If You Were Strapped For Cash, How Far Would You Go To Make Money?

Times Are Tough, And So Is Finding A New Job

We’re living in a down economy and thousands of people have lost their jobs. Budgets are tight! A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, and they’re having to find new ways to make money.

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While listening to the radio this morning on my way to work I listened to a news piece about moms in one city who had lost jobs, or were having to find new sources of income to help the family stay afloat and avoid foreclosure.

One of them was entrepreneurial and had started her own business baking cookies.  She was selling them to family, friends and others via word of mouth. She wasn’t making a ton, but she was making enough to keep them from going under.

Then there were those on the other end of the spectrum, the women who were doing things that they normally probably wouldn’t have, but now were deciding that they had no alternative.  Several of the ladies had turned to jobs as strippers just to make ends meet. They justified it by saying that they had been forced to do this because their financial situation was tenuous at best, and without the income they would have lost their homes.  There just weren’t any other jobs available!

Listening to the piece really got me thinking. What would I do if times were tough?  What jobs would I do if we were coming up short and needed to make our mortgage payment?  What jobs would I not lower myself to do? Or is avoiding a financial catastrophe more important than my pride?

What would you do for money?

What Does The Bible Say?

On the one hand I’m reminded of the bible verse that tells us that we need to take care of our families.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  1 Timothy 5:8

We need to take care of our families, and provide for them.   This means doing the hard work that it takes to make ends meet.  That may even mean taking some odd jobs that we normally wouldn’t in order to pay the bills.   Maybe it’s taking a paper route like my family did when I was younger.  It may be teaching english classes at a local community center, or being a janitor  on the weekends.  Whatever it is, there are always places that you can find some kind of work, even if it is just temporary.   Remember, if you work hard, God tells us that our needs will be met.

Those who work hard have all their needs met, but the lazy are always left craving for what they need.  Proverbs 13:4

Are there jobs that we shouldn’t do, or things we shouldn’t do for money, even if we’re in tough circumstances?  I think so, I think we need to hold ourselves to a high moral standard, and not do anything that would compromise our beliefs.   We need to stand strong in our faith, and God will be with us.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12

For me that would mean I wouldn’t take any job that I couldn’t do without having a clean conscience.  There are far too many jobs out there, even in these tough times, to be doing something I can’t feel good about.

How About You?

If you were strapped for cash, how far would you go to make ends meet?  What kinds of jobs would you take (or have you taken), and what kinds of jobs would you NOT do?  Do you think there is a line that shouldn’t be  crossed, or is providing for your family just too important?  Have you ever been tempted to do something that was against your conscience because you needed money?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Last Edited: 10th February 2014

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Comments

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  1. Baker @ ManVsDebt says

    I wouldn’t do anything that was illegal or the hurt another human. I wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize my marriage, family, or values.

    That being said there are still a lot of down-right crappy jobs that don’t violate any of the above terms. I’ve worked basic, mundane minimum wage jobs and would certainly do so again in my family depended on it for food or shelter.

    Baker @ ManVsDebts last blog post..Baker Interviewed By AskMrCreditCard & GetMoneyEnergy

    • Peter says

      I like your response.. nothing that would jeopardize your family, marriage or values.

      I have also worked some pretty crappy minimum wage jobs, and I know i would do them again. Which begs the question, what is your worst job you’ve ever had? Mine? pushing carts at a local grocery store in the middle of winter – when it was 20 below. For $4/hour. Of course this was years ago and I was still in high school.

  2. Becky Rivera says

    God has blessed me in that I love being with children. Since there will always be a need for childcare it is a good job in that regards. I run an in home daycare. I have no problem getting children to watch, however the pay is not great and the hours are long. I work about 60 hours a week (in my home) and make about $400 a week. But it is enough to sustain my family (my two boys and I.) I tithe and pay all my own bills (Except health insurance which we do get from the state.) Plus I do not have to pay daycare costs myself, as my boys are home with me.
    I am licensed through the state (NJ) and keep all my childcare and first aid classes to be able to do so. I also have an AA in Education (not recquired for licensing, but is helpful in my day to day stuff.)
    I also will babysit in people’s homes on the weekends for extra money. Again I just bring my kids. Parents are happy to have me, a trusted adult. The pay in home is about $10 an hour, so it is helpful.

