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I've lived in this small town for about 6 years now & overall it's been nice. The small town vibe is usually great, though there are drawbacks just the same.

Right now my biggest struggle is finding better jobs. I really hope y'all would have some good suggestions. I've tried to look this up, ask on Reddit, & talked with some people IRL to figure it out. I'm still stuck.

I'm not really able to profit from a side-hustle as I'm already working full-time with a long commute. I am slowly working to see if my photos will pay anything, but it's been a process. I don't want to totally kill all my time with work, I just want to find a better job. I have qualifications & experience... I feel I'm just missing something...

Before COVID I was making $20/hr and things were at least OKAY then. COVID caused a lay-off at my company & I set to job searching in Feb 2020. No luck unless I accepted a position that paid $12/hr. I was able to prove to the unemployment office that $12/hr wasn't enough & I was allowed to keep searching while receiving unemployment. Then in Oct 2020 my old company had a posting for a similar job to my old one at $16/hr. It was the highest paying position I saw at the time so I went for it.

Losing $4/hr over a 40 hour week is killing me. I'm desperate to get out of here & earn more money. I'm just not sure how. I can't seem to find anything available anymore.

I have a Bachelor's degree in communications & tons of customer service experience. I'm tech savvy & artistic as well. I just can't find any jobs available! Seriously, in my town there have been 7 job postings since June of this year! I've been using Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter, & LinkedIn.

So my hope here is that I can start a discussion on how to make more money while living in a rural town. I'm 45 minutes/30 miles from any larger cities & the commute is terrible with mountain-ish roads. Also I'm not able to just move as I have a mortgage & a MIL on disability that my spouse cares for. (So she can't really work either, though I'm looking for a cheap computer so she can try out some work from home options.)

Thanks in advance & all the best to you all!

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Have you looked into ways to make money on the internet? Either through source/selling stuff with e-commerce or taking on gigs online?

If you make money via the internet, you'll have a robust framework against geography. It wouldn't matter if you're in a rural town or a metro area, or if you're out of the country. As long as you have access to the internet, you can continue executing on your online gig/business and keep earning that way.

I think if you want opportunities outside the internet, in a rural area, that's close to impossible. That's sort of the whole definition of "rural" - there's not much going on there (and hence very little opportunity to make extra money because the economies there will be much weaker than populated areas).

For the online thing, I've tried a bunch of different ideas - I outline the process, risks, and my results for various online things I've tried here.

Hello. I feel your pain. Whatever skills you have harness it into a business for yourself. Technology is your best friend. I live in a rural area try 4000. We drive 20 minutes for food and had Gov’t or county jobs seasonal work are how lots of people survive. If they are teachers or students about consider a border stay encouraged. I am moving soon.

I lived in a rural setting for four years. I actually worked for a national company and was remote from my home (plus traveling for business). My commute to the airport (1 hour). My internet was not the best, so I'm not sure how yours is. I was able to work with it, but it was frustrating at times.

I have a BA in English. I used to do a lot of customer service and then moved up within a company to a better role when they expanded. They were willing to take my talents (attention to detail, ability to learn new skills) and allowed me to learn on the job. This change about 15 years back made a big difference for me as I broke out of a lower wage cycle. Customer service is a valuable skill; however this title typically doesn't pay top dollar and isn’t valued enough by employers.

I now living near a major metro area. Unfortunately, the job market is tough right now. I've been seeing a lot of uncertainty from employers. There are jobs posted, but many companies are slow if not glacial in their responses. I've also had interviews where people say "we'll let you know in 3-5 days" and it turns into three weeks and they never fill the job after 6 months or more.

Please hang in there. You have company.

@Angie P. posted:

Have you looked into ways to make money on the internet? Either through source/selling stuff with e-commerce or taking on gigs online?

If you make money via the internet, you'll have a robust framework against geography. It wouldn't matter if you're in a rural town or a metro area, or if you're out of the country. As long as you have access to the internet, you can continue executing on your online gig/business and keep earning that way.

I think if you want opportunities outside the internet, in a rural area, that's close to impossible. That's sort of the whole definition of "rural" - there's not much going on there (and hence very little opportunity to make extra money because the economies there will be much weaker than populated areas).

For the online thing, I've tried a bunch of different ideas - I outline the process, risks, and my results for various online things I've tried here.

I have been looking into online options, for sure. I'm currently scouting for an old Lenovo ThinkCenter computer so my spouse can do WFH.

I'll definitely have to look through some of what you tried out. Thanks for the resource!

@PolarMoney posted:

I lived in a rural setting for four years. I actually worked for a national company and was remote from my home (plus traveling for business). My commute to the airport (1 hour). My internet was not the best, so I'm not sure how yours is. I was able to work with it, but it was frustrating at times.

I have a BA in English. I used to do a lot of customer service and then moved up within a company to a better role when they expanded. They were willing to take my talents (attention to detail, ability to learn new skills) and allowed me to learn on the job. This change about 15 years back made a big difference for me as I broke out of a lower wage cycle. Customer service is a valuable skill; however this title typically doesn't pay top dollar and isn’t valued enough by employers.

I now living near a major metro area. Unfortunately, the job market is tough right now. I've been seeing a lot of uncertainty from employers. There are jobs posted, but many companies are slow if not glacial in their responses. I've also had interviews where people say "we'll let you know in 3-5 days" and it turns into three weeks and they never fill the job after 6 months or more.

Please hang in there. You have company.

The job market really is tough right now. Finding a livable wage is the hardest part. I can find a handful of $12/hr jobs, but that won't cover my mortgage & student loans.

Thank you for the encouragement. I really needed to hear that today.

@LaineLou posted:

I rent out things I already own through an online platform. Much like Airbnb but for your stuff. Like a camera, canopies, tools. I earn $200 a week on average. It may not be much for some but hey i just lend people stuff and earn from it. Given that you live in a rural area, things may hard to come by so you will have a higher chance to get rentals

That's a great idea! I haven't tried something like that before. I'd be way to nervous to lend my camera out, but I might have some things people could use... Thanks!

Hi,

Here is another thing to look into on lowering your costs with WFH:

https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

About the Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
@PolarMoney posted:

Hi,

Here is another thing to look into on lowering your costs with WFH:

https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

About the Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

This is amazing!! Thank you so much for this. We check a few boxes on that list, honestly, so I will definitely look into that program. I hope it helps other's as well. 🙂

Have you considered "flipping" cars? It is like flipping a house but with a used car instead. Used car sales (and prices) are way up! Especially pick up trucks! In a small town, even more so. You may need to travel a little bit, to get a good candidate, but you and your partner can work at your own pace. You can find cars needing more cosmetic issues or minor mechanic repairs that you can complete yourself. I do not know your living situation or your skill set. but check out the skills on you tube. Most of it is not as hard as you think. The other "new" hot ticket item is groups of people going in together on rental properties. You need to be more careful here. Plenty of paperwork with clear definitions is required. I would recommend having any agreement checked by a lawyer before signing, That being said, there is plenty of potential in this opportunity for the right group. Rent is ridiculous and mortgage rates are down, Can you see the potential? Avoid involving family members. You could lose more than just your shirt. Good Luck!

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