Many recent high school and college graduates have found that landing that all-important first job is more challenging than anticipated. At the same time, many middle-aged workers have found themselves displaced from their old jobs and looking for a way to earn a living.
No matter which end of the spectrum you fall into, there are some creative ways to make extra money and ease the financial burden. The new freelance and sharing economy means more and more people are creating their own jobs instead of waiting for employers to contact them. Whether you are employed full-time and looking for extra income or trying to make your own way in the world, here are several ideas for raising some quick cash.
Put Your Handyman Skills to Work
If you are good at woodworking and household repairs, you can turn those skills into cash. Many homeowners need things done around the house but lack the skills (or the time) to take care of them.
You can advertise your services online, in the local newspaper, or just by word of mouth. Let the folks at work, church, and other places know you are available – you may be surprised by the response.
Mow Your Neighbor’s Lawn
Lots of people pay expensive lawn services to keep their front yards looking clean and green. If you have a good lawn mower and some extra time, reach out to those neighbors and offer to do the job for less.
Your neighbors will be thrilled to cut the monthly cost of lawn maintenance, and you will be happy with the extra cash. If you have a suitable snow blower or tractor, you can make even more by removing snow when winter rolls around.
Take Surveys For Cash and Gift Cards
Companies are willing to pay for ordinary consumers’ opinions, which is good news for men and women who want to earn some extra cash. You can make a few bucks here and there taking online surveys, and many companies even let you answer surveys for gift cards, which are nearly as good as cash.
Signing up with a legitimate firm will maximize your chances of getting the most lucrative survey opportunities. Be sure to check out the reputation of the companies you plan to work for, and never pay a fee to get started. Legitimate survey sites are paid by the companies who hire them, not by their survey takers and focus group participants.
Help Others Sell Their Stuff
Chances are you know someone who has stuff to sell but does not have the time or desire to set up eBay auctions or post their goods on Craigslist. You may be able to make a few bucks by selling that stuff on commission.
If you sell $300 worth of stuff and take a 10% commission on the transaction, you make a quick $30. If you aim higher and help a friend or colleague sell a $3,000 car, you could net a cool $300. Not bad for taking a few pictures and creating a compelling advertisement or online auction.
Teach What You Know
Everyone has a special skill, and you can turn what you know into cash by giving lessons. From piano playing to French, there are plenty of ways to teach others, have a great time and make some extra money.
If you want to work as a formal tutor, you can check with local high schools and colleges. If you want to work more casually, placing an ad on a classified site or in the local newspaper will help would-be students find you.
Become a Driver
Services like Uber and Lyft allow ordinary people to become professional drivers. All you need is a smartphone, the Uber or Lyft app, some extra time, and the desire to help others get where they need to go.
The amount you can make is entirely up to you. If you want to drive on a full-time basis, you could make enough to replace your day job. If you just want to drive once in a while, you can still make some spending cash.
Sell Your Scrap Jewelry
The price of gold may have come down from its all-time highs, but that does not mean your old jewelry is now worthless. You can still fetch a pretty penny by selling your old unwanted and scrap jewelry.
You will want to shop around for the best price and keep a close eye on the price of gold. If you see the gold price starting to spike, getting your genuine gold jewelry to the local buyer quickly could put even more money in your pocket.
Become a Blogger
This suggestion is slightly different since it’s not an endeavor that pays out immediately. However, if you are looking to earn some cash over the long run, blogging might be for you. Starting a blog is hard work and can take several months to a year or more to realize a profit, but if you’re passionate about writing and have a topic or subject you adore, the possibilities are limitless.
Earning through blogging can be accomplished by selling your own services or products, affiliate marketing, advertising, or all three. There are plenty of free resources to help you get started as a blogger. Many people earn a full-time living with this method, so it’s worth a shot.
Consign Your Old Stuff
When most people think of consignment shops, they picture stores full of gently-used designer clothing. While that is part of the consignment picture, it is not the only way to profit from your old stuff.
Feel free to pack up your old clothes and send them off to a consignment store, but don’t overlook your used furniture and appliances. If you want an excuse to update your home, just check out the local consignment furniture store to sell your old couch and bedroom set.
Be a Dog Walker
Dog walkers are not just found in big cities. There are plenty of small-town and rural residents who would love someone to walk their dogs and take care of their daily needs.
Senior citizens are particularly likely to need your dog walking services, as are young professionals who may work long hours and need someone to let the dog out a few times a day.
Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards
If you are abstaining from coffee, chances are you will never use that old Starbucks gift card. Turn it into cash by selling it on a gift card exchange or posting it for sale on a site like eBay or Craigslist.
Depending on the merchant’s popularity and the demand for the card, you can expect to get anywhere from 85% to 95% of face value. You can use the extra cash to treat yourself or trade for a gift card you will actually use.
It has never been more critical to bring in extra cash whenever and wherever you can. Whether you are employed full-time and looking for extra income or just getting started in your career and struggling to make ends meet, the ideas outlined above can make all the difference and help you live a more financially secure lifestyle.