This post is provided by Andrea Woroch from AndreaWoroch.com.
There’s nothing more frustrating than saving every dollar possible and still coming up short on your monthly expenses or barely making a dent when paying down debt.
Despite our best efforts to live frugally, clipping coupons and brown-bagging lunch doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes the only solution is to add more income to the mix and with the recent two-percent payroll tax increase, it may not seem realistic.
Luckily, there are several easy ways to beef up your cash flow without distracting from your regular 9 to 5. Review these 10 suggestions on how to make some extra money on the side.
Making Money On the Side
1Cash in Clutter
In a recent attempt to clear out all of the stuff I accumulated since I moved from New York over five years ago, I discovered there are great options for selling your stuff beyond garage sales or Craigslist. One of my favorite sites is GiftCardGranny.com, which helps you sell your unwanted gift cards for cash.
As it turns out, the average American household has $300 in gift cards just sitting around so consider searching your sock and kitchen drawer for any unused cards. Then there’s that drawer full of old cell phones. With mobile manufacturers continually launching new models and cellular providers offering upgrades every couple of years, it’s no wonder most people have a collection of outdated phones. That’s why I was pleased to find Gazelle.com who will happily buy those from you. For more ideas on where to sell your “junk,” watch my recent segment on this topic on The Marie Osmund Show.
2Educate the World
Do algebraic equations fear your problem-solving power? Are you an expert ivory tickler? People young and old are always looking to learn something new. Consider teaching piano lessons for a few hours a week or helping someone learn a second language. Tutoring doesn’t take much time and helps strengthen skills you already have. You can post flyers around town or list your services online at a tutor referral site like TutorMatch.com.
3Help Out Others
Many daily chores that are easy for you can be a huge hassle for someone else. That’s where TaskRabbit.com comes in. The site helps you find other users who need help with simple tasks such as grocery shopping that pays a few bucks to more lucrative opportunities like event set up or even assisting in a job hunt.
Each task includes a set payment price, and most can be completed in your spare time.
4Open an Online Store
Thanks to the Internet, entrepreneurship is easier than ever. Sites like Etsy.com and even eBay let you open your own virtual storefront. Both charge a small percentage of each sale, but no membership or sign-up fees are required. Etsy tends to focus on homemade crafts and jewelry, while anything and everything can be sold on eBay.
Note from Jeff: My good buddy Steve Chou from MyWifeQuitHerJob.com has created an online course that people step by step in building their own online store. His wife was able to quit her job and together their online store produces in the six figures. If interested, check out his Profitable Online Store course here.
5Unload Your Wardrobe
A closet full of outfits that never see the sun doesn’t do anything to help your finances nor your fashion sense. You can always hang on to them in the unlikely scenario you learn to love them again, or you can consign them for cash. Clothes Mentor is a fast-growing national chain of stores that buy gently-used clothes.
If there are no locations nearby, small boutiques often accept on-trend fashions or you can try RecycleYourFashions.com. The popular online consigner provides a shipping label, so there’s no added cost to you for sending in your clothes.
6Rent Your Car
Look at your lazy car out there in the parking lot. It’s just sitting around while you slave away in an office for eight hours to accommodate its endless demands for gas. Turn the tables and use GetAround.com to put your car to work. The site connects you with locals looking to rent a car by the hour and includes insurance.
If the thought of renting your car to complete strangers makes you uneasy, start by renting out your parking spot on ParkAtMyHouse.com instead.
7Use Underutilized Skills
Everyone has a talent they rarely get an opportunity to use. Whether you’re a master of Web design or you fancy yourself a wordsmith, Elance.com puts you in contact with people who will pay for your superb skills. To date, over $710 million has been paid to freelancers featured on the site.
8Rent a Room
If you’re anything like me, you’ll save this one as a last resort. However, if you’re living in a house or apartment with empty bedrooms, renting them out is one of the easiest ways to pick up a big chunk of change. Imagine how much extra money you’d have if you cut your living expenses in half. You don’t need to commit to a regular tenant either. Sometimes renting out a room during a popular holiday can bring you some much needed cash.
I know a couple who live in a popular part of downtown Manhattan. Every holiday season they move in with friends for two weeks in turn for earning a few months rent from travelers looking to experience the Christmas wonder of NYC. Sites like VBRO.com, makes it easy to list and rent out your property to potential guests.
Alternatively, you can make money by leasing idle work space should you own or rent your own office through ShareDesk.net
9Finding Your Focus
10Be a Referee
You might have to take a class for certification, but working as a youth-sports referee is an easy way to get paid in your free time. It’s a part-time gig best suited for those with patience, as you’re bound to encounter the occasional screaming soccer parent. On top of the cash, it’s an easy way to get exercise and soak up some sun after work or on the weekends.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert and regularly contributes to news topics about consumer and retail trends. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kipliner’s Personal Finance and has been featured on national TV shows like Today Show, Dr. OZ and CNN. Follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice or visit www.AndreaWoroch.com for more information.