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Four Ways to Make Extra Cash This Year

Written by Teri Cettina on January 28, 2015 in Family Money  |   31 comments

If you’ve resolved to make more money this year, there are many ways to do that without switching jobs or getting a second one. If you’re willing to give up a few evenings and weekends, you can try these creative ways to make a few…

Four Ways to Make Extra Cash This YearIf you’ve resolved to make more money this year, there are many ways to do that without switching jobs or getting a second one. If you’re willing to give up a few evenings and weekends, you can try these creative ways to make a few extra bucks.

Rent a room or home to travelers through sites like Airbnb.com and VRBO.com

Best for people who have flexible work schedules (to communicate with and meet guests), adapt easily to new people and situations, or travel a lot and are willing to open their home to fellow travelers.

Not so great for people who have a rigid work schedule—you may need to leave during the day to meet guests or do repairs.

Tips for maximizing profits: If you’re buying a rental property with the intent of renting it out to travelers, use the 1 percent rule, suggests Paula Pant, a personal finance and real estate expert who blogs at AffordAnything.com. In other words, the monthly fees you expect from travelers should equal 1 percent or more of the purchase price. To save money, Pant suggests managing guest turnover and doing your own cleaning, vs. outsourcing those tasks.

Additionally, before you rent a room to a potential guest, check his or her reviews from past visits to be sure the person is rent-worthy. If he or she has left many bad reviews of other properties, the problem could be with the person, not the properties. You may also want to do a background check on any potential renters for your own safety.

Be sure to check your area’s landlord-tenant laws before deciding to go this route because every municipality’s laws are different. Pant says that if you do an online search, only trust information that comes directly from a primary source, such as a city government webpage.

Provide services through sites like Elance or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Best for people who can fit in small amounts of work throughout their days and evenings and who have work skills that are in demand online, such as writing, marketing, website development, or coding.

Not so great for people who have inflexible work schedules or work slowly.

Tips for maximizing profits: When setting a price for your services, don’t sell yourself short, says Kelli Grant, consumer reporter at CNBC.com. Although you might get a few more jobs if you’re cheaper than your competition, you may not make enough money to make it worth your time once you factor in how long a job takes or any equipment required.

Hold garage sales

Best for people who live in single-family homes where they’re allowed to hold sales. It’s even better if that house is in a neighborhood willing to hold group sales.

Not so great for people who don’t have someone to help on sale day. You need more than one person to run a sale, to help safeguard your money and property, and to assist with helping people during a busy time, says Lynda Hammond, author of The Garage Sale Gal’s Guide to Making Money Off Your Stuff.

Tips for maximizing profits: Start your sale on a Friday and continue it on Saturday. Hammond says there are fewer Friday sales, so you won’t compete for customers. She suggests “opening” at approximately 6:00 AM. After all, the early birds are already parked out front anyway.

TIP: Sell collectibles for less than their eBay price, suggests Hammond. You won’t make as much as you would online, but you avoid the hassle of packing items, shipping them, talking to buyers, and dealing with returns.

Sell items online through sites like Craigslist and eBay

Best for people who love garage and estate sales, don’t mind spending their weekends driving to multiple sales, and have room to store items until they sell.

Not so great for people who don’t have the patience for visiting multiple garage and estate sales, don’t enjoy cleaning or revamping used items, and don’t want to deal with eBay shipping or meeting strangers via Craigslist.

Tips for maximizing profits: As you shop a garage sale for items to resell, balance your time against your return on investment, suggests Gina Lincicum, blogger at Moneywisemoms.com. Buying a large outdoor toy and then cleaning it will take more of your time, but it will sell for more than a dirty toy. Check used clothes carefully for stains and holes—fixing and cleaning them might not be worth the small profit you’d earn. Keep notes over time about what sells well in your area, and tweak your offerings to increase your profits.

Making extra money doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Find something you enjoy and look for ways to make it work for you. Whether it’s refurbishing old furniture or simply writing copy for a website, there are plenty of ways to make extra cash. What other ways do you suggest?

Teri Cettina is a mom of two daughters and freelance writer who specializes in personal finance and parenting topics. She blogs at Your Family Money. Follow her on Twitter: @TeriCettina

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. mrs. ali says:

    thanks. im looking foward to trying some of these income producing projects.

  2. Lesli says:

    Thank you. I’m going to try elance as I like that kind of stuff.

