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Generating extra side income

GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So here's the story:

I returned home from Canada to Texas at the end of March, and immediately started looking for a job. Within a little over a week I got hired at a place that pays $9/hr. I've been working there for a little over 3 weeks now, and last Tuesday is when I got my first paycheck for almost 70 hours of work. The money i've earned (once taxes had their way with it) is far, far lower than I thought it would be.

This is a problem.

I returned home to the states to save money for school tuition that i'll start making payments on at the end of next year. Once you factor in international fees, the cost of living, transportation and food expenses, i'll need around $22,000 in order to cover my ass for one year.

My goal this year was to basically scrape together at least between $10,000 and $12,000 before I set off for school in January. However, given the pay rate i'm generating, I won't even meet half that amount by December, and time is of the essence.

I'm already working a full 40 hours a week, with a schedule that alternates each week. I did the math, and even if I continued to work here full time till year's end, I would only roughly generate $8,000 profit by year's end. I would find a better paying job, but minimum wage out here is $7.25 starting out, and there's really not a lot of options around my area in terms of starting work, so it's a miracle I even found something starting out that would pay even nine an hour.


I feel I need to start generating a little extra income if I want to make my goal of living in Canada work out. If I could grab even an extra $300 on the side each month it would do wonders for my situation.


So I could use some advice on what I could do to help snag some side money. In the end i'll have to find a solution myself, so right now i'm just looking for some general pointers, or advice that will help steer me in the right direction.

Can anyone help?

Godfather on
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Posts

  • SixSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    First things first - what expenses can you cut? Make a record of every dollar going out and then take a hard look at what you actually need, what you can scale back, and what's a luxury at this point. Saving on expenses is a great way to "generate" extra income quickly.

    XBL, PSN, & Steam: SixkillerNYC Twitter Flickr
  • DeebaserDeebaser At the corporate garage sale This is cheap and plentifulRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It sounds like your net is about 250 a week. So even if you don't spend a dime, you're either going to need a second job or a loan.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Six wrote: »
    First things first - what expenses can you cut? Make a record of every dollar going out and then take a hard look at what you actually need, what you can scale back, and what's a luxury at this point. Saving on expenses is a great way to "generate" extra income quickly.

    Aside from a mandatory gas fee I pay my folks, I have zero expenses. I am currently living at home with my folks for the time being. I'd actually say i'm pulling in around $900 profit a month unfortunately due to taxes.

    I am also unable to apply for a student loan. I do not qualify because 1) since I am not a dependant, m family does not qualify to apply for a loan (make too much money), and 2) I can't get one since i'm studying abroad. I basically have to live on my own for a year before I can even qualify.

    I've researched every other possibility for this, but the cold hard facts is that i'm going to have to pay for all of this upfront with cash.

    I'm thinking something along the lines of freelance work might work best. Suggestions?

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  • Vater5BVater5B Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Things that have always worked for me:

    1) Sell some of your stuff

    Old game consoles, games, musical instruments, books, DVDs. Unless you use it daily, you don't need them. Craigslist is good for the big ticket items. You can do Craigslist and eBay for small stuff too, but it's work on your part and it takes time. For media I usually sell to Half-Price Books. You're not going to get a lot of money, but you are still getting some money and it is fast.

    2) Donate Plasma

    You'll usually net at least $20 for one hour of your time, sometimes more depending on their need. If you donate once a week, that's an extra $100 a month. Most places will let you donate twice a week, but I don't recommend it.

    3) Freelancing

    If you have any creative skills whatsoever, you can usually freelance a bit of work. If you are a musician, give private lessons. If you paint, see if you can net a showing in an artspace or coffee house. If you do web design, cruise for web design gigs.

    When I was unemployed when the recession first hit I was able to live off of my meager savings thanks to these methods. Hopefully this will help!

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SixSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Ok - another thing to look closely at is your withholding - are you sure you're W4 is set correctly? You may be withholding too much in taxes, especially if you're only working for part of the year.

    XBL, PSN, & Steam: SixkillerNYC Twitter Flickr
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Try and hook up with a landscape contractor and do some landscaping over the weekend. Generally it's paid under the table, you'll just have to work in the Texas heat. Also, what's stopping you from working once you get to Canada?

    I worked ~30 hrs a week for 3 years as an undergrad engineering student. You should be able to pull something similar.

    parabol
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  • November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    It looks to me like you are having too much withheld. I would sit down and do your estimated taxes for this year and see what your refund looks like.

