6 Ways to Increase the Prepping Budget

Posted on: June 10, 2014

There’s really no way around it, prepping costs money. Even those who rely upon a very minimalist approach still have to purchase a few things here and there. Those little things can add up quickly, too. In today’s economy, few of us have a ton of “fun money” sitting around. As a result, we sometimes find ourselves deciding between our current needs versus what we might need down the road if disaster strikes.

Here, then, are a few ways you can increase the prepping budget.

Buy low, sell high
If you have some skill with recognizing good deals at rummage sales and such, you can bring in a bit of money buying these items cheap and selling them yourself. You don’t even need to set up your own rummage sale, either, nor dink around with auction sites like ebay. There are a TON of groups on Facebook that are all about selling and buying used items, and all geographically based. Meaning, there is probably at least one, if not several, groups operating in your own local area. What is nice about this approach is you don’t have to pay for shipping and it is cash based, so no worries about someone reversing a charge later.

Of course, this also means you’ll need to spend some time locating the items to buy, as well as coming up with the funds to make the initial purchases. But, for many people, this is a fun hobby that also happens to bring in a few extra bucks.

All the news that’s fit to print
In many areas, newspaper delivery remains a way to earn a decent part-time income. Gone are the days, at least around here, where young boys toured the streets on their bikes, aiming for the front hedge. Instead, many delivery routes are done handled by adults and from cars or trucks. Not all, of course, as I do see a few people walking with wagons and such. In any event, it might be worth your time to inquire at local newspaper offices about available routes. Typically, the routes are either very early morning (daily newspapers) or late afternoon deals (weekly or biweekly papers).

Newspaper delivery might not pay a ton of money, likely maybe $100 a week depending on the number of houses on a route, but you’re also only working a few hours a day, with plenty of time to do other things later.

Turn skills into cash
I think all of us have at least one hobby or skill that could be profitable. Perhaps you are rather crafty and love to combine a hot glue gun and some glitter to make something no one has ever seen before. Maybe you really know your way around a sewing machine. Or you do your best work with your hands deep into a lawnmower engine. No matter what the hobby or skill is, I’d bet someone somewhere will pay you to do it.

I was at a flea market several years ago and saw the dumbest thing for sale. It was three or four pieces of landscape timber, cut to different lengths and screwed together. They had then wrapped sisal twine around the top and bottom, giving it something of an old pier piling look. They had bored a hole in the top of the longest timber and stuck in a solar landscape light. Then, they glued a plastic frog to one of the other timbers. All told, they’d spent maybe $6 on materials and it probably took them 15-20 minutes to assemble each one. People were lining up to buy these damn things at $35 each!

Earn other people’s security deposits
If you know any landlords in your area, talk to them about doing the cleaning and painting between tenants. Sure, occasionally a renter will leave a place just absolutely filthy upon leaving but quite often it is just a matter of shampooing the carpets and painting the walls. If you can do it even a little cheaper than the competition, you’ll likely get the gig.

Some landlords may also be agreeable to allowing you to take possession of abandoned property, the junk the former tenants leave behind. While most of it will just be trash, occasionally you may find stuff worth keeping or perhaps selling online.

Write your own checks
As more and more people start their own websites and blogs, several different services have cropped up where you can get paid to write content for sites. Textbroker is merely one example of how this works. (Note, this is NOT an endorsement for Textbroker, I’m merely using them for illustration purposes. I’ve not worked with them personally so can’t speak to how well they treat writers.) Basically, you sign up and submit one or two pieces of writing so they can gauge your skill level. Once approved, you can peruse what amount to classified ads seeking content. You pick and choose the subjects with which you are familiar or are interested in. Meet the deadline, word count, and other criteria specified and get paid.

Now, most services like that pay what amounts to a pittance. On average, you’ll probably only make about five bucks per article. But, the articles are usually pretty short (~400 words or so) and if you’re a fast (and competent) writer, you can likely produce five or six articles in a couple of hours.

Many traditional magazines still pay a decent rate, too. Head to your local library and find a recent copy of Writer’s Market. Look up your own favorite magazines and see if they accept freelance material. Or, just do a Google search for “[magazine name] submission guidelines.” If they do accept freelance submissions, follow the instructions TO THE LETTER. You’ll need a thick skin as the vast majority of submissions to any given publication are rejected for one of many different reasons. But, if you enjoy writing and have some degree of skill with doing so, this can lead to a pretty decent part-time income.

Reduce your overall expenses.
Yes, this sounds like common sense and you likely already know this, at least in theory. But, it is important enough to be worth mentioning. Every dollar you save somewhere else can be put towards prepping. If you can go without the $5 latte a couple times a week, that could add up to $40 or more at the end of the month. If clipping coupons saves you $12 on the grocery bill this week, put that into the prepping savings account. You may be surprised just how fast the nickels and dimes add up.

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