Ray: If times are hard for a pimp, then it must be extra hard for the ordinary working person. Money is tight these days and everyone is looking for ways to stretch their dollars. But as the great poet Sean Carter once said, “Whenever there’s a drought, get your umbrellas out because that’s when I brain storm.” By all means, use your own imagination to find ideas to make more money but here are some of mine…
1. Become A Security Guard – If you have the time, size, and the energy for it, then taking a part-time job as a security guard can be a great way to add some extra income. The hours are extremely flexible and the pay is fairly reasonable. You can find these jobs by performing a Google search for security companies in your area. Or, you can also approach local bars and night clubs and ask the manager if they are in need of security. You can expect to earn about $12-20 dollars an hour. If this is indeed something you want to do, you will also want to strongly consider getting a guard card to solidify your chances of getting work.
2. Vending Machines – For some reason, people love the idea of owning vending machines. First, you will want to buy new machines or machines that have been in use for a less than 2 years. Make sure that the machines are in great operating condition and that the prices can be easily adjusted. The typical vending machines are for Snacks, Beverages, or a combination of both. However, there are many other new types of machines coming out all the time. Plan to spend anywhere from $1,500-4,000 per machine.
Next, you will need to secure a location. In fact, you may even want to secure a location before you make the initial investment for the machines. Make sure that the location you choose has great traffic. Corporate offices, junk yards, school yards, the dentist office, etc. All these are great locations to set up shop. Avoid splitting any income with whoever hosts your machines. You are providing a service and they should be happy to have your machine there! Keeping your machines fully stocked will be the biggest challenge but if you’re in the right location with the right machines, you can easily add a few hundred dollars per month to your net income with a couple machines.
3. Become a TV/Movie Extra – This typically applies to people living in New York or Los Angeles where most filming takes place, but surprisingly there are many opportunities all over the US. Becoming an extra is fairly easy. Find an agency, pay a small association fee (maybe $60-100), and keep your cell phone on. When you do get called to make an appearance, show up on time! Taping can last from 4-12 hours so make sure that your schedule is open for filming. One more major thing to remember is NEVER talk to the stars unless they talk to you first! That’s the fastest way to end your Hollywood career. Extras usually earn about $60-200 per taping. Plus you get to tell everyone to watch the television really hard and look for the guy thats walking around in the background. But be careful. If you blink, you might miss your performance.
4. Become a Writer – If you have a talent for writing, you may want to consider using that talent to make a few extra dollars. Small and large businesses are looking for writers all the time. You can write for blogs, newspapers, magazines, scripts, grants, or even go as far as writing a book and publishing it yourself. For freelance writing, a great place to find gigs is at Craigslist.com or Elance.com. Depending on how well you write and who you write for, writing can be a very lucrative business. Some blogs earn writers more than $100,000 a year. And if you write the next Harry Potter, you can even become a Billionaire.
5. Buy and Hold Stocks -Out of all of these options, this is the only one geared towards a long-term perspective. Long-term investing is usually far better than short-term investing. With the economy in a down cycle, the rich man sees a great opportunity to buy stocks at bargain prices. Name your favorite company. Chances are, their stock price is much lower than is was 4 years ago. Now is a great time to buy stock in proven companies while their prices are relatively low. Plan to hold these stocks for at least 5 years. I strongly recommend that people begin their stock purchasing programs at Sharebuilder.com. I have used it for several years and it has helped me build a stock portfolio that will some day allow me to retire and move to Brazil to live my last days in the Amazon. But that’s another story for another time…