Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday Morons--these numbers don't seem right to me

Okay, so when you go to check your email, all this news stuff pops up. Like, wouldn't you rather read one of these stories before you read your email. Actually, no. If came here to read my email, then I want to read my email. If I had wanted to watch the news, I would be in the other room watching the news, or maybe I would have Googled a particular news story when I came in here.

But once in a while I do go back and click on one of the stories. Yesterday, there was something about making money in your spare time, and I like money just as much as the next person, so I looked. I have looked at this sort of thing before, and it usually turns out to be nothing that is useful to me.The particular thing I read yesterday is here. And I got a little annoyed, because I happen to know a little bit about a few of these things.

The first item suggested that if you become a part-time baker that you could sell cupcakes for $2 each, and that if the business was successful that you could make an extra 40K a year for working ten to twenty hours a week, and that if you really wanted to get into that sort of thing you should consider renting space in a professional kitchen.

It doesn't say anything about actually needing a professional kitchen, because the Health Department probably won't give you a permit to work out of your house. I've never wanted to be a professional baker, but I do happen to know about that because the Health Department came and canceled our little community bake sale, even a month after we asked for a temporary permit and we were originally told it would be okay. And I doubt that the ten or twenty hours per week includes the time it actually takes to sell the baked goods, or the time it would take to transport the items to someone who would sell the stuff for you, and then of course you would have to split the profits with other people. So an average of ten to twenty hours a week making an average 40K sounds a bit unreasonable, even if you do happen to have a professional kitchen and have permits and such.

The second item suggested becoming a professional blogger. Even after saying that few bloggers make enough to earn a living and that most earn nothing at all, it then suggests that writing for a few hours everyday you could earn an average of 24K a year. What numbers are used to come up with this average? All bloggers, or just those that consider themselves "professional", or all those that happen to make any money at all? My husband tried to make money blogging. He had a couple of blogs that he spent a lot of time on, and he ended up with about five hundred dollars a year. One year he really put some extra effort into it, had five blogs going, and wrote about not what he cared about but whatever dumb thing was on Google Trends, usually something about "naked pictures of ___________" to get more people to look at his blog. And it sort of worked, even though he didn't even have the "naked pictures of __________", he just mentioned that people were talking about it. So more people came to his blog, and he made about a thousand dollars that year. He's now back down to five hundred, and only working regularly on the one blog.

So we know from experience that writing a few hours a day is unlikely to result in making 24K a year, and I suspect we are not in the minority.

The third item was also something that we have tried. The article suggests that for several hours a week you could sell stuff on eBay and have average sales of 22K a year. At least it did say average sales and not average profit. At one point the eBay stuff was taking almost as much time as our regular jobs, and the profit never got much over four thousand dollars a year.

I know nothing of being a professional flower arranger, but the article suggested that for three to twenty hours a week an average of 21K in sales was possible.

At home jewelry making on evenings and weekends and spending between five hundred and two thousand dollars on materials and tools was said to result in an average sales of 30K per year. I know someone who does this sort of thing and doesn't do anything near that. Also, I used to have a reader in England who had a degree in art and had planned jewelry making as a career, and last I heard she had no luck with it.

Pet sitters were mentioned as making an average of 22K a year, mostly on weekends and holidays and some evenings. While I do know that some people are paid a lot of money to do this, the people who make the big bucks are practically nurses. You usually don't get paid a living wage to go and play with someone else's dog, but you could make some money if you were able to give shots to diabetic cats and such.

Then we come to part-time photographers who make 26K a year, mostly on weekends and evenings. Now that is something we really know something about, as my husband has been a full-time photographer for more than ten years now. Until about three years ago, he made less than 26K a year, and that was for between 40 and 70 hours a week. You're probably not going to make that much money in addition to your regular job. And of course, if your regular job is as a photographer, your probably already working evenings and weekends for somebody else.

Interpreters and translators were said to make an extra 21K. I always thought that people who spoke a second language would have cool jobs and/or make extra money. But most of what I see are a lot of people who speak Spanish who have the same dumb job that I have or they work at Walmart or something. And they usually don't get paid extra to translate, they are just expected to drop what they are doing and come and talk to other people who can't be bothered to learn English. Lately some of the jobs I would have wanted have started listing Spanish preferred or even Spanish required, but the pay rate has not gone up, just with the new requirement I am no longer qualified for the job.

T-shirt vendors were said to make 48K a year after an investment of about a thousand dollars. I've never tried this, but again it sounds too easy, and I wonder how many people lost money trying to start a business so that the average ends up being 48K.

Web designers were also said to make an average of 42K. I know some people who do this, but nowhere near that kind of money or they would quit their regular jobs.

I think the people who are really making money from these part-time business are the people who sell the thousand dollars or so of start-up materials and equipment.


Ananda girl said...

Wow. Pet sitters make about what I do! Well...pets, people's kids, it's kind of the same thing. lol

(Just joking. I really love working with kids.)

I have a friend who buys and sells used books on line that did "okay"... but I'm not sure what "okay" is to her. I think most of the big money to be made on ebay has been made when it was newer. Now everyone is doing it and the market is polluted.

dmarks said...

I should print this out. Real useful.

laughingattheslut said...

I read this sort of thing once in a while, telling us about some realy great job that is still hiring lots of people, if you happen to have the right degree, or if you are willing to drop what you are doing and spend two to four years and a lot of money going back to school to get that degree. So I'm used to these things not really having any practical advice for me. But I thought that this one was just especially wrong, since it suggested that just anyone with talent and a thousand dollars or so should be able to make a lot of extra money.

And of course, making all this extra money depends on other people having lots of disposable income to be able to pay you, and there is less of that now anyway.

dmarks said...

Yes. I was talking to a publisher friend, and book sales are way down. Just one example of how the economy is down overall.

Yesterday, I bookmarked one of those "earn $8,000 per month" ads I saw at the top of my email screen. I think I will dig into it, and find out how far I have to dig to find the "catch".

Abagale said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


laughingattheslut said...

Welcome new reader, and thank you. And you can keep reading whenever you wish, though I'm afraid most of the posts won't be as interesting as this one. I've mostly gone over to the what I had for lunch bit, and nobody cares about that.