Would you like to have extra money coming in?

An Extra Income Source

by Rich Finzer

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Lucky you, you've got a good-paying, full-time job in what you believe is a recession-proof business, the Federated Flyswatter Company. But, bad news might be lurking just below the horizon. The overseas Flyswatter Works is thinking about buying your company outright, and if it does, you might be laid off. During any period of economic uncertainty, it's definitely not the time to hunker down and hope for the best. It's time to find or build a second source of income before you need it.

My Story: Twenty-five years ago when I bought my Victorian home, the property included a pair of large pole barns, which together enclosed 7200 square feet. When I bought the place, my last thought was what to do with two big, empty barns, but three days after moving in, all that changed.

A stranger stopped, asking if I rented storage space. Without knowing the eventual outcome of my answer, I told him I did. With that decision, the first of my three income streams came into existence, and I've been renting storage space ever since. Three years later, as my buddy and I boiled our first batches of maple syrup, a second stranger stopped by asking if I sold firewood. I told him I did, and my second extra income stream was born. That decision was 175 face cords and 400 pasture posts ago. Now, in addition to my Social Security check, company pension and 401K distributions, I've built a pair of virtually inexhaustible sources of extra money. Even better, since I retired, I've turned my talent as a freelance writer into yet a third income source.

What About You: Each of us has special talents, skills or hobbies that might be leveraged into additional income sources. Maybe you're an excellent baker, accountant, or model train enthusiast or maybe you own a woodlot like mine. The "teachable moment" here is that you possess unique skills and abilities, which you can turn into a second or even third income stream.

Getting Started: Begin by searching the local papers, the internet, or swap sheets and look for goods or services people need/want to buy. Tout your talents through sites like Facebook or Linkedin. Start small and build your customer/client base one engagement at a time. Don't sit in front of the TV and become a couch potato. Instead, turn your extra hours, ambition, and innate entrepreneurial instincts into another source of cash.

What to Do with the Extra Cash: Assuming you retain your job at the flyswatter factory, there are heaps of places to put that extra cash to work. You could pay down credit card debt, add some dollars to your IRA account, or make an extra mortgage payment with the money applied directly against the principal. You might also set some aside in your all-cash war chest or reinvest it in your business. The point here is having extra money from a second income stream is a wonderful problem to confront.

Rich Finzer resides in upstate New York. During his 43 years as a writer, he has published nearly 1,100 newspaper, magazine and Internet articles. His award winning book, Maple on Tap is available from his publisher; Acres USA. His two novels, Taking the Tracks and Julie & Me, are available from Amazon Kindle.

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