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Money Expert - Diana Clement - Financial Planning, Career, Investing, Economy, Property - MSN NZ

Money tight? Then moonlight...

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The rising cost of petrol, food and owning your own home has made "money too tight to mention" for many New Zealanders.

Retail sales have been falling (1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year) as shoppers have less spare cash to buy the consumer goods we've all become accustomed to.

Are you finding money tight? How are you generating extra income? Would you consider getting a second job? Have your say below.

The answer to your money worries, if you can't negotiate a pay rise, might be to moonlight. This is exactly what many homeowners are doing in tight financial times, says Cameron Bagrie, ANZ/National economist.

In fact, according to Statistics New Zealand, five percent of working New Zealanders have a second job, with almost twice as many women as men holding down two jobs.

The advantage of moonlighting is that you increase your cash flow — a concept well covered in books, such as Cashflow Quadrant by Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. It also means you'll have less time on your hands to go shopping and spend on impulse.

One of the best ways to make extra money from a part-time job is to become a consultant in the same field you work in by day, or do some work on the side with the blessing of your boss.

If your day job doesn't allow you to moonlight as a consultant, then you might want to start up or buy a part-time business.

The advantage of having your own part-time business is the juicy tax breaks on offer. If you use a home office for your business — whether it is part time or full time — you can claim a percentage of expenses against your taxes, including your rent, mortgage payments, home maintenance costs, tea- and coffee-making supplies, stationery and electronic equipment. A proportion of your motoring costs will also become tax deductible.

Thousands of Kiwis have done just that — buying existing businesses or franchises such as vending machine franchises, car valet service, and even commercial cleaning businesses.

But it costs money to buy and operate a business..

It could also be a risky venture if you're not able to market your business effectively and generate consistent cash flow to offset the money you're investing in your business. If you're setting up a small, local venture, start out by marketing your goods or service with a letterbox drop of your business flyer. Increasingly common in New Zealand is network marketing. This is where you make money by selling products such as Tupperware or Usana health products. If you're able to recruit new sellers, you also take a cut of their sales, giving you additional income.

Another popular choice is running a Trade Me business. Many traders have a day job, but also sell widgets by night.

Some part-time businesses grow beyond the owners' wildest dreams. Just look at Sam Morgan who started Trade Me as a part-time business from home and sold it for $200 million.

You'll make more cash from skilled moonlighting than packing shelves at a local supermarket. But all money is good money if you're cash-strapped, so it's a good idea not to let your ego get in the way. Even jobs such as babysitting in the evenings can earn you extra cash whilst you're sitting watching your favourite television programmes using someone else's electricity. Other ideas can include:

  • Commercial cleaning done outside of normal work hours
  • Gardening, landscaping, house keeping or lawn mowing
  • Cake decorating
  • Teaching English to foreign students
  • Becoming an exercise instructor or night-school tutor
  • Waiting at eateries or working as a retail assistant
  • Organising children's birthday parties

According to Statistics New Zealand, the most common industries for second jobs are accommodation; eateries (cafes and restaurants); cultural and recreational services; and health and community services.

Recommended reading:

  • Pay Zero Taxes! by Peter Sibbald
  • 101 Best Weekend Businesses by Dan Ramsey
  • 101 Best Businesses for Pet Lovers by Joseph Nigro and Nicholas Nigro
  • Moonlighting for Fun and Profit by Robert Mitchell
  • Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver

Have your say: are you finding money tight? How are you generating extra income? Would you consider getting a second job?

