Make Extra Money By:
1. Freelance writing. Have a unique ability to pen the written word? Have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, and communicating? You could become a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, or other local periodicals. THAT could help you make extra cash! Don’t be afraid to endure a lot of “No’s” and you’ll eventually get that “Yes” that can give you some instant credibility. You can always build a portfolio by guest posting on blogs or by submitting articles to your local newspaper.
2. Plant maintenance. Just like people need help taking care of pets, they also need help with plants. Make some extra cash by taking care of house plants and even outdoor gardens while people are on vacation. You could also offer to take care of the plants kept in local offices on a long term basis. Don’t forget your mileage tax deduction if you drive your car for your new business!
3. Offer to clean homes during the day or offices at night (depending on your schedule). Add in the houseplant maintenance and you could get a double whammy for your profits! Don’t forget the mileage deduction.
4. Tutor. If you have a college degree, use your downtime to tutor kids in the summer or even over the Internet to make additional income. Drop by the local school system and offer your services to the summer school folks after making sure it’s okay with the school staff, of course.
5. Teach a language. Do you speak another language? Do you speak English? Either way, your skills are in demand and will help you make extra money. People need to learn other languages and non-English speakers need to learn English. Most people prefer to learn a conversational style rather than just conjugate verbs around the dinner table. Who knew just talking and having a conversation could result in earning additional income? Try learning Spanish or step on out there and pick up Mandarin Chinese!
6. Internet research. Really know your way around the Internet? Offer your skills in research to local businesses. You may have to do a few freebies to get your foot in the door, but this could be a tax deduction as a startup cost in your quest to generate extra money.
7. Iron clothes. People are busy and if you offer to iron their clothes and pick up/drop off at their office, you would set yourself apart from the cleaners. Make even more money by offering the service mentioned in #24.
8. Run errands. The last time I checked, the IRS rate for mileage was 50 cents per mile. By offering to run errands for people (dry cleaning, drugstore, grocery store, post office, etc), you could earn extra money for your time while reducing your taxable income from mileage.
9. Substitute teach at your kid’s school. My wife does this quite often. Teachers have doctors and dentist appointments just like everyone else. Their children get sick and they have to take care of them. When these events happen, the school needs a substitute teacher. Check with several schools (don’t forget the private schools) to see what requirements they place on subs and how much extra income you could earn.
10. If you liked #9, could you offer to teach at your local community college? One or two courses at night or on the weekends could make you a little extra cash.
11. Do you have a unique skill or ability? Have you EVER heard someone say to you, “I wish I knew how to do that.” The “that” could be building decks, arranging flowers, baking pies, playing the piano, canning food, making jewelry, framing pictures, or raising roses. People will pay to be taught. They will pay even more if you offer to teach their children. Offer to teach them or their children in their homes and you could earn even more.
12. Become a life coach. Encouraging others to strive for success and live up to their potential is what being a life coach is all about. You can squeeze in appointments on weekends, during your lunch break and in the evenings after work, making it easy to earn extra income while keeping that day job.
13. Become a “green” consultant. Do you know how to make those little lifestyle changes that result in a home using less energy? Offer to evaluate someone’s home and make recommendations to help it become more green. You could offer to change their light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s, install a programmable thermostat, install ceiling fans, or make other recommendations. You could also sell your services to businesses. I bet this will become a very large industry in the next few years. Some people will make a LOT of extra money!
14. Do you love to garden and use organic methods? Depending on how large your harvest may be, you could offer “in season” locally grown, organic vegetables and fresh herbs for sale to a restaurant. Take a basket of your most beautiful vegetables and visit several restaurants. Chefs are always interested in getting the best, the freshest food for their patrons. You could pick them, wash them, and deliver them within the hour. You can’t get much more fresh than that!
15. Know your antiques? Spend your weekends scouting those garage sales, thrift stores, estate auctions, and flea markets to score old treasures on the cheap. Do some research to discover the real value of your finds and spend your next lunch hour auctioning it on eBay.
16. Set up computers, home theater systems, or wireless networking systems for the technologically challenged. Even though technology is a constant presence in our everyday lives, some people just can’t seem to get the hang of it. You can offer to come in and help those with new gadgets get them set up, install new programs, organize the spaghetti mess of cables, and make sure everything is plugged in correctly.
17. A year or so after you’ve set up those computers, offer to help clean and speed up computers that may have been infected with viruses, malware and spyware. You know it’s going to happen and someone will get paid to clean those systems.
18. If you’re really on the technology band wagon, you could offer to help people change the formats of their media. Changing VHS videos to DVDs, scanning old photos, moving CDs to MP3s, or other format changes can make you some additional income.
19. Get paid to shop. There are several companies that hire people to perform a mystery shop and report their experiences. Make sure you’re fair and that you understand the way each company goes to market.
20. Are you a genealogy buff? People love to know their family histories, but don’t have time to do the research. You can offer your services as a “family researcher” and help clients learn about their roots, learn about your own in the process, and generate extra income.
21. Can you bake? Making and decorating cakes can allow you to show off our artistic side. You could also offer to bake pastries and other goodies for local coffee shops, a local deli, or even sell them in local office breakrooms.
22. Make jams and jellies. If you listened to your grandma and learned to can and preserve food the old fashioned way, a quick trip to the farmer’s market could result in you making a big batch of peach preserves, blackberry jelly, or strawberry jam. Then you could sell it for a profit at a local market or over the Internet.
23. Babysit. There are actually several ways to go here. You don’t have to only offer to babysit for young parents looking to get a few hours break and attend a business function, though that is a possibility. What if you offered to keep kids all night long for parents who worked third shift? What if you offered to keep kids who were feeling a little sick (nothing major)? Most day care centers won’t accept a child who has a fever or a runny nose, but if you contacted several day care centers for referrals of mildly sick children, you could carve out a profitable market niche for yourself. Make certain you follow all local laws when keeping children.
24. Got a sewing machine? Many local clothing stores, particularly upscale stores, men’s suit stores, and even dry cleaners need people with sewing skills. Here’s your chance to show off your skills and make a little extra income.
25. Pet sitter. Right now I’m looking for a pet sitter for my miniature dachshund. The kennels charge at least $20/day. Could you undercut the kennels, charge $15/day and keep a few pets in your home? If you’re wary, you could always set a weight limit and only keep those little guys (like mine). People need help with hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, and even exotic pets. If you live in an apartment, you could offer to feed, water, and check on pets kept in their homes. Then you could deduct the mileage from your taxes for an additional bonus.
26. Photography. Do you have one of those fancy cameras? Know how to use it? You could potentially start photographing people’s children, their weddings, their anniversaries, or their parties. You could take interesting photographs, post them on the appropriate sites, and then make money every time someone uses your photograph.
Here are a few tips to follow in your quest for extra income.
- Always get everything in writing.
- Always consult with a qualified tax adviser for mileage and other potential deductions.
- Always try to get payment up front.
- Always ask for referrals from your existing clients.
- Always follow all local, state, and federal laws, especially when dealing with children.