We all can use some extra cash but let's face it, if you had the time to get an extra job, you would! Here are some great ways to earn extra money without spending a lot of time, or breaking the bank to get started.
1. Start And Monetize a Blog
This is one of the coolest, newest ways to make money with zero investment out of your pocket. Google Adsense and other advertising companies have made this a very profitable venture and extremely easy to start and learn (why do you think I'm writing this one?). Go to Blogger or Wordpress, create your free blog, and start posting! For some help on how to make money with it, check out ProBlogger and Skelliewag. Follow their tips to create a cash cow.
2. Sell or trade stuff on Craigslist
You can make a lot of cash with your junk. Click the title to check out a longer post for ideas!
3. Recycle used toner bottles
TonerBuyer.Com and EmptySolution.com will pay you a nice bounty (up to $22.00 per) for those empty toner bottles that your office throws away everyday. You can even hire some teenagers to run around and collect them from local businesses and mail them in for some hefty cheddar!
4. Start a home-based business with Mary Kay or Party Lite
Before you groan and move on, hear me out. Women LOVE this stuff and you can sell buckets of candles and cosmetics over the holidays. Take a catalogue to work, get some friends to host a party, and you're golden! My wife raked in over $300 with her very first Mary Kay party. If you're a guy, tap into that resource called "girlfriend" or "wife". Sign up under her name, run the back end business stuff, and get her to do some parties. Vanity sells!
5. Write a children's book
I know it sounds crazy, but this is a huge industry and authors are making BANK! You don't have to have expertise, do any research, or even be a good writer. You can even illustrate with stick figures! For some info on how to get started, check out The Purple Crayon.
6. Create a forum or top site
You can create a top site list for a niche that you are interested in. Bloggers and website owners who want to keep their name in front of web surfers are always looking for added visibility and are happy to join. These sites can be monetized with AdWords and the like. Check out Top Site List Planet, Top Site World, or Top Site Lists to get started with a free top site hosting service.
7. Start an e-commerce website
If you have a couple Franklins and are willing to shell out, this is actually very easy. Paul Phillips at American Solutions For Business does this for a living, and can set up the site for you, handle the inventory, shipping, and billing. All you have to do is sit back and rake in the profits. So create a cool brand of something niche. Make your own tee-shirts with your blog logo and create a cult following. Sell custom shoelaces. Get creative. Go crazy. You might just turn that insanity into cash flow.
8. Day trade
This is sometimes considered a respectable form of gambling, however there is actually a science to it (unlike gambling which I don't promote). Be aware that you can win big or lose big with this one. That being said, day trading is very lucrative if you are savvy and have the time and intestinal fortitude to stomach it. Open an account with E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, or Charles Schwab and dive in. They have analysis tools and people you can talk to, and there is a wealth of information at the bookstore, library, and online. Experience is going to be your best teacher, and you may lose more than you make at first but persistence is often rewarded. Try this book to get spun up:
9. Sell books on Amazon.com
My brother went crazy with this and made some spare cash. It turns out certain textbooks go for quite a bit and the buyer pays for shipping. All you have to do is list your collection, and when you get a buyer drop your book in the mail. Easy.
10. Go to school and collect scholarships
I heard about a kid who applied for so many scholarships that he ended up bringing in $2,000,000!
11. Flip cars
Okay, I'm not talking about driving recklessly and collecting the insurance settlement, I'm talking about buying cars and reselling them. If you are mechanically inclined, you can purchase a car that needs some TLC, add a bit of your personal touch over the weekend (IE, fix whatever causes it to be currently inoperable) and resell it for a couple hundred buck profit. No sweat? That depends on you. I gave this one a go and quickly found the learning curve to be very time consuming. You should only try this if you already know what you are doing, or you are willing to invest the time to learn (it can become somewhat of a hobby). Also, be aware of the tools that are required for your project as these can end up costing you more than what you make on the vehicle.
12. Get a paper route
This should be a last resort as it is exhausting. I only list it because it was a source of income for me when we were going through hard times, and it doesn't require you to give up your day job (just a lot of sleep).
13. Be a poster guy for a weight loss company
Anyone have any idea how much the Jared Fogle, the subway guy got for losing his weight and advertising? Why not find out first hand? Pick a weight loss product you like, take a picture of yourself before, than shed those pounds and take an "after" photo. They'll probably pay you for your testimonial, and you'll be thinner!
14. Start a non-profit and be the ED
Everyone's about saving the earth or fixing world poverty. Why not cash in on their goodwill? Start a non-profit organization and make sure you get appointed the Executive Director. You'll be able to get government grants and private donations, and you can write your own salary! How cool is that?
15. Do surveys online
Get paid to take surveys? Sure, why not? Check out http://surveymonster.net/ or similar websites for details.
16. Buy and sell coins
Another hobby that can make you bank. If you are like me and are sorely disappointed that your '90s era baseball cards haven't made you a multi-millionaire like you thought they would when you were a teenager, this is the hobby for you. You still get to collect things, and coins have a great appreciation rate.
17. Get a metal detector and find cool stuff to hawk
This is especially cool if you live near a beach in LA or Miami. Rich people get stupid and lose their suave watches just like the rest of us. No sense it letting all that stupidity go to waste; get out there and start hawking!
18. Scam the multi level marketing system
This will definitely be the subject of a much longer post, but there are ways to work the system with some of the MLM companies and make huge cash from the start. It requires planning and strategy, but if you and a group of friends can organize and hit the ground running, you may just build up a network in record time and become the next success story.
19. Become a tax write-off guru, or just hire one
Last year I donated my old junk to the Goodwill. Since it was all "junk" to me, I wasn't going to write it off for very much. Then I used Turbo Tax's donation estimator, and it came back saying my old junk was worth $1200.00! Many of us pass up write-offs that would otherwise bring in a couple of g's at the end of the year simply because we're too lazy to itemize, or we just don't know. If you think that's you, find a good tax dude and tell him you need help. He'll get you on the right track. Uncle Sam has plenty of suckers to extort without you being one of them.
20. Rent out your truck
I have a big, green, gas-hog 1973 Ford 100 that I've yet to flip (see money-making idea number 11). Before I had this truck, I was always annoyed that I didn't have a pickup to use on Saturdays for dump runs, etc. Then the light bulb went on. Surely there are other home-owners like me who are equally annoyed at their current truck-challenged state and would be eager to rent my truck on Saturdays! If you have a truck you don't use that often (or you are waiting to put in a new neutral switch so you can sell the thing and get it out of your yard), why not put a sign on it that says "Rent My Truck-$20/Day" and park it on some high-traffic street Friday night. Come Saturday morning, you may just find yourself $20 richer (or one truck poorer-make sure you lock it). I haven't looked into the liability and insurance issues, so you'll have to figure that out yourself. Hey, it's worth a call to your insurance company, right?