Are you living within your means and using a budget to help you track spending and cut costs, but still struggling to make progress with your financial goals?
You’ve probably read every article out there on how to save more money each month. Maybe you’ve ditched the take-out coffee habit and ditched your expensive cable package. You try to spend wisely and live frugally.
The fact is, sometimes pinching pennies just isn’t enough. If you want to keep making big progress towards financial success, it’s time to think about earning more.
Here are 5 ways to make an extra $5,000 this year
1. Start Driving
NerdWallet found that Uber drivers tend to make more than drivers working with other rideshare companies. According to their findings, a driver who provides about 60 rides per week could make $50,000 in a year.
With an average of $15.97 earned per ride, you could earn $5,000 extra in a year if you provided a ride about 313 times — or about 6 rides per weekend.
2. Participate in Focus Groups
Getting paid to share your thoughts and opinions is a pretty good deal. Focus groups provide market research opportunities for brands and businesses, and participants in these panels are paid for their time.
With earnings ranging anywhere from $10 to $150 per one or two hour session, it’s hard to say exactly how many groups you’d need to attend to earn an extra $5,000 per year. At $50 per focus group meeting, you’d need to participate in 100 panels — at $100 per meeting, of course, you’d need to attend 50 of them to meet your yearly goal.
You may be able to add to this type of income by participating in research-based activities, like taking online surveys or working as a mystery shopper.
Start by checking out FocusGroup.com, which pays $75 to $150 per survey you complete.
3. Perform Odd Jobs
No, this isn’t a new idea. But it can still be a lucrative one. Opportunities to perform odd jobs around your community for a little extra cash are abundant. Within my own experience, I’ve seen people (including my own dad) succeed at earning extra money by:
- Operating a small landscaping company that served local homes and businesses
- Driving county-owned service buses that help elderly residents who can no longer drive (or don’t want to)
- Working with local office buildings to come by during working hours and wash employee cars
- Babysitting or nannying neighborhood children, or running errands for busy neighborhood moms
- Cooking homemade meals for elderly members of the community
If you want to pursue this route with a modern twist, hop on TaskRabbit and sign up to perform odd jobs in your area. Tasks include anything from housecleaning to running errands, and you’ll earn an hourly rate for your work.
Again, it’s hard to nail down exactly what you need to do to reach the $5,000 in extra income. It depends on what odd job you perform and how much you charge for it.
If you worked for $10 per hour, you would need to work about an extra 10 hours per week throughout the year to earn an extra $5,000. If that sounds like a lot, consider the fact that the average American watches 5 hours of TV per day.
Most people do have the time to devote to earning a little extra money. It’s just a matter of deciding to work for it.
4. Sell Your Stuff (or Someone Else’s)
Last fall, we participated in a community yard sale. We don’t have much stuff to begin with, as we lean towards a minimalist lifestyle.
But after combing through every inch of our house, we managed to collect a small pile of items that barely took up 10 square feet when laid out on the driveway. Our yard sale offering looked pretty pathetic next to the overflowing garages and driveways around us.
But by noon, we’d cleared out the stuff we thought was junk and completely worthless in exchange for over $200. Not bad for about four hours worth of sitting outside and the occasional haggling.
Many people have whole houses full of stuff they no longer want, need, or use. While you can’t hold a garage sale every other week and make $200 (which is what you’d need to do to meet the goal of $5,000 extra this year), you can start with one big sale and see how far you get.
Once you’ve cleared out your own items, consider helping other people you know clear out their own homes. You can offer to collect the stuff they no longer want and spend your time hosting a yard sale in exchange for a percentage of the total profits.
Or consider “flipping” big ticket items that you can pick up from Craigslist or Goodwill on the cheap. It’s amazing how a little TLC can transform old and discarded pieces of furniture — and how a little work to restore an old piece can bring in a tidy profit.
5. Teach Others
A great way to give back to your community and make a little extra money at the same time is to teach a skill or specialized knowledge that you know to other people. You get to share something valuable with the people around you, and you can receive compensation for your time.
Teaching others in order to earn extra money can take many forms, including:
- Hosting a class, lecture, seminar, or webinar
- Writing for written or online publications in a field you know a lot about (i.e. gardening, mechanics, fitness, etc)
- Creating your own website and blog to share this knowledge, which you can monetize through advertising, sponsorships, and hosting your own online courses. You could even sell your own ebooks.
You don’t have to try all of these (and obviously building a website or blog isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and requires a lot of hard word before you start seeing a monetary payoff). But they’re ideas to consider.
Tutors can make upwards of $50 per hour, and teachers who can host an educational workshop of some kind could make $150 or more per student who attends.
Freelance writers charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per article depending on experience, and bloggers can easily make full-time incomes from their efforts (but this usually takes a few years and a lot of unpaid work upfront to achieve).
It is possible to try and succeed at one of these 5 ways to make an extra $5,000. Get creative and confident! Strike out and experiment with these ideas today — you’ll shortly be on your way to making extra cash in 2015!