Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff

by Shawanda Greene

Do you remember that song by Poison Clan, Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya? In all of its ignorance, strangely, you can find money making wisdom buried in the lyrics.

What I hear Poison Clan saying is “use what you got.” You might not got a lot, but you got something. Now shake it . . . freak. (Y’all know I’m just Joshing with ya.)

You can spend the next twelve months starting a business. You can take the next thirty years building an income producing investment portfolio. OR you can use what you have—right now—to bring in extra cash.

If you paid money for something, presumably others will pay money for it too. I’m not telling you to sell your stuff; I’m telling you to rent it.

Even though you could pursue the Craigslist route of advertising your crap, better, less creepy options exist.



Rover.comGet paid to take in a lonely canine who’d otherwise be stuck at home, at a kennel, or at a lavish, overnight doggie hotel. Well, maybe that last one isn’t so bad.

For the most part, I consider myself to be an ethical person. But if you have a super cute puppy, you better watch him. Where I’m from, there’s no shame in stealing a dog.

Fortunately, dog thieves lovers like me don’t have to stoop to ripping out a child’s tiny, little heart by kidnapping one of her family members. We can get our fix through Rover.com.


AirbnbRent out a spare bedroom or a solarium or a back porch or a tree house or a van or a teepee, or, or, or, or anything else a person can sleep in. I’m telling you, it’s crazy what travelers will pay for.

Let’s say all you have is a one-bedroom or a studio apartment. If you’re one of those peculiar fornicators who refuses to live with your mate before you get married, but spend every waking (and slumbering) hour at their place, this is an excellent way to earn money.


GetaroundTurn your most expensive depreciating asset in to a cash machine. When you’re not using your car, have someone pay you to use it.

I know what you’re thinking. “What if they wreck my car?” According to the company’s website, “GetARound matches the owner’s policy or three times the state minimums which ever is greater.”

Still, the concept makes me a bit squeamish. I’m uncomfortable with what happens if the renter let’s another individual drive your car. The insurance only covers the renter.


ParkatMyHouseThe parking situation in the Washington DC area is ridiculous. Sometimes I get so frustrated, I give up looking for a space and go home.

If you live in an area with a high demand for parking, potentially, you’re sitting on a passive income goldmine. ParkatMyHouse helps you pimp out your parking space to commuters, shoppers, people whose cars will get booted if they leave them on the street, and the like.

Apartment renters aren’t excluded from the action. In communities where parking is scarce, landlords will often assign a number of parking spaces to a particular unit. Don’t let those assets go unused because you don’t own a car.

What other creative ways have you made money from ordinary stuff?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

addvodka June 6, 2012 at 9:26 AM

These are all interesting ideas! I'd probably use Air BNB moreso than to have people stay at my house. I like the parking idea. My brother parks a vehicle of his at somebody's house, and they charge him $50/month.
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Shawanda June 6, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I also use Airbnb as a traveler. One of my favorite places to visit is New York City, but with hotel prices frequently exceeding $300 a night, a weekend trip gets rather expensive. If I can't book a free reward stay with credit card points, I almost always opt to book a room through Airbnb or Hostelworld.com.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


Marissa June 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Ohhh good idea with the parking thing. I remember how frustrating parking in DC was when we were there last year.


Shawanda June 6, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Yeah. The parking situation hasn't gotten any better. Maybe we'll start seeing improvements now that bike sharing services are popping up everywhere.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


ImpulseSave June 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Such great hacks! Thanks for these unique tips! (P.S> I just love the name of your blog – it's so true!)
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Shawanda June 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Thanks! Once you realize you have more than you think, you gotta stop making excuses.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


femmefrugality June 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

These are suck great resources! Travelling later in the summer, so I'll be looking for a tree to sleep in :p
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Shawanda June 6, 2012 at 11:12 PM

I'm not sure if it's still on the Airbnb website, but I remember there was a tree house listed on there a while back. The place was booked up months in advance. I was tempted to take a trip out to California just so that I could experience it.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


Frugal Portland June 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

OMG I really think we would get along — here's my favorite line: "If you’re one of those peculiar fornicators …" HA! I've used airbnb for a cheap night or two away, and would not hesitate to do the same if I end up in a bigger place!
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Shawanda June 6, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Ha! Well, those people are peculiar. :)

Although Airbnb requires more work than a regular roommate, I like the flexibility you have over how long people can be up in your spot. Oh, and uh, collection of "rent" is a breeze.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


Untemplater June 6, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Great ideas Shawanda! I have friends who do the GetAround thing and it works really well for them. TaskRabbit is another great way to earn money doing odd jobs and you get to pick what interests you which is cool. We really can do a lot every day if we just try and get active!
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Shawanda June 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

TaskRabbit sounds really cool. We don't have it here in DC yet, but it should be coming soon. Zaarly is here and there are a few tasks posted, but, so far, it hasn't gotten much traction. I suspect that will change in the coming years.
My recent post Seriously, You Really Do Have More Than You Think: How to Earn Extra Cash With Ordinary Stuff


Tim Carbone June 10, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Thanks for the great ideas on earning extra cash. Friends of mine have used GetAround in San Francisco and have talked positively about the experience. As you mention the insurance is covered, although I'm sure they make up the cost in the fees and commissions they charge. HomeAway is also another potential good way to generate income on rental properties. Our family used the site on our recent trip to Europe and found some really nice homes to rent.
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Shawanda June 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I booked a place that I found through HomeAway for Father's Day Weekend 2011. It was AMAZING. As a renter, I was a bit apprehensive about handing over my credit card information to the owner. Unlike Airbnb, Homeaway doesn't always handle the transaction. But I imagine homeowners might like it better because the fees are potentially lower than those charged by Airbnb.
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CrystalH September 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Love it! I know what you mean with the parking in DC. I usually give up when I go to the U street area. I will give these a try and share your post with my readers. And nice meeting you at FinCon12!


Shawanda Greene September 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I have pretty good luck on U Street. Now, Adams Morgan is another nightmare altogether. And don’t get me started on Capitol Hill.
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Kelly@FinancialFixers October 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Wow, some of these are really interesting. Park at my House? Never would have believed there was a website like that, but I guess theres something for everyone out there. I love the beginning of this post because people often put off making more money or saving money unit their circumstances are perfect, but its true- if you really want to earn extra income there are plenty of resources to utilize.
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Robert March 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Is there a website where you can hire people to work for you for a day – sort of like Fiverr, but just for workers? I thought I read about it on here, but can’t seem to find it now. I just need people to occasionally help with bottling for my home-based business. Thanks, love the site!


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