Monthly Archives: September 2012

How Long Is Your Planning Horizon?

By: Tom Chatham

The length of your planning horizon will determine how well you are prepared for the future. Most people think about next week or maybe the end of the month and the bills that are due but seldom think further than that. Some people think about a future vacation or their retirement plan contributions but while these things are good, they only offer you a plan for specific items not a whole encompassing plan for daily and weekly actions in the future.

A farmer for example must look forward to his crop rotation for the next year, the price of farm commodities in the future, the timing of planting and harvesting, his bill payments and loans for the next year and the livestock cycles he is bound by. He must always be looking at the next year of production and expenses to insure a smooth running farm. Without this type of planning it is easy for operations to be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. If it is time to plant and you set no resources aside to buy seed, it could be an economic disaster for your farm.

In the military a planning horizon of 12 months is normally used at the unit level to determine training needs for the coming year. You are constantly looking at the 30, 60 and 90 day windows to refine and define specific elements for that time period. The closer the time period is, the more detailed the planning becomes.

Without this type of planning, it is difficult to succeed in life over the long term. Some people make out just fine without a comprehensive plan but most of these people most likely have a secure job and a good stream of income they always count on to insure everything functions properly. With a large enough income it is difficult for things to go any other way, but what if you don’t have a large income or it is cut off at some point. This is where a long planning horizon can help stabilize things and keep you on course to succeed.

If you are operating with limited funds and have a goal in mind for the future, your planning can get you there one step at a time. If you want to get chickens to help feed your family but cannot afford them now, a plan will help. If you analyze all of the things you need to raise chickens and list the cost of everything then determine how much you can put aside every month to pay for this goal, you will be able to determine at what point you will have the funds to do it.

If you want to purchase and equip a small farm in the future, your planning horizon may be years. It will help determine what you can afford and when you can buy it. It will allow you to make purchases every month that will lead you to your ultimate goal. By listing everything you will need and planning the time you will buy each item based on your income stream, you will know if you are making progress or if you are falling behind and can make adjustments to compensate.

Your planning horizon can also help determine what order things should be bought so if your plans change due to income you will have the most important items on hand to help enact at least the first part of your plan to help you move forward. Those that live in a city will not have the same type of planning needs as a farmer but it is important to know where you are planning to go and how you will get there.

The use of a spread sheet can be very helpful when making these types of long range plans. The listing of your monthly expenses and the determination of how much you have to utilize for future endeavors will be very helpful. Even if things change or take a turn for the worse, you will at least know where you want to go and it will keep you focused on your goals. Without long term goals you are setting out on a trip with no destination in mind and there is no way to know where you will end up. By maintaining a long planning horizon you will increase the chances you will end up where you want to go.


The Great Green Energy Debate

By: Tom Chatham

For years the great debate has raged about the need for Green Energy. The increasing population and the increasing cost of our petroleum based society has brought the issue of carrying capacity to the surface. We need solutions to our energy and pollution problems but they must be realistic. Many environmentalists would have you believe we can instantly convert our society to solar and wind energy based on the use of these energies by remote African villages. Developed nations utilize many more electronic appliances than third world nations so the comparison of energy needs is a stretch to say the least.

To begin with, let me say I love solar and wind energy. I have been interested in alternate energy for over 30 years and I believe they have a place in our society. The problem is that in our current state of development they are a source of energy only in certain circumstances. Just as semi trucks, trains and barges provide superior transportation needs within their own special circumstances, green energy systems can only provide energy within their own special circumstances.

With the current state of technology, solar and wind are great for small, stand alone systems such as off grid homes. They can even be connected to the grid to sell back extra energy but they cannot power the whole grid alone. The fact that they function at the whims of nature means that we would need to produce 3+ times as much energy as the grid needs and the excess stored for times of no sun or wind. Anyone who uses off grid systems can tell you this. It is a fact of life. But unlike off grid homes that can start up a generator if power runs out, a large power plant cannot instantly be switched on to produce power for the grid. It can take hours to get a power plant up and running and if green energy advocates have their way, these plants would not even exist for emergency use.

The need to store this excess power is one of my big sticking points. Exactly where are these giant batteries we would need to store this energy? I have yet to hear anyone explain this little problem in any reasonable way. I have heard some say that having wind plants scattered all over the country would provide wind power on a continuous basis but I am a bit skeptical about that. The further you have to transmit power, the more power you loose and the greater the chance for power lines to fail cutting off power to large sections of the country.

