Sunday, 3 March 2013

Increasing Income In Oh So Many Ways

I started considering ways to increase my income after buying my first home in November.  While I can certainly afford the house on my regular take home pay I am aiming to pay off my mortgage in only 5 years, so I knew I would have to step up my income to meet my goal.  Here are some ideas that I played with and why or why not I have chosen to pursue it as an option. 

I currently have two unused bedrooms in my house and my first idea was to rent them out to bring in some extra income.  In particular I played with the idea of renting to an international student.  The local university as well as two of the school boards in the area accept international students and have them hosted with local families during the school year.  There were several advantages to this option.  First after the cost for food I would have made $600 per room per month.  Second, I would have company since I currently live alone.  Finally I would get the amazing experience of getting to know a kid from a different culture and be able to introduce them to my own. 

I decided not to rent for a very simple reason.  I am currently receiving (and will continue to receive for the next two years) long-term disability benefits.  These benefits are scaled based on what I earn and after earning a certain amount my benefits decrease one dollar for every dollar I earn.  After taking into consideration the amount of work required and the increase in living expenses (greater transportation costs and electricity bill) I decided that at this time it is not at my advantage to be a home stay parent. 

Publishing a Book
My first experience writing was not with a blog.  As a kid I was fascinated with writing poetry and short stories.  When I reached my teen years I started (but never finished) writing novels.  Finally During my university years I managed not only to start but also finish a novel. 

The main goal of my writing is not to earn money.  It is for the intrinsic satisfaction and the love for my stories that I write.  That said I would very much like to share the story, with which I have fallen in love, with the world.  I am in the process of trying to get my story published, earning money from it would certainly give me a good deal of satisfaction (and help with the mortgage.)  That said it may take up to six months to hear back from a single submission so I am not under the illusion that this process will be quick and I may well have run out of disability benefits by the time I see results. 

Selling Art/Crafts
I love to sew, to quilt, and to embroider.  In fact if it’s got a needle involved I’m probably game.  The problem with this hobby is two fold.  First, the supplies can get expensive, and second, I only have room for so many quilts!  These problems led me to an interesting solution which I am eager to try. 

Why not sell them when I finish making them?  Sure it’s not going to earn me a lot (I’m going to have to keep my day job) but it could bring in a little extra money.  Add to that the fact that I can craft ‘till my hearts content and claim the cost of materials as a business expense and I was sold.  That said I have four personal projects on the go rights now (three of which will hopefully be done by summer) but once those are done I can start creating crafts I can sell.  The plan is to build up an bit of an inventory in the next 2 years so that I can start selling them when my disability benefits disappear. 

So what about you?
There’s lots of different ways to earn extra income.  I’d suggest looking at your passions first.  Love kids?  Why not offer to baby sit?  Sell some crafts, teach lessons, or write an instruction manual on a subject you’re an expert on.  Your options are as diverse as your talents.  How do you earn extra money? 


  1. I sell my paintings on etsy, and so I'm with you on the selling stuff you make thing :)

    I'd recommend starting sooner rather than waiting the two years though, as it will probably take you some time to build up sales there. (And if by chance it doesn't, you could always shutter your store until you're ready.)

    1. Thanks for the advice. One of the articles I read about selling on Etsy advised building up a selection for your store (but not over producing something that won't sell.) That was one of the reasons I was going to hold off for a bit. That I wan't to keep my LTD benefits while they last. : )