If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
But cutting costs only goes so far. Unless you already make a lot of money and spend like a bon vivant, most people can’t eke out that much more from their budget by decreasing expenses. Plus, the more you retrench, the more your quality of life suffers. (It’s all relative, though — certainly some overspenders could actually improve their lives by tempering their expenditures. Here are 101 ideas for saving money.)
Okay, so it's a Les Miz--style desperate measure. But if you've got the tresses and the desire to chop 'em off, why not make a little cash while you're at it? You post photos and a description on The Buy and Sell Hair (buyandsellhair.com), either with a listing price or an invitation to field potential buyers' offers. Recent sales include 14 inches of black hair that went for $500 and 16 inches of never-dyed strawberry blond hair that went for $800. Fantine never had it that good.
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’ve received gifts you really don’t want – and they’re still in the packages – try returning them. Some retailers will take them back up to a year later. If you are not sure where the item was purchased, try going online and searching. If a retailer like Walmart or Target pops up then you can return it there without a receipt and get a gift card.
Another option that isn’t quite cash back but is along the same lines of “make money by saving money” — the Honey Chrome extension. Whenever you head to your cart to check out, Honey searches for online coupon codes or better deals from different retailers. That means no more wasted time Googling “[insert store name] coupon code” just to come up empty-handed. Honey does all the legwork for you!
Sell hair, plasma, or other body parts/fluids. Long, healthy, untreated hair can be sold for a variety of purposes (including high-end wig- and extension-making) and earn you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on color, health, and length. Plasma can be “donated” (for compensation) provided that you are old, healthy, and heavy enough to qualify. Sperm can be donated, but you usually have to know (and be able to document) a fair amount of information about your parents as well as your medical history to be eligible. But be wary; for example, donating eggs is often touted as a fast, high-profit medical procedure, but the process is actually requires that the participant undergo hormonal and medical treatment, receive regular checkups and ultrasounds, and abstain from sex and intoxicants, all of which take weeks or even months before the eggs are even eligible for removal. The removal process itself is invasive and lasts about 30 minutes. Consider your options very carefully before taking on anything like this.
Despite the jokes, it's not such a bad thing to come straight out of Central Casting (875 Sixth Ave at 31st St; 646-205-8244, centralcasting.org). If you're nonunion, download a registration packet from the website and deliver it Tuesdays or Thursdays (11am for men, noon for women). Have a SAG or AFTRA affiliation? Go on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays at 10am. Currently, the most in-demand parts are prep-schoolers for Gossip Girl and faux cops and corpses for Law & Order and its spin-offs. "Every day is a deadline," explains Brad Kenny, manager of Central Casting. "At 4pm today, a show could call and say, 'We need ten doctors and four nurses for tomorrow—they have to fit these sizes and be this ethnicity,' and we rush to find those people." The pay ranges from minimum wage if you're nonunion up to $160 a day plus overtime if you're SAG. Also try: NYCastings (nycastings.com) and Back Stage's casting search engine (casting.backstage.com/jobseekerx).
Evaluate Web sites. Another way to make extra cash in a short amount time – $10 for about 20 minutes of work – is to sign on with UserTesting and evaluate Web sites. You need a computer with a microphone and Internet connection, and you’ll have to fill out a one-page demographic profile. You’ll receive work if your profile matches that of the target audience of sites being tested. Then it’s just a matter of using UserTesting’s screen recorder, which you'll need to download to your computer, to record your verbal comments and on-screen movements as you click through a site. Site owners typically are looking for feedback about whether the Web site is confusing to navigate.
Be willing to negotiate. You might have two neighbors who want their sidewalks shoveled, but one might be willing to pay $5 per week while another will pay only $3. If the neighbor who's paying you less is elderly, living on a fixed income, disabled or otherwise strapped for cash, consider accepting the lower price in order to build your clientele. Remember, that person who pays you less might later recommend your services to someone else willing to pay more.
