You've thought about making extra money, but you don't know where to begin. You're trying to pay down your debt or build your Emergency Fund, and you've cut expenses as far as you can. Or you're between jobs and need more moolah to see you through. Where are you going to get more money to reach those goals?
Here are some ideas to help get you started.
First, if you have a job, look into maximizing your current income.
#1 Ask for a raise. There's no harm in asking. The worst they can do is say No. But you never know until you try, right? This is, by far, one of the single best ways of making extra money, because it usually doesn't require anything more than what you're already doing!
Before approaching your employer about a raise, do your homework. Check out free websites like PayScale.com and find out what is a typical wage for your job title or description.
Then, list the attributes and strengths you bring to the table -- that benefit your employer -- to show your value to the company. Are you highly productive? Do you have a low-error rate? Be honest in your self-evaluation. Maybe you just get the job done, or tend to make mistakes that then have to be fixed. What about your attendance record on the job? Have you proven yourself reliable? Think carefully about these things. If you don't add value to your job/employer, then a raise probably is not warranted. Listing your strengths on the job will help show you just how much you have to offer.
Once you've communicated these things (your research on pay scales and your attributes), ask for what you think is fair, given your findings. Your employer may just meet it, as long as the company's finances can support it.
If the answer is 'No', ask for a time to discuss the subject again, and be sure to follow through with updated information.
#2 If there's no room for a
raise, ask what opportunities there are for advancement. Consider any opportunities for making extra money seriously. Be sure it's a good fit.
#3 Negotiate other rewards, such as company benefits or even perks. Will they
add dental insurance to your plan?
Can you get a company cell phone or car? What kinds of expense reimbursements do
they offer? Be sure to ask about performance bonuses.
#4 Finally, if your current employment is proving to be a dead-end, it may be time to start looking for a new job.
It's very likely
that you've accumulated a lot more stuff than you actually need, so selling
some things can help you to de-clutter your life, in addition to making some extra cash.
garage sale. These can take a bit of work to organize
and run, but if you have a lot of saleable goods, you could potentially
make several hundred dollars!
Sell online. This often requires shipping items to the buyer, but makes it much easier to sell fewer items than a garage sale would be. All you do is sign up for an account with eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon.com, and you'll be walked through the process. You will need access to a digital camera --- if you don't have one, one of your friends likely does. Nobody wants to buy anything online when they have no idea what it looks like!
You might be surprised by what you can sell online. You can sell DVDs, video games, board games, books, toys, ornaments, handbags, jewelry, musical instruments, camping equipment...whatever you bought to suit your fancy in the past will probably suit someone else's fancy now. I know a woman who bought second-hand clothes from a thrift store and sold them online for a nice little profit. She was able to re-roof her house with the proceeds she made from her little online venture!
have to admit, this is one area of making extra money that I have intended to try for some time now, but
have never stepped up and done it. Now
that I've said it, I'm hoping I'll feel too ashamed not to give it a try!
Sell your services. Hire yourself out to babysit, mow lawns, paint walls, or dog-sit. Are you good at something? Become a consultant, a tutor, or teach lessons. Check for ways to teach workshops or seminars in your local community. You can start by contacting Parks & Recreation in your area, Home Depot or a craft store, or a local community college.
Turn your hobby into a business. You've been making wooden ornaments for years, and now they're sitting in boxes in your garage. Sell them at a local bazaar or online. Perhaps there's a craft broker in your community, where you can rent a bit of space to sell your goods. There are also online craft brokers willing to show your wares. Check them out. Make a name for yourself. Take orders for custom projects. Use what you love to do to make some extra cash.
Some hobbies with profit potential include:
Making jewelry or ornaments
Sketching or watercolors
Making baskets, cutting-boards, or even musical instruments
Fixing up old furniture and fixtures
...to name just a few.
There are many other ways of bringing in bit of extra cash. The possibilities are almost endless. Maybe some of these ideas will hit home, or maybe they'll spur an idea of your own.
Seasonal or Temp Jobs. Apply for a temping service, or find seasonal jobs to make extra money. UPS hires extra drivers and helpers in November and December during their busiest time of year. Summer camps always need kitchen help or counselors. Spring is a big time for landscape companies, and Fall is big for handy-man work. Temping agencies will find you work in your strong areas, especially if you're better at a desk job than you are at cleaning out gutters or driving trucks. Receptionists, bookkeepers, file clerks, computer techs, medical staff and the like can be kept quite busy through temp work if they want to. There are also some temp agencies that offer jobs such as custodial work and maintenance. If you're a good worker, you'll be asked back. The nice thing about temping is that you can choose whether or not to take a temporary job if the schedule doesn't work (i.e. you need to be home with the kids during the summer). Seasonal and temp jobs don't require a long commitment, but can really help you reach your goals, and sometimes rather quickly!
Computer support. If you're really good with computers, you can make extra cash helping people who are not tech-savvy.
Deliver pizzas. The hours can be flexible, and you make some nice tips.
Sell your hair to be made into wigs and hair-pieces for extra money. Try TheHairTrader.com
Take surveys. Sites like SurveySavvy will pay you (in cash or gift-cards) to participate in their surveys.
Build your own website. You can take something that you really dig and write about it for others, and make some money doing it! How cool is that!
These are just a few ways of making extra money to help you reach your financial goals. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you brainstorm some of your own money-making ideas.
Whatever endeavors you take on to make extra money, put some gusto into it, see it through, and remember that the extra work and time is only temporary, but the reward is worth it! Just be sure that the extra cash you make goes where it was intended. Pay off those debts, build that emergency fund, save for that goal.
You're on your way!