If you’ve ever been out of work and cash poor (or underpaid and cash poor), you’ve probably thought about how you could make some extra money. Kate Forgach at Coupon Sherpa has apparently given it a lot of thought, thanks to several years between jobs and a serious cash-flow problem.
Hence, Forgach’s list of 24 Ways to Make Money While Unemployed. A sampling: Start your own housecleaning business (as she did), give blood, walk dogs, and try a paper route.
Some of the ideas are kind of great. Others are (understandably) things you hope you’ll never have to do. But here’s the thing: When you need money, you need money. And really, if it takes a snow shoveling business on the side to scrape together enough green to buy dinner, then that’s what you do.
When I first started out in journalism, I made next to nothing, and I was living in expensive cities (Washington D.C., New York City). So I took on odd jobs like crazy. I scoured Craigslist for paid studies. I did research at the Library of Congress for a friend of a friend who was writing a book (and lived elsewhere). I interned for a local website and did freelance copy editing and fact checking for various local magazines. I transcribed hours of interviews, rewinding the tapes over and over again to try to determine what the subjects were mumbling.
In short, I did whatever it took. And if you really look around and ask people and get creative, there are always ways to make a few bucks on the side.
Two additional things:
Don’t forget about unemployment. If you lost a job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, which could make it possible for you to, say, keep paying your rent.
Try temp agencies. When I was trying to fill a gap between a job and the start of graduate school, I temped. When I was on school breaks, I temped. If you can word process and do some basic office tasks, there’s probably someone who can use your skills.
What kind of odd jobs have you taken to earn money?