Simple Ways to Make Extra Money

Young woman with magnifying glass to her eye.

Everyone can use a few extra bucks from time to time.  When an emergency hits  - or you simply want to splurge on something big -  you may need to look for ways to generate some surplus cash.  Here are some simple strategies for generating some extra income; on both a  short or long-term basis:

Mine Your Home for Gold

In many cases, there is no need to go looking outside of your home for ways to make some quick cash.  The odds are good that you have plenty of stuff that you can sell to boost your income.  Take a look around the house and dig into those closets for stuff you don't want or need anymore - do not forget the treasures hiding in your attic and basement.  Begin by purging any leftover toys and clothes that your family no longer needs. These can be sold at a yard sale or sent to a local consignment shop for resale.  Designer purses, shoes or other accessories usually generate the best price if sold independently on websites like eBay or Craigslist.

Next, look for older treasures and antiques that can be sold to private dealers or collectors.  Some collectibles can bring in a hefty sum if you find the right buyer.  Gold and silver are generating high prices these days. Even that ugly costume jewelry you wouldn't; dare wear can be worth hundreds.

Be sure to have items you don't know much about appraised to ensure that you don not accidently sell them for far less than they are worth. For instance, some vintage records are worth hundreds of dollars; while some antique furnishings aren't worth much at all.

Use Your Talents and Skills

If you don't have any items to sell (or they don't generate enough cash to meet your needs), you may have to consider finding a way to make money.   Before you commit to long term employment at your local Walmart or Starbucks, consider using your talents and skills to generate added funds.  Do you love children? Advertise your services to parents looking for before and after school care.  Or maybe you recently remodeled your home and got very good at painting.  Let others know about your newfound skill.  The odds are good that you can find someone willing to pay you to repaint their bathroom, kitchen or living area.  Whether you are a fantastic baker; love to garden; or simply can clean up your dog's poop in record time, turn those skills into cash by offering your services to others who need them.

One Person's Trash Is Indeed Your Treasure

Have you ever ridden around your neighborhood (or someone else's) on garbage night and saw perfectly good stuff sitting on the curb? Were you tempted to stop and grab it?  Well, do!   That discarded stroller or thrown out trampoline may bring in a good price at a yard sale, consignment shop; or even online. 

People throw out some perfectly good items simply because they don't know what to do with them. One Pennsylvania vacuum repairman scoured local neighborhoods on garbage night looking for discarded sweepers.  In one year he reported finding more than 100 vacuums with absolutely nothing wrong with them (and hundreds more that could be fixed) simply by watching the area's garbage. He picked them up; cleaned and fixed them and resold the same vacuums in his shop.  The man managed to make thousands in extra profits selling the used ones to his customers.

Find out when certain high-end neighborhoods have their scheduled garbage pickup and begin driving through late at night or early in the morning to grab items that can be resold.

Recycling = Cash

Remember scouring the neighborhood as a kid looking for soda bottles to cash in for a few extra pennies?  A more grown up version of this type of recycling for money can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in annual profits.  Take a ride through the neighborhood on garbage night and pick up anything that is made of metal and take it to your local recycling center.  Watch fir items made of higher end metals like copper. One discarded grill can garner $10-$25 for its metal. The same is true for aluminum siding; gutters and other metals based items.

Making some extra cash isn;t difficult. You just have to think outside of the box to find ways to generate extra income. Start with these simple tips and then look for other ways that you can supplement your income without the need of a second job.