Friday, 1 June 2012

Getting off the treadmill

I am often asked to look at web sites and give my opinion on their content. I am also asked if I would care to submit guest posts to other blogs and web sites. I haven't had one request where I would consider getting involved because they all have an agenda, to make money for the owner/publisher.

I've just had another email, and I'm afraid it's going down the pan with all the other rejects. The title of the article they want my feedback on is 'The 6 Quickest Ways to Make £1000'. Down the right hand side of the page are photo links to erm supposedly 'Great Posts on other Blogs' Scantily clad women seem to be the criteria for a great post, so that's where I'm going wrong, ha ha.

This blog type site is a typical, 'lets start blogging to make money', operation. I can just picture a chappie, or chappess, sitting in their bedroom, spending endless hours tapping away on their keyboard, piecing together content from various sources, none of which are their own words. This particular article is of course a Guest Post. The rest of the space is taken up with adverts which generate an income when clicked upon by people who are easily tempted to go off in another direction, thus getting lost on the internet highway and forgetting what it was they were looking for. Well they don't fool me, I never click on adverts which take me somewhere else.

Right, now I've had a moan, the real reason for my post today is to explain why this particular article is of no use to me whatsoever. Let's get back to the 6 (note number not words, very amateurish) Quickest Ways. Here they are.
Selling photographs to agencies.
Sell anything, on the internet.
Grow your hair, cut it and sell it.
Online surveys. Get paid for your opinion.
Design logo's for tee shirts.
Get a micro job. Companies will send you a list of small jobs to do.

I would hardly call some of these Quickest Ways to Make £1000. How long does it take to grow hair to a good length? How many photographs do you have to take before you sell a few good ones? How many surveys do you have to do before you make £100? How many small jobs will it take to get to the £1000? Teeshirt printing companies are desperate to source new designs, are they? Selling them won't be easy. Where do you get all the stuff from to sell and make that £1000? All these supposedly money making activities are like piddling in the ocean. Unless you are focussed and dedicated to making them your life's work, you will be lucky to make peanuts. They are not get rich quick schemes.

The money making tips are not my main gripe. There are millions of sites like this, brainwashing people into thinking they have to make more money for themselves. They prey on the vulnerable and the desperate, people who are in debt and think that the only way they can haul themselves out of their predicament is to earn more. Look at the wording.

With the recession still lingering, many individuals are looking for ways to boost their salaries with part-time work; perhaps one of these money-spinning ideas will fit the bill for you.

Yes, boost your income by all means if you are young and ambitious, and have the time. Try these things, start a business, sell a few things, if you have the time to spare. It will be a learning curve, but don't pin all your hopes on it to get yourself out of a hole.

These get rich quick sites focus on how to make more money for yourself, well that's what they are meant to do. You have to ask yourself why do you want to make more money? Is it because you are in debt, if so I applaud your attempts to get rid of that weight that's hanging around your neck. But maybe a part time local job would bring in a bit extra, with set hours so you know when you are off duty.

I would also ask is it because you just want to buy more stuff? If so, when will it all end, when will you have enough stuff and be able to sit back and enjoy yourself instead of letting money rule your life?

Then there is the third reason why you might want to earn more money, and that is the crux of the matter. When you have debt, but still insist on buying more stuff. Stuff to make you feel good, stuff to give you a boost, stuff you don't need. While all the time that time bomb is sitting there waiting to explode. The red bank statements, the final demands, the rock bottom reality that you can't afford to service your lifestyle.

If any of these reasons to earn more money apply to you, have you thought of the other alternative, shock horror, STOP SPENDING. I am afraid that there are some people who just don't get the concept of living within their means, only spending what they earn and no more. They are not understanding the difference between what they want and what they need.

Take my own case for instance. I have identified my needs and wants. I need to eat, I need a safe but basic place to live. I need to leave my village and travel to different places, because I have travelled all my life. I need mobility, a car that is not going to conk out all the time, the best I can afford without getting into debt. I need communication links, internet and phone. As well as keeping in touch with my friends, it also gives me food for the brain, to learn more about my computer. I need to pay for my cats, this is my choice. All these things I can afford to pay for without credit.

What do I want? Not a lot else actually. It would be nice to live in a posher house, have newer furniture, and to be able to splash out on a few extras and treats. But hey, you can't have it all. My treats I save up for, which gives me much more pleasure knowing I have the cash to pay for it.

Now, the connection with 'The 6 Quickest Ways to Earn Money'. I don't need to earn more money, because I have enough. I can live within my means. With carefull spending and saving pennies here and there, I can afford to live a very nice life thank you very much. I have stepped off the treadmill, I don't need to keep up with the Joneses or anyone else. And I have done it by spending less, not earning more.
Best wishes and Toodle pip.


