Earnings – IRL

Earning opportunity – Shop for Shipt

Now hiring in several southern states, Shipt delivers groceries. If you’re physically able to tote groceries, have a smart phone, car, and driver’s license, this could be a nice part time job. www.shipt.com. Or for that matter, if there are times you’d like your groceries to just arrive, it could be a nice service for you. Also nice for someone elderly or disabled, or just down with the flu.


52 Weeks: Earnings – Retraining, Is It True?

From the book:


Going back to school to train in something there’s a demand for is a popular suggestion. Make sure there really is a demand before you spend your savings or go into debt to pay for school.

I looked into medical billing and coding. The schools all made it sound like there was a huge demand. Of course they did, they’re selling their schooling. I visited a local school. The salesperson was clearly very desperate to sell me on spending $16,000 for less than a year of training.

I went a little deeper on the Internet, past the sales pitches. I found a discussion board of people who had taken the schooling, passed the exams, and passed the state licensing tests. They still couldn’t get work, because the employers insisted on experience. When the unemployment rate is high, many people are looking for work. Employers can ask for experienced workers and get them. They have little motivation for training someone who is new to their field.




52 Weeks: Earnings – Writing Books

From the book:


Thanks to quantum advances in self-publishing, anyone who can write a book can publish it. Like so many things, this can cost a lot, a little, or almost nothing. Amazon.com offers both free and paid self-publishing services.

If you do your own editing, formatting, and cover art, you can publish your own book in Kindle format with no cost. Check out the free Kindle book “Building Your Book for Kindle” for detailed instructions. Professional editing for a full-length book can cost $1,000 to $2,000. I edited mine myself and it took six months.

The paint.NET design software for the cover art defeated me. I paid someone on http://www.fiverr.com to design it for me. Amazon charges much more for help with cover art than the artists on Fiverr do. http://Www.createspace.com’s cover design templates are easy to use if you want to do it yourself.

If you want your book to be available in physical form, CreateSpace can help you. You can pay them to take care of all the formatting. Or, if you can do all the work yourself the only cost is for a proof copy and any physical books you order for yourself. They print on demand. When someone orders the book, they print one and mail it out.

The trouble is, Amazon offers fourteen million titles. Unless you advertise, it’s not likely that people will notice yours when browsing around. Look on Fiverr for people who will drive traffic to your book’s Amazon webpage. Other avenues include posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media, and mass emails to your contacts.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.


52 Weeks: Earnings -Pet Care and Housecleaning

From the book:

Pet care

Internet articles about jobs for retired people often mention pet sitting and dog walking. Cliff used to dog-sit for people he met while playing bridge at senior centers. We had one adorable little poodle dog with us for three months while his human companion recovered from a stroke. Well-paid working couples would be a market to look into for this, along with well-heeled seniors who travel.

House cleaning

Those same working couples and seniors might also be in the market for a house cleaner. In the early ‘80s, I worked freelance as a house cleaner. Back then, I charged a set price of $25 for a fixed group of tasks that added up to a basic weekly cleaning. With practice, it took me about two hours to do. You can charge for a set of tasks, or you can charge by the hour and let the customer set the tasks.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.


52 Weeks: Earnings Offline – Work at Home Scams

From the book:

Work at home ads

Somewhere in the help wanted section you will probably see an ad that says, “Home workers desperately needed.” I checked this out years ago. They send you a book of fake employers who supposedly hire piece workers.

I was good at cross-stitch so I applied for a cross-stitch job. The pattern they sent me was obviously wrong and resulted in a hot mess. When I corrected the pattern and made a good piece, they rejected it. For another one, they rejected everything I sent in. The only way to make a profit was to place ads like the one I had answered, selling this bogus book to other hopeful home workers.

  • Real employers’ ads will have an email or snail mail address to which to send your resume.
    • Scammers will have a phone number for you to call.
  • Real employers will state the job tasks and the skills they expect you to have.
    • Scammers will entice you with a dollar amount they say you can earn.
  • Real employers don’t emphasize that the job can be done at home; they emphasize the nature of the job.
  • Real employers don’t ask you to pay to apply for a job.

Unfortunately, real demand for people to work at home is very low. My conclusion is that work at home ads, especially if they ask you for money, are probably scams.

Movie extras

Also, watch out for the one about movie extras wanted. Cliff signed up for it and they tried to charge a monthly fee to his credit card. He got no jobs from it.

If movie extra work appeals to you, go directly to your local film commission to find work. Type your state and the words “local film commission” into an Internet search engine. One of the results will be an official website with contact information.


Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.


52 Weeks: Earnings – A Second Job

Thinking of getting a second job, or maybe an at home parent is considering adding a second income to the family?

From the book:

The financial question is, how much of the second income will we be able to keep, after what it costs to earn it? Below is a worksheet that you can use to find out the effect of a second income on your own family. First, here’s an example. Suppose the best second job available right now pays minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. Gross pay for forty hours of work in a week would be $290.

Taxes for Social Security and Medicare will be withheld at the rate of 5.65%. In this case, that would be $16.39.

$290 minus $16.39 = $273.62.

Federal income tax may be withheld. If you are married filing jointly, the income from the second job will be taxed on top of the income from the first job. If the combination of the first income and the second income puts you in the 15% marginal income tax bracket, then the additional income will be taxed at 15%. “Marginal tax rate” means the percentage of each additional dollar earned that will go for taxes.

