Everything You Need to Know About Making Money
You're not alone if you wish you had a little more money in your pocket. Fortunately, you have a number of options for earning money. Odd jobs are a quick and easy way to make money. Similarly, reselling items or selling items you make can provide additional income. Earn money online by writing a blog, freelancing, or taking online surveys.
How can you increase your earnings?
You'd think a simple question like this would have a simple answer.
Experts' attempts to explain the intricacies of earning - whether disguised as personal finance, business management, or the value of education - could fill a file server.
You could read every article, watch every how-to video, listen to every podcast, and even attend the best business school in the world and still not know the best ways to make money.
Why is everything so complicated?
I have a thought: it's because only you are qualified to answer the question of how to make more money.
Our time, food preferences, and even our financial decisions are all personal, just like our relationships.
What works for me may not be suitable for you.
Similarly, I might not be able to survive a day doing something you excel at.
And, while education, knowledge, and experience are important, they are only the starting point.
You must enter the kitchen in order to create your own recipe for financial success and independence:
- Do you enjoy interacting with others? Then, to add flavor to your recipe, engage in face-to-face interactions.
- Do you consider yourself an introvert? Perhaps you require some stay-at-home independence.
- Are you pressed for time? Find a recipe that has a short prep time but a large yield.
- Do you require a flexible work schedule? Include some freelance work, such as real estate or ad hoc computer programming, for example.
In any case, your recipe must reflect the reality of your personal preferences, daily challenges, and lifestyle.
You can get ideas (and hopefully some useful advice) from posts like this one, but you're the expert on yourself.
Also, see the end of this article to learn more about our official money-making guide.
With that in mind, let's get cooking (especially if it's for a living!).
Different Roads, But One Common Goal: Make More Money!
As you are aware, finding your own path is critical; however, let us also ensure that your path leads to where we all want to go: a more profitable and financially secure future.
Learn more about your local economy (or the larger national or international economy) to understand what skills or products are in demand now and in the future.
In a fast-paced economy like ours, any list of ways to make money has an expiration date.
And I could spend days listing all the ways to make more money and still leave out the one thing you're looking for.
If you're even vaguely familiar with stock options, you're probably aware that you can essentially turn a small amount of money into a sizable payoff if things go your way.
For example, if you had purchased out-of-the-money call options on Apple a few years ago, your return would have been more than 1000%.
What if you could apply this concept to your job and your earning potential?
You certainly can!
Still, some kind of order is required to organize potential paths to earning power.
The following three categories appeal to me:
- Extra income
Let's look at these categories as you decide where to start or continue your journey to make more money.
Making Money Through Entrepreneurship
Earning a living by owning your own business is part of the American Dream. If watching Shark Tank doesn't get your creative juices flowing, consider re-evaluating your skill sets and figuring out how to build a business around them.
And we've all heard famous success stories about people like:
- Sam Walton, whose family barely made it through the Great Depression. After WWII, he opened his own tiny grocery store with financial assistance from his father-in-law. Of course, the store evolved into Walmart (along with Sam's Club and a few other variations).
- Oprah Winfrey, who grew up in poverty and went on to become one of the most successful TV stars of all time while also giving millions of people reading advice.
- Andrew Carnegie, who worked as a bobbin boy in a cotton mill as a child (before child labor laws prohibited it). He made billions in steel and contributed to the transformation of our economy for the industrial age.
- Steve Jobs, a dropout from college who most likely invented the phone or computer you're holding right now.
You might be thinking, "But these are the exceptions."
Nobody ever mentions the thousands of inventors, business owners, retailers, and entertainers who failed miserably.
Of course, you'd be correct.
More importantly, I didn't mention the thousands of people who have achieved success on a more modest scale - everyone who went from living paycheck to paycheck at a job they despised to supporting their families by owning a business.
How to make money
I'll spare you the motivational speech about how you can't succeed unless you're willing to fail, and how even today's billionaires can tell you about their ever-growing list of failures.
Instead, consider the following potential routes to entrepreneurial success, all of which allow you to be your own boss and, in most cases, make your own rules:
Start a dog walking service or a pet-sitting business
Before clients hire you, make sure they understand what services you provide. You could, for example, specify that you will walk dogs, feed and water all pets, and play with them. You could, however, stipulate that you will not administer medication.
You may tell your significant other as you drive around looking for a place to eat, "You know, somebody really ought to open a Five Guys on this side of town." They'd make a fortune."
That "someone" could be you.
You could look into Five Guys (or whatever your favorite store or restaurant is) franchising requirements and open your own location.
Most stores require some personal investment, as well as other requirements. You would also not have complete control over every decision you make because the corporation with which you are partnering will have its own set of standards.
However, if you have a flair for business management but lack a unique niche product, this could be the path for you.
