Making a little extra money

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I don’t make any money off this blog at all and never will monetize it. It’s my personal blog. One day I hope to have a second blog that will be more of a niche blog that I have in the works. Well, I have an idea and a domain name anyways. This one’s not going anywhere. I just want one I can maybe make a little money off of, but in the meantime, while I get it set up and get it going and since I am practically jobless right now I am doing what I can to bring in any money that I can. I have a part-time job from home calling people for a market research company but it’s been a bit of a rocky start, to say the least, and not what I want to do. Obviously, school is still in the works so I have no student loan to fall back on and EI has not been approved yet and bills are piling up.

I mentioned in a previous post about transcribing and there was some interest in it and how I do it and how I got into it, so I decided to make a post about it and share some information on it and also on a few other sites I have been trying out with success so far. So first off, I started transcribing a number of years ago for a company my mom worked for. It was legal transcription. I have been doing it off an on for years and enjoyed it. Pay varied with the type of stuff I was typing but usually was about  $1.50 to $2.00 CDN a page. I could get about 25-30 pages a day so from about $37.50 a day to about $60 a day. Doesn’t seem like a lot, however when I started out I typed about 30wpm, now I am at 42wpm and increasing steadily. It went up for me to about $80 a day.

Not to bad for a job from home. I stopped doing it when I got a full-time position but after everything that happened in the last month with the bank, I decided that I wanted to transcribe again. I knew from before that there were some websites that pay you for transcribing, captioning and listening to calls. So I have made a list of 3 that I am using or trying out right now. I will update this post later with more information if it becomes available and might to more posts if I find more sites down the road. You will not get rich with any of these, in fact, sometimes it’s hard in the beginning to make money, but once you get going it can be a lot of fun and some extra spending money or money for bills.

Disclaimer: The only one I have personally gotten paid from yet is Rev.com as I have not been doing the other two long enough but in reviews online and looking up the companies online they have no major complaints and people have said they get paid on time. Also, none of the links on this page are paid links. I get nothing at all from them. This is simply just to let you know which sites I am using or trying.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Rev

Rev has both transcription and captioning jobs. By captioning, I mean basically closed captioning mostly YouTube videos. They also do translation as well. They pay by the audio/video minute, meaning they pay per minute of the video or audio, not the number of minutes you spend on it. This can suck but as you get better, you speed improves and you get used to it you can make some decent money. They pay by PayPal every Monday and you can make from $0.24 USD for basic transcription up to $0.90, and $0.45 to $0.75 for captioning up to $1.00 to $3.00 if you know another language and can do subtitles or translation.

In the past two weeks working only a few hours each week, I have made $37.09 USD. I am only doing small files at the moment and spending a lot of time on them to ensure the quality is really good before submitting so I am not really getting a lot done. I can confirm that I have gotten paid into my PayPal account and I have transferred it with no issues to my bank account. In fact, it paid for my hosting this year mostly. Once I get past the initial phase of it I am pretty sure it can bring in enough for me to make a small difference in our financial situation right now. One thing I have noticed is in the beginning stick with short files so that you can keep your metrics up and not run out of time to hit their targets. You can join or check them out here.

TranscribeMe

TranscribeMe is another one my mom recommended, she had heard good things about it from other transcribers. I have not yet been paid by them but reviews are decent. However, just a heads up, at the moment they are a little low on work it seems but I think it’s worth joining and just keeping the page open to grab whatever I can when I can. They say they start at $15-$22 per audio hour and top monthly earnings at $2,200 (average monthly earnings are $250). I think maybe this might be true when they have a lot of work and you are sitting there waiting for stuff and doing it as soon as it comes in. I do find the audio quality with the TranscribeMe files I have done much better than the transcription files for Rev and about the same as some of the caption files for Rev. You can request earnings at any time for the work completed on a weekly basis and it is paid via PayPal as well in USD.

Both Rev and TranscribeMe require an entrance exam but I found them fairly easy to pass. With Transcribe Me there are additional exams that will open you up to more work like legal, medical and translation as a few. You can join or check them out here.

Humantic

The last one I am going to talk about is called Humantic and it’s simple to join, you simply have to have or create a verified PayPal account and create/sign in with it. It’s also rather a simple concept, you listen to short calls, and categorize them for analysis for the companies. This one really doesn’t pay much, between $1 to $4.50 an hour, I think it’s in USD but couldn’t find anything to say for sure. I guess I will find out. If it is USD, CDN or AUS $ or some other form of $ once I get my first pay. You can request payment at $10 and it’s paid via PayPal as well. It’s really as simple as that. You can join or check them out here.

