You’ve already cut your spending by bringing your lunch and your coffee from home. You only eat out once every two weeks and reduced your cell phone plan to the bare minimum. Maybe you’ve even started line-drying your clothes and buying generic groceries. If you still can’t make ends meet, or you want a little extra to line your pockets, try one of these suggestions.
Put Your Hidden Talent to Use
Are your friends always complimenting you on the handmade jewelry you craft? Stop wearing it and start selling it. Try creating an online store at etsy.com. The site provides an avenue for talented artisans to sell their handmade goods. Before setting up your shop, make sure you have any necessary licenses and permits for operating a home-based business, and research your competition. You want to make sure your pricing appeals to the market.
Writers, photographers, web programmers and other professionals may be able to earn a bit more money by offering their services on a freelance or contract basis. Sites like elance.com, odesk.com, and guru.com are great starting points for many freelancers.
Start Your Own Business
If you don’t have a hobby or skill you can use to earn extra cash, look at other businesses you can start. If you have some extra time, run errands for busy professionals in your area. It helps if you can combine the services you offer with errands you already do on a regular basis, such as picking up groceries and dry-cleaning. Love to shop? Try creating a personal shopper service. If you’re good with technology or home theater equipment, start a business installing and setting up systems.
When the paycheck from your day job isn’t cutting it, a part-time gig can bolster your earnings. Just one or two shifts a week waiting tables or bartending can bring in a few hundred dollars a month, and give you a little more breathing room.
Sell Your Stuff
Most of us have great items we’re no longer using. Gather those outgrown children’s clothes, TVs you’ve upgraded, collectables you don’t have the space for, and anything you bought, regretted, and forgot to return. Depending on what you’re selling, you could make an extra $50 to $500 dollars or more. Just remember: if it’s torn, stained, completely outdated, or broken, throw it away. No one wants your old gym shorts or your manual for Windows 95.
Sell Your Space
Got an extra room in your house or apartment? Getting a renter or a roommate not only lowers your monthly housing expenses, it can reduce your utilities too. Make sure you research zoning and tenant agreements if you own your home, and any tax laws that apply to the income generated by the rent.