    You won't get any of your SS or Medicare spending back and that will probably come out to around $1000 for your current job, but your federal income tax should only be about $600-700 total after the standard deduction.

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  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited May 2011
    If you can write, try Demand Media Studios. The work is pretty crappy, but it's $15 for around a 400 word article on a topic. I actually do this full time and can pull of ten articles in about 4-5 hours a day. This will quickly get you to your goal if you can do it.

    That being said, I'm doing everything I can to get out of it because I really hate the work!

  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Dog walking? Never did it before but it's an idea. I was coming in to suggest tutoring if you're really good at Math, Science or English but with the school year coming to an end, I'm not sure how plentiful those positions might be.

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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Found out some good news: My last paycheck was missing 31 hours of work! That explains a hell of a lot.

    So it's not my taxes, it's a pay goof. So i'll be able to hit very close to what I need, but I still need to generate a bit more income.

    EDIT: Regarding Canada; nothing is stopping me from working in Canada. In fact, i'm going to need to work up there more than down here.

    But I will need to wait it out in order to get a work permit. It takes six months before you're able to get an off-campus work permit, and about two months for an on-campus one.

    I basically have till November of next year to come up with $12,000 canadian up front, and that's not counting living expenses, food bills, etc.

    Time is of the essence. The quicker I get to my goal, the easier it will be for me to save in canada and actually focus on school.

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  • SneakertSneakert Registered User
    edited May 2011
    A quick and easy way to make money is to participate in medical trials/testing. There's a lot of tests out there which need healthy young people. Risks are usually very minimal and it pays well. I did one for some bloodthinner-medicine and got paid 1200 euros for basically just being there at the hospital a few times.

  • Psychotic OnePsychotic One Never let an alligator... Do your taxesRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Sneakert wrote: »
    A quick and easy way to make money is to participate in medical trials/testing. There's a lot of tests out there which need healthy young people. Risks are usually very minimal and it pays well. I did one for some bloodthinner-medicine and got paid 1200 euros for basically just being there at the hospital a few times.

    This is pretty much the easiest way to get fast(ish) cash. I considered doing a few studies for a while, but didn't because of scheduling conflicts. There was one for a three week study of painkillers. I'd have to go in every weekend for 3 weeks to take pills and let them draw blood. The pay was some where in the range of 1.5k to 3k dollars. If I wasn't going to be out of state in the middle of the study I would have been all over it :(

  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If your hours are fairly static then you could always get a second job where you work 8-16 hour a week.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Godfather wrote: »
    Found out some good news: My last paycheck was missing 31 hours of work! That explains a hell of a lot.

    So it's not my taxes, it's a pay goof. So i'll be able to hit very close to what I need, but I still need to generate a bit more income.

    You may still want to check your taxes - how many deductions did you take? It's easy to estimate what your net will be: [ Gross (hrs worked x rate) x Taxes plus soc sec, etc. (.12 for example for 12% ) ] - ( Gross ).

    So at $9/hr with 40 hrs per week, that's 40x9= 360. 360x.12 = 43.20. 360-43=$316. Note that's per week.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What are your hobbies? I mean, if you have an eye for photography and a decent camera, doing some photography work can get you some money (even just headshots for people needing them for business. Yes, I realize what headshots remind us of).

    If you like writing/are good at it, then do the Demand Studios thing, or another one I heard about is Seed.com

    You could try going door-to-door and offering to mow lawns for the summer (sucky sucky work that I hate, but can get you decent money).

    You could find a Sugar Mama...

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    khain wrote: »
    If your hours are fairly static then you could always get a second job where you work 8-16 hour a week.

    I was actually considering this. Since i'm working a good 40 hours a week, my only time off to work would be graveyard shift type stuff. Maybe there's a type of job out there that would let me do this?

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Any 24 hour location. Gas stations, 7-11s, some Starbucks and fast food chains...

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • jedikuonjijedikuonji Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    Any 24 hour location. Gas stations, 7-11s, some Starbucks and fast food chains...

    Hotels. I've done a ton of night shift work at hotels. Depending on the hotel there can be a lot or little to no actual work on the shift. For a smaller hotel you'll probably be doing stuff like running daily paperwork, maybe a little number crunching, some laundry, printing up guest statements, and setting continental breakfast.

    Overall the work is usually far from back breaking and many places like having people who can cover a couple days of overnight for their full time night person's days off. In my experience you also get paid a little better (about $1 an hour or so) because you are willing to take graveyard shift.

