How to earn an extra $500 a month: Part 3

Office chair and notebookPart 2 of this series explored methods of creating $500 a month additional income by investment opportunities requiring less upfront funds than would be otherwise possible, since the bank’s money is being used as leverage to raise the effective rate of return.  For part 3, FPO will provide guidance on increasing your income by $500 per month through your current job or expanding into various side jobs.

For your current job, there are several options.  Volunteering for overtime is the surest option, however many companies are cutting this back or eliminating it outright.  If its an option, and it fits your schedule…take it.  However, overtime is not right for everybody.  Asking for a raise is another common option, though frequently approached incorrectly.  Instead of asking, think of negotiating for that raise.  By asking, your thought process is centered around entitlement.  How many times has the phrase “I deserve this raise”, or “I’m overdue for a raise” come up?  By negotiating, you can have more power over the conversation.  Just like a supplier to your company would, convince your boss that your value to the company has gone up, and as such so have your rates.  There is no harm in coming up with a number first, as long as its high enough to meet your needs, in this case $500 per month.

Sometimes the raise may not work.  It may be their way, or the highway.  That’s where the side job comes in.  Everyone should have a “Plan B”, something that not only creates some additional income, but also something that can be expanded if your main source of income dries up.

Here’s a list of ideas and what it would take to get that $500 per month goal:

  • Ebay: sellers get 50 free listings per month and fees total around 11% of sales.  If you have an eye for value locally, there is a ready market on Ebay ready to bid up the price.  50 items at $11.11 profit per item before fees gets the $500 needed.
  • Etsy:  Etsy defines the online market for handmade goods.  If you have arts and craft skills, this is the place to do business.
  • Amazon:  Excellent for opening your online store.  Amazon provides all of the code to set up your own store
  • Virtual assistant:  Make money by providing products and services over the Internet.  Fiverr and Odesk are networks through which virtual services can be supplied.  The nominal price on Fiverr for a service is $5.  Do 100 of these and your month is covered.
  • Yard Work: Keeping a dozen medium sized lawns mowed a month should net $500.
  • Logging:  There are places with too many trees and places where firewood permits are allowed.  $10-$15 per cord buys a permit.  Keep costs low and expect to get over $100 per cord depending on locale.
  • Instructor:  Skilled at Kung Fu, MMA, Skiing, Skydiving, Scuba diving, Art, or Dancing?  Leasing space can be split based on time and many community colleges allow for such classes to be taught.
  • A Second Job:  This one may not be agreeable with your current employer, and there’s likely to be schedule conflicts.  Proceed with caution.
  • Trade Shows and Conventions:  These events run the range from antique shows to car shows, sporting events, vending opportunities, and of course holiday bazaars.

There’s no shortage of opportunities.  Find something you enjoy, and good luck!

-The FPO Team

P.S. –> Part 4 is centered around getting that extra $500 per month by reducing your bills.

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Local Classifieds

I have been a big fan of local classifieds lately. In a medium to large metropolitan area these classifieds can represent miniature economies, in which a multitude of items are bought, sold, and traded. Services ranging from accounting and tax preparation to roofing and tiling will be listed. Looking through the classifieds, which are generally online these days may be a good way to get rid of unwanted items and get a bit of cash as a result.

Here are some hints for navigating a local online classifieds. Stay authentic: Make sure the host of the website is legitimate. In my location the local classifieds are hosted by a local news channel. It is viewed by the locals as safer than certain nation wide web sites. Call and talk to the lister beforehand: It’s both the nice thing to do and allows you to get details and check if the item is still available.

For cars: Show me the Carfax! Make sure the title is clean and the car is not stolen. A call to the police (non-emergency number) can confirm if the car is not reported as stolen. Also, the dynamics of local classifieds involves calls to and from unknown people, showing the up for sale items to people you don’t likely know, and yes, scams do exist; so exercise caution in all transactions.

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