Girl Meets BudgetNeed Extra Money? Not All Side Jobs Are Created EqualRenee Butler

Want extra cash? Of course you do.

Even if you already have enough to cover your basic needs, who couldn’t do with a few extra luxuries – be it designer shoes or vacations in foreign countries. Or, maybe your reasons are more practical – you want to pay off your towering student loan (or credit card debt) or save for a down payment. Whatever the case, you want to make some extra cash but the idea of making less than $10 an hour just doesn’t seem like it will get you very far.

Guess what? It won’t.

A part-time job may be dependable but the 10-20 hours a week you spend working at some store at the mall is really only going to amount to an extra $100 a week, if you are lucky. On top of that, you have to spend money on the transportation to get there and there is the inevitable money you are going to spend because you are out of the house.

DO THE MATH

If you figure it takes you $5 in gas to get to the job and back again, you really only take home about $75 a week or $300 a month – and that doesn’t even include whatever snacks you may buy while working.

It’s like this: When your wages are dependent on the hours you spend working, you are only a commodity – a resource to be used up. And, you can’t make over that set amount unless your boss increases your pay. You only have so many hours in a day, so you have an absolute maximum you can make.

MAKE MONEY LIKE A BUSINESS

Businesses know this. That’s why most companies do not price the items they sell on the hours it takes to make them. Instead, they make money through methods that do not have a ceiling – namely passive income or sales.

Passive income means that you are earning bank and not doing anything for it after the fact other than maybe a little PR. If you write an article and publish to a blog that pays you by page view, you are being paid for your work passively.

“Sales” means that you buy or make something, add value to it (even the value is just the brand or the ease of buying it), and then sell it. Amazon adds value to products by making them available at the click of a button, while your favorite shop adds value to your jeans by making them out of that fabric you love and cutting them in such a way that flatters from every angle.

Now, let’s make it work for you.

PUTTING IT TO WORK

In other words, you have three options. First, you can find a part-time job that pays you really well for your work. This can be a great idea if you have a special skill and experience using it. For instance, you could offer graphic design services or tutor statistics. This could be hourly or you could set a flat fee for the work based on the amount of time you think the job will take – finish early and you get a bonus. Freelance sites like Elance.com, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com are good places to start.

Second, you could find a way to make passive income. Clever with wording or do you take great photos? Maybe you could sell your designs on coffee mugs and postcards. There are several sites that let you do this without any investment, like Cafépress.com and Zazzle.com. You could also sell old clothes at consignment stores or on eBay.com, offer your own knitting pattern for sale on sites like Ravelry.com and Etsy.com, or put together all your old writings and recipes into an ebook and sell it on Amazon or iBooks. In any case, think of something you love to do, which can be duplicated without much effort, put it together, and sell it.

Lastly, consider how you could add value to something and sell it. You could alter something, like recycling old sweaters into cowls, create something, like an apron using fabric from your local craft shop, or simply put several items together, like creating a knitting kit, a gift basket, or custom makeup palettes.

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  1. Every little bit helps! And just knowing you “can” make extra money… it is very empowering!!

  2. I’ve thought about making patterns for my mini backpacks (http://www.etsy.com/shop/blissjoybull). Thanks for some great ideas for passive income!

  3. Yes! It’s all so true. I never thought I’d be able to sell things online but now my crafts are saving up funds for our next big trip ( etsy.com/shop/aichycreations ) and my photography helps pay the bills! ( aiyanayuki.com )
    It’s a great feeling knowing my value is worth more than just $10 an hour :)

  4. My Etsy shop has really empowered me to be my own boss! I do have a full time job, but the shop pays for my crafting habit, and it is an amazing feeling that someone else likes the things you make!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpottedDogShop?ref=si_shop