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Living On A Wish And A Prayer

Updated on July 25, 2010

How Do You Live On No Income?

Living on no income isn't easy!  I know because I have been doing it for about 6 months now!  Here are a few things I do to supplement my "no income".  As time has passed, these things have become more reliable, and I am just getting to the point of thinking that perhaps I will be able to just meet my bills each month.  I hope these tips are helpful to you. 

Sell Your Stuff!

SELL STUFF Photographer:eob:everystockphoto.com  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/
SELL STUFF Photographer:eob:everystockphoto.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Figure Out What You Don't Need & Turn It Into Cash!

The very first thing to do when you find yourself without income is to go through all your stuff and decide what you can do without.  Then sell it!  Have a yard sale, take it to a flea market, list it in the free ads in your local paper, list it on Craigs List, and put up fliers.  Get as much money together as you can for your extraneous stuff, and then hang onto it so you will have it for bills, food, and other necessities.

If you do well at this, and you have the space for storage, you may want to collect things to resell.  You can do this by visiting garage sales and picking things up cheaply that you believe you can resell for a profit or watching for items listed for free that you think you could resell. 

I have a booth at a local mini-mall where I resell collectibles.  It doesn't make a lot of money, but it buys a few groceries, and I only have to devote a couple of hours a week to it. 

Sell Your Old Books!

BOOKS Photographer:lusi:everystockphoto.com stock.xchng Image License Agreement.
BOOKS Photographer:lusi:everystockphoto.com stock.xchng Image License Agreement.

If You Have Extra Books Sitting Around, You Have Cash Sitting Around!

You would be surprised at how much you can make by selling your books on Amazon.com! I have been doing that for several years, and I make a bit of money doing it. Again, not a lot, but it helps out. The key to selling on Amazon is to be very thorough and honest in your book descriptions and then provide excellent customer service. In that way you will build up your ratings, and you will be able to charge a little more for your books. Start out with extra books that you have around the house. If you do well at it, you may want to branch out and look for books at yard and garage sales and thrift stores. Selling on Amazon is easy. Just go to Amazon.com and click on SELL MY STUFF. Then follow the instructions! There are lots of tutorials to help you, and their customer service is excellent. The only drawback with Amazon is that it takes a while to get started.

I am also fortunate that we have a wonderful store locally called Recycled Books & Records. They buy second hand books for fairly decent prices, and it has gotten me out of a financial pinch a few times. Check around and see if there are stores like this in your area where you might be able to sell your extra books for quick cash.

Collect Aluminum Cans

ALUMINUM CANS Photographer: flattop341:everystockphoto.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/
ALUMINUM CANS Photographer: flattop341:everystockphoto.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

If You Leave a Can On The Ground, You Are Wasting Money!

Lots of people make quite a bit of cash picking up cans.  I don't do this aggressively, but you can bet if I see a can on the ground, I pick it up and take it home to add to my collection.  When I get a big garbage bag full, I can make about $8.  That's some gas or pet food or a few groceries. Check your local phone book or the internet to find recycling centers that pay near you. 

Tutor Chinese Students In Conversational English!

CUSTOMER SERVICE Photographer: len-k-a:everystockphoto.com  stock.xchng Image License Agreement.
CUSTOMER SERVICE Photographer: len-k-a:everystockphoto.com stock.xchng Image License Agreement.

I Love This Gig!

Early every morning and four evenings a week, I spend a little time talking with Chinese students in China! It's lots of fun, and I get paid for it, too! If I get lots of calls, it can add up to about $10 an hour. The pay is $2.70 guaranteed for 1/2 hour committed shift if I don't get a call OR $2.70 per call if I do. This bit is a little confusing, but it works out alright. Each call takes about 15 minutes, and the call volume is usually pretty steady.

To do this, you need to have a very good command of the English language and be good at constructively helping people learn. Most of the Chinese students who call have fairly good English knowledge, but they need help with practice. It is necessary to give them instant feedback and written feedback. Lots of training and support are provided.

If you are interested in this, just go to idapted.com to learn more.

Write!

WRITE Photographer:zoophyte: everystockphoto.com stock.xchng Image License Agreement.
WRITE Photographer:zoophyte: everystockphoto.com stock.xchng Image License Agreement.

The Internet Is Hungry For Content!

You can use your talent for writing in a lot of ways. If you are looking at this article, you know about Hub Pages! Here, you can earn income through Google Ad Sense and Amazon Associates. Amazon Associates is also a good way to earn a bit of cash by setting up your own Amazon Stores or by adding links to Amazon products to your own website or blog. Be sure to research it if you become an Amazon Associate through Hub Pages. There's more to it than just linking to Amazon through Hub.