These problems are not insurmountable but we just cannot do it yet without a complete change in the way we live. Solar and wind should be promoted in the area where they are usable, such as individual home use. A program to get more homes off the grid would be a better use of our time right now until technology provides us the ability to reduce our carbon based use of energy. When technology allows us to power office buildings and whole cities with a dependable green energy system, then we can make the slow transition. It is becoming more possible every day but we are not there yet. New types of solar products are coming out every day. It may be possible in the future to install windows in buildings that also produce power in sufficient quantities to power the building and store extra power. This is a defined goal we can work towards.

The other thing we need to keep in mind is the fact that for over 100 years, our society has been built on the use of cheap carbon based energy systems and to suddenly change would create transitional chaos as systems and people are suddenly replaced or eliminated. The rising cost of petroleum fuels make green energy more attractive every day but we are not there yet.

Spain tried to build a green energy economy and it caused an incredible amount of damage leaving many workers unemployed as a result. Spain’s green energy program cost taxpayers $770,000 for every green job created. Wind energy jobs cost $1.3 million each to create. A study showed that for every 4 green jobs created 9 jobs were lost. Every green megawatt created was so expensive that 5 jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy due to rising business costs. Everyone connected with green energy has agreed that electric costs must increase substantially in order for green energy to be viable.

The use of new energy systems is something that must be slowly implemented at a pace that society can handle. It must be planned fully and the plan shared with the population so an orderly transition can be accomplished. It seems the current push to implement green energy is an ill-conceived and hastily constructed plan that will not work as it is and is the reason the public has little information on its implementation. Such a transition must be something all citizens are briefed on to insure all questions and issues are resolved before moving ahead.

A new energy economy is possible and we will eventually get there but we need a clear plan with realistic goals to achieve it. Without a clear plan we can do irreversible damage to our society and cause more problems than we fix. Wind and solar make sense in off grid applications because the users primary concern is to fill a need and not so much cost. In industry, cost and profit are what drives energy production and so far green energy is not cost effective. As the cost drops with advances in technology, at some point green energy will make good sense and will be fully developed, but not before.

It’s Time To Prepare For Winter

By: Tom Chatham

It’s that time of the year again when vacations are over and children are returning to school. The nights are beginning to get cooler and the days get shorter. It’s also the time of year for hurricanes and soon it will be snow and ice. It’s time to prepare for winter and the possibility for power outages.

With the EPA war on coal fired power plants, it becomes more likely every year that you may loose power during a bad storm. Within the next 5 years we could lose over 200 coal plants in the U.S. making the chance of power outages more likely. At least 8 coal mines in the Eastern U.S. are now slated to be closed reducing the available fuel to keep the lights on. This reduction in power plants increases the chances of brownouts and blackouts.

Loosing power in the warmer months is an inconvenience but a power outage during the winter could become a life threatening situation. The ability to refrigerate food and cook is important enough but the loss of heat during freezing weather can be lethal. It is becoming more important every year to have a backup heat source for your home.

A wood stove is the ultimate backup heat source. It can provide needed heat and cooking capability when nothing else will work. A small supply of wood can last for weeks providing a sense of safety and comfort. With wood as the source of fuel, a few tools and access to a woodlot can provide you with unlimited fuel. The threat of fire that is present with a wood stove and the need of a chimney may not permit you to have one where you live so other methods must be sought out.

A second heat source that is well tried and convenient is a kerosene heater. Small kerosene heaters can be bought for about $100 and offer a good source of heat when needed. They can provide minimal heat and even cooking ability while using as little as one gallon of fuel every 12 hours. A 25 gallon supply of fuel can last almost two weeks of continuous heating and kerosene can store for up to 10 years. It is a reasonable alternative for suburban or urban homes that cannot use a wood source of heat.

A third energy source is propane. Propane can be used for multiple purposes. The use of small propane appliances that use a 1 lb. canister can provide a needed resource in times of crisis. Not only can it provide a heat source but can be used for cooking , lighting, power generation and refrigeration with the appropriate appliances. Many people already have a propane grill with 20 lb. canisters so the purchase of a propane heater is a perfect fit. The installation of a larger propane tank outside the home connected to the heater and other appliances inside can provide you with a ready backup during power loss. A larger outside tank can provide you with weeks or even months of heating and other abilities that can be life saving.

