Ten Ways I Have Made Money Since Losing My Job

I lost my job at the end of July, 2007. Rather than retell that story in this post you can read about it here, if interested. Since that time I have been trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, and I have narrowed it down to creating, specifically writing, however I enjoy photography as well. I have several ideas in mind to try in the near future, but thought it would be clarifying for me, and maybe mildly interesting for you, to recap what I have tried already since losing my job. I am a big believer in the multiple streams of income school of thought. I have not reached my full “stream” potential yet, but by trial and error I have discovered a few ways to make money, as well as eliminating some others.

After looking over my list I would love to hear what you are doing to make money, whether it’s for some side cash or full time.

I started The Buck List over a year ago knowing nothing about blogging. I monetized it right away with Google Ad Sense, read a little about SEO, and subscribed to ProBlogger. My main objective was not to make money with the blog but to force myself into a writing routine and work on building my skills. It’s good that I was not expecting much, because that’s what I’ve gotten. I still enjoy it, but I am feeling a little cramped writing only about personal finance issues. Either this blog will change or I will start another one with broader parameters. As for the money, so far I have received two checks from Google. If you know what their minimum payout is, you have a pretty good idea how much that amounts to. Like I said, I was not expecting much, so I have not been disappointed. My page impressions are finally high enough that I am making money from it every day, but not nearly enough to live off of. If you have ever heard that it’s hard to make money blogging and that it takes a long time to make any at all, believe it.

Café Press

This one looked easy enough; through up some templates to fit their merchandise and watch the money roll in. I promoted my shop on the blog for several months and have sold, so far, a bumper sticker. I finally removed it from the blog and have pretty much given up on this one.

Garage Sale

We had a garage sale recently to clear out some stuff and brought in $300 during the one and a half days we held it. The most time I spent on it was making nice, big, readable garage sale signs. I know they attracted a lot of people because every third group that walked up made a comment about “nice signs.” We have plenty more to get rid of, so another one is planned for next spring. And I saved the signs.

I have already written about my hauling experiences here, so there is really no need to go into all of that again. It ranks pretty high on my money making scale, and I think I would do it again if the situation presented itself. Good exercise and good money.

Odd Jobs

These have usually paid well. I have removed snow, cut down trees, repaired fences, built gates, etc. Once even a small group of people know what skills you have to offer you can easily find work like this to fill in the gaps.

Selling my stuff on Craigslist has been the largest money maker for me, by far. It has also been one of the largest sources of frustration because of the no-shows. I continue to do it because if you have practical, household stuff to get rid of I think this is the best way to go. It’s free, and your buyers come to your front door.

I had never sold anything through a consignment shop before my hauling endeavourers landed me an entire wardrobe from a clean out. Twenty items at a time (that is the weekly limit at the shop I use) I carted the wardrobe up there, and month after month a check showed up in the mail. That wardrobe is now all gone, but we have become regulars taking up our own clothes for some side cash. Not enough to live off, but a nice supplement to the other streams.

Surveys, Reward Sites and Sweepstakes
These have been a mixed bag, mostly a waste of time, but I have received checks or PayPal deposits from Cash Crate, Opinion Outpost and Own My Site. I am accumulating points (I have close to 5,000) from My Points towards gift cards and I just started messing around with Up Down. I also play Adjack, if I remember to, but have not won anything. I went through a sweepstakes period but have pretty much given up on those, too. Anything I do in this category is usually done as filler, serving as five to ten minute breaks while on the computer.


I have been writing sporadically for eHow for a few months now, recycling Buck List posts into How To articles. I have been surprised at the constant trickle from this particular income stream. This is one I want to work harder at to find out just how much potential is there.

Ah, Zazzle. This was one of the first “shops” I created, along with my Lemonade and Café Press attempts. I have sold a few shirts and for months I have been meaning to add more product, but it just keeps getting placed on the backburner. Maybe writing this will help prompt me. Maybe not.


  1. I've been in a similar situation, out of a job. I hope things get better for you. They are getting better for me. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the kind words. By the looks of your website it looks like you are on the right track. Nice job!

  3. I think selling things, blogging for SOME semblance of an income, and keeping my expenses low have helped see me through this year without a contract.

    I hope things get better for you, because I am feeling that the IT industry (for me) will pick up next year when they release the new budgets.

    Good luck!

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