10 Side Jobs to Make money & Help Pay Off Debt

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There are times when we have to realize that our paychecks will only go so far. After penny pinching to make you budget work, you still might be living paycheck-to-paycheck. This type of lifestyle is bearable for a time but not ideal long-term. In order to accelerate your financial goals, additional income may be the resolution you need. But who has extra time? My response to those who approach me with such an inquiry is to ask them about their daily activities. If you missed one episode of your favorite show or had lunch at your desk twice a week instead of out with friends, could you commit 1-2hours/ week to get financial free? Let’s do it!

Seasonal Retail Jobs – Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

These two are self explanatory! My suggestion, sell where you shop and watch the animals you like best (cats vs dogs). You can even search for positions online!~

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Home Health Aide

This position can also be called a Patient Care Technician an often require no training or experience. What is the ideal person great for this job? If you are looking for a flexible schedule and are patient enough to assist the elderly and/or disabled with everyday tasks, you can make this position work for you! There are a variety of companies that often post for these jobs and rightfully so! Many people who get these jobs, because they do not require training or experience, are not necessarily interested in working in this field long term…and their attitude on the job shows it! Get your attitude and patience in order, make sure you can lift a small person, and keep your personal vehicle serviced in order to pull off this type of employment.

Referral Programs

Companies such as Ebate, Liberty Tax, and ADT Security Systems offer programs you can join for no/low cost in order to make some extra money. They actually pay you promote their services with fairly easy to use tools and instructions. That means, you’d take the time to sign up and discuss what they have to offer to a potential customer – a neighbor who just suffered from a break in, has collectibles in their home to sell, or recently divorced without a clue on how to file their income taxes. There are other services that although you may use them for discount shopping, travel, or managing your health, if you were to refer 5 other customers you’d get your own service for free each month. This could provide you with automatic savings monthly which can add up very quickly.


You do not have to me a Math whiz or finance major to make some extra money as a tutor. We have to thinking of entrepreneurship as a way to help others do what you know how to do naturally. Tutoring is a good example of that. Are you bilingual? Are you aware of the many organizations looking for YOU? At times companies exclude other required skills like a degree and experience in order to hire someone with the language skills their industry requires. Offer tutoring first through your contacts in your industry or even businesses you frequent in order to build a great resume for tutoring. Not sure of how to get started? I obtained an English degree because I thought I’d be teaching high school English in the Chicago Public School system. Obviously my plans changed but I continue to offer my proofreading, editing, blogging, and content management services as a consultant.

Home-Based Business

There are many options for home-based businesses to choose from. My advice would be to look into possible opportunities that come natural to you. Are you into making other women feel beautiful? Research Direct Sales companies such as Avon and Mary Kay. You can often get started for under $50 without requiring you to purchase equipment or stock. Are you a coffee lover who’s health conscious? Do you have a network of business owners and entrepreneurs? Are you looking to lose weight? Want to offer an innovative way for your church to keep in touch with contacts? Do you enjoy traveling and saving money while you shop your favorite stores? Believe it or not, you can promote all of the above products and services under one company! Join my team for my consistent support, training, and the possibility of residual income.

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Virtual Assistance

Although I’ve dabbled in virtual assistance, I did not know there was an actual term for it! These skills are for those who have a knack for customer service, email management, document management, organization, and the typical office duties of almost any company. I would suggest offer to ‘help’ and organization with an upcoming project and set an hourly rate that you would expect to work on the project with a projected end date for the client’s needs. This could be arranged based on your financial needs or the requirements of the project in question. You can then ask the client to be a reference and continue to build on your resume. This make cost you extra time on the phone, the need for a home office, or additional an additional data plan for your smart phone.

Virtual Garage Sales

Ebay has an interesting option for those seeking to get rid of the clutter in their home. Of course, their system is proven and shipping is attached to the entire process which makes it easier than ever to sale items online. There is no need to necessarily ‘market’ your product. Instead, just posting a picture detailed description can be enough for a customer. Another avenue is to join local Mommy groups on facebook where Moms trade, sell, and purchase items all the time. Some groups are sponsored by a local hospital, medical center, social service agency, church, or nonprofit. There have been times when a co-worker of mine was selling an item I was interested in for my daughter and the only way I knew was from her post online! We do not always have time to discuss everything we need or everything we have with everyone around us – this is where these groups are extremely helpful.

Image from kidspot.com

Etsy & Flea Market/Community Farmer’s Market

If you have a skill for making things that other people could or just find completely enjoyable, this option is one for you! Although many crafty people I know attend Flea Markets, they lack an online presence. Etsy is another option for posting and sharing your products and many customers are already waiting to buy crafts and unique gifts. This is also good for people who are not so social media savvy to get a full website together. It is also a great way to involve family and friends who are not local but still want to support your business – just send out the link to your Etsy page!