Amazon also has a service called Mechanical Turk. Through Mechanical Turk, you can do little jobs that computers can't do. You find things, categorize things, label things, and lots of other little tasks called HITs. These pay anywhere from nothing to $7 each. I do a lot of rewriting of sentences through Mechanical Turk. I also do some ghost writing. By doing this consistently, every day, I usually make $10 or $15 a day. If you are interested in doing this, go to: https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

Another great way to make some money with your writing is through Associated Content. AC pays upfront payments on some content submissions and performance payments. I make a wee bit of money doing this, but I think in the long run, it will pay off. People who have been doing it for a long time, have a large body of work, and have developed a large readership are actually paying their rent with AC.

If you want to check it out, go to: http://www.associatedcontent.com/

 

Some Articles To Refer To...

My friend, Amber Seber, is an accomplished Associated Content producer, and she has written a good series of articles on living poor. I couldn't possibly outdo the information she has provided.  Here is a link to her AC home page: 

And here is a list of her specific articles that may be of interest to you:

The Basic Tenets Of Being Poor

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1165875/the_basic_tenets_of_being_poor.html?cat=7

How To Get Stuff For Free

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1132751/how_to_get_stuff_for_free_part_of_how.html?cat=7

Poor Skill: How To Get Every Last Bit Out Of A Tube Or Container

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1232344/poor_skill_how_to_get_every_last_bit.html?cat=7

Last Resorts To Make Money When You Are Desperate

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1252862/last_resorts_to_make_money_when_you.html?cat=3

 

Comments

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  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, JayB! I need to rewrite it. This info is several years old. There are new opportunities today! :)

  • jayb23 profile image

    jayb23 6 years ago from India

    Don't know how I missed this, but I have to say this is a wonderful hub suzanne. Extremely practical and must read specially for people who are still reeling under recession.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Well, thanks! I'm glad you found it helpful! :)

  • PaperNotes profile image

    PaperNotes 6 years ago

    Of Suzanne, I love you not only because you and my sister share the same name but because you gave me useful ideas which I think will be of great help to me in the following days. You are awesome!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, Tony! Sorry you couldn't join us at Idapted! :)

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

    Very useful and interesting info. Tried the idapted thing but it's unfortunately only open to US residents so I can't do it.

    Thanks for the interesting read

    Love and peace

    Tony

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for your comment! Glad I could help! :)

  • Teresa Schultz profile image

    Teresa Schultz 7 years ago from East London, in South Africa

    Some very helpful info here - thanks a ton! I found the Amazon Mechanical Turk and Chinese English tutoring particularly interesting. Your tin cans idea also reminded me that one can sometimes pick up scrap metal items cheaply at a yard sale or auction, and then resell those items to a scrap metal dealer. Great hub!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    I'm glad I could help, Bill. Good luck! :)

  • profile image

    Bill Testerman 7 years ago

    Thank you for all the helpful information, as I've been unemployed about 5 months. I'm going to start on some of your hints right away!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    I'm glad I could help you! :)

  • Hoop-A-Joo profile image

    Hoop-A-Joo 8 years ago from Los Angeles

    You have given me some new ideas and ways to try to raise extra money. I really can use lots of what you have written here. Thank you.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks, my friend! :)

  • profile image

    Sammin 8 years ago

    That's great. Another one could earn a little sum of money is to join the survey. Thanks for the ideas. By the way, Chinese students are like your teaching style.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks BK! That's great! I'm glad these things worked for you! :)

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    I bookmarked this and am returning to it. The bookselling on Amazon has worked out well (I'm mailing more books this a.m.). I also earned money on Associated Content - and had a flea market which did very very well.

    Now I will look into idapted.com - it sounds ideal!

    Thanks for sharing ideas that have worked so well for me!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    My pleasure! Thanks! :D

  • profile image

    Speedo 8 years ago

    Hi Suzanne, thanks for your suggestions!

    Very well written and helpful : )

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for your comment! I will look into the website! :)

  • SEM Pro profile image

    SEM Pro 8 years ago from North America

    Excellent hub Suzanne! Well written and glad your talent is available on a worldwide scale :) If you ever find some deals on books, sounds like your writing skills could generate enough interest to trade them too. www.paperbackswapa.com doesn't pay, it's an exchange but great to trade for books you'd prefer or may have a greater dollar value for your online amazon sales. Best of luck and focus to continue your entrepreneurial ventures - we're all better off for them!

  • profile image

    ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

    Glad to hear it!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! :) An update - The tutoring business is booming. Expanded hours and back to back callers, so things are looking up! :)

  • profile image

    ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

    Thank you. This could be useful. Well written and most considerate.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thank you, moonlake! :)

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 8 years ago from America

    Great hub good ideas enjoyed it.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thank you, BK! How very kind of you! I certainly hope you will consider tutoring with idapted.com We really need tutors. We are never able to get to all the students in queue at every tutoring period.

    :)

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    Thanks so much for this justmesuzanne. We all need to learn how to 'hustle' - being dependent has bankrupted so many of us. It truly takes a talented person like yourself to 'make' money - not just 'earn' money. We have to figure out how to 'make' it happen ourselves.

