Six Sources of Additional Cash

by Marie E. Cecchini


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I don't know about you, but I have come to believe there is no such thing as "extra" cash. Somehow, just when it looks like I'll actually have something left at the end of the month, a pipe will break, the roof will leak, the basement will flood, or I'll need a root canal. Extra cash? I think not.

I do, however, believe in additional cash. This is money that can be available without having to take on a second job. If you, like me, believe in additional cash and think a little income boost once in a while would be nice, say for school supplies, a birthday gift, a dinner out, or just to put gas in your car, you might want to consider some of the following options.

Option 1: Volunteer to do paid surveys at the local mall. The companies that do these surveys are always looking for people, and depending on what surveys you qualify for (sometimes things like age and gender affect what's available to you), you can walk out the door with anywhere from two to forty dollars.

Option 2: Sell clothing, CDs, video games, and other unwanted household items to a local resale shop. Consignment shops will work too, but with resale shops, you will walk out with cash the same day you bring your items in. This is not only a great way to bring in a little cash, but also a great way to clean out the clutter.

Option 3: Recycle bottles and cans. This may not sound like much, but it's easy to do and will put additional cash in your pocket. I once recycled enough bottles and cans to feed my family of four for a week. Different states have different rules and restrictions on recycling, so check on how your state handles it before you proceed.

Option 4: Make use of free ad coupons in local papers. Some local newspapers and local free shopper papers print these coupons on a regular basis. If you have something to sell (you can usually advertise only one item), why not try it for the price of a stamp? If you have more than one of the same item, it will be a bonus for you. I once advertised a bag of children's clothes for five dollars. Between my two kids, I actually had six bags of clothing. I ended up selling all six bags, each to a different person, with one free ad.

Option 5: Sell the books you've read to a local used bookstore. Some used bookstores will buy the books outright, others will only give you a credit for your books that you can use to obtain other books they have. Even if you only get a credit, you can use it to choose nearly new books to give as gifts. Either way you win. You come out with money, or free gifts, which saves you money.

Option 6: Teach a class at your local recreation center or town hall. You do not have to be a professional to do this. You can teach anything you think others would be interested in learning enough to pay for. I once taught several craft classes for children. It was a lot of fun, the materials were all paid for, and all I had to do was come up with the plans and show up. In fact, speaking of crafts, some of your local craft stores even allow interested people to teach craft classes in the store. All you need is a plan and a little time to put into directing the class.

If you're a little skeptical about some of these ideas, all I can say is, never say never. I have used all of them at one time or another. They do work, and as far as I'm concerned, it's easy money.


Marie is an educational writer, having written many magazine articles and three books for teachers. She also writes children's poetry and designs children's craft projects for several national magazines. She often shares her tips on being thrifty with others, whether they want to hear it or not.

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