Maintaining a budget can be a challenge for anyone, whether you are supporting a family or just trying to pay off your student loans. If you are like many people, you have considered getting a part time job in addition to your full-time position, just to bring in some extra cash. If you are a full-time, stay-at-home parent, you may also be looking for creative ways to bring in some extra funds. Unfortunately, if you do a quick internet search of “odd jobs” or “work at home jobs,” you will end up with several options are really just scams in disguise. So, how can you really make money? Try some of these unusual suggestions.
Selling Your Plasma or Hair
You may have heard that you can “donate” your plasma at local plasma centers. Most people qualify to make this type of donation, and you can do it a few times a month. Many centers will pay between $20 and $50 each time you visit. Many visits last just an hour or two, and some even offer temporary child supervision while you donate. Just be careful that you are not going too often—long-term plasma donation could have damaging effects. The Thrifty Couple wrote about donating plasma in detail HERE.
Did you know that there are companies out there that will pay you for your hair? Although this option is usually only for women, men with longer hair may also be able to take advantage of this money-making venture. Depending on your type and length of your hair, you could command hundreds of dollars on some hair exchanges.
You can even check the potential value of your hair using this hair calculator.
Pet Sitting or Dog Walking or Pooper Scooper
Many pet owners are looking for alternative care for their beloved pets. Boarding pets is expensive, and some pets simply do not do well away from home. You can spread the word to friends and family that you are available to pet sit and dog walk. You can also join websites like Rover or Care.com where you can start your own dog walking or pet sitting business.
You can even offer to clean up after pets as well. Some pet owners would love to pay someone else to do the dirty work of cleaning up their yard for their pet. It may not be the most glamorous job, but you may be surprised at the available rates and the available need. There is actually an app called Pooper that hooks dog owners with pooper scoopers. Register as a scooper and be “scooped” up for the job!
Participating in a Focus Group
Focus groups are often hosted by manufacturers, designers, and a variety of other companies to ask for customer feedback on new products, design ideas, and many other subjects. These groups often meet in person and take just a few hours of your time. Some of them pay quite well. However, focus groups are sometimes only available in large cities. Check out sites like FindFocusGroups and FocusGroup for more information.
Another popular focus group is one you can easily do from home. It is getting paid for scanning and recording your shopping habits. All you have to do is register to receive a scanner and then scan the barcodes of your groceries when you get home.
You may also be able to take online surveys that generally have the same goal or focus from the business’s perspective. Unfortunately, online surveys are much more prone to scams, so be careful about paying for surveys or providing personal information to survey takers. Do a quick online search for reviews before you get started with a service. Sometimes The Thrifty Couple will share legitimate survey opportunities, so be on the lookout for those opportunities.
Renting Out Your Home or Space
If you have an extra bedroom in your home, you could rent out a room to a single person or a family. You may also be able to rent out your home on sites like Airbnb.com. Just be careful not to run afoul of local laws regarding rental arrangement or landlord requirements.
If you have extra space, like a garage or even a parking spot, you might be able to rent out just a small space as well. For example, if you live near a hot spot for visitors and tourists, like a stadium or concert hall, then your driveway or yard could be a valuable parking location.
Become a Property Inspector
Banks and financial institutions will pay people to inspect properties that have gone into foreclosure or are on the brink of foreclosure. This may involve simply driving by a property and taking photos or venturing into the home to take additional pictures.
While this job does require a bit of travel, it can be profitable for some. You may also be able to bring along your children or pets for this type of work.
Work As An Uber Driver or Delivering Groceries
If you have a clean driving record and a decent car, you can spend your time driving for Uber. Uber allows you to keep up to 80 percent of your fees when you drive, but you must pass their background and inspection testing requirements. The best part is that you set your own schedule and drive as little or as much as you want.
You can also use your vehicle to deliver groceries in your area. Instacart employs grocery shoppers and drivers to deliver groceries. It hasn’t hit every area yet, but it is available in some locations.
TaskRabbit connects you with people in your area who need odd jobs done. Sometimes they are simple chores like cleaning and running errands. In other situations, it could involve helping out a small business or doing repairs or construction work. It is the ultimate odd-job finder. It takes the guess work and uncertainty out of finding odd jobs on sites like Craigslist or other random job boards. Unfortunately, TaskRabbit is not available in all areas, so you may be out of luck if you are not in a larger city or metropolitan area.
One of the best things about doing any type of odd job is that you can often work as much or as little as you want. It may take some time to get started, but many of these options offer significant earning potential. It just takes some resources and creativity to get started!