How to pay off $100 of debt in a week
You have easy access to extra cash that you might not even know about.
This post comes from Mikey Rox at partner blog Wise Bread.
The problem is, money doesn't rain down from the heavens or grow on trees. Alas, we have to earn it one way or another -- but, as it turns out, that may not be as difficult as you think.
To line your pockets with an extra $100 within seven days, check out these reliable ways to make extra cash starting right now.
1. Enlist the help of eBay.
I don't like to keep things in my home for which I have no need, so when I decided to install bag hooks in my office area to keep my backpacks off the floor and chairs, I had to remove a dartboard and cabinet to make room. I could have listed them on Craigslist -- priced for about $50 to move them fast -- but I decided instead to put them on eBay.
The barely used dartboard and cabinet netted $132 on the auction site, much more than I would have gotten Craigslist, but also more than I originally paid. That's the great thing about eBay: What you make is determined by how much bidders are willing to pay.
What you have may be worth more than you think. Listing items of value, especially name-brand items, could turn out to be a boon.
2. But don't discount Craigslist.
While my dartboard was better suited for eBay, items that are too cumbersome to ship -- like appliances and furniture -- work well on Craigslist to bring in fast cash.
My husband and I decided to sell our living room air conditioner recently because it didn't have enough BTUs to properly cool our living area. I listed the unit on Craigslist for $90 and within a few days I had a buyer. Unlike eBay, I had to haggle with the guy, who eventually brought me down to $50, but the unit is out of my house and the money is in my pocket. Win-win.
3. Stop dining out for one week.
Eating out adds up, whether you're grabbing a quick lunch or having a three-course meal with friends. To keep more money in your bank account that you can use to pay down $100 of debt, put yourself on a strict no-eating-out schedule. This goes for any type of food and drinks you normally buy during your daily routine, including coffee, snacks and alcohol.
Eating at home for one week won't be the death of you, and you'll be happier once you've accomplished this feat because you'll be able to pay off debt.
4. Open your home to tourists.
Short-term vacation rental sites have become more and more popular over the years because tourists are looking to cut costs on their vacations.
My husband and I rent out the guest bedroom in our home on a regular basis, which helps bring in a substantial amount of disposable income. I understand that this may not be your thing, but it might be worth looking into if you need to make a few bucks every now and then. My nightly rental rate in New York City is about $75 right now due to the winter, but it goes up to $99 per night during peak times.
You'll have to figure out what works for you, but you can reasonably expect to bring in at least $100 from just two nights of hosting. And it'll be the easiest money you've ever made.
5. Pick up a few quick gigs.
Search through the Gigs section on Craigslist to see what short-term jobs posters are seeking to fill. There's usually need for dog walkers, house cleaners, and other non-arduous tasks that can earn you about $30 to $50 per gig.
Just be safe using Craigslist. It's a great way to find extra work, but caution should be exercised.
6. Work overtime.
If you have a job where you get paid hourly, pick up an extra shift or two or offer to work overtime. Many employers try to stay away from overtime, so this may not be an option, but it never hurts to ask.
7. Count your change.
Most of us have some kind of container in which we keep loose change. Depending on what kind of coins you toss in there, you could be sitting on a significant amount of cash without even knowing it; dimes and quarters add up quickly.
Count out what you have and wrap it up. Once everything is neatly packaged, take it to the bank in exchange for bills or deposit it into your account.
8. Ask for a loan.
If you're in a real crunch for money, it may not be a bad idea to ask a friend or family member for the $100 you need. This should be a last resort, of course, and you should offer to pay the loan back with interest, but, sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Just don't make it a habit.
How do you make extra money to pay off debt? Let me know in the comments below.
More on Wise Bread and MSN Money:
My son has actually gone the ebay route. He's earned some extra cash through ebay while finishing college. He did mention the other day, though, that he needs to hurry up and graduate because he's running out of stuff to sell.
The easiest suggestion on the list is to cut back on eating out.. It's shocking how much that can cost, especially if you do it on a regular basis.
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.