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Financial Survival: Ways to Make Money Without the Man. Post Yours!

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posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:34 AM
This thread is a place to list current ways to make money without having a real job, for anyone who doesn't wish to work for an employer or is unable to find work. Please read the entire post, there could be that one piece of useful information you didn't even realize you needed.

Most of you have probably heard all about gold the past few years. Silver has also been a hot topic of conversation. What you may not know is that while gold & silver have risen in price, so have other metals, making scrapping metal even more profitable.

There are 2 ways to approach scrapping.

a.) Save your household scrap. You will probably be amazed when you see just how much metal your household throws away on a weekly basis, I know that I was. Some examples: soda/beer cans, beer bottle caps (can also be sold on eBay at the approximate rate of 100 clean caps for $14.00), food cans, random nails and screws, and any broken appliance.

These are things you probably come across regularly. What appliances? Well, you have a hairdryer in your house? They break. Rice cookers, crock pots, dishwashers, etc. all break. Quit putting stuff on the curb and save it in a scrap pile in your garage. You can get (regional prices vary) $5 to $8 for a trash bag of crushed aluminum cans. How long it takes to accumulate that depends on your household. Just try saving your scrap for 6 months and then take it all and see what you get paid for it. You can use that information to decide if this is something you want to continue doing. For more information, Google ‘how to scrap’ or try a book on Amazon. For full disclosure, I made $35.07 yesterday scrapping 4 bags of crushed cans and a nonworking lawnmower I tried to trade to 2 different shops. No one wants it. I got $29+ for the cans and $5+ for the mower.

b.) Actually scrap as a job. To do this, you will need a larger vehicle and a storage space, and a workspace to break things down for scrappable parts. So this is not for everyone, but it is a viable source of weekly income if you can.

Basically you will need to drive down residential streets after trash is put on the curb, but before the truck comes. Dumpsters at the beginning & end of the month in apartments are good, as well as business dumpsters at places like auto repair shops. You would be looking for large items. Lamps, window frames, major appliances, etc. Fill up a truck and turn it in.

The level of income would be totally dependent on how much time you spent driving around scavenging. If you are sitting around looking for a job and can't find one, it can't hurt to try this if you are able-bodied enough to handle it. A couple weeks and you'd get an idea if this was something you were interested in pursuing for the long run. And even if it isn't, you can still scrap just your household metals for extra money.

There are so many ways to make money selling your crap, it's unbelievable. Now, you might be thinking that you don't have anything to sell. Well, I doubt that's true! You just aren't looking. Once I started looking, you wouldn't believe the stuff I found & was able to turn into straight cash, and I don't even have a bunch of stuff to begin with. The key is to open your eyes, actually LOOK at your surroundings. The stuff you see every day will just blend in, so focus on finding something, & I bet you will see it!

There are 5 ways to sell your junk.

a.) You got eBay. Anything that will make you a profit of over $10 is probably worth selling on eBay. With eBay you got auction fees (1st 50 each month are free though), you got a fee when your item sells, then when you get paid, Paypal also charges you a fee. That's a lotta fees and you better do your research and understand those. It is possible, with a low selling price, to LOSE money when you sell something on eBay. Don't let that be you! Read & understand your fees. For full disclosure: when I first started doing this, I made over $5k in one year, spending maybe 3 hours a week listing/shipping, off plain old crap in my house I didn't want. I mean, that's freaking incredible. Plus you got more space, more money to spend on survival supplies, electronics, whatever it is you need.

b.) You got Amazon. For a person selling used junk, this is only gonna help you out if you've got a bunch of books. Same as with eBay, it's very important to understand the fees you are going to have to pay!

c.) You got pawnshops. Now I'm not personally a pawnshop fan, as far as selling there goes. Love to buy there, but usually can sell something for a better price elsewhere. Your mileage may vary. Good things for pawnshops are old musical instruments, electronics, tools, jewelry, movies, music and video games. Personally, I wouldn't sell any of that to a pawn shop, but you may find a better deal than what I see in my location.

