The secret to making money isn't working at a high-paying job, it’s finding creative solutions to people’s problems, and it doesn't take a fancy degree to do that. To get your creative juices flowing, check out these common and not-so-common ways of lining your pockets. Below that, you’ll also find more general financial advice as well as some money-making ideas for kids.
Be proactive. Remember Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." Make plans, complete with as many calculations as possible, then anticipate everything that can go wrong. Then make contingency or backup plans for each scenario. Don't leave anything to luck. If you're writing a business plan, for example, do your best to estimate when you'll break even, then multiply that time frame by three to get a more realistic date; and after you've identified all the costs, add 20% to that for costs that will come up that you didn't anticipate. Your best defense against Murphy's law is to assume the worst, and brace yourself. An appropriate amount of insurance may be something worth considering. Don't forget the advice of Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who made several incredible breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease: "Luck favors the prepared mind."
Start a bed and breakfast. If you live in a popular resort area or own a historic property, a B&B might be the perfect side hustle. Not only can you work at home with this career, but you’ll also score some tax write-offs in the process — although most innkeepers caution that the profession requires a lot of hard work and is more of an attractive lifestyle than a money-making pursuit.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
@LauraGesicki I disagree Laura. Technology can only let an individual go so far with design. It all starts with the thought process and possessing the “designer eye.” This “eye” cannot be taught, but is rather a natural talent and ability to recognize good design from bad. Technology is merely a tool to display our ideas. Nothing beats natural talent and creativity.
Serve as an online juror. Some attorneys use large panels of online mock jurors to get feedback on their cases before they go to trial. However, the mock jurors must live in the county or federal district where the case will be tried. You can sign up at a couple of sites and receive e-mail notifications if a case is posted in your area. EJury.com pays $5 to $10 per case via the online payment system PayPal. You can't be an attorney, paralegal or legal assistant – or even related to an attorney – to participate. EJury says you're likely to have better luck getting picked if you live in a large metropolitan area, where more cases are tried, rather than a rural area. The average case takes about 35 minutes to review. At OnlineVerdict.com, where cases typically take between 20 minutes and one hour to review, fees range from $20 to $60. Payment is made by check.
Know your local lore? Big Onion Walking Tours (212-209-3370, bigonion.com) offers jaunts through more than 30 Manhattan and Brooklyn enclaves and is looking for new guides, who get $50 and up per hour. "But we have extremely high standards—all our guides must have advanced degrees in history and be licensed [by the Department of Consumer Affairs]," says Seth Kamil, Big Onion's president. "And it takes four to eight weeks of pretty serious training to learn the Big Onion method."
Become a proofreader. All kinds of businesses hire professional proofreaders to look over their copy and content for errors before they publish. This side hustle is one that could work for nearly anyone since you can work from home provided you have a computer and an internet connection. You can find online proofreading jobs through websites like Indeed.com and FlexJobs.com
We're a little weirded out by those Cash4Gold commercials (mail them our jewelry? who are we, Bernie Madoff?). Take the gold you no longer wear to KLIM Jewelry (66 W 47th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-382-1406, klimjewelry.com), where you'll make $25--$45 in cash per pennyweight (about 1.5 grams) depending on the purity. Event planner Dana Lowenfish got $1,000 for a handful of broken chains, two earrings and an old nameplate. "Gold is at its highest value ever," she says. "Get cash for jewelry you'll never miss."
If you're serious about making money online, start a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest and most sustainable income sources. As long as the blog is setup the right way, in the right niche, with the right content targeted at the right audience, and the offer is complementary to the content, you could make a tremendous amount of passive income from a blog.
Having your own site to sell gently used handbags is probably going to be a really, really difficult endeavor for what its worth. It will be hard to get enough eyeballs/visitors on those bags to generate enough sales to make you any meaningful income (it’s an incredibly small niche and almost too specific in nature). Not to deter you from the idea completely but you’ll need to commit to several years of patience to really hit a home run in that field.
The money is most certainly in the list. If you're at all interested in online marketing, setup email software and create a lead magnet that you can use in your sales funnel. Then, build up that list. It's often said that you can expect to earn about $1 per subscriber per month. If you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, that means you can earn roughly around $10,000 per month. You will need to deliver value and not pitch them on every email, but it is a very achievable goal in a short period.
Doyle New York (175 E 87th St between Third and Lexington Aves; 212-427-2730, doylenewyork.com) holds free appraisals of jewelry, art and household items one day a month from 9:30 to 11:30am. "The most successful thing is jewelry," says client-services rep Janis Youngren. "Also, silverware is doing really well right now, as is fine art." Doyle will either buy your stuff on the spot or accept it on consignment.
According to Carter, who's company provides coaching trading guidance to over 350,000 customers around the world, one of the best ways you can actually make money in options is to buy at the money calls 15 days before earnings are released and them the day before earnings are released. The excitement and anticipation around earnings typically drives up the price providing consistent winners, while holding through earnings is pretty much a crapshoot.
The cash back industry is ruthlessly competitive, isn’t it!? All of these apps want new users, which means you can load up on welcome bonuses. The Ibotta app is another opportunity to get a bonus: they are giving people $10 when they sign up. Unlike the other apps mentioned in this article, Ibotta specializes in getting you cash back at grocery stores.