For the first two companies, I mentioned Rev and Transcribe Me, you are typing what you hear, so your typing skills are important. Don’t worry if you don’t type very well though as there are a lot of sites out there that help you improve your typing skills. My favourite one is Typing.com. They have a nice interface and some fun lessons, games and tests to help you build skills. I have been improving steadily and just working at these will improve your skills anyways.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. This blog as I said is a personal one so these kinds of posts are far and few in between but I thought it might be something that someone might enjoy.

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Yes, that’s right!

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I’m going to set aside the health issues for a moment. After a lot of consideration, I am absolutely determined to go back to school. I am 100% sure this is the right thing to do. I have talked to Eddie about it and to my parents and even my brother and they all agree that that’s what I need to do. I know exactly what I want to take. I keep coming back to the same thing. I want to work in web development. I want to learn how to develop websites. Like really learn. I want to make it into a career. I mentioned before in a previous post that I wanted to work with children and while that is still something that I would have loved to do, it’s not really practical for me.

I need to do something that I can either do remotely from home or that I can eventually transition to do remotely from home. Something I can also do as a freelancer. I absolutely love to blog and love this blog so much and love the little bit of coding that I know. I am completely self-taught with the exception of a web design course over 16 years ago which really just taught me a bit about Photoshop, Dreamweaver and HTML and CSS. It never delved into anything else and is so out of date now that I don’t even list it on resumes, etc.

So, anyway I have decided to take a program at Athabasca University, a well know online and distance University in Canada. I am going to take a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems minoring in Web Development. It’s a four-year Undergraduate Degree Program. I am absolutely determined that I am going to do it. They have courses starting every month and I have an appointment on Thursday at Nova Scotia Works which is a career development place in the mall in Digby and get their help with applying to the school and applying for funding and also some advice on making a career out of it, and what to do in the meantime to help support us while taking it.

With that in mind, I have been joining as many freelance transcription and captioning sites similar to Rev.com which I am already a transcriber and captioner at so that I can get as many jobs as I can through them and try and work as hard as I can to try and make up what I am missing now that I no longer work for the bank I was working for. I am good at transcription and captioning and like it but really don’t want to make a long-term career out of it as my mom did. I am also looking for other freelance type opportunities that I can do. I like to write but really don’t have any niches or any experience or schooling on topics that I can write about so freelance writing seems out of the question even though I like to write.

I am starting a job part-time from home on Tuesday that I was supposed to start this past week but due to an error on their end I ended up not getting invited to the training last week, so I am starting in a training class next week. It won’t be enough money though. So I am still looking and just trying to make money anywhere I can. I have an interview over the phone tomorrow for a different job that is similar but a little more along the lines of the call center jobs I did in Halifax, only it would be from home as well.

One really good thing is that I found out today that my bankruptcy is no longer showing on my credit report, there is no record of it. In one way that will not help me with a government student loan as they were actually one of the things included in my bankruptcy years ago and they never got all the paperwork and so still show that I basically still owe it, but that’s okay too because I have the paperwork in my email to send to them. I just need to find out who to send it to and then once it is processed and my file updated I should be able to apply again. Hopefully, that does not take as long as other government-related stuff or I will likely have lived to 100 and be long dead before they update it.

I am hoping to look into other options for funding as well, and that appointment on Thursday should help as that is one of the things they do there. I am wondering about maybe getting a student line of credit through my bank. My credit rating is not the greatest but it is not the worst either, somewhere in the middle and with the bankruptcy no longer an issue I might have that as an option. I am sure there are other things I can look into too. One way or another I am going back to school. If I have to do it one course at a time and save the money to pay for the first course and then save the money to pay for the next course during each course I am currently taking, which is actually a possibility as well since they actually allow you to do it that way and allow you to take unlimited time in finishing your degree basically.

Somehow I am determined to figure this out and Eddie and my parents are behind me a hundred percent. My parents aren’t in a position to help me financially, but they will do everything in their power to help me achieve my goals and find the money. Eddie as well. So I am going to do it somehow, I am going to succeed.

