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  1. #1
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    Broke? Here are some ways to make money on the road

    So I just calculated my final budget for my 90 day trip up the Sierra Cascades and down the Pacific coast.
    $15.7/day
    That's possible, but it only allows for the necessaries, no luxuries. Anyways, are there any ways to shore up your finances, to make a bit of money on the road? Here's a link I found on the subject.

    Here are some I didn't see.
    • Window-washing at gas stations
    • Panhandling or spanging (spare some change, sir?)

  2. #2
    Here's a Quarter... trafficcasauras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
    So I just calculated my final budget for my 90 day trip up the Sierra Cascades and down the Pacific coast.
    $15.7/day
    That's possible, but it only allows for the necessaries, no luxuries. Anyways, are there any ways to shore up your finances, to make a bit of money on the road? Here's a link I found on the subject.

    Here are some I didn't see.
    • Window-washing at gas stations
    • Panhandling or spanging (spare some change, sir?)
    that list was written July 2008. it needs to be updated.
    I Am That I Am

  3. #3
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    Carry a push mower with you and cut lawns. A guy did this several years ago. He was featured in an issue of "Adventure Cyclist."

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Street Theatre , Busking, playing music, circus acts, for tips , has a Long Tradition.
    .. still practiced in European Cities. seems Peruvian Musicians in most major ones.

  5. #5
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    C'mon, man. If you can't afford to tour, don't go on tour.

    Busking and doing odd jobs isn't a big deal, especially if you enjoy it and want a change of pace from doing it in your home town.

    Panhandling though is unjustifiable, except for severe emergencies. If you've got the physical fitness, time and wherewithal to leave your house and ride your bicycle, don't ask hard-working people to fund your travels.

    $15/day is also borderline insanely cheap and potentially short-sighted. Doug Lansky refers to this affliction as "budgetitis," where you're so focused on pinching pennies that you can't relax. You also need to budget for contingencies, and spend from that pool without hesitation if the need arises.

    Just work at home for an extra month or two, save a little extra cash, and unclench your... wallet. You'll enjoy yourself more on the ride as a result.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Panhandling though is unjustifiable, except for severe emergencies. If you've got the physical fitness, time and wherewithal to leave your house and ride your bicycle, don't ask hard-working people to fund your travels.
    I remember stopping in Jackson, MT for breakfast. There were a bunch of "hippies" on their way to the Rainbow Festival. They were trying to bumm money in town. The locals hated them. Saw some more in Dillion. Same thing. A few days later, near Earthquake Lake, two of them came into the private campground where I was staying late at night and flopped under a horse trailer. I had left some chips and salsa on a picnic table that was to be be my first breakfast. I got up really early and saw the stuff was gone. I walked passed the two sleeping vagabonds and the empty bag and jar were next to them. There was also an empty bottle of wine. I guess they had money for booze but not for food. What balls.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I remember stopping in Jackson, MT for breakfast. There were a bunch of "hippies" on their way to the Rainbow Festival. They were trying to bumm money in town. The locals hated them. Saw some more in Dillion. Same thing. A few days later, near Earthquake Lake, two of them came into the private campground where I was staying late at night and flopped under a horse trailer. I had left some chips and salsa on a picnic table that was to be be my first breakfast. I got up really early and saw the stuff was gone. I walked passed the two sleeping vagabonds and the empty bag and jar were next to them. There was also an empty bottle of wine. I guess they had money for booze but not for food. What balls.
    Your thieves were probably from the city I live in. They steal literally anything that is not bolted down, even from each other.

  8. #8
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
    Here are some I didn't see.

    • Window-washing at gas stations
    • Panhandling or spanging (spare some change, sir?)
    There is a good reason these were not mentioned: most people won't lower themselves to be beggars. And in some states, cities, localities these are illegal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MLKATO's Avatar
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    I would rather save up for a our as opposed to panhandle.I see so many on side of the road or off the freeway with signs. "Will work for food","Stranded, need gas money", "Daughter/Son needs surgery". Then there's the classic bum and a tin can shaking it at your window. Who do you belive? And if I give money to everyone I see with a sign or a can,I'll be broke so I'll hace to join them!

  10. #10
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    There is a good reason these were not mentioned: most people won't lower themselves to be beggars. And in some states, cities, localities these are illegal.
    It's almost illegal to be poor in some parts of the country. This is something to be very careful with indeed.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  11. #11
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    No money no touring what I say.

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Your thieves were probably from the city I live in. They steal literally anything that is not bolted down, even from each other.
    More on the Rainbows:

    http://reason.com/archives/2001/02/0...to-your-leader

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Here's an idea ...

    Get a part time job, in addition to your current full time job, and put all the money you earn from the part time job into a savings account. When you've got enough money in that account for a tour ... go and enjoy!!

    I know several people who do that in order to go somewhere hot and sunny for a few weeks in the middle of winter. They pick up part time Christmas work, and then hit the beach on an island somewhere in January.

