To kick things off here at MoneyPantry.com, I wanted to start with a post outlining a few unique ways to earn extra money.
I am certain many of you are not familiar with most of the ideas I am about to share, which is why I think you will find this post particularly interesting.
Whether you are a stay at home mom looking for ways to make some money from home, a college student looking for small part time jobs to make some pocket cash, trying to save up to pay off your credit cards, lost a job and need a new way to make ends meet, whatever your reason may be, I am sure you will find an idea or two that will appeal to you.
With that said, here are 13 truly creative and unique money making ideas:
1. Purchase Alcohol and Tobacco
You want beer money?
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Basically, you sign up with a company to help research whether or not stores are following age compliance laws.
The idea, of course, is to make certain you’re being asked for identification, before being permitted to purchase alcohol or tobacco products.
2. Become a Telephone Information Broker
Update: Cha Cha has shut down!
If you are skilled at quickly recording a question, finding the answer and responding then you may be able to make extra money as a ChaCha Guide.
If you’re unfamiliar, ChaCha is a question-answering service operated by actual people who respond to clients’ questions through the use of the internet and SMS.
Those employed as guides typically earn anywhere from 2 to 20 cents for each question, depending upon their job title.
While that doesn’t sound like much, if you’re fast enough you can supplement your income while also expanding your intellectual horizons.
3. Use Your Car as a Billboard
Many businesses will pay you on a monthly basis to use your vehicle as a mobile billboard.
It’s called Car wrapping.
If you’re eligible you can receive money each month for simply driving around town with your car decorated with your favorite brand names.
Check out this post for a list of car wrapping companies.
4. Dumpster Dive
Though it’s far from a glamorous profession, searching through others’ trash to find items that can be repaired, sold, and recycled can be a profitable venture.
Unfortunately, not all states regard this activity as legal, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area.
5. Get Paid to Shop as a Mystery Shopper
Though the idea of secret shoppers has been around for quite some time, and the practice of secret shopping is nearly as old, the advent of the internet has made participating in this unique profession far simpler.
Organizations that specialize in arranging for secret shoppers to visit the stores of clients will often pay $20 to $30 per assignment to gain consumer opinions for their customers.
You can find a list of top 5 Secret Shopping companies here.
6. Sell Your Blood Plasma
Blood plasma is a necessary part of the modern healthcare system that clinics and hospitals just never seem to have enough of.
If you need some extra money quickly this is a good place to start.
7. Capitalize on Your Special Gifts
Fiverr.com, a digital marketplace for the sale of custom services allows you to sell your talents starting at just $5 per service rendered. Its founders categorized it as “the world’s largest marketplace for small services.”
Many are marketing all sorts of products and services ranging from, but not limited to, custom cartoons to birthday jingles written just for you.
It’s a great way to quickly capitalize on those hidden talents you’ve kept a secret for so many years. Fiverr represents many unique ways for kids to make money as well.
8. Get Paid for Jury Duty
Organizations like OnlineVerdict.com that run these online mock trials will bring in participants to take part in and asses the system, as well as generate feedback about the best ways to approach their cases.
Those taking part are required to evaluate the proceedings, by completing a number of questions and providing additional notes, thoughts, or ideas about the material presented.
A standard evaluation process will take anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes and earn you money within the same range.
9. Rent Your Driveway
Finding parking can become pricey, especially in developed urban sectors. In such places, if you possess an open area great for parking, it’s just good sense to make use of it.
You may not be able to rent or sell your parking spot for one million dollars, but you can bet you can get some extra spending money out of it.
Assuming you have the additional space and are located in an area with heavy traffic, renting out that space is an excellent method for obtaining some additional income.
To find interested parties look on Craigslist.com or other similar sites.
10. Rent Your Stuff
Though you might be wondering what you could possibly have worth renting out, many people make extra cash by renting out cars, electric tools, cooking appliances, and even their pets (as a pet lover, I think that one is just wrong)!
If someone wants it (and there’s always someone) you can rent it out for a little spare money.
11. Sell Your Hair
Assuming you have long hair that’s not undergone any chemical treatments you can exchange it for some extra cash online.
Depending on the length, color, quality, and other factors human hair can sell for up to thousands of dollars. As this is the case be sure and have your stylist pack up your hair for you so you can take it home to sell.
For a list of sites where you can sell your hair for cash, read this post.
12. Make and Sell Arts & Crafts
If you have some sort of crafty skill such as sewing or knitting, you may be able to turn a profit by selling these homemade items on a site such as Etsy.com.
Reports from Inc. claim that in 2009 $180.6 million of homemade products were sold. This is a great way to earn money online and from home.
13. Sell Your Body to Science
Participating in clinical research studies can help you earn a little extra cash should you qualify. Often these studies will pay you for your time and participation.
It’s important to carefully research what’s being tested, though, as experimental drugs and procedures can have some negative side effects.
The Bottom Line
I know not every single method mentioned above is going to be the right fit for you, but if you are in a tight spot and need some extra cash, take advantage of some of these unusual and unique money making opportunities.
Every extra dollar you make gets you one step closer to a better and more stable financial life.