    I have also cleaned people’s houses in the past.
    In addition I make my own laundry soap and sell it. It is cheap, effective, and good for sensitive skin. People love it.

    I think if there is a will, there is a way. God wants you to be able to provide for your family, sometimes that may take some creative thinking.
    -Becky in NJ

  3. Jeff@StretchyDollar says

    I agree with what you said and with Baker’s comment as well. I feel like there are enough opportunities for someone willing to work hard to scrape by – being a college student I know people who work a job at night, come home and get up at 5 am to go work another job, and do some odd jobs on the side. It’s not worth it to stoop to things you don’t agree with or aren’t comfortable doing.

  4. Matt SF says

    That’s a tricky question because stress and need can make a person do some pretty bad things depending on their level of desperation.

    For example, the amount of men stealing copper from foreclosed homes or the increase in female employment at “gentleman’s clubs”.

    I suppose it depends on how hungry you are and how each person justifies their decision.

    Matt SFs last blog post..20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing an Online Discount Broker

  5. Adam says

    I’ve worked a lot of crappy jobs and would certainly do it again if we needed money to live on. I have washed dishes at a nursing home, lugged around 50 lb cases of soda, handled very angry customers (who never were angry for something I did) and sold cans of paint. None of them were mind pleasing but I would do them again if my family needed additional income. Heck, I would even work those jobs in addition to a full-time job if someone in my family was in a bind.

    Adams last blog post..Have Jobs Become Disposable?

  6. Miranda says

    I agree with avoiding jobs that violate your faith and values, or that could cause harm to others. I believe that if you are looking for a job so that you can support your family, God will help you find one — even if it is kind of crappy. But if you do your best in that crappy job, and manage your money with good stewardship, I believe that you’ll be able to find something better in time.

    Personally, I could go back to waitressing or sales — much as I would dislike it.

    Mirandas last blog post..Krugman: No V-Shaped Recession

  7. Jason says

    God is our provider; we can and should trust Him for all our needs, most notably salvation. We should never resort to displeasing Him in order to gain something which He enables us to get in the first place; doing so would be both evil and, as one can reason, irrational.

    I would find time for overtime or a second job. I would first try to do what I already do best (software development) since that is a great use of my skills and it pays well, but I would take a more difficult job like chicken farming or roofing if I had to.

    One difficulty, though, is the importance of balancing physical needs with emotional ones. Quality time with family is very important, so work should not come above having one day a week to spend with the fam.

  8. Steve C | MyWifeQuitHerJob says

    My worst job was when I worked as a dedicated diesel fuel pumper. The company had these gigantic satellite news gathering vans that had to run on huge generators which stayed on all day long and they ate up a lot of fuel. So I would shuttle back and forth from the gas station to fill them up. My nickname was “Dieso”. Anyways, I would gladly do it again if I needed to. Whatever it takes.

    Steve C | MyWifeQuitHerJobs last blog post..Growing Pains That We Are Experiencing With Our Online Business

  9. PT Money says

    I have an emergency fund in place and so I’d definitely rely on that to get me through. I’d consider unemployment services (just apply to get the ball rolling). Although, I don’t know how long I could stomach living off of the govt. considering I’m an accountant and can usually always find work.

    I would trim down to the absolute needs only budget. I mean serious rice and beans.

    Overall I think it’s tough out there right now for certain careers. Those people need to be the one’s with a nice savings account, and a good secondary job on the ready.

    Having a alternative income from a small side business doesn’t hurt either.

