Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Developing Multiple Sources of Income-Survival, Off-Grid Money
A wise man once told me every person and family should develop several circles of income that should generate at least $250 per month. With an unreliable economy it is not difficult to understand that philosophy…just ask the 400 of workers at Nabisco who just laid off their employees at their Oreo plant and shipped those jobs to Mexico or 2000 shift workers a Detroit plant from Ford whose jobs were also shipped to Mexico!
According to a recently-released Pew Report, one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basic necessities. ONE THIRD! The Pew Charitable Trust, announced that household spending went up by 14 percent in a decade ending at 2014, but median household income went down 13 percent.
Even top-level US officials admit the obvious problem: Americans are broke. According to Federal Reserve official William Dudley, America is no longer the top country for achieving the "American Dream" which is fast becoming a nightmare.
In 1970, 61% of Americans could be called middle class. Today it's just 43%.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by big companies in the United States were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015, and it appears that the job losses are going to continue to mount as we roll into the second quarter. For instance, late last week Intel announced that it is going to be laying off 12,000 workers…
Developing alternative sources of income can help you become more self reliant and less dependent on others. It can also enable you to enjoy some of the finer things in life or to become more prepared if that is one of your goals. Owning a full or part time business is one of the few legal tax loopholes you can still take advantage of.
The so-called gig economy such as found on fiverr.com [I make extensive use of such services for the various websites I own] is becoming a popular way for people to offer services on the side to supplement their income.
However, some areas of ‘free enterprise’ may be illegal in your state. For example, Wisconsin and New Jersey prohibit the sale of home baked goods. In Wisconsin, selling cupcakes from home could land you a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
According to the Foundation for Economic Education, “The ban is purely political. Commercial food producers like the Wisconsin Bakers Association are lobbying against a ‘Cookie Bill’ – which would allow the limited sale of home-baked goods – in order to protect themselves from competition.”
You’ve probably heard news reports from taxi companies complaining about Uber drivers as well saying they’re not safe or they don’t pay city license fees and so on. It is true. High regulatory costs in New York City might cost a cabbie as much as a million dollars which is an unreasonable cost and drives up fares for customers and discourages people from doing business in New York [In the 1980s I used to fly to NYC nearly every month…I finally got tired of the high cost of conducting business in that city and stopped going].
Government regulation, which has increased under President Obama, adds an average of 25% to the cost of everything we purchase and has caused America to drop to 13th place in terms of international Entrepreneurial startups…our tax system has further hurt our business startup status while Hong Kong has virtually no taxes and a vibrant business community.
There are plenty of examples of petty bureaucrats who have raided the homes of Girl Scouts for selling cookies from their homes without a permit or operating lemonade stands without expensive city permits. This kind of flatworm crap is what is ruining America and you need to either operate under the radar by not using or displaying signage or attracting noticeable traffic or ensure you are in compliance [the bureaucrat’s favorite word].
It’s estimated that 50% of those operating a part time business such as renting a room inside their home on a short term basis [listing them on Craigslist or Airbnb] are illegal but are rarely prosecuted.
Uber and Airbnb*
Web-based businesses such as Uber and Airbnb are known as the sharing economy and I’ve written about them before and each have tens of millions of users and many retirees are signing up. Last year Uber launched a partnership with the AARPs Life Reimagined to encourage over 40s to become drivers. Airbnb says older hosts are among the most, with hosts 60 and older earning 7.5 percent more than five-star reviews than younger ones. The company, which explicitly touts itself as a way for seniors to earn money, says its senior hosts earn slightly less than $6,000 a year taking guests for an average of slightly fewer than 60 days per year.
The big challenge in this country is that we have more laws than any other country in the world and no one can keep up with them and if you keep a low profile your odds improve but when in doubt, consult a lawyer.
When I was younger [and in better health] I moved to a rural area, which was economically depressed. Fixer-up type homes were pretty easy to buy and my father-in-law and I put in sweat equity and sold all of them on a lease-option basis where the buyer got credit for their down payment for each money they paid in a timely fashion until they built up a sufficient down payment at which time I accompanied them to friendly banker and helped them get a mortgage.
In one case I substituted my VA Certificate of Eligibility for another veteran’s and gave him some cash to buy out his equity. He was unemployed and could no longer make his payments so he walked away happy. I paid off my VA loan early and was free to use it again on a future home purchase.
