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Earning Money on a Shoestring

Updated on July 5, 2013

What's in YOUR Piggy Bank?

Are you sorting through spare change?
Are you sorting through spare change?

Some Tips to Earn Extra Cash

There is no question that the economy has severely impacted many around the USA (and presumably abroad). When I was laid off from one position in 2002, there was a dip in the economy, but this current "dip" seems like a trough!

In this article, I propose some of the things I did in 2002 to earn money plus some newer things I am doing this year as I start a business and cash is tight.

I suppose we all are human and when feeling a money pinch, the tendency can go toward self-pity. I strongly suggest taking productive action to improve your situation rather than whining and complaining to anyone who will listen. If you are unemployed or underemployed, then you will have some extra time on your hands. Use it!

Create a List of Things to Do

Create a list of things you want to accomplish. Here are some productive things I or others I know have done when the economy dips:

  • Clean out the basement or garage.Get rid of those things you don't use that clutter up your life. Find some consignment stores in your local area and get rid of those extra clothes. If you have a digital camera, photograph personal "surplus" and put them for sale on eBay or CraigList. If there is no market for your unwanted items, donate them to a charity who can use them to somebody's betterment.
  • Create something to sell with your own skills. Do you knit or sew or do woodworking? Offer custom work if you can do it.
  • Reclaim and recycle unused items. Do you take computers apart? Part out that old machine of yours whose components do not all work. Sell old cell phones and other electronics or parts like chargers for them.
  • Perform work in your own home. (Do ignore all those scamadvertisements!) Can you cut and style hair? Can you de-virus or optimize a computer? See who needs your services locally. You may just end up with your own business from this.
  • Start blogging. See if there is truly any money in developing a following and earning some affiliate income. Improve your writing skills. Rant if you must. (Sometimes misery really does love company!)
  • Create web sites or eBay stores for yourself and others. You likely will learn something applicable to a better job and you might even help somebody.
  • Invent something. We have all had great ideas at one time or the other. What is a product you have searched for unsuccessfully in the marketplace? Is it feasible to produce it? Act now before you take on that next 60-hour-per-week job!

Take action on Your List

Taking action is far more useful than commiserating. You have now armed yourself with a list of items to address.

In addressing them, you will feel more empowered over your life, if not yet over your earnings. You may learn something new. People did survive the depression and some businesses thrived. Not to sound trite, but necessity is the mother of invention. It is possible to enjoy time off while being unemployed or underemployed. I wish you well!

Please Add Tips to Earn Extra Cash:

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    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      7 years ago from Aurora

      Thanks. I feel the "Occupy X" stuff in largely in part to the rampant joblessness in the US.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great ideas, thansk! It might help to wear a new hat in this economic mess!

    • Johanna Smith profile image

      Johanna Smith 

      9 years ago from Fort Collins, CO

      My piggybank is emply at the moment. :-(

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 

      9 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      Ideally, one would find something that is up in a down market and capitalize on it.


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