I'm in high school and trying to find a way to help earn money for flight training. I recall that you wrote about this in one of your previous columns. Could you remind me how someone in my position can make some money to fly? Thank you, Jason
OK, here are a few ideas that you might find useful.
An easy and quick way to make some money is to purchase smoke alarms and batteries in bulk, then sell them door to door. If each unit and its battery cost $7, you can mark this up 100 percent, which includes installation. It wouldn't be unusual for someone to ask you to install five or even 10 of these units in their home, and it wouldn't take more than 30 minutes to do this. Then you can service the batteries on these units every six months for a reasonable fee. What a deal. I know of one young man who made several hundred dollars the first weekend he did this, and he didn't even have to leave his neighborhood.
But wait, there's more. A few pilots on my Facebook site had their own recommendations:
Cathy Mighell suggested that you make inexpensive chocks from 4-by-4s, dip them in paint, and stencil individual aircraft numbers on them. These cost pennies to make and a set could sell for $20.
Tim Busch had a number of great ideas. He reminds us that many kids have learned a variety of things they can be paid to teach: school tutoring, music, martial arts, et cetera. Tim suggested that you can also collect old computers for free, upgrade them, then sell them for a nice profit. Additional ideas from Tim include buying and rebuilding garage-sale bikes for a reasonable profit or signing up as a credit card agent. This allows you to make a small cut on each transaction (many nickels and pennies can make a small fortune).
Mitch Cohen offered the idea of painting house addresses on sidewalks for a small fee. Stencils and spray paint are a cheap investment for the money made and the time invested. Mitch suggests that this would be an easy sell, since it enhances the homeowners' safety by helping the police or fire department find them in an emergency.
Excerpted from Rod Machado??s ??Since You Asked?? column in
AOPA ??s FLIGHT TRAINING ?? July 2010 - page 14