Unless you are extremely fortunate, you have probably felt the squeeze over the past decade as the world economy recovered from the global financial crisis.
Most of us still feel the consequences because the current wage growth is nowhere near the rate of inflation. In the UK, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has recently warned that by 2022, average earnings will be no better than it was in 2007. That would be 15 years without a pay rise.
With the widening gap between earnings and the cost of living from paycheck to paycheck, many people are looking for ways to increase their income. It makes sense, but if you don’t have free time for another job, it’s not easy. Full time, childcare obligations, hobbies and socializing do not leave much time for anything else.
But what if you could make some more money without having to give up your precious time? Even better, what if you could do it with minimal cost and effort? Maybe they could even do it from home. Here are five realistic ideas on how to make some extra money from home or in your spare time.
Sell your stuff
Selling things you no longer want not only makes extra money, but also has the benefit of cluttering up your home – an extra space you might want to use for other ways to make money.
You probably had a few things that stand alone and without which you can. Eg. sports equipment you bought with the best of intentions but only used a few times? Unless you really want to play golf, sell those sticks while they’re still worth it.
Old clothes or out of fashion clothes can also be sold and you can get extra space in your wardrobe. Decent, designer goods can still have reasonable value, so sell it online and see how much you will get. Clothing that is not worth much in itself can be collected and taken to a clothing recycling store and sold by weight. You might be surprised how old your clothes could be.
The same goes for baby clothes. Again, if these are well-known brands, it might be worth it to see what price they will reach online. Especially shoes: you can usually get at least half your money back on a children’s pair of branded shoes eg Dr Martens.
Another great option for baby clothes is to look for local events related to the sale of baby products or trade shows and rent a booth to sell clothes, toys, strollers, swings and chairs that you have purchased for your baby that you no longer need. You can pile on a bunch to lure bargain hunters and you may not have to bring much home with you. Just keep everything clean.
Those who can teach
A great way to make extra money is to sell your knowledge, skills or expertise by providing instruction. It could be something from your professional life or teaching others about your hobbies.
You can perform successful part-time jobs in a single class or for small groups: running, yoga, cooking lessons or playing instrument lessons. It depends on what you teach, but all you need is some equipment or a venue, and these costs can be covered by the money you will earn. For certain things like exercise classes, you need to be covered by insurance.
Sell your skilled creations
If you are lucky enough to be creative in any way, you could also make money from your hobbies for making handicrafts. If you look at Etsy, you see thousands of people making stuff and selling it. A lot of people do this full-time.
Some of the arts and crafts you can deal with are, for example, wedding decorations and invitations, party requisites, home decor, T-shirt design, jewelry, knitwear, custom furniture and original artwork.
There are many places to sell your handicrafts online, such as Etsy, eBay and the Facebook Marketplace. You might also want to set up a permanent booth at local craft fairs, sell from cars, or even sell your own items at local independent stores.
Rent a room through AirBnB
If you live in a bustling city and have a spare room, why not try AirBnB? You can equip your room with used furniture at low cost and earn some extra money every month. On the plus side, you can meet new people from abroad.
Become a mystery shopper
Mystery shoppers are paid to visit stores and report on customer service experience. How much money you get will vary quite a bit, but your expenses are covered so you can usually keep what you buy! Mystery shoppers visit restaurants and report on the quality of food and service they receive. Also, a free meal is always welcome!
You need to be able to spot well and have a good memory to be a good mystery shopper. You will need to remember the information you are given, the questions you will ask, and be able to remember the names of the staff that served you or describe it accurately – and you need to be able to do all of this without disclosing that you are a mystery shopper!