    PT Moneys last blog post..Summer Jobs With Little Start-up Funding Required – Part 2

  10. lulu says

    In college I was in a really bad way and started to sell plasma to get money. I went twice a week for MONTHS…but had to stop when I started passing out after doing it. (I did not know I was anemic…and some other stuff).

    I also returned my vacuum cleaner to the store one time and used the money to buy bread, milk and other staples. I hated to vacuum anyway and it was easier to ask someone to lend me one instead.

  11. Travis @ CMM says

    I think like what others have said I’d do whatever it takes without compromising my morals. If that means working for minimum wage at a fast food joint that’s what I would do. Of course I’d be praying every day for a new job or that they would at least promote me to manager. But I’m not above doing anything that it would take to support my family.

  12. liv says

    I was talking to a professor about accepting a teaching position for the fall. He asked why I chose to do it. I joked, “getting a job straight out of college in this economy? Yes please!” His response: “Liv, you can always make more money than you ever will in the classroom by moving rock on the corner. If money’s what matters to you, quit your job and start slanging.”

    livs last blog post..may 13, 2009

  13. CindyS says

    When I was younger I always wanted to train horses for a living. I gave up that dream decades ago but when I had to do something to make ends meet, the opportunity presented itself, I took it. I never would have thought that I would be breaking and training horses at 50. I figure that God has given me a talent and it would be wrong not to use it. The last year has taught me that God will provide, not always in the way that you expect but when he closes a door, he opens a window.

    CindySs last blog post..Submit your gardening posts to Carnival of Homesteading

  14. Craig says

    Thought I would throw in a little international flare here. I live in a third world country and work on a regular basis with people in extreme poverty. Those who are poor in my context are not poor because they are unwilling to work. Work is unavailable. Most people where I live would go further than many of us, but just do not have the opportunity.
    No matter how hard any of us are willing to work, we can thank God for the opportunities he has given citizens of North America to work. Our hard work ethic would amount to nothing without opportunity. Praise be to God for his generosity towards us.

    Craigs last blog post..Spiritual Lessons from Difficult Economic Times: Part III

  15. greg says

    Living in a growing area there are at least a dozen fast food places as well as convenient stores. If I had to find a quick job I would not be to ashamed to start there.

    Understanding that God has a plan, I would hope that I would try to find the reason for the job loss, but either way, outside of doing something illegal or immoral, I would do whatever it took to provide for my family.

    gregs last blog post..The Sound Mind Investing Handbook

  16. Funny about Money says

    Stripping isn’t illegal, at least not in my part of the country. It’s humiliating and exploitive, but as long as the woman isn’t prostituting herself (i.e., performing sex acts for pay), she’s not breaking the law. Cleaning other people’s houses might be seen as humiliating and exploitive, too. So…what’s the problem with one and not the other? If the woman has the assets to make a living performing for men who make fools of themselves in nightclubs, why not? One might argue that working for a lending company that charges usurious rates, such as a payday loan outfit or a credit card company, is immoral and does far more harm than taking off your clothes for unhappy, drunken men.

    Liv’s professor is right about taking a teaching job, which I will be doing as my editorial job comes to an end. Monthly take-home pay will be around $1,500 for teaching three sections of freshman comp, a difficult, mind-numbing, and time-consuming job fraught with endless hassle. Around here, a cleaning lady can get a couple hundred bucks for cleaning a McMansion. That’s $600 a week for three days of work, or $2,400 a month. Since most people pay cleaning help in cash, the likelihood that a housekeeper will pocket most or all of that is high. If she does pay her taxes, it won’t be more than about 18 percent, leaving her with a net of $1,968 — still better than she could do with lots more hours of work at a community college, since the community college professor will devote 40 to 60 hours a week to teaching, grading papers, and conferring with students, while the cleaning lady works just 24 hours a week. Think of it: you can make more cleaning house than you can with a Ph.D. and 25 years of experience. I wonder what pole dancers earn?

    Funny about Moneys last blog post..The bankrupt are not like us(?)

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