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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

10 Ways to Make More Money

1. Get a 2nd job
2nd jobs I have had- working for a large marketing company for inbound calls (taking credit card applications); working in customer service evenings for a company I used to work for full-time days; working holiday periods for companies that friends/family referred me to (filling out contracts for seasonal laborers, working in a bakery). Use your contacts and ask around.

2. Employ yourself
This option looks better and better to me. I have several friends who started with a hobby or a second job and now have their own businesses. One was an freelance editor who has now started her own company doing the same work for large publishing companies that she did before, but now reaps the benefits of tax deductions, and setting her own deadlines and fees. I work for her periodically myself. One guy's family started selling a few things on EBay and now makes a living selling sunglasses at their own on-line store. I used to work for a small business that made a lot of money cleaning up new construction sites after the projects were finished. All it took was hard work and cleaning supplies. You can also hire yourself out as a driver, babysitter, housecleaner, shopper, or home-care companion.

3. Cancel stuff
Can't find the time/energy to work more hours? Cancel either your cell or land line-you don't need both. Cancel cable, or at least extended or premiere channels. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions- read them for free at a local bookstore or the library. Cancel your gym membership and work out at home or take a walk. (I only recommend this if are personally motivated enough to work out at home, everybody benefits from fitness).

4. Sell stuff
Sell everything. Sell your 2nd car, sell your 2nd and 3rd tvs, sell anything you see around the house that doesn't have a 'place.' Sell old magazine, clothes you haven't worn in a year, and those dishes you hate. You'd be amazed at what people will buy. Sell them at EBay, sell them through Amazon, sell them at a garage sale, a yard sale, a consignment shop, a flea market. Put up signs at work, on community bulletin boards (on line and off). Just sell it.

5. Live better
Make your own lunch. You don't have to be a gourmet. Buy great bread/rolls. Buy good cheese and in-season fruit. Make soup and home-made cookies or brownies. Give up smoking and don't drink so much. Consider a drink with friends once in a while as a treat, not a daily meal requirement.

6. Make stuff
I have family members who make and sell (profitably) teddy bears, embroidered linens and aprons, and original artwork and photography. I have friends who could profit on their hobbies if they were interested. They make jewelry and reupholster furniture. I have a sister and brother-in-law who buy condemned real estate, and do all the work themselves to bring them up to code and rent out as housing. They consider this their 'retirement fund.'

7. Make a balance transfer
Hmm. Some people do make money this way. I don't recommend it for everone and I've mentioned it in a past blog.If you're interested, BankRate.com has a recent article on "12 Questions to Ask about Balance Transfers",
8. Switch your accounts
This is easy. Most of us have heard about on-line banking. Some of the more popular on-line banks are ING and Emigrant. They tend to have much better savings interest rates than our landlocked banks (3.0-4.0 vs. 1.5). Money market accounts, CD's, savings bonds and other investment vehicles also tend to have higher interest rates than your traditional savings account. Shop around.
Emigrant Bank
ING
Where to keep your money-

9. Make your job work for you
Ask for a raise. Work overtime if available. Take advantage of tuition remission plans, company-offered training, mentoring programs, free software, or any other benefits that make increase your employable assets, now or in the future. At one previous job I got my employer to pay for computer training classes only because I asked. Another time I paid for classes, but I was given work time to take the classes after shsowing justification for their job worthiness. You won't get what you don't ask for.

10. Somebody owes you
Really. It could be just an old utilities deposit, but it might be an old savings account that you had a teenager and forgot. It could be an inheritance, or it could just be a personal loan you hadn't collected on. Again, you probably won't get it back if you don't ask for it. Search the Office of Unclaimed Property for your money.

Do you have any more (legal) ideas? Post them here-

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