Side Jobs for Extra Cash – Part the Second of the “What To Do After College” Series
I like to tell people that I’m one of the laziest people I know.
Of course, that comes with a caveat: I love to do work that I think is meaningful and purposeful, that brings people and stakeholders closer to their goals, and that gets me really good at using buzzwords. But I HATE doing menial tasks that are a waste of time and act as “busy work.” My hero is the software engineer that outsourced his entire job. Why not?! He took a risk in finding someone to do most of his on-the-job tasks, and it paid off!
You may find that you do after college may not be the most fulfilling activity you’ve done in your entire life. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that it won’t be. And what’s more, you might not even be paid “appropriately”. Of course, by millennial standards we’re talking at least six figures, company jet, with 10 weeks paid vacation with complementary models and bottles…
But on the off-chance that you don’t land your dream job at the ripe old age of 22, I’m going to take you through some ideas so you can go from
Side Jobs For Extra Cash
You’re probably sitting there thinking to yourself “Well golly Paul, if it were so easy to make money at home, then everyone would be doing it!” To which I would respond, “Shut up.” Yes, most of the ways to make money, especially at home, have been thought up. I’ll also remind you that Apple did not invent the computer. Am I telling you this to make me feel better about not naming a tech company after a common fruit? No. Am I telling you this because I’m secretly trying to take down the evil blood sucking corporate demon hound that is Apple, Inc.?
Yes No. I’m telling you this because lots of people who think about starting businesses think that it’s all about being first to market. And while sometimes that works, most of the time it does not. Go with something tried and true.
Fiverr® (and it’s equivalents)
Fiverr® is a wonderful website that allows you to sell your services, normally for five dollars. “But PAUUULLLL, people won’t buy my calligraphy services on Fiverr.” There are literally hundreds of thousands of people looking on Fiverr® for any range of things. Everything from translation services, programming services, writing, marketing, design, and sending authentic (well, as authentic as possible) Hogwarts letters. Everyone has at least some small skill or ability that they can sell at an online marketplace such as Fiverr®. The only thing holding you back is how creative you decide to be.
The other argument I can already hear from people is “But Paul, you promised me yachts and 4 McMansions, an engagement ring that weighs more than a grapefruit, and eternal happiness! How am I going to get all that only selling services at $5 a pop?!” And to be honest, this is what originally turned me off from Fiverr®. But here’s the thing: you can sell services for more than $5 dollars on Fiverr®. I know, it’s a little bassackwards, but let me explain. When you first list a skill, at least one version has to be for $5. But after that you can list a premium service for pretty much as much as you like. There are graphic designers on Fiverr® charging $200 a job. Could you use an extra $200?! Shut up, yes you could, don’t contradict me because you know I’m trying to make a point. Try it out, and see what you can make!
No, I’m not saying you should learn programming and try to build an app (though if you’re so inclined, go for it. I simply ain’t got the skillz). But there are a number of apps that you could use to help bring in some side money to help you get through your expenses.
Slidejoy – An Android app that pays every time you unlock your phone. Yes it’s more ads on your phone, but seriously, how many times do you check your phone a day? You can’t tell me that even 1 penny every single time you check your phone won’t help you. Probably the easiest side “job” for extra cash that you’ll ever find.
Ibotta – Not as simple as swiping, but with this app you’ll take pictures of your receipts, submit them through the app, then have cash deposited to a PayPal account. This does a couple of things. One, it gets you cash for doing something you pretty much already do (shop). I know most normal people won’t take pictures of their receipts, but it’s an easy way to get $100-$300 bucks in a year. Also, it forces you to have more than one engagement with your receipts, which will have you thinking about how you spend your cash just a little bit more. And that’s always highly encouraged. 🙂
Foap – Let’s feed into millennial narcissism in a way that Instagram couldn’t dream of! Instead of taking pictures of yourself/food/cat and posting it to get thousands of likes, now you can do the exact same thing but get paid for it! Seriously, why wouldn’t you try this out? If you’re the kind of person that likes to take photos anyway, then post them to Foap, and see what you can get for them! Again, the money from this side job is completely up to you!
