to Make Extra Money
unemployment rates high and regular jobs hard to find right
now, the ideas below can bring in some extra cash, whether
you are unemployed or working and just trying to build up
an extra savings cushion.
1. Make ad
supported web sites or blogs. Here is my personal favorite:
make web sites on your favorite topics and put ads or affiliate
links on your sites for some extra cash. A great way to
get started is to use Google's
blogger site, and then put their Adsense ads on your
blog to generate income.
Here is an interesting link on the topic from USAToday:
AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites.
2. Try freelance article writing. If
you aren't comfortable making your own blog, there are existing
web sites where you can make money
by writing articles that go on established sites. Some
of the sites that operate this way are Associated Content,
Hubpages and Squidoo. The advantage to putting pages on
these sites is that it may be easier to get your pages to
rank on an established domain as opposed to starting a new
site from scratch, and you personally don't have to know
any of the technology behind setting up a blog or site.
The downside is that you are writing content that is given
over to someone else, and in the long run you probably won't
make nearly as much money as you could as with a site of
your own. Plus with your own site you have the option of
selling the entire site someday.
24th, 2011: Google's last algorithm update dramatically
lowered the overall rankings of sites like Associated Content,
Hubpages, and Squidoo. Unless things change again in the
future, making your own sites might be a better way to control
your own online destiny. When you put your content on sites
like these, you can't control the other content on the site.
Google is now
taking a closer look at sites as a whole instead of just
individual pages. Writing articles for content sites like
these used to be a way to make a living for many writers,
but going forward I'd would say it is safer in the long
run to put your content on sites where you have 100% control
of all of the pages in the site. Otherwise, if the other
writers are churning out low quality pages, your income
might suffer even if your pages are well written and researched.
out your closets. Have a garage
sale, take your goods to a consignment store or sell
your unwanted goods online. You know the old saying,
one man's trash is another man's treasure. If you can't
find a buyer for your unneeded goods, at least you can donate
them to a local charity like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Then you aren't cluttering up you house with stuff you don't
use and you might be helping out someone else who needs
what you are not using. Depending on your income, you may
be able to take a tax deduction at tax time for the fair
market value of the goods.
organizers often recommend giving away any clothes
you have not worn in over a year.
If you are a college
student, you can sell your used text books online. Often you
can get a better deal than at the campus book store where
they have some what of a captive market.
4. Resell items.
Go to other people's garage sales, look for bargains and
then resell the items online through places like eBay. We
have a friend that makes a living just from reselling a certain
type of exercise equipment on eBay. Another person that was
featured in our local paper made a living reselling wedding
helps to specialize in one area so you get to know the market
very well and get a good feel for what will sell online and
for how much.
can easily check the market prices for used books
online at Amazon's Marketplace.
5. Go to library
book sales, especially on the last day when they are trying
to get rid of the books. You can often get a whole bag of
books for $1 or $2. Then resell the books online through Amazon
Marketplace or eBay. The downside with this approach is that
in order to turn a tidy profit you have to have a good idea
in advance of what types of books sell online and for how
much. Plus, library sales often attract many used booksellers
so the competition for the best books is often steep. You
can get an edge by becoming a library member, or better yet
a volunteer, and possibly getting a chance to purchase books
before they go on sale to the general public.
6. Sell handmade
items. If you have a hobby such as sewing or woodworking,
instead of just making items for yourself and your friends,
make items to sell either at craft fairs, consignment shops
or online. One of my friends is an artist and sells her oil
paintings, so it gives her both a relaxing hobby and a second
income. Her art supplies are all tax deductible because they
are business expenses. To sell your items online, check out
7. Offer your services to others. Even if you don't
have a craft type hobby, if you have a talent you can often
do services for others who either don't have the skill or
the time to do chores themselves. Some of my friends who are
otherwise stay at home moms do services such as pet care,
child care, sewing and typing for some extra money.
Tip: If you are self employed, health insurance in
the U.S. may be a tax deductible business expense, offsetting
any business income. This means that if you have regular
job and pay $300 in health insurance premiums, and a small
business on the side, you may well be able to deduct an
extra $3,600 a year from your taxes. Check with your accountant
to see if this deduction could apply to your home business.
8. Turn Your Hobby Into a Business. Turning
any hobby into a business can often "earn" extra
money just from tax savings. This is due to the many tax deductions
available to small business owners. Possible deductions for
your home business may include deductions for a retirement
plan, health and dental insurance. phone expenses, Internet
connection costs, equipment such as phones and PCs, a home
office, travel expenses and much more. The list is really
quite extensive. For more information see the IRS
Tax Guide for Small Businesses.
9. Sign up for
consumer focus groups. One of our friends makes an extra
few hundred dollars a month just by going to consumer focus
groups. My husband made $100 a couple of years back on his
lunch hour just for watching two commercials for a major software
company and telling the marketing people which commercial
he liked better.
My husband and I are both on the mailing list for Blarry
House research. They email or call me whenever they have
a focus group might be a good fit for one of us. Some of the
offers are not worth the time, but other's are pretty lucrative
for just an hour or two's worth of work.
or Sell Your Gift Cards. Recent
news reports claim that there are billions of dollars of unused
gift cards going to waste. This is a boon for retailers and
a financial set back for millions of U.S. households. So dig
up those old gift cards and either use them or sell them on
eBay. I had a $50 Linens N Things Card I could not use because
they closed their only store in my area, and their online
site no longer accepted their own gift cards. Initially I
was going to throw the card away but then I thought that maybe
I could find a place to sell it online. I ended up putting
it up for auction on eBay where to my amazement it sold for
$45 (less listing and selling fees).
out a room to a traveler using airbnb.com.
12. Get cash back on all your online purchases through affiliate portals like Discover Deals (if you have a Discover card), eBates or Giving Assistant. My favorite cash back portal these days is Giving Assistant as money earned is deposited in a debit card account within a few days, not weeks like some of the other portals.