Having the basic income required to meet all your needs is a fairly simple thing to do. If you find yourself needing more income, choose one or more of the following alternatives to supplement your income, or to simply provide all the income you need. You are always better off providing for yourself rather than relying upon a job with an employer. I routinely use one or a combination of the alternatives below.
1. See the ads on this page? They are Google Adsense ads, and every time someone clicks on that ad, even if all they do is go to the advertiser's website and look around, I get a few cents for that. I get even more if they sign up for the free newsletter and even more if someone buys from the advertiser's website. You can get a free blog just like this one and open a Google Adsense account, where they will give you all the code you need to insert in this page so that you start making money. This is really just a hobby for me but I make an average of $100 per month from the Google ads on my website. There is no financial investment required to make this work, and all the visitors have to do is look at the advertiser's website, they don't have to buy.
2. A really easy and lucrative alternative is curb painting. You can get started with this alternative for $20. This is also the fastest way to make money right now. Go to your local dollar store and get a can of black and a can of white spray paint, and a set of 4 inch stencils. Go into the neighborhoods of your city, go up to the door of a house, knock on the door and tell the resident that you noticed that they didn't have a number painted on the curb, and that if they had an emergency and needed to call an emergency vehicle, the emergency vehicles will be able to find your home 67% faster if you have the number painted on the curb with reflective paint. Tell them you can quickly paint their house number on the curb for only $5. They will be highly motivated to pay you that $5. Going up to the door, explaining to the resident, and actually spraying the number takes an average of 15 minutes, so you can conceivably do 4 houses per hour. That's $20 per hour on average. So an hours worth of work will get you enough money for groceries for the day, and if you decide to work for 5 hours at this, that's $100 and more than enough for food for a week. No need to rely on food stamps. When you've been to every house in your city, branch out to other nearby cities. To make it worth your while, drive to another community and spend the whole day. If you're making $200 or $300 a day, you can afford to put $20 of gas in the car to drive to the nearby cities.
3. So you don't have the $20 to buy the spray paint and stencils? You can give plasma and get $40. You can sell something on Ebay and replace the item after you've made some money at curb painting.
4. Speaking of Ebay, it's a great way to supplement your income on a regular basis. I usually go to garage sales or the dollar store, pick up inexpensive items, mark them up and sell them on Ebay. I once bought a set of 8 plates with a Christmas theme at the dollar store. My cost was $8 and I marked them up to $13.95 for Ebay, set them up on auction and ended up selling 13 sets of those plates. One set of the plates went as high as $97, and selling those plates paid for my family's whole Christmas that year, as my total sale for those 13 sets of plates was over $1000. Easy as pie.
5. Speaking of garage sales, you can literally buy almost everything you need at a garage sale. Sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to buy for the whole year. Birthdays, anniversaries, items you feel might wear out during the year and need to be replaced, etc. You can save 90% of the cost of what you normally need by doing this.
6. Document Shredding Service. Call around to document shredding services in your area to see what they charge, and come up with a cheaper price to beat out your competitors. A shredder is a pretty inexpensive thing you can buy at Wal-mart, Staples or Home Depot. You can start out with a very inexpensive one, which you will probably wear out in short order, but with the money you will be making you can easily replace it later. Buy a couple of those large trash cans with wheels like what you use to wheel your trash to the curb. Provide those to your clients with locks on them to store their documents. With only four clients, you can make a nice income. Pickup would be weekly or monthly depending on the volume of paper produced. Also have a contract for them to sign for your services. Then you can just sit at home in front of the television shredding paper all day. How easy is that?
7. Self-publish your own books. You can publish a book on Amazon for free. On a different page we will discuss ways of promoting your book so you make sales.
8. Sell your own correspondence courses online. Set up a Paypal Account to collect fees for your work.
9. Do you have a skill others might want to learn? Give music lessons, sewing lessons, etc.
10. Advertise your willingness to be a pet sitter, babysitter, house cleaner, window washer. Make up business cards.
11. Become an Amazon.com Affiliate and make a commission on everything bought through your affiliate account. On another page we will discuss how to get people to buy through your affiliate account.
12. Sign up for Inspired Opinions Schleshinger Associates. Three or four times a year they offer me a $20 Amazon.com gift card for completing surveys related to whether or not I would consider online education opportunities at online universities. They will ask you to take other surveys as well for which you only get points that accumulate and can be used to get prizes. But you can buy anything with the Amazon gift cards, even groceries.
13. Write articles for HubPages. Participating in the Hubpages community will bring more traffic to your articles and you will earn money from advertising shown on your hubs. You will need a Google Adsense account for this as well, and a PayPal account.
14. Use all the above alternatives at once.
My suggestion is that you start by listing some stuff on Ebay. While you are waiting for those things to sell, start curb painting or paper shredding. The curb painting will provide for your immediate emergency needs. If you make $100 a day at curb painting, and you work five days a week at this, you'll make $2000 a month, and anybody should be able to meet all their basic needs for rent, food and utilities with that. Not only will you be providing for yourself, you will feel great about the fact that you don't have to rely on the government or anyone else. Once you see that you are going to be able to provide for yourself, you can then spend some of your spare time setting up the Google ads on your blog or writing that book you want to publish. Then the Google ads and book royalties become passive income. You've done the work once but keep getting paid for them over and over.
Feel like you need more individualized advice, or have questions related to your own specific situation? I do one hour self-employment consultations for $20.