A few years ago I wrote 11 Great Ways to Earn More Money, a piece that is quite popular here even to this day. I decided to add to that line of thinking and list seven more (relatively easily) great ways to add a bit of extra cash to your pocket. Here goes:
- Open a high-interest checking account. This is what I did with my credit union and it's worked out quite well so far. Even though they reduced the rate from 4% to 3%, 3% is still by-far the best rate of return I have on my cash. Check for similar offers where you live or locate a national bank/credit union with online accounts that allow anyone to participate in their offers no matter where they live.
- Tutor or teach online. If you are an expert in a field, whether it be math, English, engineering, or something else, you can sign up to be an online tutor. You’ll need a web cam as well as a head set, and of course, you should be good at explaining difficult concepts. To find a job as an online tutor, a good place to begin is tutor.com. Tutor.com also offers bonuses and performance incentives. Or you could simply teach at a college or university. I am considering this option as a way to make a bit more money as well as a potential transition job into early semi-retirement. To find a part-time job at the local college or university, check the school’s website.
- Sell your photos online. In addition to good content, websites and blogs need photos (at least most do, I don’t use many). If you have a knack for taking pictures, consider selling your photos to stock photo sites. Most photos earn .25 to .50 per use. Pick a niche, such as money related photos for personal finance blogs, and take photos to fit the niche to maximize your earnings. A few good sites to consider include iStockphoto, Big Stock, and shutterstock.
- Rent out your car. If you don’t use your car frequently (and don't mind someone else using it), you can rent it out to your neighbors. There are three major companies offering this service—RelayRides.com, Spride.com and Getaround.com. These programs aren’t available in all states, but if you are eligible, you could make $7 to $10 an hour renting out your car to neighbors. (RelayRides.com, for instance, takes 35% of what you earn and also charges you for the gas that the borrower used, so make sure to put a competitive rate on the cost of your car.) Remember to consider wear and tear on your vehicle when deciding if this is a good program for you.
- Rent out your finished basement. If you have a home with a finished basement, consider converting it to a rental unit. If you live in a desirable location near a big city or close to a college town, you could earn a nice income every month without much added cost. And you could use the money to pay down your mortgage more quickly. We have a finished basement with a bedroom and full bathroom. I've considered this idea, but haven't yet pulled the trigger. But I keep it in mind in case I ever really needed some extra money.
- Rent out your home for storage. If you don't like the idea of someone living with you, consider renting out part of your home for storage space. It's a $17 billion industry, so why not get your share of the pie? That extra space you have in your garage, shed, basement, or spare room could be earning you some cash. Just be sure you have the proper insurance to cover and storage-related issues/problems that could occur.
- Become a dog walker or pet sitter. Dog walking is always an in demand job as long as you are willing to walk in any type of weather and you are reliable. Chances are, if you are hired as a dog walker, the owner may trust you enough to become a pet sitter in the future, which will save them kennel boarding costs. You could either stay in the owner’s house (for which you could charge a higher fee) or have the animal come to your house. Of course, if you stay in the owner’s house, they also get the added protection of not leaving the home empty. A great place to find dog walking jobs in your area is Craigslist, unless you live in a subdivision as we do and have plenty of neighbors with dogs. (FYI, my daughter and a co-worker's daughter both pet sit and walk dogs and they do quite well.)
That's my list -- how about yours? What are your favorite ways to earn extra money?