Are you drowning in debt, living in a money mess that’s keeping you awake at night? Whether you’re trying to figure out how to dig yourself out of a hole, scrounge up the extra cash to send your kids to college, supplement your anemic retirement fund, or make a down payment on your first home, a side hustle may be the perfect solution to make money.
We talk a lot on the FatWallet blog about ways to save money, but if you’re extreme couponing like a superstar and cutting corners everywhere, you can. You are still not making it financially, and maybe frugality is only part of the solution. Let’s explore dozens of ways to make extra money instead.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY QUICKLY & PAINLESSLY:
In a pickle and need immediate cash? We’ve all been in a place of being hard to make quick cash at some points in our lives, although some are more desperate than others, I’m sure. But I saw a post a while ago on one of my favorite personal finance blogs.
What? She couldn’t come up with any other better, less risky ideas. Sure, I know that sometimes desperate means call for desperate measures. Still, there are many ways to make money quickly that don’t require anyone to resort to prostitution or hit up a payday loan store (which is almost as scary!)
Here are some painless ways to put more cash in your pocket almost immediately:
- If you got a large tax refund last year, adjust your tax withholding to give you more monthly money.
- If you have a job, ask if there are any opportunities to work extra hours.
- Become a temp, wait tables, mystery shopper, or something.
- Return anything you have purchased that you haven’t used yet for a refund.
- Ask anyone who owes you money to pay up.
- Cash-out available balances on your accounts on sites like PayPal, credit cards, etc.
DUMP YOUR STASH TO MAKE SOME CASH:
If you’re still desperate, there are plenty more options! What do you have that you can sell for some quick money?
- Cash in gold and silver broken chains, bracelets, orphaned earrings, and outdated jewelry at a reputable jewelry shop.
- Sell your book, movie, and music collections.
- Sell or trade in any gift cards you have.
- Sell your unneeded clothing, toys, music instruments, electronics, etc., on Craigslist, eBay, or consignment at a yard sale.
- Super desperate for immediate cash? Sell plasma, breast milk, sperm, or eggs.
IDEAS TO START A PROFITABLE SIDE HUSTLE
If your day job isn’t cutting, start a side business to ward off the no-money monster! It’s not as hard to figure out how to earn an extra $500, $1,000, or $5,000 per month. I made enough extra monthly to stay home with my kids for 13 years, leveraging my skills, knowledge, and available resources. Here’s how you can too…
IMPORTANT: Check with authorities to ensure you have the appropriate licenses, insurance, and whatnot before starting any business. You don’t want to end up with legal things to worry about on top of money!
MAKE A LIST OF THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND RESOURCES YOU ALREADY HAVE.
Do you have a car?
- Turn your car into a moving billboard.
- Run errands/ or make deliveries for people, restaurants, newspapers, and businesses
- Start a shuttle service, take neighborhood kids to school and pick them up from practices, drive older people to appointments and shopping, etc.
- Rent out your truck/van
- Haul junk, scrap, recycling, donations, yard waste, or anything else you can think of
- Be a tour guide if you live in a touristy area.
- Offer to drive people to the airport in their car and return home.
- Offer to drive people’s cars to their summer/winter homes.
Do you have a home?
- Rent out storage space.
- Get a roommate or border.
- Rent large rooms as a meeting space.
- Turn your home into a bed and breakfast.
- Rent a room for travelers or students.
Do you have some land?
- Rent it out for garden space to apartment dwellers.
- Grow your fruits and veggies and set up a produce stand or table at a farmer’s market.
- Grow perennials (or Christmas trees-my grandparents did this!)
- Let people camp, hunt, or fish on your property for a fee.
- Lease out your land to the DNR for hunting
Start with what you have and know and think about the various ways you can use it to make money by providing a service or a product to a market that is looking for it. What do people frequently ask you for advice or help with?
“I have a nail gun, and I’m not afraid to use it!”
Equipment can be the most expensive part of a small business start-up. If you have equipment that you already own, it’s a great starting point for brainstorming a possible money-making opportunity.