d.) You got consignment shops. Now this is clothes or antiques, generally. If you've got clothes, honestly you'll probably do better on eBay. That's my experience, you can still check out your local stores; they just might be better than mine. With antiques, a consignment shop is probably the right move if it's big and bulky. Call your shop in advance, as most of these places want appointments.

e.) You got Craigslist. This is gonna be for furniture or other large items. Refrigerators, couches, tables, headboards, chairs, all kinds of stuff like this does well on Craigslist, generally. So get that old ratty thing your spouse is complaining about and photo it & sell it! Since you have to actually meet the buyer personally, exercise caution.

Basically, with this one, you're gonna have to do a lot of work. It helps if you already like to shop at thrift stores, consignment shops, and garage sales. There are other places to acquire used items for resale such as: storage auctions, police auctions, and liquidation warehouses.

Sometimes you can go out and you just don't find anything to resell. You'll never know what is out there if you don't go look; there are some good deals to be found if you know what you're looking for. What are you looking for? Well, that depends on what you know.

You KNOW something. What is it? It's that thing you're better at. Maybe it's sheet music. Maybe it's 80's toys or video games. Maybe it's old electronics, Barbies, vintage clothing, or tools. Whatever you're good at, that's what you're looking to make a profit from.

Since you have a good understanding of the item, you have a good understanding of the market price, and you will know if there is a good deal in front of you, and how much you can resell for, and where to resell at. You can see my garage sale finds from last weekend on this thread. You can also see a few other peoples too. There is money to be made here if you find your niche. I make about $10k a year selling other people's crap. It isn't many hours, and its fun to me. Making money and having fun at the same is a plus.

Will be continued in the next post....

edit on 4/11/12 by Ameilia because: spelling

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:35 AM
This can be done by anyone with a yard. Sorry guys if you live in apartment, you're out of this one. But a rental house should work just fine. There are too many ways to utilize your yard to count, so I am only giving a couple of examples which should get you on the right track to cash!

Here are two examples of utilizing your yard.

a.) Grow rose bushes. This would be a seriously small investment. Sell a couple things on eBay or whatever, get a hundred bucks, and you got it covered. What do you do? You get some plastic pots and some rose seeds and go to town. How big is your yard, how many of these plastic buckets do you think you could fit back there? A couple hundred? Great. Roses are easy to grow, hardy plants. Get a variety of types (that do well in your location) and colors. Plant them and watch them grow. Now what? Sell the pots of rose bushes. You been to a gardening center lately? Those plants are $10 to $15 each. Times whatever yard space you have. So you're like a mini-nursery. Sound fun? Sounds easy. Keep in mind roses is just an example. You could do aloe, bonsai trees, anything you want.

b.) Grow sage. Sage is an even smaller investment. Grow the sage, harvest it, allow it to dry, and tie it up into smudge sticks. Smudge sticks are popular in 3", 6" and 10" lengths. You can run one Fixed Price Multiple Variation listing on eBay for those 3 sizes. Again, sage smudge sticks is just an example. You have that space in your yard; fill it up with something that generates an income! Even children can do this one.

This one is a little bit iffy. Sure, it pays, but there are some concerns. The first concern is you are basically selling information about yourself. Only you can decide if you want to sell this information. Most of it is pretty innocent, like about what kind of dog food you buy, or the type of contact lens solution you use. But you never know. Also, it is quite tedious. I have done this, but quit. I did it for about a year, then realized I had other avenues of income coming in, that were making me more money for my time than the boring, prying surveys. So, out the window it went.

You also aren't going to make much money. I had to take about an hour’s worth of surveys each day to get paid about $25 a week. Seriously. So that's pretty low. But if you are currently making $0.00, then $25.00 starts sounding a bit better. Also, it is really difficult to find a place that pays you actual cash. I found 3 places, which I can't post here because it breaks the terms, but they shouldn't be hard to find. If you choose to take surveys, please accept only cash as payment, and not gift cards or so-called prizes. The idea is to generate an income, not a bunch of bull. Be sure and read the terms before signing up with anyone.

