I’ve discovered a local blogger, Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens, whose blog promotes social change through simple living. While flitting about on her blog, I found a reference to a 20 minute per day challenge which is something apparently thought up by Michael Nobbs of Sustainably Creative. The idea is to spend 20 minutes per day doing something you want to do.
I have just recently finished all the coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Middle School Math and now have more time on my hands, so this is a perfect time for the 20 minute per day challenge (hereafter referred to as 20MPDC). But what to do with my 20 minutes? I thought about it over a few weeks and came to the conclusion I want to use the 20 minutes per day to increase my income streams.
I came by that idea from Trent Hamm of the blog* The Simple Dollar. He has a free ebook titled Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page. The book itself is actually 49 pages, but those other 48 pages just explain more in detail what he is talking about on the one page. According to his one page of Personal Finance, I’m doing pretty well, although in the “earn more” category I don’t have many income streams. These are handy for adding a little extra to your coffers. I’m not talking a second job here, just twenty bucks here and there to pad things a little.
So here are my three ideas for increasing my income streams:
1. Harvesting service. I myself am not always good at harvesting what I grow. I get busy, the things get ripe, I don’t make it out to the garden and suffer from massive pangs of guilt which make it that much harder to get into the garden. I will create flyers to advertise my harvesting service. The way it will work is as follows: If someone in my neighborhood contacts me about an item needing harvesting, I will trot over to their yard and pick it, leaving half for them and taking half for myself. They get fresh produce and can stop feeling guilty about the food going bad in their yard, I get free food. This will not bring in actual money, but will provide me food for free, allowing the budgeted food money to go elsewhere. To start this service I need only to create flyers (which I can do during my 20 minutes per day) and then distribute them in the neighborhood (which I can do on my morning walks.)
2. Knife sharpening service. I would like to have a trade of some sort. When thinking about the kinds of trades I could possibly have, knife sharpening was the one that appealed to me the most. I love having sharp knives and rarely spend the time (and money) to get them sharpened. I can advertise a free pick up and drop off service in the neighborhood, sharpen them at home, and sharpen my own knives when I am doing theirs. I get sharp knives, a skill and a bit of extra cash. After I make my flyers for the harvesting business, I will learn about how one goes about becoming a knife sharpener. Are there trade organizations? Classes? I have no idea.
3. Sell my stuff. I have stuff to get rid of. What usually happens is that I pile it in a place in the house intending to put it on Craigslist for cheap, but never get around to taking the picture, putting it on Craigslist, etc. and end up giving it to Goodwill. Why should they get two dollars for my stuff when, with a little work, I can cut out the middle man and keep the two dollars for myself? I will find a quick, streamlined way to sell my things on Craigslist and make a buck or two.
Reporting. Michael Nobbs says the reporting is the most important part. I will check in each Tuesday with a brief update of how things are going.
*I don’t feel like I read a ton of blogs, but this post is making me think otherwise.