Do you need to make a little extra money this year? Many people do, but it's not often as easy as it sounds. Your employer may not offer overtime, and you may not be able to come up with an idea for the next great invention.
Thankfully, making some extra money this year is not that hard, and it's never been as easy as it is today. Here are five simple ways that you can earn at least another $500 in a year:
1. Join the Gig Economy
If you are looking to make extra money without taking on the commitment of a second job, then you might be happy with a source of income that allows you to work whenever you want, and as much or as little as you'd like. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of companies that are looking to pay people for specific tasks. For example, you could get paid to complete online tasks through Amazon's Mechanical Turk, run errands for Task Rabbit or be a driver for a ride service like Uber or Lyft. In fact, there's no reason you couldn't try out several of these and then focus on the one that you enjoy the most and offers the best compensation.
2.Hold a Virtual Garage Sale
If you are like many Americans, you probably have a garage or basement full of stuff you no longer use. Instead of hanging up signs around the neighborhood and spreading it all over your driveway for a garage sale, you may be able to get more money by holding your sale online. Take a day and list all of your unneeded items for sale on the Internet, saving the small items for auctions like Ebay while listing the large items for pickup on Craigslist. And when all of your Ebay listings sell, you can make one trip to the post office to ship them all.
3. Start Your Own Business
Starting a business no longer means opening up a retail store or leasing office space, you can do so quickly and easily with little or no start up costs. Just pick something that you enjoy, are good at and people want. Ideas include tutoring, babysitting, and dog walking as well as seasonal tasks such raking leaves, shoveling snow and hanging holiday lights.
4. Give Your Opinion
Perhaps the easiest way to earn extra money is to offer your opinion, and there are many companies that pay people to participate in online surveys and in-person marketing panels. While you might spend several hours online to earn $50 completing surveys, marketing focus groups frequently pay participants $100 to $200 for joining focus groups that last about two hours.
5. Earn Rewards for Your Credit Card Spending
If you use the right credit card, you can earn cash back rewards for purchases you would have made anyways. For example, a credit card that offers 1.5% cash back will allow you to earn over $500 per year when you use it to charge an average $2,800 each month. Alternatively, a card like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back on up to $6,000per year spent at U.S. supermarkets, and unlimited 3% cash back at U.S gas stations and select U.S. department stores.
By using one of these ideas (or a combination of all of them), you could easily earn an extra $500 per year.
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