Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Broke!

You know what I am right now? Broke. B-r-o-k-e. Having to scrounge up cash for my plane ticket didn't help, and this coming paycheck I'll also have to scrounge up cash to pay off the $76 I put on my credit card for the Metrocard, and on top of that I realized that my initial belief that March was a three-paycheck month which would take care of the money for the trip for K's sister's wedding was an entirely false one, and that I'll need to come up with that money some other way. On top of all of this, a good friend from college is in town this week, and I don't want to miss out on chances to see her as much as possible because my disposable cash-o-meter hovers somewhere perilously close to $0.

You know what would help me out? Extra cash, which I do not know how to find. Perhaps I will send resumes to some of the private high schools advertising tutoring services--a qualified tutor, which I am, can turn quite a buck in the college admission-hungry Manhattan market, but then again, it's not quite the season. It is, in fact, the exact opposite of "quite the season," given that the season has just passed. I don't know how to market the skills I've got (writing, editing, tutoring), so I'm going to have to hope that focus group pans out and provides me with a super-helpful $200.

I am not optimistic.

14 comments:

Deb said...

Have you considered some sort of paper editing service for international students at a local college? A friend has been talking about trying that route, and it sounds like it might be useful for non-native English writers.

I came across your blog recently and have enjoyed some of your posts -- I'm a grad student and am in a similar position in life otherwise.

3 Things About Money said...

I so feel that pain...I've been in the change bucket myself this week. No going into debt is the rule, but it totally sux when I am paying for things with scrounged quarters from the bottom of the laundry hamper. I'm hoping for that focus group for you. Have you looked at sites like Associated Content? I'm thinking about posting some stuff there, but I'm not sure -- would love to know what you think about it. Hang in there.

SF Money Musings said...

Have you looked at the writing section in craigslist? there are usually opportunities to do some writing, editing or data entry stuff to earn some quick cash.

cupcake said...

I know this isn't the greatest job, but have you tried babysitting? Seriously, I babysit for a few families in my area and make an extra $100 a week. If you pick the right families, the children are usually fun and what is a few hours here and there. If I can make $15 an hour here, I'm certain you could make more than that in NYC. Just a suggestion. It helped pay for my holiday shopping, car repair, and vacation.

Good Luck!

mapgirl said...

Pet sitting. My friend does it and she can make an extra $300 in a holiday week, plus the families usually let her use their laundry facilities for free. That means they know she's going to be spending at least 2 hours with their pets.

Freelance writing gigs are kind of fun and could make a career for you too.

ispf said...

Sorry :( But hang in there, sooner or later (hopefully, sooner than later), things will work out.

I wanted to add to Deb's comment about international students. In order to find assistantships (to fund our education) international students need to pass english exams. Some universities offer admissions only if students pass the exams. Others univiersites, like mine, offer admissions anyway, but require that the students pass the english exams within a certain number of semesters. Several of the otherwise brilliant students have a lot of trouble with passing the exams and go through tutoring. I think in NYC, you might be able to find some universtities easily, where you can post on student bulletin boards that you are an English Major and can offer english tutoring. It mostly involves lessons on grammer and composition. Good Luck.

HC said...

These are all great suggestions.

I have only one additional one:

Check at the nearby campuses (it's NYC, you have plenty to choose from) and see if any of the academic departments need study participants. Psychology departments, business schools and med schools usually have something going during the semester. And not all of them require that you be a student to participate.

English Major said...

Hi, deb--I'm glad you're enjoying reading! I'd definitely be interested in doing a paper-editing thing (for both native and non-native speakers). The barrier for me is figuring out how to market that service--I need to work on overcoming that barrier.

3 things--thanks for the empathy, and the tip on Associated Content--I'll check it out.

sf--The New York Craigslist writing gigs board is generally pretty barren, all about "getting in on the ground floor" of some new publication by donating your writing, but I've got my eye on it. Thanks!

Thanks for all the great ideas, cupcake, ispf, and hc! They're very much appreciated. mapgirl, do you do freelance writing? If so, I'd love to get the benefit of some of your experience.

The problem with these things for me is the transition from idea to action--I tend to get stymied by the difficulty of finding customers for a service I can provide. Any ideas on working on that are eagerly accepted.

deb said...

craigslist is a good space for free advertising. Most colleges have some sort of campus paper with classifieds that are cheap - I know my undergrad paper charged $5 for a 2 week run. Flyers?

Some departments keep a list of tutors around for students who need them -- call a dept and ask if they have a list you can be added to. That's worked well for my boyfriend.

good luck!

SF Money Musings said...

Check out some of the other "gigs" sectionon Craigslist ... they might have some random things you could do or maybe you can find some freelance editing work there also.

I freelance write and while it's a lot of fun ... it doesn't necessarily pay big bucks initially or depending on publication. And there's so much work and time involved in the process which may not work for your timeline but it's an idea for side income. It's also fun to write off freelance related work expenses on your taxes ...

English Major said...

sf money musings, I'll probably check your blog to see if I can find an email address so I know this reaches you, but nevertheless: how did you get into freelance writing? What were your first steps? I'd love to make some extra money off my writing skillz, but have little to no idea how to begin doing so.

M said...

Advertise on Craigslist for writing, editing, and proofreading services. I found plenty of work that way. It's free and easy.

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