When using alternate heating sources it is always a good idea to have a good fire extinguisher and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home as a safety measure.

In the event of a power outage in cold weather the very least you should have is a good cold weather sleeping bag to keep warm until power is restored. This one measure could save your life if the situation is bad enough. While you should keep other needed supplies for power outages, the need to keep warm in cold weather is a critical element that should not be overlooked.

The Economic Event Horizon

By: Tom Chatham

We don’t know for sure what lies beyond the rim of a black hole but based on scientific principles many scientists are able to speculate what is inside. As you get closer to the hole the gravity becomes overwhelming to the point that you cannot escape. The last thing you see before something disappears into the hole is a frozen image of it on the event horizon.

Our money printing is like the gravity of a black hole and we have now passed the point where we can break free and head to safety. We will continue to get sucked in until we disappear in economic terms. We don’t know for sure what we will find on the other side but history is a good guide and allows us to speculate what it might be. The last image that will be seen on this event horizon will be Ben Bernanke printing piles of money.

It is too late to avoid this economic black hole. All people can do at this point is to prepare themselves as well as they can and hope they survive the fall. According to John Williams at, we only have about 12-18 months before we are looking at full hyperinflation. He believes it will happen no later than 2014. For more information on hyperinflation, see the 2012 Hyperinflation Special Report at Shadow Government Statistics.

The only way to weather this storm is to have a shelter, be it a McMansion, cabin or camper trailer on a small property you can grow some food on, a vehicle and some basic supplies to get you past the worst of the crisis. These things must be fully owned and sheltered from foreclosure or bankruptcy. I have mentioned these things before but it is worth saying again for those who are just beginning to realize the situation we are in. You must have resources when this is over to begin rebuilding your life. A weapon for self defense during the crisis and some precious metals to use afterward are also highly recommended. Those that can preserve even a small amount of their wealth will be in a very good financial position after things bottom out.

The Baltic Dry Index is a measure of shipping rates and it has been falling lately. This index is noted for preceding economic conditions and usually precedes them by about 6 months. This latest fall indicates there is another economic decline coming soon and how bad it will be is yet to be determined because this indicator is still falling. This is an ominous sign considering the Christmas shopping season is fast approaching and this is the time of year retailers import their goods for the holiday season.

The price of goods will continue to rise at an ever increasing rate. At some point many of the poor in this country will be unable to pay for shelter and food unless the government increases subsidy payments to them. Those that are not prepared to sustain themselves outside of the system will be destroyed figuratively as well as literally. The suffering that is about to visit this country may be the worst we have ever seen. To survive this you don’t have to be rich, you just need to end up less poor than most others. This means you need to have basic supplies you can use to get through the worst of the crisis. If you don’t already have a plan, you need to develop one fast and put it into action. Time is running short and the only person that will get you through this is you.

In the not too distant future many will look back at a frozen moment in time where they were well off and happy and wonder how they got here. They will want to return to a time that no longer exists and may not exist again in their lifetimes. Once we cross this event horizon, things will become extremely turbulent and uncertain leaving those that have not planned for it in a stressed and panicked state. Regardless of the resources you have or do not have, it is important to think about the approaching hard times and at least prepare yourself for it mentally. Clarity of thought and swiftness of action may be the most important resources you have if things fall apart rapidly.

Always Be Prepared

By: Tom Chatham

Never has this motto been more appropriate than it is today. With the number of natural and manmade disasters increasing, it is only prudent to always be aware of your surroundings and have the means to take care of yourself. In a disaster you may be on your own for a time and depending on the situation, it may be a long time before rescue or assistance shows up. Keeping a bag of supplies in your vehicle is a smart thing to do.

It is always a good idea to have a bag of supplies with you in the event of unusual circumstances. Some call it a go bag or a bug out bag. I actually call mine a bail out bag after the one I carried in Iraq. I always carried additional essential supplies in case I ever had to leave the vehicle in an emergency. In the case of Iraq, it was ammo, water, ammo, medical supplies and ammo. I state this for a reason. Your bag needs to reflect the circumstances you expect to find yourself in. It will change depending on where you live and the dangers you are subject to.

