My friends always ask me how I make extra money and I tell them I took what I do best and turned it into cash!
Until 4 years ago, working a full-time job was as easy as getting up, going to work, coming home and collecting my pay-check. Then I had my son, which made things a little more difficult, 19 months later my daughter joined our family, followed 4 months later by a divorce. Not so easy anymore……Many nights I laid awake thinking “how can I do this all on my own?” How can I make extra money so that the kids can do things like swimming lessons and soccer?
I could not wrap my head around how I could go back to work full-time. I have over ten years experience in the landscaping industry, but now I have a life that makes that job impossible. I have always enjoyed working so I decided I would look for a part-time job instead.
I found the perfect part-time job while viewing an online posting board. No experience needed!! I got that job and for two years now I have worked as a merchandising representative for multiple companies, travelling to different stores on a weekly basis. I also have some flexibility with my hours which are perfect for a single mom! My next step was to figure out child care.
Where did I look for child care?
- Family members– Grandparents love to spend time with their grandkids, ask if they could help out a few hours a week. Brothers and sisters, cousins, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
- Friends–Any of your friend’s home on maternity leave or a stay at home mom? Who doesn’t want to earn a little extra money? I have a couple of friends I can ask even at short notice. Friends can give pretty good rates!
- Kijiji-Many University and high school students also advertise to babysit at reasonable rates.
Turning My Passion and Skills into Money- What Can I Do To Make Extra Money?
My love for gardening is something I will never let go of; to me it is therapeutic, rewarding and most of all quiet! I quickly started to miss it and the serenity of nature surrounding me. One day I decided to post an ad on Kijiji offering to help people with their gardening. When posting the ad I was hoping for a few extra hours of work every week. All I wanted to earn was enough extra money so I no longer had to live pay-check to pay-check.
Here’s the Kijiji “wanted” ad that started it all……
Do you need some help with your spring clean-up?
I am an experienced landscaper looking for some part-time hours within a company or a private residence. I have 10+ years experience; as well I have earned a diploma in Horticulture. I am offering my services at a rate of $XX.XX/hour.
My skills include:
- Pruning and Hedge Trimming
- Total Lawn Maintenance
- Sodding, Planting, Mulching
- Fertilizing and Over-seeding
- Edging, Flower Bed Installation
If you want someone who is skilled in landscaping, dedicated and a hard worker, I’m the girl you’re looking for! Please contact me by email or phone. It can be a one time job just to help you get on top of things, or on an ongoing basis.
I honestly should have taken more time writing the ad, although my results were great!
I received 2 replies within the first week the ad was up. I was able to work out an arrangement with one of my now clients. I have now been their private gardener for almost two years; working 3 hours every other weekend just helping them stay on top of everything simply giving them a helping hand to what they have already completed. Between grandparents and the kids dad, 3 hours on a weekend isn’t too hard to find to make some extra money.
Last summer my Kijiji Ad attracted a young couple who had recently purchased a property, planning to flip it. Again in my ad I listed all the services I offered which lucky for me, they needed! Mentioning my education in the ad certainly helped my credibility; I wasn’t just looking to pull some weeds. This couple hired me, after an interview of sorts explaining to them my situation. I was honest stating that being a single mom and it was difficult for me to work 8 hours days 5 days a week. I assured them of my commitment to meeting their deadline and they understood. I promised to put the hours in each chance I could to get the job done with pride of quality and workmanship. I met their deadline and they sold the house and I had $2000 extra money in my pocket!!
I wasn’t expecting to find a job like this when I posted the Kijiji ad. Not only did the extra money help me catch up my bills each month but I was able to purchase the new tires I desperately needed for my car. I have since obtained multiple clients through word of mouth from this job alone.
As 2012 rolled along I still had the first clients from the Kijiji ad, as well as another private residence with ongoing occasional hours throughout the spring, summer and fall. I was fortunate to have multiple small jobs lined up in 2012, as well hired to remove an existing lawn and replace it.
What I hope for in 2013
I have plans with my two ongoing clients to continue with them, as well hoping to secure one more property. I will continue to advertise and hope again for multiple, small, one-time jobs to pull in some extra cash and build my portfolio.
On a smaller scale, I have also planned to try and do the same with my other passion, playing the piano. I have played for 26 years and would love to play for others. My goal is posting an ad offering to play at weddings and other small functions to make extra money.
Tips for Making Extra Money
- Find something that you are good at and turn it into cash!
- Talk about what you do, talk about it a lot! Word of mouth can do amazing things for your business.
- Even though working for yourself, remember to maintain a professional image.
- Don’t take on more work than you can fit into your already busy life, you don’t want to commit to work then not be able to follow through.
What Ways Do You Make Extra Money?
Guest Post by: Katrina B is a 30-year-old single mom of 2 who lives in Southwestern Ontario. She works primarily in Sales and Marketing and does Freelance landscaping in her spare time.
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