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Looking for Some Extra Cash?

I know, most of us would answer a resounding “YES” to that question. After all, we are quickly approaching the Holiday season, and back-to-school always seems to cost more than it did the year before. Wouldn’t it be nice to get through the season without using credit? Even if you haven’t budgeted for it (don’t feel guilty — most people don’t save for this time of year and just ‘wing it’), you still might be able to make some extra money between now and then to lighten the plastic load.

Mystery Shopping
It is possible to earn money as a mystery shopper, but it is also very easy to be taken advantage of while you are new to mystery shopping and looking for jobs. I’ve written a more comprehensive article about mystery shopping here. A legitimate mystery shopping company will not ask for a fee. Be aware that some companies do not pay for a completed job for up to 60 days. Learn the payment terms before you accept an assignment. And as always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Online Surveys
This is another scam-prone industry. Yes, you can make some money, but my experience is that the cash flow from this is limited. A survey that takes 30 minutes and pays $1.50 isn’t necessarily worth my time. There are some reputable companies out there, but plan on spending a fair amount of time looking for surveys for which you are eligible.

Garage Sale
You probably have stuff around your house that you don’t need or use anymore. Before the weather gets blustery, take a weekend to see what you can sell. Price things reasonably, and be ready to bargain. As an extra money-maker, think about selling hot dogs, chips, and drinks. The smell of food on the grill might even keep shoppers around a little longer. As an extra decluttering measure, call a charity to pick up whatever doesn’t sell the following week. Keep an itemized list to take a tax deduction. If you don’t want to donate everything, try selling your unwanteds on Craigslist.

Pick Up Extra Work
Perhaps you have a few extra hours a week you can dedicate to work. Even if you can’t find a part-time job, create your own. Offer babysitting services or become a pet nanny to people who are going to be out of town. If you have a knack for organizing, offer to help people organize their office, kitchen, etc., for an hourly rate. Figure out what you like to do, then brainstorm about ways to make money with it.

Whatever you choose to do, remember to set a goal and press through. I know you can do it!

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