Quick, non-scammy, decent sources of immediate/ish income
July 14, 2017 11:05 PM   Subscribe

How does a depressive with a physical handicap and a stutter, but sound mind, and massive debt make decently-sized small chunks of money quickly. I currently have $45 in my bank account, am on $400 in SSI, nearly all of which is already gone this month. How do I stay afloat ( and not rely on my parents, whom I do live with, so no threat to basic livelihood here, thankfully) while I work through the long and arduous process of finding employment through a vocational rehab agency and the more typical hiring process? I've been out of school ( BS in Psychology) for five years now. I'm done being (relatively) poor and need money now. Hope me?

- Editing and writing gigs on fiverr
- Getting the voc-rehab agency to approve driving lessons and mods to my car to enable me to drive for Lyft and Uber- nothing.
- Mechanical turk ( too little money and a weird system)
- Odesk and similar
-Taking some coding classes, but I just don't have the brain for CS
- Looking into phlebotomy/dialysis/paralegal/medical coding classes. No one will hire someone in my physical situation- even the schools think so.

What do I do here? What would YOU do, if you needed money now?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I started my online book-selling business with literally the change in my pocket 9 years ago. Entry into it is low cost, and hours are flexible, but there are downsides. It's late in the game to be getting in, for one thing, but if the idea appeals to you at all and seems physically do-able, it's probably worth a couple hours of your time in the upcoming week to do a little online research about book scouting and selling. (Unless, like me, you are located in south Mississippi, then it's a TERRIBLE idea : )
posted by thebrokedown at 11:37 PM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you reached out to temp agencies? I had lots of jobs at temp agencies that were things like collating papers and data entry that didn't have to do with answering phones or dealing with the public. The worst they can say is no.
posted by bleep at 11:51 PM on July 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah, if you haven't ruled it out already, temping is one of the things I usually mention to people looking for short notice employment. I sort of hate to recommend it, because temp agencies are generally rent-seeking scum, but at least when I was doing it regularly, it was something where their incentives were generally to get you working fast and keep you working, so their interests and yours can be aligned in that sense. (Never make the mistake of thinking the alignment goes much beyond that.)

I used to get small jobs on Craigslist; a lot of them were physically demanding in a moving-heavy-stuff-around kind of way, but a lot of others were more along the lines of data entry / software grunt work, and sometimes that kind of thing can be a chance at a longer-term office gig.
posted by brennen at 12:26 AM on July 15, 2017

Consider filing bankruptcy if you have no assets. This will not clear student loan or tax debt, but it should help with other committments. YMMV. Consult a professional.

Assuming you have health insurance, seek additional treatment for depression and stuttering. Vocal therapy is amazeballs for confidence-building.

With immediate financial pressure and potential barriers to success in the employment program both removed, thinking you're on your way. I don't have short-term solutions but someone else might. Posting to say you are obs ready to get on with your life (yay!). Focus on longer-term as much as you can.
posted by Kalatraz at 12:34 AM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

What kind of work do you like? What are you good at?

Do you want to pursue psychology further? I know a few therapists with physical disabilities and with mental illness. They either work in nonprofits or freelance, and it isnt glamorous but it pays the bills.

Do talk to the dept of rehab again and reiterate that you'd like to find work. Maybe consider going back to school (for psych, if that interests you).

Also see if there are food pantries to offset some costs.
posted by shalom at 1:51 AM on July 15, 2017

Like the book selling on Amazon idea, you could sell something on eBay. I make a few hundred a month selling clothes from thrift shops. If you have any decent thrifts near you, it might be worth it. Obviously, you don't have to do clothes, but that's what they tend to have a lot of. eBay's pretty easy to use. You can take the photos with your phone, etc. If your thrifts have better stuff like electronics or trendier items, those would probably sell faster, but it's something you may want to try to give yourself a bit of extra income.

I probably spend at most 10 hours a week at on it, including sourcing, and some weeks much less, and it's nice to have that extra 3 to $400 a month. Not a huge amount but something that could help while you look for longer term things. Good luck!
posted by not that mimi at 5:09 AM on July 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

This isn't a great year for it but some municipalities pay their election officials (poll workers) very well, and a detail-oriented person who applies themselves can advance quickly, meaning more hours and a fast-pass on the hiring process for positions within the office.
posted by teremala at 5:49 AM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

You might be able to make a couple hundred dollars a month donating plasma.

Some places have focus groups and mock juries. I'm guessing you might get $50 a shot from these.

If you live in a university area, you might be able to join research studies. These might pay $20 per hour.

If you are comfortable being nude, you could be a model for artists and art classes. I don't know how much that pays.
posted by maurreen at 6:03 AM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Lionbridge, Leapforce, and Appen Butler Hill all have similar work-at-home jobs rating search engine results. You work at home using your own computer and cell phone. The pay is decent (much more than you could expect from Mechanical Turk) and the work is moderately interesting and not too difficult if you have good reading and reasoning skills.
posted by Redstart at 7:06 AM on July 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

2nd-ing research studies if you're in a University town. I get phone calls a few times a month from the Psych department asking me to be their guinea pig for something or other (remuneration & effort required varies). At least at my local uni research into Depression is a Big Thing right now, so I'm a specifically sought after commodity.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 7:25 AM on July 15, 2017

The Pearson testing company hire people every summer to score kid's tests from home. I don't know if their scoring season is over this year yet or not. But it might be something you can look into for next year. I worked for them last year. No interview or anything at all for me to get the position. I just had to send in proof that I had a degree and fill out a lot of forms online.

I've been a medical coder for a little over a year now. I work from home. And several of the short term contract jobs I've gotten since being certified they hired me based only on my resume, my medical coding certification, and my score on their medical coding pre-employment exam. I had zero real interaction with a person in order to get the position. It wouldn't be an immediate way to make money, however, as studying for the certification test takes a while and the certification tests are really expensive.

But those are the experiences I've had in the past year where there's no way any of the people involved in the hiring process would have any idea of any physical disability or speech problems.
posted by ilovewinter at 9:18 AM on July 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

In the past I've had good luck with temping. Ok money for data entry and that kind of thing. If you have an editing background maybe copy editing scientific manuscripts?

Other folks I know have made ok money doing transcription work. Wall Street Journal just had an article this week about the high demand for court reporters.
posted by forkisbetter at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2017

Selling on Amazon or eBay. eBay is especially easy and people buy just about everything imaginable.

What about pet care in your home or other's homes. Rover.com is one place you can sign up for work. Some people want the pet care giver to come to their home, other want it in the pet giver's home, sometimes it just involves going to someone's house and feeding whatever animal they have...many varieties of care given.
posted by mulcahy at 10:27 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Where do you live?

Not 100% on point to your immediate situation, but for financial planning purposes, look into starting an ABLE account if available in your state.

They allow you to save money to help with disability-related expenses (which are not strictly defined) without impacting benefits eligibility, depending on source of income. Family can also deposit money directly into the account without it counting as earned income, IIRC. One FAQ here.
posted by Schielisque at 10:38 AM on July 15, 2017

Transcription with rev.com.
posted by delight at 1:54 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

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