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10 Unconventional Ways to Make Money

Updated on January 3, 2014


Making extra money might be the only way to make ends meet and even put a few dollars away for your future. Without savings you are living on the edge of financial loss. A major car repair, home repair or even a week or two of sickness may take you months or years just to get you out from underneath unexpected debt. Many people say that saving is impossible and yes in many cases, I agree. The job market has changed. Many manufacturing jobs have moved off shore and will never come back leaving many lower paying service jobs. Financial pressure on small business only compounds matters because the jobs that small business provides can be tenuous. There is only so far you can stretch a dollar and if there are just enough dollars coming in to cover expenses it can be impossible to save. Saving money is so important. So if you find yourself treading financial water and you cannot easily reduce your expenses what should you do? The answer may be in your ability to make extra money. When you are under the financial gun to meet your obligations you may find it hard to concentrate on which moneymaking opportunities are right for you. I want to help you and I’m going to present some ideas here that you may have thought of and one or two unconventional ideas that really don’t involve earning extra money at all. Some of these ideas may be right for you but before you

Three Types of Savings

First, let’s divide savings into 3 categories. I categorize savings into short term, medium term and long-term savings.

  • Short term savings should be considered your contingency fund. You’ll need $1000-$2000 to cover unexpected expenses. When you have an unexpected car repair, unexpected new clothing for a funeral or the water heater breaks down you should have enough money in your short-term account to avoid having to use a credit card to get through these events.
  • Medium term savings are the savings you will use for a, down payment on a car, appliances and furniture and if you are lucky enough a vacation.
  • Long-term savings I classify as the funds we will need to finally leave the workforce and go into retirement. The sooner you are able to start long-term savings the less you need to save each week and let the compounding of interest or dividends help you save for your future.

#1 - Taxes

So here are my suggestions for adding income and getting ahead in life.

Look at your taxes to make sure you are getting every deduction possible. Each country, state or province has a twist on how taxes are collected. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s just what politicians promised to get more votes. You may be taking care of a disabled child, a sibling, or parent and often there are caregiver amounts for special dependents. There may be tax credits for investments, donation of goods so charities can make money, age credits, spousal credits, or a host of other possible deductions. Go to the government website and see what they will allow line by line on your return. One of my family members is a professional tax preparer and has often found refunds for the caregiver provisions in Canadian taxes. She has help countless people recover thousands of dollars in deductions because other tax preparers forgot to ask. Do your research and if you think your tax preparer is not taking advantage of all that is available to you get a second opinion.

#2 - Fiverr

If you have a special skill that could be in demand register with Fiverr is a website that you offer your services for $5.00. You could proofread a page of text for $5.00 or create text for a web page or send out some emails. Think about what you could offer and get the ball rolling. Look at what other people are offering and think about what you could offer as well.

#3 - Employment or Your own Business?

Start a business instead of working for someone else. Why? Tax deductions. Any expense including the the part of your home used for business, the utilities and property taxes may be deductible. I have heard of one person who does a lot of business entertaining in his home says that his dishware became partially deductible. Now before you go wild with deductions remember that the tax department has some guidelines they follow and if you play outside of these guidelines your send up a red flag and it may be time for an audit. Consult your tax professional for some things that may be deductible.

Don’t forget that when running a business you will get more for each bit of work than if you were an employee. For instance if you were working for a carpet cleaning company you may make $10-$12 dollars per hour but if you own the company you may be making a total of $50-$100 dollars per hour. Yes you will have more expenses and more responsibility and maybe more headaches but consider it as a possibility. Many successful business owners pride themselves on their ability to manage adversity.

#4 - Double up On Your Second Job

If your second job allows you to double up take advantage of it. For instance if you are a security guard manning a desk you may be able to bring in your laptop and write some articles for Hub Pages. Baby sitters can also use this to their advantage after your client’s child has been put to bed.

#5 - Deliver Newspapers

Consider delivering the Sunday paper. I was recently approached in a grocery store with an offer to try out the Sunday paper for free but I was asked to pay the delivery person $1.80 for the delivery. Now if the delivery person makes all of that or even half of it delivering a paper can become a lucrative side business.

