Given the current economic downturn we could all use a little more cash these days. Here are 12 ways you might be able to earn some extra money and pad your savings.
1. Have a Garage Sale – Sure, people are buying less these days, but more and more people are looking for great deals. As people’s incomes dwindle folks are turning to discount stores, consignment shops, and garage sales to find items they need at lower prices. Having a garage sale is a great way to sell all those items that are gathering dust in your home and earn some extra money.
2. Sell Items on eBay – If you don’t have enough items to justify a garage sale, eBay is a great place to sell one-off items that you no longer use. A lot of folks also make money doing something known as eBay arbitrage where they scour for deals on popular products, buy them, and turn around and sell those products on eBay for a profit. For example, Office Deport may offer an unbelievable deal on a popular brand of laptop computer and limit it to only 5 per store. A person gets up early and purchases the computer and then turns around and sells it on eBay. You can find these types of opportunities on Slickdeals and FatWallet. I also knew one lady who went to garage sales and thrift stores looking for brand name clothes to re-sell on eBay for a decent profit.
3. Put clothes on consignment – During recessions people tend to shop more at consignment stores to save money on clothing. If you have a closet filled with clothes you haven’t worn in over or two years you might gather them up and take them down to the nearest consignment store.
4. Babysit – Babysitting is a great way to make a few extra bucks. You can post fliers at your local church, or throughout your neighborhood. There are also some websites out there where you can list home services.
5. Rent out a Room – If you have an extra room in your home consider renting it out to make a little extra cash. With foreclosures on the rise, more and more people will be looking for places to rent.
6. Bake/Craft Sales – Do you make a wonderful Zucchini bread, or beautiful bead necklaces. You might consider selling your bake goods at a local farmers market. For craft items you could sell them at local arts & crafts fairs, on eBay, or sites like etsy.com.
7. Medical research – More than a few people have made some extra money by participating in clinical trials and medical research. Some medical research is pretty harmless such as answering questions in an MRI machine. Heres an account from GetRichSlowly.
8. Marketing Focus Groups – For a while I was making several hundred dollars a year participating in marketing focus groups. I’m not sure how my name got on the call sheet of a local marketing research firm but it was wonderful getting paid $70-$100 an hour just to answer questions about products and services. You might look-up local marketing research firms in your area and call them to see if you can be placed on their calling list for upcoming focus groups. The way it works is when they have an upcoming focus group they will call people on their list to find people who qualify based on certain characteristics such as age, sex, products used in the past year, etc.
9. A part-time Job – Consider taking on a part-time job. Some common part-time jobs include catering staff, ushers at sports events, and other types of temp and seasonal work.
10. Start a Blog or Niche Site – Do you have a hobby or subject you are passionately interested in. You might consider starting a blog or niche website. A word of caution, everyone thinks they are going to make a ton of money doing this and it is very rarely the case. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and time before a site starts to cover the full cost of your time. But if you are passionate about a subject, and are already spending time on it, why not earn a little extra money running a blog about it and connecting with others who share the same passion.
11. Offer Your Services on Craigslist – Craigslist has several categories where you can offer up your services. Common ones include domestic service, man with a van, catering and other types of service related work.
12. Bank Promos – Be on the lookout for bank promo offers as they can be a great way to earn a couple hundred bucks per year. Just last week I was offered $100 to open a checking account with Washington Mutual. You can often find these on SlickDeals and FatWallet. You could also setup a Google Alert for “Bank Promo” or other related keywords.
Have I left anything out? Curious to hear what others have done to make a little extra cash.