Monthly Archives: December 2008

Xmas and the Spending Account 2

For the most part you’re going to spend more money during the months of November and December than any other time of the year.

I found this out long time ago in college when every holiday season my Spending Account (explanation of accounts here) would get stretched very thin.

Solution: Spending Account #2

In addition to my other accounts, I created another spending account for myself which would cover only gifts, vacations and general holiday spending. I initially used to just put $20/week (aka $100/month) in this account through automatic transfer. That means during the holidays I had an additional $1,000+ to spend on gifts and going out for the holidays. That extra cash is mighty helpful during these months when spending goes through the roof.

Now I put about 10% of all my income in this account. It pays for vacations and everything without having to worry where I’ll pull that money from.

If I randomly see a great gift at the mall or someone, I can usually buy it without much price consideration thanks to the previous 10 months of savings in the Spending Account #2. Same with hopping on a plane for vacation…the Spending Account #2 takes care of it.

If this season you’re struggling to find where all that extra spending money is going to come from, I’d HIGHLY suggest creating a Spending Account #2 for yourself to make the next holiday season much less monetarily stressful and more enjoyable.

Hi. I’m Neville, I Own A Rave Company

Here’s a typical introductory conversation with me:

Nev: Hi, I’m Neville.
Person: Nice to meet you, what do you do?
Nev: I own the largest online rave company.
Person: Rave company!? ::eyes bug out::
Nev: Yes, rave company.
Person: So, do you…like…throw rave parties?
Nev: Nope, I’ve never been to a rave in my life.
Person: Then what do you do?
Nev: I sell light up stuff.
Person: So you sell glowsticks?
Nev: That’s part of it. The store mainly sells hard to find lightup novelties.
Person: So are raves still popular?
Nev: Not really sure. Most of my customers aren’t ravers.
Person: So do you keep all the stuff in your garage or a warehouse?
Nev: It’s all drop shipped. I rarely touch any of the products.
Person: That’s so (cool/odd/interesting).
Here’s what I imagine it’d look like if I told this to the Prime Minister of Malaysia when I met him at The WCIT 2006:
Ever since high school I’ve been running some small business or the other, but I’d always considered myself a student first. No longer a student, that response doesn’t work, so I started saying I was a “business owner” or something like that, but that elicits an avalanche of questions about every business I was involved in. Much as I enjoy talking about them, it became a cumbersome question.

So over time I’ve just started saying, “I own a rave company” which is actually pretty fitting for what I do (HouseOfRave.com). This response is interesting enough to keep the conversation going, keeps the questions fun to answer, and allows for an easy segue into another conversation.
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One trick I learned to avoid the whole “what do you do” conversation is say, “I’m unemployed.” The conversation generally stops immediately! Great for people you don’t want to speak with or when you’re in a hurry to leave.

How to make $100 today

So I’m just chillin when I get this text message from my buddy Tim Sykes:

…instead of just emailing him back, thought I’d make a post about it.

I didn’t speak with him on the phone about this, and have no idea what he’ll be presenting on The Today Show, so I thought I’d make my own criteria based on what I THINK he is requesting.

I’m presuming he’s asking how a person of average ability can make $100 in 24 hours in a legal way without many resources, specialized knowledge or abilities.

Remember, you can see how much money you will make by evaluating the amount of service you give to others. Since $100 is a small sum of money, these are all usually small-scale jobs that only provide a marginally important service.

So here we go:

1.) Selling bottled water
I’ll start with this example simply because I’ve proven this can make money in The Bottled Water Experiment and Part Deux. If you don’t partner with a homeless guy like I did, the profits could easily be $100 on a good day. In one of the undocumented attempts of this experiment Barry The Bum made $60 by himself in one day, and would have made $100 profit if half the money didn’t go to me.

2.) Painting curb addresses
I pseudo-tried painting curbs and found out it wasn’t all that hard. It may take some trial and error testing at first, but in a day a person can easily make much more than $100 in a day. In fact one of the readers of this blog (a college student) makes $80,000/year doing this very thing. At $25/house making $100 in a day should be simple.

3.) Manual labor for a store
I’ve personally seen and spoken to bums on the street who do this from time to time: help out a store in exchange for cash. Often stores with have a very messy back-room area or trash area in the back. If you’re willing to clean this area up, the store manager wouldn’t mind hiring you for a small fee. Usually the bums I’ve seen get these small jobs are employed to break down boxes that are being sent for trash or recycling. Glamorous? No. But asking around at a few local businesses if they can part with $100 in exchange for your services can work. Keep in mind they’re going to want to pay you low as possible, lower than $8/hour.

4.) Selling goods from your state surplus store
When something gets confiscated or lost at a state building or airport, it all ends up at your state Surplus Store. I did an experiment to see if I could sell confiscated stuff from the airport and it worked. Selling these goods over eBay obviously wasn’t a one day affair, but perhaps you could get lucky, find some good stuff and sell it at a pawn shop or flea market.

5.) Pawn or Ebay your stuff
Self explanatory. You got junk, trade it for around market price for cash or PayPal funds. This isn’t really “making” money, so I’m not sure if this will qualify for Tim’s list.

6.) Power washing driveways and houses
I’ve also actually performed this a long time ago (unfortunately it went undocumented). I borrowed a power washer from a friend, rolled it around a neighborhood and asked people if they wanted their driveway power washed. My only cost was $2 worth of gasoline, and you can power wash a driveway for $45, and a house for well over $100.

7.) Mow lawns.
This one’s pretty obvious.

8.) General help wanted post
Post an ad on Craigslist in the “Gigs” section or alike saying something along the lines of, “Hard working, general help for one day. Will do anything (legal) for 8 hours. Price $100.” I’ve seen posts like this on Craigslist, and based on my experiences from finding ANYTHING on Craigslist, it’s highly likely you can find someone who needs some general help for the day.

If you have some special talents, abilities or skilled set of knowledge, you probably stand an even better chance of #8 working. If you know how to setup Quickbooks for a business, or are good with computers etc. you can post those qualifications (and command a higher price).

9.) Experiments on college campuses
Go to the psychology building of many college campuses and scout for flyers boasting “get paid for research.” I used to participate in these experiments if I had some free time. They usually pay between $10 and $25 for an hour or two of your time. This suggestion is more wishful thinking than the others. Yes, it COUULLDD make $100, but it’s unlikely you’ll make more than $30 in a day (if you are even lucky enough to catch an experiment taking place on a certain day).

10.) Bum it….creatively
I’ve always wanted to try this out, and would LOVE to see it done. Make a big ass card board sign that says “NEED $100 FOR (insert purpose here)” and then draw one of those fundraiser thermometers next to it. Stand on corner and basically fly the sign like bums do.

I never give money to bums, but would probably toss a few bucks someone’s way if they had a sign that said “Need $120 more for rent” and showed their progress through the day. Whenever someone gives you money, use a Sharpie to bump up the amount on the sign. After the bottled water experiment I got to know a lot of bums and see who gives what at the street corners, and sincerely think this suggestion could make $100 quicker and with much more ease than any other suggestion! Artist rendering of what it might look like:

Anyhow, there you go Tim; my suggestions for how anyone could make $100 in a day.
-Nev