#6 - eBay and Auctions

Use eBay to sell goods you pick up at yard sales and at auctions. I have done this quite successfully. There are usually few problems with eBay because of the rating system. Remember that eBay charges a fee and you will have to charge enough to cover your expenses. More expensive items ($40-$50 or more) are better than $2.00 items. The small profit in $2.00 items will get eaten up in fees. One person I know buys used medical equipment at auction and is able to sell it to clinics in foreign lands. For instance, he might pay $50 for a used endoscope and a clinic overseas will pay about $500 for it. Now an endoscope may sell for over $10K brand new so there is a market for these items. If you are going to buy at auctions know your products or you might be sorry you took the chance. Auctions can be enticing and the quick action required means you might get carried away

#7 - Car Jockey

Be a casual car jockey. Many car dealers have drivers that move cars between dealerships. There might be a buyer at a dealership 30 miles away and dealers will swap inventory to sell more cars. They need drivers to move cars from dealership to dealership. To get a job like this you need to be mature, dependable, careful and have an excellent driving record.

# 8 - Be an Author

Write e-books. Why does an e-book sell? It involves having the right topic at the right price. To be successful in the long term content should be ‘evergreen’ meaning always current regardless of economic conditions and changes in society. For instance growing a garden has not changed substantially in many years. Look at Amazon Kindle for a free e-book on how to write and format your first e-book. A well written suite of e-books can make you thousands of dollars every month if you write what people want to read.

# 9 - Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Learn SEO and sell your service. Ever wonder how Google chooses who gets on the first page of a search? Google, Yahoo and Bing each have their own secret methods on how they rank pages but with some research you can figure out most of it. I have several articles that rank on the first page of Google so I know it can be done. Type in SEO and see who shows up on the first page. Start by reviewing their information and checkout the gurus on YouTube as well. SEO is one of those projects that is never done so it you can contract with a website owner to keep improving their pages you will have regular long-term income from learning and offering SEO for websites.

# 10 - Rent Out a Room

If you have extra room in your home or apartment consider renting out a room. There are pros and cons to this idea but sometime you just have to bite the bullet and share your pad. You can make a solid amount of money from this. A student roomer may be worth $600-$800 monthly. Most roomers will not be there for the long term so look at it as a temporary measure. There may be different legislation for “roomers” rather than renters. If you can classify yourself as an innkeeper you may be able to evict a “roomer” out on a moment’s notice whereas a renter may take longer.

Wrapping it All Up

In conclusion if you were to implement three or four of the above strategies you will put yourself in a much better position financially. I do recognise that the amount of time you give up will impact your life and to what degree you can tolerate this is something only you can answer. However let’s look at what this plan can do for you. Taking in a roomer can result in $600 per month extra income. Starting your own service business can produce $1000 per month. Writing can produce another $200 or more per month. If you have storage space like a garage you don`t need there is another $200 per month.

If you are able to save most of this money you will have your contingency fund fully funded, your medium term savings well on it`s way to be fully funded and your retirement savings started with regular contributions a fact of life and not a dream. One thing that you must also consider is the tax payable at the end of tax season. Try to put as much as reasonable into an RRSP or IRA and save the tax burden.

It is my hope that this article has inspired you to look within yourself and you feel you are able to control your own destiny. Don`t be a slave to credit cards and the next bill that comes in. With extra income you can pay down your debts, put money in the bank and maybe even make your retirement just a little bit more comfortable.

Best of luck.

© 2013 JanMaklak


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    • JanMaklak profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Marlene for the nice comment.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great tips. Your hub is very inspirational. It shows that with a little thought, we can find multiple ways to earn a little extra cash.

    • JanMaklak profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Melissa: That sounds cool and fun. I haven't seen anything like that around here. There are so many ways to make some extra $$$ and that one is great.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Some excellent ideas here for earning additional cash! Another simple way for a little pocket change is signing up at some of the product testing companies in your area. I have place called fpitesters that my whole family signed up for...You get paid $35-75 dollars to taste test new things or review products. The gigs usually last less than an hour, so it's a fun way to make enough money for our family of 4 to go to the movies or out to a nice buffet...

    • JanMaklak profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Sima: I just started following you. Each of these ideas have merit and will make money. Some more than others. Ebay can be great and discouraging too. It really depends on how serious you are in the business. Best of luck and check back from time to time.


    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Some great suggestions here. I especially like the Ebay idea. I didn't know about the medical equipment. Thanks for sharing. I just opened an Ebay account a few weeks ago.


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