For the past two decades wages in the United States have been pressured by rising health care and housing costs. Accordingly there is a lot of interest in ways to supplement ones income. However not all ways of generating extra money are equal – some are more effective wealth builders than others. Here are 20 money making ideas that work.
1. Blogging for Others
Sites like problogger.net are great for finding companies who are interested in hiring free lance blog writers. Most free lancer blog writers can get between $25 to $400 per article. If you work at this consistently you can bring in between $5,000 and $10,000 annually. Typically you’ll be given a topic and a schedule and asked to generate some content. Alternatively, some website owners will pay you to manage their sites for them. This is pretty much like being a real estate property manager. You do the management work for a set fee.
2. Blogging for Yourself
Blogging for yourself essentially means becoming a small scale internet publishing operation. You’ll have to learn to write compelling content, market your content, negotiate with advertisers, perform search engine optimization, learn to hack computer code, etc. There are blogs for all sorts of topics – frugal living, saving advice, marketing, lifestyles, automotive, etc. Some bloggers get rich, for example Slashgear’s Ewdison Then is pulling down between $60,000 and $80,000 per month and Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani makes $110,000 per month. One significant downside to blogging is low compensation- a lot of small time bloggers make under $2 dollars per hour.
3. Coin For Bill Changer
One way to make some extra money is to start a coin for bill changing business. The idea here would be to go to peoples homes and exchange all their coins for bills on the spot. Coinstar and banks can charge a big percentage, so this business could be a win/win for people who enjoy coins. A lot of people have large jars of coins and don’t have time to exchange all of them. This service can be especially good seniors or for people who are disabled.
4. Goodwill Outlet Reseller
The thing to do is go to the closest Goodwill Outlet Store – not the regular Goodwill store. The outlet stores are deeply discounted – usually selling used stuff by the pound. They are often dirty and you’ll need to dig through a ton of stuff to locate things to sell. That said, you should be able to turn $100 or so into $500 or more by reselling stuff on Craigslist and eBay. If you ever wondered where flea market sellers find the things they sell, it’s the Goodwill Outlet stores. This is especially good for students – don’t bother to get a summer job. Learn this skill and you’ll make way more money.
5. Become a Psychic Advisor
There are certain basics required before you start a career as a psychic. You:
- Need to be psychic
- Need to know how to give a reading, you need to be very sensitivity and have great communications skills
- Need to know marketing, sales and legal issues.
When it comes to getting paid, you have a couple of options. You can either hang out your own shingle or work a contract. If you get a contract its likely to be 1099 work. Psychics who work on contract get paid per reading and can easily clear $600 in a couple of months. One disadvantage of working on a contract is you have far less flexibility and the company takes a cut of your income. One significant downside is psychic work can be stressful as you are often asked to solve people’s problem in a very short amount of time.
6. Collect Scrap Metal
Among this list of money making ideas that work is collecting scrap metal. A good way to find scrap metal to sell is to go out on dirt roads where people dump trash. Another way to find scrap metal is to offer to clean a person’s yard for a very low fee. If they let you haul away all the trash can get you a good amount of scrap to sell. If you hustle, you can make about $50 a day doing this. Collecting scrap metal can have long and irregular hours – you never know when might get a call to clean up someone’s yard.
7. Sell Textbooks on Ebay
Selling textbooks on Ebay can be a good side hustle. Use an application like BookScouter.com to find out how much a given book is worth. BookScouter will let you enter a book’s ISBN number and will tell you how much the book is worth and which buyback company will give you the best price. Use this tool to find books on EBay that are worth more on the open market than it will cost you to obtain. If you make a profit of $4 or $5 dollars off each book, you just need to sell a few books a week to make decent money. You’ll need to be sure your business operations are in good shape.
- Check the condition of the book before buying it. Buyback companies expect some wear and tear, but if there are ripped pages or severe cover damage, it might not be accepted.
- Carefully pack your books. Buyback companies typically provide a prepaid shipping label, but you need your own packaging. If the books are damaged in transit you will eat the loss.
- Watch payment fees. Paypal does a great job harvesting fees for themselves, so if you are offered the choice you’ll want to consider check payment.
8. Sell Produce at Local Farmers Markets
If you live in a rural area, consider selling your produce a local farmers market. Vegetables and eggs are often in high demand. Vegetables can go for $1-$12 dollars a pound. Eggs can go for $2-$4 dollars a dozen. You may not make more than $20 a week or so unless you scale things up.
9. Sell Cosmetics Via Avon or Mary Kay:
Some feel that any company which utilizes a multilevel marketing model is a socially irresponsible company. However, mainstream companies like Avon or Mary Kay could teach you both business skills as well as provide some side income. Turnover in these kinds of businesses tends to be high and the average profit can be quite low – Canadian Mary Kay consultants on average earn less than $100 per year.
