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I Need Money - Ways to Earn A Little Extra

Updated on December 6, 2013

It’s tough to find a job during our current economic environment. Many of us have had to get creative in finding a little extra money (or maybe even a new source of income). Those who have jobs are not about to give them up, and those who are looking for jobs are competing against a multitude of people for the same work. So this is a guide to help with ideas on how to get money from sources in the online world and the real world.

Before We Begin

It's important to note that when it comes to earning a new source of income, especially on your own, you sometimes have to have a mindset ready for it. People can get very creative when it comes to making money, but you can run into several barriers on the way. For example:

Others - You might have people in you life who tell you that you can't do something, or think that the world will fall down if you try to strike out on your own. Words like "risky" and "unstable income" get thrown around. "You could lose everything" and "I don't think you have the goods to make it on your own" can stop you from making that little bit of extra money you might need. So be sure to surround yourself with positive people who encourage you on your endeavors, and will pick you up if you fall, rather than sit there with an, "I told you so" attitude. As they say, you are the summation of your five closest friends.

Money - You might have heard, "it takes money to make money." While this can be true for many ventures, there are ways to get started in a field without spending a dime! All you need is a bit of ambition and imagination, and sometimes just the right tools. I've listed several opportunities that don't require you to pay anything. Some will even help you out if you are trying to start your own business, but are afraid to completely take the plunge!

Yourself - This is a huge barrier for everyone - your own self doubt. As a personal story, I was always afraid to start my own business, even when I needed the money, because I was afraid that if something went wrong, it would all be on me. I've been in business for two years, now, and I have never had to make a call to my insurance or been accused of anything. It was all in my head!

As many people will tell you, the key is learning how to be confident. Without that, taking the plunge and learning to make extra money will be difficult experience, to say the least.

How to make money if you are the artsy type.
How to make money if you are the artsy type.

Home Business Ideas:

If you're looking for how to make money from home and you have talent, here are a few ideas of how to sell your talent online.

PHOTOGRAPHY:

If you’re a photographer, be it hobbyist or professional, you might want to try stock photography. Online websites like iStock.com, Shutterstock.com, or BigStockPhoto.com are looking for photographs, vector art, audio, and video to use as stock. As so much work nowadays is being done online, associations need to have access to certain media to use for their website, news article, video, or books. The person who buys the stock photo is buying the photo "royalty-free", meaning they do not pay you each time the photo is used. You are paid a one time fee for the right to the photo.

CRAFTS:

If you’d rather sell prints, or are skilled in crafts, you might try Etsy.com or Dawanda.com, which allows you to sell your home-made crafts. Or if by chance you are good at art, but you're not necessarily good at making home-made crafts, you can set up a shop at CafePress.com or Zazzle.com. Both sites are known for on demand t-shirt printing, but also print designs onto items like mugs, baby bibs, and clocks. If you have some old doodles you can transfer onto your computer, or have some witty sayings in your repertoire, this may be an outlet for you!

ART:

This is more a, "what you make of it" situation, but if you are big into art, and you have accounts say on Tumblr, DeviantArt, or some other form to show off your work, you can start taking commissions for work. You'll be surprised how many people will want to pay you for your artwork! I've had friends who do fanart of tv shows who have never had to announce that they will do commissions - he is just asked, and has made quite a bit of pocket change. He even has a large enough following that he was able to hold a raffle with his artwork as prizes to help pay for him to move to another country! Of course, he had the talent, the followers, and the right fandom to help him with that - but you don't need to catch lightening in a bottle to make a little extra cash with your artistic abilities, be it a hobby or an intended profession.

If you want to know how to make money online doing what you do best, visit these sites!
If you want to know how to make money online doing what you do best, visit these sites!

Earn money online without investment

The best way to make a little extra dough is to work for an established company. You don't need to invest any start-up money, and while the pocket change may not be outstanding, it can at least help when things are tight.

While we’re in the middle of the computer age, one thing many people have found is that there is no substitute for the human touch. This creates the need for actual online contract work. Some pay very little for the work required, some are what you make of it. But they are all worth checking out:

CHACHA -

ChaCha.com is a phone messaging service in which the client (anyone with a cell phone with texting ability) sends a question to ChaCha. The job is simple - you are one of the people to whom that question goes to. Whether you are transcribing the message, expediting it, or answering the question, the process if built on a live person answering the questions. You only get paid a few cents per question, but depending on how fast you are, how accurate your answers are, and what contest is going on that month, you can make some good money.

AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK -

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowd-sourcing site in which you can take on small jobs for a small amount of money. Jobs are usually small research jobs needed which shouldn't take up too much time. As outsourcing jobs is so popular nowadays, business people and regular folk alike would like other people to gather their information for them. Yes, it's a type of information brokerage. Jobs range from answering simple questions to translating simple phrases, and so on. Jobs don't usually pay more than a few cents, but can add up over time.

ODESK/FREELANCER -

There are many different types of freelance opportunities out there. If you have certain computer skills, writing skills, research skills, or know how to be a virtual assistant, you can probably go from employer to employer, enjoying the surge in popularity for outsourced assistance these days. ODesk.com is one of the more popular ones, as well as Freelancer.com. It's worth it to check out different sites to find what methods you prefer - whether you want to wait for the client to find you, or if you want clients to bid on you.