Only if you can write. If you're bad at grammar and spelling, this probably isn't for you. But this is ATS, and there are many talented writers here.

2 ways to make money writing from home.

a.) Write articles. There are several websites that will pay writers for articles. Some places will let you write about anything, other places will give out assignments, and you pick from their topics which ones you want to write about. There are 2 ways to get paid here. One way is just for writing the article. You will be told how much you are getting paid for what length of article. You choose to accept or not. The second way is page views. The more people read your article, the more money you make in page views. Some places will pay you both for initially writing the article, and then also pay you for page views.

I did this for awhile, but again this is also something I quit doing due to other avenues of income were more money for equal or lesser time, so I had to quit. When I was doing this, I was spending 3-5 hours per week writing articles. I made around $50.00 each week. That's not too bad, at worst its $10 an hour.

b.) Write a book. Anyone can self-publish an e-book or a printed book these days. There are multiple places online for your book. Please use Google to find them. Rates of pay vary, but some places are paying as high as 70% of the sales price in commission. That's huge, and if you didn't know, it's a higher percentage than authors with a publishing house make. So if you have some knowledge about something in particular, especially if it is not main stream, go for it. ATS is full of non main stream people, so this should be a viable option for many.

This is something that I have done. I have written some short non-fiction books. I wrote these books last year and am making about $800 in royalty payments each month. Remember earlier when I mentioned about quitting the survey taking & article writing? This is why.

Got cut off
Continued in the next post....
edit on 4/11/12 by Ameilia because: Got cut off

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:36 AM
Writing a book is more profitable for me, so I chose to do that. Your mileage may vary. You might do wonderful at articles and horrible at books, who knows?


What are you good at? Don't think "nothing" because there IS something, even if it is not immediately apparent to you. You know what my best friend said to me when I started writing articles? She said "I could never do that. I don't know anything anyone else wants to know." Guess what happened then?

She saw a pair of Nike shoes sitting in a box I was going to send to donate. They were worn, dirty, and nasty.

She asked me if I was going to donate those, and I said yes. And she comes out with, "why aren't you selling those online?" I'm all, "who in the heck wants these nasty shoes dude?" She proceeds to talk for the next half hour about Nike shoes. Outrageous shoes, ugly shoes, cheap shoes, knock-offs, celebrity worn shoes. She even showed me on eBay where people were selling particular shoes for $1000.

This from the girl who says she doesn't know anything that anyone wants to know. I tell her, "hey, you know shoes." And she did! I ended up selling these junk shoes on eBay for $25. That's about $25 more than I was planning on selling them for, since in my opinion they were worthless, until she educated me.

So, YOU know something. Just find out what it is.

Once you find out what it is, you will know how to go about teaching it. If you know how to put up wallpaper, remove wallpaper, or lay a wood floor, you might go to your local home improvement store and try and teach a weekend class there.

If you know about accounting, you might be able to teach a class at a community college (not for credit) and get paid for that.

If you knit, hit up a craft store, if you sew, hit up a fabric store. See where I'm going? You can do this. You are especially valuable if you can teach something unique. I am a fan of the Paracordist. If you were him, where might you go to teach? An Army Navy store, a gun shop, a survival supplies place, or a camping place sound like possibilities. Find your skill, and then find a place to teach.

Create something to sell, usually online. Other avenues may be available to you if you are interested in farmer's markets or craft shows. It has to be unique, it has to have readily available materials, and it has to be worth your time to make. You wouldn't want to spend 2 hours making something that is going to sell for $5 right? Of course not. So, what skills do you have? It needs to be something good, making 1990 era friendship bracelets is not going to work. Again with the Paracordist example. This guy is making something that has cheap material, is easy for him to make, and has a high demand.

A good place for craft items might be If you are doing woodworking, Etsy is still a possibility, but so is selling on Craigslist. Think about your target buyers. This is going to be a tougher one for most people, but if you come up with a great idea, run with it.

