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8 weird ways to make extra money

From writing messages on your lips to selling blood, these days there's almost no limit to the ways you can turn a buck.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 29, 2012 1:20PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks NewsThere are two ways to get ahead financially: Spend less and make more. Unfortunately, you can't give yourself an instant raise. But that doesn't mean you can't turn a quick buck if you want or need to.

In the following video, Stacy Johnson highlights unusual ways to make a little extra cash. Check it out, then continue below for more ideas.

Here's a recap of Stacy's ideas, plus a few more:
  1. Sell your body. For science, that is. You can sell whole blood or plasma. According to American Red Cross standards, you have to weigh at least 110 pounds, be 18 or older, and be in good health. Plasma can be sold monthly, and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Whole blood can be sold only every two months, but it takes just 10 minutes, on average. Check with your local hospital or clinic to see if it pays for donations. Each visit can be worth up to $35.
  2. Do clinical trials. Provided you qualify, participating in tests of new medicines and procedures can earn you up to a couple thousand dollars. Two sources for finding clinical trials are the National Institutes of Health database and the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, which can also help you over the phone.
  3. Show talent. helps you make money from your ability to do anything from retouching photos to singing. You can net $4 (the site takes a $1 cut) for a wide variety of small tasks. And if you don't have a special skill, try being clever or weird. Recently on the Fiverr front page, someone was offering to do voiceovers in a Power Ranger costume and another was offering to write messages on her lips. While lots of this stuff is silly, this site can theoretically be used as an entree for those with serious ambitions to showcase more traditional work.
  4. Sell used goods. If you have stuff you don't use -- and who doesn't? -- there are plenty of places to sell it, from Craigslist to eBay to Amazon. And if you don't want to wait on a buyer, you can trade in used electronics, books, movies and games at Amazon for credit. We have a few more ideas in "5 best websites for turning junk into cash." While this idea isn't particularly weird, if you need money, it's a good place to start.
  5. Sell crafts. Better than selling used is selling new -- especially if you have something unique to offer. Websites like can help you launch a side business selling your own crafts, from jewelry to painting to custom purses and clothing. Promoting your crafts on a social network like Pinterest can help drum up business.
  6. Work online. One of our most-asked questions: Is there legitimate work from home? Technically, yes. In fact, you're reading some right now: Every Money Talks News staffer works from home. But finding a legitimate work-at-home job isn't easy, and there are a lot of scams. Still, you can use the Internet to make extra cash. You can provide product research on sites like for anywhere from $1 to $15 per survey, or perform quick menial tasks like tagging images for a few cents each on Mechanical Turk. You can also use the Internet to find offline jobs in your area (like bartending or short-term work as a personal assistant) at Zaarly, where some gigs are worth $100 or more.
  7. Find missing money. "Finding unclaimed cash" explains how to check with government agencies for cash you didn't know you had, like tax refunds, retirement accounts from old employers, abandoned paychecks, and unclaimed life insurance proceeds. 
  8. Try apps. As smartphones become more popular, some startup businesses are based entirely on apps that get you to use them in certain ways while you're out and about. In "5 smartphone apps that can earn you money," we covered apps that can make you $5 to $10 for something as simple as snapping quick photos to prove a store has a certain product in stock. There are even apps that reward you for trying and reviewing other apps.

More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:

Mar 1, 2012 10:17PM
To B M Witherspoon.....It's​ the sorry, whiney, crybaby people like you who think that the "rich" aren't paying their fair share.  Look, it's not about who's rich and poor.  Who got the lucky break and who didn't.  It's about making the right decision in your own life that determines how your future may go.  I am poor, but, I am happy.  I don't drink, I don't rob people, I don't pick fights with other people and I don't kill people.  I am poor because of my decision I made when I was younger, not to go to college.  It takes all kinds of people to make this earth go round.  I do have a job, and I have been lucky enough to have and keep a job through these tough times.  I am not mad because people have better houses than me, or live better than I do...that's because I am happy with who I am and what I have..I don't blame everyone else for my mistakes in life...I man up and hit life head on..So next time you start crying about other people living better than you, go look in the mirror ...I hope you realize that the person looking back at you is a looser BECAUSE THAT PERSON IS LAZY, WITH NO AMBITION, WHO EXPECTS EVERYTHING TO BE HANDED TO YOU.  I can sleep at night because I fight poverty because I work!  
Mar 13, 2012 10:23AM
Hmmm...I'm working on a project to acquire more money. It involves certain ATMs in my area. All I need is to find someone with a tow truck and a sturdy chain who can keep their darn mouth shut.
Mar 13, 2012 1:37PM
Hey. Don't be listening to this mindless drivel created as a distraction for the ignorant masses. Pay attention to who is elected to fill government posts at all levels, vote out the corrupted swine that occupy those postions, and work to return our government to the control of the people. We need jobs. And not just during election year. pay attention to what counts. Vote working class. No working class people to vote for? Work on it. The masses have the power. 
Feb 29, 2012 4:49PM
This article is misleading. You can not go to the American Red Cross and sell your Plasma. The Red Cross does not pay. The Red Cross just takes blood donations.
Mar 13, 2012 7:07AM

Am I the only one who thinks this is just sick?  Sell your bodily fluids is now the new American dream job?  To bad there isn't a market for feces as I have a tank full of it in my back yard at the moment... I want a job where I can just spout out crap like this and get paid.  99.9% of what this guy says is common sense.  Got extra junk...need money...hey how about, what a brain storm...never dun wulda though bout that der sure is smart mister.. tanks.  I'm surprised this brain stormer forgot to tell us all to check under our couch cushions.  Here's a new article...feet stink? Get some soap and wash them!!  Wow, I'm on my way to a new career in msn journalism!!  If this is where Americans are turning for advise, it is no wonder we are in the position we are.

