Put some jingle in your pocket over the holidays

The Situation

Okay, take a moment to pat yourself on the back: you stayed awake through class, got all of your assignments turned in on time and passed your finals with flying colors.

Alright, moment’s over. Quit wasting time with all that back-patting. You’ve got something else to worry about: CHRISTMAS!

Why are you worried about Christmas? Because, while you were putting in all that time studying and completing assignments, you didn’t earn a dime. Now you’re broke and you’ve got presents to buy and no money to get them with.

Needing to hyperventilate? Okay, breathe into the paper bag for a minute. Done? Good. Now pay attention, because while your situation may seem desperate, you’re not sunk yet. Follow these tips to put some money in your pocket so you buy gifts for loved ones this Christmas.
Temp-work. If you want some work right away but don’t want to stay in the same place day after day, you might consider applying for work at a temporary labor agency. In Neosho, for example, there is Penmac, Onin Staffing, Temporary Employment Corp., Express Employment Professionals and Reliable Staffing Solutions. Depending on what your availability is and what you’re willing to do, you might find some work immediately. Sometimes jobs can last just a few hours, or maybe a couple of weeks. The work is typically unskilled labor, but some job may require a person with a particular skill set. You don’t know what you can get until you apply.

 Sell your stuff. You know those Harry Potter books that you’re not reading anymore? Or what about those CDs you never listen to anymore because you have an MP3 player now? Perhaps you have a laptop you’re not using because you have an I-pad with a detachable keyboard? Those things you’re not using could net you some quick cash on E-bay or Amazon.com.

I have personally sold my textbooks on Amazon for much more than I would have gotten by selling them back to the campus bookstore, and I also have been able to purchase books in very good condition at my local library or a discount books store for $.50 or $1.00 and then resold them for $10 or $20. Moreover, since it’s Christmas time, people around the country are looking at E-Bay and Amazon for low-cost gifts or, so what you put up for sale could go very quickly.

There are some things to keep in mind when selling online: first, items which are in new or near new condition sell much quicker and for a better price than those that are used. Also, you want to be certain what you put up for sale is in demand. For example, if you have a book for sale and there are only 10 copies listed on Amazon and the lowest priced one is $15, chances are your book will sell rather quickly. On the other hand, if there are a thousand copies of the book listed for sale and many of them are going for a penny, then you probably don’t want to waste your time or energy.

Finally, you want to deal honestly with your customers. Describe your merchandise as accurately as possible. If you find a flaw in it after the sale, contact your customer and find out if they still want it before mailing it. If customers feel cheated, they will destroy your reputation at Amazon or E-bay, and that will cost you in the long run.

Sell your plasma. If you passed out the last time you donated blood, you should probably skip one. On the other hand, if you don’t mind giving blood, you shouldn’t mind giving plasma. If you are healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds, you may be eligible to donate. Donors can give plasma twice a week, and are paid $20 for their first weekly donation and $45 for their second. For those wishing to donate, BioLife has a location at 1803 W 32nd Street in Joplin. Call (417)782-7755 for more information. If you recently made a whole blood donation, you must wait eight weeks before selling plasma.

 Recycling: For the ecologically conscious, collecting cans and other pieces of scrap metal can put a few extra bucks in your wallet, and help the environment as well. Be sure to economize your effort, however. Metal is currently only selling for $.25 per pound, so don’t drive around everywhere looking for cans. Instead, drive or ride a bike, and get a friend to come along so you’re not out on some of those country roads by yourself. A bonus to this will be the extra calories you and your friend will burn while can collecting. In Neosho, metal can be sold at USA Metal Recyling at 467 Austin Ave. Call (417) 451-3333 for more information.

 Odd jobs: If you’re into self-employment, you might hire yourself out to do jobs other people don’t like to do or not have time for. Some examples of odd jobs include dog walking, yard work, or babysitting. You can advertise yourself online at Facebook or Craigslist, or by word of mouth. Vet the people you go to work for, however, so you don’t get scammed.