Realistic ways to make quick cash.

I was inspired by Froglady's blog for making quick cash.   Some of what was in it was useful, but really not all that realistic.  I'd like to point out some do's and dont's when it comes to making quick cash.

Do's -

- Cutting back.  This is the easiest way to keep what money you have in your pockets.  Depending on your situation, it may be feasible to cut back on certain aspects of your budget.  Entertainment should be the first to go.  There are many free ways to having fun, especially if you have kids.   Going to the park, playing fetch with your dog, fishing, biking.  Even packing a lunch and going for a picnic is much more enjoyable than packing up the minivan and going to McDonalds (regardless if they have a ball pit or not). They say that lower income families eat the most fast food... while, per serving, a home cooked meal is far less expensive.  Planning each meal a head of time (with left overs) will save you a ton of money. 
There's also other forms of entertainment like the internet, and television... most people have them, and they may not have the cheapest option.  Downgrading your internet/cellphone/tv package can save you enough to take on a bill such as hydro, or water.   Think about the little things like $2 a day on coffee, and avoidable ATM charges, and how they add up every month. That will shine some light on the wiggle room you may not think you have in your monthly/weekly budget.   Another thing I see a lot is families paying for 2 vehicles that they no longer use because they have lost their jobs.  Change your insurance policy from two full time vehicles to one full time and one occasional.  It may also help to use the most fuel efficient and cheaper to insure vehicle and driver as your primary vehicle/driver.  Walking, and taking your bike when reasonable will also save you a lot. 

- Freelancing.  Can't find someone to hire you?  Hire yourself.  Think of your talents and skills and turn them into quick - sometimes tax free revenue.  Babysitting, dog walking, cleaning, mowing lawns are the first to come to mind... but you most likely have experience in a certain type of work.  If you're good in construction, take on small projects for friends and family, eventually word will get out, and if you do a good job people may refer you to people they know.
If you do your own taxes, offer to do them for people you know for a small fee.   Even collecting scrap metal can be profitable.    I did website design for a while.  I taught myself HTML CSS and how to use Photoshop, and now make small websites for small business owners looking for an inexpensive way to get their business online.  In this particular field, demand is high, and overhead is extremely low.  All of you already have a computer with the internet, and if you're reading this all the way through - a lot of free time.   In 3 relatively inexpensive websites, I had both my computer and Photoshop paid for.  Training was free, as I used many of the millions of tutorials and informative resources available on the internet.  I used kijiji, and many other free classified listing websites to market myself.  With a few more legalities and hours spent, I could have turned it into a full time career (but lost interest in the running my own business aspect and decided to keep it a hobby and occasional service of mine).  

- Not spending.  This sounds pretty straight forward, but for most people - it's not.  For example, a few months ago my bf's brother asked to borrow $60 from us.... not a problem until I found out he needed it so he could take his son to Marineland for the second time that summer.   If you don't have it - don't spend it.   You cannot predict what the future will hold - because if you did you would be much better off financially.  Do not charge shit you do not absolutely 100 percent need to survive on a credit card or any "buy now - pay later" financing, in the assumption that money will be better when it comes time to pay for it.  You'll end up going into debt like millions of other people (don't assume that you won't, because you most likely will) and will end up paying much more of that item(s) in interest over time. Try to use a little logic... for example you go shopping for one particular item and discover that if you buy 2, you get a third one for free.  That sounds great - if you need 3... but you only need one.   Assess that of which you actually need, and say you need.  For example,  my bf's brother "needed" $60 for gas to go to Marineland, but he didn't actually need to go to Marineland.    You may have to put your plans on hold, maybe even to the point where you feel like you have nothing you're currently working towards achieving, but you are.  You are working towards a better financial future, and better spending habits that will benefit you far more than a bigger house, or even a nice pair of shoes... all that comes later when you are comfortable financially. 

- Find part time, seasonal, temporary work.  You may have to lower your wage expectations or find a job that you are far more qualified for, or swear you wouldn't go back to doing.   Some money is better than no money.   If you find a job you hate at McDonalds, you can always quit once you find work that is up to par.  They are always hiring at McDonalds, so don't rule it out because you don't want to ask people "would you like to make that a combo?".   Swallow your pride, you'll have time to be proud when you're making better money.  Of course this may not always be reasonable.  For example, if you're spending all of your wage on day care for your kid so you can go out and work - that doesn't make sense.  Or putting it all towards keeping a vehicle on the road you only use for work... just sell the car.

- Crime.  If the system fails you, fail it back.   Of course this is risky, and goes against many people's ethical values, but people have very much benefited from the drug trade while maintaining a normal otherwise law abiding existence.  There's a reason people take the risk after all. This option isn't for everyone, and doesn't really benefit society, but it can seriously help you not only make ends meet, but to live comfortably.   I know many family type people who sell weed for friends that grow.  It can be a far cry from the organized crime and drug wars you see on the news.   The fact of the matter is, where there is demand, there will be supply.... whether it's you or your neighbor, someone is going to sell drugs.  If the benefit out weighs the risk, why not take your piece of this risky yet lucrative industry?    Drug dealers don't sell weed because they like to have company over for brief periods through out the day, they do it because it's very profitable, and they need to pay the bills.   I would advise anyone who is thinking about this to be careful, but if you're dumb enough to get caught, you deserve to be... it's a risk after all.   I also know people who have stolen and sold cars in the past.  It's not the smartest thing to do, but depending on how you think about it, you aren't hurting anyone but yourself.   It's not your fault if someone didn't buy theft coverage and leaves the keys in the ignition.

