Turning your hobby into cash

I once knew a guy who worked two evenings a week at a laundrymat to earn his “beer and pizza” money. This 10 hours a week was worth it for him to earn “fun money” as my husband calls it. And, there are times that showing up to an easy job is totally worth it for that extra cash. But sometimes we can turn our hobbies into extra cash or benefits too.

It’s a common theme for teenagers to work at a movie theater so that they can also watch movies for free. In my area, many people work at the local ski area and thereby receive free ski passes as a benefit of the job. Some people choose jobs based upon the discount they receive. These are all valid, but not necessarily that much fun for the working hours. It’s much more fun to be paid for what you enjoy doing.

I love to read, so I began reading and writing book reviews. I only do this in my spare time, so I don’t expect to make high wages. I do receive free digital copies of the books to read. A few times I have had authors or publishers contact me through my reviews posted on Amazon. These reviews I have not been paid for, but I do receive the free digital book. I also work with the Onlinebookclub for review opportunities. Again, this is a hobby work so the payout is small but the books are free. Moving through the process to be eligible for a wide range of books is relatively easy. As a reviewing reader, there are many ways to raise your “score”, that score makes you eligible for a wider range of books, and greater payouts. Anyone can participate in the forums and there are monthly contests hosted by the site as well. For example, you can find my reviews easily along with many others. There are also many discussion forums open to the public about specific books, books in general, preferred reading styles, and so many other topics. You can find some of my forum posts here. This site (and there are others) is free to join and frequently tagged in social media, #onlinebookclub.

I also enjoy crocheting, so I began an etsy store with some of my finished projects. These projects are designed as items that we shall use or use as gifts, so my hobby turns into gifts (saving money) or items that are sold (income). This is not something that I have done much work with so this is not making much money, but it is a great excuse to actually work on the hobby. I have also included other projects such as sewing market bags. These items are promoted a little on my social media platforms, and thus have equaled a sale and two barters. The barters have been for supplies and labor, depending on the trade. The bags are also something that my daughter has helped with. Other items have been crafted by other family members and it can be a lot of fun. I do hope to expand this hobby to make us more income and barter and fewer gifts, but right now it is holding at an ok place. We were just accepted to the Amazon Homemade line and we are looking at selling items locally. I’m sure there will be an update to this blog when we do.

So far our homestead is no where close to self-sustaining, but it is beginning to be productive. As I mentioned in a previous post, we have begun selling our eggs on a regular basis to the Bread and Butter Cafe. We hope to expand this. Our gardening has just been supplying us so far with berries and vegetables for us and our barnyard fowl. We hope to keep increasing this and expand into more herbs and such that can be used for soaps, salves, etc. 

We continue to work together with good friends of ours too. We helped them with their hemp harvest, just as we have helped with sugaring in the past. Sugaring labor has provided us with some delicious maple syrup in the past. We didn’t help with the hemp because we expected to be paid, but rather because it was fun to work together and they needed the labor. I have heard that they would like to demonstrate their gratitude with a small trip for our families. A day trip getaway could be tons of fun (but completely not expected)! Someone else that we have given some eggs to in the past has offered to give us beeswax from his bee hives and I really hope that this works out, I’ll need that beeswax for some of the salves that I hope to make. Bartering does not make money, but it can save money and hopefully is fun.

What great ideas do you use to save money or make money?

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