Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


18 Ways for Geeks to Make “Quick” Money

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:37 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Okay, I know I’m starting to make a bad habit of this, but…

But, you know I’m going to do it anyway.
So, I’ve recently seen two lists of ideas for making money. One is pretty specific to computer geeks, but the other is more generic. I’ll summarize and link to them below:

First, from TechRepublic; 10 Ways for Techs to Make Extra Cash

  1. Subcontracting
  2. National Account Work
  3. Database Consulting
  4. Teaching
  5. Software Training
  6. Home Networking
  7. Telecommunications
  8. Financial Software Consulting
  9. Security System/DVR Integration
  10. Online Expert

Okay, I have a few issues with this list. First of all, several of these things would really cut into a full-time gig! I mean, if you’re already in a consulting business of some kind, then branching out might be good, but some of these really aren’t for everyone. For instance, I know I’d be a bad fit for financial software of any kind. I mean, I don’t have any real Accounting training and can barely balance my checkbook, so that doesn’t seem like a great idea, does it? And, I know plenty of people who do a lot of what I do that would have no clue about database design or phone systems. The fact that I do know these things is a fluke, really. But, when times are tough, I suppose every network geek has the potential to become a consultant.

The second list is from MSN; 8 Ways to Boost Your Income

  1. Sell Your Junk
  2. Get a Second Job
  3. Sell Your Skills
  4. Rethink your Rent
  5. Claim Unclaimed Assets
  6. Adjust Your Tax Withholding
  7. Get “Paid” to buy the stuff you already do
  8. Hit up Mom and Dad

Okay, some good ideas, but again, I have some issues with it. Some of these are the old standbys, you know? The renting out a room thing, though, is a good idea. Well, mostly. If you pick the right person. I’m a little sketchy about the finding forgotten assets thing, though. I don’t really think I have anything I’ve left behind anywhere. I’m also a little dubious about playing around with taxes too much, too. That can go wrong in a hurry, and did for me during my divorce. (Of course, I made up for that by selling her junk instead of mine!) And, frankly, buying things on a card that “pays you back” seems like a pretty dangerous choice, too. That can go wrong fast, as my massive consumer debt shows. But, the worst is that last one. Uh, sorry, but I’m not moving in with my mom and dad in the “Over 55” community they live in now. Just not an option.

So, there you are. There might be a few ideas in there, but, honestly, I doubt there’s anything all that new to anyone who worked in IT during the late 90’s after the Internet bubble burst.
I hope all my readers are doing reasonably well, in spite of the downturn. And, if you all have more or better ideas, please, leave them in the comments!

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
Knowing that something is the right thing doesn't always make it easy to do, but that's not an excuse.

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