A quick assessment of the area you live in or are traveling through will give you a good idea what supplies you will need most. A person living and traveling in the city will need a different packing list than a person living in the country 20 miles from their nearest neighbor. This bag is best kept in your vehicle at all times. A home disaster bag should be larger and better provisioned. For a very basic bag the following items are things you need to consider. The length of time you expect to need this bag will also dictate the supplies in it.

Water – At least 2 20 oz. bottles of water should be kept for each day of emergency use. This amount will be higher in the event of high temperatures or hard work. A small water filter is good to have to reconstitute your supply in the event you cannot get potable water where you are.

Food – A supply of high energy bars and foods to maintain your physical endurance will be necessary. You need to plan for regular meals and snacks throughout the day. You will need some calorie dense foods to sustain your increased needs due to stress. Meals do not have to be large. They could be nothing more than a cup of soup.

Foot gear – A good pair of walking shoes or boots are important especially if you work in an office and wear dress shoes or high heels during the day.

Clothing – You need a pair of jeans or other comfortable pants, a good pair of socks, a tee shirt and a sweat shirt or sweater. It is easy to dress down if it is hot but much harder to dress up in cold weather if you don’t have the warm clothing. You can change out your clothing supply depending on the season. In cold weather you may even want to keep a good coat with your supplies as well. This clothing is good to have if your normal work clothes get wet or damaged in some way during a normal work day. Disasters come in all sizes.

Basic medical supplies – Some basic supplies such as bandaids, aspirin, alcohol pads, gauze, tape, burn cream, iodine, tweezers, razors, rubber gloves and a tourniquet are a good place to start. If you wear glasses or take prescriptions, you should keep these items in there as well.

Fire source – At least two ways to start a fire should be carried to insure you can keep warm or heat food.

Communications – An old cell phone is good to have for emergencies. Even if it has no service plan that allows normal calling, by law, you should still be able to call 9-1-1 on it. Some can also serve as a small flashlight. A hand crank radio with LED light and phone charging port may also come in handy if you are in a wide scale disaster and need information on the situation. A GMRS radio, in a protective metal case, may be useful if all family members have one in their kit and the normal communication system is down.

Shelter – Anything to keep you out of the weather and is easy to carry should be in your bag. It may be just a plastic poncho or a tarp or tent depending on your projected needs.

Currency – This is one thing I like to include in a portable kit. A few rolls of quarters can come in handy many times. You may just need gas or food and you have no money with you and the POS system is down. This is another one of those small disasters that you can avert easily. If your house burns down along with your checks and credit cards it may take you a few days to regain access to your accounts. A small stash of money in your bag can avert a few days of suffering. If you worry about currency collapse types of situations you can also keep a few pre ’65 silver coins in there as well.

Self protection – This could be a gun, mace, knife or some other type of defensive weapon to keep you safe. This is location specific type of stuff. A small caliber gun or mace may be sufficient in some cases while bear repellant may be better in others.

Hygiene supplies – In multi day situations you may want some soap and toilet paper handy. Women should also keep in mind their special needs over several days. Once a friend of mine was on his way to the doctor with a stomach bug and had to do a pit stop right on the side of the interstate so you never know when these items will come in handy.

Sleeping gear – A lightweight sleeping bag, poncho liner or mylar blanket should be kept to provide warmth in cold weather to prevent frost bite and hypothermia.

Light source – A flashlight, candle or chemical snap light should be in your bag. At least two different light sources should be kept in your kit.

Knife – This can be small or large depending on your needs. The primary use is to cut rope or twine or clothing away from an injury. Larger ones can be used for defense or hunting.

Beyond these items, you need to customize your bag with materials that you suspect you may need. Your vehicle bag is meant to get you home or to a safe location while your home bag may be needed for several days. Some of the environmental concerns you need to keep in mind are, urban, suburban or rural terrain, desert, mountain or woodland terrain, temperature extremes in the affected area, dangers such as human or animal, dangers such as industrial or commercial complexes that contain hazardous chemicals and natural terrain features that may cause injury. It could take a while to do a complete assessment but it should be done to identify any specialty items you may need and to identify the best and worst routes to safety. All of the basic items listed can be used as camping gear. The easiest way to identify things you may need is to go camping in your area for a few days and most of the items you might need for extended periods will become obvious. A camping trip in the heat of the summer and in the early spring or late fall will help you identify the temperature specific items you should have. The more time you spend in the environment you expect to be in under emergency circumstances, the better prepared you will be mentally and physically to deal with the hardships and overcome the challenges.

