Who couldn't use a bit of extra money right now? With the job market tightening up and our time at a premium to begin with, taking on a second job to earn some Christmas cash may not be an option, but there are other ways to bring in cash without having to commute.
I recently took a look at the great number of things taking up space in my home and decided that there must be a way to put it all to better use and make a little money at the same time. Here are five ways I was able to create cash out of clutter -- without resorting to Craigslist or Ebay (though those are good options, too): More...
1.) Sell your extra books. I'm a book fiend, a book addict, a book enthusiast. My family has come close to staging interventions for me over my first-edition addiction, but I culled through my collection and made about $200 selling some of them to Cash4Books instead. Cash4Books accepts audiobooks and text books as well as softcovers and hardback tomes, and they even pay shipping -- type in the ISBN (above the barcode) to see if they're buying what you want to sell.
2.) Cull through your DVD and video game collections. Half.com is part of the vast online flea market that is Ebay, but it's much, much easier to navigate. There are no listing fees, for one thing, and while you do pay a percentage of the profit once your item has sold, it's really quite reasonable. You're listings are limited to media (books, video games, music, movies), but Half.com reimburses most of your shipping costs, collects the money from buyers for you, and pays out twice a month via paypal (no chasing down delinquent bidders. Woot!).
3.) Pick up those pennies and turn them into gift cards. Those green Coinstar machines at your grocery store can do more than count your change for you. If you cash in more than $40 worth of coins and turn the money into a gift card or eCertificate, they'll waive the counting fees. The gift cards are for big-name stores like Amazon, AMC movie theaters, Lowe's, Old Navy, and ITunes. Keep in mind: You don't have to give the gift cards away; use them augment your own holiday shopping budget, if you need to. Think those nickels and dimes aren't worth the time it takes to dig them out from between the sofa cushions? My husband gathered up the change from his nightstand and random coat pockets and ended up with more than $100. Crazy.
4.) Get crafty. This isn't a "money for nothing" suggestion as much as it is a "money for something you do anyway" one. If you have a hobby, put it to work for you. Making cute ornaments out of recycled lightbulbs? Sell them on Etsy. Make your own giftbaskets? Sell them on Etsy (or give them instead of purchsed gifts and save money that way). Have a knack for creative and unusual and cool jewelry? Etsy, Etsy, Etsy.
5.) Make money by saving money. The folks at CafeMom have some great tips on winterizing your home; the less you have to spend on heat, the more you have to spend on other things. Also: Check out the Frugal Moms discussion group at Work It, Mom!
How do you bring in a little extra money?