Ways We Could Make Money if We Had Time and/or Wanted To

by Lindy on March 5, 2012

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Thinking of ways to make money is one of my favorite pastimes, along with sleeping and watching television, that is.

But when it comes to actually doing some of the things I think about, well, that’s another story (let’s just say being a lover of sleep and television doesn’t help).

Oftentimes I’ll think of a way we could make money, then immediately discount it because I know it wouldn’t fit into our schedules.

Below is a list of such discarded ideas. Maybe one of them will work for you.

1. Be a coder for hire.

This is where I would pimp out my husband’s web coding abilities. Often on Twitter I’ll see someone asking for coding help for their blog. I feel a rushing urge to sweep in and be their web-coding superhero-to-the-rescue.

Then I remember, I can’t code…but my husband can! We could set up shop and be the go-to place for all things web language. I’d find the customers on Twitter and reel them in. And maybe we’d charge them five dollars to fix their problem.

Unfortunately, husband A-Rob barely has enough time to do coding for me, his very own wife, so this idea is shelved for now.

2. Make apps. Lots of them.

Aside from Plants vs. Zombies, I’m not much of an app person. I find most iPhone apps are too clunky for my taste.

That being said, I have a dream of becoming an app developer. I would make the kinds of apps that I would want to use. The ones I curse the app store over every time I search for them and they don’t exist.  And since there’s bound to be other users like me, I bet we’d have a market.

3. Be a weekend cabinet refinisher.

New cabinets can be expensive, so people often opt to paint their 1980s golden oak cabinet doors a crisp modern white instead. It’s an easy way to update a kitchen or bathroom on a budget.

Those who aren’t keen on getting paint under their fingernails might hire a professional to paint those cabinets. I could be that professional.

I could swoop in on a Friday night with my electric sander, return on Saturday morning for a fun-filled day of priming and painting, and then do the finishing touches on Sunday.

It would kill an entire weekend, but I could probably earn around $800-$1000 per kitchen.

4. Answer questions for ChaCha.

ChaCha is like Google for people who are impatient and/or not tech savvy. Users can go there and ask any question, and ChaCha will answer it.

If I were a really fast typist and loved searching the Internet, I could try my hand at being one of those people who answers questions. ChaCha pays per answer.

5. Make homemade doggy biscuits.

Not too long ago I was talking to a friend about how she and her husband were planning to adopt a child. At the time she was doing a lot of little things on the side to earn extra money for their $15oo adoption fee.

It turned out that one of her biggest money-makers was selling homemade doggy biscuits. Using a recipe she’d found online, she baked and sold them in batches to coworkers and neighbors. She even developed regular customers.

This is one of those things that works better when you have a noble cause you’re raising money for. I’m not so sure my coworkers would be jumping to buy biscuits to help me pay off debt.

6. Be a corporate artist.

I considered majoring in art for about five minutes once. If I had majored in art, I most certainly would NOT ever have considered becoming a corporate artist – someone who makes meaningless art that hangs in doctors’ offices and hotels. True artists see it as a way of selling out.

But since I didn’t major in art, I would totally make pretty pictures for waiting rooms. Who says art needs to actually say something?

If ever I was given the dream scenario of having six months’ worth of living expenses to buy me the time to forge a new path in life, I would give serious consideration to starting a corporate art business.

So with that statement, I’ll end this brainstorming session by asking you the same question.

If you were given six months to build your dream career from scratch. What would you do?

For more money-making ideas, see these past posts:

This post is a part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For even more posts about making money, see womensmoneyweek.com.

NEXT POST IN THIS SERIES: 5 Creative Ways to Make Money On the Side

(photo by taberandrew)

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  • Hmm this is very interesting. I would love to be an app developer.

  • You don’t actually need to make the apps yourself. If you have some great ideas you can easily hire out the coding part of the app.

    • Lindy

      Very true. If I had an idea that I knew would make me a lot of money, I might be willing to invest in a professional to build it for me. But I kinda like the idea of investing no money up front, just time (my husband’s time, that is). Makes it less risky…also makes it less likely to happen though.

  • I would continue to write. Freelance, staff write, start another blog.. I love writing. I didn’t know you could get paid for it before! I would continue that..

    • Lindy

      Sounds like a good plan to me. The internet is vast and wide, and getting bigger every day. Someone has to write all that content.

  • I think everyone has the ability to make some extra money on the side if they wanted to. It’s just a matter of running with one of their ideas and giving it a shot. You might see initial hurdles, but once you get going you will likely find ways around them.

    • Lindy

      So many ideas, so little time. But you are absolutely right.

  • This is total cop-out answer, especially from a blogger, but I’d be a full-time writer. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and if I had 6 months to do it, I absolutely write a book and solicit the hell out of it.

    • Agreed. It might be a cop-out, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

      If I could write my own ticket, I’d write it. Literally.

      Probably with a mix of pet sitting and re-selling to supplement.

      Lindy – Making dog biscuits, not all its cracked up to be. Believe you me. My store was a revolving door of people trying to start that particular side business, completely convinced they were the only ones doing it. They weren’t. And there are a whole buncha concerns to do that to any type of scale.

    • Lindy

      Oh yes, I can see how the dog biscuit business could be competitive as a full time gig. But as a make money on the side gig selling to coworkers, possibly more feasible.

  • bethh

    easy – I’d be a life/personal finance coach. I don’t feel like I know enough to be awesome at it, but the more I talk to people, the more I realize that the basics would be helpful for almost everyone.

    But, I’m not doing it. I don’t want to work two jobs, I don’t have a partner to rely on for backup income, and I don’t want to market myself/build a business. But if I won the lottery AND access to a good build-your-business mentor, that’s what I’d do.

    • Lindy

      A personal finance coaching business would be fun. I hear you on the part about marketing and building a new business though. Here’s to picking the winning numbers. ;)

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  • I’d make caramels! I’d really like to start that, I just have some built-in barriers.

  • I think for me, i’d start making diesel fuel (or dog treats). If I had the capital and the time (and space) and was sure that I could legally store the required ingredients i’d totally start making that and selling it locally!

    • Lindy

      Diesel fuel, dog treats, they’re all the same. I bet you could sell fuel to coworkers too.

  • I’d do exactly what I’m preparing to do now…interpreting for the d/Deaf. And/or write. I’m lucky in that regard, right now.

    • Lindy

      How awesome you get to pursue your dream!

  • Dream career… I’d be a luxury travel writer. Ahem. :)

    • Lindy

      Dude. Good choice.

  • I love the idea of homemade doggie biscuits! I am going to have to try it out.
    Also, you know you could sell this stuff on your blog or on Etsy!

    • Lindy

      Yes! I also need to find time to make something to sell on Etsy. ;)

  • I’m just at the end of my 6 month sabbatical of trying to make money writing. It’s been fantastic but at this point it’s still just a side thing as far as income.
    I so want to make an app even though I never use them! My friends are always downloading them, spending money on them!

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