The following is a guest post by Lisa at Home Insurance Comparison, an Australian personal finance blog created to help readers figure out how to properly compare home insurance options.
When money gets tight during tough economic times, finding ways to earn extra money can be stressful in itself. Living on a budget is a great way to stay frugal, but re-evaluating what you do in your “spare time” can also help make an impact on the way you save money.
I can tell you from experience: working from home on my own terms is the best way to go if you need to take on a second job. I have been able to sell on eBay, work as a virtual assistant, and create custom graphic designs for other companies who hire telecommuters.
When I first left the corporate world I was somewhat apprehensive about how — or even if – the whole idea would work. Regardless of your educational background or current situation, I firmly believe that the internet holds a lot of opportunity for anyone who has the desire to make it happen.
Admin and Office Support – Work on Your Own Terms
If you’ve worked in an office before, you’re probably familiar with the day-to-day administrative tasks required by companies across the nation. Have you considered working online as admin support or as a “virtual assistant”? Flexible hours and competitive pay are available through sites like eLance and oDesk.
Craig’s List is also a good resource for temp or telecommuting gigs. While some foreign workers list their base pay rate as $2.00 per hour (crazy!), you will find that companies based in the United States, the UK, Australia and Canada are somewhat discriminating – they require workers who speak fluent English, and prefer people who are natives of an English-speaking country. This is a good thing, because it helps drive your hourly wage to a higher point.
When you consider the fact that a second job can bring in additional earnings, remember to consider the savings or the extra expenses that might come with the territory. If you’re able to do the same job from home, the savings of time, gas, and potentially day care might mean more than a job across town that pays a buck or two more per hour.
Use What You’ve Got Upstairs
Using your personal knowledge can take you far when it comes to earning extra money or transitioning to working from home.
One way to make extra cash is to write about what you know.. and you can get paid to write about nearly anything! Aside from my job as a Web editor/blogger, I earn extra money by writing for Yahoo! Personal Finance.
When I first started writing for companies online, I did so to supplement my income… because generating two short (400 word) articles) per hour added up to $30-$50 hourly for me. I have been able to leverage my position as a Featured Contributor in Business and Personal Finance to open doors into guest posting, and freelance writing assignments.
Keep in mind… baby steps CAN lead to greater things – and more money!
Sell Your Goodies Online
OK…not those goodies!
If you’re not into the writing/blogging/freelance stuff, another way to make money is to sell items you no longer need. Everyone I know has a closet full of stuff they don’t use.
We all know that eBay can be a good place to list and sell your items auction-style, but there may be a better way! SnapGoods is a site which prides themselves on being “the safest and easiest way to connect people so that they can rent or borrow gear.” From tools to sporting goods, and beyond, SnapGoods allows people to loan out or rent gear to and from others in their area.
Bigwardrobe.com originally started up in the UK, and has now spread to the U.S. Big Wardrobe allows you to sell – or swap – clothes you no longer want. They focus on name brands, and designer labels, but you can sell just about any piece of gently-used clothing or like new accessory on Big Wardrobe. Sign up to buy or trade is free: listing items for sale costs $1.64/month (less than eBay’s fees, for sure!)
Big Wardrobe boasts 90,000 members in over 140 countries, yet the site is user-friendly and carries a wide range of labels – from high end couture to everyday fashion, to trendy.
Whether you’re trying to make a mortgage payment, live on one paycheck, save money for your kids’ college fund, or buy a better car, taking on a secondary job is doable. In seeking additional income, be sure to know your limits – and keep your options open!
There are numerous ways to make extra money… sometimes it just takes stepping outside your comfort zone a bit in order to make it happen.