Methods of saving money and bringing in some extra cash are everywhere. Some of them work just as well as the person on YouTube, TikTok, or facebook claim they work. Others do not work at all. Then there are those that do work, just not as seamlessly or quickly as you might expect or hope.
Getting a part-time job
Internet money gurus like to talk tough by “breaking” it to people that if they really need extra money, they are just going to have to get a second job, something part-time to serve as supplemental income. This is sound advice. If you go out and apply for jobs, accept the first offer you get, show up to work and do your job, all other things being equal, you will indeed make some more money.
Finding and securing that part-time job just isn’t as quick and easy as online money gurus would have you believe. Even in late 2022, while businesses lament that “nobody wants to work,” jobs are still not there for the asking. You still have to apply, wait for somebody to offer you an interview, and then get hired on.
When you finally get that job, it still has to fit into the rest of your life. This is not a matter of being lazy or unmotivated. If you are caring for children, caring for disabled, sick, or elderly family members, working a full-time job already, working another part-time job, and/or working on your career in the arts, even the most hard-working, dedicated, and energetic person might push themselves to the point of exhaustion, or learn that other parts of their lives conflict with the part-time job.
Before we ever gathered around our computer screens to watch financial gurus on YouTube, we had reality tv shows like “Extreme Couponing.” This show featured people who were so skilled at finding, clipping, and using coupons, they could walk into a grocery store, purchase hundreds of dollars worth of food, cleaning products, personal hygiene products, and pet products, and only pay a few dollars. Some even managed to get free cosmetics, services, and other luxuries free, or at least very cheap, by carefully pursuing and planning their coupon centered shopping trips.
Coupons have always been a way to save money. Careful use of coupons can help you avoid common traps like buying something that is still more expensive than a similar item, just because you have a coupon, or making a purchase just to use a coupon.
Making a project out of couponing can save a significant amount of money in the short-term. It is entirely possible to plan a single week of grocery shopping, a clothes or cosmetics shopping spree, or a one-time household purchase around the coupons and other discounts available to you, and get your items for much less than full price. You may even be able to get a few things free.
But coupons are designed to promote the brand or the store that issues them, not as an act of service to the consumer. They are only going to save you a few dollars on a consistent basis, unless you’re willing to devote the hours of a full-time job to gathering coupons and carrying out meticulously planned shopping trips.
Signing up with a direct sales company
Avon was free to sign up to sell, but I devoted about seven and a half hours of my time to work that was intended to do nothing but promote my Avon sales. This work earned me two mini skincare sets worth $38 combined, a lip balm worth $2, enough perfume samples to equal a bottle worth $25, and a makeup bag that was a welcome bonus from my upline, priced at $17 on its company’s website. As of the writing of this article, I also have $22.50 available on my account.
Had I managed to secure one of those part-time side jobs, that same amount of time would have earned me $90. ($12/hour take home). This means I broke even, plus came out $14.50 ahead.
This is a nice, easy way to get some great products free. But it has taken four and a half months, and as of the time of this posting, I still don’t have all of the items I signed up to sell Avon to earn. Since all I want are two eyeliners, a mascara, two lipsticks, two lip glosses, and some more perfume, I am sure I will eventually get everything free. But unless the company offers a sign up kit containing exactly what you were going to buy anyway, people order from you right away, and the commission equals or exceeds what you paid to sign up, getting free stuff for selling does not happen quickly.
Getting a part-time second job, couponing, and signing yourself up to sell for a direct selling company may not get you fast money. You still have to put in time and effort in some way. But each of these money saving methods can work, if you approach them realistically, and make sure the money saving or generating method you choose fits in well with your career and the rest of your life.
by Jess Szabo originally published on Artist Cafe Utica www.artistcafeutica.com