The year is almost to an end. A lot of people are looking forward to Christmas and New Year. However, this time would be best to reflect on what happened and to strategize on what you plan to do in the year ahead.
For some people the start of the year is when they plan to start their New Year’s Resolution. One thing I’ve noticed with doing resolutions is we start strong but lose interest as days and months go by. Some people even bet on how long before they stop doing it. The end of the year is also the best time to evaluate your finances.
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution and What’s Ahead”
When I was living in Beijing, a lot of the elderly people who were retired took to finding bottles, cans, boxes and paper to recycle. I usually save some of my bottles and cans to give it to them when I see them on the street on my way to work or on my way home. It felt good helping them earn a little bit and help me save the environment.
When I migrated to California and was caring for my mom, they have 3 bags of plastic bottles and aluminum cans in my aunt’s garage. They told me they were waiting for another bag before bringing it to the recycling station. Since in California, if you bring less than 50 plastic bottles or aluminum cans, you will get whatever the recycling amount for that size which you paid extra when you bought it (i.e. 5 or 10 cents). However, if you bring it by the bag, they will weigh it and pay you by the pound. So when I brought the bags to the recycling station in our city, those 4 bags of bottles and cans only amounted to around $25. For me, it wasn’t bad since I didn’t do much to collect it. After that first load, bringing my second load, only got me less than $20. Not all states have this kind of recycling concept. Better check your local government on what they accept. Some only accept aluminum cans while some do not have any recycling system at all.
Since it was giving me much, I gave the bottles and cans I collect to my retired uncle. Reminds me my Beijing days helping the elderly earn a little bit of money.
Around March of this year, I reconnected with an old classmate of mine. I asked her if I can help her with any products from the US to ship to her through balikbayan boxes. If you’re Filipino, balikbayan boxes are much awaited by relatives back home in the Philippines. They bring much joy especially during the holiday season as these become gifts or much needed supplies for celebration.
In any case, my classmate asked me if I can help her with some stuff that she sells to her regular customers. In return, I will get 10% of the cost of the items to pack them in boxes. She will pay shipping and the cost of the packaging (tape, bubble wrap).
Thus, my first side hustle in the US started. It doesn’t give me much (approximately $50-$80 per box) but it’s stable and an income I can count on. What gives me a better return are the points I earn from the stores or on my credit card. The points I get are mine to use. I usually send a box almost every month or every other month depending on the sale that I can get from the products she usually orders from me (soap, M&Ms, Skippy, lotion, vitamins).
This side hustle gives me something to do and helps a friend with her side hustle too.
Growing up in a middle class family, I sometimes yearn to be able to travel, buy stuff I want and be comfortable. I would usually compare myself to my cousins who were better off than we are and find myself lacking. Then, I would dream of graduating from university, finding a job and earning my own money.
However, there’s one lesson my dad would always tell us. “Be your own boss and don’t be an employee”. With that in mind, I planned to find a job and a side hustle to generate more money. It’s not what the lesson was but it was a step towards financial independence.
Continue reading “Side Hustles and Making Money”
“Life is Hard” .. A phrase which is in the lips of most people nowadays as prices of everything is increasing and our incomes doesn’t increase as much. Then, how can we cope and weather through this difficult times? I’m no expert but here are some of the tips I’ve read from different websites.
1. Turn your hobby into income – If you’re good at cooking or baking, you can probably sell your goodies to your friends/colleagues/relatives. If you have a passion to teach, tutor people! If you are visually creative, try to create something that’s useful and unique. Sell your stuff in Ebay or Multiply.
2. Recycle – Bottles, newspapers, boxes.. they’re trash which you can sell. You may not earn much but each cent counts. In China, they don’t like bottles unless it’s beer bottles. The old lady in the street usually carries a bag and search for empty plastic bottles in the trash bin. As for me, I collect the free magazines which comes out every month and sell it when I have a lot along with my empty plastic bottles.
Continue reading “Life is Hard…”