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I'm gonna offer up some history so you know where I'm coming from and what I've looked at. Career firefighter here, very odd work schedule. Wife works part time and handles the kids which is a more than full time job as some of you may know. I am in need of some extra income for medical bills for my son. I've tried the part time route with local businesses but it doesn't pan out to be worth it. After travel time (I live out in the country so gas is a big expense) and meals, what jobs I can get pay VERY little after all is said and done to where it's not worth it. I have had a LOT of companies take a look at my resume and want to hire me on the spot. Then they see my schedule changes all the time for my main job and they can't work with it for a couple days a week. They say they need someone every Tuesday and Thursday or Monday and Wednesday and I can't do that.

I've sold dang near everything that isn't nailed down, I sold off my business a couple years ago, and it seems like everywhere I'm looking is either not doable schedule wise, or the payback for the time invested doesn't make it worth it. I really only need to make an extra 4-500 bucks a month. I've been searching the forum here before posting and things like at home surveys and the like seem like a great option except for the pay, which is the whole reason I am doing this. I tried manual labor jobs that paid a little better than normal but injuries as well as working me dead tired was affecting my main job which is where my health insurance, main income and retirement is so I can't risk that.

I'm in a odd and increasingly frustrating position. Most of my coworkers that do side jobs have their own business where they mow lawns, do electrical work, etc. I'm not in a position to invest in any equipment or training at the moment so thats a bit of a dead end as well. I had hoped to find something I could do from my laptop at home but I'm not sure anymore. I did recently learn about field inspectors that take pics of houses and report back to banks or insurance companies but the pay vs the fuel and drive time have me suspicious thats not going to pay well after all is considered.

Long initial post I know but the info above needed to be offered up so you know what I've looked at already and my history.

Any feedback or ideas is greatly appreciated!

Thank you.
 

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Hi Thlfirelion, I'm in based in Ireland so I don't know if it'd be relevant but my suggestion is to go with your strengths, if you go to companies that install/inspect fire equipment (or something similar), I'd imagine that to have an actual firefighter employed by them might give them enough kudos with customers that they might be willing to build in some flexibility into your job??.

I volunteer locally and know for instance that our community hall had to undergo a safety inspection and then have equipment installed upgraded. We also have a country wide movement that installs defibs into local sports pitches/halls and then people are trained on them. As a fireman you'd have basic/advanced training in first Aid? is this an area you could expand on?? Again with safety/first aid training in mind?

As a final wee comment, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you do. It is noticed & it is appreciated!
 

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Good Afternoon (Here), Rona, thank you for your reply. You have some good ideas but I have already explored some of those options. I did do some work for a safety company for a little over a year. The problem was the 92+ hours a week of work between my two jobs was VERY tough on me, my family and turned me into a zombie working that much. I was away from my young family for very long stretches and was so tired when I got home I finally had to quit. Ive contacted the local places again but the only options are full time or part time that 30+ hours a week. (Side note, they do that so they don' have to offer benefits to the part times but work them just shy of full time hours. Kind of a dirty trick if you ask me). I am very happy with my job as a firefighter and I am glad to help others, but this line of work can be mentally and physically exhausting after a while. After 15 years of fire service work, the last thing I want is another job in emergency response. Takes it toll on the body and mind so I avoid those. Maybe I should take another look after reading your email so I'll stew on that some more. My situation is a good one in some regards but when looking for additional work, it gets tricky with my schedule, my location and my minimum income needs.

thank you again for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I am fond of the Irish because of their strong influence in the fire service and that my wife and I both have German and Irish heritage. That does however, prevent us from obtaining any sort of suntan. lol

Have a good day!




Hi Thlfirelion, I'm in based in Ireland so I don't know if it'd be relevant but my suggestion is to go with your strengths, if you go to companies that install/inspect fire equipment (or something similar), I'd imagine that to have an actual firefighter employed by them might give them enough kudos with customers that they might be willing to build in some flexibility into your job??.