  1. Very well said Ilona.
    I know several people who seem to think their wage packet each month is a spending challenge. 2-3 days before the next one they are complaining they are skint, but as soon as they are paid they do it all over again
    x x x

  2. You are a wise woman Ilona. I hope people will heed your words. Happy weekend.

  3. Trying to impress other people can be a real millstone. The truth is people are not that easily impressed. They may admire your new sofa or new kitchen, new driveway, big tv, swanky car... for brief moment, then they go about their own business and have forgotten. No one really cares about the stuff I have, they have their own lives to lead. I remember getting our last car and it seemed very posh as we usually drive bangers, but a few months down the line it was just something very ordinary and practical to get me around it soon lost its exciting new feel. The things I have do not define me. What makes my life worthy is how I raise my kids, being guilt free - doing the right thing, being healthy, and laughing a lot. But I do like my Surveys Ilona, its not for everyone but I get a £10 voucher roughly every month which I buy everyday essentials like loo roll, nappies, or toiletries (it feels free though I know it isn't). If birthdays are coming up I somtimes treat someone else with them. You have the right attitude - I wish I had realised this when I was younger...ah well.

  4. Grow your hair, cut it and sell it.

    This one made me laugh, who'd want my greying, frizzy mop? I'd be better off knitting woolly hats for other ladies similarly afflicted LOL

  5. I always enjoy reading your posts!! I love that you dont think of being frugal as a burden, but that you feel impowered by it. It's all about attitude, right? :-) I have 12 year old twins that I am trying to raise to understand that "living below your means" is the only way to go. They dont see why EVERYONE doesnt live that way!! I've read them some things from your blog & they think you're awesome!! :-) Just thought you might like to hear it!! Have a super day!! :-)

  6. Brillaint post AGAIN, Ilona!
    Jane x

  7. Yes, yes, and YES! I'm right there with you on the want/need/spend/save mindset. Partly the way I was brought up ("the world doesn't owe you a living" and "there's no such thing as a free meal" and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" etc.) and partly because I've built a life based on what is important to me, and not what anyone else thinks I "should" want or have or need.
    I think your post will make a lot of people think :)

  8. Thank you Ilona for our daily dose of SANITY, which goes against popular thinking. My son has come to the end of his second year at university, and has over £1000 of his loan still in his bank account, unspent, while some of his friends are struggling to keep within their overdraft! You are teaching us valuable lessons which we can in turn pass on to our families.

  9. Those are some pants ways to earn extra money! If you need extra money to pay off debt, get a second job, at least temporarily. If you aren't in debt, you don't really need extra money! :D

    That American personal finance bloke Dave Ramsey says: stop keeping up with the Joneses, they're broke!

  10. Another good post Ilona.

    Have you noticed there IS a scantily clad woman on your Blog sidebar, at the top, well one with her legs out anyway!! Some folk'll do anythng to get readers ;-)

    Have a happy Jubilee Weekend.

    Sue xx

  11. Great post! You made me laugh with this comment "I would hardly call some of these Quickest Ways to Make £1000." That is so right! Do these folks think everyone is stupid?

  12. I did a post on this very topic a short while ago i.e. is it possible to make money online. The conclusion I've drawn is that the only people making money online, are those that are selling the info to make money online !
    I now rely heavily however on selling the odd item or two from my home on ebay, also I'm trying Etsy, I love making stuff, but it remains to be seen if it will sell, also I'm giving 'adsense' a go, but it's hard, because folks just don't seem to want to click on the ads.
    MQ - may I ask a personal question please ? I won't be offended if you don't want to answer (honest!) but you say you are on a pension, so am I, and I find it extremely difficult to manage the basics of everyday living let alone days out/holidays etc., and on top of this you have managed to pay off extra on your mortgage - do you have a secret or are you really wonderwoman !! my pension doesn't really cover the basics of life quite frankly and I have cut my expenditure down to the bone.
    Please let me in on your secret before I sink without trace .........

  13. Brilliantly put Ilona, well done.

  14. I think I got the same email ... I didnt even open it ... is rubbish!
    We're fine as we are thankyou very much .... some is plenty, enough is too much.. now who was it said that?

    Vicky x

  15. HOORAY......cheers coming from Oz. thanks for the great post - this is the message that needs to be out there, not all the consumerism stuff !