Actually Selling A Product
Waayyyyy back when I was in college, studying diligently for one of my finance finals, I was reviewing a specific topic called arbitrage. Arbitrage, simply put, is buying something for cheap and selling it somewhere else where it’s more expensive. There are countless stories of risk taking young men and women who do exactly this, but with every sort of product you can imagine. Guns that shoot marshmallows, office supplies, yoga blocks, phone cases, protein powder: you name it, and someone has already bought it in from somewhere in Asia and is selling it here. Why not give it the same try? Once you’ve built a relationship with your supplier, you might even be able to negotiate drop shipping, where the supplier ships it directly to your customer as opposed to sending it to you first. Imagine, $10-$50 dollars per unit sold, and you don’t even have to see the damn things. I’ll be writing more on this later, but if you’re itching to get started, hop on Alibaba and see what sells for more on Amazon.
Simple as that, folks.
Side Jobs for Extra Cash
Outside Your Home (#gasp)
Everything listed above sounds great. Most of them are simple things you can do to pocket some side income. And while some of them may get you pretty wealthy pretty quick, you are not going to spend your days swiping your lock screen away (unless your right hand has an “inexplicable” amount of dexterity and endurance… gross). There are a number of things that you can do that will allow you to fill up your bank account faster, but you’ll have to step past your front door first.
Ask For More Money (no, seriously)
Millennials have it tough. We’re like a last-born child: nobody wants to have to deal with us, but we’re here and now the professional world has to deal. One of the ways we have it tough is our leverage when it comes to our first job. Basically, we have as much leverage to negotiate a salary as Taylor Swift has singing talent (shit, was that my out-loud typing voice?).
So here’s what you’ve got to do: you walk into your first job and you become the best “whatever little thing you are” that you can. Do you fetch the coffee? Then you bring back all different kinds of sweeteners, cream, and milk, label those coffees like a
boss intern, do a muthafuckin’ backflip through the lobby, and hand those coffees over like they’re the stones from “Temple of Doom”. Do you run a copier machine? Then you learn the guts of that machine. You take it out to dinner. You get to know its parents. You learn what kind of toner it likes, where to pick up the nice bottle of wine ink, what it’s favorite Ryan Gosling movie is, and how many times it’s seen “The Notebook”. You know that printer better than anyone and you make sure it runs like, well, a machine.
And then you DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT EVERY TIME YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE PROVIDED VALUE OVER AND ABOVE YOUR SALARY!
That way, when you sit down to negotiate a new salary in 6 months to a year, you’re not some needy, punk-ass millennial. You’re a backflipping, printer-loving newbie who can taste the difference between whole milk and half and half.
Get Another Job
Great financial advice, right? You want more money, get another job. But I bring this up because not everyone actually considers this. I mean, if you’re in any kind of sales job, maybe the money from a night job (not stripping) will be the difference between holding you out long enough to get that big sale and forcing you back to janitorial services at the airport. I know of lots of commercial real estate agents who made jack shit their first 18 months, and are only still in the business because of their second jobs they had to tie them over. Food service obviously comes to mind, but anywhere that operates on a 24 hour a day would most likely be hiring.
So yeah, to get more money, you might need to work more. #sorrynotsorry
On the other hand, I would propose doing something a little more entrepreneurial. You won’t just be adding bosses, you’ll be 100% responsible for making money, and if it takes off, you might find that you can replace all your income from your 9-5 (wouldn’t THAT be awesome). However, this could easily be a ten part series. Ideas that come to mind: Clean out the shit you don’t use and sell it on eBay, invest in real estate, start a part-time franchise, coupon then sell the items you buy, bake cupcakes, etc. You’ll have to be creative and see what comes of it. To give you an example, we used to have food prepared for us at work by a volunteer who was willing to do so. We all pitched in and the food was wonderful. However, one day she told us she couldn’t continue to come in and cook as she needed to spend some time at home repairing her house. I then stepped in, and started making simple sandwiches and wraps for people. I made a couple bucks off each sandwich, and things were honky dorey. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but the point I’m trying to make is you don’t have to be a Zuckerberg or a Gates to be entrepreneurial and make some easy cash.
Here’s the lesson for today, young crickets: Money is not just going to fall into your lap. Using apps to make some extra cash is not going to get you a lake house. It might allow you to pay off your loans a little faster, or invest a little sooner, which can make a big different later down the road. But the amount of extra cash you make now will help you a lot later down the road. it’s like that great saying my father used to tell me “Shut the fuck up and do what I tell you because I know better.” 😉 As always…
Keep trying to crack the code,