Multiple Income Streams, anyone?

Illustration for article titled Multiple Income Streams, anyone?

Rumors of big layoffs have been looming at work. The standard defenses—it can't happen to me, I'm mission-critical, it's all just rumors—are wearing thinner and thinner. Sleep is becoming rarer and rarer. The prospect of being suddenly financially insecure again, even after so much work planning carefully and making all the right moves, looms large over your thoughts. What can you do? Surely living in fear isn't the only solution.

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I've already survived one round of cutbacks, a furlough, and am rumored to be on the chopping block for another round. I realized last night that I flat can't live like this. One day I'm shopping for new cars, the next I'm scrambling to lay out a plan to cut back unnecessary expenditures. It's unhealthy and it's slowing my life down. I have been blessed enough that I won't immediately be on the street if things go south, but I'm still renting because I don't want to end up stuck under a mortgage. I'm pooling cash instead of investing, and pushing more and more "semi-necessary" expenditures back in case the house of cards comes down on me. I'm dodging commitment in relationships because I'm unsure if I'll be on the same coast, or even the same continent, six months from now. Just a little taste of stability would be nice, just for a few years, so that I can breathe. Time to activate multiple income streams.

The idea of multiple income streams is simple enough—if one job is good, why not have ten? But I can see there being a ton of issues with actually getting the ball rolling and ways that it could easily backfire and end up costing more than it benefits you. It seems like, most of all, any additional income outside of your main job should be a labor of love, or you'll feel like your life has been taken from you.

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I've done some initial googling and have seen the standard answers—start a blog! Turn your hobbies into cash! And those are great, I am most likely going to take advantage of them as I think there are a couple areas that I can provide real value and information on—but does anyone out there actually have some unconventional cash flow going? If you do, what are you doing? What are the pitfalls you ran into that you would caution others against if they were to follow your path? Heck, wanna help me put together an ebook on the topic? Project size doesn't matter—every little bit counts. Let's see if we can't get a really good knowledge base together and help a lot of the younger guys and gals on here who are still in a financially fragile place come up with some good ways to augment their first few years in the workforce and dodge some of the dangers of the current economic climate.

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