For most people making ends meet is a constant battle caused by their wants over needs. If you find yourself always struggling financially you have one of two choices; either lessen your expenses, or increase your income.
Lessen your expenses is not as difficult as many people think and can be easily done by tracking your expenses and on a regular basis evaluating their necessity. Making extra money, while maintaining your current job, is also not difficult.
With some ingenuity, and a well thought out plan, you can enjoy the benefits of an extra income. Getting a part-time job is the most obvious way to make extra money. Retailers, fast food restaurants and call centers are always looking for evening and weekend part-time help. If you are looking for a way to earn extra money that is time flexible, enjoyable, with unlimited income potential, plus the benefits of tax write offs then give some serious thought to starting your own part-time business.
Starting your own business does not mean a large capital outlay, or requires long hours. Advertising / marketing your business can easily be done for little to no cost through flyers, a website (Internet), Craiglist, word of mouth. Think of your new side business as your hobby and you will find enjoyment while creating an additional income. Who knows, your side business may one day grow into a fulltime business.
How easy is it really to begin a new business that will not intrude on your current job? Keep your business simple, and most importantly in line with something you enjoy, and you can start the following businesses tomorrow:
1. Lawn care and snow removal. Remember when teenagers would mow the neighbor's lawn, or shovel their driveway and sidewalk, for a few bucks? You, like I was, may have been such a teenager. Whatever happened to such simple entrepreneurship? Mowing lawns hide me fit, cave me a great tan and money. Distribute flyers advertising your services to your immediate neighbors, or approach them directly (seniors and busy executables are your best bets). The best thing about a lawn care service is that you can mow lawns after work or on weekends. You will be getting exercise while earning money. Snow removal, on the other hand is not as flexible since your customers will want the driveway and sidewalk cleared immediately after a snowfall, which is something you will need to consider, especially if you live in Minnesota or Buffalo, New York.
2. Collect and resell golf balls. Nobody knows with any semblance of accuracy how many golf balls are lost annually. Given the how the number of golfers has grown exponentially over the last decade estimating in the millions would be conservative. Purchase a good ball retriever, which should be solid, easy to use and light, then start taking strolls along your local golf courses. Typically balls are lost along fines where the grass is overgrown, in deep grass off fairways (the most common error is slicing and most golfers are right handed, so check the grass right of the fairway) and water hazards. You can sell your golf balls on the side of the road leading to a golf course, or to the pro shops, though you will get less than the 50 ¢ per ball you would get at the side of the road. Stroll golf courses after work and sell your finds on Saturday mornings.
3. Pet sitter. If you have a way with animals then looking after your neighbors pet (s) during their absence can bring in extra money. Your services will be welcomed since most pet owners dread placing Fido or Tiger in a kennel while the family enjoys Epcot Center. On your part the only effort required is to stop by your client's home on the way to work and after work, making sure there's food and water and to walk Fido.
4. House sitter. Along the lines of being a pet sitter why not offer a house sitting service? You basically make the house look occupied during the owner's absence. Bring in mail, turn on and off a few lights, mow the lawn, water the plants … that kind of stuff, all which can be done outside your regular job.
5. Teach a course. Chances are you are an expert at something. It could be you are World War II buff, your houseplants and garden flourish under your care, you have an ever expanding wine collection, you are a financial planner, your co-workers always come to you for help with creating an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation. Why not offer to teach what you know? You could teach at the local college, library, Legion Hall, YMCA, church, or if you are comfortable doing so in your home. Offer your classes in the evenings or on the weekends.
6. Friday night / weekend daycare. Have you tried finding a babysitter for a Friday night, or Saturday night? Advertise that you will look after children in your home on Friday nights and on weekends and you will not be short of clients. This is a very simple business with a high demand.
7. Fairs / flea markets. Does everyone rave about your chili? Why not make a few batches on weeknights and sell jars of it at a local flea market on the weekends? If chili is not your thing, how about soup, jams, pickled eggs or pastries? If cooking is not your forté then what about crafts? Simply selling coffee, along with a few store bought donuts, muffins and cookies will make you money. If you are looking for something to sell go on eBay and chose a category of interest (ie Camera & Photo, DVDs & Movies, Sporting Goods), sort by "Price + Shipping: lowest first" and bid $ 1 on everything that catches your eyes and does not have a reserved price. While you will not be the winning bidder on every auction you will win many of them. Soon you will have plenty of items to sell at a very good profit.
8. Parades / festivals. Anywhere a large group of people gathers is a money making opportunity. Parades and festivals draw large crowds so why not take advantage of it. Buy as many cases of bottled water as your automobile can hold, or better yet rent a van. Park as close to the parade, or festival, as you can, place a large sign advertising what you are selling and the price, and get ready to make some serious money. For example, if you buy a case of 24 bottles of water for $ 4.99 (21 ¢ per bottle before taxes) and sell each bottle of water for $ 1.00, which is less expensive than what venders at the parcel or festivals will be charging, you will make a clear profit of 79 ¢ per bottle. Sell 350 bottles of water and you just made $ 276.50 in one afternoon.
9. Fund raiser. Do you enjoy dealing with people and have a knock for marketing? Offer your favorite charities and non-profits organizations to raise funds for them, which you keep a profit of. Your success will depend on being able to present yourself as trustworthy; making people feel the money they donate will reach the charity. Before you begin check with your local government to inform yourself if you require certification or a license.
10. Tutoring. You may be a sales manager for a plumbing supply company, but you have a BA in English, with honors. Why not offer to tutor students in your home or the student's? To be an effective tutor you just need to know more about the subject than your student (s). You can charge by the hour, or offer a package (ie a flat fee of $ 200 for 5 sessions) and schedule you tutorials in the evening or on weekends. To make your services more affordable offer a reduce rate for multiple students.
Part time money making opportunities are all around you! It's just a matter of looking at your skills and passions and advertising your service. Other possibilities are:
- Musician (weddings, evening gigs at your local watering hole)
- Personal Fitness Trainer
- Home inspector
- Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor
- Restaurant Delivery (The place that make the best pizza may not deliver, why not offer to do so?)
- Personal Chef
- Personal Trainer
- Office and Home Organizer
- Garage and Attic Cleaning / Hauling Service
- Band manager (offer to manage a local band, or multiple, for a percentage)
- Exterior window cleaning
… the possibilities are endless.
For more ideas pick up a copy of 101 Best Weekend Businesses , by Dan Ramsey or How to Become a Successful Weekend Entrepreneur , by Jennifer Basye.
By streamlining your expenses and increasing your income you will be well on your way to improving your finances.