Even if you are doing everything correct when it comes to your finances, such as holding down a successful budget, spending less than the income that is coming in, not to mention contributing enough for savings and retirement, it does not leave much leftover at the end of the month. So where can you generate extra income from? Well sure, you can get a second job, but assuming that your day job takes up more than enough time and energy throughout the day, you do want to see your family at night, let alone on the weekend, so that definitely does not leave much left for another job. Short of winning the lottery, which I will tell you right now to just save your money, you are not going to win I’m sorry, it is hard to just fall into money. Fortunately, there are a few places to generate a little extra cash without putting forth the entire effort of finding additional employment.
Sell Items Collecting Dust Around the House
If you are like most that have been collecting items their entire life, you have begun to pack up boxes not only carrying from your childhood, but since you have been living on your own, not to mention continuing to take on additional items if you now have a family. Your attic, closets, and basement can fill up pretty quickly if you do not start to empty out now. The easy way would probably be to just probably put everything on the curb for garbage day, but not only would that not be the most cost effective way, it would be sad to just throw everything away you have been collecting your whole life. These days, with eBay and Craigslist at your fingertips, it is now easier as ever to put your personal collection up for sale for the highest bidder. Another great way that seems to never go out is having a garage sale. You can unload your items pretty quickly, but just remember to price realistically and not based on sentimental value.
Donate to Charity for a Tax Break
With the deadline to file your taxes right around the corner is it a good reminder, especially if you owe, to increase your charitable donations this year for a tax break, so now is a good time to start a donation pile to tally up for when you file this time next year. Clothes are a great way to start, not only to clean out your closet, getting rid of winter clothes that you no longer wear or need, but frees up space to make room for the spring and summer clothes you are getting ready to wear. Household items like dishes, silverware, and even larger pieces like furniture make great donations and can clear out huge space. Just keep in mind to be respectful and donate items in good condition.
Earn Rewards by Making Normal Purchases
Up until last year I used my debit card for every purchase I made, and had every bill directly taken out of my checking account. It was easier for me to balance out how much to keep in checking, monitor spending, while making sure I put enough into savings. While this all sounds pretty financially responsible, the problem with this was I was missing out on free money at every purchase. I joined Costco, and with their new Citi store card (used to be American Express), you can anywhere from 1-4% cashback on every purchase. Think about it, if you spend $2,000 a month, that could be roughly $50 in rewards, multiplied by twelve months equals $600 in a check that comes to you when the rewards are given out once a year. You do have to use the check there, but you do get the difference back in cash. All for just making the normal purchases that you would have made anyways with your debit card/checking account. It can be scary to use all purchases on a credit card, and if you are not paying attention the bill can quickly skyrocket, leaving you in a bit of shock, but if you are responsible and stick your budget you already have, you can now get hundreds of free dollars a year for nothing.
Open a New Bank or Credit Card Account
If you are in the market for a new bank account or credit card, I see deals all the time if you keep the account open and hit certain spending minimums they will give you a bonus either into your account or a credit off the statement balance. It might be a one-time, but it’s free money.