Archive for the ‘Work from Home’ Category
Lately I have been looking for more ways to make a little extra money without having to take on a part time job. Money is tight for just about everyone right now and we could all benefit from an additional source of income no matter how small.
Money from Freelance Writing Opportunities
I have begun working as an online freelance writer for various companies who connect authors with clients needing written works. At first I was just trying it out and only wrote about once a week, but now I try to write almost every day. It has been paying off pretty well, especially whenever I get in my groove and the words flow quickly. I have truly been enjoying it, so I thought it would only be fair to share this with you.
I want every parent to have a chance at staying home with their baby if that is what they desire. I understand how that feels and I believe that resigning from my great career to care for my baby was the right decision for me. It has been difficult at times but finding flexible work-from-home type of jobs has helped us greatly.
If you enjoy writing and do reasonably well at it, then I think you will have a good time making some extra cash in the comfort of your own home through freelance writing gigs. Currently, I am working with Text Broker the most and find their business model most conducive for me.
Writing for Text Broker
When you sign up with Text Broker, they grade your first work to establish the quality of your writing. Once you have been accepted, you will be able to choose any article you want to write about as long as it is at or below your established writing level. Text Broker pays per word and the higher your writing level, the more you will get paid. You don’t have a minimum number of articles to write and you don’t have to write anything that you don’t like. Plus, you can cash out every week if you have $10 or more in your account.
Writing for Freelancer Careers
Freelancer Careers is another good freelance writing company that lets you choose the articles you write and how many. I haven’t worked with them for long so I do not have as much experience. They base the pay on the quality of your work but also give better pay for articles with short deadlines, unlike Text Broker. I may end up writing for them more in the near future as I adjust to their flow of business.
Other Helpful Tips
Occasionally I enjoy stopping by Freelance Writing Jobs, a freelance writer’s blog, for helpful tips and encouragement.
I have visited several freelance websites that do not specifically say you get to choose what you write about and I never sign up with those companies. Some have a specific number of articles you must write per week and do not let you pick which ones you write about.
Be cautious concerning which companies receive your personal information and be sure you agree before “signing” their terms of service.
Enjoy your work and take pride in your accomplishments!
It’s time for my final veggie gardening with baby post! I think I have said all I know about gardening- yeah, sadly it is not much. I never claimed to have a green thumb, but I think I did pretty well this summer with my first attempt at gardening- especially since I had a baby to entertain too. Now I want to share my canning/freezing tips, and what I have learned in my final phase of veggie gardening with my baby.
So we have cultivated some great plants that are producing vegetables like crazy and we cannot eat them fast enough. Don’t be afraid of canning or freezing them to preserve what we have worked so hard to grow. Here is what I have learned about preserving vegetables.
Green Beans- Definitely blanch them first. I have tried freezing green beans two ways: wash, dry, and freeze; blanch, dry, and freeze. The latter option tastes much better when you cook them. I like my green beans long and uncut, but if you don’t then you better remember to cut them before blanching them.
Bell Peppers- After washing the bell peppers, I cut them into strips (ready for stir-fry) and pack them into labeled freezer bags making sure to remove as much air as I can. Sometimes I will give my baby a strip to munch on, but she usually ends up playing with it. At least it keeps her entertained though.
Squash-I prefer to bread and fry my squash which you can’t do after freezing, so I try to cook it fresh. When I have an abundance, I cut the squash into chunks (sized for a stir fry or soup) and pack them into labeled freezer bags.
Zucchini- We usually eat our zucchini baked as a sweet zucchini bread, but sometimes I will cut it in chunks for a stir-fry with my squash. When we have an abundance of zucchini my husband and I will bake loaves of zucchini bread together, seal them in freezer bags and freeze them. If we don’t have time to bake them I shred the zucchini and freeze it in recipe-sized proportions, or cut it into chunks and freeze for stir-fry/stew.
P.S. I love to stew zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and corn all together with a little seasoning.
Jalapenos- My husband covered this pretty well in his “Man-Canning/How To Can Jalapenos” post, and he is better at canning than me anyway.