User comments
Hi this message is mainly for IronPapilion5 who commented about trying to survive as an artist...i've been struggling to do this for over 10 years now....i have lived on a very small incombe, have often brought art materials rather than food...have struggled to pay bill etc ...i have brought up two boys alone who are now 16 and 17...they have missed out on so much but they have learned to be sensible with money ....i've almost given it up so many times but haven't been able to find other work but have done cleaning jobs etc when i can..over the years friends have told me that i should be doing my art as a buisness but i could never afford an accountant so never have....but recently i got in touch with the IRD and it turns out that i can claim back everything i have paid out for in the last three years, (because i kept all my recipts) and that i can put the retuns in myself without having to pay for an accountant...it's amazing i'm due thousands of dollors back ...you MUST do this
I am very lucky to have a job I love that pays well. i do't take anything for granted- it could all disappear tomorrow as my husband's did. With circumstances much reduced we have shaved our lifestyle and it is actually quite pleasant-We both really enjoy growing fruit and veges- waste nothing-finda way to use it-recycle and sell unwanted items-shopping learn the difference between need and want -.there is a return to the lost arts of knitting,sewing,homecooking-immense pleasure teaching this stuff to my granddaughters- kids hang out with us in the garden and have their own patch.family gatherings are now pot luck and much less stressful for the host-at xmas we emphasised the fun and being together a picnic type meal and games afternoon-gifts for children- a draw for the adults -everyone got one nice gift.-children keep it simple.this year we have a creative challenge- keep it smple make it fun and make it work Back to the core values and the DIY can do mindset.
I'm a 3rd year university student, doing my degree to further my skills ... at 22 I'm a little older than my peers, but I feel like I have a lot more experience in household budgetting and have valuable life skills. Was a little Girl Guide for a few years - became a leader, never looked back. Have a vege garden, rent the house I share with 4 others... and we cook together, power gets switched off at the wall when not in use. Have implimented a $2 surcharge to use the drier... so we aren't tempted to use it. We rent energy efficient appliances. Take the bus long distnaces, wlak everywhere close by. PS A Car is NOT a "necessity" even with children!
I find this article a slap in the face. I would be happy with ONE job, never mind the idea of moonlighting! I am on the scrapheap of life at 56 (made redundant and given one week's notice! ! ) I am feeling a lot of anger towards those who put me there, and those who are keeping me there by not seeing the value of the experience I have. Tired of applying for job after job after job and getting nowhere. Moonlighting! ! ! I'll give you moonlighting! ! !
it is extremely hard to get a job when you are older, especially when you are more qualified and experienced than the YOUNG twit interviewing (or the whole panel interviewing)! Due to a *** ex employer (playing games trying to get me back....no MR Key I will not go back to an abusive employer) I am stuck unable to get a job. I have set up a small business of my own but still need to earn more...at present I can buy food...hubby's fulltime wage pays the rent and petrol for the family car.....I would really love to be able to pay for electricity (without having to go without milk and bread) and maybe even save. At present we are thinking again about leaving NZ to earn a real wage...I'm effectively earning less than minimum wage and hubby is JUST over. We live in $10 Tauranga... known best for the high cost of living and low rates of pay!!!!!
Wow, I would love to get one job. Our 24 year old child who has just graduated is "too old" to employ. My wife and I have been also told not to bother applying as businesses want a young fresh image. We are overqualified for basic jobs and more experienced than the Managers therefore don't get a look in. All my past employers have been delighted with my work and it has usually taken 2 staff to replace me. Now I am job seeking and not entitled to any WINZ help because I"received redundancy", which never eventuated because the employer never paid out. I heard one woman say that up to quarter of new army recruits are paying their parents mortgages. Yes the recession is "over" because those allowed to register as unemployed are completely restricted. Thank you Mr Key for giving us a "better future" where we are expected to save more for our own retirement, health or education while actually earning less and being respected less.
Genesis Energy have a plan until November, whereby the night rate goes down to about 13 cents per unit between 11pm and 7a.m. Day rate for the plan is only about 1cent more for the day rate than the old plan, at about 20-21c (this may not be the exact figure) Hot water is switched off at 7 a.m. The dish washer, washing machine, breadmaker and drier if reqd along with hot water are switched on at bed time. The fridge makes automatic savings by just going at that time, as well as during the day. There is plenty of hot water during the day provided one doesn't forget to switch it on again at night.Over time significant savings can be made.
We got chickens for our 400m2 section in the city. We have just about recouped the start up costs in eggs. We buy much less meat as many of our meals are eggs based now. Chicken feed is often free and it's not unusual to find a bag of old porridge left on the gate by a neighbour in return for the occasional half dozen fresh fresh range eggs. The kids sell eggs ($3 per half dozen) instead of getting pocket money and have started their own businesses occasionally to earn money from other people ie. not me. Okay so the money is chicken feed but our quality of life has improved and neighbourhood bonds have strengthened. It's more fun than a vege garden (yes we have one of those too).
I work a normal job which gets me by, but I recently joined an agency which provides extras for television shows, commercials, movies and music vids. Apparently theres a few dodgy agencys out there, but I lucked out with who I got. Id recouped my joining fee of $150 within 1 week by doing an 8 hour shoot for a TV ad. It involved me walking around in the background and I showed up as a tiny lil blur on the finished ad. Brilliant tho, theres catered food and drinks, cool people to chat to, no real skill involved, and a whole lot of relaxing and downtime while shots are being set up. Ive had work pop up about once a fortnight and I just ask for the day off at my normaljob. Boss tends to be lenient knowing that I can earn between $150 - 300 in as little as half a day. Friends and family spot me walking in the background for a split second and can't believe I get paid so much for so little. It's a good wee pocket money maker.
I was working as a full time home carer when I got called to Jury Service. The Jury Service paid me more money per day than I got for full time home caring. So I decided to go for something I've always wanted to do and couldn't. I became a full time fine arts student extramural, and part time home carer. I get more money but my expenses have gone up so in the end I get less. The expenses are the cost of food. Basic necessities like running a car. I try to put things into an exhibition when I can and have made business cards and created my own website. At the same time I work for a food bank part time for nothing and money is hard to come by but by donations. At the age of the 50s hard of a kind that pays enough to live on is hard to come by. As for people paying off their mortgage, I would'nt recomend Housing NZ unless you are a tough person who can stand up to gangs and threats of intimidation, even the Housing NZ can't deal with those. Better to own your own home and stay put

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