Because of the current economic climate, it's easy to think that there is no way to add to your wealth without getting a full or part-time job outside of your home. But, believe it or not, there are still some relatively easy ways for you and your family to earn extra cash in these difficult times, and many of them you can do from the comfort of your own home.
- Sell your wares online. Do you like to make jewelry or sew? Do you paint or do crafts in your free time? There are plenty of online stores, like etsy.com, where you can sell your homemade products. All you need is a valid email address to join. If you are a photographer, in addition to selling your photos on Etsy, there are stock photography websites that will buy your photos. Try fotalia.com, dreamstime.com, shutterstock.com, and bigstockphoto.com.
- Pick up extra hours. If you do have a job outside of your home, find out if your company has any overtime or part-time positions that you could pick up after hours or even do from home. If you work shifts, make sure to let your co-workers know that you are interested in picking up extra hours and would be willing to sub for them.
- Offer your services to local businesses. If you enjoy bookbinding, go to local stationary stores or boutiques and see if they will sell your products in their store. If you sew or quilt, make yourself known to local fabric and quilting stores as someone willing to do custom jobs from home or at the store. If you're really a master with a sewing machine, you can make prom dresses, wedding dresses, or do alterations. If you don't have a special skill, offer cleaning services.
- Reap profits from your garden. You can plant seeds in the winter and transplant the seedlings into individual pea pots when they are several inches tall, or just sell some of your harvested produce at your local farmer's market in the spring, summer, and fall.
- Use eBay and Craigslist. Find old furniture and belongings that you no longer need or use and, before you give them away, identify what you can sell online. Make sure you to include a picture of your product and an honest description of its wear and tear.
- Become a mystery shopper. Why not get paid to go to the mall or out to eat? Volition.com has a database of legitimate mystery shopping companies, as reported by actual mystery shoppers. Look through their database and make a list of companies that you would like to work for and then apply. It's as simple as that.
- Become a substitute teacher. You can earn up to $250 substituting, depending on your area. Check local schools'requirements for substitutes, and remember to look at private schools. Indeed.com is a good database that lists positions and requirements for substitute teachers all over the U.S.
- Tutor or teach music lessons. If you are really good at math or English or have a particular musical talent, you can earn money. Advertise where parents are likely to look: at schools, the library, at grocery stores, and in the newspaper.
- Offer genealogical services. Lots of people are interested in doing their family history—in and out of the Church—but just don't have the time to do it. With tutoring and databases readily available, use your resources and help someone discover their family's story.
- Teach a language. Put your mission tongue to use; many people need to learn foreign languages for a variety of reasons, and many prefer to do it conversationally than learning by bits and pieces. If you don't know a foreign language, advertise English assistance in your local newspaper. Plenty of foreigners want to improve their English as well.
- Become a census taker for the 2010 Census. The U.S. government needs thousands of people to help them update address lists and conduct interviews with people in your community. While most positions require a valid driver's license and use of a vehicle, you will be reimbursed for authorized mileage and other related expenses. Just call 1.866.861.2010 or visit the website at census.gov/2010censusjobs/howtoapply.php for more information.
- Get paid to take surveys. Sign up with a paid survey site and complete a member profile. The site will send you an e-mail any time they have a survey that matches your profile. Legitimate survey sites do not require a fee, so make sure that they don't charge you to join the database. Once you have completed the survey (expect to spend about fifteen to twenty minutes per survey), you will be compensated with cash, points that can be redeemed for prizes, sweepstakes entries, or, in some instances, new products to try. Reputable sites include pineconeresearch.com, panelbase.net (a UK company), and americanconsumeropinion.com (rated very well, although they provide fewer opportunities).
Go through this list of suggestions and see what works for your lifestyle. (Be sure to check out the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act currently under consideration before marketing children's products.)
If you try something and it doesn't work, try something else and see what happens. There are countless opportunities to make money, if you are only willing to put forth some extra effort.