While many people start a home business to create or replace a full-time income, some people simply want to generate a little extra money to pay debt; save for a rainy day; or use as mad money, a sum of money reserved for small expenses or impulsive purchases. In the past, those who wished to make extra money needed to go out to find a second job. Fortunately, times have changed and people are thinking creatively about how to make extra money from home. They may be selling their services such as driving or shopping, skills such as writing or sales, or used items such as furniture, technology, or clothing to bring in extra income. Websites designed specifically to assist you in getting rid of unwanted items or selling your services or skills can help.
But cutting costs only goes so far. Unless you already make a lot of money and spend like a bon vivant, most people can’t eke out that much more from their budget by decreasing expenses. Plus, the more you retrench, the more your quality of life suffers. (It’s all relative, though — certainly some overspenders could actually improve their lives by tempering their expenditures. Here are 101 ideas for saving money.)
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Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Be a mommy (or daddy) blogger. If you haven’t used your free time between changing diapers, washing clothes and shuttling kids around to hop on the blog bandwagon, it’s worth considering this potential source of income. And just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to write about parenting issues. In fact, given that there already are so many blogs about life as a mom (or dad), consider writing about another topic about which you are passionate. The more original, entertaining and informative you are, the more likely you’ll gain followers – and you need an online following to make money.
Decluttr is easy to use. Grab an unwanted item, check that Decluttr buys it (for instance: CDs are great, old clothing is not), and enter its barcode into Decluttr’s “valuation engine” or use your Decluttr smartphone app (iOS and Android) to scan your item directly. You’ll receive an instant price quote that you can accept or decline with no obligation. If you accept, just pack your items into a box large enough to fit them, slap a free Decluttr shipping label on it, and bring it to any authorized UPS location (including drop boxes, if your box contains fewer than 25 items). Decluttr issues your payment the day after your item arrives by PayPal, direct deposit, or paper check. There’s no practical limit to the number of items you can sell: each order is technically limited to 500 items, but you can create as many orders as you like in any given timeframe.
The key is to make the class sound unique and irresistible. Don’t just teach a cooking class; come up with specialty cooking classes. You might teach a class on how to make artesian breads, or cinnamon rolls that rival Cinnabon. The possibilities are endless, and if you consistently offer educational and fun classes, you’ll have people signing up over and over again.
If you have a social media account, try out Klout. The company tracks your social media usage, determines how big and what type of audience you draw based on the subject matter of your updates and posts. Using this information, you’re qualified to receive free items, tickets, etc. Check their website often to find ways of earning free stuff by doing what you’re already doing online…boring the rest of us…
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5. Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
With drop shipping, you’re effectively partnering with a manufacturer or wholesaler to sell their products. This way, you don’t pay upfront costs to buy inventory, aren’t sitting on unsold items taking up expensive warehouse space, and don’t have to deal with shipping the products yourself. You simply create your site, fill it with drop shippable products, and drive in customers, with almost everything else done for you.
Complete errands or tasks for the elderly. Older people often need help with buying groceries, cleaning their home, performing home maintenance, and paying bills. To find clients, contact your local community center or church to find out if anyone needs help. Additionally, you might post an ad in your local classifieds or talk to people you know to find out if they know someone who needs help.