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Pocket Money — The Grow Network Community
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Pocket Money

I've made a little money teaching classes on pine needle basket making and gratitude journaling. On Wednesday evening I have invited two friends - both pastor's wives - over to teach them how to use their Instant Pots. I wanted to offer these two ladies a free class in order to see how long it will take, and what kind of questions they have. The plan is to offer a paid class to the community between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We are kind of far from a town of any size, and people get bored. It's 60 miles to the nearest Walmart, and Boise is a 2 hour drive, so I have found that I can plan a class, announce it on Facebook (our town has a couple of community pages), and have at least a small class show up. I charge 25.00 for a couple of hours, bake some brownies, and set up a tea/coffee station. I always print of a couple of handouts, directions, or recipes. My costs are pretty low.

It's been fun, and the extra money is much appreciated. I'm starting a list of things that I know well enough to teach, and I have free access to a building with tables and chairs and a kitchen area. It seems easier to get a class together in the winter when the farmers and ranchers are a little less busy.

What skills do you have that you could teach?


  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 578 ✭✭✭✭

    I make pretty good homebrew. I actually have taught several others how to but I never thought about charging.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Endless wonderful opportunities 🤗 you have in your neck o' the woods re "kind of far from a town of any size, & people get bored." @Mary Linda Bittle

    Truout life I taught skills like CPR, 1stAid, nutrition, needlework, singing, gardening, supplements, & facilitated goal Achievements, + others, while living 70+% in cities w/ like 1/2 million people. And tho family & friends encourage(d) me to charge, I never yet have.

    As people profusely thank me, & I see them happier I always thought of such as my humanitarian pay. Another of several stranger things re me, is what most of society unfortunately cont. believing is more or less "impossible", until they watched me facilitate it, no less in a kind of playful state. For example I was able to guide a person out of a coma; amongst other related good things. - How? does one charge for another vulnerable person's empowered life quality... Can anyone understand?

    Anyway you will do great, while having lots of fun & earning extra $ as well. Happy ! for you :)

  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭

    When a town nearby passed a new law allowing chickens within the city limits, I taught a class on Holistic Chicken Care for Newbies at a local community college. Brain Tanning Buckskin and Beginning Tracking are other skills I've taught.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,760 admin

    @merlin44 One fellow proposed & got a deal with a city in my province. If the city decided to allow bees, they would have to go through his course to become certified to have bees. They were also required to buy their bees & initial supplies through him. Quite a bold thing to do, in my opinion.

    There is lots that I could do, but it seems like either there is a lot of red tape & expense, or it is illegal to do from home. I don't even want to touch the mlms or pyramid schemes like those where you are the company's low paid slave, I mean...rep. A true entrepreneur is independent of a higher company.

    I am nervous about teaching (anxiety), although I have done it for a few things. I have seen many ideas that I have had it started be done by others (with more money than I), after I introduced them to the public, do very well. I have this stupid knack of knowing what will work, but don't have the money to go further than a certain basic level. I do ground work then have to stop & then I see someone profiting from that very same idea. It is very frustrating.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Laurie Sounds like you could use a local partner to put your ideas to work. Keep your eyes peeled -- there is probably someone you know and trust that would be a good choice.

  • wbt.affiliateswbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    I've taught silk-screening to adults, writing for publication to at-risk boys, basic independent living skills to foster children about to age out of foster care, numerous Bible studies (I have an M.Div.), basic information in how to write well (online course), making herbal preparations to anyone who wanted to learn.

    I love teaching, but have never tried to make money doing it. I usually give it away. Maybe I should charge for what I do.

    I have earned a small income with writing, working first as a journalist, later in books on gardening, herbal preparations, and with science fiction novels. Most recently I've been making some money by writing copy (mostly articles) for the prepared and alternative health markets.

    It seems that small business owners need people who know their market and can write persuasive and informative articles. The new website is almost finished. I would appreciate some feedback on it before I finish it. www.MamaPrepperCopywriting.com. Thanks, folks!

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @wbt.affiliates I did a quick review of your website. The information seems straightforward.

    The header area views as somewhat stretched on my wide monitor.

    The Samples area, mint section has a formatting and typo error.

