Everyone would be happy to have a little extra money in the bank, but you usually have to put in at least a bit of effort to bring in money. Sure, you might win the lottery but let’s be real…that’s not going to happen! Increasing your income means putting in the work, but there are some relatively simple ways to bring in a few extra bucks that don’t require you taking on an extra job or selling your soul.
In this post, we’re going to talk about a few ways you can earn some extra money. Maybe you have some debt to pay off or are looking to boost how much you save every month? Whatever your motive, it’s never a bad idea to try out a few of these tips.
1. Sell your junk
Ok, I don’t mean actual junk…nobody wants your garbage! Chances are pretty good that you have a basement, garage, or closet overflowing with a few things that just aren’t getting used in your house. This is the perfect opportunity to haul it out, clean it up, snap a few pictures and post your stuff on Kijiji, Craigslist or eBay and make some quick cash. I really hate clutter so a couple of times a year I go through the house and get rid of anything that we longer need. You can sort everything that will be exiting your house into a garbage pile, a donate pile, and a sell pile. Make sure the things you are selling are still in usable condition and post away. I find Kijiji is the quickest and easiest service to use for selling your items but depending on what you’re selling you might have better luck elsewhere. If you’ve got a lot of brand name clothing you can also check out a local consignment store, it’s not instant cash, but it tends to be a better option for clothing than Kijiji. This won’t be a consistent source of income but can be a nice boost a few times a year, and will keep your house tidier!
Swagbucks is a great service if you spend quite a bit of time on the internet. You can earn points (Swagbucks) for doing this like searching online, doing surveys, watching videos, playing games, etc. and then use those points to purchase gift certificates. If you shop online, you can also earn extra points that way. Many stores have partnered with Swagbucks, and by linking to their sites through the Swagbucks website, you will earn points based on your purchases. It does take awhile to build up enough for a redemption but if you’re doing these things online anyways then why not earn something for your time. They have lots of options for gift cards that work in Canada and the US, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Old Navy, etc. so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a way to spend your points.
3. Market a skill or hobby
There’s a pretty good chance that something you do just for fun could actually earn you money. Maybe you like to knit or crochet, or take pictures, or make fancy greeting cards…any of these hobbies could start bringing in some money. Even if it’s not much, just earning enough to pay for the hobby can save you money in the long run. Plus, if you have people to sell to then your house won’t become overwhelmed with your creations. I like to crochet and trust me, there are only so many crocheted products I can wear and only so many times I can give scarves and blankets to my family. Build up a bit of a stockpile and look into setting up a booth at a local craft fair or farmers market. You could look into getting a table at a local market to sell your items (there’s always lots of markets that pop up before Christmas).
If crafting isn’t really your thing then maybe you can do some manual labour for others. You could set up a side business doing basic landscaping or snow removal in your neighbourhood or offer your services as a handyman. Everyone has some sort of talent, it’s just a matter of figuring it out and finding a way to market it.
4. Ask for a raise
Asking for a raise can be nerve-wracking (I hate it!), but it’s often the best way to get a real (and permanent) increase in your available funds. Most of the ways you can earn extra money might bring in a few extra bucks periodically but a decent raise can make an instant impact on your budget, just make sure you don’t increase your spending and offset the benefit. In my opinion, asking for a raise annually is completely fair but make sure you are prepared with a list of reasons and specific examples of why you deserve it and have a figure in mind that you can realistically justify. It can be disappointing to hear no but don’t just take the rejection…make sure you ask what you can do going forward to earn a raise. I wrote more on how to get a raise here if you’d like some more info.
5. Lower your bills
This is another good way to see a substantial decrease in the amount of money going out the door every month. Start by pulling up your last few months of bank account and credit card statements and see what you are actually paying every month. Then think really hard about whether or not there is anything you can simply cancel and get rid of all together. Maybe you’re ready to go cold turkey and cancel cable? Ok, maybe not (it’s always the sports!)…that doesn’t mean you are out of luck. It’s still worth a phone call to your provider to see if there are any extra services you don’t actually need or maybe they will give you a promotional rate for being such a super awesome customer. It helps to be prepared with a few quotes from competitors and don’t be afraid to switch companies if your current provider isn’t willing to work with you. It costs companies more to bring on new customers than it does to maintain existing customers so they should want to do whatever they can to keep your business. Do this with your cable, internet, TV, insurance, streaming services, etc. Getting even a few dollars knocked off each bill will add up over time, and all it takes is a few minutes of your day.
There you have it, five things you can do to have a bit more money in your pocket (bank account). What are your favourite ways to save money, earn money, or lower your budget?