Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making Money when You're Unemployed

When my husband was laid off, very unexpectedly several months ago, we had to make alot of adjustments very quickly. Obviously, one of the first things we did was to try to find alternative sources of income while he was on the hunt for a permanent job. Here are some of the things we did.

1.) Contract Work. Fortunately my husband has IT skills that are in demand for small businesses and home users. He printed up some business cards on the home computer and bought some small ads in some community newspapers to get customers. He also made postcards from the home computer and mailed them (using the postcard postage rate -cheaper than the regular mail rate) to small businesses offering his services.

2.) Part-time Job. I was able to work out a deal with my former employer to come back and work part-time, my husband and I worked out our schedules to trade off child care duties.

The above items are really what kept us afloat during this time, but we also looked to less obvious ways to make some extra income.

1.) Sell! Sell! Sell! We sold several things on Craigslist and Ebay. Extra computer parts, an extra microwave, and a quilt that I never used for my child's room. I also participated in a children's consignment sale and sold some clothes to a local consignment shop.

2.) Working, temp & odd jobs. I have worked at a flea market selling jewelry, babysat, and other odd jobs here and there.

3.) Work the Election Polls. This is an election year, and did you know that the poll workers were paid? I didn't. I thought it was purely volunteer. But poll workers do get paid a small amount (around $125 in my county) for their service. It's a very long day, over 12 hours, so it's not even minimum wage when you work it out hourly, but it was some money for one day's work.

4.) Rent out garage space. One thing that I love about our house is that it has a 2 car garage -- I've never lived anywhere that had a garage. And I love being able to park my car inside. But, in tough times, that is a luxury that I could go without. We rented out our garage as storage space for someone that was trying to stage their home for sale. We knew this person, and so there was a comfort level with both sides, it may not be for everyone. I don't know that I would want to rent out to a stranger and be obligated to let them have access to my garage (and therefore my home since the garage is attached).

None of these items single handed made us alot of money. But the way I began to look at it was, "this will pay the light bill this month" and "this takes care of the groceries for the week". It was a little mind game I played with myself, that helped to take the pressure off a stressful situation. And, so far, we've never missed a payment and we have not missed a meal.

Have you come up with a creative way to make some extra cash? Please let me know! We're not out of the woods yet, and I'm always looking for a new source of income.

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We are That Family

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Blogger Young Wife said...

Renting your garage out as storage space is a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

August 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

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