Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Making A Little Extra Money

If you’re a survivalist and/or prepper, you’re probably thinking that it would be nice to pick up a few extra bucks here and there. This would be helpful for buying some extra food, or taking care of a small bill or two.

There are lots of ways, both on the Internet and in the “real world,” to pick up some bucks. If you’re willing to put in a few hours of work before or after the day job, you can earn cash. One of my brothers did nothing but odd jobs for a while, when he was between carpentry gigs. He made enough to pay the few, small bills that he has, with some left over for other things.

As far as real-world work goes, my family and I have a variety of things to do. MB and YB have built up a very-good reputation in the community, beginning in our church, for working hard outdoors. People in our church, and friends of our fellow church members, often call my brothers to see if they’ll mow the lawn, tear down an old storage shed, or repair the house. My brothers have been doing this for years, and tend to enjoy most of the work.

Kid Sis cleans houses for people she knows. Right now, she has only one house, and cleans it once a week, so this isn’t the best-paying gig. However, she knows the family very well, and they like to give her extra food – like freshly-butchered deer meat – that they can’t eat before it spoils. They give her this in addition to the money.

I’m fairly adept with computers and, like my brothers, have a pretty-good reputation in our church for being able to make just about any system do what it’s supposed to do. Most of the time, the people who call me are having problems with slow systems. That’s easy to fix, more often than not, and it’s worth a little bit of money to the folks who would otherwise have to pay a professional to come out and take a look.

However, I like to work online, too, because my strongest skills involve writing and computers. I’m also a pretty-good researcher, with or without the Internet, so I like to put that to use. Do remember that many “work online” offers are either scams or not worth the time and effort, so do some research before you waste your energy. Some of my favorite online gigs include these sites. is a great place to sell freelance articles about almost anything. CC acts as the “go between,” connecting customers and buyers. For a small percentage of each article sold, CC handles a lot of the things that I don’t like doing, such as tracking down customers to get my money.

You can write “on spec” or use CC’s request system to find topics that specific customers would like you to write about. CC also handles videos, photographs, and illustrations, so artists might want to give this site a try.

One of my favorite things about CC, other than being able to set my own prices, is the quality control. The editor will reject crappy articles and other pieces because he does not want a low-rent, cruddy site. This is why CC customers are willing to pay us a bit more than they pay other folks for content – they know that they’re buying decent, if not good, work. is another writing site that I occasionally use. This site doesn’t let you set your own prices, and the quality standards aren’t really there, but it’s a quick and dirty way to try and rack up a little bit of money. I would not, by the way, expect to make very much cash at either of these writing sites, even if you produce lots of high-quality pieces on a regular basis.

Mahalo Answers isn’t a bad place to answer peoples’ stupid questions. A lot of the questions are mind-numbingly simple because idiots will ask things like, “What happened to this band I like so much?” Honestly, they could just use Google and get the exact-same information that I do when I go to answer their questions.

However, I get paid a little bit to answer these questions, so it’s not all bad. There are also some interesting, thoughtful questions here and there that require some serious research. (Fortunately, most of these pay more.)

If you’re familiar with Yahoo! Answers, then think of Mahalo Answers as the paid version of that site. They even have a “belt” system to rank you according to how many otherwise-meaningless points you’ve racked up. This isn’t a big deal – not to me, at least – but whatever.

Mahalo recently unveiled “page management.” Basically, they pay you a small sum to manage pages about, well, pretty much anything. I couldn’t possibly care less about this time-consuming task, so I’ll leave that to you all. I’ll just stick to answering questions.

None of the gigs that I just wrote about are perfect, and none will make you rich – not even when you put them all together. They are, however, great ways to fund some of your stockpiling efforts – and in my case, the online gigs pay for the monthly Internet access, which is a huge plus if you ask me.

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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George OrwellAnimal Farm