Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mucho Moolah: Some Creative Ways to Make Extra Money

Have you been looking for some extra ways to pad your pocket or savings (or even for fun)? I had previously written some of my ideas on how to save money to start your nest egg, and I thought it would be good to flip the coin and brainstorm some ways to make some extra cash.

Some of these are "duh" obvious (but we can all always use reminders sometimes) and some may be weird or random, but when it comes to hustling, anything (legal) goes!

Here are some of the ones I have come up with. Do you have an idea on how to make extra money that I didn't think of? (Very easy to do since I am just one person.) Please share it in the comments so we can build an even greater list!

Ways to make extra money:

1. We all know the obvious option for extra hours. Whether it's some OT or maybe a second job, picking up some extra hours is a good way to finance a short term need or something you're saving for.

(Side note, if you are looking for maybe some at home options for extra work, I did recently find this site that focuses on work at home [WAH] opportunities that I thought was really awesome and may be looking into some options myself soon. )

2. Along the same lines as extra hours, you could also do some odd jobs to snag some dough. Mow your neighbor's lawn, help someone move, house/pet sit for someone... there  are lots of possibilities, and with a bit of thought, I bet you could come up with quite a few that you could do right away even.

3. Freelancing/Consulting. While these do technically qualify as extra hours, and maybe even odd jobs depending on what you do, freelancing and consulting are more about taking your skills and charging for them on a regular basis with recurring clients than the typical one-off that an odd job may be. Freelancing can be as simple as dog walking for a regular client to anything as complicated/advanced as you can imagine.  What are your skills? I bet there's an opportunity for it somewhere.

4. Sell your clutter. I bet you're like me and have a bunch of random crap lying around that you don't need, or necessarily want. Get rid of it and get some money at the same time by selling it. Ebay, Craigslist, and even Amazon are your friends. (Amazon will give you account credit for what you sell to them.) There are also sometimes local places like music stores/book stores/etc. that will take certain things, so there are lots of options to be explored. Bonus: getting rid of your crap clears up space and helps cut down on mental stress.

5. Sell your creativity. Are you a crafty person with things taking over your place (either supplies or finished projects or both like me)?  You could sell your crafts through places like Etsy or other sites, through craft fairs or at conventions, etc. There's also sites like Zazzle and CafePress for creating things to put up for sale.

6. Donate Plasma.Some Basic research I did indicates that selling plasma averages around $25 per visit and that you can donate up to twice a week. Say what?! That's an extra $200/month right there! Bonus: You are potentially saving lives or helping research progress by donating your plasma.

7. Take surveys. I haven't participated in surveys in a long time, so I don't know what the best sites are, but there are online sites that do pay small amounts for opinions so this could be worth checking out if you have some spare time for those surveys.

8. Be a Mystery Shopper. Like many extra money opportunities, mystery shopping won't replace your full-time income, but hey, if you're going to go somewhere anyway and there's an option for doing so, might as well get paid a few dollars for your opinion of their service. Here is a site I found that could help find some mystery shopping options.

9. Paid Search Engines. Admittedly, I had heard about sites that are paid search engines, such as Bing, but always thought they were a scam and never signed up. But I had a friend confirm they are not a scam and that she had been using them for years, so I went ahead and signed up. I can't speak for any other sites that do this (if there are any) but Bing earns credits for searches that can be redeemed for various gift cards.  At 1 credit per 2 searches with a maximum per day, it can be a slow process, but it's one of those things that if you are going to be doing something anyway (in this case web search), you may as well get rewarded for it. You can sign up here. (That is a referral link, so I will get a few points for the first 5 people to use it.)

10. Speaking of gift cards, do you have any gift cards lying around that you have no use for? You can sell them at a Coinstar Kiosk. I just learned about this recently, so I don't know what the exchange percentage is, but according to their site, you can accept their offered amount or not. I know there are some sites that you can sell/exchange the cards as well, but if you were looking for a faster cash option, of course a Coinstar option will be closer.

11. Recycle. Have a bunch of recyclable things lying around? Many grocery stores have bottle redemption centers where you can return bottles and get the recycle value for it, up to a certain amount of bottles per day. And depending on the area you are in, you may also find full recycling centers that also accept the paper and cans recyclables.  It's a quick and easy way to clear some clutter from your place and make a few dollars while you're at it. Bonus: It's good for the environment.

So there are some ways to make some extra money. I hope this helps inspire some creativity in your pursuits! Remember, if you can think of additional ideas to make some side money, please share them in the comments below!

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