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When I have personally found myself in that position, especially in the early days of buying my first home and paying off a mortgage, I have used some of the above strategies to earn some extra dollars. A friend of mine was a regular sperm donor in his student days for the same reason. Here are a few ideas that may bring in some much needed extra income!
Selling off items you no longer need:
In such circumstances the best advice I can give is firstly to go through your wardrobe and cupboards and get together stuff you no longer need for a garage sale, or market stall. Make sure your prices are both realistic and negotiable. A friend and I once made over $3,000 on Easter Saturday with a well organised and promoted garage sale. Some radio stations offer free promotions and most newspapers charge very little for a garage sale advertisement. Get your signs up and around the neighbourhood the night before and be ready for dealers to be at your door at sunrise. Display goods on sale appeallingly and group like things together. Trade peters out by lunchtime, so go for 7.00 am- 12.00 pm. I usually also offer tea, coffee and a biscuit, or cake for $2 as well. Take what's left to the op shop or try a market stall the following weekend.
My local market charges a $7 fee to have a stall. You can rent a table very cheaply. It's a good way to make money from stuff you no longer need. The addage, "one man's trash is another's treasure remains true to the present day. Ideally, pair up with a friend, so you always have someone overseeing your stall. I have held stalls at Ballarat's Trash and Treasure Market, held most Sunday mornongs at the local showgrounds. For old clothes and specialist collectables, Camberwell Market is the place that regularly attracts large crowds and good prices. Generally stall holders can arrive at 6.00 am and must be set up by 7.00 am ready for early customers rushing in.
Ebay and Gumtree
Friends often use ebay and gumtree sites to sell stuff they no longer need. You need to be tech savvy and have a penpal card. One woman I know, sick of paying high prices for clothing and shoes now attempts to sell off the best of these she no longer uses and has marketed them with success.
Turn empty or unused rooms into money earners:
Take in a boarder or homestay, but be prepared for the extra domestic duties that come with this strategy. It is not for everybody.
Rent out your garage, if you do not use it, but screen prospective interested parties very carefully, as some people want such spaces to grow illegal drugs or accomodate stolen cars, whilst they disguise them ready for re-sale. Go for someone who wants to house their own car, ask for references or even a police check!
Offer your services as a member of focus groups. These generally pay very well for an evening of your time. The organisation hosting the event has their personel behind two way glass observing and listening to the reactions of the focus group as they test their views and reactions to ideas or products. I have found such participation fun!
These don't pay that much, but you will get a whole lot of freebies to try out and report back on via a brief survey.
This also pays well and should appeal to those who enjoy shopping. You get to purchase items and check on service, facilities and more.
Personally I have not done this, but my friend who did it as a student found it helped him out financially, as well as enabling some one who truly wanted children to have them. Only many years later has he really considerd the ethical implications and wondered about the children he fathered through this process.
Utilise Specialist Skills
It seems a no brainer, but if you have specialist skills in an area, then its sensible to use these to earn extra income. Friends of mine propagate and sell cacti and succulents and sell them at markest and specialist garden expos. My uncle grew an entire business out of making and selling concrete garden ornaments and furniture he began during rehabilitation from a stroke. Such was the demand for his work at several markets his business grew to involve his entire family and he ended up with professional designers on staff and his own factroy supplying nurseries!
I have done some tutoring as an English teacher to earn extra cash. Teachers can also offer themselves up as final year exam markers, getting paid per script by the government. Some exam scripts are marked at central locations, while smaller subject areas get marked at home, with cross-marking checks done centrally in initial training stages and at the end of the cycle.
If you grow excess vegetables or even flowers, try an honesty box at the front of your house. Offer items for a reasonable price, by leaving them accessible for sale, with a cash box adjacent. This is also a good way to offer cuttings and small plants, or jars of produce, such as honey or preserves to the public. A neighbour in Melbourne, with a number of lemons available, simply had a sign at the door, saying "lemons available, please knock".