And while you’ve probably heard of selling sperm or eggs, don’t get your hopes up: Yes, the young and the healthy can sometimes earn good money as sperm or egg donors, but such opportunities require extensive screenings and long-term commitments. Donating blood (sans plasma), meanwhile, is a great and altruistic thing to do, but you generally won’t get money for it.
Monevator: I don’t think a net worth goal is the way to go either, but a lot of people put stock in a number (it’s an easy concept for a lot of people who are new to personal finance). Personally I’m going for exactly what you mentioned – the crossover point where my investments are earning me more money in passive income than my day job. That is when I will feel financially free.
Another interesting case study in the fate of isolated communities concerns Kangaroo Island, not far from Adelaide where I live. This too was cut off from the mainland by rising sea waters, but continued to support a few hundred Aboriginals for some thousands of years. However, in this case there were no survivors by the time of European discovery. The demise of this stranded group deserves further study.
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People are always looking to have their cars washed and detailed. You could be a mobile car washer and detailer without having a permanent location. Reach out to people you know or make some flyers and put it in your neighbors' mailboxes. If you want to get serious about it, prop up a one-page website or give out business cards. You can make money quickly doing this.
Check with your local bank to see if they're giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you're in need. It won't break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 -- maybe even more -- when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
My wife picked up immediately on the problem of "weapons of mass destruction" — to use the euphemistic cliche. Are we to sit back and accept that the regulation of such things is inevitably going to fail, and that we are somehow wickedly misguided to try, putting ourselves in the anachronistic position of the Japanese samurai class, vis a vis guns, or the Chinese emperors and navies? Or can we accept that really novel dangers have to be met with really novel approaches?