Money 101: How to make some extra cash from home

Published: November 27, 2010
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Your oven may be the best way to supplement your income

The first rule to increasing your bank balance is saving. Last week I presented a few home remedies of making your rupee last longer. But money rule number two is far more exciting as it suggests increasing the family income – extra earning not only means extra saving but also extra spending and an overall better quality of life.

Get to work

Forget detailed scientific research – just browse around your local neighborhood and see the steady benefits of a two income family.

They are likely to be the ones whose kids are going to better schools; their disposable income is more so better quality of food products, more frequent holidays, a solid retirement plan and all other amenities which the single bread winner struggles to provide. Entrepreneurs form the backbone of most economies and with a little innovation you can start off a little business from within your home. So put aside constraints of small children, living in a far flung area or a saas who thinks the family naak will get cut if Bubloo ki dulhan goes out to work and get ready to become a CEO.

Having looked at almost two dozen options starting from baking cakes to designing websites the start-up capital required for a small scale business going to be less than one hundred thousand rupees (on a higher scale) – which you can borrow from a medley of family members or take short term loan from your bank and if all else fails pawn a piece of jewelry you or your next five generations are never going to wear.

Your dream job is at home

Options are limitless for both stay at home men and women – from bottling pickles and homemade jams and stocking them at a local supermarkets; to catering to tea parties; managing your own knitting commune whereby you hire women to knit sweaters, scarves etc designed by you; starting a small crèche in your spare room daddy day care style or creating hand painted mugs – coasters and other accessories.

All you need is a little bit of determination to get started; trying to find your aptitude – (if you love solving math problems teaching or giving tuitions might be your calling) and the rest will fall into place. The point is progress and urbanization is making us shift more towards a service oriented society and we are looking for options, anything that is different from before. That my friend explains why there are cooking classes for children under 12, why there are more options of yoga than ice cream flavors. So instead of moping about how it’s so expensive keeping up with the Joneses embrace these after effects of a briefly prosperous economy.

Do the math

Investing in a good oven, a cake mixer and few pots and pans might set you back 60,000 rupees. If the same equipment generates five good cakes in a day which cost 400 rupees and are retailed at Rs800 you are earning Rs2,000 for three to four hours of work – and in a six day week you can take home almost Rs48,000 a month if not more!

Luckily such business do not require an extensive labor force often a single helper can do, marketing can easily be conducted by word of mouth and through social networking sites such as Facebook and market visits for raw materials are not daily. Initial research into finding suppliers or clients might seem daunting but believe in your product and it will sell itself!

We are living in times when bonuses and increments are almost forgotten words – inflation threatens to put the price of everything from tomatoes to cigarettes. Now Mr. 9 to 5 could have lived happily ever after perhaps a few years ago on his corporate salary content with coming home at six and watching Chelsea thrash Manchester United in the English Premier League. Today he can give accounting, math or economic A level tuitions or become a lecturer at one of the higher education institutes that have mushroomed all over the big cities. Sure it is tough managing two jobs at a time – but if 3 hours of your week net you a cool twenty-five thousand extra then it is most probably worth it.

Life is short, there are always places to visit, things to buy, mountains of aspiration to climb – so take a step forward towards making your wishes come true – put a skill, a hobby or a talent to use and who know maybe the side business today can become a full fledged empire tomorrow. And while doing so always save 15-25% of your monthly income and it is an idea to have a safety net of at least six months’ salary in a separate savings account God forbid should redundancy or accident strike.

Shezray Husain

Shezray Husain

A journalist turned investment banker turned entrepreneur with a keen interest in most things around her.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.