I was working, making decent money, but I was spending it just as fast – in fact, faster!
I was constantly searching the classifieds looking for ways to make money fast.
One way I found was really easy. The other way I found was way cooler.
The first way I found was donating plasma. At the time I didn't even know what plasma was (I was only 18), I just knew I could make $25 bucks super fast.
The problem was that it was the middle of summer and I had not drank a lot of water that particular day.
The result was me feeling very lightheaded afterwards which led me to never donating plasma ever again.
The second way was much cooler and allowed me to meet people such as Robin Williams and Alyson Hannigan. Curious how? 🙂
While living in California I found a way to be a movie and TV extra. You know…those people that are always in the background of the show.
I only got paid minimum wage, but it didn't matter. I got to be on real Hollywood sets!
I had a chance to be an extra on Boy Meets World, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Oh the good times!
Those are just a few ways that I found to make extra money. One you can probably do in your area (donate plasma). The other might be a bit more difficult if you're not living in Southern California.
I've asked Miranda to put together a list of some of the easy ways that you can make extra money pretty fast. I've also added a few of my own at the end.
But I'd like to start out by telling you about a couple that I just discovered. And let me tell you, they are pretty cool.
Ready to start making more easy money? Here you go.
I think even in the best economic times, people want to know how they can make a little extra cash. Whether you are looking to start your own business, or whether you just want some fast cash to pay down debt, or buy a little something extra, more income rarely hurts.
Earning more than you spend is about finding an active way to improve your financial situation. You can do this with a little thought and creativity. Consider what assets you have, and consider your skills. Then, get to work selling them.
Sell Yourself: Make Money from Your Body
When it comes to making fast cash, few things are as effective as selling your body. And I'm not talking about the oldest profession. There are plenty of ways to legally make money from your body. You'll get some fast cash, and, in some cases, your assets are renewable.
1. Donate Plasma (Been there, done that).
One of the easiest ways to make some cash regularly from your body is to donate plasma. Use DonatingPlasma.org to find a reputable location near you. You can receive anywhere between $20 and $35 a pint, and you can go twice in any seven day period, provided you wait at least two days in between. So, even if you only make the minimum, that's $40 a week, or $160 a month. Not bad for a little fast cash.
2. Sell Your Hair
There is actually a market for human hair. It you have long hair — especially hair that is fairly healthy — you might be able to sell it. You can expect your hair to sell for between $10 and $30 an ounce, depending on the color and quality of your hair. One of the easiest places to sell your hair is eBay, but you can also check with local wigmakers and doll makers.
3. Donate Bone Marrow
It's a little harder to find a reputable place to make a bone marrow donation, but if you can find one you can make as much $450 for two days of your time. Be prepared, though: It can be painful.
4. Donate Sperm
Men can earn money through sperm donation. However, in many cases, you have to be willing to commit to six months of specific guidelines in how you can release your sperm, you can make up to $40 a donation. $40/month for six months isn't too bad. If you don't mind making less, some centers will pay less for a sample of lower quality.
5. Donate Eggs
Women can earn money for providing their eggs. The process is more difficult than sperm donation is for men, but it can also mean more cash in your pocket. If you are willing to give up some of your eggs, you could make a decent amount of money — especially if you can show that you have high intelligence and other desirable characteristics.
6. Paid Testing
Even if you don't want to sell bits of yourself to make a quick buck, you can still use your body to earn a little money. Drug companies, cosmetic companies, and other companies pay humans to test their products. You might be paid $10 to $20 for coming in for a day, or you might be able to participate in a study that pays more for your willingness to participate over time. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable clinic before you agree.
7. Join a Focus group
In some cases, all you need is your warm body to show up for a focus group. You can earn anywhere from $10 to as much as $200 an hour to participate in a focus group. I once participated in an hour-long interview session over the phone, and was paid $150 for my time. One place to look for paid testing and focus group studies is The Paid Focus Group Network.
Sell Your Skills: Make Money from What You Know
If you are a little more patient in your efforts to make more money, you can actually sell your skills.
Many of us have things we are good at.
You might as well make money doing something you enjoy, and do well.
The bonus, when you sell your skills, is that you can actually go from making money on the side to turning your skill into a full-time moneymaker. If you want to eventually quit your day job, and start your own business, a good place to start is with your skills.
More from GFC, Below
8. Share your talents
At one time, I taught piano lessons to young kids. If you have a talent, you can teach it — and earn money. Give voice lessons, offer dance classes, or teach others to play an instrument. Teach art, or tutor drama students. You can also give other types of lessons. If you are good at fly fishing, you can give lessons, or even provide guided fishing tours of your local area. Think about a talent, skill or hobby that you have and offer to teach others for a price.
You can tutor students in a number of ways. My husband tutors college students who want to pass a specific test to allow them to take an advanced statistics course. Think about your best subject (it's even better if you have a college degree), whether it's English, Math, Science or History. If you are fluent in another language, consider that a possible skill. Then, offer your services as a tutor. If you are knowledgeable at standardized tests, you can provide your expertise in preparing others for that test.