I volunteer locally and know for instance that our community hall had to undergo a safety inspection and then have equipment installed upgraded. We also have a country wide movement that installs defibs into local sports pitches/halls and then people are trained on them. As a fireman you'd have basic/advanced training in first Aid? is this an area you could expand on?? Again with safety/first aid training in mind?

As a final wee comment, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you do. It is noticed & it is appreciated!
 

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You live out in the country- and so do I. Do you have any little ma and pop stores or more preferably a gas station or town hall or something? Yes the pay might not be super high, but if it helps limit your gas expense and those type of places are used to employing teenagers for 4-5 hrs shift. maybe it could work?

Otherwise I think you have exhausted your options unless you look at your main job and how to increase the income there. That might not be an option either.

Really your "best" option is a handyman/hard labor working job. You can set the hours, the pay is better. But they are hard labor for a reason! ;)
 

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I'm afraid you might be right, I am between a rock and a hard place. I have sent out a few more emails from places closer to me that may work, but they're long shots at best. Never hurts to ask.

I'll take a look at the budget and see if there is anywhere else to trim some fat but I suspect there is not seein as I've done that multiple times already. Lol.

Thank you for your reply.


You live out in the country- and so do I. Do you have any little ma and pop stores or more preferably a gas station or town hall or something? Yes the pay might not be super high, but if it helps limit your gas expense and those type of places are used to employing teenagers for 4-5 hrs shift. maybe it could work?

Otherwise I think you have exhausted your options unless you look at your main job and how to increase the income there. That might not be an option either.

Really your "best" option is a handyman/hard labor working job. You can set the hours, the pay is better. But they are hard labor for a reason! ;)
 

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Could your wife watch a few kids while watching your kids at home? I see you said she works part time (i'm assuming around your hours) and stays home with your kids. I know very well (full time working mom plus managing the kiddos) that it's exhausting- but really if its what you need to do you need to do it.

Otherwise yes, your budget needs to change. I know you said you can't trim fat, but you might be looking at some drastic things to be done. I mean really- it's for the health of your son it looks like. You guys might just have to tough it out. And if this is a long term thing, drastic changes to your budget (selling a car for a beater to get rid of a car payment, or downsizing your home, or etc) may be in the future. You can't keep running yourself 4-500 a month short. I am in that moment right now- but mine is short term. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. Not sure what it is for you. Long term however if you keep running yourself short a few things could happen: 1) You son misses out on the medical he needs 2) or you file for bankruptcy and lose the car and house anyways.
 

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Nobody has mentioned Craigslist! Go to your local one and look under the "gigs" section. You might be able to find the occasional one or two day job that you could work when you have days off.
 

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Nobody has mentioned Craigslist! Go to your local one and look under the "gigs" section. You might be able to find the occasional one or two day job that you could work when you have days off.
I hadn't even that about that option. I did look under gigs but the only options were plumbing and electrical needs and ads looking for women for things of an adult nature. lol I'm cute but thats not how I plan to earn extra money. They couldn't afford me anyways. lol
 

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Nothing under "labor"?
I went and took another look. It's almost all items like

carpenter
bulldozer operator
lead technician
experienced tile setter
mechanic
housekeeper - must be bilingual
forklift technician

etc, etc. Now I'm a pretty handy guy with stuff around my house but I know my own limits and I couldn't do it as an occupation.

There were a few jobs here and there that were warehouse work and what not that I was qualified to do but they need set days and my current work schedule won't allow it.

I know I keep coming up snake eyes here but I do appreciate the ideas. It helps to have a sounding board where I may look at something I otherwise would not have that of.

I did send off some emails to some local flower shops to see if by chance they are looking for delivery driver help as I've done delivery work before. Maybe that could work out. There are some snack food warehouses within a 20 minute drive that I may drop my resume off at to see if they need help. I'll keep trying.
 

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i use a few off duty fireman here at home - one is a computer whiz-he has a great side busiiness and is self taught. i use another for window washing, getting leaves off roof in fall, gutter cleaning, and he removes screens before winter and replaces when washing in spring - makes for not so gross window wells. lol....i know another fireman who washes windows and does gutters - he has a niche area and has taken over! there are options.

what about bartending or serving? find a smaller type place and explain your work schedule and what you are looking for.
 

