If you’re like most people, it’s often tough to make ends meet and pay all your bills on time every month. Perhaps you’re barely making the minimum payments on your credit cards and know it will take forever to pay them off. Plus you’re accumulating more and more interest charges every year that goes by. We know we’re supposed to cut expenses, but that’s certainly easier said than done. A more realistic alternative is to go out and earn extra money, whether it’s in addition to your regular job or something you can do from home while taking care of your kids. Here are 20 ideas you can start tomorrow, to help pad that bank account and pay off credit cards a lot faster:
1. Become a TaskRabbit Tasker (TaskRabbit.com). If you are good at fixing things, running errands or cleaning, TaskRabbit will take care of advertising your services and collecting payments for a small percentage of your earnings. Everyone is busy these days and doesn’t want to spend their weekends doing household chores. And there are a lot of minor repairs people need to have done around their house, and larger companies don’t want to be bothered doing small jobs.
2. Provide a service. Even if you have a full-time job, there are services you can provide on nights and weekends. People are always looking for data entry, editing and proofreading, transcription services and medical billing. Check out www.virtualassistantjobs.com or www.zirtual.com that will help find clients for you.
3. Take in a roommate or boarder. Do you have an extra bedroom? A finished basement? Could the kids double up? A rent check at the end of each month from a person you can get along with can be a real help in paying your own rent or mortgage.
4. At home party sales. Don’t knock those Tupperware parties—you can make a lot of extra cash. Arrange get-togethers during the day while the kids are in school or at night when more sitters are available. Check out Pampered Chef, Longaberger baskets, Silpada jewelry, Mary Kay cosmetics, Cabi clothing, The Happy Gardener or even a 50 Shades of Grey night with Sheer Expressions lingerie. Once you organize a sales team you’ll be able to reap a percent of their profits as well.
5. Use your talents. Could you give music lessons to kids? Art lessons? Tutoring? Teach English as a second language? How about a half-day play group for toddlers?
6. Pet sitting. There is a huge need for people to walk dogs during the day or to take care of any kind of pet while owners are away on vacation. Get your kids to help.
7. Be a companion or chauffeur for the elderly. It seems like so many of us live far away from our aging parents, and would love for someone to do light housekeeping, cooking, drive to medical appointments, pay bills or just stop by for a chat with their parents. People will pay handsomely for this valuable service for their parents.
8. Outdoor services. Few people have the time or inclination to take care of their yard, but they want it to look nice. Offer to weed or plant a garden, mow their lawn, fertilize, or shovel snow in the winter. If you have a truck, invest in a snowplow attachment, and you can plow driveways in the early morning before you even go to work.
9. Telephone or customer service. There are various customer service or telephone sales jobs that you can do from home if you have a computer and a landline. Visit www.Arise.com, www.LiveOps.com, or www.WorkingSol.com for some ideas.
10. Automobile cleaning and repairing. If you like washing and working with cars, you could do this at your customer’s location. Find out what local companies are charging and offer to do it for less. If you know how to change oil, for example, customers will be very happy they won’t have to leave there car for the day at a repair shop.
11. Arts and crafts. If you have a talent for making jewelry or hair ornaments, knitting or painting, it’s now easier than ever to sell your wares online or to local stores. Check out www.etsy.com for a worldwide marketplace.
12. Coaching. It’s sad, but there are parents out there who don’t have the time or inclination to teach their kids how to ride a bike, throw a fast pitch, or kick a football. A small ad in the local paper could get you some good business at the customer’s home.
13. Courier. There is always a need for companies, especially attorney’s offices, to get documents and small packages from one place to another in a big hurry. Send email to office managers, upgrade your auto insurance if necessary, and pass out some business cards. You will get a lot of repeat business.
14. Videography and Photography. Offer to take videos of weddings, kids’ birthday parties, high school sporting events, etc. High school athletes and musicians also need someone to tape them so they can send DVDs to college recruiters.
If you like taking pictures, you can make decent money uploading them to stock photo sites such as www.Crestock.com or www.BigStockPhoto.com. Big corporations as well as small businesses are always looking for images to put on brochures and email blasts, and will pay to use your photos.
15. Garage sales for others. Many people, especially the elderly getting ready to move to smaller quarters or a nursing home, do not have time to organize all the things they need to get rid of, price them, and run a garage or estate sale. A small ad in the local paper or flyers in mailboxes could get you started.
16. Buy and sell. In addition to holding your own yard sale or selling gold jewelry or other family “heirlooms” you really don’t care about anymore, make buying and selling your business. Many people with an eye for value buy things cheap at estate sales and then sell them on eBay.com for a profit. Amazon is also a great place to sell used DVDs, CDs and books you can pick up for a dollar or so at local library book sales. And if you are good at fixing up old furniture and have a garage or barn to do the work in, antique dealers as well as homeowners will love to hire you.
17. Home monitoring. If you live near a seasonal resort area or a condominium development where half the people go someplace warm in the winter, offer to check up on their homes while they are away and take care of any problems. There is also a huge need for people to clean between rentals.
18. Keeping the Books. Plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, etc. are great at what they do, but have little time to do billing, collections and filing estimated taxes. Once you buy or rent simple accounting software such as QuickBooks, you can advertise your services on www.oDesk.com or www.Elance.com, or round up clients by making a few phone calls.
19. Home Daycare. If you’re already home with small children, why not take in a few more? Parents will pay dearly for childcare they can trust and depend upon, even if it’s just for a few hours after school. Contact your local childcare licensing agency to find out space and safety requirements.
20. New Product Testing. Here’s a fun one—companies are always looking for people to check out their new products and will be happy to pay you for your opinion. Visit www.vocalpoint.com or www.crowdtap.com to find out more.