We’ve all wished for money to suddenly appear in our bank accounts when we need it the most.
Maybe this means a sizable refund or rebate for something we forgot about, selling some unused-but-valuable items on eBay, or taking on freelance work (but being sure to avoid many of the “earn money at home” scam sites that show up in search engines).
There are a lot of ways to end up with a few hundred dollars extra every month. Here are some ideas.
CUT OUT EXTRANEOUS EXPENSES
ESTIMATED BONUS: APPROXIMATELY $200/MONTH
The first step to having more money each month is to cut down extraneous expenses.
You can also download easy-to-use cash-back apps such as Ibotta, which is partnered with more than 50 retailers.
Here are Simple way to save an easy $200 right now to help pay off your debt.
- Change Your Cable Plan
If your cable bill is on average $100 a month, stop cable and go digital. These companies are on average $10-$20 a month.
Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Red, and Netflix
- Change Your Car Insurance
Most People save a few hundred dollars a year switching car insurance. It takes very little effort to get auto insurance quotes and start comparing.
- Get Cash Back When You Shop
Companies like Ebates give you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores.
- Barista Break Up
This concept is nothing new, However, it works. You can still drink coffee from home. A 36 oz cup of coffee grinds is around $25.
Having you barista make your cold brew 5 days a week will cost you on average $100 a month.
- Change Your Cell Phone Plan
Change your cell phone plan can save you on average $50-$100 a month. There also are companies who will buy you out of the current plan so you don’t have to worry about a cancelation fee.
- 50% Off Every Time You Dine Out
By using websites like Restaurants.com or Groupon you can save on average 50% off your dinner. 1 meal a week at $20, includes 1/2 off discount equals a saving of $10.
SELL WHAT YOU’RE NOT USING
ESTIMATED BONUS: APPROXIMATELY $100+/MONTH
Take inventory of your closet and also any forgotten items you may have stored in the garage.
Do you have designer clothes or handbags you aren’t using? These hold their value.
Try selling them on a site such as eBay, or even on Instagram, which is where a lot of people are finding buyers.
For mid-range or non-designer items, try consignment stores who will either give you cash or store credit towards new purchases.
What about inherited family jewelry that you think is hideous?
You don’t have to go to a shady pawn shop to sell it—instead, visit a local jeweler who will pay cash for your gold and quality gemstones.
If you have rare collectible sports cards, stamps, comic books, or other valuable printed products, then you will often need to have them certified by a professional appraiser before anyone will buy them online.
Still, if the item is in mint condition, then you stand to make a pretty penny.
Be careful of scams, such as fake buyers who will send you a check that’s higher than the asking price of what you’re selling, then ask you to wire the extra money back to them.
The chances are likely that their check will bounce in a couple of days and that you’ll never hear from them again after you call them out on fraud.
FREELANCE SIDE JOBS
ESTIMATED BONUS: APPROXIMATELY $100-$500/MONTH
Maybe you are good at something that can be developed into a side business, such as photography or graphic design, which you can find on freelancer sites such as ZipRecruiter or Fiverr.
Tell your friends if you’re a fantastic lifestyle blogger with a considerable following looking for corporate sponsors to hire you to create content.
Don’t assume your friends know every detail about your hidden talents because you posted it on social media—tell them what you are good at and what you are looking for.
According to a recent article on Penny Hoarder, you can make up to $60/hour as a part-time Bookkeeper. And no, you don’t have to have a CPA.
If remote internet-based work isn’t up your alley, you could try being a dog walker on the weekends, sign up to deliver groceries with sites such as Instacart, or drive Uber or Lyft part-time.
Many people pay for college by working as a bartender or server, and some keep on working weekend shifts well into their 30’s or even 40’s, just to have a few hundred dollars extra a month from tips.
If you already work a 9-5, then you’ll have to allocate your freelance time carefully so that you don’t get burnt out—or in trouble with your boss for not having enough energy to devote to your primary employment.
Still, many creatives thrive on developing their skill set with varied assignments, and the extra money is a definite reward for hard work.
It’s also a good idea to occasionally do some pro-bono work to build your portfolio and to encourage paid referrals by offering a 10-15% finder’s fee to anyone in your network who helps you secure a gig.
You’ll be surprised by how far regular posts about the services you offer will go when it comes to platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
Ultimately, there are lots of creative ways to generate income if you think outside the box. Just be sure to avoid scams by sticking with legitimate websites and verified companies who have policies in place to protect you.
If you find clients through job boards, make sure to have them sign a basic work-for-hire contract and ask for a 50% deposit before starting a project.
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Taking additional steps to vet prospective clients before agreeing to an assigned job or selling valuable collectibles will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Schedule a free consultation today for a risk-free debt assessment. The only thing you have to lose is your debt.