- Computer: virtual assistant, writer, web designer, transcriptionist, software engineer, web or app developer, graphic design, computer repair, home or small business network set-up
- Camera/Video Camera: sell your photos or products you make from your photos, start a video blog, photograph events, people, pets, homes, businesses, and cars; offer videography services, or video editing
- Power Washer: clean siding, driveways, sidewalks, wash cars, playgrounds
- Sewing Machine: mending, tailoring, home decorating, embroidery, making costumes for dance & theatre productions, quilting, upholstery
- Washer & Dryer: laundry services for small businesses and busy people
- Stove/Oven: catering, baking, cake decorating, meal preparation, personal chef
- Lawn Mower: mowing and trimming for companies, municipalities, and individuals
- Plow: snow removal for people, businesses, and municipalities
ARE YOU AN EXPERT, GURU, OR TALENTED AT SOMETHING?
The Obvious: Doing whatever you’re good at to earn money
The Not-So-Obvious: Teaching others how to do what you’re good at! (Community colleges, online colleges, and community centers often seek teaching experts.)
Put your thinking caps on and join me in a brain – dump of possibilities here!
- Musician: teaching; performing; writing and selling your music; recording advertising jingles; use your musician network of friends to help organize performers for others: weddings, corporate events, local bars & night clubs, parties
- Pets: walking; grooming; pet sitting; training; pet-proofing homes; pooper scooper; pet photography; baking homemade or organic pet treats; making pet outfits; taking people’s pets to the vet, groomers, dog parks; teach your pet tricks and come up with a pet performance act; clean aquariums; start a doggie daycare; let pets out/feed them while owners are away/at work
- Parent/Teacher: babysitting or being a nanny; tutoring; coaching sports; starting a preschool in your home; offering after-school care; hosting kids workshops for crafts, lego, Cooking, etc.; organizing birthday parties; selling teaching resources; becoming a parenting coach teaching parents how to discipline their kids positively, organize their household
- Crafts: making cards, scrapbooks, collages, etc.; all kinds of arts and crafts, such as jewelry, homemade soaps, pottery, paper crafts, book sculptures, cards, scrapbooks, collages, clothing, etc. can be sold on sites like Etsy & Crobbies
- Tree Hugger: Organize or lead tours for hikers, campers, paddlers, bicyclists, hunters, people who love to fish, people who love to photograph the outdoors
- Green Thumb offer to make yard clean-up, mowing, trim bushes, spread bark mulch, plant flowers, water plants for people on vacation, weed flower beds, landscape design, flower pot arrangements, floral arrangements
- Honey-Do: handyman, putting in mailboxes, sealing driveways, putting up decks, and fences, assembling box furniture, putting up shelves, closet organizers, finishing basements, furniture repair or refinishing, painting, home staging, picking colors, mixing fabrics, accessorizing, party decorating, wedding decorating, restaurant and business interior design, furniture arranging, consulting with home sellers
- Healthy Cooking: food & nutrition specialist, organic Cooking, raw foods, healthy meal planning and preparation
- Fitness Expert: personal trainer, coach, referee
- Makeup & Fashion: hairdresser, the personal shopper, help people clean out their closets & shop for clothing/accessories, makeup tips, work with photographers for senior photos, help women and men find their style
- Foreign language: teaching, tutoring, translating
- Web Savvy: blogging, building and flipping websites, domain/hosting reselling, getting paid to be a brand ambassador in social media, promoting referral programs and affiliate programs, writing/video product reviews, AdSense, online marketing consultant, website development
- Good with Numbers: bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services helping people with budgeting, paying off debt, saving for goals
- Reseller: shop at auctions, your basement, flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales for collectibles, tools, etc. Buy low and sell high on Craigslist, eBay, and yard sales.
Start your direct sales or network marketing business; think Mary Kay-Arbonne-Pampered Chef-Tupperware, a type of business here. Check out DSA.org to ensure it’s not a home business scam before joining a company and, if possible, interview your potential up-line to ensure you are comfortable. You will get the leadership support you need to be successful.