No, I'm not working in a theatre again, and I didn't get any jobs with a church (except for filling in for our administrator when she's on holidays, but I was doing that before...).
I skipped the painful submit-a-resume-wait-for-a-call-and-maybe-get-an-interview-but-I'll-never-hear-back-again type of job hunting, and instead applied to our local newspaper to be a...
Paper carrier type person!
Yes, Ruth the paper girl is back. My first run as a paper girl was at the age of ten, my second was about fifteen or more years back, and I'm at it again.
I admit that I need the extra money, but to be honest, I could earn more (a LOT more) flipping burgers for an hour at the local grease joint. I get $0.13 per paper delivered, and my three routes have a grand total of 36 papers. Which is $4.68 per day, and it takes about an hour to deliver. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I also deliver our local free paper plus flyers (way more flyers than paper!). They pay .02 per paper & 1 flyer pack on Tuesdays, and .025 on Thursdays, and an extra .02 per flyer pack above the first. On Thursdays, I've had an average of 3 flyer packs. So each of my 36 deliveries nets me an extra 8.5 cents each per week, for a total payday of 32.94 per week.
Not exactly big money, especially since I use my car to do it and probably spend between five and ten dollars on gas.
Still, it's a really good deal for me.
First off, when I started two weeks ago, I was suffering from back pain so bad that I had to take a fairly expensive OTC medication twice per day in order to remain functional. Within a week, I was down to extra strength Tylenol, and now I'm down to nothing most days. Savings, about $25 per week, plus my liver.
Second, my autistic son accompanies me most days. In fact, I got the route because it was something we could do together that would get us out of the house. I investigated volunteering at our local Re-Store, but they really didn't have anything suitable for us to do. But Robin likes to walk, so the paper route was perfect. The cost of having someone else do something like this with him varies from $10 to $25 an hour. Even on the cheap side, we're saving $50 a week.
Third, I'm out walking every day for most of that hour. According to today's paper (which is another bonus -- one of those papers I get paid to deliver is mine, and it's free!), that will add another 10 or so healthy years to my life. How do I calculate the value of that, I ask you?
And I used to pay about $35 a month for a gym membership I never used, because it was so inconvenient. The paper routes I deliver are a lot closer to my home, and because I've signed a contract, I *have* to do the exercise every day, rain or shine, sick or well, grumpy or happy.
And for the most part, I've been happy. Exercise releases natural endorphins, that help dull pain and decrease depression. I also have met several of my customers, all of whom are friendly and generally cheerful.
One customer I talked to yesterday is eighty years old, and still goes snowshoeing! That's what I want to be like when I'm eighty, and having a daily paper route is a step in the right direction.
A common suggestion of get-out-of-debt books is to take a second job. What most of them don't say is that when you look for a second job, it's always good to think outside the box. Instead of looking for another eight-hour-a-day grind in a factory, try something a little lower class, but with more benefits.
Working in a theatre gave me the chance to see a lot of first run movies for free.
Working at McDonald's gave me more than I wanted of employee-discounted junk food.
Working at Chapters over the Christmas rush last year gave me an employee discount on books, just in time to buy gifts for my family of avid readers.
Now I've got a free paper and an exercise plan -- and they're paying me for it!
Think about where you spend your money, or what activities you enjoy doing, and look to those things for a second job, or a retirement income, or even your primary income! Sometimes, the benefits are worth the lower pay. Don't let anyone tell you that a particular job is too "low life," or "beneath your notice," or "just for kids." Only you can decide the true worth of a job to you.