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August 29, 2009


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I used to ref soccer in high school, and my dad still does ref. He can make $80-100 a night doing a 2 man crew for H.S. JV and the line of the varsity game. Local rec leagues are also an outstanding option because they are centrally located with multiple games in one place back-to-back, games usually take place on Saturday mornings (no weeknights), and unlike select where you sometimes have to drive 30-60 minutes to some small town, and they are not as stressful when compared to HS or select soccer for new refs. When I was in HS the games in the rec league were over in 1 hour or so, and age groups started from 6-7 to 14-18 (most kids are in select soccer by then). While not as competitive (except for the parents in some cases) they still pay well. Talking with my dad a few weeks ago he can make $28-30 a game.

Another great way to make money, probably more for you and less your son, is to ref indoor soccer. There are generally adult leagues every weeknight and youth leagues on the weekends. Smaller field = less running around = more games you can ref in a day. Games are never more than an hour, and while fast paced, there is less to watch at 6 v 6 or 7 v 7 than 11 v 11.

Just sticking with rec and indoor soccer can net you anywhere from $15-30/hr for your work, which for your son, if he treated it as a job and worked multiple days a week at it, is way more than he could make bagging groceries or flipping burgers and as an added bonus you basically choose your own schedule when signing up for games.

There are also some overlooked, non-monetary aspects to refereeing any sport, specifically for younger people:
1. pressure packed moments and split second decisions that need to be made help you become more accustomed to making quick decisions in other facets of life;
2. teaches you to be firm in your decision making and to stand behind your decisions in the face of adversity; and
3. for young people it puts them on par with adult coaches which helps boost confidence and allows them to become accustomed to working with adults, rather than just looking at them as authority figures.

I have two enterprising daughters, one (age 50) has a $1.5M SEP-IRA invested in CDs, the other has a $2M taxable account invested in municipal bonds. The first one works from home using her computer to do all of the billing for her attorney brother-in-law. She used to be his office manager but cannot work outside of the home now because she and her husband recently adopted two babies.
However, in the last year she has worked her way up to becoming a Power Seller on eBay. She visits Thrift stores daily, buys used items at a ridiculous price and then resells them on eBay making between $1000-$2000/month. She does her billing and her eBay work in the evenings after the babies are asleep. Her husband makes money by building a custom home every few years but that occupation has stalled because of the housing situation, fortunately he was able to sell the latest one, (a real beauty), he got his money out of it but almost no return on all of his labor.

The other daughter (age 49), recently divorced from the same attorney, receives a huge alimony payment of $20K every month which of course puts her into the highest tax bracket. She had been out of the workforce for 19 years and was thinking about substitute teaching but those jobs are impossible to find (and also produce taxable income).
Her solution for earning some non taxable income was to sell books on She has found some excellent places that regularly discard books of all types. I won't mention the places in order to protect her sources. She also bought a hand held scanner device containing proprietary, updateable software that can tell her instantly what a book is worth. It's nothing for her to buy a book in "As New" condition for $2 and then have it sell the same day for $50 or $75. She makes enough every month to pay the rent on her condo.

I'd love to be able to make money off of my hobby... We'll see if I ever get to that point. :) I love cars and spend *ridiculous* amounts of money on them, but can afford to do so. I also love writing, so I started my blog on cars, and somehow picked up a fascination with photography and cars, so maybe *someday* that can turn into something for me...

Maybe not the blog itself, but writing for magazines and selling photographs would be awesome! Of course, I'd like a job in Finance after I graduate college since that's what my degree will be, but I'm hoping to create the sort of side income from my hobby that would be able to take place of at least half a normal job. Then I can be half-corporate and half-freelance... I like the sound of that for me. :)

I took my hobby all the way to a full time business. Not sure I'd recommend everyone who makes jewelry as a hobby jump into trying to live off their sales, it's not easy, but selling a few pieces a month online is pretty doable.

I do graphic design. It's more of a business that I scaled back to a hobby and at various times in my life seems to amp up to a side business. I love the creativity. But it's also the creativity that makes it a challenge. I haven't found the customers that can afford the time I put into projects - although because it's labor I do always make a profit.

I'm always looking for a way to create a product with my skills that would allow me to be creative once and then sell the product repeatedly.

My friend works as a soccer ref on the weekends. It is great exercise for him and he makes a good amount of money on the side. He has been doing it for some time and with the time and experience he is now refereeing college games.

I personally really enjoy entrepreneurship, so I've been working on two companies that I have started in the last year. Hopefully, they pay off one day down the road.

old limey please continue to share your wisdom, you should write a book one day.

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