Well there you have it! My top 10 side jobs to make money & help pay off debt. Let me know if you pursue any of the above. I’d like to get your feedback at ladiSims55[at]gmail.com to celebrate with you as you pursue your financial goals!

~be blessed

Let me know how I can improve your world~


What are You Worth?

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Walking into my evaluation, I had no idea what to expect. My direct supervisor always seemed to have a hidden agenda. At the last meeting, I was seen as “border-line insubordinate” for my views and responses. I was often criticized for not doing something unethical and was never offered an apology when falsely accused.

I headed into the meeting with my notepad, calendar, water, and pencil. I was 38 ½ weeks pregnant and afraid that I would have to look for another job while on welfare still sore after having my baby – of course they were going to fire me, right? I’d been overlooked for promotions; my work received little praise except in the presence of a few political leaders – which made me assume it was not sincere. Everyone I started with in this company had left or been fired. What was I going to do?

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I walked into my supervisor’s office and sat down waiting for her to respond with her thoughts on my performance over the past year. I wasn’t concerned about my numbers; I’d doubled those with a full quarter left in the program year. It wasn’t my relationship with my clients I was worried about – many sent in raving evaluations. It wasn’t even my attendance; my boss came in at least an hour after I did daily! I had not taken more than 2 days off this entire year.

I’d put in 4 years of school for my BA, 3 yrs to obtain my Master’s, almost $70,000 of student loans, 6 years of loyalty to this company, placing my reputation on the line out in the community, yet was earning a salary I could never raise a family with. I wasn’t supported by the very leadership I was working for but because of my upbringing and personal convictions, I remained loyal and humble. I would even help new staff acclimate to our toxic work environment hoping that would influence change. It never did.

My evaluation should have been on my job performance and possibly my attitude in the workplace. What could I do better? I was hoping to get some constructive criticism but instead I received a document and was told to look it over at home, write down any comments or questions, and turn it in tomorrow…the day I was to be induced for labor – as if tomorrow would not be stressful enough.

It was in that moment I reminded myself of my value. I gathered my things and went back into my office. There was only 25 minutes left in the work day and I took that entire time to read through and type up my response to the evaluation.  There was nothing constructive in the evaluation that I could do, just to do “more” with less time. As I carefully typed my response, I reminded myself of my value. I knew my work was very professional and important to the company. I knew that if I had not carried the integrity I did, many of our partners would refuse to work with us and I knew that my clients were pleased.

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Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of our own worth. You are more than your paycheck, more than your assets, your car, and your rebellious children. We are worth more than our education or what others perceive of us. Why? Our value is not determined by other’s opinions, people change their minds everyday! We’re not perfect, always on time, or extremely fit and beautiful. Our worth is determined by us. Value yourself. You can always perform better if you so desire – that’s why our worth is so high – we can change, transform, and renew our thoughts and mindset. I could have chosen to focus on the negative situation and stress myself out causing complications within my body. But I chose to give myself an evaluation and remind myself of my worth. I came up with my own regiment of doing better – set my own goals to be more productive, and treated myself to a nice meal afterward. : )



ladiSims is a Workforce Consultant committed to “ Monetizing your Mission: Saving and increasing revenue for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses through empowering employment readiness, social media marketing, and discounted operations. She has over 6 years of extensive experience in social services, workforce development, small business development, recruiting and case management. She serves a variety of job seekers, including veterans and disabled adults, with finding employment and adjusting to career changes. Many of her clients seek to transition into new careers with financial and educational barriers hindering their success. ladiSims also shares resources, teaches Employment Readiness, and provides solutions for small businesses in her community. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, ladiSims has a passion for helping people progress towards their career, family, and entrepreneurial goals – she is also an advocate for education. Her BA degree is in English with a minor in African America Studies from SIUC where she also studied creative writing, journalism, and education. She also has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) with a concentration in Community Development from UIC. Her ‘why’ includes her daughter Charlotte, 2 moms, 2 dads, numerous siblings, faith in Christ, and the youth of ChiCity. Among her peers, she is known for simplifying complex issues, offering conflict resolution, and being able to connect with individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, cultures, skill sets, & educational backgrounds. ladiSims uses her ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships to influence both rural and urban communities. Find ladiSims on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope for more of her shenanigans!

What’s Your Dream Job? (Part 3)


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If you have taken the time to contemplate the answers to the questions presented in “What’s Your Dream Job? (Part 2)”, you have likely come up with some ideas of what your dream job or jobs may be.  The next step is to pursue your dream job(s).  I will cover this topic at length in a different series.

Maybe you have come to the conclusion that your dream job is not a job at all.  Maybe your “ideal work experience” is a business, a calling, a ministry or a passion.   Let’s take a closer look at each to help you gain better clarity on which one it might be:

Business – Merriam Webster defines business as ” the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money“.  Quite simply, you might be more inclined to be your own boss and have greater control of your income and schedule.  However, the other side of that coin is that you are responsible for every facet of your work, including overhead, employees, etc.  Are you up for the challenge?  If so, a business plan is in order.  More to come on this topic.  Stay tuned.