There are a number of ways you can teach — provided you have the requisite qualifications. Be an adjunct professor, teaching one or two classes a semester at the local community college or university. Sign up to substitute-teach. I did this for a little while during college. In some states you don't even need a four-year degree to be a sub (although you are usually paid more if you have a degree). Consider, too, teaching online. My husband teaches an online course for a four-year university, even though he isn't on staff there. With the right qualifications you could also teach for online charter high schools.
Thanks to technology, there are a number of things you can do as a freelancer to make money. Writing, graphic design, ad copy, computing programming and other activities are all possibilities. Consider doing some of these things on the side, and even making it into a full-time job later.
If you know a great deal about a subject, it's possible to serve as a consultant. Green business consultants are in high demand right now. But you could also offer consulting services as a social media expert, image specialist, gardener, curriculum developer or decorator. There are a number of people who hire consultants to help them find jobs, find employees and even to help them communicate more effectively with others. If you can be considered an “expert” in your field, you might be able to consult.
If you know technology, you can hire yourself out to help others set it up. From setting up home theater systems to teaching others to use their smart phones effectively to removing malware from computers, you can sell your expertise. You can even help others sell items online. Offer to manage eBay auctions or Craigslist sales for the technologically impaired, and you can earn a commission. You can even help people update their media, digitizing images, or putting old VHS home videos on DVD.
I know three different people who provide photography services as a side job. They do portraiture for children and families, and they take pictures of weddings. You don't even have to rely on events to make money from your photos. There are stock photography sites that will allow you to sell the right to use your images. If you are talented at video, you can earn money as a videographer, or earn more to put together presentations for parties and other milestone events.
Baking, cooking and preserving food can be ways to earn some extra money — or even grow a business. Decorate cakes for weddings. Show others how to cook and freeze food for future meals (or cook it and freeze it for them). You can even make jams, jellies and applesauce, and the sell the results. Just make sure you are following all regulations when you sell food.
You can get paid to do Internet research in some cases. Various firms and companies may need help gathering information and citing resources. Or, if you are good with family history, you can do others' genealogical research, and compile the findings. There are a number of ways to provide research for those who need help, but don't know where to start.
Provide scrapbooking and digital scrapbooking services for others. You can also put together photo albums, or create presentations for those who don't have the time or ability.
18. Personal care
If it's allowed in your state or city, you can actually provide some personal care services for others. A woman in my neighborhood earns money on the side cutting, coloring and styling others' hair right in her kitchen. You can help with makeup application for proms and other big events as well.
19. Care for others
If you are compassionate and good with people, it's possible for you to care for others. You can help with adult day care, or babysit others' children. In my neighborhood, babysitting children is a very common income source (make sure you understand and comply with state laws). You can even specialize in overnight care for those who work odd shifts. You don't have to care for people, though. Pet-sitting can be a good way to earn some extra cash. You can do as little as walk dogs, or as much as provide boarding services for pets ranging from cats to lizards to hamsters.
Passive Income: Make Money with Little Active Effort
In reality, even passive income takes some time and effort to get going. However, once you have your system in place, all it takes is a little maintenance going forward. To set up passive income streams, though, you do have to be willing to put in some consistent time and effort, although the amount of time and effort diminishes the longer you continue.
20. Income investing
Build an income portfolio using bonds, dividend stocks and even P2P lending. You will have to make efforts to choose solid investments, and it might take seven to 10 years to build up a portfolio, but the time involved on a weekly basis is generally small, and, in time, you will have a portfolio that provides you with a fairly stable income stream — with little effort on your part beyond maintenance.
21. Rental property
With the right property, and a good plan, you can actually keep up with a rental with a relatively small investment of time. You can even hire a property manager to take care of most of the tasks, assuming you have enough income to afford it. A good rental property can be an excellent way to make money, if you do it right.
22. Affiliate sales/marketing
Whether you do this online, or offline, affiliate sales and marketing can be a way to make income fairly simply. You receive a portion of sales made for products online or offline. This can include scrapbooking supplies, candles, and other products, or it can include financial products, like credit card applications. You can get involved with affiliate programs online, which will give you a commissions while doing all the order fulfillment, or you can be in charge of order fulfillment (and likely make a bigger commission).
23. Web sites
It can take some time to build up a web site to the point where it has enough traffic to bring in significant advertising dollars. However, once you get the site built up, you can usually maintain it in a few hours a week, providing you with a source of mostly passive income. Another option is to buy web sites from others. In some cases, you might even be able to get a web site that has already been built up — and may even have a staff.
Earn royalties from books, music or other creative endeavors. Yes, it takes effort to put together your work, and market it. However, once you are done, the money can roll in, without much more effort on your part. Plus, in today's world, many people self-publish ebooks and allow them to just keep making money, in PDF format or even selling them in Kindle format.
25. Create a product or course
Another option is to create a valuable product or course. You can create a course to help others learn how to build food storage, or put together a system that allows others to pay down debt. It is also possible to create a premium product, such as an investing newsletter that people are willing to pay for. While the initial work will be difficult, once the course is put together, you will only have to maintain, and wait for others to pay for access to it.
More Ways to Make Extra Money?
Remember: this is only 25 ways to make extra money. There are hundreds, if not thousands of other ways not listed here.
Have you figured out a creative way to generate extra income? If so, please share in the comments below!