  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Places that serve breakfast (Bob Evans, Waffle House, Denny's, IHOP, doesn't need to be 24hour) will usually want bussers/dishwashers/hosts to work mornings on the weekend. All of that is really easy and really self-explanatory work.

    Alternatively you could probably be making way more than $9/hour serving in a restaurant. Or tending bar, if you're old enough.

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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I've already been down the server route for a solid two years. It's too unstable income-wise, and it's something you gotta have a real way with in order to make the most of it. Since servers only make $2.13 an hour down here (which you never actually see), all your money is dependent on tips. I'm honestly burned out on that field and wanted to try something different.

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  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    That is very reasonable.

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  • JokermanJokerman Mr Jellybean Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Have you thought about doing some freelance modeling? Most of you don't know this but godfather is ripped as fuck.

    You might even be able to make some cash as a trainer.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    UPS has overnight shifts available for box-slingers, and is almost always hiring.

    Great for something short-term, terrible for a real job.

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    From my experience and almost taking that job, they will throw you out as soon as they find out you are short term. They want company men.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    From my experience and almost taking that job, they will throw you out as soon as they find out you are short term. They want company men.

    why would you tell them?

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    kaliyama wrote: »
    From my experience and almost taking that job, they will throw you out as soon as they find out you are short term. They want company men.

    why would you tell them?

    Seriously, why would you tell them?

    Not to mention they're set up to deal with 100%+ turnover, so leaving on short notice isn't screwing anyone too badly.

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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Haha, wow, have you guys been following me around or something? I've actually considered the distribution job route.

    I actually turned it down for my current job for two very good reasons:

    1) It's much farther away, and the hours are odd. We're talking from 6 PM to 2 AM, or 2 AM to 10 AM. Currently it conflicts with my current shifts, and pretty much every one ends at 7 at the earliest. It would be about an hour drive from my first job to the second, and they are super-strict about tardiness. If you're five minutes late you get written up; 3 write-ups in two months and your ass is out the door.

    2) When you get hired, you're basically on a 9-week probation period. During that time they're going to run your ass ragged, and they require an extensive physical and bloodwork test before you can even start. If you have even a hint of drugs in your system, you're fired at the end of the 9-weeks, no questions asked. There's an average 40% turnout rate, and a lot of times they try to find a good reason to get rid of you so they don't have to start paying you more/giving out benefits that come with longer employment.

    It's a lot on the line for something that you could essentially lose for what boils down to a simple packing job. In the end I had to pass because it wasn't worth the risk. It's too far, doesn't pay enough to justify travel until after the 9-week mark, and it's a very stressful job.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Step 1: Stop doing drugs.
    If a random drug screening will disqualify you, you are really narrowing your options down to Walmart and its clones. Since a job that won't screen you would require skills(you don't have) or you do physical work that will probably require one(esp if you get hurt).

  • [Paragon][Paragon] Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Take a look at Pepsi, Coke or Dr. Pepper as they all tend to have warehouses in larger cities and they always need part time folks building pallets loading/unloading trucks etc.

    They also always seem to need people on the weekends to merchandise stores (I.e. fill shelves, refill/build displays, rotate product, etc)so that might be something to consider.

    I work weekends (friday - sunday 13+ hours a day) at my primary job as a CnC machinist and pepsi has been pretty easy to work with during the week as my part time job. Plus building pallets is ez mode and they will get you certified to operate a fork lift if you aren't already, which can open up other job options.

    Worth checking out little debbie, frito lay etc as well.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Step 1: Stop doing drugs.
    If a random drug screening will disqualify you, you are really narrowing your options down to Walmart and its clones. Since a job that won't screen you would require skills(you don't have) or you do physical work that will probably require one(esp if you get hurt).

    I don't do drugs at all, I just said if there's a trace of any type drug in your system. Even stuff like forms of Ritalin can get you disqualified unless it's completely explained ahead of time, and they tend to do a shitty job of keeping track of that.

    You could be around someone that smokes weed for example, and simply by inhaling it can stay in your system longer than you think. My dad was doing interpreting for a deaf client while she was working there; she went through all 9 weeks, but got kicked out because there was a miniscule trace of marijuana in the test from a week or two before the test was taken. As a result she got booted out the door, which is utterly ridiculous.

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  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Walmart does drug screens, too. Pre-employment and in instances of employee accidents.

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