Three months into my leave. (How did that happen!?) Short term disability exhausted. Vacation time spent. I am officially without an incoming paycheck. In fact, I have been for a couple weeks. For the first time ever in my adult life, there is no check in the mail with my name on it. No anticipated direct deposit. What an odd feeling. It really shouldn’t ‘feel’ any way. But it does have connotations. A little vertigo perhaps, due to a missing safety net.
Fear not! I saved for this! Money set aside that can seamlessly slide into the place of those missing checks. Whew! Except…Well, except I hate spending savings. Or anything remotely resembling savings. Anything residing in a savings like account. Under certain circumstances, I will just have to. It will be unavoidable. Those circumstances have not yet arrived. (Read: The Husband is gainfully employed. Cross your fingers, toes, eyes, double appendages, and knock on all things wood it remains that way.) In the meantime, I vow to protect those
savings, erm “that money”. I will strive to add to it. To not take it for granted. To respect it for what it represents: hard work, time, and a finite resource.
Without being employed, how does one do that?
Some of these methods, I’ve already mentioned. They are nothing new. My line drying revolution continues. Even with the advent of Seattle rains, I’ve expanded my indoor operation by “investing” in some additional square footage. This adds to the existing 40ft I’ve had in my basement for a couple years. They don’t smell as nice indoors. They take longer, but my little set-up can accommodate 1+ loads of laundry. Since I’ve got a bunch of time, I can handle one load a day, thereby avoiding the dryer entirely. Almost. It’s a fine laundry dance, but I consider it just that, an art form. A money-saving, cloth diapering, clothespin, efficiency art.
But, can I stop talking about clotheslines already?! Damp clothes don’t actually generate income, no matter how you dry them. Using my time is great, but actual money in? Even better.
Sell Your Stuff. In all the ways. If you want money, look around your house. I do this in fits and starts. In times of crisis (obvious income drop or loss), I go through a mass purge evaluating items and avenues for selling. Depending on what you’ve got, you may not net much. However, I’m a firm believer that cash is cash. So, I’ll take the $75 for those shoes that have been in my closet. Happily. Course I’ll also take $4 for the 2 books sitting in my purgatory cupboard for the last 6 months. This time around, I’m exploring other options on both the where and the what of selling. Amazon and Powell’s offer postage paid selling options for good books in good shape. I’m averaging about $2 a book for what they will buy. Shabby? None too. Not for Life of Pi (I couldn’t get into it) or The Night Circus (pretty, but not a multi-read for me). Especially, when I got these books used or with a gift card in the first place. As my baby gets bigger, I’m just entering the lucrative world of baby resale. So far, I’ve sold outgrown diaper covers to recoup more than 1/2 my cost. There’s a small stock pile of clothes and equipment that will also be sold – mostly via Craiglist. In addition, I am delving into parts unknown: The Husband’s garage. It needs cleaning and I have a strange feeling there’s money hidden in his rat’s nest of disorganization. Money Made: $129 cash (and counting). $9 in Amazon credit from book sales. But, can I sustain it?
Swagbucks. I am embarrassed to admit this. It seems awful. Contrary to my anti-consumer ways. And it certainly can be. You can spend money on a bunch of crap and expose yourself to advertising, for pennies. Literally, pennies! But, as with all small change, it adds up. I mindlessly browsed my way into $25 of Amazon bucks last month. Up in the middle of the night feeding a baby? Swagbucks! Waking up slowly with hot coffee and the computer after that interrupted sleep? Yes, Swagbucks. Keeping an eye on offers where you spend $1 and get $5 Amazon bucks? Oh alright, Swagbucks. Killing time while you are waiting on hold? Come on, Swagbucks. Refer friends, neighbors, and blog readers? That’s what all those links above do. I’ll get points for that too (please, thankyou). And those Amazon dollars come at a slightly better rate. 450 points to $5. As opposed to 500 for $5 for all other vendors. I’ve resisted the call of such sites for years. But, I’m broadening my horizons. $25 adds to my stash of big boy diapers. And it buys dog supplements. I try to minimize the damage. I multi-task. I stare out the window during commercial content. I keep the volume to a dull roar. There’s still a little part of my life being sold very, very cheaply.
Dogs FOR Dollars. No, the dogs are not getting that paper route. Yet. But, this space here, it could pull its weight a little more. The good news is it’ll get me writing. The medium news is I will answer to the swan song of paid blogging a little more. This blog has never made much in the way of actual money. Nor has that ever really been my intent. Something might be nice though. So, maybe not ads, (another yet) but more affiliate links. Some review posts. Much like the ones I’ve already done on applicable products. A tip jar may be coming to a blog near you. Those swagbucks links above. Any support thrown our way, I’ll take it. And appreciate it muchly. If you find the content here worthwhile, thought provoking, humorous, or you’d like to pay me to go away, consider using an affiliate link. It doesn’t have to be for the product linked. Anything in that shopping session, I’ll get a small chunk of. Or trying your hand at becoming a Swagbuckler, for no particular reason.
Little bits of money. Pieced together. I’ve heard it described as an income quilt. I’d accept a potholder at this juncture. As scary as the loss of my Corporate Sponsors is, I remind myself I’ve done this before. That wasn’t voluntary. It was a scramble. This time I’m out in front of it. Staring it down, with a cushy job to go back to (should I so choose) in a few months. But won’t it be interesting to see how well I can make this work?
How would you handle a loss of income? Practically? Emotionally? What are your go-to money-making tricks?