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would there be a way that your wife could work full time and you stay with the kids, but she would have to work with your schedule. I was thinking paramedic, I've known a few who have done that and were firefighters, but you want out of medical plus the cost of training to become one.

A reliable man who does gutter and windows could sweep up in most of the neighborhoods around here. Or snow removal? All manual, though.

Could you take the exams required to move up to a supervisory position in the fire dept? Maybe you could make more, have normal hours, advance professionally and not be doing that hard manual labor. Even if that can't happen right away, I'd keep my eyes open
 

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here we have a lot of online groups. Type in things like (name of your town)anything resale. They trade jobs,sell everything including live animals and advertise for workers wanted. So you could say Fireman handyman looking for side work and list your skills,etc. This is how the 20somethings commonly sell and trade services. There are moms groups and furniture only and all of them crossover. It is common to see "Does anyone know of a good place to..." There is a lady who details cars,a baker,a guy who resales cars,a mechanic,masonary guy,babysitting,etc. The best thing is your own hours. Its like the underground Craigslist specific to your area. I have gotten a dog,corral gate,new Christmas china in the unopened box.
Another thing is to buy and sell storage units,resell from G.sales on Ebay...
Good luck. Ask a 20something. My DD trades tons of services. She sews and gets her haircuts free,trades for jam,and garden foods.
Just gotta think outside the box. Good luck.
 

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As others have said, when you're in a financial bind, your only options are to reduce out-go or increase income. Except for a couple of suggestions (below), it sounds to me like you are maxed out on the income side of the equation. I strongly suggest you take another look at the out-go.

Let me put it this way. You and your wife are struggling. Your days are filled working, taking care of the children, taking care of the house and paying bills. There isn't a ton of joy in your life because there simply isn't any time. For you or your wife to work more means neither of you are even going to see each other. That's not good. Your job already has a high risk for alcoholism, drug abuse and divorce. Let's not put more stress on you and the family.

My suggestion is to stop the cycle of stress. It is going to take some hard decisions that both of you will need to make. It takes commitment. Working more, working harder is not going to save you. Making a decision to live differently IS.

Suggestions:

* Sit down with your wife and TALK. Talk about your values, priorities and goals. What do you each, individually value the most? (there are list of 'value' words on the internet that you can start as a reference point.) Compare your lists and create a combined family values list of no more than 5 (preferably 3) values. Prioritize everything your family does around these core values. Make every decision based on these core values and how they are prioritized against each other. Then compare how you're living now to these values and if every moment of the day isn't devoted to living these values, write goals to get your family to that point. DO NOT expect you'll be able to do this all in one discussion. Writing family values, priorities and goals for my family took months.

* Search out some books for inspiration. My favorite, the one that turned my life around, is "The Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyn. Other people swear by "Your Money or Your Life". Other older classics are "Think and Grow Rich" or "The Richest Man in Babylon". On this board people love Dave Ramsey and you might consider doing his Financial Peace course. An on-line version is available that you can work around your schedule.

* Track every single penny. I can't stress this enough. Account for every penny coming into the house and every penny leaving. EVERY PENNY! Yes, write it down. You're not just paying bills anymore. You are now managing your money. Make managing your money your new part-time job. Whatever time you were going to devote to working another job, devote to managing your household finances. So many people put money on auto-drive and steer right off the road. You, instead, are getting behind the steering wheel and driving this thing.

* When reviewing your spending, consider addressing categories that we all assume are fixed expenses but really aren't. A good example is taxes. If you get a big refund year after year, adjust your withholding. You need the money now, not later. (This is also why a part time job never works out, the extra income almost always gets eaten up in taxes.) Look at insurance premiums, deductibles, discounts on utilities (they are available!) Call all your providers and say, "I need to lower this bill. How can I do it?" When looking at taxes, take into account you have this huge medical bill which might be a deduction.

