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Unorthodox Ways to Earn Extra Money

Written by Guest Contributor - 43 Comments

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This is a guest post from WC of The Writer’s Coin. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS feed.

I don’t know why, but I’ve been getting free issues of a magazine called Time Out Chicago for the past few weeks. It sums up what’s going on in the city, things to do, good deals to be had, and other stuff.

This week, the cover feature was “Make Money: 44 Ways to Score Cash Fast.” I figured I’d thumb through it and find a bunch of tried and true tips for earning extra money, or maybe some money saving ideas — the kinds of things that you see on personal finance blogs all over the ‘net.

Instead, I found some ideas that I had never heard of before, and I wanted to highlight them here. Some are wacky, some are kinky, and some are downright ridiculous. But who knows, if these people are doing it, maybe you can too:

  • Polish your acting skills. Head to the hospital and pretend that you have a ruptured spleen or a busted johnson (my personal favorite). Hey, Kramer did it on Seinfeld, and all he had to do was get gonorrhea. $14–$35/hour.
  • Sell your underwear on online. Hey, if people are willing to buy chewed-up gum and potato chips that look like the Virgin Mary, why not panties? $15 apiece.
  • Sex talk. Phone sex operators can make some pretty good money and all you need is a landline and your imagination. This reminds me of poor Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love… Scamming potential clients would probably be more lucrative. $9–$20/hour.
  • Take off your pants and jacket. Donating sperm is still in vogue, and can net you $25 per deposit. For the ladies: you can donate your eggs for $7,000–$10,000… But you’ll have to go under for it. Scary.
  • Sell plasma. Giving blood is always fun, but at $20–$30 for two hours, I don’t know if it’s worth it. Plus the needles and the blood…
  • Be a script writer. This one appealed to me because I’m a writer, but this is simply transcribing stuff. If you can type and have your own equipment (a PC should suffice) then you can rake in $16–$20/hour. The pros can charge from $110–$165, so make sure you underbid them.
  • Special delivery. One guy runs a site called The Kinky Llama, and he delivers sex products on his bike. Anywhere, anytime. Sound crazy? He probably is, but he makes about $1,500/week. Not bad… Let’s hope he doesn’t drop his cargo all over the street though — it could be scary.
  • Get hitched. Marrying for money has a price tag, and apparently it’s between $5,000 and $50,000. Of course, you have to go through all the hassle, and maybe even kiss the person to convince the authorities, but if you’re desperate I guess it’s an option.
  • Get naked. This is probably the easiest tip of all. Nude models just have to stand there and hold a pose while ersatz painters ogle them. You can make $15/hour, but I don’t know if I could stand still long enough to make it worth my while. At least it would motivate me to go to the gym more often.

I’m curious how many people out there would actually try out these tips. If you’re interested in any of them, just do a little research and I’m sure you’ll find something similar in your area. If you do, then be sure to come back and tell us how it went… As long as it isn’t too embarrassing.

Published on March 10th, 2009 - 43 Comments
Filed under: Frugality,Working

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Heavy on the sexual jobs isn’t it? Well hard times call for…. yeah, I think I’ll pass. 🙂

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 7:20 am
  2. Sorry – had to unsubscribe – sure hope no children see this! Very inappropriate suggestions. I have enjoyed your emails up until now but refuse to subscribe to this kind of writings.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 8:50 am
  3. I’m pretty conservative, but I don’t see what is offensive about this post. There is nothing explicit or even close to it. Sex does happen. You wouldn’t be here without it. Get over it.

    But yeah, it does seem like there are a bunch of sexually oriented jobs on this list.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 9:09 am
  4. I live in a college town, and several friends and I have posed nude for art classes before. It’s a situation where being nude does not feel naked. All the art students are respectful, and if not, they are asked to leave and get an F for that assignment. (I had a girlfriend who had to ask a guy to leave, and she said it made the whole thing more comfortable fro her). The hardest part really was holding still.

    Another oddball job a friend does is get prodded… He spends monday nights being examined by first year med students who are learning how to give physicals. This pays pretty well and is apparently a lot of fun (messing with the kids minds 🙂 )

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 9:24 am
  5. Good bye. I hope no children see your post. You can count one subscriber off you list.

