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52 ways to make extra money

It's easy to make a few bucks if you get creative.

By Karen Datko Sep 25, 2009 2:52AM

This guest post comes from PT at Prime Time Money.


I've written a lot lately about getting rid of debts and reducing expenses. I thought it was time I address the flip side of your finances: making more money. Thanks to suggestions by my Twitter followers, readers and other bloggers, I've been able to put together a solid list of 52 ways to make extra money. Most, if not all, can be done even with a full-time job.


I obviously haven't tried all of these methods, but when possible I've tried to link to an example of the opportunity actually making money. You should be able to find something here that fits you and your skills.

  1. Delivering pizzas (TheHappyRock). If you have a car and a decent driving record, then you qualify for this easy extra-money maker. You're likely to get some free pizzas, too.
  2. Waiting tables (Serious Eats). This is the perfect job for nights and weekends. That's when all the big tips are made anyway. Pick the nicest place in town.
  3. Bartending (The Beck Office Blog). Even better, I think, than waiting tables is tending bar at nights in a busy bar -- typically at least $1 for every drink you serve.
  4. Teaching swimming lessons. If you're a good swimmer, you might be able to pick up a weekend swim-teacher gig at your local recreation center. Keep in mind that some places may require a special certification or that you be a lifeguard.
  5. Car valet. If you hook up with a for-hire car-parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held.
  6. Create Web sites (glblguy). Businesses will pay you to take them online. 
  7. Blogging (ProBlogger). This isn't quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and a few months of solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time-consuming, but it can be done.
  8. Write an ebook (Daily Blog Tips). I hesitate to put this one in here because an ebook by itself usually doesn't make money unless you're an excellent marketer. What a great ebook can do, though, is act as a sales lead to one of your other online businesses.
  9. Design Web logos (Logos For Websites). If you're good with Photoshop and can work quickly, you could make some decent cash with this online business.
  10. Rewrite poorly written ads. Search the ad listings at eBay and Craigslist for big items like cars. E-mail the seller and offer to rewrite the ad for a 1% commission.
  11. Write reviews (Bible Money Matters). Many Web sites will pay you a little cash to write product reviews. If you're knowledgeable and can write fast, this may work for you.
  12. CashCrate. There's some money to be made with CashCrate by completing the free offers, but the real cash comes from the referral program.
  13. Freebie trading (ChristianPF). Freebie trading is a real moneymaker. But it takes a special person to master the techniques and be consistent with the process.
  14. Freelance writer. Right now Elance.com is looking for more writers. Set up an ad and start offering up your fast writing skills.
  15. Sell digital photos (Digital Photography School). Take nice pictures. Get them up on the Web at a broker or microstock site. Make some money. It's not as easy as that, but those are the basics.
  16. Sell yourself online (I Wear Your Shirt). Get creative and sell you and your time online in a fresh, new way.
  17. Sell micro ad space online (The Million Dollar Homepage). Start a Web site and sell tiny ads. Can this be duplicated? Or can you take the concept and make it fresh?
  18. Start an online store (Gather Little by Little). Setting up an online store is extremely easy with sites like Amazon, eBay and CafePress. Once you learn how to market that site, you can begin making some cash.
  19. Focus group participant (Paying Off My Future and Bargaineering). Researchers need people to help them develop their results. Become a member of a focus group in your area and get your share of their research funding. Call your local university or museum, or look in your local paper for opportunities.
  20. Sell bottled water (Neville's Financial Blog and katekashman). Buy bottled water in bulk and sell it for a dollar where there are a ton of people -- parks, festivals, concerts, etc.
  21. Sell your body (My Dollar Plan). Not talking about the oldest profession here. I'm talking about your plasma, hair, eggs and sperm.
  22. Have a car wash. Find a business that's willing to loan you its parking lot and gather up a few friends to wash some cars. Take donations or ask for very little. People usually do this to raise funds for an organization, but there's no reason you couldn't do it for the You Foundation.
  23. Cleaning houses. This is a job with flexible hours, but requires a bit of elbow grease. Some households will provide their own cleaning supplies and tools.
