The realm of personal finance blogs is large. It's filled with general money blogs like The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly. But there are many smaller corners of this world where writers cover smaller pieces of the personal finance puzzle.
For instance, there are:
- Investment blogs like Oblivious Investor, and Seeking Alpha (which has grown beyond mere bloghood).
- Economics blogs like Greg Mankiw's Blog, the always-awesome Marginal Revolution, and Freakonomics.
- Simple-living blogs like Zen Habits, Rowdy Kittens, and Becoming Minimalist.
But one of my favorite corners of the PF blogosphere is inhabited by the (mostly) women who call themselves deal bloggers. At sites like Savings Lifestyle and Deal Seeking Mom, these bloggers share daily links to coupons, recipes, and other deals. These sites have huge followings and are more profitable than you might expect. For me, one of the highlights of 2010 was speaking at the Savvy Blogging Summit, where nearly one hundred deal bloggers gathered to share their secrets. (I liked meeting these women so much that I'm going back next month to mingle with them again.)
That's a long lead-in to today's “ask the readers”, which was actually posted at Money Saving Mom. Earlier this week, Crystal took a break from writing about coupons and deals in order to share a question from one of her readers. Pamela wrote to ask:
I am in a situation where I need to increase my monthly income by about $1,000 per month. We already eat as frugally as we can and try to buy only when something is on sale. We economize at home with utilities.
I don't think there is much else I can do besides actually increasing my income from home. In addition to selling online, which I already do, what other work from home opportunities are there that would enable me to see a $1,000 increase in income in a short time?
Now, the site you're reading is called Get Rich Slowly for a reason. I don't believe there are any quick paths to wealth. That said, I get questions like this all of the time. People want to know what they can do to make quick cash.
I've written extensively about ways to make more money. I believe that boosting your income is probably the most effective way to reach your financial goals in the long-term. Remember, personal finance involves two fundamental skills: spending less and earning more. As Pamela has learned, once you've cut costs, the only thing left to do is increase your income.
Because the audience at Money Saving Mom is different than the one here at Get Rich Slowly, the 301(!!!) suggestions for making more money are different than the ones we normally discuss too. Here are some common answers:
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Provide daycare and/or babysitting.
- Answer online surveys. (Donna Freedman often recommends this here at GRS, but I know nothing about it. Has anyone tried it?)
- Start a blog. (This is a fine idea, but Pamela should realize that blogging is a demanding task with few rewards, especially for new bloggers.)
- And, of course, some readers urged Pamela to get a job outside the home.
But it's the less common responses to Pamela's question that are more interesting. One woman builds child-sized picnic tables to earn extra cash. Another suggests acting as a housekeeper or “home assistant” or sewing for money. Some folks sell hand-made items on Etsy.
The entire discussion at Money Saving Mom is a goldmine of money-making ideas. If you've been frustrated trying to come up with ways to boost your income, spend an hour reading through the 300+ comments; there's sure to be something there to provide a spark of inspiration.
Meanwhile, I'm curious to poll you about your own efforts to make more money. Have you increased your income in the past? If so, how? Can you give some tips to GRS readers (and readers from Money Saving Mom)?
If you've never tried to increase your income before, how would you do so if you had to? How would your choices differ if you had to make more money soon? (And, out of curiosity, why aren't you doing these things already?)