Babysit for extra money
If you want to babysit, getting CPR certified will make you more marketable to clients and safer for the children.
Selling Items on the Internet
People shop for used and new products on Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and countless other websites all the time.
To succeed, you must be an expert on a product so that you can profit by connecting others with exactly what they need.
If you know a lot about guitars, for example, you could spend your weekends looking through garage sales, estate sales, and auctions. You'd see a lot of garbage.
However, because you are familiar with your product line, you will recognize the vintage Gibson J-200 that someone is selling for a song, and you will know how easy it will be to find a premium buyer online.
Along with product knowledge, you'll need excellent customer service skills and patience as you start your business.
Become a freelance photographer
Before you can be hired as a photographer, you must first create a portfolio of your work. Before you start charging people for these photos, you should volunteer your services for free at a few events.
If you take artistic or stock photos of people, make sure you get their signed consent form before selling the photos.
Become a tutor
For example, if you have a math degree, you could offer to tutor students in algebra or trigonometry. You could assist students with writing or grammar if you have a degree in English.
Selling Your Expertise
You can also sell your expertise, whether it is in business, the arts, engineering, industry, retail, or another field.
You can even give advice online using Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and other similar services, whether you're teaching painting lessons or showing someone how to integrate a drone into their wedding videography business.
Take a look at YouTube.
You can probably find a video of someone else doing the same thing you're doing, whether you're fixing a washing machine or changing your spark plugs.
What are you particularly knowledgeable about?
Whatever it is, someone else may require your assistance. You can turn your intelligence into a source of income by charging for one-on-one sessions or casting a wider net with more general videos.
Provide landscaping services
Don't offer any services in which you are inexperienced. If you let a client down, you could lose a lot of business.
Ask satisfied customers to spread the word about your company. Word of mouth is frequently the most effective way to acquire new clients.
Providing a Service
- Do you mow your own lawn?
- Do you buy your own groceries?
- Do you do your own dry cleaning?
As more people turn to services to do these things, there may be a growing market in your community for someone to perform these services.
You can start your own courier service by building a steady clientele and setting some reasonable limits (no 2 a.m. runs to Taco Bell, perhaps?).
Begin by placing an ad in your local newspapers or free weeklies, then add some patience, flexibility, and a pricing plan that is fair to both you and your customers.
Complete errands or tasks for the elderly
For example, you could spend a few hours each week grocery shopping, cleaning their house, and paying their bills for a client.
Other Business Concepts
We've hit some high points, but this is far from an exhaustive list. You've already caught the entrepreneurial spirit if you have a business idea.
Perhaps it is time to investigate financing, business partners, or marketing strategies.
If you work in a position where you can affect change or have some leeway in your responsibilities, you could turn an idea or concept into an entirely new business unit.
You can sometimes turn being in the right place at the right time into a leadership role for an entire organization, or you can act as a "agent" to fill a need and earn a fee for doing so.
However, not everyone is cut out for business ownership.
Continue reading to find out about other paths to financial success.
Sell handmade crafts
Some events charge a vendor fee to sell your items, so always ask about the cost before agreeing to have a booth.
Remember to include the cost of materials when pricing your items. Also, keep track of how long you spend on each item so you know how much you make per hour.
Find odd jobs online for extra cash.
Always exercise caution when responding to internet advertisements. If a job appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is.
You can also use apps to look for tasks you can do for money. Apps like GigWalk and Task Rabbit, for example, connect you with people looking for someone to do odd jobs for them.
Education as a Key to Earnings
It was almost a given for several generations that a college degree would open doors for the rest of your career.
According to federal labor statistics, people with a four-year degree have (and continue to have) higher earning power. As a result, college has become a rite of passage across the country.
But what if you don't have the financial means to continue your education?
What if you have a family and a full-time job already?
What if a bunch of English and philosophy classes aren't your thing?
There is some good news for you as well.
Higher earnings can still be obtained through education without attending a traditional college.
To demonstrate what I mean, consider the following traditional and alternative educational paths:
Try flipping houses
Flipping houses may appear glamorous on television, but it is in fact extremely difficult and dirty work. If you have no experience with home repairs, flipping houses is probably not a good idea for you.
Create a website or begin a blog
Making money from a website or blog can take a long time, and the market is extremely competitive. However, it is possible to make money in this manner.
Variation: Depending on the topic of your website or blog, you could try selling affiliate items to supplement your income. This entails linking to items on websites such as Amazon or other retailers. If your readers click on the items and buy them.
A four-year degree, on the other hand, may not teach specific trade skills.
Employers value specific, hands-on skills over more general thinking skills in many professions.
I believe that having both is preferable, but in order to provide employers with skilled employees, many community and technical colleges offer certificate programs in fields such as:
- Dental hygienists
- Designing a website
- Assistants in nursing
- Plumbing and electrical services
- Auto mechanics
- Cosmetology and information technology
Certificate programs are typically less expensive than traditional college courses and may require less of your time.
