Smithy.Travis

I need help here...making extra cash

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So I'm at the point in my life were, I want things, things cost money, money that I dont have. So I would like to call upon you guys' wisdom and knowlegde for this. What did you do at my age for some extra cash? (I'm 14) I would shovel snow but, ya' know how the desert is, cutting grass is a dilema as well, not to many people have grass that needs to be cut here. But, any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated!

 

 

~Travis

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One of the best jobs I ever had (from 12yrs old to 22) was a caddy at the local private golf club in the 'burbs of Chicago.  Back in the 80's if you were a good caddy and consistent, by the time I was 15 I could make $80-100 in an 8 hour day, or $40-50 for 4-5 hours.

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in 1984, i picked stumps and stones, shoveled cow and pig manure, and scraped grease off old engine blocks. all for 4 bones an hour. Canadian. course, i smoked then and those were $4 a pack

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Find something people need done and supply that need. 

 

You may need your parents permission to work in come cases. Understand that NO means they just do not want legal issues.

 

Nothing wrong with making a product and then selling that product, whether it be jewelry, washing cars, blacksmithing, or whatever. Look for something you like to do or could at least enjoy doing. If you do not like doing something, it will wear on your nerves until you have to quit.

 

If you work for others, you are always limited to what they pay and what hours they want you to work. If you work for yourself, you can earn anything you want and work any hours you want. Think about that for a bit. It applies at any stage in your life and anything you do.

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There is also things that you need yet don't know it! When I was your age I got a ' job' as a helping hand to a 'mechanic' at a 2nd hand car lot, the pay was lousy but it was money! What I didn't realize at the time was just how much I would leant . Sometimes you get more than you think.

 

I'm chuffed to see that you're looking for ways to earn money   for what you need/want and I wish you good luck in your endeavors.

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You can make good money detailing cars. From just a wash and vacuum, to buffing clear coat wear and going to get a paint pen and fixing paint damage. A buddy of mine used to charge $120 for cars and trucks, $150 for SUV's and mini vans. He was only spending about $50-100 a week in supplies, and doing 3-5 cars a week. You're coming close to the age where many of your peers will be getting cars. Installing subwoofers in a car is surprisingly simple. I have put many subwoofers in. The beauty is these beat the snot out of the car, and they might pay you to replace a tail light bulb or whatever breaks. Not many people know how to install them, and shops charge outrageous rates for even basic installs. If you live in a rural area, farms or ranches might hire you to repair fences or be a helper, my friend was paid $10 an hour since he was 15 working for a guy with a several hundred head of cattle. Until he found a job that paid as well in the AC haha. Plasti-dip peoples wheels. Make a friend that's a sophomore or junior with a truck and put up craigslist adds for moving furniture or whatever. Buy and sell, knowing people helps, build relationships with people who work on cars, do car audio, do woodworking, welding, and so on. One day they will be in a bind and need to sell something. Buy it and sell it to another buddy or put it on Craigslist. The most steady one is the car detailing, once your name builds, if you do good work for an ok price, you will do well. My friend devon who detailed cars always had nice clothes, the newest game systems, newest Iphone, and so on. I mostly did car audio, and between me and my dad's friends there was usually something i could buy and flip. It's all about knowing people. How many relationships can you build with useful people. That's what I've seen lately in friends who actually were go getters and made their own money. Your welcome to message me if you want.

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Hi,

I started out with fire pokers that were simple to make, and i still do them sometimes. I sold them at the local markets, $30 a pop. They are fun, and involve different forging steps. I was very surprised at the amount of money I received.

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Find something people need done and supply that need. 

 

You may need your parents permission to work in come cases. Understand that NO means they just do not want legal issues.

 

I applaud your efforts to learn a work ethic at your age. Way too many kids want to just sit and watch TV. Being willing to work will set you in good stead all your life. There's always work out there for those willing to put out the effort. It might not be the most pleasant or the highest paying, but it's out there. Also being willing to get your hands dirty and work hard will often be what gets you to keep a job if they have to let someone go. I used to stay busy all winter doing construction when other guys would be let go. The reason, I wasn't one to say "that's not my job". If there was work to be done, I'd do it.

 

Many states place limits on kids to real jobs until they are at least 16. Even then, what they can do with hazardous tools, say saws etc are limited until they reach 18. Unfortunately today liability concerns are limiting as far as what "real" jobs a kid can get. Also many traditional "kids" jobs have now become jobs for "pros" It's almost impossible in my area for kids to mow lawns. Most people who want this done now already have a professional landscaper who does the work. Same goes for snow removal.

 

 

Don't be afraid to ask family, friends and neighbors if they have work they are willing to pay for and need a hand. It might be helping the neighbor hang Christmas lights. It might be helping someone do some painting, or clean the garage. Yard work is always a big one people can use help with. You might be best off with a generic approach vs trying to do just one job. Farms almost always have jobs that need doing of one sort or another. It might be helping stack hay or muck stalls.

 

Recycling is one possible option that can make you money. Again around here a lot of small time "pros" go around on trash night and pick up any scrap they can find to haul to the dump for cash.