    I have not seen TSHTF, only SHTF.

    Good luck in your efforts. One only has to look around the Web and printed documents to see how badly copy editing is needed.

  • @Laurie

    I do not recommend you teach things that are not legal - LOL! I've luckily not run into any red tape, and I do have an LLC set up so that I am properly paying taxes on the money I earn. My town does not require a business license for freelancing, or working from home. Other towns may, and you should certainly check into it. If you live outside of town, there shouldn't be any restrictions on what you can teach from your home - except those illegal things.

    I've been happy to pay to learn skills myself, and I think we sometimes undervalue ourselves! The knowledge that each of us has learned by educating ourselves and/or practical experience is valuable information to those who want to learn. There's no reason not to charge a bit for passing it along. I've found that lots of people actually value it more if they pay rather than if I offered it for free.

    Now, I do offer some classes at no charge to church youth groups, daycare, and other kid groups. And the occasional free just because class. However, the time spent preparing for a class, and the handouts, supplies, or any cost to rent a facility should be compensated for.

    Libraries are often looking for short programs, and may not allow a cost to attend, but you might be able to sell related info. Our medical clinic has a room for classes, and I've seen first aid, healthy cooking, and others given there. Also, community centers, fairgrounds, etc. could be places to approach for a venue. The more it costs to offer a class, the more you should charge.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019

    What a great idea! What a great post! I love teaching! This is giving me some ideas... I have such a desire to help people help themselves. Maybe when I retire instead of forcing myself to "sell" my goods (tinctures, salves, teas, lotions, chap sticks etc) instead of giving them away (I'm just not good at being a business person) maybe I can just hold classes and help people to help themselves!! Also encouraging planting and using more herbs in food, teas, apothecaries etc... I really think it would be a great thing to do with children too because when they are young they just soak up that quality time and are so interested in things. I take my G-babies on plant walks in my backyard and have them taste different plants... holy basil is by far the majority favorite but they are very intrigued by the loofas.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle - re " Libraries are often looking for short programs, and may not allow a cost to attend, but you might be able to sell related info." - First 2 points are true, as I have held FREE classes there. -

    Also while in HS, & before nursing school, I volunteered with the Red Cross teaching CPR+1st.Aid; - this to say that I have spent WAYYY more years as a Volunteer, than I ever got $, or a paycheck.

    Further, when any # of us have skills... in dire specific... human need(s) as I only briefly alluded to one example, while these are situations that most of humanity has been brainwashed into believing are 'impossible' when obviously they are Not, How ? could one "sell related info" . Can you explain that? please.

  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow Please share how you guided a person out of a coma, what an amazing accomplishment.

    @Mary Linda Bittle I agree, we too often undervalue ourselves. Money is simply what we trade for things we consider valuable at this current time in history. In other times and cultures-gold or salt or buffalo robes... were the exchange used.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,760 admin
    edited November 2019

    @Mary Linda Bittle It is not that the activity is illegal, but instead, the place...as in there are some food products that I can't make & sell from home, but if I cart all of my ingredients, etc. somewhere & used an inspected kitchen ($$$+inconvenience), I can make that item. The same goes for teaching how to make foods. It is the same thing.

    It is well known in my greater general area that people are cheap. There are plenty of people that have a lot of money that They can spend on big ticket items, vacations, etc., but they are unwilling to pay a regular person anything. Certification (no matter if there is such a thing for a teacher in any given area) is also a big deal to most. It really holds a person back. Crafting is gaining a foothold, but I am not too sure that I want to go that route anymore, and most things that I might want to do are being done already...so that makes it tough.

    I taught a baby sign language class for a while & had people paying. Then the medical establishment got wind of it & illegally using another program's material, gave it away for free. I learned then (and through another lady who also had a similar thing happen about that time with baby massage) that the medical establishment will steal and bulldoze over anyone. They don't care about families as they claim, as they will rip the efforts of at home moms out from under them. Anything even remotely connected to what they consider under their banner (or supporting the family unit by anyone other than them) is considered a target. They did the same with kombacha, canning, cooking (that falls under licenced nutritionist). My teaching fell under family & baby wellness. They have a long reach. 😩

  • wbt.affiliateswbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl Thank you so much for your feedback! I'll work on that today. Blessings to you.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,760 admin

    I am thinking of a nature walk similar to forest therapy (but different)...but I am sure the system would snatch that up. My problem with it as well is that we have snow most of the year and it could be very hard to implement it, considering.