  24. Get a 2010 census job (ChristianPF). Work opportunities begin in the spring of 2009.
  25. Sell your baked goods. Are you skilled at a few special recipes? Contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc.
  26. Rent out your truck or van. If I had a truck and needed extra money, this is one of the ways I would do it. Nothing seems much easier to me.
  27. Drive people to the airport. Another good gig for someone with a reliable car and the ability to be on time all the time. Once you have a few happy clients and word gets out, you'll find you have to turn business away.
  28. Lawn care. I grew up doing this job on the side and loved it. But it's not just a teenager gig. Obviously better for warmer climates.
  29. Be a mystery shopper (Wise Bread). Get paid to shop and share your experience.
  30. Become a ticket broker. No special permit required. If you know sports or entertainment enough to pick the right events, and have access to purchase the tickets at face or below, then you can use a service like StubHub or Craigslist to resell the tickets for a profit. I've done this both out of necessity and just to make some extra money.
  31. Paper route. This job will likely take up only your early-morning hours. You can also search for a paper that comes out only once a week.
  32. Walk dogs. If you love animals and live in an urban area, consider this job.
  33. Pet-sitting. Take dog walking a step further and actually be paid to watch someone's pet for a few hours or days. This may just entail checking in on the pet a few times a day.
  34. Baby-sitting. If you enjoy kids and are good with them, this can be a fun and easy way to make a little cash.
  35. Tutor (Green Panda). Have a knack for a certain subject and live near a college? Consider offering up your brain power and teaching skills for some quick cash. Grade-school kids need help too, and parents pay better than college students.
  36. Play music in church or at weddings. Some churches don't have volunteers for their music. A talented pianist can make pretty good money doing this on the weekends.
  37. Teach English to adults. Go through your local schools and colleges to find classes where teachers of English are needed.
  38. Collect aluminum cans (The Simple Dollar). I collected cans in my teens and made a few extra bills for spending money. One woman saved up $73,000 collecting cans.
  39. Sign in the yard. In our neighborhood we've seen this service hired out for announcements or funny pranks. Ha!
  40. Stage homes. People are having trouble selling their homes these days and could use a second pair of eyes to stage their home for the quick sale. If you've got the designing skills, offer up your services.
  41. Sell stuff on Craigslist. Craigslist is the first place I go to sell something. It's best for items you think will appeal to everyone (therefore justifying the smaller audience) and large items that can't be shipped.
  42. Sell your stuff on eBay. EBay should be used for those items that are unique (you need a larger audience) and that are easily shipped.
  43. Sign up with Upromise (No Credit Needed). Upromise puts money in your kids' college funds while you do your normal spending.
  44. EBay arbitrage (Niche Geek). Find items that you know are selling below their full value (either online or through a deal Web site like Slickdeals), buy them and sell them on eBay for more. Once you find your product niche, you can set up a system.
  45. Resell computers (Shoe Money). This is slightly different than eBay arbitrage. Find a distributor that will sell to you at discounted prices. List these items online. Buy and ship to your heart's content. Basically, you become a reseller.
  46. Look for odd jobs on Craigslist. People in your town need your help and they will pay you for it. Seriously. The jobs are there on Craigslist.
  47. Have a garage sale. The stuff you can't sell online, you could sell from your garage on the weekends.
  48. Put stuff on consignment (eHow). This is great for clothes and other items that aren't easily sold online.
  49. Bank account-opening bonuses. Many banks will give you a cash bonus to open an account with them. I'd start with a bank that will pay you higher interest.
  50. Credit card bonuses (Cash Money Life). Like the bank accounts, many credit cards will give you bonus cash for opening an account.
  51. Rent out a room (Free Money Finance). If you have an extra room in your house, consider renting it out to a friend, relative, or random person you find using what else, Craigslist.
  52. Paint street numbers (Neville's Financial Blog and katekashman). With just a few paint and stencil supplies, you could walk the neighborhoods with curbs and solicit your curb-number-painting services.

Other resources:

Do you have any ideas for making extra money? Share them in the comments below.


Related reading at Prime Time Money:

Published Feb. 6, 2009
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