    I've done Amazon for years, and its been good to me - and I sub and tutor part time - but I have a goal this year - by the summer to work at home entirely - and maybe tutor if I want to but not 'have to' - thanks for being generous enough to share so much info.

    Oh and upfront payments with AC have been good too!

    I'm emailed this hub to myself. And I'm one of your biggest fans!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    My pleasure! We are really needing tutors right now! Lots more calls than we can handle every day!

  • imadork profile image

    imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

    Thank you for the tips. I will check some out.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thank you for your comment, Peppermint. I have pretty much gotten out of reselling anything. I find that the amount of time and energy I invest in it would be better spent working at my computer. But I think if you really enjoy garage saling, it could have the double benefit of being a hobby as well as a way to earn a bit of cash. :D

  • Peppermint Thrift profile image

    Peppermint Thrift 8 years ago

    Thanks for the ideas! Another one is to sell furniture/items at consignment stores. This way, you don't have to pay "mall" booth rents and some will buy the items outright! I used to work for one and I used to make an extra $100-300 a month and I usually found items at yard sales and sold them on consignment. The stores usually take 50% of the sellng price but it's still way more than what you would get at a yard sale.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thank you! I appreciate it! :)

  • Nicole Winter profile image

    Nicole A. Winter 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

    justmesuzanne: Thank-you so much for publishing this, your tips are absolutely fantastic. A huge thumbs up from me!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! Good luck with eBay! :)

  • ajcor profile image

    ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

    Just re read all the comments and I have had luck with ebay and am going to embark on this again this week...glad you are able to come outslightly ahead just suzanne...cheers

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! I have never liked eBay. I have tried it a couple of times, but I never had any luck with it. I always get a lot of spam in my mailbox when I have anything to do with eBay. I know it works out well for lots of people, though!

    I am planning a garage sale sometime this month. Gotta raise some money for my property taxes! =0

  • profile image

    Latrelle Ross 8 years ago

    This is great! Ken and I started selling our old books on eBay a while back, and there's nothing better than a good garage sale.

    Good luck :)

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! :)

  • bethparker profile image

    bethparker 8 years ago from Grant, MI

    Thanks for the information. I didn't know about Amazon Mechanical Turk or the Chinese thing. Something to check out, for sure.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! I don't actually want anything more concrete. Better paying, yes, concrete no. I have worked outside my home doing one thing and another that I didn't enjoy all my life. Working at home is the only thing I have ever really wanted to do. At 50, I'll be damned if I will keep on selling the hours of my life to idiots to exhaust myself and make barely enough money to keep the bills paid. I'd rather be poverty stricken and at least have my life to myself!

  • FrankRod profile image

    FrankRod 8 years ago

    These are good tips for people looking for extra income. It's good to hear they've worked out for you, Suzanne. The Chinese tutoring seems like great income alternative for those who can get in. I'd even give it a try If I needed the income. Best of luck to you in finding something more concrete.

  • eaforeman5 profile image

    eaforeman5 8 years ago

    Great article and very helpful. Thank you for the information.

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Well, that's weird since most of the materials are made in England, and we American trainers are constantly having to sort out British English! LOL! I don't know if there are others. Let me know if you find out! :)

  • caspar profile image

    caspar 8 years ago from UK

    Some great ideas Suzanne, especially tutoring Chinese students. Unfortunately they won't have me, as I'm in England. I wonder if there are any other companies with a similar service?

    Nice hub, thanks.

  • ajcor profile image

    ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

    This is really good information Suzanne - especially the speaking to Chinese students bit... thanks

  • The Old Firm profile image

    The Old Firm 8 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

    Thanks Suzanne, a very helpful hub.

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

    Great hub! You have some fresh ideas that should help others out.

  • profile image

    Amber S 8 years ago

    These are excellent ideas! Thanks, Suzanne :)

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Yes, it's really a lot of fun! I wish there were more hours available. Right now it is only 3 a day at most. I could happily do it full time.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

    I'm doing some of these, but I have never heard of working with the Chinese. That is very interesting. I couldn't do that right now, but that could be very interesting in the future.

  • profile image

    JenArt 8 years ago

    All good suggestions, even if you are just looking for a little supplement what you are already making. You do a great job of making your situation work in your favor, Suzanne, you are to be commended!

  • Dottie1 profile image

    Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

    Interesting. Especially enjoyed how you help the Chinese learn conversational english. Great hub.

  • Ardie profile image

    Sondra 8 years ago from Neverland

    Interesting read, thank you!

  • justmesuzanne profile image
    Author

    justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, yes I have looked at and done some of those. These are the ones I actually do now that pay! :)

  • Lisa HW profile image

    Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

    Nice hub, Suzanne. Other ideas are paid posting on forums, setting up a blog or website on one subject and becoming an affiliate of a number of different companies. Direct sales (like TupperWare) may be another idea.