Updated November 13, 2013

How to Make Some Extra Money


Everyone can use a little extra cash, but finding ways to make it isn't always easy. Below are a few ideas to help you pick up some money in your spare time.

1. Sell your stuff

One way to make some quick cash is by selling things you already have but don’t need any more. EBay is usually the go-to place for selling pretty much anything you have lying around the house – barely worn clothes, electronics, collectibles, and so on – at a reasonable price. You’ll need a PayPal account, packing material, and a willingness to learn the ropes as a new eBay seller. But you’ll probably get more cash for your stuff here than anywhere else. This is especially true for collectibles and other sought-after items.

Books – especially textbooks – can usually be sold to online book sellers, such as Amazon.com or Half.com. Many companies will list on their website how much they’re willing to pay for a book or the fair market price you’ll likely get for it. Another option is to sell your jewelry, which can be sold online or at local jewelry stores that buy used gold and silver.

Garage or yard sales are another way to both reduce clutter and put cash in your hand. You won’t get as much money for each item as you might by selling them elsewhere, but the process can be far less time consuming. Online selling involves posting, packaging, and shipping each individual item, while selling stuff at a garage sale on a Saturday afternoon only involves in-person exchanges of cash and a little bit of marketing.

2. Sell your knowledge

If you have a skill other people are interested in learning, you could make money by holding a class or giving lessons. Maybe you’re a great photographer or artist, or you’re an expert with computers – you can charge an hourly rate to teach people what you know. Check with local schools, stores, and organizations to see if they host workshops or nightly, one-time classes that you could run.

Tutoring is another great way to make some extra money. Some high schools and universities will post job listings if they need tutors to help students in specific subjects. Local libraries may offer similar services, as well. There are also a number of websites that allow you to create a profile listing your subject expertise and then schedule lessons with interested students. You have complete control of the days and times that the lessons are scheduled and the number of students you take on. Most of these websites allow you to set your own hourly rate, as well.

3. Sell your hobbies

If you’re great at crafts, you may be able to sell what you make for some extra cash. Most communities host local craft shows or fairs, and these are excellent places for you to show off and sell your homemade jewelry, pottery, art, or even calendars. You may even be able to sell your crafts online – several online marketplaces, such as Etsy.com, exclusively feature hand-crafted items by individual artists. Crafters are able to create profiles, post pictures of items and their prices, and complete sales with interested buyers.

4. Become a direct seller

A number of companies allow you to become a direct sales representative for their products and make money from what you sell. Avon and Mary Kay are two of the more popular examples. Also consider Tupperware, Herbalife, and Amway, which operate similarly.

5. Get a side job

You’re probably already working at one job, but you might consider getting another part-time job to get some extra income. This job will differ because you’ll set the terms and aim for flexible scheduling and work that involves your interests or hobbies. You could offer to babysit for your family or friends, do household repairs for your neighbors, or run a dog walking service. You might also consider a night or weekend job at a store you like – the local sports card store if you love football, for example.

6. Do freelance work

If you don’t want to commit hours to a side job every week, freelance work is a great alternative. It gives you the freedom to look for work when you need some extra cash without the commitment. Some examples of freelance jobs include article writing, document typing, and transcription services. People with special skill sets can look for more advanced (and higher paying) freelance work like website design, bookkeeping, or tech support. Craigslist is a great place to start when looking for local freelance work, but other websites like Elance.com that specifically cater to freelancers have become popular of late, as well.

7. Spend time online

If you’re like most people, you spend a good deal of your free time online anyway, so why not get paid for it? Some companies will pay you to complete Internet-based work like reading and answering emails or doing basic web searches.

8. Use your car

One of the more innovative ways to make some extra cash is by allowing companies to put advertisements on your car. They pay you a fee to use your car as advertising space, and you agree to drive a certain amount of miles per week or month. If you have a long commute, you may be driving those miles already, so the extra money you make will come with little or no extra effort.

9. Rent out a spare room

This option is mostly reserved for people who own their own house, but some lease agreements may allow people living in apartments to take advantage of it, as well. If you have a spare room or two, consider renting the space to a roommate. Such an agreement will provide you with a consistent, reliable source of income for as long as the room is rented. Depending on where you live and how big the space is, this could mean several hundred dollars of additional income each month.


Extra time may not be any easier to find than extra money, so luckily all of the above options include flexible scheduling and allow you to determine the number of hours you want to dedicate per week or month. Every little bit of extra cash makes a difference, and even if you’re only able to take advantage of one or two of the above ideas, you’ll likely find a few more dollars in your bank account each month.

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