Unless you live in the woods you will need some amount of money to survive. There will always be property taxes, groceries and whatnot in our lives—all with hands out waiting for their share of our income.
Where does your money come from? Chances are you only have a single source. It could be a job or a pension, but it is a single source nevertheless. What would happen to you if that single source of income disappeared? How would you live?
I’m going to be blunt here: income sources can leave. It doesn’t matter that you have been on the job for 20 years or were so messed up in that accident that there is no way you will get better and get off of disability. It doesn’t matter that you’ve qualified for Social Security ages ago. Sometimes for inexplicable reasons the income that we count upon goes away.
It may not go away forever, but a disappearance for a few weeks can be disastrous to so many of us who live on low incomes and thus is the reason for this post.
Having multiple sources of income is smart. They may not be big sources of income but the fact that they are income can really come in handy if you lose your job or the bank that held your savings goes under.
There are ways of earning money that are as different as snowflakes in winter so don’t panic and think I’m telling you to endanger your government check by taking a part-time job. Just consider how much safer your life would be if you had something, anything as a teeny tiny safety net in case something happened to your primary source of income.
Look around your home for ideas. If you love animals perhaps you can look in the local online classifieds for people needing a pet sitter while they go out of town. VCI in Paducah, Kentucky is a wonderful source if you live in the area.
Do you like children? You could babysit for a neighbor occasionally. If you enjoy crafts perhaps you could sell some of your creations for a few dollars on Etsy? Gardeners can sell extra produce on a small table in their front yard or even alongside a busy road for extra cash.
Clean a house or look online for people needed short-term assistance. These jobs generally pay cash and you can pick and choose what you prefer to do. If you have a talent for fixing hoosie-whatsits perhaps you can place a small ad in a free online classified announcing your skill. I have a friend who made extra money by running an unofficial taxi service for friends and neighbors—not only did he make enough money to more than keep the maintenance up on his van but it enabled him to go out and explore places with the Amish that otherwise he would have never seen!
If you have a mower perhaps you can mow small lawns for extra money, or rent the mower out to others who don’t have one? If you have wireless internet you could share the connection with your neighbors in exchange for a portion of the bill! You may make enough money from this to pay your internet bill entirely—thus getting your internet for free!
If you have reduced the amount of stuff you own to save storage expense perhaps you find yourself with an empty storage building or even an empty corner in the garage. You can rent out this space and allow others to store stuff there!
You could bake homemade bread, labor-intensive foods like lasagna or even dog treats and sell the finished product. Of course on a bigger operation there are rules and regulations to follow but we’re talking occasional agreements among people you know and not necessarily a business-type arrangement.
If you know about antiques or a certain item you collect perhaps you can make extra money selling some. Yard sales and thrift shops are known for good deals so perhaps if you stumble upon something at a gorgeously low price you can mark it up a bit and resell it.
If you prefer to make money online there are places like Mylot, KGB, MTurk and others that pay money for doing certain things. If you like to write sites like Helium, Associated Content, Factoidz and others will allow you to make money on your creations. In fact, some sites will pay you to post videos and slideshows!
Blogging can give you a way to express thoughts and ideas in a form that can earn you some income as well. Adding Google Adsense to the blog or even Adbrite can earn you a little money for doing something you may do anyway—keep a journal.
You don’t have to do any of these suggestions. In fact I’m confident that if you look around you will find something that is uniquely perfect for you and your living situation. The trick to a happy life is not to just live simply and frugally but to be confident that no matter what–money is going to be there to provide what we need. Depending upon a single income source—no matter how reliable it is supposed to be—is a recipe for disaster.
Please look around your lives and see what you can do to earn an extra dollar or two. You don’t have to kill yourself but make a small goal to just make a couple of extra dollars this month. Stash that extra income in an online savings account or even in a jar somewhere until it builds up where you can do something with it. Save a little of it for the future, but enjoy some of it now—you earned it!
Having sources for extra income may seem silly if you are used to making big money but a little money is a lot better than no money at all in the event that something stops your regular income source!
With this said you may wonder what I do for extra money. Well, I write online for various websites, most of which don’t give me any credit but pay well nevertheless. I am working on increasing my Associated Content library, the articles I have at Factoidz and making this blog and my simplicity blog useful to others to increase traffic. Besides that I have a diploma in computer repair so I promote a small computer repair business and pick up odd jobs doing strange things on occasion. I’ve even started a book on simplicity and frugality that I plan to market at a later date!
It may seem like I’m doing a lot but honestly I’m not. When I get an idea for something to write about I decide where to stick it that is most appropriate and there it goes. Since computer work largely involves waiting on computers I can work on other things here while waiting for them to do their thing!
I have lived on a single source of income in the past and struggled when that income disappeared. No matter how small or large that income may be it hurts! I don’t want that to happen to you.