If cash is getting a little scarce around your household and you’ve cut back as many expenses as you possibly can, it’s time to look at the other side of the equation – the income side. There are many ways you can earn some extra cash and below I’ve listed thirteen that range from really quick and easy with no headaches to a bit more cumbersome. There’s no order to the list other than that’s how they came out of my brain.
1. Rent out a room. If you have a spare bedroom in your home, you might consider renting it out to someone. While this may not qualify as a “quick” way, it’s certainly something that can really put a lot of extra cash in your pocket. The only downside of this is if you select a bad roommate, always a distinct possibility, because it could be difficult getting rid of them.
2. Rent out parking. If you live in a parking-strapped city and have a parking pad, consider renting out any “extra” spots you may have (or even your spot). You incur the headache of finding a parking spot every night but you may be richly rewarded for doing so.
3. Baby-sit. Teenagers do it, why not adults? Baby sitting is a great way to earn easy money without dealing with a lot of headache. Just brush up on your first aid skills, know your emergency contact numbers (or better yet, program them into your phone), and start offering your services to friends, neighbors, Craigslist, etc.
4. Hold a yard sale. The weather up in the Northeast may not be accommodating to this particular idea but yard sales are a great way to turn your clutter into cash. If you don’t have a lot of stuff to sell, round up your neighbors and see if you can scare up enough stuff for a community yard sale.
5. Sell high dollar items on Craigslist or eBay. If you have any valuable items, consider listing them on Craigslist or Ebay rather than going the yard sale route. Yard sale aficionados are looking for deals more than they are looking for specific items, chances are a customer won’t value items as highly as you will. By going online, you stand a better chance of finding someone who really wants what you’re selling.
6. Return stuff you bought but haven’t used. This is more of a stretch but if you have anything you bought and haven’t used and can return it, just return it! That’s immediate cash money in your pocket that you didn’t have before and it took almost no effort.
7. Participate in focus groups. I participated in a 90 minute focus group in Baltimore about windows and was paid $100 cash. Do a search for local focus groups and you might be able to score some easy cash if you qualify.
8. Take paid online surveys. There are a lot of junk survey sites out there and I’ve stayed away from most of them but my experiences with Opinion Output and Pinecone Research have always been positive.
9. Donate plasma. I’ve always heard about donating plasma but really learned more about it when I was reading Adam Shephard’s Scratch Beginnings. Donating plasma doesn’t seem like fun but it pays and you can do it twice a week. (Men can donate sperm as well, but you’ll probably have to go somewhere else for that)
10. Put advertising on your car. If you do a lot of driving, especially on highways and in very crowded areas, considering getting your car wrapped. Advertisers will pay a few hundred bucks a month to get your car draped in their logo, colors, everything. The nice thing about this is that the wrap can be removed without any damage to the car. This option may not be as easy given economic conditions but it’s certainly worth considering.
11. Tutoring. Are you particularly strong in math or verbal skills? Did you crush the SATs or the SAT IIs? Are you a maven in the sciences? Consider tutoring either online through services like Tutor.com or locally in your area. Check your local area for opportunities to educate our nation’s youth (for a modest fee of course).
12. Seasonal labor. Check out the stores at your local mall, grocery store, and even the post office to see if they have any seasonal labor opportunities. Retail sales are expected to be weaker this year but you may still be able to find some work since there should be an increase in activity, especially at the post office. (You can always get a part time job or become a temp too)
13. Start a part time business as a dog walker, errand runner, or handyman. The easiest “business” you can start is one that uses your existing skills – everyone’s capable of running errands, walking dogs, and, for some, by a handyman (or woman).
If you have any good ideas I’ve missed, as I’m certain there will be plenty, please share them in the comments! Also, if you’ve tried any of these and could share your experiences, I’m sure everyone would be very appreciative.