What Is Your Financial Breaking Point?

By: Tom Chatham

Many people realize that the financial situation in the U.S. is deteriorating, yet these same people continue on with their daily lives assuming things will get better or will not affect them. Those that still have a stream of income are in much better shape than many but they have not thought about the reality of losing that income and what will follow. Those that have lost their income but still have sufficient savings to live on have not thought about the day when that money runs out and what will follow.

When things don’t go as planned, many people refuse to think about the inevitable circumstances that will ultimately follow when they run out of money. This is just so far outside of their comfort zone they refuse to think about it and hope it goes away. You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. If your financial situation continues to deteriorate, what will you do?

The problem a lot of Americans have is misplaced hope. They hope things will improve before they hit the financial wall. It is good to have hope for the future but it is also important to be realistic and honest with yourself. Those that take an honest look at their financial situation need to determine what financial resources they still have and how long those resources will last. They need to determine what expenses they should eliminate and which ones they cannot do without. They need to look at their current standard of living and determine if it should be reduced to make their resources last longer.

At what point will you cease to have a roof over your head? At what point will you no longer have food to eat? At what point will you no longer be able to afford your car? These are things a person with a diminishing pool of money needs to think about while they still have those resources.

Most people will not want to think about these things because it makes them unhappy. They will continue to live life as normal until the day the money runs out and only then will they begin to think about a plan to deal with their position. By then it is too late to do anything meaningful to improve your situation.

It is important for people in this type of situation to break through these psychological barriers and plan for their future making the best use of their dwindling resources. It is never easy to leave the life you have built and depend on and feel secure with but at some point you will have to cut your losses and move on.

You may have to sell the car you have and pay off the loan and use the remaining funds to buy an older car that you fully own. You may have to dump the home you love and worked hard for and get a smaller place to live that costs much less. You may have to stop buying the frozen foods you like and start cooking more from scratch to save some money.

Before you have to do these things you need to think through the situation and determine what resources you have, what they are worth and at what point you will need to make the decision to downsize and start living leaner. You need to determine what the breaking point will be and prepare yourself mentally for the change. You must do this before all of your resources are gone leaving you little or no ability to continue taking care of yourself. You must have a plan standing by even if it is nothing more than buying a camper trailer and tow vehicle and a supply of food to support you for several months. This becomes even more important if you have a family that depends on you for their everyday needs.

Many Americans like to stretch things out as long as they can hoping things get better. If things never get better, you still need to take care of yourself and your family and to have no plan for this is to fail to take responsibility for your position. As the financial situation in the U.S. becomes worse, it will be ever more important to know exactly where you stand financially and how you will use your resources for the maximum benefit of your family.

You also need to keep in mind that the only resources you can definitely count on in the future are those that you actually have in your own possession. You must also decide what form these financial resources will take. Will it be cash, precious metals, diamonds, food storage or some combination of these things? If you lose your job and rely on savings to take care of everyday needs, what would happen if there was a sudden banking holiday and you had no access to your funds for weeks or months. It could even be a cyber attack that takes the system down. What happens if they lose your banking records or the institution goes bankrupt like MF Global taking your funds with it? FDIC insurance may pay you back but it could take months or years to get your money. What will you do in the mean time?

You need to have a plan to deal with your worst case scenario and know what the breaking point is when you will put your plan into effect. You need to decide when it’s time to go from normal mode to survival mode while you still have the financial resources to make a difference and preserve your quality of life. Too many people waited too long to react to the changing financial situation and many of those people are now homeless or living in tent cities. Don’t let this happen to you.

Be a Part Time Entrepreneur: 21 Ways to Make Extra Money

By: Tom Chatham

Many people have lost their job and now require government assistance or have a lower paying job they are trying to survive on. Things will probably get worse before they get better. You need to assess your situation and the resources available to you and determine how best to use what you have. Most people have resources, equipment and knowledge they don’t immediately realize that can be used to produce extra income. If you need some extra income and an extra few hundred a month would make a lot of difference, take some time to sit down and list the things you might be able to do to generate income.

Raise baby chicks for sale – With an incubator and egg turner costing about $100, and a breeder flock of 5 to 10 chickens, you can hatch out up to 40 chicks every 21 days. This can generate $75 to $100 every 21 days depending on the price you sell them for. People only buying 2 or 3 chicks will be willing to pay a premium because the price will still be relatively small. With the cost of food rising, many people are now raising a few backyard chickens to produce some of their own food.

