now (or soon) and get some independent cash coming in.
1. Open a daycare. I did this for several years in order to be home with my children when they were little. It’s not terribly hard to start and there is always the need. You don’t have to have a house full of kids, either. Even two preschoolers can profit about a thousand a month.
2. R.V. Storage. Do you have a large yard or tall garage space you’re not using? This might need to be a friend of a friend type situation because of the trust involved. We had an R.V and had a heck of a time finding storage for it. We found several people in our area with large backyards that rented space out for less than the large storage lots. In the end we got rid of the R.V. but you get the point.
3. Personal storage at your house. Now I think this would have to happen between close friends or family. I got this idea from a gal in the grocery store who asked me (quite randomly by the macaroni and cheese) if I had a storage unit. I told her yes. She introduced herself, gave me a cute card and said she and her husband had bought one of those mcmansions and were a bit over thier head. There were six bedrooms and she was renting them out for storage 20% cheaper than the big units. Each room had a lock on the outside. She had posted hours and requested half hour notice if you wanted to get into your room. Pretty creative. I suppose the same would go for a garage or outbuilding if you’re not using it. Something to think about.
4. Truck use. This could be used two ways to make money. With snow season coming, if you had a plow attached to the front, you’d have no shortage of work once word got out about your service. This can be cards, flyers, newspaper ads and friends and family word of mouth. Another way to monetize your truck is dump runs. Assuming you have a decent back, there are plenty of people that would pay for someone to pull up, load their junk and haul it away and out of their hair. Who knows, in that junk you might find a few treasures you can keep, sell or barter later.
5. Elder care is a booming business right now. A lot of people are finding they have to bring mom or dad to live with them as they can’t afford a nursing home or simply don’t like the care they receive. You’ll have to check with your local laws to see what’s involved with becoming legally able to perform elder care, but I know a lot of people who have private arrangements with private payments and bypass all the red tape.
6. Mechanically inclined? This can be a great side income source. Lisa’s son is a diesel mechanic and comes home with broken down treasures daily. Most of these he gets for free or pennies on the dollar. He’ll fix what’s wrong with them and sell them at a wonderful profit. Barter is a good option here as well, trade for something you need instead of buying it.
7. ACX. This is an amazon company that is the liaison between authors who want their books turned into audio books and people willing to produce them. You will need to start a profile and gather some equipment to get started, but it could be a nice side income stream. The short and sweet is this. You audition for narration gigs and if selected, enter into a contract between the author, ACX and yourself. After the audio book is complete, you get 25% royalties for every copy of the audiobook that is sold for seven years. You can see how this can add up in the monthly check if you make it a serious hobby.
8. Hobbies. Almost everyone has a hobby. Find a way to monetize it. Crochet, soap making, gift baskets for holidays birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Painting, ceramics, the list goes on and on. Whatever you do, find a way to make money at it.
9. Barter. This is almost as good as money. And it could be if you trade for something you can sell. I do woodworking. It’s a serious passion of mine and the evidence is all over my house. I have plans to build a rustic china hutch and try to trade it for a snowmobile. I’d never spend money on a snowmobile because I’m too darn frugal. But I really want one. So, I’ll spend money on wood (not nearly the cost of a snow mobile) have fun building and then (hopefully) find someone to trade with and get the snowmobile I want.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. But I hope it gave you a few good ideas, maybe even inspired some of your own to get some side income streaming in to hedge against an uncertain future.