Are you looking for some ways to earn a little extra money each month? If so, you’ve got plenty of options, many of which won’t even require a commute. From cleaning up your clutter to finding ways to utilize your skills, you’d be surprised at the household items you can use to earn money. Here are six ways you can boost your monthly budget without leaving the house.
Yes, it’s environmentally friendly and great for the planet, but recycling is also a good way to make a little extra money. If you’re looking to get a little creative with your recycling, try selling wine corks. Selling corks won’t make you rich, but you should earn enough to treat yourself to a tasty lunch or another bottle of wine. EBay is a great place to list wine corks you want to sell; many crafters and businesses use old corks and will pay for them. Investopedia writes that you can expect around five cents per cork, or you can try selling them in bulk if you have enough saved up. You can also send them to Yemm & Hart Green Materials, a company that recycles corks and will pay you for them. You must send at least 10 pounds worth of corks, and the corks must be “pure” cork — no synthetic or plastic ones are accepted.
Have you ever received a gift card or two that you’re never going to use? You can send them to Gift Card Rescue, a company that takes unused gift cards and sends you money for them. The company will reimburse you for up to 92 percent of the gift card’s total. You can also consider selling your cooking oil. As strange as it may seem, there are recycling centers and biodiesel firms that will gladly pay for used cooking oil. Start by looking at your local Craigslist page for ads soliciting oil. When you do find someone willing to buy it, you can except to get anywhere from 33 cents to 66 cents per gallon, per Investopedia.
2. Garage Sales
When it comes to garage sales, remain realistic with your prices, and don’t try to recoup more than 25 percent of the original retail price, writes Daily Finance. If your item is brand new, you may be able to get a bit more for it. Also consider teaming up with neighbors or other family members to make the garage sale bigger, and run an ad in the newspaper letting people know about your big ticket items.
While you’re at it, you can also sell your excess furniture. You have a few options here. First, you could sell your furniture at your garage sale with everything else. But if some of your bigger pieces don’t sell, consider posting the furniture online using a site such as Craigslist, which lets you post large items for free. If you’re going to use Craigslist, always insist on a cash transaction, so you don’t stress about checks bouncing. You could also consider using a consignment shop to sell your furniture — just expect to split the profit.
3. Teach Lessons
Use your special skills to help boost your monthly income. Think about your talents; do you play an instrument relatively well? Are you good at painting or sculpting? Are you exceptionally educated on a subject in school, such as English or Algebra? If so, consider teaching lessons or tutoring. Kiplinger writes you could earn $15 to $30 an hour tutoring individual kids or college students if you are good at a specific subject. All it takes is setting up a few fliers around schools, campuses, and community bulletin boards, and you’ll be well on your way to extra cash each month.
4. Sell Used Books
If you have accumulated a large book collection over the years, figure out which ones you can part with and start selling them online. BookScouter.com is a great resource for selling books. All you have to do is type in your book’s ISBN and the site scans prices from more than 40 book-buying sites to show you which ones offer the best prices. Have you held on to textbooks from your college days? According to Kiplinger, anticipate getting at least $20 or more for college textbooks. Amazon is another great place to sell textbooks, although they only pay with gift cards. Eventually you’ll run out of books to sell, but that doesn’t have to put an end to your book selling days. Offer to help your family, friends, and acquaintances who may be looking to get rid of theirs. Run it like a consignment shop where you get a cut of the earnings for doing the work.
5. Open an Etsy Store
You have to be really good at making something in order for this one to be a success. If you aren’t crafty but are good at spotting vintage finds or unique craft materials, you can also set up an Etsy shop selling items such as antique buttons, vintage clothing and fabrics. The Street writes that fees for listing and selling items are relatively low; it costs 20 cents to list an item, and Etsy keeps 3.5 percent of each sale. You can also sell items at Jewelry Wonder, where you need at least 30 items to open a free online store. You won’t have any additional costs if you go through Jewelry Wonder — there’s no setup fee, monthly or transaction fees, or listing or hosting fees.
6. Rent a Spare Room
Do you have an extra room in your house that’s just sitting there unused? Consider renting it out. Since a mortgage or rent payment is typically people’s biggest monthly expense, renting out a room could significantly reduce that burden. Forbes writes that if you rent a spare room for $400 a month, you could make an extra $4,800 per year. If you’re considering this, make sure you draw up a lease agreement, even if you’re renting out to a friend or family member.