What can you do, that other people need done? Or, what can you do, and do better than average, that people will hire you to do? There is probably something.

There are unlimited ways to sell your services

I will give you a few to start off with, but you will do best by picking what fits your skill set especially well, not necessarily something from this list. To do this, you will have to drum up your own clients, which may be difficult in the beginning. Anyone can make a Blogger or Wordpress website for free to showcase their services.

a.) Clean houses
b.) Mow laws
c.) Trim trees and cut firewood
d.) Clean chimneys
e.) Be a driver & drive people where they need to go, private drivers can make more than taxis!
f.) Water lawns
g.) Pet sit & dog walk
h.) Hand wash cars
i.) Wash windows

Notice what all of these things have in common? They are all unskilled labor, which means ANYONE is eligible to do them, regardless of their education level.

You can usually sell twice a week. You will get something like $10, then the next time $20, then the next time $25, and then it'll start over again at $10 and you go through the cycle again. This is kind of iffy like surveys. On the one hand, you've got people poking at you, and it takes like 2 hours. On the other hand, this really does help people who need plasma, which is always good, plus you are making a couple of bucks. Now if you have a choice between doing that and doing nothing, I'd pick the plasma. But if the choice was go junk shopping & hope to find something to sell on eBay, I'd pick the junk hunt over selling plasma.

If you're still here, great, I hope you found something truly useful.

If you have something to add, please add! Many people need current, viable ideas that bring in cash today.

edit on 4/11/12 by Ameilia because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:49 AM
reply to post by Ameilia

Hello and thanks for your great threat S&F

Can you or anyone else recommend any good sites for writing articles?
One that is trustworthy and pays the most money preferably.


posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 02:56 AM
Sites like oDesk and eLance help connect you with employers looking for articles. Learning SEO(Search Engine Optimization) can greatly increase your workload. Also, sites like mTurk provide small easier to do tasks, including articles. Most of the work on mTurk is for pennies though, not really for an American to make a living unless you REALLY grind.

Warning though: Figure out the ins and outs of who could be your potential employer. Many foreigners scam will scam you. Finding employers with high ratings, high payouts for the best results. I have honestly made almost 400/month in the last year from just oDesk, all in spare time, working maybe 2-3 hours a night. But this took a while to accomplish. Good luck in your search and PM me if you need more details or a referral.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 03:14 AM
reply to post by IgnorantSpecies

Hey bro,

I can't send you a U2U for some reason. Send me another message with your email or yahoo msg id and I'll talk you through it

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 10:50 AM
oDesk and eLance aren't bad options either, in addition to what OP said (i particularly liked the roses idea, that is a stroke of genius.) Another good 'un for article writers is Constant Content. You can post articles there on whichever subject you like, select the license for them you would prefer, set your price, and if somebody wants to license your article, you get paid for it. After you've submitted five articles like that and had them approved (pretty simple stuff really, don't even need them to be purchased), you can submit articles for current article requests, many of which go at $50+ a pop. So if you're anywhere decent at writing articles, odds are you can clean up there. The topics vary a lot, so if you have diverse interests, it can be both fun and monetarily rewarding.

One of the biggest things with any of that, particularly the freelance type stuff, is that you have to self-motivate like nobody's business, because there isn't going to be any scarybossman looming over your shoulder and reminding you that you will be unceremoniously let go if failure crosses your mind too often.

Making money without a "real" job is easy. Actually taking the necessary steps is not.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 04:04 PM

Originally posted by nithaiah

Making money without a "real" job is easy. Actually taking the necessary steps is not.

Well said. And a lot of people just aren't cut out for it, like online writing for example. There are good paying gigs out there but they're hard to get even when you do find them. I'm going to chalk it up to the economy nosediving for the past few years, but the competition out there is getting tough. There seems to be more and more people jumping on the bandwagon and less and less clients looking for quality work.

My advice, if you go that route find a place to do it where you can have peace and quiet. If you don't have it where you live, find somewhere else. Above all else though you have to LIKE to write. If you don't you're not going to last long. Save everything you do if you can and save information concerning the people you write for. Start building a resume and if you have a degree in communications, that helps.

