Earning extra money is my go-to method for boosting any savings goal. Saving dough is one way to boost your nest egg, but earning extra cash can really put it into overdrive.
My husband and I are planning to move across the country during the summer, so we need extra money to put into our relocation fund. We're both self-employed, so this allows us to have a flexible work schedule and take on extra part-time work. Below are some unusual and fun ideas I'm personally using to build up extra funds.
Get Paid for Your Skills
Depending on your skills, you can offer editing, designing, or writing work in exchange for pay. And the best part is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and on your own time. You get to work with clients virtually and bring in money right now.
Freelance writing sites such as ODesk and micro-jobs sites such as Fiverr enable you to turn your talents into a viable second income stream. Who knows? In time, you might even be able to make your passion into your full-time gig. (See also: 8 Freelance Gigs Anyone Can Do)
Work as a Brand Ambassador
If you enjoy local events and interacting with people, then becoming a brand ambassador a few times a month could be right up your alley. What is a brand ambassador?
You know the people that give out free samples at the grocery store or local festivals? They are getting paid to represent a specific brand and give out coupons and freebies — and it can be a fun job for extroverts.
If you have experience in a certain field, you can reach out to specific companies directly. My husband did this, and since he's a chef, he's worked as a brand ambassador for Organic Valley promoting several of their dairy products. Recently he spent four days giving out free samples and coupons, and was compensated well for his time.
Flip Thrift Store and Yard Sale Finds
This method probably won't make you as much money as it used to, but it's still a viable way to make extra cash. In the past I've made an average of $1,000 per month flipping thrift store finds for a profit on sites like eBay or Craigslist.
You'll have to spend some time digging through the "trash" to find the treasure, but if you look for specific items (like brand-name clothing or electronics), and do your research, you can still make good money on the weekends.
Plus, it's a fun activity to do with your spouse, or a frugal friend. With a creative eye, you can spot good-as-new pieces or shine up some dusty items and sell them for extra money.
Rent Out Your Assets for Cash
One of the smartest ways to bring in extra cash, without doing any additional work, is to leverage what you already have. Can you rent out a spare bedroom, or an extra couch in your house, on a site like Airbnb? (See also: This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb)
Do you have a coveted parking space in the city? You can use this to make extra money by renting out your parking spot while you're at work during the day. You can even rent out your car if it's not being used often. There are lots of new apps and startups that allow you to use the assets you have to bring in extra cash.
Make It a Competition
It's always fun to have a healthy dose of competition among your spouse and kids. This principle also applies when you're saving towards any type of financial goal. If you get the whole family involved, not only is it more fun, but it teaches everyone that hard work equals results.
When my husband and I create a new goal and begin working towards it, we each choose one type of money-making idea to focus on for 30 days. Our focused attitude makes it less overwhelming, and turns the whole idea into a friendly competition.