For 2013, if the income of a couple that files jointly is between $17,850 and $72,500, the tax rate is 15% . 15% of $290 is $43.50

$273.62 minus $43.50 = $230.12 after taxes.

The least expensive childcare in my area costs $80 per week per child or $100 per infant.

$230.12 minus $80 = $150.12 per week after care for one child

$150.12 minus $100 = $50.12 per week after care for a child and an infant.

Now it becomes blurrier. Much depends on whether you already run a second car, or you will buy one for the job, or you will take a bus, walk, bicycle. . . . Each family can calculate what increase in transportation cost the second job will cause. It may be as simple as the amount of gas burned for the commute or the cost of bus fare.

$50.12 minus $10 for transportation = $40.12

If the job requires special clothing that you don’t already have, that cost will have to be subtracted from earnings. You can divide the cost of the clothes by the number of weeks the clothes will probably last and subtract a week’s worth from this weekly calculation.

Will there be an added cost of buying lunches, or will you have the time and energy to make lunches at home ahead of time? If you’re both tired from working, will you spend money on take-out and prepared foods? Will you need to pay someone to do yard work and house cleaning?

Too many workplaces have costly events like showers and parties for co-workers. People will want you to buy over-priced things for their children’s fundraisers. This will come on top of existing social events and fundraisers in your family and neighborhood. It’s a whole new vista of possible costs. This will have to be taken into account too, unless you have the iron will to refuse to join in.

Second income worksheet

Here’s a worksheet you can use for your own situation

_______________gross hourly rate

x______________ hours per week

=______________ weekly pay (If salaried, write weekly salary on this line)

x 0.0565___________for Social Security and Medicare taxes

=______________new balance after subtracting SS and Medicare taxes

-______________federal tax: new balance times your marginal tax rate (below)

=______________balance after taxes

-______________weekly childcare costs if you have those costs

=______________balance after childcare

-______________ added costs of traveling to the job

=______________balance after transportation

-______________ costs of work clothing and care of work clothing

=______________balance after special clothing

-______________added cost of purchased lunches and work parties and gifts

=______________balance after added social costs

-______________minus additional cost of prepared foods and meals out

=______________equals balance after convenience

-_____________ minus cost of hiring things done, yard work and house cleaning

=_____________equals balance after hired workers

÷_____________hours worked per week

=_____________ the “real” hourly wage you get to keep after work expenses


Tax rates for married filing jointly for 2013:

Marginal Rate Income Range
10% $0 to $17,850
15% $17,850 to $72,500
25% 72,500 to $146,400
28% 146,400 to $223,050
33% $223,050 to $398,350


My First Guest Post!

Last month I participated in a book fair at Deltona Library. Another author there told me she recognized my name because she reads my blog! I knew in theory that at least a few people were reading it, but I never expected to meet one in person. Her book is relevant to my topic, so she has written us a guest post, and here it is:

Five Ways To Earn Extra Money

By G.C. Denwiddie

As an authorpreneur, I know what it feels like to need to make a few extra bucks rather quickly. I also know when you Google ‘ways to make money,’ the same options often pop-up  in the search results over and over. However with these 5 quick, money-making ideas, I hope to bring attention to a few ideas that you can implement quickly and earn a few extra bucks.

  1. Kitchen Co-Working Space – If you’re like me, working in the coffee shop isn’t always the best way to be productive. It’s easy to get distracted and spend more money by buying expensive coffee. However, there is a desire to be out of the house and be productive for many entrepreneurs and creatives. With this awesome idea, you meet the need of working from home, providing companionship, and helping people save money by offering your kitchen table as a co-working space. Advertise within in your circle and provide your coworkers with printing, coffee, tea, and water, and the overall perfect environment to help them be productive. This idea is a cheaper option than renting out an office for interested person and is a definite win-win for you and your customers.

  2. Cut That Budget Service – For those of you who have a knack for cutting costs, this is a no-brainer. Help your friends and family cut down their business costs with your recommendations. You can choose to specialize in cutting down cell phone costs or insurance costs or costs all around on their budget. The choice is yours, and it will be extremely easy to convince people to hire you. After all, who doesn’t way to save more money?

  3. Insurance Gig – This gig is too easy to be true. I’m sure we all know someone that works in the insurance industry. I’m sure we also know entrepreneurs who don’t have their business covered by insurance and/or have health insurance. With this easy money idea, you simply ask your insurance connect if they offer a referral fee. If they do, you simply pass interested persons to them and make money passively. Great insurance gigs to look at are life, health, and business insurance.

  4. Test Apps – If you have smart phone, put it to use, by testing out mobile apps on your phone and/or computer. Check out this site: https://www.usertesting.com/product/mobile-application-testing. The instructions to get signed up are rather easy to use, and it’s a great way to make extra money in your spare time. Tests are only 20 minutes, and it’s $10 per test. That can add up!

  5. Plan Holiday Trips- With the summer holiday fast approaching, people don’t have time to search for cheap summer vacation options trips. Save your future customers time by planning a summer vacation for them. You can keep an eye on the latest flight sale and/or  find cheap housing for them on Airbnb or another lodge-sharing site. This is a quick way to make extra money. You can add extra goodies like car rental prices and looking up fun things to do in the city they’re visiting.

And there you have it – five, quick ideas to make extra money.  What are some of your best ideas for making extra money?

Thanks for reading!


G.C. Denwiddie is the founder of bosswriter.me, a free membership site for writers that aims to make writing and dollars synonymous. She can be found on social media @gcdenwiddie and/or reached at hello@gcdenwiddie.com