Dont's -

- Temp Agencies.  Especially if you hope on finding a permanent job.  What a lot of people don't know about temp agencies is that they put many restrictions on your employment options.  As a young person just entering the work force - during the first part of the latest recession, I saw temp agencies as a good way to build a resume and to find work without any employment history/experience.  What it did was keep me from being hired on permanently due to the contract I signed that restricts me from being hired on anywhere they send temps before either 4 months of consecutive work at a certain assignment without more than 5 days off (due to lay offs) or before 1 full year after ending my employment with the temp agency.   In order to achieve maximum profit, these temp agencies do the bare minimum required by law, meaning you get no benefits, and will make minimum wage or minimum wage according to the average wage associated to the type of work you do.  For example, a skilled tradesmen/women such as a plumber would make the lowest reasonable amount, opposed to a fair wage according to experience and credentials.  Most times you will find yourself making much less than someone doing the same entry level job as you, but was lucky enough to be able to bypass the temp agencies and get hired off the streets.  These companies are only trying to make a profit on your misfortune, and will do anything they legally can to maintain that.   A system designed around providing companies with temporary employees for the sake of avoiding many of the steps associated with hiring/laying off a new employee when they have someone on sick leave, are temporarily in need of additional employees, or need a skeleton crew, has turn into a cheap way to fill even non-entry level positions such as skilled trades and even management jobs.  There is no job security, no reliable wage, no guarantee they will find you work, and a complete lack of personal interaction or recognition when it comes to how you are treated.   As a temp your work ethic and effort goes without any recognition or benefit to you.  At the end of day, all it is, is another run in the corporate ladder.    There are better ways to finding even temporary work... cut out the middle man and apply to any and all places in your area before even calling a temp agency.  You'll find yourself way better off, even if you only find a min wage entry level position.  All the temp agencies are doing is making phone calls... they do not work for you, they work for them selves, and their customers - that's it... anything else is pure and utter bullshit.

- Selling your shit.   I've tried pawning and garage sales before, and what you make at them is chump change, unless you have amazingly good shit to offer.  I went to a pawn shop to sell my old engagement ring that I had purchased for $300.  They offered me $5 a gram for the gold (wouldn't include the diamonds because they didn't have a tester - wtf is that all about?), which added up to be a $7 offer, which I declined.  I tried to sell the ring over the internet for $60 and got no offers.   To make any money at this, you would have to sell things that you need or use every day (like your kitchen appliances or furniture), and you would have to sell them relatively quickly.   The amount of money I was hoping to get out of my ring wasn't worth the amount of time I put into trying to sell it.   For one, you will definitely not get what you paid for it - ultimately taking a loss.  Secondly, if you end up selling something you felt the need to purchase in the first place, you will most likely end up buying a replacement, for more than you got by selling the old.

- Taking out loans.   You can't solve debt with more debt... but people do it out of what they think is necessity all the time.  Paying off one credit card with another... you pay for that transaction.  Don't just rely on the "advice" your bank gives you.  They will accommodate you and your needs, but they will try to make money off it.   I called a credit card company to inform them that I couldn't make the monthly payments once.  They gave me a lower minimum monthly payment, that came with a higher interest rate.  They also tried to give me a higher limit... they tried to sell it to me like it was a pay increase... like extra money for the taking.  Creditors want you to be in debt - they make money on it.   Borrowing from friends and family would be a safer choice, but it's also not the best solution.    Don't borrow money before you've done everything else in your power to get by.  It should only be a last ditch effort to buying things you absolutely need to survive.  Getting a second mortgage is probably the worst thing you can do.... a mortgage is a loan that will already take you a large portion of your life to pay off, and will (depending on your interest rate and amortization period) reflects the fair value of your home at the time of purchase.  If you add money to that mortgage, you lose the investment value unless the real estate market has risen over %100 since the time you bought your house. 

- Crime.   I'll put this here for the people who think it's dumb to resort to crime.  And it is... it's a very risky business to be involved in.  If you value having the police to call if someone breaks into your house and steals shit - crime is not for you.  It's not great to support the use of drugs, but I guarantee those people would be using whether they got it from you or not.  In addition to it's downfalls, the money you make at crime is hard to cover up.  You're bound to raise a red flag walking into the BMW dealership and paying cash for a Z4... for that your only option is to make the money legitimately. 


I just wanted to share a more realistic way of making your financial situation better after reading Froglady's blog on making chump change that will most likely not pay for groceries let alone keep you from being homeless.

Uploaded 01/24/2011
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