These aren’t exactly get rich quick best practices, but they are ways to earn extra money. Maybe you haven’t thought of all of these before, or maybe you have and just don’t know where to start. Read on to find my favorite ways to earn extra cash. Also, when you make a few small changes to your lifestyle, you’ll start finding lots of extra money in your budget.
1. Sell your stuff. Dust off that unused elliptical or musical instrument, take pictures, and post it on Craigslist or some local Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade groups. Do a little research, especially with collectibles and jewelry if you decide to sell these types of items. Sometimes eBay is better for certain things. GoldStash.com is a great place to go for selling gold and silver jewelry that is old and not in fashion anymore. You can do a huge house clean out and have a garage sale. Make sure to put signs up on your main streets and advertise on Craigslist and Facebook a day or two before.
2. Rent out your spare room. If you’ve never had a roommate or have had a bad experience, this might be a little scary for you. Get over it! If you have a spare room that doesn’t already have a human living or working in it more than a few times a week, clean it out and put up the For Rent sign. I admit, this is a big step and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Finding the right person to live in your home is tricky business, but it doesn’t have to be a long commitment. Many people will only rent a room for 6 months at a time, so start with that. Know what kind of person you’re looking for and advertise fairly. If you live near a college, put posters around the campus. Always meet your intended roommate in person before making any decisions or exchanging any funds. Put that in your ad. There are lots of scammers out there who have an uncle they want to check out the place, or who just can’t make it out because they live in the UK but really want to put down a deposit. Don’t do it! Always go with your gut feeling – if there is something off with this person, don’t make any deals.
3. Get to work! If your company allows it, take on more overtime or get a second job. There are so many retail stores hiring right now for the seasonal rush. If you get a job at a store you shop at a lot, you might get a nice discount on top of the extra cash. If you can’t do either of these, get creative. Figure out what your talents are and use them to your advantage. Maybe you’re really good at crafts or sewing – make some quilts or fun Christmas ornaments and start selling them. Cleaning houses, tutoring (or virtual tutoring), babysitting and pet sitting are great ways to earn extra money, too.
4. Eat real food at home. Grabbing something from the value menu or heating up that microwave dinner might seem quick and cheap, but it actually costs more than real food. And it’s gross. Don’t just go wandering around the grocery store grabbing random produce and meat. Check out what’s in season, what’s on sale, and create a meal plan.
Last night I made chorizo and rice stuffed acorn squash with a side salad that fed two adults for dinner and lunch the next day and I have two more servings we’ll eat on leftover night. Squash is in season and cheap right now ($0.88) and so is yellow onion and green bell pepper. The chorizo was pretty cheap also, from the butcher section. I spent less than $10 on three meals for two adults! And it’s healthy, real food.
5. And Brown Bag the leftovers to work. I get really excited about leftovers. REALLY REALLY excited. If I make something amazing one night, I know it’s going to be even better the next day. When good food sits in a container overnight absorbing the awesome flavors even longer, it’s just that much better. Example: homemade ragu alla bolognese. Pure heaven. I think I just drooled a little.
6. Learn to DIY. Before you run out to the Home Depot, I’m not just talking about DIY projects around the house. Ladies, this is mostly for you. Do you pamper yourself with mani/pedi trips or facials? Maybe get your eyebrows waxed while at the spa? Learn to make those cute nail designs yourself. Learning to shape your own eyebrows isn’t really that difficult either. And at-home facials can actually be relaxing. There also seem to be a growing number of men that cut their own hair. If you’re comfortable with it, go for it!
There are so many other ways, but these are all my own tried and true ways to make and save extra money. What have you found that works best for you?