    I have thought of online editing/proofreading, but I have limited time with all that is going on here and I have to have money to pay for a course. It also looks like a huge time investment for not much pay.

    Along the same lines, with freelance writing, most places don't pay much. I don't know if it would be worth a lot in that case. I keep toying with that idea, though.

    I would really like to become a bereavement doula, and be a Dancing for Birth instructor, but both require great times away from my family for classes and cost a lot for classes, travel & lodging. The DFB instructor sounds like it would be a blast...and once certified, I don't know of any competing program that the medical system could steal from to put me out of business. I think that I could make that work, and be able to suggest helpful herbs & added helps as the women prepare for birth.

    Now, none of these things are DIY except for the walking classes. DIY would still be most practical for my current situation.

    I have another idea in mind that I have been thinking about, but I am not ready to share it in public.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @wbt.affiliates You're welcome.

    @Laurie I am wondering if your nature walk could be adapted as a way for parents to get their kids out for a winter activity. You couldn't charge much, but could still put the idea to productive use every weekend, for example. I am constantly amazed how much people pay to take their kids through a pumpkin patch set up on a corner lot in the city.

    It is a disgrace that organizations go after individuals and steal their ideas. I guess they figure individuals can't afford to lawyer up.

    I have found that people resist paying individual craftspeople for their work when they have no problem paying more for inferior items from a store. Maybe they are afraid of being cheated? They want the uniqueness without appreciation for the amount of work involved.

  • I've purchased books from authors at libraries after a program. I imagine a folder of handouts related to the topic presented could be sold, and kits to make a basket, for instance, or a journal and pen after a gratitude journaling class. If you taught jewelry making techniques, a kit with beads and supplies, or a first aid kit...I think each library would have different rules, but it never hurts to ask.

  • @Laurie

    It's really sad that people will do that to you.

    Yeah, there are a lot of laws about food. Worse for herbalists, since even certified ones cannot, by law (in the US, anyway), diagnose or prescribe. So stupid, but you don't want to get into trouble over it for sure,..

    In some areas - king County, Washington, for example - people will pay to get their kids in outdoor programs, even a day or two a week. Richard Louv's books are helping in that area, anyway.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Leaving the mortal interface/brain part out of it, I interact & talk with the soul/mind directly.

  • r.lewmirr.lewmir Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    Here are several old-fashioned ideas: Sell knitted items, crocheted items (some ideas: hat-scarf-mitten sets, socks, slippers, baby toys), babysit, tutor. For neighbors or those within a short drive, who are elderly, on vacation, too busy... stack firewood, mow lawns, pull weeds, clean houses, paint sheds, rooms, fences etc., walk dogs, feed cats & offer other pet care, shovel snow, change winter tires, wash cars, deliver your eggs, baked goods, prepared dishes... to a few regulars. With a little creativity one can make invitations &/or decorate for weddings, showers, B-day parties etc. or even host these events if you have a lovely huge yard. If you have a flower garden &/or nice landscaping &/or view, get in cahoots with a wedding photographer & rent your yard for photo shoots. Think about what you have to offer, practice your talents, & start. Just START, that's the most important way. Word of mouth will bring you business if you/your product is/are good. Some more examples are: proofreading, making hand-carved signs & decorations & spoons etc., repair work of any kind, raise & sell bred guinea pigs, small dogs, aquarium fish, aquarium plants etc., make quilts, sew baby blankets, clothes etc. Sometimes bartering saves money, for ex., when my children were young, I bartered writing & reading lessons for a neighbor's daughter in return for garden veggies. Saved me the need to have a garden that yr. If I had charged for the lessons, I would have had to use some of the money on gas to the city to buy such produce. In general, though, it is best to charge a fee to make the pocket money & to keep from being taken advantage of.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 715 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm looking into being a reader for audio books; I'd have to invest in some recording equipment, though.

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