Surviving in modern PNG and the need to make extra money

Each payday Friday I meet rental costs, buy food, think of the kids, lunch money, power bills, water bills, meet some family members or wantoks needs and the list goes on. I cant even afford to treat myself to something nice when I want to. When Monday comes, I look for money and end up borrowing to get by, then payday comes again, I repay this, meet the expenses of living in Port Moresby and again go around in this vicious cycle. Sound familiar? Well you can earn extra money freelancing online. Read on and find out further down.

The biggest cost factor for me, is rentals (PNG is believed to have one of the highest rental rates in the Asia-Pacific) and the demands of being the head of the household/family. Expectations are unrealistically very high. Not that it is an entirely bad thing, but starting a family you need your space to save, nurture and grow- finding your own balance with immediate and extended family obligations and your professional career path, before you get bogged down with a myriad of family commitments and expectations. Sadly, the more we earn in PNG, the more responsibilities we tend to be burdened with. It does not bode well for the upcoming young professionals starting out vibrantly then losing focus in a myriad of extended commitments that see’s them end up in the vicious cycle of borrowing.

I have some really great pals, inspirational and true friends. True friendship as the adage goes, is priceless, find a true friend and you’ve found a priceless treasure. Well I have such friends, who have been very supportive with work, family and more like Jaive Smare, who started Squad Publishing ( and invited me on board, and Joshua Kais, who joined Jaive fulltime before I joined, along with Dylan to make Squad. But I just cannot continue getting their help every now and then – they too need their space. We all have a right to our space and enjoying life to the fullest. Though its not all about the money, Money plays a big role living and surviving in a modernised society. In traditional PNG you can survive on K100 in one year, as a rolling fund, even less.

But costs of living in modern Papua New Guinea and especially Port Moresby are so high, the low and middle income earners just can’t make ends meet on a fortnightly wage.

So, needing to find ways to make some extra money I did some research into money making sites – there are literally thousands of these on the net. Some genuine, some not!. I was more interested in those that you can make money as a freelancer and came up with a list. Some of these sites are free while others you’d have to pay a small fee to enter.

I found out that there are heaps of genuine places that you can make a decent income from freelancing writing. You don’t really have to be a top notch writer and instead choose to write about what you know best, whether it is education, teaching English, medicine, fire fighting, animals, business, human resource, gardening tips, multimedia, websites, technology trends, marketing and the list goes on. Even writing funny stories on life’s lessons to win a prize or simple data entry work. People are looking for genuine freelancers and if you take the time, get a bit organised and do some research, you can earn a decent side income. (read further down to find out more about these sites)

Annually writing organisations, daily newspapers like the Chicago Tribune and others from around the world run various writing competitions that pay a good sum and give awards and writing contracts to aspiring writers.

A word of caution (after I spent countless hours and data online) – don’t get attracted by sites like Demand Studios, Guru, ODesk or Elance. They may seem like your best option, starting out as a newbie. But don’t be fooled, these sites are actually a rush for the lowest bidder – paying very minimal for a ton of work. Though, you may find something long term.

Be patient and persevere till you find those clients who truly value you. Giving it your best, you’d be surprised at what you’re valued.

For a detailed list, look out for my post on List of freelancing sites and writing competitions.


All the best.

Paradise Scribe


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