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Methods to make money in this shitty economy?

yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Hi folks. For once, this isn't an emo mcangsting thread from me. In fact, I'm feeling pretty good right now. Been getting out of the house, got another trip lined up tomorrow, trying to get my head in the right place and all that and be happy with myself before I really worry heavily about the social thing again.

That's not why we're here. Why we're here is because taking the bus to get to places costs money. Not a lot of money, but money. And hobbies cost money. And I wanted to get my hands on a scooter or bike or something to speed up the travel between bus stops and the location I am going to/exiting, which costs...You guessed it, money.

Here's the issue. I don't have money. And I don't have a job at the moment. Being a relatively un-noteworthy 17 year old male with no experience in a time when people far older, more desperate, and with greater work ethics are grabbing any old job they can get to provide for their families means that'll probably be the case for a while, despite efforts.

So, I am forced to ask myself: What can I do to get funds in the meantime? Here's what I've got so far.

-Freelance photography. Big issue here is that people are really throwing on the blinders right now and refusing to buy anything, or to even participate in projects for free that'd fill my portfolio to make it more show-offable and more able to net sales.

-Making and selling stuff at swap meets and flea markets, or even online. Similar issue to above, with the added dilemma that I'm not much of an artist or craftsman. On the other hand, maybe people would be willing to pay for inexpensive art instead of buying the real high-end super expensive stuff?

-Selling my things. Stopgap measure at best, and I don't own anything particularly valuable that actually holds its value worth a damn and thus could be sold for a decent sum. Pretty much out.

-One-off jobs on Craigslist and the like. Big issue here is a simple lack of shit that I meet the qualifications for, since a lot of it is looking for experienced people, or legal adults, or attractive women willing to wear relatively little clothing.

-Classic summer jobs like lawn mowing and such. There're gardeners that handle things as part of the rental fee in the area(long story), and you can get a car wash for like a buck these days. To be able to undercut the automatic market and get sales, I'd have to drop so low I wouldn't even be able to pay for supplies. This is basically out unless I can find a gimmick.

And...That's all I've really got. Can anyone else think of any options? Or even just have some ideas on how to make one of the above work out better? Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Oh, and chores for the family and the like are also out. We're broke as hell, otherwise I'd just be doing extra stuff around the house in trade for money.

yalborap on

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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Take a normal bus route, and just write down all the stores that you see and go to each one to see if they are hiring part-time. Part-time jobs are still out there, and since you're only a kid you don't need health insurance or anything really regarding benefits, just money. That's pretty much what part-time jobs are for. Skrilla in the wallet, etc.

    TexiKen on
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    eternalbleternalbl Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Man, a hand wash beats an automatic any day of the week. Just cause there's a cheaper way doesn't make it better. Besides, some vehicles can't go through the auto deals. They also don't clean up the interior of the car at all. If you can scam your Mom's windex you can do windows, a damp cloth to wipe the dash and stuff and a vaccuum. Charge like 10-20 bucks, a car should take less than an hour and getting a full detail is in the 100-150 range, so you'd just be providing a service between whats available.

    Or are there no help wanted signs around town?

    And the old fashioned way, pound the pavement dressed up a little with a folder full of resumes.

    If you have no work experience just focus around your hobbies and school acheivements.

    eternalbl on
    eternalbl.png
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Go work in a fast food store.

    I have never seen them not hiring.

    Blake T on
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    lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If you maybe have a summer or top before finishing high school perhaps try to be a stonemason, carpenter, etc apprentice? I know that my cousins were apprentice/lackeys for a stone mason near them for summers and major holiday breaks. While not the greatest job in the world it gets you outside, makes you money, conditions you a bit, and some of it might even be useful down the road. I know around where I am from there are some websites setup for official apprenticeships with the unions, but perhaps you could look to whatever you have near you as my cousins did?

    Additionally, are there any of the following near where you live or in striking distance:
    golf club, farm, state parks that would need trail maintenance (SCA or the like), people with families full of little dudes who want a male babysitter as opposed to a female babysitter, public library (maybe be a page or tech support)

    lifeincognito on
    losers weepers. jawas keepers.
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    yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I suppose more what I'm looking for are the alternative methods, the stuff I can just start DOING. Already throwing applications into places to try and get hired(or at least asking if they're hiring, which most places I've checked aren't), but my need for cash and goods doesn't go on pause when I don't have a source for the stuff.

    EDIT: lifeincognito, the only thing local off that list is a public library. I've checked their website, though, and most stuff requires me to be 18 or is unpaid volunteer work. And checked the ones that're not quite as local but still pretty local, too.

    yalborap on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Do hosted blogger accounts let you put advertising up? Google ads, amazon referral ads etc.?

    Maybe also see if there are online services to allow you to sell prints of your photography and promote them through your blog.

    And then finally, start submitting photography to places like istockphoto.com (have a good read of their advice, try to fill niches that aren't well supported etc.)

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend these as a sole source of income if you needed enough money to support yourself, unless you were really going to go for it and, for example, climb the ladder to being a commissioned photographer for getty images, but I guess as pocket money you could probably do worse. They're hit or miss suggestions mind, a part time job in a fast food restaurant guarantees a certain income but ad syndication, stock photography etc. depend very much on whether people want what you've got to sell them.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fast food restaurants and grocery stores are a good place to start.

