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April 03, 2012


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As a web programmer, I can make money on the side doing freelance projects. It's cool because I get to do things I wouldn't get to do at my day job and I can set my own hours and pick the projects I want.

@ Dollar D

How do you price your service? Did you have any resources you turned to for guidelines?

How do you find clients?

These are good ideas, I enjoy a dogs company and I like to run so I might consider that in the summer months to tie in with my morning run for some extra side income.

I agree with everything in the list and hey, the last one is a great way to earn extra cash for dog lovers out there. I would like to add another way to add a little bit of extra cash - selling coupons. There are people who are keen on collecting them and there are those who would like to get their hands on them but just don't have the time to collect them. So you can make a few bucks selling coupons to the latter by way of eBay and other sites.


Regarding your high-interest checking account, there is a local West Michigan Bank in our area that now offers 3% up to $15,000; it is my employer. :)

The terms and conditions are similar to that of the credit union you reference (my wife and I have a deposit account there as well). But, instead of the debit card use requirement, we require 15 monthly "activities," which includes debit card uses, withdrawals, deposits, transfers, etc. Additionally, we do not have a direct deposit requirement and have UNLIMITED free ATM usage on all ATM's. We have great mobile banking benefits as well.

E-mail me personally if you have any interest. I'd love to help you earn more on your cash.

Paul --

Thanks! Email on the way!

I had to chuckle at this one: "Or you could simply teach at a college or university"

As someone with a PhD, struggling to even get course work, the idea that one can "simply" teach at a university seems a bit out of touch. I don't know what community colleges are like, but the competition at universities is fierce, and in my field especially, the chances of someone trying to teach a course without even being enrolled in a PhD program, let alone without having a PhD, is slim.

It's not a panacea by any means, but I like the return I'm getting with Lending Club. I found out this tax season that they make your taxes a bit more difficult (and they do only what is mandated by the IRS to help you--nothing more) and it takes some time to find loans you want to invest in $25 a time, but getting 10% is still pretty sweet.

I thought FMF was dabbling in it, too? I haven't heard you mention it in a while.

Mike --

I am not. I think the state of MI has some issues with peer-to-peer lending -- or at least they did at one point.

Any tips for those of us who would like to make 10%?


I don't think I'm doing anything special. In fact, at the start I screwed up and did a lot of $50 loans just to get my initial investment started -- that was dumb. But, now I just shoot for C-D loans and spread it out in $25 increments. That seems to be the consensus for getting the best returns. I'm guessing I'll have a couple of defaults coming up that will knock me down to 9%, but that's still pretty great and the defaults are figured into original guesstimates.

As I mentioned, the time involved in choosing loans is the thing that has kept me from putting more money in. They have an automatic system for choosing, but I don't trust it--so I sort of do a hybrid where I let them select and then back off some of the ones I don't like for whatever reason (usually I avoid 'business' loans and loans that are too large). I've only been doing this recently, so we'll see what kind of results I get.

And since I'm expounding, I'll do so on the tax issue as well: they only send you a 1099-OID on the notes that make greater than $10. Ridiculous as the IRS will want you to report everything, particularly when the aggregate is several hundreds of dollars. They are doing what they HAVE to do, but not what would be of greatest service to their customers (unless their customers are tax cheats who aren't going to report it, I suppose). Also-and this might not be their fault: I don't know if there is a 'proper' way for them to report it-you need to consider the defaults separately and they don't send you any special documents for them. That is, you can't just report the amount I made at LC is interest+fees - defaults. You need to report the defaults as 'bad debts' on Schedule D. I'm not 100% positive, but I think not only is that a pain to deal with, but I think it's bad for your overall tax rate.

Donating plasma is a fairly easy (but not painless) way to earn extra cash AND help save lives if you don't mind getting poked with a needle. The amount of money you can earn varies depending on where you live and the need.

At the plasma centers in my city, if you donate twice a week you can earn $50 ($20 for the first donation and $30 for the second). Plus, they're always offering other bonuses like an extra $10 on your fifth or eighth donation in a month.

If you go twice a week, you can earn $200 a month (or more depending on the bonuses).

I've done this for over a year now. Aside from being poked, it's fairly simple. Takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half each time I go (each person is different). The plasma center is located 10 minutes from my office, and I often go during my lunch hour.

I bring my laptop and typically use that time to check email or get caught up with the snail mail that has accumulated on my desk. I also like to read books or review my personal growth development plan and track my progress toward my goals.

It's all stuff I need to do anyway, so I figure I might as well get paid a little extra while I'm doing it. It definitely isn't for everybody, but it works for me.

I dedicate my "blood money" for "Daddy dates" with my five kids. Other people I know use it to support a missionary, sponsor a child, or help a friend in need.

Mike --

Thanks for your thoughts -- quite interesting.

Money Wise Pastor --

I didn't know you did that! You sure are a money-making machine. :-)

Lending Clubs huh? hmmm never heard of that idea. Have heard of a non profit where you invest in overseas small businesses. But the idea there is to help out others not to get much return on your investment.

As for Teaching. That is a great idea and one I do as my side job. I can earn 12k+ each year just teaching 1 class a semester at the local college. Of course you have to have the credentials to be able to do this. But for a parttime one night a week gig it is awesome. One Note. If you can teach non credit. Pay is the same but you don't have to grade any student work.

Stock photography for money. Does not work. Plan and simple. Oh sure it worked a few years ago when the sites first got started but not now. Unless you are professional photographer with a studio and the whole lighting kit. It just won't work. I am speaking from experience here. I am an award winning photographer. I have sold quite a few pictures in private and done quite a bit of Seniors and other photography. I have yet to make even .01 off of the 50+ pictures I have out on istock. Just not worth the time. in my opinion.

FMF, something else I've thought about, but haven't tried yet, is medical experiments.

Pharmaceutical companies are always looking for people to do clinical trials. You could earn several thousand dollars for a couple of days of work plus check-ups. Of course, there may be side effects...

If I ever do this, it would definitely make an interesting blog post! ;)

Money Wise Pastor --

Yes it would!!! :)

@Rod Bergren - Where do you teach? In California, you only get paid for the hours you're in the classroom, no pay for office hours, preparing lectures, grading papers, etc. And the pay is less than $30/hour. So you typically make less than $1,000 per class per semester.

I make decent money as a tutor but I work for a small company that schedules students for me three to four evenings per week. It is very difficult to tutor online and you make MUCH less money than tutoring in person.

I teach at local community college that has a need in my area of expertise. I teach mainly high end programming and Database stuff. I do this as my "real" job as well. and the need in my area is huge for this. So it is a win win for the college and for me and for the local companies. I live in Iowa. I have friends in the KC area and Minneapolis who do this same thing and love it.

No you are not paid for hours outside the classroom. But I am paid nearly $100 per hour for in classroom work. If you teach 4 hours 1 night a week that ends of at $1600 a month. For a three month class that is nearly 5k. Teach three times a year and you make nearly 15k. I don't teach quite that much. But I easily make 12 some years.

Because we are not paid for outside the classroom work I prefer the non credit classes. The pay here is the same and then you have no outside of class work ie grading papers reviewing assignements etc..

Online surveys are a good way to make cash while watching TV or surfing the web. Not huge dollars but every bit helps. Surveyhead is decent, some people give BigSpot good reviews. Beware of any of the smaller sites.

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