Author Topic: Side job/Passive income NYC  (Read 1982 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Side job/Passive income NYC
« on: December 10, 2017, 03:37:38 PM »
Hey Guys,

A little background on my situation. Moved to NYC a little less than a year ago with my then GF. After a difficult 8 months the relationship ended pretty suddenly. I had just accepted a new job (had been working as a carpenter at night, which, between my frustration and the schedule difference, had become a major issue both for myself and the relationship) and had to relocate both my home and my studio (I'm an artist). I now have two new year long leases. The room I rent costs $950 (before utilities) and the studio costs around $330 (including utilities). Insurance costs me about $300 a month. I'm pretty good at not wasting money, i.e. lunches, dinners, frivolous clothing, etc., but can't seem to get anywhere. I do most of my grocery shopping at Costco, I ride a bike everywhere. I do go on a date or two a week, but I keep it under $20 per outing.

I'm pretty much locked into my housing expenses, which seem to be the main problem, although from what I understand what I'm paying is pretty much standard for the city, with my studio being well on the affordable side.
I have tried gig economy stuff in the past (Postmates, Wag!), and had overwhelmingly negative experiences. For instance, I calculated my actual hourly wage when I was a Postmate and it came out to roughly 3$/hr.
As far as skills go, I have art handling, general carpentry, photography (documenting art and food specifically), and a really good eye and design sense (though I have no idea how to monetize that). I also make sculptures and drawings, although as of now I have had no success monetizing that either. I've thought about airbnb-ing my room but that would put me out of the only place I have to sleep and would constitute a violation of my lease. I have no car or other assets.

I'm $28,000 in debt in federal student loan debt, no cc debt. Since my expenses are close to fixed, although I'm sure they will drop in Jan as I'm participating in the Frugalwoods challenge, I'm thinking I need to find a way to bring in more income. Any thoughts you guys have to help would be greatly appreciated.



  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Side job/Passive income NYC
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 05:01:34 AM »
What about combining and cross-selling your skills?  On a carpentry gig?  Suggest to the client a fancy inlay or look to cut into the wood, something you can do that would be an upsell to the base price in the quote.  I'm sure there are tons of rich people in NYC that would pay extra for a super elegant stairway banister that they can tell all their friends is custom made.  Think of other artistic looks you could add into your work projects that would add a special touch.

You could also find amateur property flippers and offer to perform sweat equity for a piece of the profit.  A bit of a gamble in terms of payout, but it doesn't cost you anything but time (make sure they buy ALL the materials) and is likely a better use of your skillset than plastering flyers on telephone poles for $0.05 a piece.  Could build up your reputation in the local industry and lead to more gigs that actually pay you upfront.  If you don't know where to look for these type of flippers, you can find them at the "rich dad poor dad earn a million bucks a year being a landlord" seminars that are held about once a month.  Even if it doesn't turn a profit, you'll be getting solid skills in seeing what various renovations cost, seeing what kind of value they can actually add to a property's value, and making trade mistakes on someone else's dime.  All of that knowledge will give a lot more value long term than pocketing a few quick bucks doing $5 no-skill jobs here and there.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Side job/Passive income NYC
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:46:58 AM »
i get this surreal feeling when I read stuff here about how people live. nyc is so radically different from any other place in the usa that tales from other localities seem exotic and even unbelievable.

ok, you are living cheap for nyc, very very cheap rent. i almost don't believe how little you are paying, so, well done!

what nyc is good for is it's vast wealth. there is no middle class here to speak of, don't bother with them. there are opportunities here for servicing the rich (and being well compensated for it) that don't really exist other places. example: friend of mine has the contract to maintain the lobby of a mildly rich building. he has years of training in decorative finishes and construction, and is also a fine art painter. he cleans up any scratch or bump or sign of use that might disturb the residents.
another example: someone was renting a stage to a high end retailer, for like $16,000 a month. it was a cheap plywood and 2x4 thing covered by a nice carpet, probably 40'x20'. if there was ever a problem, they had to leap to it, instantly (it had to be uninstalled and reinstalled for special events several times, and that wasn't cheap) but mostly it just sat there making money for someone.

those are the kinds of gigs new york city is good for. of course this kind of ridiculous corporate spending exists other places, but the sheer density of here. nyc has more on a single block than most cities have in total.

might not be to your taste. and you have to be pretty un mustachian, going to bars, restaurants, parties (you pay for) and other events to schmooze. art openings are the best free networking i know of.

good luck!