    Sorry, Nate

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 9:25 am
  6. Huh – don’t know that I’d do any of them, but yeah, I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Ummm, do a lot of KIDS read PF blogs?

    I’m pretty conservative and I don’t see what’s so offensive about this list.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 10:41 am
  7. LOL Some interesting ideas here. I won’t try any of them but they are interesting.

    I don’t see anything wrong with this post. I always find it interesting what people will get their knickers in a twist about. Oh, well (shrug). You can’t make everybody happy all of the time.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 11:38 am
  8. I guess some peoples family bonding time is reading through blogs together, interesting. I’ll go out on a limb and say these people probably wont be reading my blog anytime soon…

    I just want to know who is purchasing these used underwear… that really freaks me out.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 12:12 pm
  9. I donated plasma a few times back in college to make a few extra bucks for a spring break trip. Well worth it and easy to get done.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 12:38 pm
  10. Yeah, I know a lot of kids who’d rather read PF blogs than Youtube and Facebook!!

    Give Nickel a break!! It’s not even him posting, it’s a guest blog! If we can’t have some laughs in these trying times then when can we?

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 1:29 pm
  11. Good idea Vicki and Nate. Let’s hide all mention of sex from children (who of course love to read finance blogs in between viewings of High School Musical 3). That way they’ll be REALLY shocked when they go to college.

    I don’t understand how the first one (acting sick) makes you money …

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 2:51 pm
  12. Ahh, this post just brought a laugh and a smile to my day.

    As for the marriage thing – if that was mentioned in the Chicago area, it was probably regarding the massive Polish community. According to my Polish friend (a legal US citizen) the going rate for marriage (to obtain citizenship) is about $25,000-$30,000. But keep in mind there’s strings and background checks (over time) involved…and you know, that pesky thing called morals. 🙂

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 3:56 pm
  13. I don’t know what the big deal is. Sure there are some sexual stuff here, but I highly doubt any teens or kids would be reading a financial blog. I know when I was a kid, this kind of website would be the last place I would go…the only reason I went to the internet at that age was to look at porn.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 4:10 pm
  14. These are pretty funny – I guess it is certainly thinking in a whole new direction. I was going to give plasma once, but had to jump through some hoops for the paperwork (married name on social security card, but presently divorced.) I would go back and do that though.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 4:21 pm
  15. There was a segment on NPR yesterday that was talking with a young woman and her book on how she she used to pose naked for art classes. Holy cow, now we have to ban kids from listening to talk radio, too!

    The kids better stick to myspace and facebook since those are so pure and innocent.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 6:12 pm
  16. I like how the morally responsible adults object to this article on behalf of their children. If your children were reading this (!) and were offended, wouldn’t they just speak for themselves? I wonder if you actually had sex in order to have children. I wonder if perhaps you may have had premarital sex (yikes!). If a parent had some street sense s/he could probably use this article as a teaching point – a way to explain something to their child so they learn it in a mature, clinical sense rather than learning from peers during school recess. But let’s not concern ourselves with learning, let’s just shield children and explain it away as “naughty”. I worry about the future of our country because of the apparent scarcity of rational thinkers. Oh well, I just hope no children read my post.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 6:18 pm
  17. I sold my plasma a few times in college too. It was easy and a decent way to make a bit of money, but after the hour or 2 wait I usually ended up sleeping for a few hours afterwards because I’d be completely drained.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 10:09 pm
  18. HAHA, wow people actually unsubscribed because of this? I don’t even want to know what they’ll do when they catch their kids fooling around in high school.

    Poor kids….

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 10:11 pm
  19. If the “goodbye-rs” think this is bad, I wonder how they’ll explain to their children how they came into existence! I’ve read and heard that the sex industry isn’t affected in a negative way by economics. Anyway, back on subject. I give blood for free, so getting paid for plasma wouldn’t bother me at all. I’ve seriously considered the phone-sex thing, but, as open as I am in person, I’m sure I’d still get embarrassed. Believe me, if I posed nude, people would pay me just to put my clothes back on. My best friend was a medical transcriptionist for one of those places that advertise for same, and when they realized how much she could get done, they came and adjusted something (their program, computer, something) so the word count wasn’t so high. Rip-off! I prefer transcribing for local physicians on my own, that way I get all the money.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 10th 2009 @ 11:17 pm
  20. Caution on the plasma donation, it made me pass out the one time I tried! I do know those who do medical studies, donate blood/plasma etc to earn extra money.

