#64 – Banquet serving or bar-tending is a great way to make some cash during the holidays…
Holiday parties will be in full swing before we know it. You might want to check with local hotels, convention centers, or social clubs (Elks Lodge, American Legions or VFW Posts) to see if they need help serving for banquets and upcoming holiday parties. Holiday parties go into January often times. So you could have at least two months of work evenings and weekends. The pay for banquet serving varies depending on what part of the country you live, but I know you get gratuities or tips for all of them.
If you have experience bar-tending, you might prefer tending bar at the holiday parties over serving food. Most parties have limited drinks that they offer so you probably won’t have to serve anything too fancy or hard to mix up. If it’s been awhile since you mixed up a great Martini or Manhattan…you might want to download a “mixology” app for your smartphone then you’ll have drink recipes at your fingertips. I know several people who tend bar for holiday parties and they generally make anywhere from $100 and up in tips when serving drinks at these parties. Even if it’s an “Open Bar”, people still tend to tip like they are out at a bar for the evening. So smile, be friendly and mix up some tasty beverages…then count your mula on your way home!
Need a last minute Halloween Costume for a party this weekend?! Check out your local thrift stores or even e-bay. You might find a great costume that has only been worn once and is a bargain.
I made my costume this year by going to a thrift-store and buying things separately, but I had the time to do that this year and it was fun searching for the perfect pieces. If you don’t have time but still want a great costume, check online or go to a pop-up Halloween Store that seem to be in every vacant big box store in towns/cities across America. Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, this weekend is going to be the weekend for the spookiest & fun costumes at your local pubs and neighborhood Halloween parties. So be creative…check out your local thrift or second hand-store, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find or the inspiration you may get from looking through all the stuff there. Or if time isn’t on your side this year and you need to just pick an already made costume, look online. This might be your year for winning the grand prize at your local costume contest! Wouldn’t that be fun?!
# 66 – Be a Personal Shopper
How many times have you heard, “I have no idea what I’m going to get so-and-so for…” depending on the holiday in question?! You could offer to be a personal shopper for friends, colleagues and even strangers. You will need figure out your fee structure for shopping and then if you need to ship items, you’ll also need to come up with shipping and handling fees. If you decide to deliver in our local area, make sure you account for mileage and how much gas costs and charge accordingly for a local delivery.
I’m not sure what the going rate is for a personal shopper and this could vary greatly depending on what part of the world you live. So do your research and get a good idea what other personal shoppers are charging in your area and in other areas that may be comparable. You could get this started by word of mouth but you may want to think about setting up a simple Word-press site and then set up a Pay-pal account so that you can take payments online from your customers. I would recommend that you collect payment before you actually purchase anything. I think it would be a good idea to come up with a questionnaire that cusotmers fill out and send to you on your contact form (on your site). .This will help you know the type of person you’ll be shopping for,what their budget is and if there are any items that are totally off limits. Follow-up is key for any kind of service business, so make sure you check in with your customers after you deliver the gift or gifts to make sure they meet their expectations and they are satisfied. This will help you get repeat business too.
If you are notoriously a great bargain shopper and frequently find great deals on fantastic gifts that your friends and family always love, this might be right up your alley. I believe people who are busy and time is not on their side, would welcome this service as helpful and cost effective. Time is money to many people. If you love shopping, always find great deals and think you could fit this service into your life why not try it? Wouldn’t it be great to actually “make” money while you’re shopping with someone else’s money?!
Do you have a great idea but you’re not quite sure how to develop it or are “stuck” and need some help to move it further along? If you think you have a great idea but follow up isn’t your strongest trait, think about who you know that you trust, is open minded and would like to participate in a brainstorming party…then invite them over for a couple of hours to brainstorm yours (and theirs too if they are up for it) idea with you. Sometimes just sharing your ideas and hearing what others think, will help motivate you and get things going to the next level. This is especially great if you aren’t normally entrepreneurial thinking, but some of your friends are. If you are open to doing things a little different, you might be surprised what comes out of this type of get together. Make sure you have notebooks and pens for everyone who comes and ask someone to take notes with action items and “owners” if you are going to keep each other accountable. I’d suggest doing some follow-up emails and/or phone calls after your “idea party” to check in with everyone to see how everyone who participated is doing with their ideas or projects and maybe see if they need more help or if another “idea party” should be “penciled” in. Drinks and snacks are optional!
# 68 –
Instead of eating out during the week while you are at work, how about making your lunch (or packing up your left overs from dinner the night before) and eating your lunch at your desk? Then during your lunch break, take a walk outside instead of going out to lunch. I have started doing this and it’s helping not only my pocketbook, but also my state of mind. It’s actually making my days go by faster and keeping my head clear. I don’t get my normal 3 pm slumps anymore that used to make me run for the candy machine. Now, I’m taking a much needed break, getting fresh air at least 4 days a week and find that I’m much more productive on the days that I make a point to do this. I have actually scheduled this with a friend & co-worker and we are keeping each other on track and if meetings come up, we try to reschedule our daily walks for a time that works better for both of us. I know this seems very simple but it’s really working for me and I highly recommend doing this at least 4 days a week…then treat yourself to lunch away from your desk on the 5th day as a reward. Your psyche, waistline and budget will thank you!