Two to three paychecks away from being homeless

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This is something that has been on my mind for a while now and something I just feel like writing about. Almost half of Canadians are only two to three missed paychecks away from being homeless. I am sure this is true for many other countries as well. Something I have experienced myself is wondering where the next rent is going to come from or not getting groceries because you need to put gas in the car to get to work. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately because we have been struggling with money a lot.

Today, my mom told me about a story in the Chronicle Herald (Halifax) which really hit home for both of us. A 63-year-old woman, a woman my own parent’s age, suffering from diabetes living in her car in a Walmart Parking lot in Dartmouth Crossing after losing her job and then her apartment due to what she called “three bad blows”. Blows that could happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Blows that do happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time but that if you do not have a nest egg of savings to get you through can render you homeless.

The first of which was her mother getting sick and having to move home to Nova Scotia and to Halifax to take care of her. She also ended up taking care of a special needs niece and her brother who needed palliative care while dying from cancer. Having to put her life, her job and everything on hold to take care of loved ones selflessly asking for nothing in return. She found a job at a call center, again something that hits home for me as I have been working in call center’s for most of my life and only recently left to work in a branch of a bank. She worked there for 8 years when her luck ran out.

The second blow came when she had to have three toes removed from complications of diabetes. It does not say what type of diabetes she has and honestly, it does not matter. As Leah writes about in her blog the.insulin.type all types of diabetes matter and all have the potential to cause horrific complications if not controlled, and getting and maintaining control is a constant struggle which even a little cold or infection can have a huge effect on. Anyway, this is what happened to this woman. She ended up having to have three toes removed. After coming back to work from a leave of absence, most likely too soon, but when you need money you need money, she was only able to get part-time as her hours were cut back.

Of course, her bills started piling up and she was falling behind on her rent and she was eventually kicked out. Family helped her as much as they could at their own expense, a brother-in-law allowed her to stay in a house he was selling before the new owner took occupancy but then she was forced to move again. All of this took a toll on her job as she kept having to miss work to move and she was eventually fired. She doesn’t blame the call center at all, as she says in the article she knew the rules and she didn’t comply with them, really through no fault of her own though.

Without a job and without a roof over her head she has resorted to living in her car in front of her brother-in-law’s place at first moving around every few days, after a while, she found out that Walmart allows RVs and campers to park in their parking lot and that is where she currently is. A friend took her in during Hurricane Dorian and her brother-in-law maxed out his own credit card putting her up in hotels every few nights so she could have a good sleep and a bath. An MLA also reached out to the Department of Community Services and they provided her a few days of accommodation in a motel. She is 2 years too early for Old Age Security and only has a small Canada Pension Plan (CPP) amount of $277 a month that she is getting and due to having no permanent address she does not qualify for further assistance from the Department of Community Services.

A GoFundMe campaign was started for her by a friend and co-worker but honestly, unfortunately, it takes time for funds to be raised through GoFundMe, and then once the goal is met and the money is requested it takes time for the funds to reach her. She doesn’t have time, however, as another blow has come, living in her car and not taking her shoes and socks off often, she failed to notice a blister forming on her heal that had gotten infected. Anyone who knows anything about diabetes knows how serious that can be, especially after already having three toes removed on the same foot. She is supposed to wear a special boot while healing but due to circumstances can’t because she would not be able to drive or get around as she is living in her car.

She is falling through the cracks, the weather here right now is getting cold, very cold. It is currently -3°C in Dartmouth and it feels like -8°C and it is just going to get colder. She is in an impossible situation and she is just one of many people and children in the same or similar situations in this country. It’s a big issue and is only going to get bigger. My husband and I are fortunate at the moment that we have family that has stepped in and helped us but sometimes that help can only go so far and even being in a bad position ourselves this haunts me to the core, her story and the stories of people like her.

Her story really hits home for me. Partly because she is a diabetic, partly because she is the same age as my parents which kills me the most and partly because her story shows the human side of it.  It shows me that it can happen to anyone, anytime, living anywhere and that there are people even worse off than her, here in Canada and really all over the world. My mom and I have both been really affected by reading her story and have been racking our brains all afternoon on how we can help, how we can make a difference, to the point my mom said she wished she could drive up to Dartmouth and bring her home to stay for the winter to get her off the streets and give her a chance.

While that is probably not possible or feasible, there must be something we can do. Money is tight for both my parents and us, but we just feel like there has to be something we can do. We just have no idea what. She is two and a half hours away. Maybe even just getting her story out there might help. I have no idea. All I know is it is really bugging me.