We scour the couch cushions, empty pockets, clean out closets and dust off appliances, all in hopes that we can add just a little more cash to our pockets to make our paychecks stretch a little farther. There’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to supplement existing income, but it can be quite a challenge sometimes. Everywhere you look nowadays, someone has taken the leap and become a representative, a distributor or a private seller of a new product. Makeup, skin care, shakes, drink mixes, oils, bags, Tupperware, the possibilities are endless! They’re making money and making it look so easy, how do they do this? What may work for one person, is never guaranteed to work for another. Each person has to look at their unique situation and evaluate the level of time, energy and know-how to make ventures like this work. If you decide to sell a product or service, is it one that you would actually use and be able to back wholeheartedly? Do you have the same amount of time to devote to a program as that person you see on Facebook? There are so many important angles to consider.
If you work a full-time job and are looking to generate some extra funds, it is best to start simple, and start small. This way you can gauge the level of time and involvement it will require of you. If you’re looking to get on board with someone else, look at the longevity of the products or services they are promoting. Look at your return on investment. Will the time, energy and possibly money that you invest, bring enough return to you to make it worth your while?
If you are just starting out on this venture, here are four simple options to consider when looking to add income to your full time paycheck:
- Become a consultant in your field. Use the skills you already use in your 9 to 5 job to help you earn extra money while building more experience. For example, a graphic designer could take on jobs to create wedding invites. The best way to find work is through word-of-mouth and networking sites like linkedin.com. Before you get started, you'll want to get permission from your current employer to ensure your side work won't interfere with your full-time job.
- Declutter your house.
Clean out your closets to explore many different money-making opportunities. You can donate to a tax-exempt organization to earn a tax deduction. You can also sell items on craigslist, eBay, have a garage sale or sell your items through a consignment shop.
- Turn a hobby into a business.
If you enjoy making a craft—greeting cards, for example—consider selling it at craft shows. Before starting, be sure there is a market for your pieces. Go to craft fairs, and visit websites like etsy.com. This will also give you an idea of prices people charge. You can also talk to people who have similar businesses to weigh out the pros and cons.
- Consider becoming a landlord.
If you have unused space with private entrances and bathrooms, this could be an option for you. To get started, contact your homeowners association, county assessor or inspector to see if this is even a possibility. Remember that you are responsible for the upkeep of your property.
One other really great factor about exploring the possibilities of generating extra income, is that you already have one (or two) steady paycheck(s) coming in, this is just a bonus. You can set your schedule and the parameters within which you work. Take me for example, one of my biggest passions and hobbies is photography. At one time I was booking photography sessions left and right, just by word of mouth, and the extra income was a huge help. Granted, at that point in time I had a little more time to devote to the sessions, the editing, and the final products. Nowadays, my time is called on more by work and by my family, so when asked if or when I could schedule a session, I am not quite as free as I once was. But the option is always there to generate a little extra cash, and help someone else with my end product. Take your time, evaluate your situation and your options, and decide what is best for YOU! I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.