This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.
To kick off Women’s Money Week 2013, we’re talking about increasing income. I’ve had multiple gigs going on for most of my working life, and done a lot of odd jobs from waitressing at events to tutoring, mystery shopping and taking part in all kinds of market research. Here’s a sample of the highlights…
The weirdest way I’ve made extra money
I’ve done a few strange things in the name of market research. For the sake of cold hard cash, I’ve eaten KFC, sampled a range of margarines, and even had electrodes attached to my head. That took place in a downtown hotel conference room, where we all sat still for a couple of hours and watched a lot of Mr Bean, interspersed with a few ads, while they monitored our brain activity.
The easiest way I’ve made extra money
Running around putting up flyers on university campuses was probably the cruisiest thing I’ve ever done. And it paid pretty well at the time – something like $15 an hour plus mileage.
The most flexible way I’ve made extra money
It’s basically impossible to beat working from home for flexibility. For me, freelancing in spare time has been the most convenient way of increasing income.
The most efficient way I’ve made extra money
I’ve pulled back from mystery shopping as it just isn’t worth the time anymore, but back in the day one of the companies I worked for paid $10 per bus survey, and they were dead easy. I lived near a transport hub and could catch any number of buses between my house and town, and I had an unlimited bus pass. I’d catch different routes every day, earning a few bucks just for commuting, and when I had free time (lunchtime, or at the end of the day, or sometimes even on weekends) I’d just hop and off 3-4 buses an hour, going back and forth along key arterial routes.
The hardest way I’ve made extra money
In my last year of school, I worked for a local family doing babysitting/tutoring and homework help, 2 hours a week, 3-4 times a week. I was paid $15 cash for two hours (basically the equivalent of the minimum youth wage at the time. Thankfully, later on I progressed to proper grownup tutoring at $20-30 an hour). As with most people/service oriented gigs, it was incredibly hard graft, incredibly frustrating at times, but also incredibly gratifying when I actually got through to the kids.
The easiest AND hardest way I’ve made extra money
I can negotiate an ad deal or put together a sponsored post worth hundreds of dollars in under an hour. But it’s taken hundreds (maybe thousands? My sense of time ain’t so good) of hours to get this wee blog to the point where this is possible.