- Write a book. Writing a book means you can earn money off of the sales once you've published it. You can always go the ebook option and self publish, or try to find a publishing house that will take you on.
- Create an app. Create a smartphone app and earn money every time someone downloads it. You never know what will go viral and how quickly you can make money if your app's a hit. In fact, the silly iFart app even generated $30,000 in just one day.
- Start a static blog. Spend some time building a website in an area that interests you and other people. Focus on topics that won't ever get dated ("how to" articles are pretty evergreen) that you know people will be searching for. Host ads on your site. Once you have some good content on your site, you can quit writing and make money off your old content.
- Write articles online. You can make money if you get approved to be a writer for About.com. You'll get paid to write the articles in the first two years. After that, you'll be paid according to pageviews. Once you've put in the initial effort to write the article, you can just make money off of the views in years to come.
- Create a YouTube video. Shoot a video for YouTube, and if your video becomes popular, you can run ads on it to make money. The amount you earn varies, but many people, such as Justin Bieber, have launched careers out of it, and popular YouTubers are making over six figures.
An emergency fund will go a long way in this struggling economy and uncertain job market. It's vital to have, at the very minimum, $1,000 lying around for you to use in case of emergency. Most money experts recommend saving up to three to six months of living expenses, but since we're still recovering from the global recession (which may happen again), it's now advisable to have a bigger financial blanket — up to a year's worth of living costs. After all, unemployment can hit you when you least expect it.
If you don't have an emergency fund and need to earn cash quickly when something goes wrong, here are some fast ways to get the money you need:
- Sell your stuff. Clean up your place and sort through your items to see what you can sell on Craigslist. Perhaps it's clothes, gadgets, or books. Maybe you even have jewelry to pawn. You might even have unused gift cards that you can sell on Gift Card Granny or daily deal vouchers to sell on CoupRecoup.
- Ask friends for leftovers. Ask around to see if your friends have any old items they would like to donate to you. Give them a list of the type of items you're looking for and see if they're comfortable with you selling the items.
- Return your purchases. Take back any recent purchases you have made on nonessential items and put the cash in your savings.
- Be a guinea pig. Participate in clinical trials or research studies at hospitals, research centers, or schools. Find a study that works with your schedule, and remember to read the fine print and educate yourself on the risks.
- Take more from your paycheck. Make your budget tighter this month and set aside more money for whatever emergency you need pay for.
- Fiverr.com. Pick from various tasks on Fiverr.com or brainstorm some and post your offers on the site. Each completed task will gain you $5. I know it might be a small amount, but it's a start!
- Plan a vacation: There are people looking for help with vacation planning on TaskRabbit, an website that matches up task-doers with task-givers. One of the tasks that you can do from home is help out with vacation planning, which can mean hours of research. Some of the listings charge anywhere from $13 for help with finding plane tickets to about $62 for help with planning a two-week trip to Europe.
- Clean someone's home: Cleaning a home is another way to make a quick buck, and there are a number of cleaning tasks available on TaskRabbit that can go for over $100, depending on how extensive the chore is.
- Deliver items: Have a car? Maybe you can earn $50 or more by helping someone move items. My friend recently paid a TaskRabbiter $50 to collect a cabinet for her. Check out the delivery tasks that are doable on the site. You can even earn money by helping people unpack their stuff.
- Sell used items: If there are items you need to get rid of, then try selling them on sites such as Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. You can also bring them to thrift stores to see if you can get anything for them.
- Do 10 Fiverr tasks: Fiverr is a website where people can buy and sell services for $5. You can offer to do services like draw pictures, give advice, or perform silly acts on video.
- Rent out your couch: I've seen people renting out their couches on Airbnb, and this lister in San Francisco is renting a couch out for $50 a night.
- Participate in surveys: Participate in surveys to make extra money. Sometimes all you have to do is answer a few questions. For example, this recent Craigslist listing by Google is offering $25 for a phone interview about your shopping habits and another $100 for an in-person interview. There are plenty of legitimate opportunities that you can find through Craigslist. Of course, there are plenty of scams, as well, so be careful when responding to these listings.
You're doing everything right — saving and skimping — but somehow that's not enough. If you're not making enough to put aside a good chunk of savings for your retirement account and to pay off your debt, bills, and day-to-day expenses, you probably need to make more income. Here are a couple of ideas to raise your cash flow:
- Ask for a raise: If you don't ask, you don't get, so resolve to ask for the pay that you deserve this year. First of all, you need proof of why you deserve the raise, so start keeping track of all your accomplishments in a document. Or you can even email them to yourself and automatically squirrel away these accomplishment emails in an inbox folder. Make sure you can clearly show how you helped the company's bottom line and cite numbers and use examples. Do some market research on sites like glassdoor.com and salary.com so you can bring this data to the negotiating table. Start working on other efforts such as being more visible in your company and spearheading events. Also, ask for a raise at the right time — try to time it when it's review season or when operating budgets are being created and approved.
