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Winter Chills, but No More Bills

Updated on March 22, 2019

It's cold outside. Very cold. The winds are howling and whipping up dry fluffy snow that’s been lingering, unmelted because it's just that cold outside.

If you are fortunate, you're inside, warm, dry and satisfied. For many others, however, homebound on a wintery day just doesn't pay the bills. The house’s heating systems are churning throughout the frigid day. Lights are blaring. Plowing is still undone. Laundering layers of clothing, bulky blankets and rugs each week has become the norm. Cooking two or three warm meals per day to keep the homebound family fed. Staying safe at home via 24/7 video cams overhead. Ensuring indoor entertainment and family fun: televisions, video game consoles, DVD players, laptops, tablets, routers, cell phones and digital assistants. Winter is indeed quite expensive for everyone.

Yet still, a ray of hope exists for the coldest season of the year. As winter costs incline, income opportunities surge alongside. Brutal wind chills, thick frosts, drifting snow, dry air, falling ice and cracking surfaces actually produce ample opportunities to make some extra cash. We all can use some extra dollars here and there. Cash in on the following opportunities winter bestows.

Snow plowing. If you drive a sport utility vehicle (SUV), pick-up truck or cargo van, simply attach a plow and begin earning. Snow blowing machines are also applicable. Businesses and individuals pay (i.e., $50-85 per acre) for plowing services of sidewalks, yards, parking lots and driveways after severe snowfall. While snow plowers are usually insured, some customers take advantage of discounted plowing rates offered by local individuals. Plow for every business or house in your neighborhood. Don't forget to salt! Tipping for services rendered is commonly provided to plowers as well.

Snow shoveling. If you don't have a vehicle or machine to use for plowing, consider traditional shoveling of snow. Shovel your neighbors’ properties or local small businesses. While shoveling snow is indeed strenuous, the work requires much less compliancy than plowing snow. Consider shoveling snow with a group of friends, which makes the task easier.

Ice removal. Falling ice poses significant danger to especially pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. CBS reported that in 2018 a woman walking on the sidewalk in Chicago was struck by falling ice. Businesses, including hotels, schools, libraries, child care centers, restaurants, etc., pay (i.e. $20-50 per hour) to remove significant icicles and ice from properties.

Warming stations. Most warming or heating stations are provided by government and non-profit agencies to individuals in need. Check for local regulations. Warming stations are heated, open spaces (large rooms) where people resort for relief from cold or inclement weather. Individuals may be awaiting transportation, waiting for other individuals or simply in need of temporary shelter from walking in the winter's cold. Establish your own simple warming station, charging patrons minimally (i.e., $5 per person). Gyms, hotels, churches, schools, houses, hospitals and the like are best equipped to provide warming stations overnight. Offer coffee, light snacks, movies or music, security, seating, tables, showers and, most importantly, heaters or heating systems.

Tree shredding. Tree chippers or shredders are useful machines for removing large or small fallen trees in the winter (i.e., $80-250 per fallen tree). Accumulated ice or snow on trees cause trees or tree branches to break and fall. Fallen trees or limbs cause damage to buildings, vehicles, antennas and electrical wires. If tree shredding machines are not affordable, simply offer to pick up and remove fallen trees or tree limbs with your vehicle. Drop off wood debris at the nearest public recycling center, such as Gedney Recycling Yard in White Plains, NY.

Wood cutting. Instead of removing wood pieces to the nearest public recycling center, consider cutting and bundling pieces of wood for sale. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are commonly used throughout the winter as efficient heating sources. Firewood is usually purchased from stores, if individuals cannot cut down trees on their own properties. Simply collect wood from fallen trees or cut down personal trees for further chopping. After permitting wood pieces to thoroughly dry as necessary, bundle and tie wood pieces (approximately 10-15 lbs.) with string or twine for wholesale or retail (i.e, $7-10 per bundle).

Indoor farming. With enough square footage, indoor farming during winter months becomes quite lucrative. The demand for local farming year-round is highest in winter. Local grocery stores and fresh produce stands aim to always sell the freshest fruits and vegetables possible. As a local farmer, offer your fruits and vegetables (i.e., lemons, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, etc.) - which were farmed indoors - to local groceries wholesale at a discount.

Winter event or travel planning. Some people absolutely enjoy winter and colder weather. For such individuals, winter is the preferred season to travel or host events, including winter weddings, cruises, scenic routes, bus trips, shopping, sports, parties, etc. If you enjoy winter traveling or hosting, consider planning events and travel arrangements throughout the season for a fee (i.e., $100-250 minimum per event or trip). Income generated covers personal costs for travel and events. Plan exciting winter travel and events for others, while exploring new events and travel of your own.

Winter scenery photography. During your winter travels, don't forget to take pictures. The beauty of winter's sceneries is absolutely captivating. Pictures, paintings or drawings suffice. Market your products online through photo sharing websites, such as Photobucket, Imageshack, Pixlr, Shutterstock, etc. Print out enlarged images or megapixels to creatively frame and sell wholesale or retail (i.e., $30-60 per large print with frame).

Knitting winter accessories. Young or old individuals who enjoy winter travel and events are always dressed correctly: bundled up. Lengthy exposure to cold weather causes hyperthermia, pneumonia, flus and other illnesses. Dressing warm in the winter is mandatory, including hats, scarves, gloves, earmuffs, socks, thermals, sweaters, etc. Thick, knitted winter accessories or garments are breathable and efficiently keep bodies warm. Showcase your winter knits for wholesale or retail at tradeshows, pop-up shops or online.

Winter sports competitions. Another fun winter activity is sport competitions. Whether you're young, old, male, female, athletic or not, winter sports is fun for everyone. Popular winter sports include ice hockey, ice skating, skiing, sledding, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Increase sportsmanship with logoed team sweaters, winter gear and mugs, regular practice meets, communications, celebrations, etc. Game tickets are usually inexpensive (i.e., $5-25 per ticket), except for professional competitive sports. Sell water, snacks and promotional products as well to increase income potential. Most importantly, have a great time!

It's winter and it's still cold. Very cold. The season surely bears it's costs. While coldness seeps through to the bones, individuals seeking additional income options welcome winter's chill and frosts. Several awesome opportunities to earn income during the winter months are noted above. Pay off rising housing bills and expenses before the season ends. Enjoy peace, safety and calm at home through the winter with family, loved ones and friends.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 S T Guy


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