If you're running on fumes, financially speaking, but you have some money coming your way soon, consider pawning something of value to borrow fast cash. Of course, to get those items back you'll need to pay back the loan with interest. If you don't pay it back in time, that you'll lose the item. If it's really something that has a lot of intrinsic value to you, don't do it. But if it's something that doesn't, you can certainly consider it depending on your situation.
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With sites like ShopAtHome.com, eBates.com, and TopCashBack.com, you can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Selena Maranjian owns shares of AbbVie, Amazon, Costco Wholesale, and National Grid. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Costco Wholesale, Lowe's, National Grid, and The TJX Companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
5. Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
Take advantage of tax laws if you're self-employed. Money saved on taxes is still money saved. You may be able to deduct many of your business expenses (use of your home, use of your car, office supplies, etc.) if you keep good records. You may also qualify for tax breaks, such as deducting your health insurance premiums on your tax return. These laws are in place to encourage commerce and business growth, so don't neglect their benefits especially if you want to make money.
And while you’ve probably heard of selling sperm or eggs, don’t get your hopes up: Yes, the young and the healthy can sometimes earn good money as sperm or egg donors, but such opportunities require extensive screenings and long-term commitments. Donating blood (sans plasma), meanwhile, is a great and altruistic thing to do, but you generally won’t get money for it.
Become a social media virtual assistant. Do you love Pinterest or Instagram? Many brands and bloggers do not know how to correctly use these social media platforms. Offer your expertise to coach or act as a social media manager. It’s a win-win: the brand gets the right type of social media exposure and you can make money doing something you enjoy.
If you've ruled out survey taking as a legitimate way to earn money from home, listen to Bonnie Alcala. She and her daughter Andrea Spain, an elementary-school substitute teacher, take surveys online for fun and a little profit. They are careful to avoid any scams by refusing to pay an upfront fee or other charge. Bonnie and Andrea pocket around $100 a month for spending two hours a week taking surveys, which gives each of them extra pin money. In addition, they collect all kinds of gift cards and other prizes.
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.
Set up an account on Rover.com. Enjoy furry company once in a while? These days, many professional pet-sitters set up an account on Rover.com. With Rover.com, you can reach people in your area who are actively looking for someone to watch their dogs, cats, hamsters, or turtles, either in their home or your own. You can set your own rules and schedule and come up with your own pricing through the Rover.com pet-sitting platform.
Start a website or blog. Sure, competition in the online world is steep, but one thing that makes a good site or blog stand apart is the dedication and enthusiasm of its writer. Plenty of sites focus too hard on SEO and keywords, and while SEO-optimization is certainly necessary to help your content make money, delving into something that truly matters to you will set you apart from your fluff-and-stuff competitors.