10. Illustrate Books For Children
One way to make side income is to illustrate a childrens coloring book and sell it on lulu.com. Self publishing is appealing because authors generally get a bigger cut of the sales profits than books published through a publishing house. Most self published books aren’t much good – just 1% to 5% percent of books have a high level of sales, so if you go the extra mile you can make decent sales. On average, illustrated ebooks sell around 100 to 150 copies.
11. Write and Sell Ebooks
According to the Association of American Publishers in 2014 ebooks generated $3.3 Billion in sales. The amount of profit going to writers of ebooks and ease of publishing are two reasons for their popularity. Writing an ebook can be an extensive proposition with the entire process lasting between 3 and 18 months. The average ebook earns about $300 per year, with many books earning significantly less. Popular sales platforms include the Amazon’s kindle, ebooks.com or the like.
12. Catch Crabs
Crab is a hugely popular dish. If you live in a coastal area, restaurants will pay several dollars for every crab caught. This can be a good way to for kids to supplement their income or for families to make some money on the side while vacationing. You will need some equipment such as a cooler, a fold up chair, ice, a crab trap, bait, a knife, gloves and a net. Crabs are generally only found in saltwater. WARNING: laws regarding crab harvesting have generally gotten tighter in recent years.
13. Tutor English
If you live in an area with large populations of recent immigrants, tutoring English can be a money maker. You’ll be able to charge at least 10 dollars an hour and you should be able to find at least two or three students in your area without a lot of trouble.
14. Buy Things For Others
Internet coverage is less prevalent in rural areas. If you live around folks who have limited access to the internet, you can always purchase things for others who need to buy something online. A reasonable markup is 1 or 2 dollars per transaction. Senior citizens or persons who are on a limited income may need this service.
15. Record Deeds
Yes, you can record deeds yourself. To record a deed you just need to take it to the appropriate recording office in your area. The recorder will then index and transcribe the deed in the public record where it will be available for anyone to see. You can charge between 1 and 5 dollars for each deed you record.
16. Collect Bottles and Cans
Aluminum bottles and cans sometimes carry a deposit. You can get 5¢ to 10¢ for each can or bottle you return a designated recycling spot. While you have to get a lot of cans and bottles for this to add up, the idea can work if there is a large event in your area where a lot of bottles and cans will be left behind. Here are the 11 states that pay you when you return them:
- California (5¢)
- Connecticut (5¢)
- Hawaii (5¢)
- Iowa (5¢)
- Maine (5¢)
- Massachusetts (5¢)
- Michigan (10¢)
- New York (5¢)
- Oregon (5¢)
- Vermont (5¢)
17. Write And Sell Poetry
If you are a wordsmith you can always write poetry and get it published. Sometimes a magazine or other source will run it. You won’t get much for the poetry – between $5 and $25 but having your work published can be a feat in and of itself. As an additional bonus the funds you earn will cover the cost of postage it took to submit your work.
18. Donate Plasma
Donating plasma is one of our money making ideas that work. Donating plasma can be unpleasant as you need to get a needle stuck in your arm. However if you can’t find work at temp agency and you need grocery money, you can always sell your plasma. You’ll make $60 – $75 dollars per week. Some donation centers require a full physical and might ask you to answer a lot of medical history questions which can take several hours.
19. Write College Papers
This is an ethical grey area, however some websites will purchase term papers and resell them. In order to make this business model work, you need to locate sites which broker the papers. The submissions are graded based on style, level, etc. B papers tend to sell faster than A papers – evidently people don’t want others to suspect they are buying term papers, so lower grades fetch a higher price. The good news is that you can sell the same paper more than once. You can also type up papers for other students who aren’t great typists or who don’t have a computer. You can charge up to $2 dollars a page. Most papers are 4 to 6 pages long.
20. Christmas Light Installer
If you’re looking to make some extra money this holiday season, consider being a christmas light installer. A christmas light installer puts up the holiday lights on peoples houses. If you work at it you can pull in a 5 figure income during the 2 month holiday season. To be a successful installer you need a ladder, hooks to hang the lights on, tools to install the hooks, and strands of lights. A good installer can charge $50 – $100 for a basic installation. To be good at this you’ll need to find areas where people want to have their lights hung up, but don’t have time to do it on their own. This model is great because you have the potential for add on income doing light removal and gutter cleaning. When you come back to take down the lights, if you have a truck you can also ask if they would like their Christmas tree removed.
If you like this article please visit the saving advice forums for more money making ideas.
Photo Credit: Dustin Moore.