Start analyzing your decisions from the perspective of a firm. In economics, a firm's goal is simply to maximize profit. Well-run firms spend money only if they can expect to make more money from their investment, and they allocate their resources to the most profitable use. You're not a firm, of course, and you have other considerations, but if you make the majority of your time and money decisions by choosing the options that promise the highest return on investment, you'll likely earn more money, and that's good news for your shareholders (you and your family).
Participate in medical studies. If just the thought of this frightens you, know that the intensity of such studies varies greatly. Some studies ask participants (particularly those with medical conditions) to test treatments or medications that can have adverse side effects, but others ask participants to perform physical tasks with no lasting effects. If you are able-bodied and paranoid about keeping it that way, you can even participate as a control in a study at a nearby medical research facility or medical school.
Do you do a ton of shopping but don't always keep track of prices after the fact? Did you know that prices online change all the time, and most merchants have a price guarantee program? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund. It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts. If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you.
Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You'll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it's feasible for you, whether that's in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.
Use the law of supply and demand to your advantage. Most of us are familiar with the law of supply and demand--the more there is of something, the cheaper it is; conversely, the rarer the product or service, the more expensive it is. However, other than when we get to a toy store before sunrise to get on line for the latest fad toy that kids can't get enough of, we don't really apply the law of supply and demand to our own lives--particularly our careers. For example, if you're aspiring to do something that many, many other people want to do (so much so that they do it for free, as a hobby) then it will be far more challenging for you to make money doing it. On the other hand, if you do something that most people don't want to do, or if you get very good at doing something most people don't do all that well, then you can make a whole lot more money. In other words, choose a career in pharmacy over photography.
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
Be a private cab driver. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have set up services that connect drivers with people who need a ride and are willing to pay for it. In order to take advantage of this opportunity quickly, you must own a car, have a valid driver’s license, and meet other qualifications. It might take a little bit of time to get registered as a driver with the service, but once you are, there are opportunities to make money fast because these services are in high demand.
If you are a Walmart shopper, then use the Savings Catcher on the Walmart app. When you are done with your purchase, scan your receipt and the app will go out over the next several days and search competitor pricing for your products. If they find that someone offered that item for less, you will get a rebate for the difference in the form of a Walmart gift card (redeemable directly from the app.
Selling clothes you no longer wear is a quick way to make some money. Start with local consignment shops for faster cash, or use sites like ThredUp and Poshmark to find buyers. If you go the online route, be sure to take clear, well-lit photos of your pieces and research similar items to set competitive prices. Get tips on how to sell your clothing.
Seek a payday loan or title loan as a last resort. Companies that offer payday and title loan services are commonly available, and can be a way of making quick cash. However, these typically offer extremely high interest rates (sometimes with percentages in the hundreds). If you cannot pay the loan and any interest back within the stated timeline, you risk even higher interest costs or, in the case of a title loan, the loss of your car. Avoid these types of loans in all but the most dire circumstances, unless you are certain you will be able to pay the loan back.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
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Rent out a room on Airbnb. Living near a tourist area has its perks, including the prospect of renting out a room for a profit. With home sharing sites like Airbnb, you can rent out a room in your home – or even the entire place – for a day, a week, or longer. If you have extra space and might enjoy the company of travelers, renting out a room is great way to earn some extra money with little effort on your part. See our post, “How to Make Money as an AirBNB Host.”
Offer to watch children or pets. If you know anyone who has children or pets, you could easily begin a side gig as a babysitter or pet sitter. To let people know you’re interested, send out a group email describing your services, post an ad on Facebook, or tell friends and acquaintances about your availability in person or over the phone. You can also create a profile on a babysitting referral site like Care.com.
Completing paid surveys is a much easier process. If you know how to give your earnest opinion about a topic, you have all the skills necessary to get started right now. All you're asked to do is share your genuine thoughts and feelings about products, events, marketing campaigns and more. That could mean picking between multiple-choice options or answering a more open-ended question. Either way, the concept is simple and easy to pick up and run with.
Look, I know it’s not always realistic to pull these off; I personally wouldn’t bother trying. But if you’ve got a ton of stuff lying around — not outright junk, but stuff you don’t need, like the aforementioned DVDs and kid’s clothes — it’s worth a try. Advertise on Craigslist and put up signs in your neighborhood, then come Saturday haul a table out to your driveway (assuming you have a driveway), load it up with stuff for sale, and take whatever you can get.
I just pulled in $500 the other day by signing up for an American Express card for my wife, and a Chase Ink card for my business. I’m planning a trip and we are paying for it all by using the sign-up offers. There are also no annual fees on these cards. So I recommend taking advantage of a few signup offers and you’ll easily make $100 (if you qualify).