Whether saving for vacation or paying unexpected medical bills, many people come across a time when they could use some extra money. However, career or family obligations make it hard for some people to take on a part-time job. Thankfully there are ways to make extra money without the time and commitment an additional job can demand. In fact, you may already have the means and knowledge to make extra cash and not realize it.
For whatever reason you need additional funds, these four examples could help you choose a path to reach your goal:
1. Garage sale
Garage sales can be a great way to turn your clutter into cash. Here are some tips to help make your sales event a money-making success:
- Get the word out - Flyers and yard signs are simple and effective ways to promote your upcoming garage sale. Email lists and social media can also help bring in additional shoppers but you should be mindful of targeting your local customer base first. If you have specific items to sell, such as gardening tools or furniture, it may be wise to place flyers around nearby retail stores that sell those items where permitted. However you choose to advertise, make sure your signage is easily legible and provides the date, time and location of your sale.
- Be prepared - Some things may be unpredictable, but you can plan ahead for potential problems. For example, double check that you have plenty of coins and small bills for change. Some customers may also want shopping bags for their goods. Do some scavenging around the house to repurpose any plastic bags lying around. If you are selling heavy or large items, be sure you have the manpower to get those items in the buyer’s vehicle. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, have a plan to cover your items or move to a backup location indoors.
- Don't price your items - To keep your customers with an open mind, don’t label your items with a price; let them ask you or give you an offer. This will strike up a conversation about the price of the item and leave room for reasonable negotiation for both parties. Who knows, you may end up getting more than you would have priced for!
- Set a nice atmosphere - Studies show that music motivates buyers1, so turn on the radio and play your favorite tunes. It can get you going and ready to sell, too. You can also consider serving small snacks and water to keep people happy and staying longer. Most important - smile and be friendly!
2. Coach, tutor or teach
If you have a wealth of knowledge in sports or education, why not turn that into cash? Coaching and tutoring require free time in your schedule but the payback is much more than dollars and cents. It can give you a chance to impact the lives of children and adults using your talents and wisdom.
Many sports coaches are former athletes who still have a passion for the game. Their experience with practices and games can translate into valuable lessons and mentorship for younger athletes. If you do consider coaching, keep in mind that the money you make could depend on the sport and the length of the season.
The same principles apply to tutoring and teaching. Whether you tutor high school algebra or teach guitar lessons, your talent could help people while you also making the extra cash you need.
3. Sell your unwanted items online
In many ways, selling your items online is the garage sale of the 21st century. Some people may not want to or are unable to host a big sale at their home but still need extra cash. The internet offers a convenient platform to sell your items online at virtually any time, without having to organize a garage sale or other event.
If you aren’t the most tech-savvy person, don’t worry. E-commerce websites like eBay provide detailed instructions on how to sell items on their platform. Here are links to the seller pages of five top-ranked online marketplaces2:
- eBay seller center
- Amazon seller center
- Craigslist selling tutorial
- Bonanza selling tutorial
- eBid selling FAQ
Keep in mind that you may need to ship most of the items you sell. Be prepared to purchase all appropriate packaging materials and pay for shipping. You should factor these costs into your selling price.
4. Create goods and sell them online
The internet could also be a perfect opportunity to make money by exercising your creative talents. Etsy, for example, is similar to the to the online marketplaces listed above but is known for handmade items by independent sellers. The wide variety of crafts you can create and sell include:
- Pet bedding and accessories
You may also be responsible for shipping the items you sell here, so be aware of these costs when setting your price.
Focus on your end goal
Earning extra cash may not be easy but remember to keep your end goal in sight. When you can finally afford your new dining set or trip to Florida, you will be grateful of all the effort you put in to make it happen. You may even turn your temporary side job into a permanent paid hobby.