Feb 29, 2012 3:22PM
You can sell plasma, not blood.  It can actually be up to $50
Feb 29, 2012 3:42PM
Unless things have changed in the last 10 years, you can actually sell Plasma twice a week, not once a month.  I was able to make $50 a week when I was in college ($20 on a first visit, $30 on my second).  It only took about a half hour each time so it was a lucrative way to kill time between classes.
Mar 13, 2012 7:50AM

9.  Write idiotic blurbs about making extra money for MSN.


I have been selling plasma for the last 3 months and the writer of this article is wrong, you can sell plasma 2 times a week so its not just monthly. LOL

·          If you are going to sell plasma start drinking about a gallon of water a day to cut down on donor time. The more dehydrated you are the longer it takes to get the plasma out of you.

·          Bring along a book or something to keep you busy (I am rereading Harry Potter and also get online on my phone while I’m donating) You can’t sleep during donation because they need to make sure you haven’t passed out.

·          Be sure to wear comfy clothes because you will be laying in a recliner for at least an hour.

·          Take a light jacket, they give you a saline drip (at room temp) when they return your red blood cells which makes you a little chilly.

(For me its been a very enjoyable process because I relax while I’m there and am able to read my book uninterrupted & I look forward to it every week!)


***The Red cross DOES NOT pay for plasma but one of the biggest companies is CSL****

Feb 29, 2012 5:31PM
The thing this article fails to mention is that while the process of selling plasma is only a little over an hour; the wait at the donation center can be  4 to 6 hours.  That is If you don't get turned away because they are booked until the end of day at 8 in the morning.
Mar 13, 2012 10:19AM
There are many ways to make extra money, which are not stated on this article. One would definitely be shoveling snow during the winter months, finding extra ways to help others with computer issues (if you have the knowledge) and of course, helping out that neighbor from time to time with household matters. Of course, all this takes extra time. If you are looking to make extra $$$ each month, just put yourself out there to people, let them know you are available and so forth.
Mar 13, 2012 9:18AM
Personally, I prefer selling my items through American Classifieds/Thrifty Nickel.  MUCH safer than through Craigslist!  And just a note to everyone:  WATCH OUT for those scammers who want to send you extra money, or they call you via a hearing impaired service.  Don't take the calls, and don't accept checks, MO that are more than the amount you are asking.  Make sure any payment other than cash goes through the bank--give it at least 10 working days.
so i tried to tell why savvy survey was a waste of time but it says it was spam. so why is over half the comments spam? seems their filter does not work
Mar 13, 2012 8:37AM

@ blood donation - read it again - it says sell for science, nothing about transfusion into people.  Does anyone read before they post,,,Also think of the title "8 weird ways to make extra money" so if you don't get what is being said or you lack reading compression, then don't post, or write something better, this is information not a debate,,,,,

Mar 13, 2012 11:23AM
'Sell your body....."
That might work to an even greater degree,  just depending.

Mar 13, 2012 1:26PM
I've been doing clinical trials for allergy meds for years.  I initially did if for the free allergy meds when I didn't have insurance and couldn't afford the medication.  I've made a lot of money over the years and, even though I have great insurance now, I 've not had to pay for allergy meds for the last 12 years because I get all of the samples I want for free.  Now, the cash I make pays for my vacations or other stuff I want, but don't need.  I just got a check today that I may use to buy a Kindle Fire.
Mar 13, 2012 9:20AM

It is very sad that none of you know how important is to donate plasma.  For patients with primary immunodeficiency...y​ou are born with a genetic disorder that can not fight any infection.  A minor cold would be life-threatening.  Without plasma donors, those patients would not be alive.  I hope all of you get to donate plasma, even if the economy is good.  This is not only about economy, is about thousands of people's life.


Even if you get paid, it does not take away that is saving a life, and it does not take away that you are doing something good. 


@Blood donor: it is not illegal to compensate people.  Blood banks give gift cards or tickets to parks, plasma centers give cash. 


I do not think is immoral or illegal or unethical to pay plasma donors.  Last year I visited a center and saw how this is, and that this takes a LOT OF TIME.  I learned that to get enough to make one dose, a single dose, they need 7-10 donations.  In order to make the medicines they need a lot of people, and a lot of people returning. 


Many of us would not even think about it because the "money is not worth it"...2 hours for a few bucks...but a life is worth it, and thank goodness that they get paid, so at least there is an additional incentive to return every week.  I do not care that they first come in because of the money, but in reality those who stay is because they also care and help people.


So, before you talk, or judge, think past your social perceptions.  Get a job AND also donate.

Mar 13, 2012 8:20AM

Enough Crap Articles!

I think it is time for Americans to demand a higher quality from the press that denigrates all of us down to street vendors.


And if you paid out tax dollars in federal student aid to millions but none of them can pay these loans back because of power-hungry Congress that fails students - do you believe that they will earn enough to pay you back with ideas like this?


Tell the press - provide substance or we'll shut you down and open the path for new media sources!

That includes CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS.


The mark of an entrepeneur is one who defies the odds with passion because she knows the words of the Bill of Rights.


She doesn't listen to men that order her around like a piece of property.


This statement is directed primarily to the Newsweek staff. 


Mar 13, 2012 7:48AM
Sell your organs..If you don't have money to eat you don't need them anyway.
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