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Ideas for Earning Extra Money

Written by Ed Avis - 3 Comments

Ideas for Earning Extra Money

Busy people could sometimes — okay, always — use a little extra cash. But getting a normal part-time job is not feasible for many people. Who wants to be tied down to regular hours at the local diner when your kids might need a ride to soccer practice or help with their homework?

Skip the creepy ads for envelope stuffing and other get-rich-quick schemes in the newspaper, and instead check out these eight ways to earn some quick money without getting tied down in a regular job:

  1. Babysitter. You did it when you were a teen, why not now? Parents in your neighborhood, or parents of other children in your kid’s school, would be delighted to have a mature adult available as a babysitter. And if you sit for kids who are your own kid’s age, you’re basically just having a play date — except you’re getting paid for it! Being a parent is perhaps the most important credential possible for a babysitter, but you can get babysitter certification from the Red Cross if you feel you need more.
  2. Eldercare. Not wild about kids? Perhaps you would feel more comfortable helping people at the other end of the life spectrum. Seniors are living longer than ever, but many need a little help with the basics. Make it known in your neighborhood or community that you can provide a few hours a day of companionship, light cleaning, meal prep, bathing, etc., and you’ll surely find a family or two delighted to have a mature acquaintance willing to help out in this way.
  3. Pooper scooper. Nearly every family has a dog these days, but none of them like cleaning up after Fido. So offer your services to do it for them! Believe it or not, there are bona fide businesses that exist solely to clean up dog poop. You can set up a neighborhood version. Charge $10 per week, visit each yard twice per week, and you’ll soon be clearing some decent dough for just a little dirty work.
  4. Pet walker/sitter. Speaking of Fido, paying for a kennel when the family goes on vacay can be costly. Offer yourself as a pet sitter for half the price, and you’ll still clear plenty of scratch. You can extend that service beyond vacation duty by offering to walk dogs once or twice a day. Professional services earn serious money offering dog walking — you can do it for your neighbors or friends and pocket some of that money yourself.
  5. Tutor. Were you decent in English, math, or science when you were a high schooler? Better yet, did you major in one of those disciplines in college? Then help the children of your friends and neighbors by becoming a tutor. Kids these days have way more homework than any of us ever had, and parents are more and more concerned about how their kids will handle it all. Ergo, they’re willing to pay $25 or more per hour for tutoring.
  6. Private coach. Dad dreams that little Johnny is headed to the Major Leagues and Mom envisions Julliard for Janie. Capitalize on those dreams by offering lessons in a sport or other activity you knew well. You took piano lessons when you were a kid, right? Well, baseball hitting or flute lessons are basically the same thing. Get word out that you’re providing lessons in these areas, find a peaceful place to run them, and you’re in business.
  7. Housecleaning. Everyone dreams of having a maid, but few can afford it. Offer your housecleaning services and you can cash in on those dreams. You don’t need to make it into a full-time job — clean two houses per week and you’ll clear enough money to buy your family’s groceries.
  8. Family cook. You love cooking, but many people find it a hassle. Earn some money by taking that chore off their hands! You can prepare several meals at a time in their homes, or do the work at home and deliver it. Either way you’ll be making their lives easier and doing work you enjoy. (Just make sure you don’t run afoul of local health department rules if you make the food at home and deliver it.)

Whichever one of these side jobs you choose, you’ll be earning some extra money while helping others. And who knows, your new gig could lead to a serious business!

Published on October 13th, 2011
Modified on October 21st, 2011 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Working

About the author: is a writer and editor in Oak Park, Illinois. He specializes in personal finance, parenting, and small business topics. He is married and has two sons.

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3 Responses to “Ideas for Earning Extra Money”

  1. 1
    Mary Says:

    It can feel weird to walk dogs or mow lawns when you’re working as a professional in your community; if that’s the case for you, extend your professional skills to a side gig. You could write resumes for people.

  2. 2
    Angela Says:

    I find I earn a little here and there with things I list on Craig’s List or Ebay. I have also done the Just Between Friends sale. This is my favorite for earning extra cash. I usually send in about 200 items and make from $280 to $425 depending on what it is I am selling. The nice thing is anything you do not want back you can donate (they do it for you) and send you a slip and you have already have a list of what you can write off. Slick.

  3. 3
    Keely Says:

    I would suggest to sell your used books. I sell my books to http://www.bookjingle.com. I enter my books that I have to sell on the website and they give me cash offer that can be paid by either check or Paypal. They also provide a free shipping label. They buy all types of books – textbooks, nonfiction and recent bestsellers. Its quick and easy!

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