As consumers, we are constantly overpaying for services.  We are all being ripped off on a daily basis.  You don't believe me?  Here's an example.  I work as a software engineer and am a self-proclaimed technology junkie.  If my computer needs repairing or upgrading, I do it myself.  If I need more memory in my computer, I go to the local electronics store, buy the part, and install it myself.  Once I walk in my front door, the actual process only takes about 10 minutes - and that's counting the time it takes me to take off my shoes.  Imagine my thoughts as the cashier told me at the time of my purchase that their technicians would be happy to install it for the low price of $60.  Huh?  I felt ripped off for just listening to the offer. 

What it comes down to is that you pay for people to perform a service that either you don't know how to do, or you would rather not do.  Another good example is changing the oil of your car.  As mentioned, I'm a technology junkie, but when it comes to engines, I'm out of my comfort zone.  The cost of the replacement oil is a fraction of the cost of the service.  The rest is paying someone do perform a service I don't know how to do.   

The good news is that you can use this knowledge to gain yourself some extra income.  What skills do you have that others would pay for?  What sort of thing do you enjoy doing that others would pay for? 

My wife is a preschool teacher, so she is home during the summer.  Since school is out, there are a lot of working parents that are looking for child care during the day.  Getting a day-care license can require some work, but a quick call to the appropriate government office revealed that if you are watching the children of one family, no license is needed. Thus, she has been able to earn some money during the summer months by doing daycare for a family in the neighborhood.   

I have always loved writing.  My high school teachers suggested that I pursue a career in that field.  Being the technology junkie I am, my career choice went a different direction. I was thrilled when the opportunity to blog for CareOne came along.  It allows me to explore my writing potential, and get compensated as well. 

Summertime means fresh produce stands and farmer's markets.  I have some friends who absolutely LOVE to garden.  They grow way more than they can possibly eat, so they inquired as to being a vendor at the local farmer's market. 

My father enjoys lawn care work. To say my dad has a fantastic, outstanding, golf-course-looking lawn is an absolute understatement.  He actually had a person that was driving by stop, knock on his door, and ask if my dad could be hired to make his lawn look just as good.  My dad is semi-retired, and this was an excellent way for him to do something he loves, and get paid for it. 

These are just a few examples of skills, or services that have been applied by people to help themselves.  With just a little effort, you can generate some additional income, as well as bring yourself some enjoyment.   

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Get motivated to try something new.


Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey Out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan and in his posts he shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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