Most of us have been there: no matter how carefully we budget, life happens and we are faced with the dilemma of how we are going to buy groceries or put gas in the car on top of paying our bills.
Sometimes there is just not enough money to cover everything you need. You need cash, and you need it now.
These are things I’ve tried and had success with during those lean times in my life:
Cash in your coins
Make use of all that loose change just sitting around your house. Look in the junk drawer, old purses, the pockets of last season’s clothes buried deep in the closet, the couch cushions, and the car.
Take them to a Coinstar machine at your local grocery store for a moderate fee (8.9 cents per dollar in the U.S., 9.8 cents in Canada). Or check with your bank. Some banks have coin machines that do not charge a fee. Others will accept rolled coins.
Sell your books, CD’s, DVD’s or video games
If you’ve got a lot of books, movies, and games that you no longer want, sell them. Half Price Books and Amazon are your best bets. Half Price Books doesn’t pay much but you can get your money that day.
Amazon has a bigger payout, but it requires a little money up front for shipping and there is the hassle of going to the post office (send the package media mail for cheaper rates), but you get the shipping fees back. Amazon deposits your payments into your checking account every 14 days. I made an extra $120 in one month for just a few hours work selling books on Amazon.
Sell household items and clothing on Craigslist
It helps if you have a digital camera, as things sell better on Craigslist if you have a photo. Small household appliances (are you really using that juicer or espresso maker?) are big sellers, as well as children’s clothing that’s in good shape.
I once made $250 in a month selling things on Craigslist, and as a bonus, I cleared a lot of clutter from my house. If selling things individually seems too much of a hassle, have a garage sale. If you don’t have a garage, ask a friend if you can borrow theirs.
Offer up a service
Pretend you’re a teenager again and do some babysitting or lawn mowing. Clean houses. Be someone’s personal assistant. Walk dogs. It may not be glamorous, but it’s a better option than having your electricity cut off.
Are you an expert at something? There is no limit to the services you can offer, from resume writing to web design to party planning. Advertise your services on Craigslist, create flyers, and ask your friends and family to spread the word.