I know there are a ton of websites that advertise or list a million different things that you can do (most of them, online) to bring in a substantial side income. While those lists may be useful as a starting point for brainstorming, if you're looking for tried and tested methods of making a good income on the side, here are some methods I've tried:

1. Babysitting: I've done this since I was 15, and while I only made $5 per hour when I started, I now charge $15 per hour. Not only do I consider myself more experienced with kids, but I now have more knowledge about how to actually care for kids, having completed an undergraduate degree in health. If you're in a similar boat, with valuable caretaking skills, this can be a good way to make a side income or when in between jobs.

2. Tutoring: This is particularly lucrative if you have knowledge in a specialized or difficult to teach area, and if you can do it well. I tutor calculus on the side, and have charged upwards of $30 per hour, particularly when the subject matter was university level calculus.

3. CV creation services: If you have impeccable writing skills, and are good at marketing, consider marketing others' skills. Not only can you make a decent income, depending on your clientele and the amount of money they stand to make from a polished resume, but it's satisfying to know you're helping someone else obtain a new/better job. It's also a great way to make contacts, contacts who in the future, can vouch for your skills as a writer, editor, and marketer.

4. Ether: If you haven't heard of this website, you've been missing out. If the service you're offering does not require face-to-face contact (i.e. counselling, tutoring, life coaching), you can sign up on this site and be assigned an anonymous 1-800 number that you can use for your potential clients to contact you. Of course ether takes a small cut (about 15%), but ultimately, it's a great way to acquire new clients.
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This past week wasn't too bad, spending-wise:

- I got paid ($1287)
- I transferred some money ($97) to my ING savings account for use towards my annual life insurance premium. I now have the full amount I need saved (just over $200).
-I transferred about $1200 to my brokerage account to be invested (since the markets are down again, I figure it's a good time to park it in something other than cash!)
- I spent some money eating out, but it was a hectic week - I ended up working over 60 hours.
- I also spent some money on gas, but I still have a half-tank left for use this week.

I'll be off work this coming week and am planning a "staycation". I've given myself $40 per day for discretionary spending, obviously not including gas. With that money, I anticipate spending about $14 per day on yoga, about $10 per day on food on average, with the rest ($16) being spent on activities and miscellaneous. I now this seems restrictive being that it's my one week off this year, but the whole point of staycationing is to save money. If I wanted to spend a thousand bucks, I would have booked myself on the first flight to Cuba and called it what it is.

Your Weekly Summary

For Friday, February 10, 2012

Where My Money Went

You spent $214.79 over the past 7 days.

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Your top spending categories:

$97.48 Transfer to savings

$70.00 Gas & Fuel

$32.57 Fast Food

$14.74 Alcohol & Bars

Compare to previous spending

This week was another frugal week for me. I actually only spent $71.90, because the $1.00 I spent "shopping" was the temporary (refunded) authorization charge that charged my credit card to list some of my old textbooks for sale on their website. And of the $40.00 withdrew for food this week, I still have $20 left in cash for this upcoming week.

The $47.90 I spent on "Financial" comprised mainly the $23.95 I spent on my credit report and score from Equifax, which I still think as well worth it. I found out by checking out my report that I'm only 1 point from shifting myself out of the "good" score category to the "very good" score category. I also found out that CIBC has erroneously reported my $10,000 student line of credit (LOC) as two separate lines of credit, notwithstanding the fact that I paid off and closed the LOC I had with them during undergrad and opened a brand new one when I started law school. Apparently, they never reported the old one as having been closed, so it appears as though I have twice as much debt with them as I actually do. I'll be filing a dispute with Equifax this week.

I wish I had known sooner so that I could have corrected the error before I applied for a mortgage through TD. I wonder if anyone else has had issues with banks not correcting financial data when accounts are closed.

Where Your Money Went

You spent $92.90 over the past 7 days.

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Your top spending categories:

$47.90 Financial

$40.00 Food & Dining

$4.00 Fast Food

$1.00 Shopping

Compare to previous spending

This was another good week in the spending department.

I got paid which meant being able to pay off both of my credit cards (both personal and business), and I made a large transfer to savings.

In total so far this month, I've contributed $2,156 to savings, which represents 74% of my monthly net income. The $127 I spent on legal is a business expense, which my employer will be reimbursing me for next week.
At the behest of Krystal's post over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, I decided it was worth the $23.95 to check my credit score. Notwithstanding the fact that my credit score is unlikely to have much of an impact on me qualifying for a mortgage (because it's a secured loan), I was still pretty curious to know how lenders view me between my four credit cards, my two student lines of credit, and a range of other credit products.

This was what I got:

Granted, it's not the worse score ever, it's actually just on the cusp of a "very good" credit score. But I was still appalled that missing 1 payment in 12 months over a range of 8 credit products (that's 1 missed payment out of a possible 96 missed payments), made a significant impact on my credit score.

How to Check your own Equifax Report and Score

If you'd like to check your credit score online, head over here. The cost is $23.95.

If you just want your credit report to check for inaccuracies, and don't really care to see your score, go here. The cost is $15.50.

Equifax Free Trial

You can also take a look at your credit report and score for free by going here. But note that this trial is only for 30 days, after which time Equifax will start charging you the regular monthly rate, which at the time of writing this post, is $14.95 per month.