Build Your Bank Account: 15 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Sometimes, salary just won't cut it. If you want to earn a little extra cash, take a look at these 15 easy ways to bring in the bacon.

Even if you have a cushy full-time gig, everyone could use a some extra cash in their pocket from time-to-time.

Whether it’s because you’re paying off your debt, saving up for a vacation, or taking care of an unexpected emergency, there are plenty of ways for you to easily make money when you need it. And, here are 15 of the best ways to do so.

1. Start Consulting

As a consultant, you’re offering your skills, knowledge, or expertise to people who could use your services. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2018 there will be an impressive 82 percent growth in consulting services ranging in fields like accounting, management and IT.

The best part of becoming a consulting agent is that you’re capitalizing on skills or experience that you already possess.

2. Capitalize On Your Vehicle

As a car owner, you already know that it can become an expensive item to own. But, did you know that you could actually be making money with your vehicle as well?

If you’re not using your automobile, you can rent it to people who need to rent a car through sites like Turo (formally RelayRides) and GetAround. If you don’t want to rent out your vehicle, you can still use it to make some extra cash by becoming a Lyft of Uber driver during your spare time.

Lyft drivers can earn up to $35 per hour. Driving for Uber could mean earning anywhere from $20 to $35 per hour. This varies on the city that you reside in and what time of day you’re working.

Share your fun, friendly, and possibly fuzzy #lyftstories with us @lyft cards with fuzzy pink mustache.

3. Rent Out Pretty Much Anything

Speaking of renting things out, you can essentially rent any possession that you own if you’re not currently using the item.

If you have a spare room, or will be out of town for an extended period of time, you could rent out your home on Airbnb. If you have a parking space, you could rent during times when there is high demand, such as when there’s a sporting event or music festival.

Even that stuff that’s being piling up in your closet or storage unit could be rented out through Zilok.

Related Article: Started From The Bottom: How to Go From Side Gig to $60K in Revenue

4. Collect Scrap Metal

If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, this is a quick way to make a couple of extra bucks. In fact, there are plenty of people who scrap metal for a living because it can actually be that lucrative.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when collecting scrap metal. For starters, you want to make sure that there is a scrap yard in your area. Secondly, you need to do some research to learn which items can be scrapped.

The Scrap Metal Junkie is a great resource if you need an introduction to collecting scrap metal.

5. Rethink eBay

eBay has been a popular way to sell your unwanted items for years. And while there are now additional places to sell you items, such as sites like Craigslist and Wallapop, eBay still remains a great option to sell your stuff.

But, what if you don’t have anything left to sell? You can actually become a “middleman” on eBay through drop-shipping. This means that you purchase products through a wholesale directory like SaleHoo and resell these items on a site like eBay.

The best part? The directory ships the items to the customers. So you never have to worry about keeping an inventory in your home.

SaleHoo Stores Logo

6. Start Your Own Side Business

You don’t have to overthink what your side business could be. It could be anything from housesitting, babysitting, or dog walking.

And, you could actually start by asking your friends, family, or neighbors to hire you, or to mention your new venture to their friends and neighbors who may need your work.

Of course, there plenty of other side businesses that you could start in a snap. It depends on your interests and talents.

Everything from freelancing to programming to a premium photographer are all businesses that you can start on your own, with nothing or next to nothing in an outlay of cash.

Related Article: Need Extra Money? Tips for Starting a Lucrative Side Gig

7. Get Creative

If you’re a talented individual who has a knack for creating amazing products like clothing or jewelry, then you could start selling your items on Etsy, Zazzle, CafePress.

Artists can sell their work on Society6 and DeviantART and photographers can showcase their prints on sites like Flickr and 500PX.

In short, if you’re talented in a creative field, you can highlight and use your talents. You may be able to make great money from your skill set.

8. Find a Gig Online

Thanks to the Internet, there’s no shortage of sites where you can make money during your spare time. For example, if you don’t mind running errands for other people, you can visit TaskRabbit.

Amazon's Mechanical Turk program offers simple tasks like entering data. There are also sites like Freelancer and UpWork where you can find common freelancing gigs like writing.

Task Rabbit Logo

9. Sell Your Junk

This was touched upon earlier, but if you have any unwanted items, you can sell them to make some quick cash. Besides eBay and Craigslist, you can sell your stuff on site like Amazon, Swappa, Poshmark, and VarageSale.

If you don’t want to deal with selling your items online, there are some old school options like having a yard sale or visiting your local pawn or consignment shop.

10. Become a Mystery Shopper

How would you like to get paid when you visit a shop or restaurant? It’s not too good to be true. It’s being a mystery shopper. The idea is pretty simple.

You get paid to report on your shopping experiences. Some mystery shoppers have been able to make $14,000 a year on the side. Before committing to be a mystery shopper, visit Volition.com. It contains a comprehensive list of legitimate mystery shopping companies.

11. Start Translating

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that interpreters and translators are one of the fastest growing professions between 2014 and 2024. That’s excellent news if you’re fluent in another language.

If you don’t want to make this a full-time gig, you can find work through Freelancer, Upwork, Guru, or Gengo.

Before you get started, you should read this instructional article from ALTA Language Services which describes the steps you’ll need to take in order to become a professional translator.

Related Article: Investing In the Freelance Economy: How Can Freelancers Help Your Growing Business?

12. Cash in on Your Smartphone

I’m not talking about selling your old smartphone. You can actually download apps like Pact, Viggle, Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Receipt Hog where you’re rewarded for working out, listening to music, or snapping pictures of your receipts.

Receipt Hog App Preview

13. Become an Affiliate Marketer

In it’s simplest form, affiliate marketing is where you earn a commission by promoting products or services. For example, if you were an affiliate with Amazon you would write a blog post describing a product.

There would be a unique URL that contains a personal code that you would share with potential customers. If the visitor leaves your site and makes a purchase on Amazon, you’ll get a little reward in return.

There are numerous affiliate programs out there, but start off by researching Rakuten Linkshare, ClickBank, Avangate, ShareASale, and CJ.

14. Start Direct Selling

When you think of direct selling, you probably think of selling products for companies like Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, and Herbalife and hosting a party.

But, you can pretty much become a direct seller for a company that you actually support. For example, dog lovers could become direct sellers for Pawtree.

15. Work At Home As a Customer Service Rep

If you have a reliable phone line and Internet connection (a quiet place in your home is also beneficial)  then you could become a customer service rep.

You can set your own hours and work from home. So, it’s not a bad way to pick-up a little extra cash when you need it. You can easily find customer service representative jobs though Indeed, Alorica at Home, and Alpine Access.

Whatever your reason for needing cash quickly, there are more options available than ever before.

If you are ready to set up and make some money on the side to help support yourself and your family, take one of these suggestions and move forward, or read about other ideas online that may fit what you are looking for.

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