A lot of people these days are disheartened with what they're doing and they want a change of pace. Self-employment is the option most people want to choose, but they need to do their homework first and then work towards that goal. Whether you want to open your own business, rent space in someone else's business or work online, you have to be motivated and, in most cases, have some money saved up to tide you over during the transition from a "real" job to doing something you enjoy. Your passion.

Having people in your corner helps a lot too. Not necessarily monetary help but words of encouragement. Starting off on something like this can be nerve-wracking, especially if you've done the same thing for 10 or 15 years. You're going to be nervous and that's to be expected. Change doesn't come easy for some people and that's where positive re-enforcement comes in. You can have all the money in the world and the business savvy you need, but if you don't have confidence in yourself you really should have someone in your corner who has your best interests at heart.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 04:27 PM
My old neighbor collects and sells scrap every day, and that is his income in addition to social security. He's 71. He sometimes fixes up things he finds (like lawn mowers, etc.) and sells them also. He also mows lawns.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by Ameilia

Though some of the OP's ideas are a bit "Yeah, well, I kinda figured that already man" - The intention of this thread is why I will flag and star it. Looking forward to hearing folks' ideas for financial survival.

After saving a week's worth of cans - I made.. Four dollars. Trunk full of cans.
The guy with the shopping cart does it correctly, he mashes the cans as flat as possible. This way the cart can reach up to over 100 pounds - now that is bank. This man has been doing it since I was a small child - good exercise too. But yeah, four dollars.

Also, be careful about scrapping. To get the good stuff, such as pipes, is usually illegal - and not suggested unless you have found an old broke-down building that has not already been gone through. This can make a hefty profit if done correctly, but once again is usually illegal when done "correctly" --- apart from just constantly tearing apart lawn mowers and refrigerators.

I was homeless from the age of 14-19. I was lucky to have many good friends, who would take me in when it got too cold to sleep outdoors. A warm place to sleep and food stamps will only last you about two weeks, especially if you are grouped with a loved one such as your girlfriend, son/daughter.

For women, it is known that you can sell your eggs for sometimes up to a thousand dollars. This is also noble, because you are providing other women the chance to have a child. For men, semen is less profitable but also a noble way to make money, provided you maintain your health. Obviously blood as well. I have a rare blood type, this helped me out in the past.

I played guitar on the street. This allowed me to meet new people, as well as granting me 10-20 dollars an hour. Which was enough money to feed myself for the day. So if you think you may be heading for some hard times, I suggest dusting off your musical instrument and start practicing.

How I really got by though, was house cleaning and yardwork - which turned to landscaping. It's tough work, but very rewarding, as you get ripped & paid at the same time.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 04:43 PM
Dumpster diving it's a good way to make a few bucks. I'm lucky that my landlord uses my dumpster for all the stuff left in apartments after the tenant is gone.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:09 PM
If you're going to start an online business, or even a small business, outsource the services you need. Things like customer support, graphic design, website development, and so on, can easily be outsourced to foreign countries where you can pay less for essentially the same, if not better, product than you would get in a country such as America. This can save you a ton of money. You can further explore the possibilities of small scale outsourcing, it's really limitless what you can accomplish.

It could be argued that this isn't a very ethical approach to business, but this is capitalism. Almost every service can be outsourced. Furthermore, you could even pay the people who you outsource work to generously rather than exploit them. For example, a graphic design job that might cost you $1000 dollars in the states can be done for $250 in another country; you could go as far as paying the designer $500 and still save yourself 50%, as well as greatly help out the guy living in a lesser developed country.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:22 PM
i have read your post and have found a new revenue stream..
one i knew existed but didn't know was so profitable and the earning potential is respectable
considering i am getting just 72 pounds a week in benefit money (114.4 us dollars per week)
it seems do able
now i just need...
a team
both very do able...
good luck with your cash making ideas guys i found mine (not telling in case i get local ATS competition)

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:48 PM
basically you're suggesting being a fence. you're one stop away from being a burgler.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:16 PM
#1) Learn a marketable skill or trade.