- Get a new job: The job market seems to be picking up, so you might actually find better opportunities. Start by freshening up your LinkedIn and looking up companies you'd like to work for. Once you have a few in mind, reach out to people in your network to see if they know anyone who can pass your résumé to the right people. Remember to negotiate the salary for your new job since it's the starting point for future raises.
Sometimes all you need to do to receive money is to just ask for it. Literally. The Internet has given everyone a chance to have their voices heard and to have their "give me money" campaigns go viral. I'm still baffled at how successful some of these cyberbegging campaigns are. Read on to find out more about them, but don't by any means think of these methods as quick and easy ways to get rich!
Saving money is always tough, but Kiplinger has some moves that will save thousands in a few minutes.You'll be surprised how much you can pocket in so little time.
Want to save a thousand dollars without leaving the house? It's possible with these quick, easy tips on everything from credit cards to audiobooks.
Ditch that expensive airline credit card
What you need: Driver's license, credit card, and bank account numbers
How to do it: Annual fees for airline-specific credit cards can run as high as $95. With these no-fee travel cards, you earn points good on dozens of airlines, not only eliminating the fee but giving you a wider variety of airline choices. Apply for the Simmons First Visa Platinum Travel Rewards card or the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express card. To get the PenFed card, you'll need to join the credit union, which costs just $15 for membership in Voices For America's Troops.
ANNUAL SAVINGS: $95
(based on one credit card change)
Lower the interest rate on your plastic
What you need: An excellent credit score — 720 or higher
How to do it: Go to LowCards and click on Low Interest Credit Cards. Then search through the offerings and apply. With a high credit score, you should get a card with a rate in the seven-percent-to-eight-percent range.
ANNUAL SAVINGS: $346
(switching from an average 14.17 percent rate to 7.25 percent, on a balance of $5,000)
If you love to shop, then why not get paid for it? Wise Bread shares a few secrets about life as a mystery shopper.
I have a few friends who have started mystery shopping for extra cash. All in all, it's a respectable gig for someone with some time, ambition, and a desire to do something different. Having mystery shopped for dozens of companies over the past six years, however, I have some advice to share. These eight tips are vital to making money in this somewhat misunderstood profession.
- Mystery shopping can be tough to get into. If you're OK with starting out doing $8 gigs for ordering a fast food meal, then chances are great that you can begin right away. The higher-paying shops, however, are usually reserved for those with experience. If you want to earn a reputation for being a dependable shopper, then I suggest visiting the MSPA's website and getting at least a silver status certification. Yes, it costs money. (Think of it as a "move to the head of the line" pass for most mystery shopping jobs.) Many reputable companies will only schedule certified shoppers for their jobs.
Disposing items shouldn't cost you money. Wise Bread shares frugal solutions to throwing things away.
It's a symptom of our crazy consumer culture that how to get rid of stuff is such a common topic of discussion. Things just seems to accumulate in American homes like plaque in our arteries, and too much of it can really drag down the efficiency of your home.
Since my family is moving across the country in less than two weeks, getting rid of stuff has gone from a "I really should do that" item to a top-of-list emergency. My personal goal is to not have to pay to have anything hauled away. Here are 10 ways I've been clearing out the excess.
RELATED: 25 Things to Throw Out Today
1. Sell It Online
If you have an item with enough value to make it worth your time, then by all means list it for sale online. In our current move, I'll be listing our dining room table and couch on Craigslist. I use eBay for high-end children's clothing. In my experience, anything that sells for less than $20 is not worth the time it takes to do an eBay listing and mail it off. Of course, you have your own idea of what is worth your time, and it may differ from mine.
For books, DVDs, and video games, it can be convenient to sell on Amazon or another site where you can enter the title or bar code info for quick product listing.
2. Hold a Rummage Sale
My experience with rummage sales over the years is that they have not been worth the time I took to plan and conduct them. For instance, if my husband and I made $130 during a five-hour rummage sale and figure we spent at least five hours planning it, then that works out to earnings of $13 per hour, split between two adults. Since either one of us can make much more than that working, it seems as if we'd be much better off giving the junk to charity.
And yet, I find myself answering the siren song of rummage sale again this weekend. Oh, well — at least some people make money on their garage sales, so maybe I'll get lucky this time.
You've got a hobby on the side that you spend hours on, so why not start raking in some dough for your efforts. Generating a side income will be a great safety net if you ever (knock on wood) find yourself unemployed. And who knows, work hard enough to grow your side biz, and you might actually get to leave your day job for it. Here are some sites that will help you get a head start on making extra cash.