TEXTBROKER -

Many people who work online these days know what its like trying to create unique content for their sites, to try and gain traffic, and hopefully earn money. Well, if you're tired of being one of those people, or if you are searching for a more assured source of income, Textbroker.com may be for you. Creating content can be cumbersome, and many people want to outsource that burden onto others. Or someone may need an article spun into a different article, to be search engine friendly and promote their site. Depending on what rating you are considered, you can bid on different rated jobs. The higher the rating, the more you are paid per word.

FIVERR -

Fiverr.com has a simple premise. "I will do ((insert gig here)) for $5." There are all types of work available, from marketing to translation to voice overs, and even the odd, like dressing up in a suit and holding up a message. The best part is that you make the job and how long it will take to do it, and people find you and hire you for a gig! When you get a higher ranking, you also get the ability to add on extras to your job for multiples of $5. For example, I will post flyers around a college campus for $5. I will post up twice as many for an extra $5. I will hand out (said amount) for an extra $10. It all depends on your imagination and what you are willing to do, and the imagination of the people who will pay for your gig!


BLOGGING -

Blogging is more of a "it's what you make of it" kind of business. You don't work for money or gigs, you just work for yourself and have to promote yourself. Because of this, it can be really difficult to get anywhere in making your own money while blogging. Luckily, there are a lot of resources online that will help you get started blogging. There are a lot of ways to make a blog work for you, from affiliate marketing to paid ad space to getting memberships. And the profit margins can be little or lots if you know what you're doing and work at it. Knowing how to use SEO can help you to make the most of your blog. Some people barely scrape up any money, some blog for a living and live well from it, and some make enough to help them get by every month. Which one will you be?

LYFT -

If you have a car and live near a major city, you might want to try out Lyft - a ride sharing program where you use your car (2000 or newer model) to pick up passengers and take them where they need to go. That's right, you can become a cab ride! You get 80% of the donations from the rider, and you get to set your own hours! Lyft vets all their drivers by checking their DMV records, background checks, and checking that their car is in good working order, and you and your passengers are covered by Lyft's insurance, which covers one million per incidents. It's worth it to look into if you have a clean driving record, and free time to drive around!

Wondering how to make money?  How about a good old fashioned yard sale?
Wondering how to make money? How about a good old fashioned yard sale?

How to make money fast

Internet aside, there are way to make quick money in the real world. Sometimes making money online can be a little more time consuming of a process, as it may involve wait times for pay outs.

YARD SALE

This is the old stand-by option. Collect all the "junk" that was once your "stuff" and sell it to other people who want it. Don't have anything you can think to sell? There is another option - slowly collecting items that people give away in garage sales, yard sales, on the street corner with an paper marked "free", or people who give free stuff away online. You can either sell it as is, or if you are a crafty person, fix it up to look even better than it did before, and sell it at a yard sale. This is not as fast an option as simply holding a yard sale. And there's always eBay for those in the know - just not the best option for if you need the money straight away.

PAWN

Ah, yes, the other stand by for those who need to make money fast. Still have good stuff on your hands? You can take an item to the pawn shop, say your guitar, and pawn it for money right then and there. That's your collateral. You can then either slowly pay it back to get your guitar back, or sell it to the shop altogether and keep the money.

"I Need Money, But I'm A Kid..."

If you aren't old enough to hold down most paying jobs, there are still a few things you can do - it just takes a little innovation. Around your neighborhood, you can ask people if there are some jobs they need done. Lawn getting too high? You could mow it. Busy mom falling behind on some of the housework? Offer to do the laundry or vacuum twice a week. Backyard cluttered? Offer to help organize or clear their backyard.

One thing that most kids get into at a younger age is babysitting or pet sitting. People need a break from their kids or may need someone to walk their dog or entertain their otherwise noisy bird while they are at work. Step in and offer. Another not-so-glamorous, but necessary job is dog pooper-scooper! There are some people who have made a dog poop cleaning job into a full grown, money gushing business. See if you can put your foot in the door.

The lemonade stand is out, but there is always someone who has things that need to be done, that they just can't seem to find the time to get to. Cleaning gutters is one thing, but you might also want to consider taking advantage of your generation gap - technology assistance. Someone who has a lot of typing needed done might not type as fast or accurately as your generation, who was born with a usb port embedded in their side. Most people who absolutely need this type of work done have secretaries and the like to do this, but for those who don't, the affordability of the neighbor's kid might work out perfectly for them!

Use your imagination, and you might be able to find work in any corner of your neighborhood.

How to make extra money

Lastly, to make money in the working world, you might want to consider getting a part time job or a temp job.  Having a part time job can put a little extra money in your pocket and still give you time to job search.  SnagAJob.com lists quite a few full and part time jobs in different areas and fields. 

Temp work, on the other hand, gives you a chance to venture out in the world of business without getting stuck there, and can often provide benefits to their workers.  Some temp jobs even offer more money than part time jobs could, and you can buffer your resume with the skills you learned from the temp job.

A final word of advice…

For most of the online money making tips, I would recommend you don’t try too many, but choose one and stick to it. Trying too many just takes away from trying just one, and then you’re just working harder at making no money. So focus, and don’t be afraid to come a little out of your comfort zone. It might earn you a little extra right when you need it.

What do you do to earn extra money?

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