Earn Extra Income

Can extra income make living a frugal lifestyle more effective? Most definitely! By following a well organized frugal lifestyle plan, you can add extra income of hundreds of tax free dollars to your wallet each month. However, it often happens that being frugal is not enough to make ends meet each month or reach your financial and other goals. In that case, you will have to think about extra cash to supplement the income you have coming in.

By combining a serious, frugal lifestyle with earning extra money, you may be surprised and pleased to find that you can make ends meet, begin paying down debt, establish an emergency savings fund or all of the above. Let’s look at some inexpensive, realistic suggestions that will help you brainstorm ways to grab that extra cash by using your time, personal skills and other resources you might have:

Extra Income Tip: Sell Things

1. Sell Items on eBay- EBay is the world’s largest online marketplace. Shoppers bid on items that sellers have listed for sale. The auction for a particular item will last for a set period of time, ranging from a few days to several weeks. At the end of the auction period, the highest bidder is awarded the product and it is shipped to the customer by the seller. You also have the option of selling your product for a fixed price rather than putting it up for auction.

Pick up some extra cash by selling items from around your house that you no longer need. Also you can pick up products from yard sales, estate sales and wholesale websites that will give you the opportunity of reselling on eBay for a profit.

2. Yard Sales- A great way to earn some extra cash is to go through your closets, storage units and your garage looking for items that you can sell for under $10. Such items can include clothing, books, dvds/cds, kitchen items, etc. Bigger items tend to sell slower because yard sale shoppers generally want to be able to put their purchases in their car. However, it doesn’t hurt to put your larger items out in case the right buyer comes along. If the larger items such as appliances, desks and room furniture do not get sold, you might consider selling these on eBay or Craigslist.

A good time to schedule your yard sale is on the weekend, particularly if there are several other yard sales scheduled in your general neighborhood. To get ahead of the competition, put some simple, homemade signs around the neighborhood and at a few major, close-by intersections. Do this on the morning of the sale. List the starting time of your sale on the signs and make sure your yard sale starts 30 minutes earlier than others in your area. You can make your items more attractive by displaying them on tables rather than just sitting in your driveway or on your lawn.

3. Sell Books On Amazon.Com- If you have books that have been piling up around the house, consider selling them on Amazon.com. It is easy to get started and the website is user-friendly in terms of listing your books and selling price. When you sell a book, Amazon will notify you by email and collect the money for you. The email will include the customer’s name and mailing address. You then mail the book(s) to the customer. You will pay Amazon a 15% referral fee that is calculated on the sale price of the book. You will also be charged a variable closing fee of $1.35 and a closing fee of $0.99. Amazon will give you a credit for shipping the book of $3.99. You can mail the book at the post office in a padded envelope labeled on the outside “media mail”. At the time of this writing, the media mail charge for a one pound book is $2.41. For a two pound book it is $2.82.

4. Donate Plasma- If you are over 18 and in good health, you can earn from $250-$300 per month by donating your plasma. The process takes about one hour and you can donate twice a week, earning $20-$30 per visit. You can find a plasma -for-money center nearest you by going to dBank.com.

Extra Income Tip: Provide Services

Pet Sitting/Walking- Do you enjoy being around cats and dogs? If so, you may be able to offer services for pets which could include dog walking, pet day care and overnight pet sitting. You can expect to earn up to $20 an hour depending on the services you offer and where you are located. For example in my area of SW Florida, dog walking averages $8 per hour and daycare runs around $25 for the day. By keeping your rates below $20-$25, you will undercut the prices charged by the kennels. Don’t limit yourself to just dogs and cats. Many people have hamsters, birds, and exotic pets.

Fill Out Online Surveys- Thousands of companies are interested in your opinions. This is a vital part of their marketing programs so they set up survey sites or use contract survey sites where they agree to pay or reward you for your time to fill out a survey about their products. This is fairly easy work to do but can be very time consuming. You will have to register at each site and fill out a profile about yourself listing such things as family income, age, race,etc. The companies use your profile to match up the most appropriate survey for you. You will want to use a free email account such as gmail or yahoo in order to keep your regular email account from being cluttered up with survey offers. The most time consuming part of survey work is registering for each survey site. You can realistically make $100- $200 per month if you are willing to put in the time and register with at least 100 sites. Here are some suggestions on how to be effective and avoid scams:

(1) Never pay a registration or member fee for filling out surveys.

