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Inflation Nation Series: Making Money Part 2

In a previous post we spent some time considering different ways to make extra money, including investing (which is trendy), finding residual income sources (similar to finding pirate's treasure), side gigs (fun but still takes up your time), and skills (but you have to have a talent). These are great ways to look at making extra, but there are people out there that have a main job, their own business, and a side gig altogether and they're a jack of all trades and a master of none. Customers, clients, employers will notice if you're stretched so thin that you can't deliver. Investing isn't an immediate fix. Residual income is a creative venture all on its own. And skills still require time and dealing with people who may not value what you have to offer. Looking at all of these pros and cons of each area of making extra money, you may have found something that is more up your alley than others or you may have walked away still feeling confused on what you should do. If that's the case, you're not alone, because this author felt the same. That's why we're doing a part 2, to really dive deep into what actually works or what would most likely work for you.


As the title of this section suggests, if you could manage to work a temporary side gig for a period of time and then take a break after you're starting to get exhausted, then doing side gigs on a periodic basis could be good. If you really need even more flexibility than that, consider focusing on one thing per season. For example, if you can make homemade items like soaps, oils, gift baskets, desserts, then choose a time of year this works for you. Some people will make pies en masse and sell them during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. You could get some extra cash and just be done by January. Or, you could get into making mums during Homecoming if you're particularly crafty. You could grab a generic side gig and decide to work it a month and take a month off for balance. Whatever your preference, craft or skill, instead of feeling like you have to commit every weekend or evening to some kind of work, go ahead and just choose a time frame that you can dedicate to working with the knowledge that it's not forever and you'll give yourself a significant break. This will give you a chance to take a breather and decide when you want to pick it up again. For this style of bringing in extra money, side gigs with flexibility on your schedule (work when you want, don't work when you don't want) like Uber, DoorDash, or sticking with a seasonal craft would be more beneficial by giving you balance as well as extra money.


Let's face it, residual income would work the best for this situation but that will still take time to find. While waiting for your cash cow, you could consider taking up work that allows you to maintain your schedule along side the extra work. Example? If you're up for housesitting for people who go on vacation, all you have to do is live your life in someone else's house. They'll certainly have tasks and chores that need to be done, but if you get paid for just existing in a different space, you can still go to your regular day job and make money for just being somewhere else besides home. Along these lines, babysitting though more involved could offer you extra money while multitasking regular life at home--it's a bonus if the kids could be dropped off to you. Pet sitting also falls in line with this method. Do these options not quite fit with your lifestyle? You may have to put up a lot of front end work to reap the benefits of better options, such as developing a website to generate income or a podcast or youtube channel. But take heart, if you're focusing your content on stuff that matters to you, then it becomes less like work and more like a hobby. Already have money you can put up for residual income? You can buy an already built website on Flippa and cut out all the front end work. Not into websites? Why not invest in owning vending machines? Or other franchise options? Check out Franchise Direct to see if there's an opportunity matching the start up cash you have on hand. The site also gives you good tips on how to start up, what to prepare for, and how to watch for scams. In any case, when it comes to easy money, you can see you're either going to have to commit some time, or money, to get where you're floating along.


You just want reliable cash. Stick with the traditional side gig route, and leave all that investing up to your employer's retirement plan (if you have one). While trading and investing is all the rage since people were banking on Covid to crash the market and watch it rise back up, nothing says you have to hop on board. Starting a franchise or your own business probably isn't for you either, unless you're okay with developing and building it at a very slow pace that secures that upward progress.


A hard balance to strike is earning money and spending time with family. Side gigs, start up companies, even building websites or starting a franchise are all extra-income-makers that still take time away from that family you care about. So it's understandable to hesitate at the idea of any of these options. The best option would be to incorporate a money making scheme that also constituted as quality time with the family. Creating arts and crafts to sell in real life or online or getting involved with selling pies/desserts locally to your community are all activities that not only can make some good money if you have some skills, but also makes family time about making memories and and accomplishing goals together.

Hopefully thinking about these pieces helps give you more direction on how you can gain income but not burn yourself out or waste time on something that's just not worth it to you. Don't forget to stop by the forum and share your own money making ideas!

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