Ten Ways to Money After the Unemployment Benefits Run Out
You've been down so gosh darned long it looks like up to you, and now the unemployment checks are about to stop flowing and you're flirting with payday loans. This is where the ability to survive financially takes precedence over all the other stresses of unemployment. What to do?
Here are a few ideas. You may have to swallow your pride to execute some of them, but that's not a bad thing. Hey, it's survival, right?
- Hold a garage sale. This is a great way to clean out your closets and bring in some cash.
- If you don't have a garage (or even if you do and you have some treasures that you don't want to part with for pennies on the dollar) sell stuff on E-bay. If you can write decent copy and take a decent picture, you can sell almost anything. E-bay can be as much or as little work as you want it to be.
- Do stuff for other people. Make some fliers that say, "Hey, I lost my job and need to pick up a few bucks until I find another one. Will do (list of things you can do for them). Call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx." You'll find that people can be very kind. If you're at all handy, this could even end up being a real business. Dig deep and think of valuable services that you can provide. If you're good at sewing, offer yourself as a tailor. If you're a whiz with computers, offer yourself as a computer guru. If you've got a green thumb, offer to help people with their gardens. People always need things done.
- Recycle. You'd be amazed what people throw away. You can find all kinds of saleable goods in garbage cans: copper wiring, cans and bottles, even stuff that could be sold on E-bay. Hey, don't knock it; this might just be one of the most honorable ways of earning a buck if you really stop and think about it.
- Tell a joke or sing a song -- or both! If you can do anything remotely entertaining, you can probably find an audience for it. You might not become a big star (or you might) but you can probably pick up 50 bucks now and again. The beauty is that if you live in a city with a lot of cultural activities, you can usually busk on the street somewhere, and if you don't live in such a place, you can easily find an indoor gig because people stuck in cultural backwaters are hungry for things to do.
- Sell your car. Figure out how to do without it. Believe it or not, it can be done in almost any urban area or small town. I know because I've done without a car for most of my adult life, and I've lived in a lot of places. Getting rid of your car gives you an immediate boost in cash and a long-term financial gain in no longer having to pay for insurance, gas, repairs, etc. Cars are expensive, and it's surprisingly liberating to do without one.
- Find religion. Hey, this is about survival, right? Join a church or temple and make your situation known. You'll be surprised how supportive a community of faith can be. Try not to be a hypocrite, though. If you're an avowed atheist, see if your town has a Buddhist temple; you don't have to believe in God to be a Buddhist. If you
do believe in God, a veritable smorgasbord of options are available in the U.S. and most other industrialized countries.
- Downsize your life. You got downsized, and now you get to do the same to your lifestyle. Move to a small apartment. Drive a smaller car if you must drive. Shop at thrift stores or repair your clothes. Eat a Spartan and healthy diet consisting largely of dried beans and rice, vegetables, and spices arranged in creative and delicious ways.
- Sell your body. No, not the sex trade -- that's dangerous and may involve swallowing more than your pride. Researchers in psychology, sociology, and medicine are always looking for lab rats, and they'll pay you to participate in studies. You can also sell plasma in most cities. Hey, it's money in your pocket.
- Take surveys. Participating in market research surveys pays a little. You can make a couple bucks every day this way.
Well, I hope something on that list caused you to experience an "Aha!" moment. If not, brainstorm. You can probably come up with a few ideas I missed. If you have any such ideas, please register and post them in the comments below.
Good luck! You will survive! You have no choice.
PS -- Here's another post about business ideas for the unemployed that you might find useful or interesting.