I need a second job to bring me $1k a month - suggestions?
June 29, 2010 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I've shaved all unnecessary expenses to a bare minimum and am coming up short $1000 a month on my bills - which includes a mortgage. My savings is dwindling fast. I work full-time with a one-hour commute to/from Manhattan and am raising a two year old who attends day care. I'm organized and a fast typist. I love to search the internet. Any suggestions out there on what I can do to bring in another 1k? i know...this is a bit far fetched but I'd appreciate any leads. I'm quite desperate at this point... TIA
posted by peasncarrots to Work & Money (22 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Some ideas:

+ If you're up for a review at your job soon, ask for a raise.
+ Rent out a room in your place.
+ Move to somewhere with cheaper rent.
+ Babysit in the evenings/weekends.

If there were jobs where people could make 1,000 a month from home just by working in the evenings or in their spare time, everyone (me included!) would be doing that already.
posted by too bad you're not me at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Amazon's Mechanical Turk?
posted by Master Gunner at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2010

Sounds like you really need to move. Find a smaller/cheaper place. Get something closer to work because that commute is likely costing you a fortune in fuel. If you absolutely can't move, look into alternative commuting options, like carpooling. There's probably a vanpool you could chip into, if none of your coworkers live in the same area as you.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Are the grandparents around enough/willing to watch the kid for you to take a second job? My mom did roughly 80 hr weeks when I was growing up, but she definitely wouldn't have been able to do so without my grandparents' help.
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2010

Start a babysitting group with neighbors who have different schedules, that way you can all save the daycare costs.
posted by Vaike at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2010

If she's commuting to Manhattan, I'd say she's using public transportation, TWPL. If she's commuting for an hour, I'd also reckon she's living in one of the cheaper areas of NYC.
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM on June 29, 2010

Wait. Never mind, just read the profile. You're in Nassau and Parker's right. I'd suggest you rent out the place where you are now (or sell, assuming you can sell a place that's still mortgaged. I know jack about real estate) and move to the boroughs. You'd be able to get around without a car -- or use ZipCar if you really need to get groceries around or something -- and if the rent you're getting for your Nassau place equals the mortgage, you'd save by getting a cheaper place in NYC.
posted by griphus at 10:54 AM on June 29, 2010

$1000 a month a lot for a couple of hours a week from home.

Instead of thinking/looking for a job I would look for small projects. Scour Craigslist, Elance and the like. I've found that people always have some type of project going on where they'll spend a few hundred for your expertise or labor.
posted by chartreuse at 10:54 AM on June 29, 2010

Can you sell your house? Do you have a partner that helps with child support or providing half an income?
posted by anniecat at 11:35 AM on June 29, 2010

I know this doesn't answer your exact question, but here are some ideas you may not have considered:

- Cancel your cell phone, or cut back to the absolute lowest number of minutes you can spare. (I understand that, with a 2 year old, you probably do want to keep a cell phone for emergencies.)
- Cancel all TV service. This can get you another $80-100+ a month, depending on what you have.
- Cancel home phone service, if you have it and if you're keeping your cell phone.

As far as earning extra money, a few ideas:
- Sell anything you don't need - old DVDs, CDs, clothes, kitchen appliances, etc. Heck, sell your TV and excess furniture if it's either that or you foreclose on your mortage.
- Nthing rent out a room in your house.

$1000 is a LOT of money to make "on the side" each month without actually taking on a second job. You could easily make this waiting tables or taking a job at night, but I assume you would then have additional child care expenses that may eat up your earnings.
posted by pecanpies at 11:35 AM on June 29, 2010

You're probably not going to find a job, but you can find more stuff to shave.

Sell stuff, anything, that you own. Furniture you hardly ever use? The TV, etc. Sell it.

Unplug anything in your house that doesn't have to be plugged in and you should see a reduction in electric by about $10.

Do you think that your boss would let you work from home one day a week to alleviate 1/5 of the daycare cost?

Can you put your daycare on a payment plan or pay with a credit card? Can you switch to a cheaper day care, like a grandma or neighbor that you trust?

Do you have cable? That's not a requirement, so cut it if you do.

Can you have beans and rice twice a week in lieu of more fancy food? It's nutritious and filling.

If you have a car, raise your insurance deductibles.

