Being a human is two things: the longest project you’ll ever do, and kinda expensive. Even if you’re into life most of the time—you do get to do some fun stuff, I guess—the responsibility of feeding, clothing and housing yourself forever really stretches out like a daunting road made of $$ signs in front of us all. While we continue to exist under capitalism (deep sigh) we’re gonna have to make it work tho, which involves getting to work and making money.
Syrup has chronicled how the current coronavirus pandemic is affecting millions of us: many young Australians are facing job loss and financial precarity as industries try desperately to adapt in the face of lockdowns. While it’s absolutely okay to spend this forced isolation playing hours of Animal Crossing, re-watching all of Drag Race or just practising your grounding techniques so anxiety doesn’t swallow you whole, there are a couple ways you can try to keep a lil ca$h coming in.
Given it’s unlikely we’ll be able to get our foot in the door of traditional casual jobs soon, we’re rounding up a few ways that you could potentially make a bit of coin during corona. From a safely isolated and socially distanced bunker, of course.
Practice good money hygiene
Our first tip, which you might be rolling your eyes at, is about trying to make the money you currently have a bit more productive. While we wouldn’t necessarily suggest drastic bank changes right now, you can have a look and see if there’s a savings account with a better interest rate you could slide into. The other thing to do is that annoying bit of life admin we all put off for far too long: checking your superannuation is all consolidated.
These steps are about making sure you’re getting the best returns on your savings and ensuring your super is happily together (not scattered across a bunch of different funds from old jobs) so it has the best chance of growing. More money together = more interest, ya feel?
Look into micro-investing
Okay, so one good money tip from a financial guru we’ve shared before is to invest in yourself. Think university of TAFE, sessions with a doc for your mental health, or a gym membership to keep ur flesh prison happy. While a lot of these things are on pause, or we’re doing more forced-frugal versions of them at home, you could also look into the baby steps of a couple more active ways of investing your money.
Micro-investing apps like Raiz and Spaceship Voyager roll the small change from your usual spending into diversified portfolios—the one from Raiz was created with help from Nobel Prize winning economist and father of Modern Portfolio Theory, Dr Harry Markowitz. As with any investment, in your making money at home it’s important to do a lil research before you get stuck in, but this is a relatively low-investment and low-risk way to explore investing in the stock market.
Declutter and make money (at the same time 😎)
Do you know what people love to do when they’re stuck at home? Online shop. There’s a reason that seasoned eBay sellers end their listings on Sunday afternoons—it’s usually a time when people are chilling n scrolling, without the responsibilities of the work week/study/making dinner getting in the way.
So, where to start with your wheeling n dealing? If you’re anything like us you might have gone through boredom inspired spurts of cleaning already, now pivot your attention to your worldly belongings. Most of us have clothing that if we’re being honest, don’t see outside of the wardrobe much anymore. Give them a second life on re-selling apps like Depop and Carousell. You get some sustainability points by keeping clothing out of landfills or being dumped in less-wealthy non-Western countries by commercial charities, and you get some of ya $ back.
It doesn’t stop at clothes either, if you’ve got a surplus of cute ceramics, furniture that doesn’t fit the vibe, or even things from hobbies gone by (think collectibles or a hype beast sneaker collection) you can chuck those on the internet too. Have a look on Gumtree, eBay and Facebook marketplace for the places with the most interest in your wares and start your foray into ecommerce. If you’re a thrifting pro you could even turn your attention to flipping vintage gems you dig up on eBay.
Our most important tip? Always, always use PayPal’s Goods and Services option when buying and selling online. Not today potential scammers, not today.
Sell your photographs as stock photos
This one is for the people with a fat paragraph of hashtags and 20 photography accounts tagged on their IG photos—you know who you are bokeh and tilt-shift hoes. If you can take a decent picture, you can sell a decent picture. Sites like Shutterstock, Alamy and Photoshelter allow you to list your photographs for use as stock images and give you a $ kickback when they’re bought for use.
This could be an especially lucrative way of making money if you’ve got images that are a little rarer, say of a particular section in a national park or breed of dog that’s not super popular. Make sure they’re tagged up well for people to be able to find them easily!
Sell arts, crafts and hand work
Alright painting, cross stitching, knitting and ceramic making friends. We are all stuck inside and I have it on good authority that people are looking for ways to cosy their homes all the way up. You only have to look at the endless isolation candles/weighted blankets/pillows recommendation lists for the evidence of that. If you do hand work, which is also just a nice n soothing thing to do to take your mind of el pandemico, you could consider selling your work as a way of making money.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be a whole web shop/Shopify set up either, IG is your friend here. One friend of Syrup started offering her cross stitch talents to friends and fam for lil commissions of couples n pets. A low fi and fun way of making money, and it turned into a lovely way to raise money for charity during the bushfires over the summer. We love to see it.
Make money how you usually do, but online
Let’s say you’re already a gun graphic designer, or programmer, or video editor or HSC tutor. While the tradish-job market might be taking a hit right now, you can offer your services online. Sites like Fivver and Upwork work a little like online neighbourhood community boards in this regard. People with skills can list their services and hopefully connect with the people who need ‘em. You may have to start a lil low to attract your first customers, but it’s good to get the ball rolling.
There’s a big market for online tutoring, and particularly online language tutoring for those wishing to practise the language they’re studying with a native speaker. While some sites will require you to have a certificate from a TESOL International Association, put your feelers out among the student groups you’re already in at uni and see what comes back!
As much it sounds like a scammy ad that will absolutely decimate your computer, there are a tonne of ways of making money online if you want to. Carpe isolation? But, if you cbf, there’s always the option of vegging out with video games.