Back on Track?

Ever since I came home from Toronto, my parents have been on my case about finding a job. After weeks and weeks of searching (a month’s worth, to be exact), I finally got hired by a security company called Iron Horse. Now, to be a security guard, you have to undergo 40 hours of security training and pass a long and extremely difficult government exam—and pay about $800 for licensing fees, training courses and such. Once you’ve gone through all that, you have to wait for your license to show up in the mail.

Anyway, all this waiting drove my parents bonkers, and it got to the point where they were trying to force me to find another job, even though it was the beginning of July by that point and no place would hire a student who’s just going to leave for school in the fall. I wouldn’t be worth the time it’d take to train me. So finding another job would be absolutely impossible.

Unfortunately for me, my parents can be VERY unreasonable, and they decided that they were going to set an ultimatum—even though, thanks to the Canadian postal strike causing a backlog in the mail, there was no way to determine when my license might show up so I could begin working. Yes, one of their famous ultimatums: if I cannot save $1500 by the time my tuition is due in August, they will not pay for school. And because their annual income is over the maximum amount, there is no way I will be able to get OSAP to support myself. So without a job, I have to get $1,500 by mid-August or my school year is in the garbage.

But the joke’s on them. They went out of town for a little bit to celebrate their anniversary, and THE DAY that they left, my license turned up in the mail. So now I will be starting work full-time as a security guard. And with my side jobs doing the blog and working for Circus Delights, the carnival company, I should have no problem getting the money saved up by August.

I’m also doing a few other things to make some money for school, and they’re easy enough to do, so you guys should try them too if you’re strapped for cash:

1. Downsizing: I’m going through my closet and my bedroom and piling up ALL the things I don’t need or don’t wear anymore. The trick is to be brutal—if I haven’t used it in the last year, it goes in the pile, and then it gets sold at a garage sale. Garage sales are easy to set up and cost nothing to run. You can make more money than you might think, too. When I was 7 I held one and sold all my old toys. Made $300 in one morning! (I was not actually a willing participant at the time, but I’m glad my parents let me keep the money made from my toys.)

2. Kijiji: Now, this is kind of the same thing as downsizing, but it is more effective for making a large amount of cash. Kijiji is a website that offers free local classified ads, and people use it all the time to look for bargains on used big-ticket items. So while at a garage sale you can only really sell little things and make a couple bucks off each at the most, on Kijiji you can sell the more expensive things lying around your house. For example, my parents have given me permission to sell our old canoe, since they’ve been too busy to do it themselves. You can even try offering to sell your neighbours’ things (if they have anything they need to get rid of) for a small cut of the profits. It’s a little bit of work to set up the ad, monitor the emails from people interested in your stuff, and then wait around for them to come pick the item up, but Kijiji can reap big rewards if you put in some effort.

So there you have it. The rest of my summer shall be spent desperately raking in every penny I can manage to coax into my reach, and hoarding it all under my big scaly belly like a dragon. There’s an image for you 😉 Hope you’re all having a lucrative summer!

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