Love dogs, but not ready to get one of your own? Get your fix by taking care of other people’s pooches — and get paid for it. If your home isn’t dog-friendly, consider becoming a dog walker. Apps like Wag! offer on-demand dog walking, so you can pick up walks when your schedule allows. If you have space (and your landlord’s permission, if you rent), offer overnight dog boarding. Dog sitters on Rover.com, the go-to site for pet-sitting, generally command $25 to $35 a night, according to the company.
Take Greyhound's Lucky Streak bus to Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, CT; 888-226-7711, mohegansun.com) for $30 round-trip, and you'll get three $5 bet vouchers (and a $15 food credit) for free. Just make sure to play games with the best odds—namely poker, blackjack and craps—and place your bets on the 6 and the 8, since they're rolled more frequently than any number other than 7.
First, you need to be willing to work more if you want to earn more. Everyone wants to magically earn more money by working less, but it doesn't work that way. Second, you need to be willing to try new things. You don't necessarily need to be creative. You just need to be willing to try to earn money in a different way than you currently are doing.
One should think about their skills, hobbies and basic daily habits as well. Do you like to cook? Be a personal cook or dinner parties. Baking? Make wedding cakes or cupcakes for weddings/special events. Do you enjoy cleaning? Trying going to banks/repo companies and ask if they are in need of a repo cleaner or market yourself as a all-around cleaner. Know how to mow a lawn? Get paid to do it in your neighborhood. Sell products from large companies – Jewelry in a candle, Sentsy, Health and home products – etc.
Whether for high school students or adults, you can monetize your expertise by teaching people with less experience or knowledge than you in that subject area. You can work with an established group like Kaplan for, say, SAT tutoring, or you could try hanging out your own shingle and making your services known either to students, parents and schools in your community. If you are targeting adults, you can create your own website or list your services with adult tutoring companies.
Mystery shopping can be a way to earn a little money moonlighting close to home. Also known as secret shopping, it involves pretending to be a regular customer at a business and then providing feedback on your experience to the company that hires you. That company then aggregates the feedback of multiple mystery shoppers to let the business know how it can improve. However, these types of jobs can also be the bait for work-at-home scams, so you have to be very careful and know the signs of mystery shopping scams.
Sign up with focus groups in your area. Studies that you are eligible to participate in pop up sporadically but pay quite well – often more than $50 for an hour of your time. You can also look for focus groups online but will have to sort through a lot of bogus “opportunities” and sites that ask you to pay up-front for the privilege of participating before you find anything worthwhile.
If you hook up with a for-hire car parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held. The key here is to do a great job by showing hustle and being super friendly. This was one of the most enjoyable jobs I had during graduate school. Who doesn't like to drive nice cars?
Professional head shots can cost about $400 and up, so charge around $80--$100 to take photos with a decent digital camera. Have your clients do their own hair and makeup, always shoot them in natural light (it tends to be more flattering) and offer a discount if their friends book sessions with you. Place a basic listing on backstage.com (for free!) or distribute flyers at local acting studios.
I recently stumbled on the Trim app and I have to say, this one is a game changer. It’s a simple app that acts as your own personal financial manager. Once you link your bank to the app, Trim analyzes your spending, finds subscriptions you need to cancel, negotiates your Comcast bill, finds you better car insurance, and more. And of course, the app is free! My bet is that it will only take a few days for Trim to put an extra $100 in your pocket. So easy!