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When the Going Gets Tough the Oily Raggers Get Going

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 Read more Oily Rag articles by Frank and Muriel Newman 

Unemployment is at a nine-year high at 6.5%. Times are tough, but as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the oily raggers get going. Oily raggers have a can-do attitude, and there are lots of things people can do when they find household income is not what it was. Here are some thoughts from readers.

  • Dianne says, “I love going to second hand shops. I have a friend who has a recycling shop and every 2 weeks it's a half price day, Thursday and Saturday. Boy do I get bargains, big bags of toys for $2. I save them up and then have a garage sale… Get cracking.”
  • How about gathering golf balls? Water traps are the best, so put on a wetsuit and get into it. But be careful, as the tale of one good keen oily ragger from the UK shows. Equipped with dive tanks and all the other gear, he plunged the depths of the deepest water trap on the golf course. Retrieving up to 1200 golf balls a dive it was a nice little earner (at about 50 cents for even a poor quality ball)... until he got arrested and sentenced to six months’ jail for theft! The good news is that such was the public outcry, the enterprising individual was released after only 9 days! The moral of the story: there’s money in golf balls, but ask first.
  • Natz from Nelson saves coins. “I am on a low income and started a coin jar. I only ever took money out for the bus. I just cashed it in… after four months it turned out to be $309. Just goes to show how quickly it builds up!”
  • A reader writes, “I taught children to play the recorder for 25 years. The last 10 years were the most enjoyable because small groups of children came to my home for lessons. There were no distractions or pressures, and no parents hovering nearby. There was always time for fun as well as tuition. Home tutoring is nothing new - but it is particularly effective when it takes place in the tutor’s home and the pupil does not feel his parents’ worries, hopes, or ambitions on their shoulders. All kinds of tuition would be successful - reading, computer skills, confidence building, making party desserts, anything.”
  • Anything that’s “For Sale” is an opportunity - because it shows a willingness to sell and that means you may be able to pick up a bargain. Search through the For Sale columns of your local newspaper. Make even $20 a week from the resales and you will be a whole lot better off at the end of the year, and there is no reason why you can’t make a lot more than that!
  • Even better than “For Sale” is “Free”. Oily raggers never walk past something that’s free. Everything is worth something to someone. We recall the story of one person wanting to get rid of an old piece of machinery. An oily ragger leapt at the chance. He salvaged and sold the workable parts through an online auction site and sold the recyclable material to a scrap dealer. It was good money in the pocket to the person living off the smell of an oily rag.
  • Those living off the smell of an oily rag don’t waste anything - and that includes space. If you have a spare room take in a boarder. If you have a spare garage, rent the space out as storage.

If you have your own money making schemes to share with others then log on to our website (www.oilyrag.co.nz) or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.

* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.

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