    Also washing dishes/busing tables at other restaurants.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Practically every Office Depot and Staples (and I go to quite a few for my job) I've been to has been hiring for weekend/nighttime cashiers. So, while it may not bee true in your area, it doesn't hurt to check.

    As for non-traditional methods: eBay or other similar sites are always a good option if you have extra/old things you no longer want anymore. My brother made a killing selling old collectible Barbies my grandmother no longer wanted.

    Invisible on
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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Caddy.

    Seriously, as in carry golf clubs while rich people play golf. If you can lift 50 lbs. and walk reasonably fast, you can do it. I did this every summer from when I was 12 years old until I was 18 and I made about $10/hour towards the end. They usually make you go to training every day for a week or so, and then you start making money. You're probably thinking "oh god I hate spoiled country club people" but that is not what it's like most of the time. Some guys are old and mean but the vast majority are just normal people who happen to be really successful and make lots of money. It's not a bad idea to spend some time around those kinds of people.

    The best parts: You are outside the whole time, you only go to work if you feel like it as there are no shifts, and you get paid cash every day you work. Find a country club that has caddies and see about getting in to caddy school.

    Smurph on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Six wrote: »
    Fast food restaurants and grocery stores are a good place to start.

    Also washing dishes/busing tables at other restaurants.

    Don't forget about the servers/dishwashers needed in Retirement Homes.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    - Fast Food places are always, always hiring. Ask for a resume and fill it out. You'll increase your odds if you're willing to work odd hours.

    - Walmart/Target/Grocery stores are also high volume employers. Remember, you might be a stockboy, but you'll be a paid stockboy, which is a step up from your current position.

    - If you have any mechanical aptitude, I would recommend inquiring at local quickie oil change establishments. I have fond memories of being a grease monkey for a summer in high school, not the least of which was I made a sweet $8.75/hour (hey, in 1995, that was a lot of cash). They also have a high turnover rate, so they always need fresh bodies.

    - Golf courses not only need caddys, but they need maintenance people as well. Again, they'll ask you to work early mornings, but you'll be making decent money outside.

    - If you live near a major metropolitan area, check the big offices in case they need a mailboy or office gopher for the summer. You'd be surprised how many companies are willing to hire someone to come in the afternoons and shuffle paper.

    - Male babysitters are in surprisingly high demand. As long as you're not a convict, non-threatening looking and can handle kids, you should be able to find work.

    Overall, persistence is the key. You can't get discouraged if you get turned down the first few times.

    CoJoeTheLawyer on

    CoJoe.png
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    Folken FanelFolken Fanel anime af When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Grocery store.

    Folken Fanel on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    yalborap wrote: »
    ...but my need for cash and goods doesn't go on pause when I don't have a source for the stuff.

    Well, stop that.

    I'm not trying to be a dick, but it reads like you're accepting that you can't find anything because everyone is saying the world is going to end economically, and are just going through the motions of finding a job, not really wanting to get a job but trying to say "yeah the economy is shit, can't get a job." Some of that may be you being a teenager, but man up.

    TexiKen on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You might also look into tutoring. Right now, a lot of people aren't hiring, but you're not looking to make a ton of cash, so if you offer them a much lower than the going rate, you might find people who want to hire you. The same goes for babysitting and other odd job people are willing to pay for. I would suggest holding on to at least $10 for the bus to make sure that you have a way to get to a given job that should more than pay for the bus fare.

    Also, if you get involved in some of the volunteer groups, sometimes people will know of other jobs you can do. Granted, this will take up time and some of your resources for travel to the volunteer events, but it's another lead you can follow.

    The other items you listed like making things and doing photography actually have upfront costs associated with them which it doesn't sound like you have money for. I know that you want to start "doing" right away, but that's not the way it works when you're starting out with no money. You have to find work that people actually want to pay you for first.

    witch_ie on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Freelance tech support, if you know how to maintain computers, remove spyware infections and perform simple upgrades.

    Chores and errands for local elderly people.

    Dog-walker

    CelestialBadger on
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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Send out 20+ applications a week. It may take awhile, but you'll eventually get hits. Jobs are out there, but it take a long time to actually find something in most fields. Have patience and send out amazing numbers of applications.

    The Crowing One on
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Since it's March, there might be openings to help out at your local HR Block or other tax filing agency to pick up some extra cash?

    Hypatia on
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    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Movie theatres usually have high turnover rates, so you might find a job at a nearby theatre.

    oldsak on
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    ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Blaket wrote: »
    Go work in a fast food store.

    I have never seen them not hiring.

    Alternatively, gas stations (24 hour ones are even better). I was the only steady graveyard shifter for 6+ months, the turnover was insane.

    Edit: Just re-read and saw you're 17, so this is out. Nevermind.

    Arrath on
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    AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Freelance tech support, if you know how to maintain computers, remove spyware infections and perform simple upgrades.




    This. I did this for nearly 2 years while going to school and it can be pretty lucrative. Use local papers that provide free or extremely cheap ad space in their classifieds. The best jobs were teaching elderly people how to email, burn cd's and browse/search the web, it usually lasted a while ($$) and it felt good to get people using technology that wasn't even dreamed of when they were born.

    Aridhol on
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