For most people, there are times when money feels particularly sparse. You have just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, but there isn’t much left over. If only there were a way to make a little extra money, things would feel a lot less tight.

Well, you’re in luck. There are actually hundreds of ways you can rake in a little extra cash without over extending yourself.

1. Invest in Penny Stocks

Investing money can be daunting. It’s generally a fairly complex, risky process, which is why it’s a good idea to start with something like penny stocks. These stocks are generally valued at less than five dollars, which makes it easy for people of all walks of life to get involved. It’s a highly volatile speculation, but once you get the hang of it, you can make a pretty penny off your efforts.

2. Donate Blood Plasma

If you don’t have a fear of needles and are in good health, you can donate plasma at a local center for cash. Pharmaceutical companies use plasma, the white blood cells in your body, to make medications. You can earn money and save a life at the same time. Unlike donating blood, which requires a waiting period of at least 16 weeks between each visit, you can donate plasma twice a week and typically make between $50 and $100 in that time, depending on the center you visit.

3. Tutor

Choose a subject you were always particularly good at and use those smarts productively. Put out an advertisement on Craigslist or around town that you’re offering tutoring services. You can earn as much as $30 per hour with this practice.

4. Freelance

Use the skills you’ve developed from the time you were in school or even those you use for your current job and make some money on the side. Offer your services as a freelancer or independent contractor. There’s a huge market for freelancers right now and you should take advantage. As a word of caution, be sure you’re not poaching your company’s clients if you’ve signed a non-compete agreement.

5. Sell Your Things

Before throwing out your old clothes, furniture, electronics, and other keepsakes, post them for sale online through sites like Craigslist or eBay, or have a yard sale at home. Depending on what you have to sell, you could make hundreds of dollars. 

6. Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shoppers visit local retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses and report on the quality of service and the store’s general atmosphere. It’s one way companies keep tabs on customer service while the executives are away. The shoppers get to make their own schedules and can make $100 with just a few assignments per week.

7. Write a Blog

If you’ve been blessed with the skill of writing, try blogging. There are several ways that bloggers make money, including affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling products. You could also be a contributor in which you develop articles for established publishers who will pay you for your work, but those gigs are more difficult to find.

8. Learn Photography

Turn your hobby into a job by learning the basic principles of good photography and turning it into a side business. People are getting tired of paying $600 for a single photo shoot, and they’re often more willing to give amateur photographers a try for a smaller price tag.

9. Start an Etsy Shop

If you have a knack for making homemade crafts and other clever products, you might consider starting your own Etsy shop. There’s a huge market right now for homemade and DIY projects, and thousands have gotten their start towards making hundreds of thousands a year through the platform.

10. Join a Focus Group

A focus group is generally made up of customers recruited to help a company improve their marketing efforts. Companies pay participants for insights including customer service, product quality, and atmosphere. Some companies will even pay you hundreds of dollars for every hour of your time. That kind of side money is worth looking into!


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