How to Make Money without a Job

Work is, as Oscar Wilde famously remarked, the curse of the drinking classes. Many people would give up their job in a heartbeat if they could, but of course everyone needs at least a little money to live, thrive and survive. How can you make money without the long hours, office politics and stress of a job?

There are of course many ways of making money, but in the end most of them come down to selling stuff. Whether you’re selling products, or your own services. In order to make enough money to live on, a lot of people end up working as hard or even harder than they would be in a full-time job, but never mind.

Selling products can be a fun way to make money. If you have a hobby which involves some sort of collection (whether that’s collecting stamps or action figures), you should have all the knowledge you need to start selling duplicates from your collection to other collectors and dealers. You can learn more about your hobby, indulge in it for a full time job, and along the way you will almost certainly enrich your personal collection. Collectors’ fairs of various kinds spring up all around the country, and it is usually relatively cheap to take a stand to sell products.

In terms of finding new pieces to sell, garage sales, charity shops and non-specialist markets can turn up all sorts of interesting things which are being given away or sold well below their true value. Not to mention the old favourite of buying mislisted items cheaply on eBay and then selling them on at a profit. This kind of dealing doesn’t suit everybody, but if you have a passion for things which are cheap to buy but which can rise hugely in value (ie, comics which are sold for a couple of dollars but then go on to be valued at thousands within just a few months due to their scarcity after the initial print run), you can make a lot of money.

If becoming a dealer doesn’t appeal, you can always try making your own products. In response to this digital age, many people are turning to traditional crafts to create unique handmade products which they can then sell. Again, there are a huge numbers of craft fairs where you can sell your wares, from knitwear to jewelery, and there is also a thriving market for these products on sites such as eBay. Many craft materials are relatively cheap, and handmade products can be sold for a good price, in recognition of the time you have spent working on them.

This is all very well, but there are people with a creative streak who don’t have the practical skills to indulge in crafting and other such activities. Online content writing has taken off in the last ten years or so, with people sharing their real world knowledge in exchange for modest payments and shares of advertising revenue. In general, it is almost impossible to make a living from this kind of activity, but some writers become very successful as a result.

Selling writing or products is all very well, but selling time can be more profitable, and lead to repeat business. Set yourself up as a babysitter, or a private tutor and you can choose your own clients and your own hours and, within reason, set your own rates. Working in these responsible but casual roles does really count as a ‘job’ in the loosest sense of the word, however, but work is easy to come by with a few classified ads on Craigslist and in local newspapers, and can make a lot of money.

Many of the above activities can become as time consuming as a job if you want to make a significant amount of money, and for many the dream is passive income – money which comes in without you having to do anything. For this, you generally need some assets, whether that’s a substantial savings account which accrues interest each month, an investment portfolio or a spare room in your house which you can rent out to a lodger. On a more modest level, many content writers derive passive income from their existing online articles and blogs as they earn advertising revenue each month.

It is perfectly possible to make money through selling goods or services without having to endure the indignity of a full-time job. But always remember that although a job can be tiresome, your employer will often be taking much of your administrative burden from your shoulders in terms of tax payments and pension provision. Many self-employed and freelance workers also find that they tend not to make as much money as they did in full-time employment unless they’re prepared to work a lot harder than they ever did before.