Challenging economies coupled with high aspirations present a real challenge for the cash-strapped everyman. Making extra money is obviously not a simple matter, otherwise everyone would do it. Thankfully, there are options, even if they aren’t created equal. Here are a handful of ways you can earn some extra cash, and one way that may make the decision a bit easier for you.
1. Get a Second Job
No one wants to, but when you need money, sometimes you have to bite the bullet. Part-time jobs in restaurants and retail can supplement your income, but not without a price. In addition to the sacrifice of free time, the compensation is meager at best. Coupled with the potential for being designated as “overqualified”, flipping burgers is certainly a painful way to make an extra buck.
2. Donate Your Body to Science
Hospitals and university researchers are always looking for able bodies to run tests. And while jogging on a treadmill with electrodes attached to your body sounds fun, the time spent in uncomfortable medical environments and menial compensation for sometimes invasive experimentation means you’re enthusiasm is likely to wane quickly. If making money is your aim, then prepare for a lot of brain scans.
3. Sell Your Possessions on Craigslist
You certainly don’t need everything you own, so why not get rid of it? Craigslist is a one way to turn your hard-earned possessions into quick cash, but it’s anything but sustainable. In addition, all that effort and money spent preparing, photographing, selling, and shipping your stuff is more likely to breed headaches than wealth.
If you love kids, and work from home, then maybe babysitting is your gig. Busy parents are always looking for trustworthy individuals to help alleviate their parenting burden, so offering your services can be a profitable venture. Provided you have the patience to take care of someone else’s children and work a full-time job. Also, you should plan on giving up a number of Friday nights so that your clients can grab dinner. Still sold on the idea?
5. Recycle Scrap Metal
If you’ve got an old garage, an old car, or a willingness to sift through refuse, then selling scrap metal may be an option. Local scrapyards are willing to buy metals like brass and copper for a premium, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Acquiring the necessary materials will likely require a great deal of scavenging, and one or two hauls certainly isn’t going to pay the bills forever.
6. Hold a Yard Sale
If Craigslist doesn’t suit your sensibilities, then an old fashioned yard sale can do the trick. Scouring your basement and attic for desirable items is a great way to clear the clutter, but rest assured that no one’s going to yard sales to pay a premium. Your prices will be low, your offerings will have little real value, and the money spent on signs, card tables, and local ads will dent your profit margin considerably.
7. Sell Your Bodily Fluids
If full-on scientific experiments are too much for your busy schedule, then a donation or two can supplement your income. Plasma in particular is in high demand due to its capacity as a medium for creating drugs. Unfortunately, the frequency of donations is limited, and a number of seemingly banal circumstances can disqualify you from donation. Also, they stick a needle in your arm for nearly an hour. On the plus side, at least you’ll catch up on your reading.
8. Rent a Room to a Stranger
As it turns out, even the privacy of your own home is for sale when looking for ways to generate income. For many, renovating the basement and creating a rental space is a great way to bring in regular income. The only drawback? Inviting a stranger into your home. Just make sure you invest in some solid locks and a reputable background check.
9. Pawn Your Valuables
If your possessions aren’t fetching the price you want, then maybe your extra jewelry will fit the bill. Pawn shops are happy to pay partial value for potentially profitable items. And while you may not need that broach or necklace, parting with items of sentimental value is hardly easy, even if the compensation is attractive.
10. Head to the Casino
Before you scoff, you can, technically, make money from a casino. Blackjack in particular can be played intelligently to decent gain, though counting cards is sure to get you kicked off the floor. The alternative is poker, provided you can outplay the tens of thousands of aspiring professionals currently using the card tables as a training ground.
The Better Option? Become a Day Trader
If you’re looking for a real way to build wealth and supplement your full-time job, then this is the option for you. While all of the other solutions provided here require discomfort, great effort, or a transaction of dignity, day trading is a real way to analyze the marketplace and use short-term trades to large profit. So the next time you’re looking to boost your income remember, you can spend the same amount of time waiting tables that you do trading, but the result will be vastly different when the effort bears fruit.
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