Getting out of debt can seem like an ominous task, but there are small ways to get started to help pay down what you owe. The most direct way is to make bigger payments anytime you can. If you’re already on a set budget and can’t imagine sparing anything extra to do so, you might want to think about ways to make extra money.
Many people moonlight or have other gigs in addition to their full-time job, either because they enjoy the work or because they enjoy the pay. Make a list of hobbies or other things of interest to you that you might be able to turn into cash. Not sure where to start? Here are 7 ways to pull in some extra money and start paying down your debt.
Many people are looking for freelance writers or photographers to add written or visual content to their websites. Often smaller companies will outsource their writing to freelancers, which can mean a steady stream of income headed your way every month. Make sure to prioritize your schedule so that you have enough time to meet deadlines. Be upfront and honest with just how much you are able to take on. A good way to get yourself out there and to find freelance jobs is to use a site like Upwork. A creative way to get your name out there if you are a graphic designer would be to design your own business cards or better yet, koozies.
Be a driver
With the success of car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, becoming a driver is a way to make some quick cash and set your own hours. If you have a credit card bill you want to pay down right away, work extra hours on the weekends and then ease up your schedule over time. Mainly for these types of positions, you just have to have a clean car and driving record to apply.
There are people who do not want to hire a full house cleaning service, but rather just have someone come tidy up either their home or office a few times a week. If this sounds like something you want to do, post an ad on Craigslist under ‘Services’ and advertise with a car magnet sign about your side business so that people passing by can know of your services. Take on as many or as few clients as you see fit for your schedule.
Are you crafty? Creative? Do you have a knack for creating beautiful jewelry or other artistic goods? Think about signing up for Etsy or a similar site and earning extra cash by selling what you make. This can serve as a fun way to also forget about your day job and invest in something you’re truly passionate about. Share the news with friends and family so that the word is out that you are now selling your goods online.
Be a Babysitter
You might feel like you’re too old for this job, but nannying on weekends or after kids are out of school is a great and easy way to make money. Also, you don’t have to limit it to kids alone. Offer services to pet sit or house sit and save up your earnings to pay down another monthly balance. Care.com has all of these different types of sitting jobs to offer. Most sites are free to join, but it is worth it to upgrade to a premium membership because they include a background check which will make potential employers more likely to hire you as a sitter. Pro tip: offer to meet them for coffee to get to know each other and what exactly they’re looking for. They will feel much more relaxed about hiring a stranger to come to their home if they meet you beforehand.
Is there a subject that you feel you have expertise in and can share your knowledge with others? Whether it’s English Literature, computer programming, or even painting or piano lessons, knowledge is power and can be another way you can make money on the side. Advertise your services in your local community and by word-of-mouth. You can also scour Craigslist for tutoring opportunities.
Sell your stuff
If the idea of working extra isn’t ideal for you, take an inventory of your things and see what you might be able to sell. eBay and Craigslist are good ways to market what you have, but there are also neighborhood online and Facebook groups where you can list items that you have for sale. This helps you get rid of stuff you don’t need or don’t use anymore while putting a little more money in your pocket. It always feels good to reduce some clutter while making an extra buck!
When you think about how much a little bit can add up over time when done consistently, you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pay off all your small balances first before you tackle the bigger debts. And with every bill you pay off, use the extra money to make an even bigger payment to the next bill in line. Soon you will be on your way to getting out of debt! What once might have seemed unachievable will now seem manageable with a little extra cash coming in every month.
Brian is a Dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013. Who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. Brian is involved in his local community. As a Financial Committee Chair with the Board of Education of his local school district, he has helped successfully launch a K-12 financial literacy program in a six thousand student district.