Archive for Make Money

Oct
24

Who Do You Know?

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It’s the middle of October, and a cold snap is due to hit next week.  I’m going to have to turn the furnace on, and it needs to be serviced.  I read the other day that 1/100 of an inch of dust on the motor can reduce the efficiency quite a bit.  I have no doubt there’s enough dust on the motor that a cleaning is needed!  The furnace is getting up there in age, too, and it really needs to be checked for carbon monoxide.

The price of a regular seasonal furnace check from any of the licensed companies in the city is approx. $150.  I was able to find a few coupons, which would bring the cost down to about $100.  If I want to bundle services and buy a package deal for both summer and winter check-ups, the cost is around $200.

I’m going to spend $50 to service the furnace – because I know Jerry..

Side Work Is Lucrative

In April, my husband lost his job. I had an appointment scheduled the very next week for an AC check-up, and I’d scheduled the package deal for $200.  When I made the appointment weeks before, the package deal made sense – buy summer and winter and get a discount!  Of course, I took the package deal!  Because of the job loss, however, I was reluctant to spend that kind of money – even with an emergency fund available.

The next day, during a trip to the mailbox, I ran into my next-door neighbor.  I asked him if he knew anyone that did home AC servicing, and did they do side work?  Bingo!  He did know someone – a young man who worked for a heating and cooling company in the city, and had serviced my neighbor’s appliances for the last couple of years.

I made a call to Jerry, who came out that weekend.  While chatting with Jerry, I found out he was in his early 20’s, had a 3 year old daughter, and had been doing appliance service work in the 3 years since he’d graduated from Vo-Tech school.  He worked for a family-owned small business that had been in the business for 30 years.  Jerry played hockey on the weekends, and serviced all the rental homes of a couple of real estate agents in town – and one of those I happened to know.  When Jerry was finished servicing the unit, he gave me a written report about the unit and its performance – and a bill for $50.

In July, on the hottest day of the year, the house woke up to a broken AC unit.  I called Jerry that morning, and at 8 PM, after he had finished his work schedule for the day, he came by and fixed the unit.  A capacitor had burnt out and needed replaced.  Total cost:  $75.  This fix normally would have been a $150 repair.

If you know the right people, or know the people who know the right people, you can save money on just about anything.  Auto mechanic, auto body repairman,  heating and cooling, hair dresser, roofer, concrete finisher, brick layer, teacher, carpenter – these are the occupations of people that I personally know that work a regular 8-5 job, but will also do side work.

Ask around, you never know who your friends know!  Not only can you save money, but the person doing the side work also profits.  Depending on the job, a lot of money can be made by doing side work.

Side Work to Self-employment

If you have dreams of owning your own business, or simply going out on your own and away from any employer, you can use side work to build up a clientele.  Once you’re got enough money coming in that you can replace your employee income, jump out into your dream.  (Beware of any contracts you signed for your current employer:  non-compete, exclusivity, etc)

 

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A few months ago, my close friend Georgene sent me a link to a blog post and told me the story of how the young site owner had quit her job to blog full time – and was making a LOT of money doing it. Being a writer myself, I was instantly hooked by the story and went to take a look. I left the corporate work force a few years ago to write full time. Fast forward almost two years, and I find myself all over the place instead of on the New York Times Best Seller List, and not nearly as successful as I had planned on being – too many ideas, not enough time in my days.

I took a look at Crystal’s blog “Budgeting In The Fun Stuff” and told myself that I had planned for over two years to get a blog out there on taxes, money, and all things related. If a young woman could do it and make enough money to build a new house, I should be able to do it, too – after all, I didn’t need a new house, I only needed a new car! I moved my “money/taxes site” up a few slots on my business to-do list, resolving to get on the ball and get the blog out there. Sometime tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. Sometime soon.

A few weeks ago, a headline on Crystal’s blog happened to catch my eye:  “How I Make Money eBook is FINALLY LAUNCHED!!!” Since I also write eBooks and I’ve been the eBook launch coordinator for an award winning writer and Grammy winning song writer, I read with interest Crystal’s ebook sales page.

Crystal mentioned that she was looking for someone to volunteer to test out her ebook, follow the steps she had created in building up her blog to replace her income – and see if the process could be duplicated. I sent her an email and very quickly found myself included in a small group of bloggers that will be testing the “BFS Process” and chronicling the journey. I figured what better way to get my blog idea out of my head and onto a page – be responsible to someone else, seek to prove Crystal’s ebook steps were do-able – and just do it. Instead of “sometime soon”, I found myself building a blog NOW!

I’ve got a solid background in small business, taxes, tax prep, bookkeeping, business consulting, and more. Money and finance is an excellent niche to chronicle what my decades long experience has been, and I look forward to talking to you about it. I’ve also got a lot of things going on with myself and my own finances that I’ll be writing about. This old house needs repair, student loan debt needs to be repaid, existing retirement plans need to be liquidated and moved, new retirement accounts set up and funded. My emergency fund was recently depleted over the last few months due to my husband’s job loss – he spent 13 years with the same company and was laid off on Good Friday without a word of warning or inkling the company was making any changes. I need to buy a new car, and soon – can I do it with cash? I haven’t had a car payment for years, and I’d like to keep it that way. The central air unit quit this week. It was repairable, but it was new 22 years ago – can I replace that without resorting to a perennial garage sale? (I think my village might frown on that, in this neighborhood!)

There is a lot to talk about, and I’ll be telling you how I intend to do what needs to be done in my financial world. Will I make the right decisions? Will I do the right things at the right time? I’m looking at a few investment vehicles and am going to write about how I set up those accounts and how they pay off – will I make money or lose money? I used to trade the markets for a living – dare I jump into stock and commodity options or the Forex market again? Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on Facebook and find out!

Send me an email or drop a comment and tell me what you’d like to see and hear. Do you have any questions about your taxes? Do you own a small business and don’t understand what is expected of you as an employer? Looking for an accountant or tax professional and need to know what to look for? Let me know, and I’ll be glad to help!

Check back often, as I’ll be posting updates as I follow in Crystal’s footsteps, and I’ll be keeping track publicly of my blog’s stats, traffic, income, and more! Can I do the same thing Crystal did, and make six figures from this blog in a year? Will I be posting this time next year from a private beach? Tune in and find out! Sand checks will be coming regularly!

 

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