Income / Outgo

So, the way we’ve been working on chipping away at our debt is this: my income pays for our basic expenses.  Mortgage, grocery, utilities, medical bills, entertainment — that all comes out of my salary.  Chef’s business income pays for his business expenses (rent, travel, tools, etc.) plus the debt snowball.  It’s been working out pretty well, and we know that once we get all the debt paid off, we will most likely not need for me to work full time because his business will probably earn enough to support us.

Let me tell you, I’m excited for that day.  I’m not one to shirk my duty, and I’m not afraid of work.  But my current job isn’t something I want to do forever, and there aren’t a lot of other full time positions available out there for which I’m qualified.  So I really want to pay down our debt as quickly as possible so that I can feel more free to move on to more enjoyable employment, even if it might be part time or pay less than I’m making now.

But this morning, Chef told me that he’s got a lot of money going out this month (with expenses and taxes) and not a lot coming in.  And that’s not unusual for January.  All the big parties happened around Christmas and New Year’s, and people just don’t purchase a lot of ice sculptures this time of year.  But the upshot of the situation is that he’s not going to have a lot of extra to put toward the debt snowball this month.


It makes me want to think of ways I can earn extra cash.  I’ve signed up for an online service that matches freelance writers with companies or individuals needing writing done.  I still have to pass an entrance exam (it’s basically a test over their policies and procedures) before I can actually get started.  And I need to update my profile and that sort of thing, in the hopes of making myself appealing to clients.  But I feel pretty diffident about it.  I mean, there are a lot of providers on that site, people who have been writing professionally for a long time, and I’m not sure how to make myself stand out there.  And then there’s the time factor.  I’m already working about 45-50 hours a week (40 hours a week at my job and 5-10 hours a week doing clerical work for Chef), and I wonder how on earth I would be able to meet deadlines with freelance writing.

I’m toying with a book idea, and I’m working on cleaning up some stuff I have written so that I can put it together in book form.  I’m sure it won’t be ready until the end of 2010 or thereabouts, and even then I’ve no idea how much money I could make off of such a thing.

Working overtime at my regular job isn’t really an option (the work just isn’t there to justify overtime), and while I’m not above some part time work at the local donut shop or something, I again wonder about how much time I can really spare and still have my sanity and my health.  We’ve already gotten rid of most of our saleable goods on eBay or in garage sales, so selling stuff is out, too.

I’m in a hurry.  A big one.  I totally know that when the tortoise and the hare race, the tortoise wins.  But just think if that tortoise had some roller skates!  Then he’d really be in business!

How do you make extra money?  What are your roller skates that move you faster on the path to financial freedom?

Image credits:,,


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rita
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 10:14:49

    That tortoise is soooooooooo cute!
    A wonderful image to keep before us.
    My rollerskates? There is a possibility of teaching Reality Spanish courses in the works. We’ll see…
    Also, translation projects…
    I am excited about what you are looking into!
    I think you have a promising future in writing.

  2. Kim
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 10:38:01

    Considering your already busy schedule, you need to find something you can fit into small chunks of time WITHOUT deadlines. I know you’re kinda crafty; have you ever considering making things to sell on etsy or in area craft fairs?

    Something you and Chef could do together is offer your services as “private chefs” for small parties. You go into their homes, fix the meal, clean up your mess and leave ’em to it. Don’t have a clue if there’s a demand for such a thing in your neck of the woods, but just throwing it out there. I’ve known someone who did that to supplement their income in years past. She could take on as many or as few “jobs” as she felt like.

    • Karen, the Small Town Runner
      Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:10:22

      I think you’re right, Kim. The hard part is finding something profitable that fits all those criteria. I’m not sure I’m crafty enough to sell things… I’m just an intermediate knitter, plus I’m using all my mad knitting skilz for 2010 Christmas gifts!

      And I don’t think Chef would have time to do the personal cheffing (he has done it before and it takes more time than you might imagine) and it’s something I would feel at all comfortable doing on my own.

  3. RainyDaySaver
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 19:37:17

    I encourage you to check out Demand Studios ( — it’s an online content provider that provides copy to websites like eHow and Livestrong. I’ve been with them for 18 months, and they pay via PayPal twice a week. Sign up, and after they accept your application (they seem to accept most anybody), you can choose the titles/articles you want and complete them within seven days. Payment ranges from $7.50 to $25, depending on length/format. It’s something that you can do on the side when your already hectic schedule allows it. I write for them for $$$ to supplement my FT job and help us knock out our debt.

  4. Renae
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 01:11:26

    I just wanted to encourage you that you will get thru the debt snowball and you will be debt free! It does seem never ending. DH and I just FINALLY, after 4 years, got everything paid off. We are still not in the position to live on one income (pursuing adoption right now) but we feel loads lighter knowing that it could happen soon.

    Blessings to you!

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