  3. Sharon C.W. says:

    Appreciate Info, will try some of them, Thanks! 🙂

  4. C. H. says:

    I have used both garage Sales and selling larger ticket items on Craigslist. Both have proven successful. You get rid of items you no longer want or need and make a few bucks in the process. Just don’t expect to get what your asking!

  5. Sally W. says:

    I live in a townhouse and we can’t have garage sales. I really don’t have anything that I could sell on Cragslist and I don’t want to have people knowing my identity. There have been too many fraudulent transactions on Craigslist!!

    • Carol W says:

      Sally, it is worth asking your HOA to have a neighborhood garage/yard sale! I also live in a townhome but they allow us to have garage/moving sales.. if they do not allow you, is there a open air place close to your home? Agree with you on the Craigslist, will never use it.. also, we have a community web site “Harfordcountysales or consignment” as there are a few of these & I’ve used this service to buy and sell..

  6. Carol W says:

    I don’t trust Craigslist, being single & having my info out there.. not good. Living in a townhome too but our HOA does allow us to have garage/moving sales! Sally W: ask your HOA & maybe they would be willing to have a neighborhood sale?! Worth asking..

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree Sheryl,
      Every time I post something on craigs list I get scam people contacting me asking me to cash a check and then they will purchase my item at a higher price. Better to safe than sorry 😉

  7. Mona E. says:

    Selling on your Facebook page is safer and better than selling on Craigslist

  8. beth says:

    offer up is like craiqslist. if you are selling on craiqslist. when someone emails you make sure to get there name and number. meet in a very public place and do not go alone.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Thanks for stopping by & sharing your ideas, Beth. It’s greatly appreciated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some police departments offer a location in their parking lot where you can setup a meeting to sell or buy an item to a person online. This will deter most people who are looking to do wrong and the transaction is recorded by the police surveillance cameras. Ask you local PD if they have an area specific for these types of transactions and if they say “no” ask “why not?” and then suggest that a location be setup.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Our local police department have set up an exchange point inside the police station. They did this in an effort to keep city residents safer when using Craigslist and other such sites.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a great idea. When I sell items on craigslist we usually meet in a local store’s parking lot during business hours. That way the buyer and seller can keep their personal life personal and both parties can feel safe knowing other people will be present. There usually is security cameras too. I really like the idea of having a meeting place in the police station. Maybe I will start meeting in their parking lot.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I had a yard sale, with both small and large items. …made almost $800 in a day’s work. The key to yard sales is advertising! If you advertise well, and ahead of time and plan at a good time of the month, you’re bound for success.

    • doubleaa says:

      Hi, looking for suggestions, please tell me when is the best time of the month for a garage sale, i am new to this, but you have excelkent ideas….Thx

  11. Augustine k says:

    Thanks for educating me

  12. Le Fields says:

    Love the ideas. I am wanting to purchase a house this year and worried about having enough of a down payment. Some of these ideas may really help. Thanks for the tips!! 🙂

  13. Londia R. says:

    Thanks anything is worth a try. I like cleaning. and I am a very good over the top cleaner. When I use to do cleaning. the use to say “Here comes the White glove lady” I believe in the GI way General Inspection! have a great and Blessed Day

    Love you Equifax you have made my life much better!!!!!!

  14. Gina G. says:


  15. T. Holland says:

    i want to start working on a doctorate degree. Extra money would definitely help!

  16. M Crawford says:

    Three years ago, I wanted to start paying off my debt ($30,000 in the hole) I bought a used lawn mower, posted a sign, and have been mowing and weeding gardens for extra money. With money from my regular paycheck and the landscaping, I have been able to pay down my debt. My credit score has climbed substantially. And the only debt I carry now is a credit card which is paid off monthly. When trying to make extra cash, sometimes you need to think outside the box. I love gardening, I have had referrals from people I do business with. To me it I have turned a hobby into a great business.

  17. Della F. says:

    One of the easiest way I found to make additional money is in a working from home business where I earn residual income on products and services I use monthly. Every month we pay residual bills like electric service, internet, for security systems, computer repair services, we drink coffee or tea daily, etc. In the business I chose, we earn residual income from the residual bills we pay, and earn residual income from our family and friends that sign up with us.

    What a win-win situation.

  18. Sheryl says:

    Going to the flee market can be rewarding also. I just have not been able to go. My first time was very successful you just purchase a table. Also buy you a sturdy clothes rack from target it holds a lot. I was very surprise to make what I did in one day. I would love to go back but I can’t be out in a lot of heat. But it is very rewarding.

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