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    That list has to be the worst idea I've read, probably ever. It's as if you can show up to a new place and say, "oh, I'd like to work for you, just for a few days so that I can make money to survive at least to the next town." Yeah, right. It just doesn't happen like that. I would say anyone who tries to survive at the advice of the writer will end up starving to death in just over, ~10 days.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I have to agree that pan handling on tour is very bad form.

    It can damage the kindness and generosity that we often find in the local folks.

    Next, I would question how anyone can budget such a precise figure for a coast to coast trip. I don't see how you can possibly predict with any accuracy what thins will cost in the tiny towns you will probably pass through.

    That said I think that $15 a day is possible on a route like the TA, but it probably means eating a lot of ramen noodles. Much better to budget more even if you don't expect to spend it. I am usually pretty tight with my spending, but I try to have twice what I will spend available.

    FWIW I prefer to have a similar approach to time. Better to have way more time than you need. Tight budgets and tight schedules are joy killers.

    If you can't afford to go save up longer.

  16. #16
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    You can always launch a web site, describing your tour and asking for donations. It's been done before.

    Just be sure not to ask donations for several thousands USDs worth of camera equipment on basis that you need it for the tour.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  17. #17
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post

    Just be sure not to ask donations for several thousands USDs worth of camera equipment on basis that you need it for the tour.
    Biking for Obama? That one was the camera equip and the bike too IIRC

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
    I see so many on side of the road or off the freeway with signs. "Will work for food","Stranded, need gas money", "Daughter/Son needs surgery". Then there's the classic bum and a tin can shaking it at your window. Who do you belive?
    Not to get too far off topic, but I think some might find this interesting. In the early '90s we had a guy here in town pulling a short-lived but creative scam. He would get some kind of blody animal product (possibly liver or entrails) and put it in his shirt. He would them approach someone, show them the blody mess, say that he had been stabbed and ask for cab fare to get to the hospital. It happened to a woman I was dating.

    Then there was the guy who dressed very nicely in a suit and tie, spoke really well and was very convincing. He would tell people he had come from somewhere like Baltimore to Philly for a job interview and that someone had stolen is briefcase with his wallet in it and thus he could not buy a train ticket back home. People would give him money and he would even promise to mail them checks when he got home. Some people even went out of their way to find ATMs so they could give him cash. He was eventually caught and brought to trial. It was never determined how many people he suckered because so many were apprently too embarrassed to fess up that they had fallen for the scam. If you extrapolate from the number of people who did show up to testify, it's believed he conned possibly hundreds.

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Biking for Obama? That one was the camera equip and the bike too IIRC
    The 4K included printing T shirts and the like too.

    Has enough time passed that one can mention that thread? It, and the preferential treatment the OP received, have to be the low point in Bike Forums' history.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A Musician, + bicycle tourist, I met, someone passing thru, had self produced CDs of their songs,
    and a stencil, bought T shirts at charity resale shops, Spray painted thru the stencil
    so as to have 'tour' T shirt to sell, too.

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    The 4K included printing T shirts and the like too.

    Has enough time passed that one can mention that thread? It, and the preferential treatment the OP received, have to be the low point in Bike Forums' history.
    I don't consider it a low point. It was actually a nice diversion.

    I think that Flyin' Ryan actually learned from his mistakes and completed a fairly reasonable tour. I didn't donate any money, but did try to offer helpful advice, offered him a place to stay if he wound up near my home, genuinely wished him the best, and followed his tour with genuine interest.

    Others have had some crazy threads here and wound up learning and having a great tour. The machete guy (I won't mention his name) comes to mind. I followed his progress too and have subsequently corresponded with him a bit. He was initially a bit misguided, but turned out to be a nice guy.

    I ultimately wound up liking them both. Usually the posters I tend to dislike most are ones who ask fake questions just to pimp a web site where they hawk goods and solicit donations to support their touring lifestyle. Neither of those guys fell into that category IMO.

  22. #22
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with touring on $15.70 a day, I toured on $12 a day back in 2005. But I had more resources available to me if I needed to spend more, say if a major bicycle malfunction happened. I didn't do this but one way to supplement your food cost is churches. A lot of churches will always give someone food if they ask and are in need.

  23. #23
    Senior Member charly17201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
    I would rather save up for a our as opposed to panhandle.I see so many on side of the road or off the freeway with signs. "Will work for food","Stranded, need gas money", "Daughter/Son needs surgery". Then there's the classic bum and a tin can shaking it at your window. Who do you belive? And if I give money to everyone I see with a sign or a can,I'll be broke so I'll hace to join them!
    Last 'bum' I gave money to was at least honest. Had a sign "Need $$ for beer."
    Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member MLKATO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charly17201 View Post
    Last 'bum' I gave money to was at least honest. Had a sign "Need $$ for beer."
    I'd give in 75 points for honesty,but no dollars for beer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member garethzbarker's Avatar
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    shorten the days of the tour and watch the budget grow really fast

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