    I also heard once about being a product/commercial test group was something you could get paid for. I registered for a site once and never heard back.

    Is the acting one sort of like being a mystery shopper? Is it as a test for the emergency room to diagnose you properly?

    For those that think this post is too racy for children… sure fine, but to unsubscribe from all the other great information that I have seen on this blog… it would take a heck of a lot more than this. Maybe if he posted naked pictures, or tried to tell me to take all my money out of the stock market and put it in my mattress.

    I would be perfectly comfortable if my 12 year old sister read this blog. She would gain so much more than she would lose. And have you seen the crap they watch on You Tube? Check your browser history sometime.

    I plan to send this link to the many many unemployed people I know. Maybe their new subscriptions will offset those that were offended.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 12:46 am
  21. Hm, The Kinky Llama sounds like a good idea, especially here in San Francisco, though I’m not sure I’d want to be known as the sex toy guy.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 1:12 am
  22. You know, I’ve always wondered how the phone sex operators actually got started in their line of work. I’m sure it’s not as easy as it sounds, there’s probably a pretty lengthy interview process for it. But, it’s always seemed like one of those jobs that were myths, lol.

    I would do the transcriber thing, as long as I was able to chose the topics and stuff. I wouldn’t want to transcribe three hours worth of bird documentation or something equally snooze-worthy.

    Thanks for the interesting tips!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 2:52 am
  23. There are loads of ways you could make money from home, that aren’t as far gone as these. Giving blood for money although it is an excellent cause it isn’t a long term solution and makes you feel sick if you give too much.

    You can make money through reviews, paid surveys and affiliate programs.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 7:15 am
  24. Goodbye Nate and Vicki!!! Don’t let the door hit your prude asses on your way out!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 9:12 am
  25. You can count me as an unsubscriber too. I can’t possibly imagine my non-existent kids EVER being a screen writer. It’s such a naughty job.

    To anyone thinking of unsubscribing, I doubt they actually unsubscribed. I get that from my readers too. It’s a cry for attention, especially when you put your own blog address in when you enter the comment. I bet they even signed up to receive followup comments to this article. The article wasn’t written by Nickel AND it was highlighting jobs already mentioned in a non-adult publication. Do you stop your kids from reading Time Out Chicago? Is it on the naughty list?

    As for donating plasma, I will say you have to be okay with pain. I had 6 med students trying both arms for 30 minutes to find the vein. It’s the big blue one RIGHT THERE! They eventually gave up, said I had “rolling veins” and blamed it on me, but they gave me the money anyway. As for “rolling veins”, it’s just a line used by inexperienced fools when they can’t stick a vein properly.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 10:48 am
  26. I like these ideas, very creative!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 6:30 pm
  27. All very good ideas. I’ve done the used underwear selling through ebanned. Just be very careful about keeping your identity under cover, some of those guys can get pretty obsessed.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 7:14 pm
  28. Pretty funny. The first one – heading to the hospital – makes me angry, though. Not as much those who do it as those who hire others to do it. ERs are over-crowded and there are people with real problems waiting.

    These “testers” or whoever waste ER stuff precious time when someone with a legitimate emergency has to wait. A friend of mine was waiting for 3 hours with a ruptured appendix. She was in pain. I wonder what these people would say if they were the ones waiting while someone else was just testing how ER works.

    Incidentally, if you go to an ER pretending, they’ll probably order tests, including CT scans. That quite a large dose of radiation equivalent of a few hundred X rays. Increases your chance of cancer 10 years later. It’s also cumulative, so it’ll add up to all the tests you may actually need at some point in your life. Plus the risk of dye allergy. When you really need it, the benefits normally outweight the risks, but for money? Well, I am sure an increased risk of cancer is worth $14-$35 an hour.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 10:30 pm
  29. Kitty – the ‘testers’ in the hospital are for the sake of training medical students in a classroom-like environment and they are paid by the medical school (which is associated with a hospital). They are not taking up valuable time in an ER.

