How do I make money??

I played trivia with friends last night. Bought a $2 Lone Star, tipped a buck, then our team won and my share was $4.  So, essentially, I made $1 last night.  So now who's a bad ass?  

This is a question I pretty much have on my mind 24/7.  It's difficult to figure out the exact equation for job:loss ratio.  I mean, at what point is a $10/hour job worth it?  Should I get "just anything"?  When I was nannying for friends a few months go they paid me $12/hour, but I doubled my gas bill and was literally so exhausted at the end of the day I could barely sit upright let alone look for work.  I know it sounds so simple to so many, "Well, just do it.  You have no choice."  But really, I did the best I could and it involved not having so much left over to look for real work.

So, how destitute do I have to be before that $10 seems adequate and worth the time/energy loss?  I haven't figured that out yet, but I'm hustling other ideas.  I'm going to open an Etsy shop once I've built up a library of things to sell.  My parents want to give me a commission for selling some of their shit on Craigslist.  Rooster will give me 100% of the profits if I can move an old armoire out of his garage so long has he has no involvement in it.  I'm going to sell my old car.  And my sister -- the loving, sweet, big little sister that she is -- has been sending me a few hundred dollars a month that helps me just barely stay in the black.

I've considered moving apartments, but then I'd probably be further from the city and Hawk's amazing school if I wanted to keep the level of comfort I have.  Should I sell my car in order to save about $50/month in gas?  It's paid off.  Does that make sense?  I don't have cable and so I watch Hulu and the Instant stuff off Netflix which is $9/month.  Rooster suggested I get rid of my iPhone, but it's only $85/month and I need a cell phone regardless.  Does that make sense?  I basically don't eat on the weeks Hawk isn't here, so I save money on food.  When I go out and have to buy my own drink, I get $2 Lone Star, because yeah, having a life and socializing is imperative for my happiness.

I think I'm missing something, though.  I try and pretend that I receive NO income whatsoever and think about what I would do differently.  But honestly, my brain can come up with no answers.  I'm worried I'm secretly a loser (yeah, yeah, yeah, this post was me on a good day).  Lazy.  Good for nothing.  A colossal piece of shit.  Shouldn't I be doing something work-related right this second, for instance??

June has been a really great month for job opportunities, though.  I've applied to half a dozen jobs this month alone!  Compare that with half a dozen since March since I have limitations on the jobs I can apply to: I'm not flexible with hours and shifts I can work and I don't speak Spanish (ohhh, how I wish I did!), and for the last 3 months most available jobs were weird shifts and required a language I don't know.  However, I start volunteering at a reputable agency here in Austin soon and I found a supervisor I highly esteem.  Things aren't all bad.  (You see this circular internal commentary?  You suck --> you're trying --> try harder --> you still suck.)

Friends and family are always telling me I should get paid for my writing so I did some research on freelance stuff.  Ohmyfuckinggodareyouserious??  Pages and pages of bullshit.  Cents per copy.  Business relationships.  Contracts.  Legal issues.  Casting a wide net.  It's who you know.  It's a full-time job.  Blahblahblah.  Can you say overwhelmed??  Maybe I should have taken up all those advertisers looking for space on my blog. Anyone want a Better Homes and Garden link up?  A post-swap?  Maybe Kraft dinners?  I'm into it now!!  Please come back!

In a post-Bush economy, where do the over-educated and slightly-behind-the-eight-ball folks go for cash??  Please.  I'd really like to know.  I need help!


  1. Well, it will be interesting to see what kind of suggestions you get. And, God love 'em but don't you sometimes want to pull your hair out when friends and relatives suggest things like 'be a writer'? Cause let's be honest, you're very sharp and I'm pretty sure you'd have hooked that up by now if it was at all attainable.

    From a complete outsider's perspective, something make something makes me think you were a nanny at $10/hour for people you already knew as friends maybe? That's a good rate INMHO.

    Re-rate at a day rate and advertise in any free online or print rag you can find. Maybe mention high end eye candy for dads, maybe not.

    On the bi-lingual frustration, I took a total of 4 years of Espanol in H.S. and College and all I can do is ask where the library is. Why don't we teach Americans to be fluent illiterates first and worry about reading and writing later or never? I know I should be able to conjugate "I don't work" in Spanish, but I can't even do that.

    Finally, what about small, under the radar and word of mouth, unlicensed home day care? I'm sorry, I am probably more of a hinderance than a help. ;)


  2. I'm going through a similar search. Home with a masters in teaching and a BA in English. Enough time starting this fall to do work, not enough time to be flexible.

    Thought about Leapforce. $13.50 starting with completely flexible hours (quantity and timing). Haven't decided. Also looked at some of the content mills but they seem a little (lot) exploitative if you actually have any skills...

  3. I think if you are starting off in a new career field that you do not have much work experience in, you have to look at the value that getting experience brings. Money is only part of the equation. Sometimes in order to grow, you have to take what may feel like a step backwards at the time; but while money is one part of it, it's not the total picture. In this economy, you'll have to find ways to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Truth be told, an over-educated or intellectual person without much experience in their career field may simply scare employers. They may not see you as someone who will stick around long. My advice would be to find something where the dollars don't put you in the negative that brings you value in other areas as well. Get in the door somewhere and start building up that experience. From there you can figure out what works or doesn't work for your life. Just be in action and let things fall into place without overthinking things too much. :)

  4. Freelance writing (for magazines and papers)is a lot of work for non-guaranteed income - until you have a regular stint and an editor who gets you and wants more.

    Just a reflection, for someone who has just lived without a cell phone for the past because I've lost it - they are NOT essential, i-phones doubly so, and $85/month is a HUGE amount of money...

    Best of luck

  5. I have spent these past six weeks looking for a job after resigning late last year to work on/finish my house. Jobs that seem to be a 'slam-dunk' for me I don't even hear a peep from. I have heard it is tough to get a job and am seeing that. I just accepted a temporary summer job... which I have not had in 21 years. You sound like you are doing all the right things, keep your chin up! Volunteering in your field sounds like the way to go, good luck.