Sell eggs – If you have the room to raise a few dozen chickens you may be able to sell the extra eggs to earn extra money. The average pullet can lay about 20 dozen eggs the first year and some breeds can lay up to 25 dozen. If your birds can free range at least part of the day it will greatly reduce the amount of feed you will need to buy, increasing your profits.

Sell produce – Even with the smallest yard, it is possible to grow many types of vegetables in sufficient quantities to allow extra for sale to health conscious neighbors.

Rent out storage space – If you have an unused shed or a garage, you can partition it off into smaller units and rent out the space as storage units.

Rent out living space – If you have an unused bedroom or a garage or shed you can convert into an apartment, you can rent it out to generate extra income.

Rent out a truck or utility trailer – If you have a pickup truck or a utility trailer that you don’t use every day, you may be able to rent it out to individuals that need those services on a temporary basis. You may even be able to rent out your services to load/unload and drive the load to its destination.

Rent out a camper trailer – If you have a camper trailer that you don’t use very often, you may be able to rent it out by the day or week to someone taking a vacation. Used pop-up campers can be found for less than $1,000 and may offer a good return on the money invested. It also provides you with an emergency shelter in the event of a disaster.

Open a barber shop/beauty salon – If you have an empty room or garage you can use, you can start your own barber shop/beauty salon with a minimal of equipment.

Lawn maintenance – With nothing more than a push mower, gas can and a weed trimmer, you can start your own yard maintenance service in your spare time. Just cutting a few small yards on the weekend can generate an extra few hundred dollars a month.

House keeping for the elderly – Many elderly people can no longer do physical housework due to age or injuries. These people are growing in numbers and offer a good market for weekly business. This may include housekeeping, cooking or laundry services.

Sell/deliver meals for the elderly – Some elderly find it difficult to cook for themselves every day. A service to cook and deliver meals to them may be a needed service in your area.

Taxi service for the elderly – Many elderly cannot drive anymore or find it difficult to take public transportation. These individuals may require transportation to buy groceries or to get medical treatments.

Sell honey – If you have bees or would like to get some, this might offer you the ability to sell some of the honey you produce for extra income. This can be expensive to set up but most of the equipment will last for many years.

Sewing services – If you have sewing ability and some equipment, you may be able to offer this service to those who lack the time or experience.

Provide car pool service – If you have a vehicle that can carry 3 or 4 extra people, and you have the time, you may be able to offer car pool services for a small fee to offset your daily fuel expenses or generate extra income. If the price of gas continues to rise, this may become a sought after service for those that still have a job.

Mobile auto service – If you have some mechanic experience and a few tools, you may be able to offer mobile auto service to people. This does not have to be full repair services but can be specialized such as brake replacement or oil changes done in the clients driveway.

Monument service – This is something that many people would not think about but it is a lucrative business. When people die they not only require burial services but following that they almost always need a monument placed on their grave. Many times the funeral home sells this service but there are many businesses that offer only the sale and placement of monuments. It requires very little equipment and the profit potential is very high and this is something that can be done in your spare time.

Pet sitting service – Many people have pets that need caring for when the owner is out of town for a few days. If you have a garage that can hold several cages of various sizes, you may be able to build up a reputable service that can generate good income for very little work.

Bed and breakfast – If you have a large home with extra rooms, you might want to start a bed and breakfast inn to put those extra rooms to work.

Plant nursery – If you love growing things you may want to grow extra things in your spare time to sell. Things such as fruit trees and fruit vines are becoming more in demand with the rising price of food.

Sell baked goods from home – This can be a good fit for those that like to bake. If you buy many of the main ingredients directly from the farmer such as corn and wheat to grind yourself, you will have a good profit margin and will be very competitive with stores if prices rise significantly.

These are just a few of the ideas you can use to start a part time business using the resources you already have. Before starting any business venture you need to think it through and list all of the resources you would need to operate it. You need to look at the startup cost and operating expenses in a realistic way to determine if it is viable and worthy of your time. With a lot of these ideas, you are providing a service or value added product that requires mainly your time and knowledge. Your time and knowledge should be used to maximize your earnings with the least amount of equipment and resources. Hopefully this list will provide you with ideas to expand on to help generate extra income.