    Nonetheless, these suggestion certainly match the title of the article, “unorthodox.” I am sure most of us have done something like this in our college days. Who knows, perhaps the economy will force some of us into a, “unorthodoxed” mid-life crisis. . .

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 11th 2009 @ 11:26 pm
  30. Its pretty good idea. But much sacrifice needed. Hahaha..Especially on Sex matters.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 12th 2009 @ 2:40 am
  31. Wow, I had no idea that this would offend anyone when I wrote it. I’m shocked!

    When I saw that the magazine was going be about cash-generating ideas, I figured it would be filled with old ideas I’d heard a million times before. It was these new/funny ideas that drew me to the piece.

    Hey, when times are rough, people get creative. VERY creative.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 14th 2009 @ 8:04 pm
  32. You’re always going to get some people who are offended by any hint of sex, WC. Just be glad that you didn’t make any prostitution jokes…

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 14th 2009 @ 8:58 pm
  33. Interesting ideas . . .

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 15th 2009 @ 1:06 am
  34. I regularly read The Writer’s Coin. This was another great post from WC. Very aclectic grouping of suggestions. BTW, I thought those were rather tame suggestions. I’ve seen much worse.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 16th 2009 @ 5:11 pm
  35. LOL, good post. Children as young as 12 have already have an idea what sex is. Hiding it from them isn’t going to help.

    Chances are, they know more about sex than we ever did when we were on their age. It’s so easy to Google stuff nowadays.

    Anyway, back to the topic.

    I know a few people selling their underwear… they even include skid marks and um… you know the other stuff. And they charge extra for it. Guess some people do go for that stuff (eww…)

    Get naked? Well, standing there won’t be the issue but of course my other body parts have a mind of their own and are not that cooperative.

    Try delivering sex products in Saudi Arabia and you’ll end up in jail. Guaranteed. =b

    Overall, truth of the matter is that many people do try these things out once or twice at least. In REAL life, we do what we must to survive. ^_^


    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 19th 2009 @ 12:13 am
  36. I am very disappointed by this post! I am a teenager who is seeking to remain pure. I purposefully avoid any sites that have any questionable content. If this is “tame”, I am glad I have not heard worse! The last place that I was expecting to see this type of wicked content was on a financial blog! Do NOT expect me to visit again.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 24th 2009 @ 6:05 pm
  37. I think I would be good at the phone sex job…..I’ve been called a natural pervert more than once….lol

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1st 2009 @ 4:30 pm
  38. Stupid.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 24th 2009 @ 3:01 pm
  39. I’ve done medical testing, but never the drug-trial kind. Mine have mostly been simple blood draws, earning $10 and up (plus free cookies and juice!).
    However — and get ready to unsubscribe, all you easily offended folks — I was once paid $35 to watch a pornographic film. Honest. It was a study on “female sexual response.” It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta get paid for it.
    I wrote about ways to make extra cash for an MSN Money article called, “Need an odd job? Give blood, watch porn.” The article appeared 10/1/08 — and I’m still getting asked, “How can I get a gig like that???”

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 25th 2009 @ 11:40 pm
  40. I’m a female and do nude modeling for art classes. I would like to find a job modeling nude to be photographed for medical related books such as anatomy and physiology, or biology. Does anyone know how I can do this? And how much does it pay? No porn or anything like that. I’m 21 years old and in good shape. I want to find a paid job where I can be one of the models in those anatomy textbooks.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 23rd 2010 @ 7:42 am
  41. I know a guy who married a woman for money – she was looking to become a citizen. It became very complicated by the time the second BCIS (formerly INS) interview came a couple years into the process. There are better ways to make money (although if you were paid more than he was…). Selling blood at least has one thing going for it – fast cash.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 17th 2011 @ 10:15 pm
  42. People here seriously need to grow up. This is the real world, where nudity and sexual activity exist. Theres really nothing here that should be offensive to anyone. If you don’t like the suggestions don’t do them.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 28th 2012 @ 12:34 am
  43. These will all wor for cash flow and my entire life there have been ads for all of them (except the scriptwriting) on tv. If you let your kid watch tv and object to this post, that is very hypocritical. But conservativosm might be an anagram for hypocritical. Good post. Nice to see something new on finance.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 26th 2013 @ 11:23 am

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