Friday, 23 September 2011

Paid to Play

Along with saving money and spending wisely, another way to reach your goals is to increase income. One way to do this is to get an additional job, however it may be quite exhausting juggling two jobs, family, a social life, and school (if applicable...if not applicable then I envy you). So today we are going to talk about other ways to make a little side money while doing things that you enjoy.

As I said before, what you do for extra money has to be enjoyable to you. This is essential because if you are just doing it for the money then you won't be as enthusiastic, which in turn will mean that you won't work as hard. Do it because it's fun, not because you want extra cash. Moreover, if you were going to be doing something that you did not enjoy and for money...then you might as well get a second job right?

Now that that's out of the way think of something you like - no something that you love to do. It's a passion of yours and if you had the choice you would do it all day. Got one in your head? Does it bring a smile to your face? Guess what? You can probably make money doing it. Is that smile turning into a grin? This isn't likely going to make your a fortune but I haven't met anybody who would complain about making paper while doing something they like to do.

Alright so you have something in mind? Now the next step is to find a way to make money out of it. What? You thought I was going to tell you how? Well it all depends on what brought that smile to your face. Was it arts and crafts? A hobby of some kind? Sports? Reading? Capitalizing depends on each individual situation. 

I'll give you some example. I'm into video games and was brought up around them due to influences from my uncles. As I got older I still had nostalgia for the old-school games I use to play as a child. This got me into retro gaming. I became obsessed and started learning not only about the culture behind the hobby but also the values of the games. That in turn motivated me to go and hunt for games in the "wild" which meant that they were games owned by people who are not collectors, winding up in garage sales and thrift stores. These people tend to undervalue their games which meant that I could pick them up relatively cheap. After amassing quite a collection through sources such as Craigslist and Kijiji I realized that I could be reselling the undervalued games at the accepted prices on the retro gaming scene, making a profit. At first this was to get funds to allow my collection to grow, but now I realize that this aspect of the hobby was the most appealing for me so now I buy games not only if I would like to play them, but if I know that there is good resale value.

You can pretty much find a way to make money on anything. Love arts & crafts? Many people like arts and crafts but cannot do them well. So you can try selling them on Craigslist or Kijiji (you can only fit so many paper cranes in your room). Have a passion for sports? Well unless you're going to go pro in the foreseeable future, maybe you can talk about it on YouTube with you're own creative flair. Get enough viewers and Google will send you a nice little cheque. Enthusiastic about reading? Maybe you can run a blog with book reviews. Get popular enough and maybe publishers will send you books for reviewing free of charge (for some reason I assume that you love to write if you love to read... I don't know why).

Be careful though; make sure that you don't burn yourself out.  If you dedicate more and more time to your hobby to make a few bucks then you may find that you are more reluctant to do it. The worse thing that can happen is that you are turned off from what you love to do.

Also, you have to be somewhat skilled/knowledgeable at whatever you decide to do or it will be more difficult to make dough, but that's not that point right? Just having my hobby pay for itself keeps me content because then I'm playing all those games for free! Remember that you're doing it for the enjoyment and not for the money and I guarantee that no matter what happens, you'll have a smile on your face.

-the Paperboy

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