It's also possible that your local community college offers night classes and other ways to fit classes around your work schedule.
Getting "certified" unlocks higher wages in many professions.
Become a freelancer
Start working as a freelancer in an area where you have expertise. If you have a valuable skill, you can sell it directly to clients who require it. Advertise your services on your personal website and look for freelancing opportunities on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fivrr. Additionally, distribute business cards and encourage satisfied clients to spread the word about your services. Here are some examples of ways to make money as a freelancer:
- Carry out programming or coding.
- Create websites.
- Create graphics.
- Proofread or edit.
- If you have expertise, consider becoming a consultant.
Traditional University Degrees
Complete online surveys
- Junkie of the Global Test Market Survey
- User Evaluation
- Online Mind Field
Sell items you aren’t using any more
There is little or no postsecondary education.
- Work in a restaurant
- Helping on construction sites
- Manufacturing in general
- Custodial duties
- Sales at retail
- Be patient as it may take some time for your items to sell.
- When you first start out, research the items you intend to resell to get an idea of how much they sell for. Then, add in estimated shipping costs, which you can find by visiting the website of your local postal service. This prevents you from accidentally overpaying for the items.
- It's best to stick to topics you're familiar with. Look for items from familiar stores, or choose brands that are easily recognized. Similarly, you could concentrate your efforts on products in which you have some expertise, such as vintage video games or designer purses.
Increasing Your Success Through Side Hustling
What exactly is a side hustle?
- Contracting for real estate multi-level marketing
- Writing or editing on the side
- Manufacturing at home
- Data entry or billing from home
- Decoration of the interior
- Editing video
- You can easily create business cards online. You never know when you'll meet someone who requires (or knows someone who requires) a service you offer.
- Set limits to maintain your work-life balance. When things get going, it can be difficult to say "no" to a potential client. However, if you say "yes" to everyone, you may end up working around the clock.
- Be upfront about your steady job. To avoid misunderstandings, make sure your full-time employer or business partners are aware of your side hustle. Avoid treating your coworkers as a built-in customer base, and unless you've made prior arrangements, don't use your company's copying machines or other office equipment to support your side hustle.
- Be open and honest with your side hustle customers as well. Inform them that you have a full-time job and are not always available.
- Keep track of your expenses and earnings with receipts, invoices, or 1099 forms so you can properly report your figures at tax time. Before you start spending your earnings, consult with a tax professional.
If You Want to Make an Extra $100
- How to Become a Tutor: So you're a math whiz or a history buff? Put your skills to good use by assisting students in your community to succeed. To get started, ask the staff at your local schools, leave some cards out at the library, or post an ad on Craigslist or Facebook.
- Sell your items: Do you have boxes of books or DVDs that you no longer need? Find a used book store and sell your excess items there. If you run out of things, go to yard sales or offer to help your neighbors go through and sell their excess items for a commission. Clothing, yard equipment, and children's toys can also be sold. The list is endless.
- Cleaning someone's house isn't much fun, but earning extra money is. If you can get a couple of regular customers, you should be able to earn $100 or so per week. Remember to account for the cost of cleaning supplies.
- Do you have a keen sense of detail? Become a mystery shopper. Make use of it as a mystery shopper. Essentially, you are sharing your customer experiences with retail store managers.
If You Want to Earn $1,000 Per Month
- Begin a blog about a topic that interests you, such as cooking, yard work, interior design, reading, train travel, computer networking, music, appliance repair, electronics reviews, mountain climbing, parkour, gardening, water conservation, and so on. Create and monetize an audience.
- Assist someone as a virtual assistant. Not all administrative support staff work on-site and take meeting notes in person. You can also assist an executive from home by scheduling appointments, typing letters, ordering supplies, and preparing presentations. Zirtual may be able to connect you with someone who requires your assistance, but it may charge a fee to get you started. You could also send emails to local businesses offering your services.
- Work as a substitute teacher. It's a difficult job, but if you enjoy having a varied schedule and working with children and teenagers, check with your local school district; most districts have frequent openings. If you can spare six or so hours a couple of times a week, it may be worthwhile.
If You Want to Earn an Extra $10,000 Per Month,
- Can you create an app to make car shopping easier?
- Can you come up with a chemical process that will make composting easier and more efficient?
- Is it possible to add a new level of automation to an existing manufacturing process?
Sometimes you simply need more money.
- Purchasing a basic phone in order to avoid cellular data charges.
- Reduce your cable TV bill by switching to a cheaper streaming service.
- Putting off buying a new car in order to avoid a monthly payment and higher auto insurance.
- Keeping the air conditioner set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on energy bills.