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What desert? I grew up les than 1/2 an hour north of Phoenix Az. One of the first jobs I had was landscape maintinance. Not mowing lawns, but triming the pyrocantha, raking up leaves, picking up spent cactus fruit etc, as a 14 year old you are probbably stuck with working for yourself, as 15 is the cut off in most states, and you will get less than minimum wage.
If your going to mes with auto electric and mobile sound you realy need to learn what your doing, Iv'e seen way to much hair on instals, even had to spend hours reparing damage done by "instalers" both amiture and profetinal. Not saying a smart guy, with some basic handtools, a good work ethic and enugh pride to do the job right cant do a premium job, its just that most dont, and can do thousands in damages to a car.
If you modify The TPAAT and aplly it to looking for work you will find it. Ask every one you come in contact with, just watch out for the shysters.

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Do not forget to increase your knowledge in all areas.  At your age, one really does not know where life will take you.  Read, read, and read more about anything and everything.  Get as smart as you can be.  Do your homework.  Get great grades in school.  Ask questions.  Thank your teachers.  Be polite to everyone.  Let everyone know that you are willing to work at anything and learn. 

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These are some GREAT suggestions guys, I really do appreciate them all! I have a few a ideas now that range from leaf-keychains to full blown car detailing! I may need to pick up a partner in crime for though. And we digress, you guys haven't got an idea how much it means to me that you were willing to help me out here, as always Thanks-a-million!

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One of my first jobs was as a carhop in the evenings at age 15. In Omaha in 1951, all carhops were male. I don't know why, but we did hustle! We had low pay, but made up for it in tips. Nowadays, with less gender bias, I see more male carhops at Sonic.

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You BET we're willing to help, you're our kind of guy. Too many folk of all ages spend more time trying to get someone else to give them what they want. Being able and willing to work for your goals puts you at the top of my "help if possible" list.

 

My situation was different at your age, I worked in my Father's shop. Not today, too much liability for any insurance co. or Gvt agency to allow it.

 

There are elderly in your area, they may not have much for disposable income but are almost always glad to hire youngsters to help if for no other reason than to have someone to talk to. You get to do some worthwhile chores for folk and get tapped into who know, 60-70 years of knowledge and experience. Seriously, just walking along to help reach and carry groceries can mean a LOT to folk.

 

Oh and don't forget there's always a chance they have or know of smithing tools in a barn somewhere.

 

Here's something that just came to me, how about a snake beater? As a preteen I got the joy of beating the bushes around picnics, camp trips, etc. to make sure there were no rattle snakes napping close by. Yeah, that one's probably just too weird.

 

There's a world of useful things to do that need someone to do them. It's mostly about keeping your eyes open, imagination working and not being bashful about asking.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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There are elderly in your area, they may not have much for disposable income but are almost always glad to hire youngsters to help if for no other reason than to have someone to talk to. You get to do some worthwhile chores for folk and get tapped into who know, 60-70 years of knowledge and experience. Seriously, just walking along to help reach and carry groceries can mean a LOT to folk.

 

Oh and don't forget there's always a chance they have or know of smithing tools in a barn somewhere.

 

 

"Old timers" are often full of knowledge they'd love to pass along. They may be "bored" and finding someone who has an interest in what they can do would help fill their days with usefulness. Many grew up and learned way back before we had all these wonderful new fangled gadgets to make life easy. You could learn  a lot from an old sheet metal worker, or wood worker. Just because the work isn't blacksmithing doesn't mean many of the skills don't directly apply. A fine cabinet maker still has to do fit and finish work and learning how to use hand saws, chisels, files and so on, not to mention basic fab skills will serve you well for years to come. measuring, estimating materials, order of operations, all apply whether it's wood, stone or steel.

 

 

Also many older folk have tools stashed away from their work years ago or hobbies. Many times their kids have absolutely no use for these tools. You may find yourself gifted with a bunch of stuff if you show an honest interest in learning to work with your hands. It might be that this person may have to move to assisted living at some point and have to down size dramatically. It might be that they see a kindred spirit and pass on to you a few tools they no longer use at all. It may even be that they leave you something when they pass away. I've had any number of old tools gifted to me over the years by older customers who recognized I had similar interests to what they have. A few conversations in passing about what I do as a hobby etc, and next thing I know, I'm the recipient of a beautiful old tool that they don't want to see go in the trash because no one values it today other than possibly as scrap.

 

An old family friend used to be a HVAC duct work guy did gorgeous sheet metal work in copper. When I knew him I wasn't really all that interested in being a tin knocker. Today I really regret I didn't take the time to learn more from him about working with copper sheet. I'm sure he'd have been more than happy to pass on his knowledge to me if I had asked or shown an interest.

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These are some GREAT suggestions guys, You guys haven't got an idea how much it means to me that you were willing to help me out here, as always Thanks-a-million!


Wait until you start asking blacksmithing questions.  (grin)

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If you aproch peaple in your neighborhood with the same maners, respect and honesty you will find that most peaple (baring those with 5-9 jobs) you will find most folks willing to help you out, might not be a job, might be a lead, and an intruduction, might be job skills, might even be an invite to dinner when the granddaughter is over (then you realy will be broke, lol).

