Earning Extra Income to Finance Prepping

Posted on: March 21, 2016

[The following is an excerpt from Countdown to Preparedness.]

As you’ll no doubt realize, if you didn’t come to the conclusion already, prepping takes money. There’s just no real way around it. I mean, even if a family lives on a homestead, growing or raising all their own food, they had to somehow purchase that land, the seeds, and the livestock at the beginning.

Unfortunately, most of us weren’t to the manor born, nor raised in a household that included maids, chauffeurs, and gardeners. In fact, I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of you reading this book grew up and likely still live today paycheck to paycheck, making do with what you have or doing without. So, it is safe to say that coming up with extra funds for prepping is going to be difficult.

There are, however, several things you can do to bring in a bit of extra income that you can then devote to prepping.

If you have some talent or ability with the written word, there is a fair amount of money to be made through selling articles to magazines. While it certainly isn’t for the thin-skinned as rejections will likely be more common than paychecks, at least at first, freelance writing can be rather lucrative. Head down to your local library and pick up the most recent copy you can find of Writer’s Market. This is the bible for freelance writers. In it, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of magazines who are looking to purchase freelance articles. The information listed for each entry was, with few exceptions, provided directly by the editors of the publications. Each listing will include the topics they are looking to address as well as payment rates and submission guidelines. Be sure to take your research a step further and track down the relevant website for each publication of interest so you can access the most current information. While the pay ranges widely with freelance writing, rates of $1.00/word are not all that uncommon.

Those who possess green thumbs can make some extra money selling seeds, seedlings, perhaps even produce when in season. You could do this in one of two ways, either setting up a roadside stand near your home or renting a space at a local flea market. Whichever way you want to go, be sure to check with City Hall to ensure you won’t need any special permits or licenses.

Speaking of flea markets, if you are the crafty sort you could look into selling products you’ve made yourself. In my area, there are dozens of craft fairs and flea markets every year, mostly concentrated during the summer season. Just be sure to charge a fair price for your effort, charging too little is just as bad as charging too much.

If you have preteen or teenage children, put them to work mowing lawns in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter. The children should, of course, be entitled to at least half the money they earn. But, if they charge, say, $20.00 to shovel a driveway, and they can line up ten customers a snowfall, that’s still $100.00 into the prepping budget.

Newspaper delivery is still an option in many areas. While the work hours aren’t ideal (very early mornings), for some that might be a perfect solution.

If you have a particular skill with repairing things like small engines or electronics, ask your friends to spread the word. Doing good work for a fair price will give you a leg up on much of your competition.

As more and more homes and apartments are being vacated in the middle of the night by residents who can no longer afford the rent or mortgage, banks and landlords are often looking for people to clean up the properties. As a bonus, they will sometimes let you keep anything left behind as it is now considered abandoned. I know a couple of people who do steady business with this sort of work.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of finding a “real” part-time job. Fast food restaurants are almost always seeking new people. Retailers are also usually hiring. The hours may vary widely and preference is usually given to those employees who are available around the clock. But, in retail at least, you aren’t usually having to deal with loud machinery, filthy working conditions, or backbreaking hard labor.

With all that in mind, there are a few types of work I’d suggest avoiding, or at least not accepting without some very serious thought. Reading through the classified section of the newspaper will likely turn up any number of “work from home” advertisements. With very rare exception, these are scams of some sort or another. Many of them involve you needing to invest a certain amount of money into the program before you can earn anything, which is a big red flag. You’re looking to earn money, not find somewhere else to spend it.

Same thing goes with many of the various and sundry home sales businesses that are so popular. I’ll not list them all here but, suffice to say if the job entails you having a “party” to sell things, avoid signing up. Yes, there are many people who have made a ton of money with these businesses. They are the exception, not the rule. Many of these businesses are nothing more than legal pyramid schemes, where the only people making serious money are those making it off the backs of everyone beneath them.

I’m also very reluctant to suggest exploring child care as a means of bringing in extra money. First, many locales today require special licensing to have any sort of day care business. Second, if you are desperate enough to look at bringing in a troop of children into your home every day to make a couple extra bucks, odds are you’d be doing it already.

Few of us are independently wealthy and thus when it comes to prepping expenses, we are always looking for a way to bring in a few extra bucks. Hopefully one or more of the above will help you stretch that budget a bit.

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