With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s hard not to turn your attention to the Christmas holiday season and all its demands, including the need for more cash flow to buy all those family members and friends presents! Ok, buying presents may not be the most important thing, but December is the month when most people’s finances get off track and force them to face a pile of bills in January. This is not a great strategy for starting the new year. A better idea is to find a new source of income that can help you avoid taking on any new debt. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- The demand for babysitters is never higher than over the December holidays. Use your personal contacts and social media to let people know you’re available. If you’re a female college student and looking for a more permanent opportunity, check out Wyndy.com.
- Dog walking. If you like dogs, this is a great way to make extra money and get some exercise. Holiday vacationers will also pay a pretty penny for you to come by each day and feed their pets while they’re away.
- House-sitting. Many people want someone they trust to stay in their home while they are on vacation, especially if they have pets. It’s a nice change of scenery for you and extra money to boot.
- Sell firewood or kindling. When I was a youngster, we’d hike through the woods until we found a pine tree stump full of sap. We’d then chop it up into small pieces and go door-to-door throughout our neighborhood selling it. There’s nothing quite like the smell of pine kindling!
- Have an old-fashioned garage sale. The saying is true, “One person’s junk is another’s treasure!” It also feels good to clean out your closets and garage. For those of you who are more social savvy, consider online garage sales through services such as com.
- Use a consignment shop. Sell your like-new dresses through a consignment shop, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. My rule is, “If you haven’t worn it in the last year, sell it, or give it away.”
- Rent a room in your home. If you have an extra bedroom or room over the garage, renting it out can be a great way to get some steady extra income.
- Use DOSH app for free cash-back. This app links to your credit card and has incentive programs with over 100,000 retailers/restaurants where you get cash credited back to your credit card just for shopping where you already shop. I signed up today and linked it in my credit card. It’s easy and free.
- Sell your plasma. At $20 to $50 per visit, you can earn $400 or more per month.
- Become a driver. I used Uber from the airport, and the ‘more senior’ driver said he had joined Uber because he was bored with retirement, liked meeting new people and loved having the extra cash.
- Turn your hobby into a money-maker. What is it you love to do? Quilting? Gardening? Woodworking? I have a friend who loves to do carpentry and creates beautiful pieces. I suggested he could make a lot of money making one-of-a-kind wooden writing pens.
- Participate in research studies. In Birmingham, we have one of America’s great research centers at UAB. If you qualify, you can get paid to participate in clinical trials.
- Sell your collectibles. Do you have a stamp, coin or baseball collection? I have a friend with an extensive signed sports memorabilia collection worth tens of thousands of dollars. You’re the expert and the best person to get the maximum value out of your collection.
Follow The Welch Group every Tuesday morning on WBRC Fox 6 for the Money Tuesday segment.
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4th Quarter Planning (series): Create More Income
- Join the gig economy: babysitting; house sitting; dog walking
- Sell your stuff: garage sale; consignment; plasma; collectibles
- Rent a room; drive your car: Uber; make your hobby a business
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. More information about The Welch Group and important Disclosures can be found on our website. Investing in securities involves the risk of loss. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy will be profitable or equal any historical performance level(s). Consult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.