  16. Yes, there's no free lunch! Well said, Ilona.

  17. The easiest way to make money not spend it!

  18. Great advice!! It's not so hard to understand that you need to spend less than you earn but so many people seem not to get it!! There's no get rich scheme, if there was I'm sure we'd all be doing it

  19. After 35 years on the consumer treadmill, married to a wife who thought happiness equated to posessions, running faster and faster just to stand still, and, looking back, very unhappy.
    We (new wife) now live on so very little it would have seemed unbeleivable, but so much more content.

    So pleased to get off it.

  20. Unfortunately there are some desperate folk that will fall for these hairbrain ideas. A well put post, Ilona!

  21. I do online surveys and am paid enough that some days, that bit makes the difference in gas in the tank or a gallon of milk. I don't think you should be dismissive of earning a tiny bit. After all, if you are earning a bit and not playing the lottery, you are ahead of the game. Why not do anything legal and palatable to earn money? Not everyone who is strapped for money is a spendthrift. I sort of take it personally when a person says "all you have to do is quit spending so much" and you will have plenty of money. I can only speak for myself. I am not spending beyond my means, buying unnecessary things, or driving just to drive.

    You may have enough by cutting back. I don't.

    Selling on the internet can be one of the most lucrative ways for a disabled person to make money. People have their own limitations. Yes, I intend to sell on the internet again. Just because you deem it low class to work for a piddling bit, does not mean it is morally wrong or sleazy.

    Websites posing as blogs and full of ads are not my thing. I said I would never advertise on my blog. But, I got an offer I could not refuse and have one ad.

    I edit documents on the internet for money. I write resumes on the internet for money without ever seeing the person. I advertise neither on my blog. I don't feel the least bit tacky for selling my services on the internet via other means.

    It never occurred to me that anyone would look down on me.

  22. I agree with you PP - it's not enough to 'quit spending so much and you will have plenty of money' - that's rubbish.
    If you don't have it in the first place, how can you save it ? I challenge anyone to spend less than me !!
    I didn't set up my blog either with the intention of using ads, but I quickly realised how many other people are using them so I decided to give it a go, I have to say, it isn't working for me, I hope it is for others.
    I'm always looking for ways to earn a little extra, if anyone looks down on me then that's too bad, I have this nasty habit called 'eating' and it has to be satisfied. !!

  23. Im with you so much. A side effect of adhd is impulsivness, It used to be terribly out of control, (I was only diagnosed at 33 I'm 35 now). But with meds and counselling and shear determinationIm less impulsive. Ive slowed my brain down and appreciate what I have in life. I had a stressful higher paid job, I used to have expensive clothes eat out lots and have expensive holidays. But the stress of trying to maintain well paid job feeling constantly stressed out as if my brain was going to explode became to much. I went with CCCS sorted my finances out (I cant have credit cards or loans again which is a good thing). I work part time but Im happier and more content than Ive ever been. Im glad I learnt this now before I ended up having a break down or topping my self.
    The things that make me happy now are: doing kind things for people, spending time with my wonderful man, my 3 cats, my wonderful family, crafting, reading blogs, walking, having a cuppa in a nice tea shop and my lovely home and garden(its only a small mid terraced but its cosy and decorated the way I like it.
    I love reading your posts it inspires me so much and Ive taken on bored many of the things you have said.

  24. I agree with you completely about spamming, unwanted emails and unwanted advertisements on websites, but it should be known that adverts you see are more often or not adverts relating to your surfing habits and not put on by the Website Owners themselves.
    By having a freely hosted Blog, you are agreeing to that Services Privacy Policies and Terms etc. ie. Google, MSN, Photobucket or whoever. They will put cookies in your PC which will, when you visit a lot of sites, show adverts not necessarily relating to that site, but to something else. ie.
    The Internet is free, but the things on it which are free have to be paid for, the overheads, the Staff etc. etc. So by visiting any 'free' site, you kind of pay for it by whatever.
    So, if someone visits this Blog, they will note it's a Blog with the words money and life in it, so you'll se a lot of ads about that.
    You can get a little free add-on for Firefox, Chrome IE etc called 'ad-block', install this and you won't see any of those kind of ads.

    On the other thing about living within means, that's great, but I'm pleased to be in my 60's and not in my 20's and 30's with family and praying my job isn't going to go out the window any moment !!

    Not in any way criticising the post, it's full of good stuff, but feel some things need to be pointed out - free services have to be paid for.

    Richard Cannon

  25. Dear Llona
    I was so sorry to hear about Lily but I know you loved him and always put him first and he would have known that. Never mind about his previous owners they don't deserve to have pets if they think like that. I enjoy reading your blog and please keep going.



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