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How to Make Extra Money in a Bad Economy

Updated on October 20, 2017
Yes, this economy does suck!
Yes, this economy does suck! | Source

Been There, Done That...

Let’s face it. This economy sucks. With the downgrade in the US credit score and the way the stock market has been reacting to it, it’s possible that things are only going to get worse before they get any better. Unemployment is high and the reports say that it isn’t going to get any better. A lot of the ways to make extra money have been done to death and finding something new is becoming more difficult every day. So what do you do if you need extra cash in a not so good economy that will actually work that you may not have considered before?

Thinking outside the box is the key to making extra money in a bad economy. Using a plan that is unconventional and legal is very important. When you find something that works for you, stick to it and you’ll be able to survive until things eventually turn around and all is right with our world once again.

List Your Spare Room on Airbnb

#1 Got a Spare Room?

It’s no secret that the foreclosure rate is higher now than ever. People are unfortunately not able to keep their homes and banks are taking their houses left and right. Thing is, everyone needs a place to hang their hat. If you have a spare bedroom in your house you can make extra money byrenting that spare bedroom out. Not only to those who have lost their homes but college students, senior citizens and other singles are all looking for a nice place to live at a reasonable price.

I know what you are thinking. Stranger danger! Not necessarily though. There’s no place written in stone that you have to rent to the first person that is interested in the room. You have to do your homework here. Check references including job and personal. Require a reasonable, refundable damage deposit and payment by the week, not by the month since it is easier for most people to pay this way.

Oh, and be clear and upfront on the house rules. Any misunderstandings can easily be resolved before they even happen with open communication.

Don’t want a full time person living with you? Then rent the room out for travelers. There are websites that will help you provide this service and there are people out there doing this that are making a nice income on the side. Be sure to check the website out thoroughly using Google to see what others are experiencing with this. My hubby and I are renting out our three extra bedrooms for the Super Bowl this year through one of these sites and will be making a nice little income for that week!

#2 Make Extra Money Writing Articles

Can you write? Yes, I’m serious. Can you string a few words together to complete a thought? If you can then you have what it takes to be an online content mill writer. These sites hire people from all over the world, including individuals who do not have English as their first language.

It can be extremely boring, selfless work but if you end up being a decent writer then the money that you can make in your extra time will be able to pay a bill or two every month. A couple of the most popular sites are Textbroker and Zemandi. You’ll be paid a couple times a month to churn out an unbelievable array of topics from weight loss to apps for the new iPad.

A day at the Flea Market
A day at the Flea Market | Source

#3 Catch the Flea Market Fever!

Having a booth at a Flea Market can turn into a little gold mine. The hubby and I do this on occasion in the warmer months of the year and make a few extra hundred bucks every time we do it. Most states that I know of do not require (or don’t care) if you have the proper Merchant’s License or not (although I do have one) so it’s like having a yard sale at a location where there are a lot of yard sales!

You don’t really need a ton of tables to put stuff on. A large tarp spread out over the grass and your things that you don’t want put on top of the tarp where people can see them will be sufficient. Be prepared to haggle over the price. In fact, don’t price anything. When someone picks an item up, they are interested and you can tell them how much you would like for the item at that moment. If you want $5, tell them $6. More than likely they will either pay $6 (score!) or they will ask you to take $5 because they feel like they are getting a better deal and 5 is a nice, round number.

The main thing to remember is that people will buy anything. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if you have a half empty gallon of paint, a table with a broken glass top or a chair frame, those items are a great bargain for someone and they will be willing to pay you a buck or two to take what you see as trash off your hands. I’m always amazed at what people will buy at the Flea Market. Yes, it’s work but the money you make is money that you didn’t have that morning.

Spud, the puppy that inspired this idea.
Spud, the puppy that inspired this idea. | Source

#4 That Dirty Dog!

People love their pets and spend a lot of money on them, even in a bad economy. I’m not talking about dog walking here although I do think that’s a pretty good idea too. I’m talking about dog washing. This idea came to me while bathing our puppy after he had rolled in something really nasty outside. He does that a lot and sometimes the smell is so bad that it can activate the gag reflex.

I’d be willing to pay someone to come to my house and bathe this stinky animal.

So why not offer to-your-door dog washing services to make a bit of extra money? The only supplies needed would be a tub of some sort and a selection of dog shampoos for the owner to choose from if they didn’t have their own. A cheap, hard plastic baby pool could work for the container in a pinch. You go to the house, take Fido outside by the garden hose, put a few inches of water in the baby pool, spray Fido down, suds him up, rinse him off and you are finished with a few extra bucks in your pocket.

This idea can also be modified as a to-your-door car wash and detailing although it would be a little more time consuming!

#5 Sell it for Someone Else!

People always have something that they want to get rid of.  They need to sell a car, a piece of furniture or Grandma’s pearls and they don’t have the slightest clue where to start to do it.  This is where you may be able to make a bit of extra money.  Offer to do the groundwork for them for a percentage of what it sells for.   Then you can take the item and work your magic with the Flea Market, Ebay, Etsy, CraigsList or where ever you have the most luck of unloading the type of item that they are selling.  You take your money off the top after the sale and give the difference to them.  

Angry Bunny says:
Angry Bunny says: | Source

Don't Feel Boxed In!

Making extra money in a bad economy isn’t as easy as it is in other financial times, but it can be done.  These are just a few of the ways that we are able to make a few extra dollars when we need to and I’m sure that there are so many more things that haven’t been discovered!

What’s your favorite way to make extra money?  Have you tried any of these for yourself?  If you haven’t, you really should because they have worked for us.


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

      I know someone who picks up dog poop from lawns once per week and makes good money!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great tips, need to learn from ya

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 4 years ago from Tennessee

      I will definitely try the writing sites and the others are good too. I have witnessed several people with an idea flourish in the bad economy after losing their jobs. Necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes. If it doesn't cost much money, most ideas are worth a try.

    • profile image

      sellhousefastusa 5 years ago from Sell house for cash in new york , brooklyn, queens, long island, bronx & nationwide !

      Nice tips thanks

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Nice hub with some great ideas! I have written for textbroker and a few other web sites. You are correct that it can be boring and that it is easy money that will help pay a few bills.

    • slaffery profile image

      slaffery 6 years ago from Kansas, USA

      Great ideas. My husband will probably be unemployed soon due to an injury he sustained and it would be nice to have ideas as he wants to start up his own business. The dog washing and the car washing were insightful and I never would have thought of that. Thanks for sharing this article. Voted up and useful

    • Nspeel profile image

      Nspeel 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach

      I am glad people are still doing some of these things for money, the flee market was not on my list although i am going to look into it. I am all for Making Money While I Sleep, it's a great feeling. Good article Thank you

    • Helena Ricketts profile image

      Helena Ricketts 6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks so much!

    • Misty May profile image

      Misty May 6 years ago

      Great Hub!