Calling – Defined as “a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work (such as religious work)“, a calling is not always obvious.  Some people’s callings are more clear to those around them than to the one being called in a certain direction.  Sometimes people are not interested in pursuing their calling, despite the urge to move in a certain vocational direction.  Maybe your calling is an unchartered territory or presents many unknowns, so fear prevents you from moving forward.  However, a calling is often something that you cannot escape, no matter how hard you try. 

Ministry – GotQuestions.org defines ministry like this: ” Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve” or douleuo, meaning “to serve as a slave.” In the New Testament, ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name. Jesus provided the pattern for Christian ministry—He came, not to receive service, but to give it (see Matthew 20:28;Mark 10:45;John 13:1-17).
The Christian should minister by meeting people’s needs with love and humility on Christ’s behalf (seeMatthew 20:26;Mark 10:43;John 2:5,9;Acts 6:3;Romans 1:1;Galatians 1:10;Colossians 4:12). Christians are to minister to others out of their devotion to Christ and their love for others, whether the other people are believers or unbelievers. Ministry to others should be impartial and unconditional, always seeking to help others as Jesus would.
From the early New Testament churches to the churches of our day, each Christian should be in the ministry of helping others (see Romans 12:3-8,10-13;2 Timothy 2:24-26).”

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-ministry.html#ixzz3XwPyEe7A

Passion – The Urban Dictionary defines passion as “ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible“.  I believe the keyword is ambition.  Ambition prompts us to pursue something even if the odds are against us.  Ambition drives us to keep going amidst opposition and rejection.  Quite simply, ambition allows us to “get ‘er done”!  When a vocation is our passion, we make it happen despite the circumstances or outlook.  Plan your work and then work your plan to “turn your passion into profit”


(This is not a paid endorsement.)

Until next time-

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

God’s best-


Why Do You Work?


Have you heard the new song “Bills”, by LunchMoney Lewis?  His lyrics certainly resonate with me, as I think about why I work.

“I got bills I gotta pay
So I’ma gon’ work, work, work every day
I got mouths I gotta feed,
So I’ma gon’ make sure everybody eats
I got bills!”

I am sure you have heard the saying, “I work to live, I don’t live to work.”   In my case, I work because I have to contribute financially to my family and, thankfully, I enjoy what I do for a living.  However, there are many working moms who may question why they work or wish they didn’t have to work .  During my maternity leaves with my boys I wondered why I had to work and struggled with how I was going to accomplish all that needed to be done.  After returning to work, in each case, remembering why I worked help me keep everything in perspective. 

Whether you work because you want to or because you have to, know that your contributions at home and in the marketplace are valuable. 

Why do you work?

Until next time-

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”   We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 NIV)

God’s best-


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What’s Your Dream Job? (Part 2)

As a salesperson for most of my professional career, it might seem odd that I would quit an entrepreneurial endeavor after just one dose of rejection. As a pharmaceutical sales representative, physician liaison and now, physician recruiter, rejection has become the story of my professional life. So, why would I let rejection stop me then? I often ask myself that question. When pursuing new opportunities it often comes down to timing. I am convinced that the timing was not right. As I trace my career progression to its current destination, it all makes complete sense. Hindsight is 20/20, right? I believe that had I not continued in pharmaceutical sales at that time I would not be in my dream job as a physician recruiter now. A dream job I attempted to create as an entrepreneur several years ago.

Now, back to the young lady I met via LinkedIn. As we discussed her career goals and interests, she shared several work experiences that she found most rewarding. Which led me to my next question (for her)…

If you could create your ideal work experience, what would it be?

I thought to myself, “Wow, that is a loaded question”. If someone had asked me that years ago, or even now, how would I have answered it? As you seek to determine your dream job, this question must be answered, or, at the very least, explored. And, it is okay if you do not have all the answers right now. There are many factors to consider as you unpack the answer to this question:

  • How many hours per week would you like to devote to work? – Full time or part time? Flex time or no time?
  • Where would you like to work? – From home or an office? US or internationally? From an RV traveling across the US or at a desk?
  • With whom would you like to work? – With a team or independently? With people like you or different from you?
  • What kind of work do you want to do? – I realize this is a loaded question. Intellectual or manual? Routine or dynamic? Professional or trade?
  • What type of education is necessary for the kind of work you want to do? – Advanced degree or college degree? Additional training or certificate? Hands on experience?
  • Do you want to be an employee or an entrepreneur? – This is a biggie!

I think I have given you enough to contemplate for now.  This is the 2nd post in a series on “What’s Your Dream Job?”.  Find Part 1 here.  Stay tuned for Part 3…

Until next time-

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17 NIV)

God’s best-