Maybe you overspent at Christmas, or you'd like to rent a cabin this summer but can't quite swing it in your budget. Maybe you are working on debt reduction and would like to accelerate the process. Or maybe your family isn't quite making budget on the income you have, and you've explored all the opportunities for saving. Whatever the reason, here are some of the best ways I've found to get the extra cash you need.
Get into Sales
Most of us have items in our house that we really don't need or use. Basically, they're just taking up space. Why not clean the clutter, simplify, and get some extra cash, too? Here are some ways to sell your stuff for the most possible cash.
Try selling items in good condition on eBay. This is wonderful for collectibles, used kids' clothing in great condition (brand names), jewelry, and lots of other items. Do a search to find out what's being sold and for how much. Then follow the simple instructions. I just sold some of my husband's old concert tees and made $25. (See 7 Steps to Selling on eBay.)
Do you have lots of books, CDs, and video/DVDs you no longer want? I have made almost $150 on Half.com, a division of eBay. Instead of auctioning, you set a price for each item and people purchase at your price. CDs and DVDs sell more quickly than books and videos; Half.com sells video and computer games as well. I go through my CD collection and bookshelves every few months for new items to sell. You can also check local brick-and-mortar bookstores and record stores that trade in used titles.
Consignment and Resale
Do your kids outgrow their clothes and toys faster than they wear them out? Take everything in good condition to a children's consignment shop or better yet, a resale shop, which pays cash on the spot for clothes, toys, and equipment. You can also get credit toward purchases at the store. Most resale stores offer 60 percent credit or 40 percent cash, based on their pricing of your items. I make several hundred dollars a year doing this.
There are many more ways to turn your unwanted stuff into cash. The above three are my current favorites, because they seem to generate the most profit with the least effort. I also hold yard sales, turn in goods for credit or cash at local resale shops, and take my own used clothing (and my husband's) to local consignment shops, where I get 50 percent of the selling price.
Turn Your Favorite Hobby into Cash
It's really not as difficult as it sounds to work at home or to start a small side business to generate some extra cash as needed. Basically, you need to make sure you keep track of how much you make and how much you spend on your business so you can claim your income on your taxes, and make sure you are following whatever regulations there are for small businesses in your city or state. But it doesn't have to be time consuming or complex. Here are some of my favorite ideas for the germ of a very part-time business.
Crafting If you enjoy crafting, make some extras and rent a table at local craft shows.
Sewing If sewing is your thing, hire yourself out to do alterations, hemming, and/or custom dressmaking.
Make other people's special days spectacular with your creativity.
Submit your articles, stories, or poetry (or all three) to magazines, newsletters, or websites that will pay you to print your words.
Offer classes on your area of expertise (scrapbooking, kickboxing, and everything in between—the possibilities are endless) or tutor school children in your best subject.