This does not mean get a liberal arts degree and expect a job.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:50 PM
CROWD FUNDING is the newest thing!

Raise money for any purpose!

Check out

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:06 AM

Originally posted by berkeleygal
CROWD FUNDING is the newest thing!

Raise money for any purpose!

Check out

While I do appreciate your participation, this thread is intended for ideas to earn money, not to ask for handouts.

posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:13 AM
I totally though of another idea when I woke up this morning, can't believe it didn't make it into the original post since this has occurred to me before, though not something I've done.


This is intended for people who own a home. Possibly some people who rent a home could do this as well, and on a tiny scale, so could an apartment dweller.

If you have an extra bedroom, or even a closet, in your home, you could rent this space to someone for storage. If you have a garage, or an extra space in your garage, you could store someone's vehicle. It might even be worth it to you to park your own car in the street and rent your garage, depending on how tough your financial situation is and how much you are able get for the spot. I guess you could even rent out some space in your backyard if someone had something that could be placed outside.

Now, rates will vary regionally, but I know the closest place to me that rents parking charges $40 to $50 per month. An indoor 10x10 storage locker rents for about $90 per month. This would be an easy way to bring in a small amount of additional income per month, maybe cover one of your bills with the cash, and plus you'd be doing someone a favor.

posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:27 PM
Ah. I call it Urban 'Living Off The Land'. It started as 'industrializing' vegetable production with all available outdoor space. After the swelling seed collection crossed over into the hundreds and I started running out of vegetable seeds to acquire I started looking elsewhere into things of other use besides acute hunger, and seeds arent only to be found locally at Home Debit.

Keep at it long enough and you might find that common plants lurking around every corner have not only survival'esque uses but financial value in some of their forms. I call it "prospecting". With enough hands on research and a good memory you might come to be an expert to what is or isnt available locally as plants, seeds etc. For me that's where the local market is wide open. Eventually you might end up with your entire available property being completely adapted for food / fruit / live plants / seeds / plant product production. I call it my Indutrialized Jungle. I cannot reveal all of my findings or methods as my fate is tied to them, but I will allude that the next step is learning how to capitalize on the isolated compounds within certain plants.

Inside I recommend converting the entire space into a workshop for whatever it is you're good at. For me its high tech stuff I cant detail, but save a room for storage and shipping of your other products. A house with hardwood floors and tile all throughout helps for this. Figure out how to make money with the things you like to do yourself. I call it "pay me for what I want to do / have". Some guys on ebay make their money by merely trimming the plants in their yard and boxing it up fresh. They get paid to have those plants in their yard, which they probably just wanted to have initially. Not all plants are good for that, but this model can transpire into any other domain in my view. Whatever your hobby is theres a way to make a buck at it, even if its adventure.

A couple years ago a 'prepper' goal because to 'have a plant for everything' (medicinal / bug repellent / etc). Now its to have plants that pay the rent and bills! While it was nice having 50 different types of pepper growing at any given time, making chili with 30 different peppers and 20 different tomatos was considered wealthy living to me, the space they occupied wasn't quite paying the bills.

A life of watching TV all day won't get you here, but after 10 years of no TV when you get here you can have videos playing all day on one screen while you do work on the others, with no major negative effects. If you just love watching TV there are likely ways to find profits there but you probably cant just grow them in your yard. Spending all of your money on your hobbies might be a crap shoot unless you spend most of that money on how to make money with said hobbies. And just reading your way to the finish line isn't likely either as practice makes perfect... in a world of mediocrity.
edit on 22-4-2012 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: add

posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 04:51 PM
Become a plumber, even as the work got slow I was making more than some doctors were making.
The job is so easy that even a caveman could do it.
Only drawback, sissies cannot get past the hours or the ick factor.
Plumbing, sure I take crap from everyone but I walk away laughing as I count their cash.

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