Whether you're looking to pay off debt, or just pad your bank account - These 5 easy ways to make extra money are just what you need! Here's all the things we did to make extra money fast while we paid off $75,000 in debt.
Four years ago we were looking at a giant chuck of debt. $75,000 of student loans, credit cards, and car payments. It wasn't pretty and we felt like we were drowning under all those debt payments.
In fact, there were many times where we had to juggle which bills would be paid that month according to which ones had late fees.
Like I said, not pretty at all.
Many of the top budgeting gurus say to get a second job asap when you're trying to pay off debt. However, that wasn't a real option for us as we have a small child and value family time.
But we did have a strong desire to get out of debt as quickly as possible, so we looked at every way we could reduce our outgo and increase our income.
Even though we were already working two full time jobs, we also did several things to help make extra money every month to pay down the debt even faster that didn't involve taking on outside work.
5 Ways We Made Extra Money
While this is not an exhaustive list, it does include the ways we found easiest to make fast money to put towards debt!
1. Sell Everything You Can
I absolutely love this method. It's quick and easy, and has the added benefit of decluttering your house as the same time.
While I like to donate clothing items and shoes to charity organizations, everything else that I'm getting rid of will have a price tag before it goes.
Usually I throw a garage sale on a nice weekend, then put whatever doesn't sell up on Craigslist. However, with the recent addition to Facebook called "Marketplace" I would go that route instead of Craigslist. More people are on Facebook everyday and that means you will likely sell faster!
In two weekends with two small garage sales, we made $3,000 to put towards debt.
2. No I mean it, Sell Everything
In addition to small items around the house, look for big items you can sell.
We took a big chunk out of our debt mountain by selling our car. We owed some on it, but were fortunately right-side up on the debt. That meant we were able to sell it for a profit and reduce our debt by almost $7,000 in one day!
Even if you aren't right-side up on the debt of a large item, putting some money into getting rid of a larger amount is still worth it!
3. Tighten Your Food and Household Budget
While we always lived a fairly frugal life, we knew that in order to pay off all this debt we needed to drastically reduce our outgo and drastically increase our income.
So I sat down with a list of all the items we bought on a regular basis, all the recipes we liked, and all the places we loved to shop. Once I had everything accounted for I made a system that helped us save over $15,000 in one year!
We didn't end up having to eat a single meal of rice and beans like some popular budget gurus suggest you do while you're paying off debt.
Instead, we ate all of our favorite meals and used all of our favorite products. This shift saved us over $1250 a month that we were then able to put towards debt.
4. Buy and Sell Online
So far I've talked about how to make money without spending anything, but there are ways to make even more money if you are able to spend a little.
One of my favorite ways to make money quickly is to buy things online from places like eBay.com or Amazon.com and then resell them on those same platforms (with the addition of Etsy.com depending on the item) for more money.
To do this, you look for deals and then resell the bargains you found at a premium.
While you can do this with all sorts of items, I loved working mostly with books. We have a huge library and are always on the lookout for good books to add to that collection. But for this endeavor we stuck to mostly textbooks and had great results!
This is the exact method we used to make $300 in less than a day (every time we did it!).
5. Start a Blog (Yes You Can!)
Lastly, the absolute best way we've been able to make money to reduce debt has been to start a blog.
Since we have a small child, didn't want to spend a lot of time or money on starting up a new business, we defaulted to working in the online world. That gave us time freedom and allowed us to make money while writing about the things we love!
For less than $100 total we were able to start a blog that now makes us over $4,500 a month (as of April, 2017).
This decision has completely changed our lives, allowed us to quit our jobs, stay home together as a family, and pursue the life that we really want to live. It's also helped us pay down over $40,000 in debt!
Just last month we paid off $7,800 with the extra money made from our little online venture!