Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trickle income and barter

A friend of mine turned me onto this concept, that of trickle income, and I've been looking for ways to achieve it ever since I first heard about it. I can't help but wonder if perhaps the time has finally come where I can start really getting the first few trickles.

Trickle income, in a nutshell, is when a person has many small flows of financial income rather than one large one. Instead of having a full-time work-for-somebody-else job, maybe this person makes money by selling crafts, doing a little web design, writing articles, and browing second-hand stores for stuff to resell on Ebay. Lots of little flows instead of one big one.

The past few days have made me see that perhaps it really is possible for me to have the same thing going in my life. It may take years to set up in a stable way, but it's possible, not just some silly pipe dream concocted by advocates of laziness who should just go out and get a "real job".

I'd have a real job. A lot of little real jobs.

The thought of knitting and teaching classes to bring in a little bit of money appeals to me. So does the idea of continuing to write little things for HubPages, to get my AdSense earnings up, and perhaps writing for actual magazines or books someday. Reviewing books doesn't bring in much money (the site I use for my book review blog doesn't do ads), but by being an Amazon Affiliate, I can still earn money. Same thing with Swagbucks.

It's not much, but it's a start. And I really do think my life is reaching a point where doing this is going to be possible.

I'll still need a regular job for a good while yet, to give me support while I get up lots of little tributaries into my income river, so to speak. It can't happen overnight, and I don't expect it to. But it can happen, and that's an uplifting thought.

One way that I think gets left out of "trickle income" plans is bartering, too, or exchanging goods and services for different goods and services rather than money. By working for half an hour at Sudsmuffin the other day, I ended up coming away with a free bar of soap. This means that I can go even longer before needing to buy more soap, which saves me a little extra money. I'm not opposed to exchanging things for other things. In fact, if it wasn't for having to pay the rent in money instead of yarn, I'd prefer doing a lot more barter for my services, and wouldn't give much thought at all to things like AdSense revenue or the like.

For Yule gifts this past year, I traded some embroidered bookmarks for some personalized calligraphy for Rachel. Barter gives me access to things I might not otherwise get, and lets me do it by exchanging my skills for theirs instead of having to spend money that I may or may not have. Money isn't easy to come by for me lately. But I have a lot of craft supplies that can be turned into any number of things for trade!

I'm excited about this, and just thinking about it makes me optimistic. What about you? Do you have any sources of trickle income? Do you ever want to develop enough trickles so that you have a river?

1 comment:

  1. I do this to some extent but I still have one "big" job. I'm blessed in that I have a job that I enjoy and one that combined with frugality will enable me to pay off my mortgage early. At this point in my life I want the big job so that I can own this little piece of land. However, I'm cultivating trickles through freelance writing, teaching canning and other homemaking skills, and selling crafty items occasionally. It all adds up and all those trickles are allowing me to pay for some major dental work without feeling too pinched in meeting our mortgage.