8 tips to pay your way to ALA
by Angie Solis, Senior Editor
Each year librarians all across the world are invited to attend ALA’s Annual and Mid-Winter Conferences. But at $255.00 (super early bird special) for the ALA Annual Conference plus hotel and airfare we’re looking at a nice chunk of change to attend these events. I’m sure it’s completely worth it but sometimes (as much as I want to attend) it’s just not in the budget as I’m sure is the case with many of you. But maybe next year it can be in the budget. There’s easy ways to make some extra money and save your dollars to make the ALA Annual Conference a reality. Let’s take a looks at some ways to make some extra cash and get us to ALA.
- Let go of your hoarding ways and sell some stuff. Many of us have closets and attics full of things that are no longer used and are still in great condition. Go through your things and get rid of items that you have used in the last year and have no plans for. You can have a garage sale or sell items on eBay or Craigslist. While this seems like such an easy thing to do it’s a lot harder than you think. Definitely look at your unwanted Electronics, gently worn clothing and jewelry.
- Teach/Tutor. Do you have a specialty subject? Do you play an instrument? Use your knowledge and abilities to teach others and bake some extra money in the process. There are plenty of children and adults who may need some extra help or may want to learn something new.
- Be a babysitter/petsitter/housesitter. Are you good with kids? Do you want to petsit or walk dogs? Are you responsible enough to housesit? There are definitely plenty of people who can’t afford high end services and are willing to higher people like me and you to help with those services. Check out Sitter City if you like the kiddies. Care.com if you want to help with furbabies or real babies. And Mind My House if you don’t want to deal with living creatures.
- Become a Mystery Shopper. Mystery Shopping has gotten mixed reviews over the last couple years but if you find a legitimate company there’s definitely a place to make some extra cash if your eligible. I found MarketForce is a reputable company that is looking for Mystery Shoppers in every area around the United States.
- Make and Sell things on Etsy. Do you crochet or are you good with Photoshop? There are so many opportunities to sell your original works on Etsy and a wide customer base looking at your goods. There are definitely plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash while doing something you like to do.
- Push referrals. Does your car dealer or internet company offer incentives for referring friends and family? Start paying more attention to these incentives and start pushing the best ones to the people you know. Make a note of which company offers what or if there are any special documents needs for referrals to be prepared. Companies offer big bucks for referrals these days so this can definitely be a profitable option.
- Sell your photos. Many stock photo websites have the opportunities for individuals to sell their photos online. If you like taking photos check out sites like Crestock or BigSockphoto.
- Answer Questions online. Companies like ChaCha.com hire Guides to answer questions online. You get a small amount per question but anything helps and a little can add up to a lot depending on how many questions you answer.
There are lots of other odd things you can do like finding odd jobs on Craigslist or participating in Market Research. But no matter what you choose there are lots of ways you can save to make that special trip to the ALA Annual Conference or Mid-Winter Conference. Next year I’ll see you all there and make sure to save a little extra to have a drink with your favorite inalj.com member.