Finding My First Extra Income Gig

After I decided to take full responsibility of my spiraling debts, I started to scour possibilities of earning extra income. I look around for opportunities that I can do during my spare time.

Well, honestly, house cleaners and baby-sittings are really out in my options for simple reason. I don’t have children yet and the thought of being responsible to one’s life though in a short period of time scares me to death.

What if the child will not wake up? Or swallow some inedible stuff? Or maybe a sudden seizure? Okay, perhaps these are just wild and exaggerated scenarios but really, I just renounce to take such big responsibility.

As for cleaning, well, I am not at all domesticated. Honestly, I envy those friends of mine who have a knack on polishing surfaces and removing dirt in all corners and other areas where dirt can possibly crept.

So, I look for gigs that I know I can handle and have the ability to do it well. Though not 100% sure, I know that part time jobs are not really considered legal in this country. So it makes more difficult to hunt opportunities for extra income.

Then one day, I chatted with an old friend who happened to be in a financial turmoil too. Her family has been a victim of the economic crisis. Her husband lost his job and needed to go back to his country due to visa related issue. She has no option but to take her children back to her country because she cannot afford to raise them here. It was just really complicated.

Anyway, my friend introduced me to this part time job as a mystery shopper. After registering, I obtained my log-in details wherein I can look around for available jobs. Once you completed the mystery shopping, you have to write and submit an online your feedback as per the questionnaires they provided.

Working in the hospitality industry, mystery shopper is not a totally new thing for me. So it is quite an easy job for me to carry out. So far, I completed five jobs as mystery shopper but I didn’t take additional jobs lately.

Hindrance. You see, the mystery shopper company has quite varied clients ranging from banks, telecommunication companies, government offices and so on. Their office timings are generally similar to my full time job. This limits my opportunity to earn more as I only rely on assignments that have flexible office hours like a mobile phone shop located in the malls.

Writing the report. The report is quite lengthy and it is recommended that you review the guidelines prior to doing the mystery shopping.

There are specific instructions like obtaining certain information about the product though obtaining the name of the shop attendant is a must. If you are unable to provide the specific information they require, you will be asked to do it again or you will not be paid.

Payment. Honestly I was slightly discouraged by their payment method. As the information provided in the site was brief, I asked my friend. She said that they send the money through Western Union and deduct around US$ 3.50 for the fee. That’s fine with me.

So when I was desperate for extra money, I requested in the site to issue my payment. I was under assumption that it would take a week or two to process the payment. Two weeks gone and I didn’t receive any payment notification from them.

I sent them an email inquiring for the payment policy. To my dismay, I came to know that they process it only every first week of the month. I was disheartened. Payment can be requested only one month after you completed the job. Since three of my jobs were carried out in first week of August, I managed to request my payment only beginning this month. Since the payment process is every first of the month only, I have to wait until first week of October to receive my payment.

I find it really quite long to wait for a small amount. At least, you have to wait two months before you get paid.

The mystery shopper company pays me US$ 13.50 for every completed job. Unfortunately, I had to consider also my taxi fares. It was not really worth the effort.

So far, I am still waiting for my first payment and I didn’t decide yet if I will continue this part time job or look for something else better.

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Why beggar in the suit?

Are you a beggar that is disguised in a power black suit? Well, that makes the two of us.

I am working in hotel industry where employees are expected to be well groomed, hair neatly tied up, make-up is a must, polished shoes and presentable dress, and in our case – a business suit.

In the past few weeks, I feel like a fool. Every morning I walk to our office don in one of my few power black suits but penniless and can hardly sustain my basic needs in life. Outside, my suit looks perfect but its interior, it is already torn and the inner thin silky linen is shabby especially the armpit section.

It is sign of a worn out suits that I manage to keep for the last three years. But still, I need to look pleasant in my job.

Last month, I survived my needs through credit card. One instance drove me to the verge of self-pity. In the counter with my goods, my credit cards were not working. There was quite a long queue and none of my cards had sufficient amount. All were already max out.

And there I was, standing in the counter, rummaging my bag and hoping to find any money or another credit card that hopefully was not yet swiped.

Yesterday I have only coins in my purse, not even enough to commute and to buy water.

I am literally penniless with mounting debts and paycheck that can hardly pay my monthly bills. I don’t want to borrow money also from friends because I am trying to contain my current debt and my friends seem to be all in financial crisis too.

Don’t take me wrong! I am definitely not happy with my situation but dwelling on it doesn’t help as well. I honestly don’t blame anyone, not even myself (though I am the culprit of my recent financial quagmire).

You see, you have to understand a bit of my past to somehow vindicate me from my current state of ‘brokenness’. Yes, it is a sort of self vindication.

With two siblings, we grew up only an inch above poverty. The great thing was that my parents knew the value of good education so they struggled hard to send us to college. Then years later in my corporate life, I started to be financially better.

Since somehow I could already afford to buy things like cellphone and laptop, I slowly developed an addiction to the feeling of being able to buy something that I wanted. So I became an impulsive buyer both for my necessities and wants.

It was like devouring the things that I was deprived in my growing years.

Anyway, now I am paying the consequences of my reckless expenditures. I am caught up in spiraling debts though in a way I am grateful it happened because I learned my lesson well but in a hard way.

So here I am now – broke but not hopeless.

Lately I have been considering all the possibilities (that are in accordance with my moral beliefs) to earn extra income and to contain my debts, and I will be journaling it here.

Hopefully this blog will serve its purpose of helping others who share the same situation with me or enlightening others who have the tendency to lead the kind of life that I have now.

Wishing you a better life,

Beggar in the Suit