I first went to Burning Man in 2011 when a “mom” friend of mine mentioned she had purchased a ticket. We talked and decided I would buy a ticket and we would go together and share the experience. Together we planned and found a ride being offered for a fee on Craig’s List in a school bus with a 3 time burner from Washington State. We borrowed a tent, bought way too much food, packed and planned, watched a ton of youtube videos and mentally prepared ourselves for we knew not what.
I did have some trepidation about doing Burning Man over 50. Would the wind and dust overwhelm whatever fun things there were to do? Would I have breathing problems? Was it worth it.
Our “ride” was a veteran burner and invited us to camp with his burning man camp family during the event. This was a huge help as we would be with more experienced burners. First time burners are referred to as Sparkle Ponies for a multitude of reasons including coming unprepared, falling in love repeatedly, not drinking enough water, wearing enough sun screen, eating enough protein, drinking too much alcohol, a wide-eyed expression for more than 48 hours straight, and the list goes on.
My experience at Burning Man had three interesting effects on me. The first was that I had an unexplainable renewed hope for humankind. I think that came from this scene, this immense spectacle that people create for a week with only one motive, to share. The other two things I notice was that I had a complete disinterest in people and things that typically annoy me. Those things still were annoying, but I didn’t care. And the last thing, which did wear off in a couple months was breaking into little spontaneous songs at any given time including in public, and not caring.
Let me say that yes, it was worth it, SO WORTH IT!
I’m going to tell you how you can increase your monthly income by $60 to $300, or more.
There are so many ways you can increase your monthly cash flow, I’m not going to be able to cover them all in detail in this post but will outline some of them in detail in future posts. Enough mysterious “them” references, let’s get down to business, but first one more caveat. I’m going to share with you the ways I have or do increase my monthly income. What does that mean?
It means I don’t always take on all the extra income methods every month if I have an active web development project for a client that requires my focus, or if I have a lot of extra-curricular activities going on. I tend to take on extra “work” when I have time or if the job is “worth it” for whatever reason or if I can mystery shop a high end candy store. We all have our priorities.
Wait! Wait, you say, what is this mystery shopping of which you speak? Remember, in this post I’m just going to list just a few ways that I and you can bring in some extra income every month. I’ll go into detail on each of these in future posts.
Mystery Shopping, yes it IS a real thing and I’ve been doing it on and off for over fifteen years. Mystery or Secret Shopping is when you sign up with an online agency and you accept assignments where you pose as a consumer, follow all the instructions of the shop to the letter and complete a survey after the “job” is done. Often this includes uploading scanned/digital photos of receipts, and documents. These shops pay anywhere from $7 to $200 depending on the type of shop, and your shopper history and experience.
Online user product and web site tester
Again, this is real and online job opportunities are becoming more plentiful. Typically in this type of job you will be given instructions to follow for a specific web site or app. Your actions and narrative are recorded with your computer microphone and web cam. User testing used to mean a company had to hire people to come to their company and test their web site or products in house. Now they can outsource that work to us and you can do it from your home computer. These jobs range between $3 to $70 depending on your experience and the type of evaluation the company is looking for.
Yes, people still shop and buy on eBay. I list items on eBay every month and depending on my effort and if there is not a major gift holiday (when sales tend to slow down for me), I can easily generate between $100 to $400 a month. How much I earn depends on how much time/effort I spend, some amount of luck, and understanding why someone might want to buy my products(s). What do I sell? See for yourself here.
Affiliate Product Sales
I have a website, no really, I have about four websites. Most of them are not super fancy, they’re not Amazon fancy at all. One is a subscription site, and one is a blog where you can buy actually helpful products that solve a specific problem. Affiliate product sales are advertisements you put on your website that link to the company’s products.
When someone clicks from my web site to the company site, and they purchase products, I get a small commission.
Sometimes as high as 10%. On a $300 sale, that’s $30! Does that happen every day, week or even month? No, it doesn’t. However it does or doesn’t depending on home much social media marketing I do and luck. Amazon and almost all other online stores do have an affiliate program so if you have a blog and can find an affiliate program with a product related or complimentary to your web site or blog, you will make some extra money. Some people who are active bloggers who send out emails to their followers can make A LOT of money suggesting or reviewing affiliate products.
So there you have it, four ways to earn some extra dough. Maybe it’s enough to cover a utility bill, but maybe it’s enough to cover a major expense or save for a sweet vacation, or a college fund for a grandchild. I’ve got a few more examples and again, I have and still do make extra cash every month with all or a combination of these opportunities.
I hope I’ve got you thinking about clearing out that closet a few pieces at a time on eBay, or finding out more about how to advertise on your blog. I’ll share another post about mystery shopping with you soon, but for now remember one thing – you should NEVER have to pay to become a mystery shopper. There are plenty of scams out there and you must use common sense. Never allow the prospect of making some extra money influence you to compromise your online safety.
More to come on increasing your income at home on your schedule!