* Look at your spending on consumables - stuff you're buying only to throw away or wash down the drain. This includes: paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, plastic baggies, aluminum foil, newspapers, magazines, trash bags, toiletries, make-up, cleaning products, etc. Many people try to reduce their budget by cutting back on food. Instead I suggest the first place to cut back is non-food consumables. For instance, in your line of work, you many need to buy a heavy-duty detergent but the whole house doesn't need to wash their clothes with that same expensive stuff. Some loads could be cleaned with $2.99 Purex detergent and some loads like bath towels might get perfectly clean if they are washed once in a while with nothing added at all. There is often so much soap residue in some fabrics, they could do with a washing in plain water.

When my husband got laid off I stopped buying all consumables except TP (the WalMart version of Scott 1000) and garbage bags (because our trash service requires all garbage to be bagged). For 14 months, I made do with everything else we still had in the house. When he landed a job, I ran out and bought a roll of paper towels. Oh! The luxury!

When we were newly married we had a situation where we had to help family and suddenly we had an extra $800 a month financial obligation. We were already more-than-full-time working professionals with a house and bills and all that so I really didn't know how we were going to come up with that $800 month after month. But we did it! We used the pantry principal. We refused to buy anything, especially clothing if it cost more than $5 (your work clothes are exempt because they are tax deductible). It was a rough couple of years but it proved to me we could live on much less than we thought. BTW, during that time we went through a major natural disaster (and recovered) and traveled. We weren't just living on peas and neck-bones.

* Take advantage of government services if you qualify. DO NOT assume you make too much. Unless you make over $90K a year and have one child, you might qualify for something. While few people want to use this option, keep in mind, your case it is just to get you past this financial hump and it is temporary.

* Pay off credit cards. Need I say it? If you have credit card debt, stop! Stop using the credit cards and pay them off. Your cash flow is going to be so much healthier without credit cards in your life. There are entire chapters on paying off credit card debt but for now I'll say, call each CC company and ask for a pay-off program. There are amazing, God-send programs out there but you have to insist they put you on one. They'll freeze your use of the credit card but they'll also put you on a super low interest rate and great minimum monthly payment. They may even forgive some of the old debt that is so old it isn't collectible anymore.

Okay ... those suggestions are a start.

As for extra work, if you want to work from your computer, you need a secure wired line (not a wi-fi connection) that is pretty fast and a telephone headset with speaker headphones (hard to find). You also need a quiet environment - not crying babies, no interruptions, no ringing doorbells, no barking dogs, etc. With this set-up you can work as an independent contractor with Live-Ops or West (west work-at-home) as a customer service operator. Know those infommercial 800#'s on late night TV? Yeah, those calls go to these work-at-home contractors, not some big call center in Nebraska. You schedule your around your schedule. Keep in mind, the midnight shift is going to be the easiest to get. You get paid by the call, not how many hours you are on the schedule. There is a background check you'll have to pay for but there should be no other expenses (once you have the equipment). You will be expected to work a minimum number of shifts but it isn't hard. The worst part is that the work is mind-numbingly dull and you have to follow the script they give you EXACTLY without sounding robotic. Live-Ops and West (there are a few others) are not scams. They really DO pay and pay consistently. There are husband and wife operators who do nothing but work as at-home operators and do quite well. If you're really looking for big money as an at-home operator, some people work for different companies as sex-line operators. That one is hard on your marriage, though, and I don't recommend it. It is better to manage the other side of your finances.

The other work alternative you can consider is to apply to work as an over-seas contractor. This means leaving your family behind for a year or two but, as a firefighter, your skills will be desirable. Compared to how you're paid now, the pay will be spectacular. If you're looking to wipe out big debt fast, this is a great opportunity. It will be hard and dangerous work. For instance, you might be sent to the Middle East to put out oil-field fires or respond to terrorist attacks. I don't recommend this option. All I'm saying is, it is out there.

Good luck.
 

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cookie lee you are making the assumption they havent. I guess just like i was making the assumption they have. Also both should be going on. Cut while increasing income. Thats how we became debt free/ Also as always go check some Dave Ramsey out of that library.!!
 
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