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This one will depend on your home situation. Parting cars out. I constantly see cars on Craigslist for free, or just a couple of hundred dollars. Some could be fixed, and resold, but others are just parts. Even sold really inexpensively, there are enough parts to really add up to some serious money, and some of what is left over becomes blacksmithing material. Basically see what the local you pick yards charge, and be around that price range. Cars are worth around 3x in parts as compared to whole. Plus you learn how they are put together , so later down the road you can do your own repairs. There is a guy out this way that makes a living doing this. He sells on craigslist,and eBay. You make the money selling volume, not sitting on parts. In n out, just like the burger joint.

Motorcycle parts also can do well depending on make,and condition. Plus they take up less space.... A friend parted out a Triumph that he got for $300 or $500. He had made over $1,500 before he had even gotten to the engine, transmission. IIRC he was around $2,500-$3,000 when it was all done.

Personally, I have dealt in a little of everything. Car parts,clothing, kitchen equipment,tools,scrap metal,plumbing supplies, medical supplies,electrical components, machinery, and much more. I started buying at military auctions when I turned 18, that was before they went internet. The main thing I got from those auctions was a knowledege of what different items were worth at a wholesale , and retail level. After that I looked at everything differently. I cruise thrift shops for vintage cooking equipment, military Gore-tex and boots,and other items. I met one guy who looks for high end jeans. He has found jeans that originally sold for $300 for $5-$10, then resells them for $100+. Yep, some people pay that much-not me. Look for police evidence auctions, or any other auctions in the area, and just attend to see what things go for. Cruise craigslist just to check pricing, but beware that that is just what is being asked, not what it sells for-if it sells. It is a learning experience. For auctions you usually have to be 18+ to bid, but my Dad was the one who got me started at the military sales. He would buy items that we talked over. Sometimes he would buy, and then have me sell them. Like the time he bought a dozen dressers. They didn't look like much until you opened up a drawer. It was then that you saw that they were solid oak , and very well made. He paid around $25 for all of them, and I sold them for $25 each, and we split the money.

Look around, you may find that there are items all around you that you can deal in.

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Any sort of home cleaning and helping job in a retirement area can get you started in business. I know a Scout at your age that made enough money for a high adventure trip ($2K) by offering to wash out the huge plastic roll out trash cans that our city has gone to. No power tools, just cleaner, scrubbers, and his own bucket & hose. $5 each, and he made about that much extra in tips. He also got requests to rake leaves, trim shrubs, help clean out garages and basements, etc., once clients realized that he had a real work ethic. You just have to pick the right neighborhoods, and talk to the clients as if they were real people. 

 

If you really, REALLY want to set yourself apart from the crowd and show respect to your clients: (1) take the headphones off & put them away, and keep the calls and texts to an absolute minimum while you are working (2) pull up your pants and wear a belt. There, I said it. Soft skills are just as valuable as tradecraft in getting and keeping work.

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This was a fellow a bit older than you but he volunteered his time one summer working at a company as an unpaid "intern". Next summer that hired him on at 3 times the going wage that the rest of us were making and also on the long holidays and the following summer and then when he was in college...he had a prestigious job already on his resume when he graduated. That "free" summer paid off *big* *time*!

Be wary of people asking you to deal with chemicals; they are skirting the law and you can do permanent damage to yourself!

As far as smithing goes: bottle openers, marshmallow toasting forks from election sign, steak flippers, all fast to make and easy to sell.

If you are a member of a church pass the word that you are looking for work---always try to do a bit more than is expected of you, spend time listening to folks who want to talk and don't be afraid of a little charity work now and then. Your reputation will be sound and opportunities will grow!

(our church was once helping an indigent women move from her rental an old adobe house that was being bulldozed down due to it collapsing...I have a small pickup and offered to help. While I was there I noticed that the 1880's adobe had a cistern that had cracked in the 1906 quakes here and had been fixed with 8 16' long 1" diameter wrought iron rods. The owner of the place told me I could have them with their blessing for helping out!)

Perhaps a more important part than making money is being frugal spending it---easy to "waste" money on things that have no long term value. Good tools however tend to be things you will be using for decades---IF you take care of them and don't "lose them" or leave them where they can be stolen.

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Thomas Powers intern suggestion is precisely how I got my apprenticeship started.  I cleaned out the parts rooms, re-stocked the vans, mowed the lawn, counted inventory, whatever they'd let me do on the weekends.  Long story short, the hard work opened doors to better pay. 

 

Be careful with your health, I injured my back early on and it's still painful twenty years later.

 

Some coffee and donut places are hangouts for farmers and/or tradesman.  If you were around in the early AM hours, you'd likely find a room full of old salts.  Maybe some will be looking for a helper.

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We had a security guard at the Jelly Belly Candy Co.who was averaging $300 a month from the aluminum cans he collected I'm the plant during his rounds at night. And he didn't get all of them. The cleaning crew scored the ones out of the offices.

I need to turn the ones in that I have been collecting from work. I have close to twenty 55 gallon barrels full of smashed cans. My treadle haammer has been getting a workout lately....

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