I can imagine that you may be returning to the classroom, catching up on a mountain of work, long after the thrill of the holidays have passed and the bleakness of the long winter months encroach onto your scene, along with the credit card bills from the busy season. Perhaps you won’t want to get any old part-time job to get your wallet back in check, but instead seek something to work for you while you work. Or, do you perhaps dream of fun, alternative ways of making money? Maybe you are thinking of following the wave of the future, in which many take a break from their “regular 9 to 5” jobs for opportunities to explore personal interests, sharing passions, and creating schedules with flexibility in order to spend more time with family and loved ones. You don’t have to give up teaching, or seek-out inconvenient slave labor, if you are looking to make extra money. I’ve heard and experienced some of the following three tried-and-true ways of making extra money. Here are three ideas that may cover you anytime with extra earning hours – on days, nights or on weekends.
Acorns digital application – Let an investment work for you during the daytime, or well, anytime
When my 22 year-old brother told me he started investing money through a digital application, I knew there were many opportunities out there, where savvy investors jump into online trading, but thought it was a rather risky or uncertain gamble, especially for someone without much financial backing or experience who had other things to tend to during the workday. But I was intrigued when he said he turned his mere $5.00 into $85 within a couple of months through Acorns. The app lets you invest with a few funds, in recommended and diversified portfolios, letting you have a say in how risky of a level you would want to make your investment. What may be even more convenient, is that when you make everyday purchases, the app will help you round-up your slim spending to the next dollar and invest the money by using their secure system, with minimal fees. The app is run by some pretty genius designers and noted by major publications as a convenient, simple investing tool. You could literally be sitting in class and letting the change in your pocket work for you.
Trivia Tryst – Work, or rather, play after work by hosting a trivia night at a bar
Do you have a fun spirit, which can lead crowds and keep customers excited, all while building local business? If you are willing to work in a not-too-late bar setting, check out a startup like Trivia Tryst, where budding comedians, actors or those who have experience working in front of live crowds (let’s face it teachers, that’s you) are looking to make extra money on a slow weeknight by setting up and getting a chance to entertain. Engage with teams, share prize’s, come up with your own material and you may earn free drinks from the host bar. It may be tricky to get bars to agree to a contract, but with a little business persuasion, there is some serious money to be made for only a few hours’ worth of work. What’s more, you can invite your friends to your events and have a growing crowd of supporters, all while you build a following, and build up your funds.
Weekend tour guide – Give them a taste of local culture, on your timetable
You don’t have to live in Italy to be in a desirable location where people want to have you lead the way in teaching them local history, or the ins and outs of revered neighborhood eats. When I did a cultural tour of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx one summer, our amazing walking tour guide took us to all of the famous shops and eateries that were part of the tour and let us sample their offerings, like freshly made mozzarella, as well as borek and sausage. Even better, our guide set her own schedule and not only made some money of her own, but the event served as a fundraiser for our charity, so a portion of the profits helped us raise money for kids in need. We sampled these foods all while hearing about the history of the diverse area, once home to famous writers and artists who lived around the corner from Fordham University at the turn of the century. Better yet, as a tour guide, you can work around the weather, choose your location and topic of interest, your rate and pretty much run your own show by creating your own tour, or by working with a company that is looking for someone personable like you. For more on how to become a tour guide, check out this blog from the Wise Geek.
Are you burdened by post-holiday bills and are looking for entertaining ways to raise money in the New Year? Have you found anything that is appropriate and convenient for a teacher’s schedule? Share your thoughts with TeacherCents.
Melissa Heule, Freelance Writer