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You're in a hobby where the 'typical' member can swipe his plastic and walk away with $400 worth of 'fun'. It might be one sound-equipped locomotive, or a static applicator and several bags of interesting ground foam and flocking, or a six-pack of top-'o-the-line hoppers. Non-brass.

I'm retired and reasonably well fixed....for retired military. A locomotive is a substantial expenditure for me...and for my dependent wife of 46 years. We have to count our pennies because they matter. Each penny. I have just paid our household insurance, and our property taxes are due. Next month, my vehicle insurance. Anybody having fun in a hobby, who's working, not retired, and who has family sanction to do what he would like, and if he's responsible, has a strict limit and budget for what he can spend month-to-month and year-to-year. What he spends is his, for him, and his daughters don't get to enjoy it. Probably not his sons, if he has them.

What I hope to impart is that it's okay to dream, even to dream big. But, until, and unless, you're earning something like USD$4K per month, spending money on a hobby is strictly self-indulgence, and what you spend, the others in your household cannot. If you want spending power, you'll have to create that power, and put it to good use. I believe that is what CTValley's post above this one means; you're trying to join a club that grown men, many of them, simply wouldn't dream of spending on..........because they can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
So you're assuming that just because you have to rank your skills that they would reject your application if you put a one in everything. There's no possibility that they simply want to know what you can do? Remember, none of those guys started as an expert. They all had to learn it somewhere.

Do you get an allowance for doing chores around the house? If not, have you broached the subject with your parents? Any neighbors lawns you can mow? How about other odd jobs around the property? When my boys were your age, I would post a list of tasks on the refrigerator with a dollar figure next to each. If they did the job to my satisfaction, they got paid for it (yard work, deep cleaning around the house, minor maintenance jobs -- cleaning drains, repairing the cars' scratching post, etc.). They also got paid for being grunt labor for me on more complicated tasks (building a deck, patio furniture, pergola, etc). How about asking for gift certificates / prepaid cards for birthdays and other holidays? No, you can't get a real job, but that doesn't mean that there is no way you can get money. You seem more interested in finding reasons why you CAN'T do things than in finding ways to succeed.
I mow the lawn for 20 each time but with things being so dry right now the property owners don’t want it mowed to avoid any chance of killing the lawn.
 

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Yep. Most of us aren’t loaded or have endless budgets.
But now I’m dreaming what I would)ve bought for $9,000 if I didn’t need to replace a furnace, water heater and AC, all of which were Thirty-three years old. We can all day dream. Now I’m (pretend) spending money that I already spent, just like Congress. Except they don’t pretend & it’s not their money.
Anyway, veering back on course…

I can't scratch-build electronics, but I can with other stuff. A penny saved is a penny earned.
 

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Oh hey, google says the minimum age to work (above the table) in Indiana is 14.
I’d suggest an ice cream shop. They likely need all the help they can get right now. Although you’ll meet lots of girls there, and a secret from an adult, girls (as in girlfriends) like to take your train money and spend it on press in nails in case ya didn’t know. Lol Kinda like the kid who takes lunch money, but with hugs & kisses. No EMDs, no Alcos.
 

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I mow the lawn for 20 each time but with things being so dry right now the property owners don’t want it mowed to avoid any chance of killing the lawn.
Believe it or not, I actually do know how to take care of a lawn....

The problem you're having here is the same one you're having with your DCC system choice: you have decided that there is only one option, and you're not willing to consider alternatives,

So your lawn-care business is in a down turn. Find another way to earn money. Talk to your parents, grandparents, etc. There are two ways of facing adversity: take it on and overcome it, or sit there and be beaten down by it. People in tha second group don't get very far in life. 14 is a great age to learn that lesson and develop a positive, "can do" attitude.

And FWIW, all of my son's got a prepaid, reloadable Visa card on their 12th birthday. I put their monthly allowance on it, and any other money they earned. You have all kinds of options. Go find them, and take advantage of them.
 
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FWIW I keep my mower at maximum height. I don’t know if the numbers = inches or half inches, but 4 is the highest possible. I try to keep it there or 3.5 all year except for the final mow in early November when I drop it to 2.5. The longer the lawn is after mowing, the more shade and moisture retention the soil has. My lawn stays green all season and I don’t water it either.
 

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I do a few things for extra income now that, "I am retired." Granted, I have my health and a good health plan.
If I get sick, all bets are off and I fear my quality of life will suffer, but I have no children to leave anything to so I can reverse mortgage and hock all my possessions and become a ward of the state, if I had to.
For extra income, I have been crocheting items for sale at craft shows. I make chapstick holders, can coolers, trivets, doilies, and baby blankets...stuff like that.
I dog sit local families animals when they go on vacation by word of mouth, I have a few families that trust me with their dogs.
I do small electrical jobs like replacing can lights to LED, replacing bathroom fans, room ceiling fans, fixtures, wall switches, outlets, or add shop lights in garages for the eldery locals.
I do pretty well and was able to order my very first DCC locomotive with sound, this month, it came in the mail today. Stay tuned to my layout thread on the subject.
Amber Box Font Gas Metal
 

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To earn some extra cash you could take some of the items you may not use anymore for example old toys you don’t want and sell them. eBay or a flea market, Facebook marketplace. There are tons of ways to make a little extra cash.
ask some local businesses they may be willing to give you little side jobs too.
 
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