# – 69
Insurance rates on anything that you may need insurance coverage on can change drastically every year. So before your insurance premium is due this year, shop around at different Insurance Companies and get multiple quotes. Or to save time, you can find a Broker who will get multiple quotes for you. Multiple quotes are important to find the best deal for your insurance needs. There are several companies like this out there that do these types of searches. I have used a company here in Colorado, Olson & Olson and the were able to quote me several different rates for different policies. When you request quotes from these brokers, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples by checking to make sure each quote you receive is for the same coverage that you currently have. Your local financial advisor may be able to refer you to a broker or reputable insurance agent that he or she uses regularly to help clients save money. You could ultimately save quite a bit of money every year, especially if you are a safe driver, and don’t have any accidents or traffic violations. It’s worth checking and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised with a lower insurance bill.
You can “Swap” just about anything instead of buying new. You can swap books, CD’s, DVD’s, electronic books (for Kindles & eBooks) and gently used electronics online. There are lots of different “swapping” sites out there, but one that I like is swap.com. They connect swappers and also let you know of “swapping events” in your area that you may want to take part in. There’s sometimes a minimum charge for participating in the swapping events that they promote, so check the event page for that information when you are deciding if you’d like to attend a swapping event..
Hosting your own “Swapping event” is also really fun and won’t cost you anything if you organize it yourself. I have participated and organized many clothing swaps in my day. The one thing to note about clothing swaps is making sure that you invite multiple people from different size ranges to make sure you have a variety of clothes to swap. A rule of thumb for any swaps you might organize or participate in is make sure that the items you are swapping are gently used, still in good condition, clean (for clothes, make sure they really are clean and don’t have stains or holes), and things like zippers work on pants, coats, jackets, skirts and handbags, etc…
Some people organize the swap to be fair and efficient, especially if there are many people participating, by setting everything out in piles separated by size or category and then let participants walk around and take a once over to see what’s available. Then allow each person to choose one item they like and then allow them to keep choosing one item at a time until everyone has a good amount of items selected. This can be very slow if your group is large.
Another option is to have the rule, that everyone can take the same number of items that they brought with them. I, however, like to have the swap flow more naturally and allow people to choose things they really like. Most clothing swaps aren’t hard to manage, because the clothes need to be tried on and things may be tried on several times before someone decides they love it and want to take it home to add to their closet. Whatever is left over at the end of the swap is normally donated to a local charity like Goodwill or ARC Thrift Stores so that everyone is only taking “new to them” items home. This is a great way to clean out the old and replace with “new to you” without spending a dime!
Fandango and Visa Signature offer buy one get one free movie tickets on Fridays. Fandango has other great specials listed on their site for movie lovers to take advantage of. Check it out and if there’s a movie like the “Footloose” remake that you MUST see in the Theatre, at the very least, go see it for a budget price or a buy-one-get-one FREE promotion instead of paying full price. I can’t imagine the remake is going to out-do the original but I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Just in case…I plan on using a discount ticket to see it and then I can compare notes and not feel budget pain over paying full price if I don’t end up loving it as much as I love the original.
#71 – Gift baskets…bowls…bags…or anything that would be a great container to hold & deliver gifts in
I recently needed a “Get Well Gift” for a good friend who had emergency surgery. I tried to find a local company to put together a great get well gift and deliver it. I did find a company but when I reached out to them, they told me they weren’t doing customized gifts any longer. I was really disappointed to find this out but I was creative and came up with my own gift and then delivered it myself. Luckily, my friend was recuperating close to where I live or doing this myself could have been quite a challenge. I noticed that many gift basket companies such as the ones I found when I googled “Get Well Gifts”, were baskets of tea or coffee, chocolates, cookies or a combo of all of these OR flowers and edible arrangements (fruit on a stick that looks like flowers). These are all great, but I really wanted to be able to customize my gift with things that would comfort my friend (like soup, tea, frozen popsicles, magazines, etc…) not just send flowers. I also found that the delivery charges were almost as much as the gift I wanted to purchase, doubling the amount of money I wanted to spend. This made me think of the idea that if someone was creative and a bargain shopper, starting a gift basket company and delivering them to their local area, they might be able to turn a nice profit or make some extra cash at the very least.
I’m sure there are many ways to set up the choices that customers can choose from, and that of course, will be a personal choice for you, but I would highly recommend having a great “Get Well” gift available or customizable selections available for cusomers to choose when they need a gift like I needed recently. If you have time to put personalized gifts together and deliver them, I think busy professionals like myself would definitely use your service, especially if they truly are customizeable.
Starting today, 10/10 through 10/16/2011 more than 700 Day Spa’s across the US are offering special spa treatments for a discount. Each Spa will most likely have one to three treatments they have designed especially for the Spa Week deal. They may offer a special facial, massage ,body treatment of some kind onail services r as the deal for the week. Each Spa will have something that is unique to their spa, depending on what part of the country they are located or maybe even offer a seasonal treat like a “Pumpkin Facial“…one of my favorites in the fall for sure! Pumpkin is a great antioxidant and also is a fantastic exfoliant, so it’s a win-win and will leave your face looking bright and ready for the winter that is coming. The intention for Spa Week, is to encourage people who aren’t normal spa goers to try a spa out and to also get repeat customers to fill up the appointment books for the upcoming months. It’s a fun thing to do with girlfriends or your spouse. Some of the spa’s may have a special on couples massage or a girlfriends day out package. Make sure you ask about these when you call to make your appointment.
Remember to check out SpaWeek.com for all the great deals in your area this week. You do deserve to take a break and get pampered any week of the year, but especially this week, since the prices are lower than normal. What are you waiting for? Check it out this morning while you are having your coffee, before you get to busy and it’s to late.