Life’s Endless Quest for $$$

I currently work four days per week from 9am until about 4pm, leaving plenty of free time in the evenings. I also have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. Unlike in Denver where most of my friends have jobs, no one in Portland works, so I can usually find someone to hang out with. However, as I’ve been playing around with the idea of traveling in 2014, I’ve realized that I need to tighten my belt and earn a bit more money to fund the pricey-but-worthwhile costs of international transportation.

I don’t have enough time for another part-time job, but I do have time for a few weekend gigs. Craigslist even has a “gigs” section that I’ve been checking every day! Unfortunately, most of the gigs are looking for musicians or artists or heavy-duty movers. While I consider myself pretty strong, I don’t think I am quite what the posters are looking for. I’ve applied to several babysitting, dog walking, and event worker gigs, but so far have had no responses.

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I was starting to become discouraged, envisioning my 2014 being spent inside a cubicle while endlessly looking at pictures of South Africa and Australia, knowing I’d never visit. However, I suppose my persistence paid off, because today my boss asked me if I would be interested in babysitting her two kids along with my coworker’s two kids AND my boss’s friend’s two kids! That’s six kids in total! I am desperate for money and they were desperate for a babysitter, so I obliged. We haven’t talked payment, yet, but she said it would be well worth my time. So far I agreed to watch the kids on Wednesday and Friday from 10am til 4pm. I should make a couple (or few!) hundred dollars. Pretty good for two days of work!

Also in my quest for money, I have looked into alternative ways. One interesting post on Craigslist that I replied to was asking for writers willing to write Yelp reviews in exchange for $15 for 100 words. I was assigned to write a review of a psychic. Luckily I didn’t have to actually visit because those jokers are quite expensive. Regardless, I wrote the review and soon received $15 in my PayPal account! I was told that I would be contacted if they needed more reviews but haven’t, yet.

Another interesting way to earn cash was first introduced to me by my uncle a few years ago. It is an app for iPhone called Field Agent and it posts jobs requiring agents to go to a store (usually Walmart or a hardware store) to “audit” or check a display for accuracy. You have to take several photos of the display and send them to the app. In return, each job pays about $3 or $4. Because of the low pay, it typically isn’t worth doing unless the job is close to where I live. However, while I was scrolling through the app, I noticed that one job was offering $14 to go to a rural lumber store and photograph the ice cream freezer! The store was about 15 miles away, but I had nothing to do, so I went, stopping at a Walmart along the way to complete two other Field Agent jobs. Sure enough, I was awarded a total of $21 for all three jobs! Not bad for an afternoon I would have otherwise spent watching movies!

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I’ll continue my search, but I’m proud of my efforts so far! In addition to making money, I’ve also been trying to save it, as well. While most of my coworkers go to the grocery next door and buy prepared foods for lunch, I’ve stopped purchasing sushi, hummus, and sandwiches and opted to pack my lunch, instead. Not only is this healthier, but it saves quite a bit, too! I’ve also been scouting out free samples and giveaways in Portland and online. There is a bakery down the street from the boutique that often has Twitter deals several times per week! They will send out a daily tweet saying “Mention this tweet, today only, and receive a free scone/cookie/bagel/loaf of bread!” My coworkers and I have been taking turns getting the item so the bakery staff doesn’t get suspicious of the same person asking for it each day!

Other great finds include online free samples! I recently received a package of delicious dates in the mail. I loved eating dates in Jordan but they are so expensive here and often not as good. However, these were delicious. My only complain is that they are pitted. Half the fun is chewing out the seed in the middle. I’m not sure if the giveaway is still happening, but all you have to do is “like” them on Facebook and enter your address and your free dates will be at your house in about a week! Try to get your own here.

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I’ll let you know if I find anymore cool jobs, but right now I have plans to go to the coast with a friend this weekend. Popular to contrary belief, Portland is not actually on the coast, but two hours away! My friend Elizabeth and I are planning on going this Sunday and visiting the Tillamook cheese factory while we are there. I love being in a new city because there is always so much to explore!

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