If you've watched Saturday morning cartoons like G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pokmon, you've no doubt heard Tom Wayland. The 37-year-old is a director-at-large for DuArt Film & Video and also freelances as a voice actor himself. "Compared to other acting gigs, like theater, voiceover work is the best bang for your buck," he says. "If you book a national union spot with residuals, you can make thousands and thousands of dollars over time." Wayland recommends signing with an agency like CESD Talent Agency (257 Park Ave South between 20th and 21st Sts; 212-477-1666, cesdtalent.com), which vets hopefuls by listening to their vocal demos. "[A demo] is your calling card in the voice world," says CESD agent Tom Celia. But he doesn't think you need to spend a fortune to have it professionally produced—editing together clips on your home computer will work just fine. And if you'd rather try to find work without an agent, create a profile for Voice123.com, which maintains a database of casting listings.
This can include advertising, but many businesses also need help just filling up their social media profiles with relevant (and consistent) content. If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take things a step further and make extra money, social media management is a great option. If you’re good at it, it can also open up a lot of doors for you down the road. This is a great article from Small Biz Trends on How to Start Your Own Social Media Business.
…Marketing an eBook is definitely the hardest part. Ebooks have exploded in popularity and the market is unfortunately saturated with crap from people who thought they could write a quick eBook, put it on an affiliate network, and make millions. However, if you CAN find a good way to market (or possibly have others market by having it listed on affiliate networks) then an eBook can be a great way to make some residual income.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
With just a few paint and stencil supplies you could walk the neighborhoods with curbs and solicit your curb number painting services. Obviously, you need to be somewhat handy with a can of spray paint and stencils, otherwise, you might have people coming after you if you mess up their curb. That said, there is a business for this as people are out there making it happen.
They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. Actually, when you consider that you pay taxes on every penny you earn, you really do make more money by saving than by increasing your income, especially if the extra income will increase your tax rate dramatically. For example, let's say you have a choice between saving $100 or earning an extra $100. If you pay 15% taxes, then when you earn an $100, you only get $85. But when you save $100 off of your existing budget, you keep it all. To sweeten the deal further, if you take advantage of compound interest as found in most savings accounts, over time you'll start making money on the amount saved plus previous interest paid on that amount saved. It'll be pennies at first, but eventually the amount will multiply exponentially.
Webinars On Air is a powerful webinar tool that will enable you to create professional webinars for your viewers. Harnessing the power of Google Hangouts, this all in one solution will take care of all the technical aspects of hosting a webinar, including payments. Also have a look at our guide to the best webinar software, both free and paid options.
Online business is how I’ve made a living since 2003 and what has helped me retire early. I make over $40,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy 15-minute step-by-step tutorial. You can start a blog for as little as $2.95 a month (less than a cup of coffee!). Create a blog and leverage it into affiliate sales or product endorsement deals. Consider topics like:
Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog, you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
This isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time consuming, but it can be done. I started PT Money in 2007 and since then the site has grown considerably, now viewed more than 200,000 times per month. The key to blogging is to have a long-term goal of making extra money in mind. You can get started by reading my article on how to make money blogging.
19. eBay – Of course you can’t read an article about making money online that doesn’t mention eBay. You can start an eBay store and get serious about it or you can just sell some stuff to declutter your home. Either way, I’ve made my fair share from selling on eBay and it’s still a popular way to earn money. If you decide to start an actual eBay store, you’ll want to find a drop-ship business like Doba that will store and ship items straight to your customers so you don’t have to deal with an inventory.
City-dwellers often don’t use their cars for days or weeks at a time. That idle time can translate to money with services like Getaround and Turo, which let you rent out your car by the hour or day. Earning potential varies by car and location, but standard vehicles typically rent for $30 to $50 per day. Luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles command even more money. Just be sure you talk to your insurance provider before signing up to make sure that you don’t run afoul of the policy.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.
Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
The hardest part about saving money is actually transferring the funds out of your checking account and into a savings or emergency fund. No one wants to see their savings account drop without an immediate benefit! But with Rize, you can automate saving so you never have to think about it. Just set a savings goal and a date, and Rize will do the rest.
Rover is a dog walking and pet sitting website that is always looking for qualified dog walkers in cities all over the United States. So when you take your pup on a walk, you can also take a second (or third) dog with you and get paid to walk. 30-minute walks fall in the $10-30 range. With a neighborhood route, that can add up quickly! You’re just a short application away from getting started.