Good luck!
posted by curiositykilledthelemur at 11:37 AM on June 29, 2010

You have two days free each weekend, which is prime time for other parents needing child care.
It''s especially difficult to find qualified, trustworthy adults to stay in your home and mind kids while parents go away for the weekend.
I have easily paid 500 dollars for a reliable caretaker for my kids/house/pets when I've been away for two days and I never minded if they brought their own child with them.
Do that twice a month, and you're good.
posted by mmf at 11:45 AM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Could you quit your job and start a day home? If you could bring in the same amount as your salary, then your savings on daycare for your child and savings on your commute might add up to that extra $1000 you need.

If your job gives you health benefits, however, you may not want to do this.
posted by kitcat at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2010

Another idea, if you also have credit card debt, call and ask if they can reduce the interest rate. Usually you can shave at least a point off, which in turn affects your minimum payment due.

I agree with finding projects vs. jobs. In times of unemployment I was often able to find a project that helped me through a couple of months.

If you feel you must have a car, sell your current car and buy a less expensive one. This will also bring your car insurance down.

Rice & beans ++
posted by mikepop at 12:38 PM on June 29, 2010

How are you commuting? If by train and you have a laptop find some sort of straight-up typing gig and that's two hours of work per day right there. Even if you can only earn the equivalent of $5/hour, that's still a couple hundred dollars. Since you are a fast typist, maybe you can earn more.
posted by mikepop at 12:43 PM on June 29, 2010

Check out KGB (a service where you answer people's text messaged questions). It's not going to get you a thousand dollars a month, but you could potentially earn at least a couple of hundred if you devote a lot of time to it (which you could do in part while commuting if you use public transit).
posted by GnomeChompsky at 12:50 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another idea, if you also have credit card debt, call and ask if they can reduce the interest rate. Usually you can shave at least a point off, which in turn affects your minimum payment due.

This can have unpleasant side effects. Many credit card companies will cut your credit limit if you make inquiries like these.
posted by elizardbits at 1:24 PM on June 29, 2010

You're going to need a fairly long-term solution, right? $250/week is a lot to bring in. Depending on your bartending skills and the competition to work at local restaurants, that's anywhere from one to five nights a week as a bartender or waitstaff. You could probably keep that up for awhile, but it'll get exhausting (speaking from personal experience). Projects and sporadic gigs will likely be worse, as you'll have to stay motivated to hunt for new clients. To me, the most sustainable option is to rent out a room, or rent out your entire place and move to a rental, if you could pay less in rent than you'd receive, especially if you cut your commute and car costs in the process.
posted by salvia at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2010

On the income side, it's possible that you will qualify for a tax refund. This may put you in the black, but it's easy to overlook as it's not a monthly deal. Your daycare is also deductible to a point.

I know you're asking for income ideas, but I have some expense reduction ideas that some people miss.

Services such as day care, therapists, and doctors will sometimes offer a sliding rate based on your ability to pay. Ask your current providers if they will do this, and shop around if they say no.

If you have health care and are on a PPO, switch to an HMO if you have access to one. You can save hundreds per month this way.

Depending on your income and assets, you may also qualify for food stamps or free meals for children, as well as assistance payments for daycare. If you own your place, your assets may disqualify you from some of these programs, but it doesn't hurt to check.
posted by zippy at 3:41 PM on June 29, 2010

I guess my question is, how did you suddenly become $1000 short a month? That seems pretty hard to do. What changes have there been?

This might be just nosyness, but it might be helpful to see what the monthly budget looks like.
posted by gjc at 6:58 PM on June 29, 2010

I feel your pain, Peas! I actually did rent out my home and move to a cheaper place. After the mortgage/taxes/insurance is paid every month, I still have about $650 from the rent my tenants pay. I moved 11 miles away to a cottage on my friend's property.

Is there any way to re-finance your home to reduce your monthly payments? You've probably already done this...

Reducing smaller expenses can only take you so far. But I did relieve some of the pressure by nixing the TV, only shopping at thrift stores, and dealing with my book-buying and plant-buying addictions. A few small steps plus one big one could get you there.

I wish you the best.
posted by shifafa at 7:01 PM on June 29, 2010

Flexjobs You can work from home. Good luck! They are legit I got a really good job and several offers...
posted by ~Sushma~ at 7:56 PM on June 29, 2010

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