by Michelle Jones
Whether you need more money just to make ends meet, are working towards getting out of debt, paying for college or buying a home, or looking for ways to increase your giving, here's a helpful list of cash generating ideas.
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And a word of encouragement for those who need more cash to make ends meet. As the saying goes... "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." No matter what your situation is, there are many ways to create some extra cash. You just have to pick yourself up and get to it!
1. Get a Second Job
There are companies looking for part-time help all the time and this can be a great way to earn more cash. Just remember to consider the extra expenses you might incur while working a second job; If you're eating out every night because you're working 14 hours a day and no longer have time to cook for yourself, or incurring additional expenses for clothing, or transportation because the new job is across town, or the extra income has bumped you up into a much higher tax bracket… you get the point.
Check last year's tax instruction booklet to get a general idea of how much additional tax you may owe (it may be very little), or more importantly, for any credits or exemptions you may no longer qualify for with the higher income. Getting a second job can be a great idea; it just needs to bring in enough money to surpass those additional expenses. And in most cases, it will.
2. Cut Back on Spending
This is usually the easiest and quickest way to create more cash, and it's something everyone can do. If you’ve already sized down and cut back as far as you can, I challenge you to look further. Write down all of your spending for a few weeks and undoubtedly you’ll find something else that can be cut. No matter how small the savings may be, every penny counts.
3. Cancel Subscriptions
If you have several magazines you're subscribed to, keep your favorite one and cancel the rest. Daily newspaper subscriptions can be very costly, consider going to a weekend only delivery (to get the coupons of course!), or cancel your subscription altogether and pick up the Sunday paper at a local store each week as needed. And if any of your subscriptions have time left, you should be able to get a refund for the difference.
4. Stop Buying New Books
Find something good to read at the library instead, for free! Many libraries will even order new books for you to read if it's in their budget, all you have to do is ask. Depending on how serious your bookstore habit is you could save a lot of money here.
5. Use Those Coupons!
When you toss those weekly coupons out with the trash it's almost like throwing away CASH. Take a few moments each week to cut out just the coupons you can really use, then look through the grocery store advertisements and match your coupons to the sales, saving double! And if your grocery store doesn’t offer a double coupon deal, try to find one that does.
6. Forget Your Loyalty to Name Brands
You can save a fortune buying store brand foods, which are almost always just as good. Especially when using the item in a recipe with other ingredients – no one will notice the difference. You don't have to commit to buying them for the rest of your life, just try them!
Read more of my grocery cutting tips at GrocerySavingTips.com
7. Combine Errands into One Trip
I've used this little trick for years. The more errands you can combine into one weekly trip, the more gas money you will save, therefore creating more cash. You can also carpool or walk to your job and local stores if possible. When carpooling with a friend, either take turns driving your own car each week or split the gas money.
8. Stop Buying Expensive Gifts
When you need to create more cash, spending money on expensive store-bought gifts for your family and friends, or even yourself, doesn’t make much sense. My husband and I went through many years where we were unable to buy each other birthday, Christmas or even anniversary presents. It wasn’t pleasant but we survived, and so did our marriage. You can’t put a price on getting through tough times together - it made our relationship even stronger!
So, if you're short on cash, make homemade gifts such as artwork, home baked cookies and frugal crafts. And a special poem or letter can mean more than a store-bought gift any day. We will continue to feature great homemade gift ideas at BetterBudgeting.com, it's a great way to create more cash! (Also see #12)
9. Cancel Memberships to Health Clubs
Walking is one of the best exercises for you anyways, and it’s still FREE! If you don’t have an area near your home that is good for walking, many shopping malls open up early so people can walk safely and comfortably (no bad weather conditions to worry about). And, at that hour the stores will still be closed so there won’t be any temptation to spend money! You could even walk at Walmart or the grocery store, and holding onto the shopping cart may be good for those folks that need a little extra help. Just remember it's OKAY to have an empty cart! ;o)
10. Create Cash by Selling Your Books, Videos and CDs Online
Selling items on eBay can be a little time consuming, but I've sold a handful of books myself and it's really quite easy. They have step-by-step instructions on how to list an item for sale, and I would suggest starting with just one or two items until you get comfortable with the process. Now that our kids are getting older, we're also learning how to sell their used college textbooks online at various stores like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Some people make a living by selling items on eBay (you could consider it a full or part-time job), they may purchase items at garage sales, store clearances, anywhere they can get stuff to sell, then they sell it online for a profit - even if it's just a dollar more than what they paid. However, you would think many of their items must be for a good profit if they are making a living. But even if you don't want to make a business out of it, you can at least stop thinking about it and just try them out, turn those items you no longer need into cash!
11. Have a Garage Sale or Work with Consignment Stores
When dealing with consignment stores, make sure they are reputable and have been in business for a while. Otherwise you could give them a carload of items to sell, only to have them close up shop the following month. You could even start your own business by helping other people sell their stuff - if this is something you enjoy doing.
12. Sell Your Handcrafted Products for a Profit
The list of items you can make to sell is endless – dog houses, book cases, bird houses, painted mailboxes, plants, quilts, crocheted baby blankets, cloth diapers, pillows, baked goods, homemade bread, jelly, Christmas ornaments, toys, picture frames… you name it. If it’s something people want or need to buy, and you have the ability and creativity to make it, you can earn a nice profit. Etsy is an online store where artists and crafters can sell their work. Give it a try.
13. Offer Services or Start a Home Business
If you have the ability, time, or qualifications needed you can offer several services from your own home - such as childcare, senior care, tutoring, music lessons, sewing, typing resumes to help people searching for jobs, lawn care, housecleaning, pet sitting and even personal shopping. Have some inexpensive business cards printed announcing your business services and hand them out to everyone you know. If you start a business I want you to tell everyone about it, promise me you will do that! (And tell them about us too while you're at it, that would be wonderful! :o)
14. Have a Bake Sale with Lemonade
Here in the US, after 9/11, a community organization did this and earned $50,000 for the World Trade Center victims. And for every disaster since, it's amazing what people can do to raise money. When it’s for a good cause any effort you make can turn out to be very successful. (Remember, any service that you can provide to make money for yourself can also be used to give money AWAY, and vice versa.)
15. Give with a Pure Heart
When giving, do not give to make money or earn favor… "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 (NIV)
And that could be more important than anything else you do, not just for creating more cash, but also for LIVING A BETTER LIFE!®
* * *Related Article Pump Up Your Paydays
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Copyright 2001-2012 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.
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