(2) Stay away from sites that sell lists of companies that pay for surveys. You can find them online for free.

(3) Only give out general personal information. Do not give out your social security number, bank account information,etc.

(4) Only sign up for company surveys that pay cash or points that convert into cash. Keep away from sites that offer you a chance to enter into a sweepstakes, get a gift card or other non-cash awards. The whole idea here is to make some extra money not waste your time.

Create An ebook- If you have special knowledge, skills or experience in certain areas, why not explore the possibility of sharing this information with the enormous world wide web marketplace. If you need help in organizing and writing an eBook, search the web for thousands of web sites that can help you get started. Of particular help are the sites where people offer their services such as elance.com or warriorforum.com. Once you have written your eBook, you can sell it through your own website or even better, through affiliate marketing.How does affiliate marketing work? Let’s say that your eBook is about How To Start A Home Cleaning Business. You would search the web for products to promote such as cleaning supply companies and contact them about becoming an affiliate. They will give you a personal affiliate link which you put in your eBook. When a reader clicks on this link, usually in blue letters, they are directed to the cleaning supply company website. If the reader orders something from the cleaning company website, you will earn a commission.

Make Money With Craigslist- We mentioned earlier that a fast way to earn extra income is by selling products or services on eBay. An excellent way to find low cost products is by buying them on Craigslist and reselling on eBay. To get started, enter Craigslist.org in a Google search and when the site comes up, enter your city and state. This will bring up a list of items people in your area are selling. You will need to do some research to know a bargain when you see it advertised. I have had good luck with bicycles that I buy at a very low price and then put them up for sale on eBay. However before you buy a product, you will need to go to the eBay site to view all of their completed listings for your particular product. This will tell you if you will be able to make a decent profit.

First, log in to your account on eBay. Check “Advanced Search.” This will open a page headed “Search: Find item.” Add in a description of the item you are thinking about selling and check “Completed Listings Only.” Check “search” and all items that match your item description will show up along with the price for which they sold. If you see a good profit margin, buy the item from the Craigslist ad and flip it on eBay for a quick profit. It is not difficult to make $50 to $100 using this technique.

Earn Extra Money From Freelance Gigs- A gig site is an online marketplace where freelancers can post individual services for a set amount of money. Put another way, it is a marketplace for micro jobs. The most popular gig site is fiverr.com where all gigs are done for $5. Other sites such as gigdollars.com give you a chance to offer services from $5 to $100.

Earn Extra Income Tip: Rent Out A Room

A fast way to earn extra income might be waiting right in your home. In my area of SW Florida, rooms to rent are being advertised between $350 to $550 per month. This will vary by region, location and the quality of the room. In any event, you should be able to bring in at least an extra $5000 per year.

To find good, trustworthy tenants, try contacting:

  • Local churches
  • Major employers in your area
  • Universities and junior colleges
You will need to do some basic screening such as verification of employment (hint: check pay stubs), enrollment in college, etc. Try to get some references. Once the tenant is selected, spell out the ground rules in writing. This should cover the amount of rent per month, smoking policy, pets, shared utilities, kitchen use, appliance use (washer/dryer) and when the lease can be ended. You can download a simple room lease form from sites such as nolo.com, lectlaw.com and docstoc.com.

The above opportunities may or may not fit your interests, time schedule and skill level; however, by being creative and thinking about what interests you have, skills and experiences acquired, or just things you love to do, the possibilities can be endless.

Extra Income Tip: Additional Extra Income Ideas

If you are still searching around for ideas, I would like to leave you with some quick suggestions that might add more stimulus to your brainstorming process. They are, in no particular order, as follows:

  • Clean existing homes
  • Clean new construction homes
  • Teach a language
  • Sell your photos to stock agencies
  • Deliver pizzas
  • Become a tutor
  • Become a freelance writer
  • Rent out your truck or van
  • Run errands
  • Substitute teach
  • Become a ticket broker
  • Stage homes that are for sale
  • Repaint curb numbers
  • Be a car valet
  • Place advertisements

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