Tomatoes- This is a long process that will be better explained in another post by my husband, the King of Man-Canning.
Cucumbers (Pickles)- We epic failed at this one, sorry Hunny but you know it’s true. Last year (or the summer before?) my husband and I tried to pickle our own cucumbers without the help of a pressure cooker. Well, the pickles were so soft and over-spiced/improperly spiced that we ended up throwing them all away. What a waste of some perfectly good cucumbers.
So, there is my minimal experience in preserving vegetables from the garden. It may not be much but I am proud of the knowledge I have gained from my experience this summer. Now, the tricky part of this process is keeping the baby entertained and happy without having to carry her around while I work.
Veggies and Baby
How do I take care of my veggies and my baby at the same time? Probably like every other mother, but I will tell you anyway. I usually give her some interesting, safe kitchen utensils but they don’t keep her occupied very long. Here is how I have learned to educate and entertain my baby while preserving my home grown garden veggies.
1. Vegetables can be educational toys. As I am preparing my veggies, I will hand her small chunks to play with and gnaw on in the hope that she will come to love vegetables as she gets older. Occasionally I will catch her in my container of vegetables a little too late when I notice a smashed tomato in her hand. When this occurs, I think the only logical conclusion is to let her continue playing with that tomato and worry about cleaning the mess up after I have finished preserving my veggies that survived.
2. It’s always a good time to clean out the cabinets (according to my baby). I have a set of cabinets that I leave unlocked which my baby likes to rummage around in when I am busy in the kitchen. Although I have kitchen utensils and accessories spread all over the place, it keeps her occupied and happy for a good while. Then, when she is done I get to reorganize my cabinets.
3. Singing and dancing is fun for everyone. It amazes me how my attitude can affect my baby’s mood. If I am happy, silly, and having a good time, then she is too for the most part. While my whole family is working in the kitchen together we will turn on some fun music,sing, and dance. It really makes our time of canning vegetables together a lot more fun and it’s very entertaining for the baby as well. I love it when my baby starts “singing” and “dancing” to the music, she is absolutely adorable.
I hope your garden is as successful as mine and you are preserving your vegetables. I would love to hear your techniques and how you keep your baby preoccupied. How does your garden grow?
I believe that having the option to be a stay-at-home parent instead of having to finding a daycare or babysitter is very important. Occasionally I will mention ways that I have been able to make enough extra money to continue staying home with my baby (check out my Money Making Offers page for more). Now, I have finally put together a post (with my husband’s help) about how I make a little extra money from Craigslist without falling into any traps or scams- my husband has a lot of common sense in this area so I always get his advice.
Avoiding Scams on Craigslist
- DEAL LOCALLY WITH SOMEONE YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one rule and you will avoid 99% of scam attempts on craigslist.
- Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home
- Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going
- Take your cell phone along if you have one
- Consider having a friend accompany you
- Trust your instincts
- NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA ANY WIRE SERVICE- anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
- FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM HOLDING YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
- CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification”
- NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
- AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL “GUARANTEE” YOUR TRANSACTION.
Examples of Common Scams on Craigslist
1. Someone claims that craigslist will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that craigslist will handle or provide protection for a payment.
2. Distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier’s check, which is not caught by the bank until weeks after the transaction and you are left to reimburse the bank.
3. Vague email that sounds fishy asking about “your item” for sale which may just be fishing for your email address in order to spam you.
4. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram or offers to send you a money order and have you wire some money back.
5. Distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a very true statement, and it is also an appropriate description of Craigslist. But, you need to use your common sense and realize that if it is too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam. Other than that, you can occasionally find some good stuff being tossed out in the “free” section under the “For Sale” category of your local Craigslist.
To communicate with a seller use the “Reply to” email at the top of the post. In the E-Mail describe what item you are interested in that way you don’t sound like a scammer. Make sure you use the above safety precautions even if you are only going to check out a freebie “curb alert” in your city.
Once you have acquired those valuable pieces of junk you can turn them into treasures and sell them back on Craigslist, in a Yard Sale, or through other local classifieds. Just check out my previous Trash To Treasure post if you need a refresher course on that. See that’s not too difficult, and everyone comes out a winner.
