Money Making: Summer Fun & Extra Income
Guest Post By: Hank McKinsey
Summer is the best time for getting outside, heading to the beach, and meeting with friends we missed during the chilly winter. When the good weather comes, the last thing I want to do is sit inside with no money for activities. I just bought a new rental property and, with that added expense, I am always feeling a budget squeeze. By adding supplemental income to my earnings plan, I found I can still do all I want to do, without financial strain. Here are my tips for your own supplemental income stream.
Be A Planner
If you’re itching to get out, and want to make friends while taking part in your hobbies, post your plans on a site to get others to join you on your outing. Meetup.com requires that event hosts pay a listing fee for their meet-ups. Charge a nominal attendance fee for your event and reap the benefits of putting it all together.
- Think of an Idea – Do you love hiking in the mountains, kayaking? Crafting? Enjoying specialty brews? Start with your hobbies and interests, then create a gathering with something you find exciting and fun. There are others out there just like you that will love to participate.
- Be Clear in the Details – Tell your guests where, when, and how to get there. Make sure you advise them on things to bring, wear, or do ahead of time. Most importantly, let them know there is a fee to attend as you don’t want any surprises come event day.
- Use Social Media – You can simply post on the meeting site you use, but for a great turnout, do all you can to bring others to you. Some sites offer promotional templates to use on social media making it virtually effortless to promote your gathering.
Need more hosting information? Check out this resource.
Offer Care to Your Community
Bring your talents and skills to help out your community. Can you cook, garden, care for children, clean houses, or run errands? All of these things can result in extra money. Set a little time aside on the evenings and weekends for these adventures. You’ll be out and about enjoying the weather, earning money, and helping others who are willing to pay you for your time.
- Know Your Area – If you have a big community of aging individuals, families with small children, dog owners, or people with small yards and no time, you can be of service to these groups. Find out what people need, then offer your services. Do you have a unique party skill? There are even websites like this one that offer fun unique gigs for events.
- Advertise Online – Care.com, Handy, and dozens of others are sites allow individuals find part-time or full-time work in almost any industry. From pet care, to writing, there is a freelance site for you. Make sure you have a great profile and clear photo! Some websites like GigSalad will actively campaign on your behalf to get you the right gig.
- Advertise Offline – Create flyers and business cards with your specialty, then pay a visit to gathering places like coffee shops, grocery stores, clinics, restaurants, and apartment complexes to get your name and number out there.
Host A Yard Sale
Summer is the ideal time to get into the attic and basement, de-stash, give your home a complete overhaul, and create some extra income on the side.
- Start De-Cluttering Early – Begin your garage or yard sale planning early. Crummy yard sales are a dime a dozen, but high-earning sales can bring in anywhere from $200-$1000 easily, depending on the quality of items, quantity of items, and timing of the sale.
- Vary Your Items – Some sales do well because they offer something low-priced for everyone. This type does well with the visitors that travel in families. Other sales do well with niche markets, like ones that offer lots of antiques, collectibles or good furniture. Here is a great resource on what people look for when buying used.
- Research Local Yard Sale Trends – Some towns’ yard sales do very well in the beginning and end of the summer, but not in the middle. Some do well during holiday weekends. Know your area, and plan ahead when you will have it.
- Advertise Strategically – Yard and garage sale visiting is a big hobby for many, and a wealth of local sites allow free listings. Craigslist and social media are the go-to for many summer sale hunters as well. In your listing, advertise your key items, big ticket items, or things you feel will be a draw for your customers. List clear dates and times of the sale, and don’t forget your address!
- Have Great Signage – Signs written on fluorescent poster board in big, bold, black permanent marker work the best. Signage posted in multiple places, all around your neighborhood with arrows, dates and times help bring in impulse visitors.
- Have Unique Wording – I once saw a garage sale with signs that read “Stuck in my Garage, Please Help!” in bold letters. Be funny! Be wild!
Rent Your Space
Renting out your home on a listing site like Airbnb or HomeAway is a fast-growing trend because the effort is minimal, while the financial returns have the potential to be significant. If you know you’re taking a few trips this summer and will be away, or even if you have a spare room you want to rent, use these tips as sound advice in the prep stages of your pursuit to increase your chances of financial success.
- Research the Best Sites – Some sites are great for whole-house rentals, and others for portions of the house. Listing fees vary, and renting options are different in each town. You do not have to be on every site. Start off with one and see how it goes.
- Background Check Your Guests. I cannot stress how important this is! There are many sites offer background checks and insurance policies. Take advantage of their services, and if you can, take additional steps to use other checking sites’ info against theirs to be sure you’ve got a good guest. A bad renter could be the end of your business! More info on these ‘checks’ can be found here.
- Be a Thoughtful Host – Many Airbnb rentals offer snacks, basics in the fridge, coffee, tea, munchies, toiletries and additional clean linens & blankets for their guests’ comfort. I’ve seen some rentals even offer welcoming cheese plates and pastries, which adds an indulgent, yet inexpensive touch that your guests will remember.
- Make Your Space Inviting – Offer up a clean, bright space for your guests by taking the time to deep clean before you list. Remember those Gig sites? Leverage them to set up a cheap home cleaning service with your new rent money. You can even do it yourself if you have the time.
- Mind Your Pricing – Pay close attention to listings in your area that are similar in accommodation to yours. Your pricing alone can make or break your success. Keep in mind peak season price fluctuations around certain holidays and local events, and adjust them accordingly for maximum earning potential.
Rent Out Your Transportation
If you own a car, SUV or truck that can be used for small loads, short-term hauls, or local temporary use, you can offer your car up to others and make money in the process. Sites like Turo.com and others (like Uber or Lyft) create an organized revenue source for people with transportation to share.
- Check the Specs – On some sites, cars must have particular aging and quality requirements to be considered for listing.
- Take Quality Photos – Some renters drive for fun, some for work, and some for basics. Appeal to them all with clear, high-quality, colorful photos. If your listing requires a photo of you for the profile, take a close-up, well-lit photo that shows up as a small avatar so potential renters know who they’ll be dealing with.
- Be Organized – Know when you want to rent and when is off-limits, and keep a schedule for yourself, especially if you will be in town as you rent your vehicle. Check out this resource for more organization information.
Bringing in extra money to your spending budget doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming or costly. If you plan ahead, clearly focus on how best to offer up your time, and what will be the most lucrative option for your lifestyle, you can create a fun and financially rewarding summer for yourself.