We made some very good money doing this and most of it was done on a handshake – even the mortgage I got from the banker! That would be difficult today and creative financing deals are harder to come by now.
In recent years I have applied that same practice to flipping domains and websites periodically and have made some decent money although that market has slowed down.
There are several places to advertise domain names including eBay and even on the registrar I use NameCheap. At any given time I have nearly a dozen domains for sale and right now we have one which includes three domains, a logo and a mini-business plan geared toward connecting college kids and the 50 plus market to do odd jobs as seniors always need work done for them. I got the idea when I was recuperating from open heart surgery and from our storage business [yes, another business we’re involved with] where folks always ask us if we know of people who could assist them. There is a growing demand for this kind of business as our nation ages. * The primary domain is called Your Personal Gopher. It includes my personal assistance!
[You can learn more about that our ecommerce site…RetroGuy.net]
I know many of us have a knack for chatting and problem solving and if you have those skills and can type 30 words a minute and can provide online customer service via text chats [believe it or not, I do not know how to text] you can make up to $15 an hour as a chat agent.
Just head to these sites: MyLivePro.com, Needle.com, Convergys.com, and ModSquad.com to sign up. Plus hundreds of firms from Amazon to Zappos, rely on live chat agents. You can visit their sites or search for ‘live chat agent jobs’ on Indeed.com or Monster.com or other jobs sites.
Get Paid to take reservations…The Active Network hires people to work from home helping with campground reservation requests throughout its season [May through September] and it pays about $8 per hour. Go to: ActiveNetwork.com/careers/open-positions.
Also, search engines like Yahoo and Google rely on people just like you to track results that come up in searches…sort of like mystery shopping for search engines: You get paid to type in a bunch of questions and report on what results come up. Go to: LeapForce.com and LionBridge.com to get started.
Become an online ‘genie’ with your online researching skills off at AskWonder.com, a service where people can go to get their questions answered on just about any topic. You can earn up to $2,000 a month providing detailed answers by researching on the web. Learn more at: AskWonder.com/researcher
Free Legal Resources
Depending on where you live there are free legal resources available and you might check with the Small Business Administration [the SBA is online too…I was a SBDC volunteer counselor for them for years]. If for some reason you have a case which warrants serious social or political implications you might try contacting your elected representatives at the state or federal level or if you are fighting a coercive government agency, consider going to the Institute for Justice [703-682-9320 or www.ij.org]
These folks assist people whose rights have been violated by government bureaucrats. According to their site:
You have the right to earn an honest living this is called economic liberty and it is protected by the Constitution. But often entrepreneurs face burdensome, arbitrary and anti-competitive laws that make it difficult, if not impossible, to earn an honest living in the occupation of their choosing.
The Institute offers an Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide and an Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide as free downloads.
The Rutherford Inst. [one of my personal favorites] 434-978-3888; www.rutherford.org defends civil liberties including the rights of small businesses and offers legal assistance to individuals whose Constitutional rights have come attack by government.
Friends, you need to do whatever you can to restore order to your financial home, take control, go off the financial grid if necessary. I plan to re-introduce more of these kinds of resources on a weekly basis and encourage you to share and support this effort. Make a purchase, even if it is a small one such as the CD ROM I offer below…it is an investment that is less than the price of a meal at a fast food restaurant!
Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’
Based on presentations I made to US Veterans & others who wanted to start their own business…priced at only $5 ppd.
Escaping the Rat Race with Your Own Business
- Three steps to new business success
- 10 business ideas with zero startup costs
- Release the inner entrepreneur inside you
- 45 ways to make a living without a job
- Business on a shoestring budget
- Escape the Rat Race
- Being a Frugal Entrepreneur
- Let’s Make Money Online
- 18 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas
- Ultimate Kick-Ass Guide to Starting a Business
- Online Business Resource Guide
Take a look at RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com to find advice on ways to supplement
Strange Ways People Make Money Online (Daily Finance): "The Internet is a great place to launch entrepreneurial efforts. People have made money by creating useful products and functional websites, while others have found ways to make money in creative and interesting, yet strange, ways."
It's definitely not the time to hunker down and hope for the best. It's time to find or build a second source of income before you need it. Read more.
Odd Jobs…Making Money Even in a Bad Economy
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