You Have to Spend Money to Make Money (is Bullshit).
Seriously. Where did that saying even come from? What people should be saying is ‘you have to make money to save money.’ It seems obvious, but at least that one makes sense.
This whole train of thought, by the way, is inspired by the extra earning opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have presented to me this past week. It’s kind of a big deal on my end, because I’ve been looking for ways to make some side income since I started working again. When I first got my job, I spent far more time than I should have looking into paid-to-lick sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk before deciding that microtasking for a microwage really isn’t for me. It was a similar story with freelance writing - I’d love to get into it, but my credentials are…bad. (Which was also partially responsible for my starting this blog, as it turns out freelance writing is a blog/article game.)
What I was really looking for was something relatively painless that would make me a few hundred extra dollars every month. Luckily, it’s looking like I’ll be able to make that happen. Part of that won’t be from any side jobs - there have been overtime hours at work (both voluntary and mandatory) that, at time and a half with an hourly stipend to boot, will net me about three hundred dollars in overtime pay this month. And really, with the absolute nothing I have going on in my life right now, there’s zero reason for me not to put in a fifty hour work week.
This past week I also had one of my professors from last semester offer to outsource some of his grading my way, to the tune of one-hundred dollars per test. (He also offered to pay for me to miss work and come do a guest lecture for his social research class, which is less-income related, but way more exciting for me personally). He does tests every month, so that should be an extra hundred dollars from October through at least December - maybe more if he offers the same deal when the new semester starts in January. I’m still a little confused as to why he’ll be paying me when he has two teaching assistants for that course, but I’m sure not going to ask too many questions about that one.
I’ll admit that my initial reaction to the extra income was to get all excited that I’d be able to go buy some of the nifty things I’ve had my eye on, but after a long internal debate I have managed to reach a more responsible agreement with myself. Everything extra I make is going to get split between debt (I still have a small balance on my credit card) and my graduate school fund (those applications are fucking expensive). Once I have those two things covered, I’ll start diverting some of it to savings and put some towards my student loans. I’m hoping that eventually making progress on my debt will feel just good as a shiny new purchase (though I’ll admit I have my doubts there).