How to Make Money On the Side In Your Free Time

You never can have too much cash and with today’s economic times zapping your bank account in increasingly subtle ways, so there is no better time to get out there and make some extra money. In fact, many people are changing banks thanks to all of the new fees, which just make it even harder to stay ahead of the game. Without taking on another job or borrowing from a friend, you can supplement your income without sacrificing much of your time.

Here at Generation X Finance we know how difficult it is to balance financial affairs with all of the other commitments that you are required to keep. With school, work, community and social events filling up your calendar every month, it is often impossible to find a moment of peace in between. Knowing exactly what it means to be time-deprived, we have come up with a list of ways to increase your wealth that won’t interfere with life as you know it.

Most ideas require little, if any special skills.  Some, however, make use of the talents and expertise that you often write about in resumes. None are so time consuming that you will lose sight of all the things that matter to you. In fact, you may have so much fun earning extra dough that your friends and family members will be begging you to share your secret.

stack of money

Here’s how to flex your financial muscles in new and exciting ways:

Become a Mystery Shopper and get paid to do something that you love

Mystery Shopping and Secret Shopping are one in the same. You, the shopper, fill out an online application with information about your background, experience and areas of interest and the company hiring you dispatches alerts every time there is a shop in your area that matches your preferences.

Detailed instructions are given to you before the shop is to take place and in addition to earning a fee for your services, some companies reimburse you for expenses like gas, food, lodging and merchandise.

See what we mean by visiting:

Word to the Wise: DO NOT, under any circumstances, pay a fee to register on any of these sites.  Just like any other employer, they should compensate you not vice versa.

Put your knack for writing stories to the test by freelance writing

An extremely lucrative career option, you can make bundles of the green stuff by offering your services online. Although online classified ads can produce higher paying gigs, they are often unreliable and very short-term. Opt instead to work for companies with solid reputations. A story here and a story there will help you pad your portfolio and wallet all at the same time.

Demonstrate to others that you have the “write stuff” by registering at:

Word to the Wise: Persistence pays off. The more that you write, the bigger the paycheck you will yield.

Sell your old textbooks online rather than to your college’s bookstore

Notoriously bad about charging you an arm and a leg for your textbooks and paying you a meager sum to buy them back, college bookstore can learn a thing or two about manners. Rather than opt for a quarter of your purchasing price, stick those books online for considerably more and watch them fly off your bookshelf. You can also do this with all of your unwanted DVDs, CDs, clothing and accessories.

Bank that extra moolah after getting to know:

Word to the Wise: Always put delivery confirmation on anything that you send out via the USPS. Many a seller has been burned by customers claiming that they didn’t receive the item that they purchased.

Take surveys online and offer to be a product tester

Although you won’t necessarily get rich by stating your opinions, you will receive small paychecks and may even be selected to try out new products for free.

Tell companies how they can improve by going to:

Word to the Wise: Avoid visiting sites that require you to respond to sponsor offers unless you want an inbox full of spam.

Do something useful with all those digital photographs

Stock photography is a great income booster. Simply register on the site, upload your photos and make money while you sleep. You don’t even have to be a professional to take a great picture.

Showcase your skills at:

Word to the Wise: Make sure to watermark all your photographs if the site itself does not provide the service. Without doing this simple step, your images are available to anyone with access to the internet and you won’t see a penny for your hard work.

Creativity goes a long, long way when it comes to increasing your net worth. The ability to “think outside the box” and try different things is one skill that many companies desire in an employee. Increasing your financial IQ may take some getting used to. Along the way, you can try a couple of ideas listed here and be able to afford the finer things in life without having to give up too much of your precious time. Now, take what you’ve learned here and put it to good use.  We all can use a little bit of mad money to line our pockets with!

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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.

2 comments
Jose D. Roncal
Jose D. Roncal

Very timely article and advice for the younger generations. Everyone should realize the importance of having an extra side income.

C in DC
C in DC

I bought and sold a number of my textbooks for an online graduate class several years ago on half.com. It worked much better than either regular eBay or Amazon.

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