Do you have any helpful tips about avoiding scams and navigating Craigslist? I would love to here them and share them with my other readers!
Wow! Having a yard sale is a lot of hard work. This weekend has been very busy and a little stressful for me; but overall it was a good weekend, even fun at times. In this post I will tell you all about the money I made versus money and time spent, along with my tips for you to have a successful yard sale too.
Yard Sale Finances
Money Made from Yard Sale: $307 total- $70 from tools, $50 from electronics/appliances, $76 from clothes, $75 from nick-knacks/household decor, $30 from books/DVDs/Tapes, $6 from bottled water (at 50¢ a piece),
Money Spent on Yard Sale: $36 total- $18 for 2 All-in-one Yard Sale Kits, $8 for metal yard sale sign holders, $1 for permanent markers, $4 for a case of bottled water, $5 clothes hangers, Free yard sale permit
Time Spent on Yard Sale: 20 hours- approximately 10 hours preparing beforehand (spread out over a month), 10 hours working on yard sale day
Net Yard Sale Income: $271
Average Hourly Income: $13.55 (not including the free labor from other family members- Thanks Everybody!)
Yard Sale Tips
• Have a yard sale at the beginning of the month when people are less concerned about bills and have recently been paid.
• Organization is key to a low stress and successful yard sale. I wish my yard sale had been more organized and not so rushed the night before and morning of the sale.
• Price tags are good but so are grouping same priced items in a box/bin/table. I tried to individually price as much as I could because I hate going to a yard sale that doesn’t have prices on anything; I also made 10, 25, and 50 cent boxes.
• You can list your yard sale opening time for whatever you want but you will have people at your house by 06:30 in the morning. Just be glad people are interested in coming to your yard sale.
• Have plenty of change on hand because some people will pay for a 25¢ item with a $20 bill.
• Sell cold bottles of water at a reasonably low price to make a little extra cash (and keep yourself hydrated by having plenty of cold water on hand).
• Present your stuff in an appealing, clean, and neat manner to encourage people to buy it.
• Make furniture signs big enough for people to see that they are actually for sale- I did not sell my pieces of furniture because I didn’t have them in an easy-to-see place with a sign large enough to notice.
• Put up plenty of yard sale signs and make sure they will stay put. I am very glad I ordered 2 yard sale kits because I needed all of the signs and price tags, plus it made my yard sale stand out. I just wish I had secured some of the signs better. Some had fallen down and others had been blown to point in the opposite direction.
• Learn from the Yard Sale Queen- If you want a more extensive list of tips, hints, tricks, and various yard sale info I suggest checking out this website.
My Baby During the Yard Sale
My baby slept through most of the yard sale- she slept in until 07:30 that morning, took a morning nap from 9-12 (seriously), and she was actually sleepy for her 1:00 pm afternoon nap which she didn’t wake up from until 3:30 that afternoon.
When she wasn’t sleeping she was playing on the front porch with me or eating on the front porch in her high chair. For a short period of time we had family members take turns walking her in the stroller, but she was pretty easy to manage throughout the yard sale.
Make Money from Refurbishing (cont.):
Now that we have found those great deals, we have to figure out how to transform them into cash or keepsakes. I’m not an expert on this but I have a learned a few things about renewing thrift store finds, and restoring “junk” to its former glory.
If you are refinishing furniture for a yard sale, you might not want to put too much time and energy into it. When I get a nice piece of solid wood furniture like a desk or table I just clean, sand, and stain it using tips I read from DIY network. If you really do not want to mess with stains, you could prime and paint it instead- I would go with a neutral color to make it easier to sell.
A while back I purchased 3 non-matching side tables for a total of $10. After refinishing them for another $10 I was able to sell them at a yard sale for $12-$15 a piece, plus having these bigger items encouraged more people to stop at the yard sale and look around. I recently found a free desk that, with a little refinishing, will look good as new and I am excited about adding it to my yard sale collection for this coming spring.