It can be easy to get in over your head when you have looming debt payments. Even with diligent budgeting and building savings, unexpected events or a lapse in discipline can make you short on a payment. If you find yourself in this situation, take a deep breath and don’t panic – there are plenty of ways to make up the difference before the end of the month. To prevent debt from piling up or to have some extra cash on hand, consider these alternative sources of income.
“When meeting Craigslist buyers, always pick a public location and accept only cash.”
Sell Unneeded Items
A time-tested method for acquiring extra funds is a yard sale. These can double as a family event or a great way to meet neighbors. This Old House provides some good insight into optimizing your yard sale, including an often-overlooked detail: Make sure your local ordinance allows it. If you have only a few items to sell, Craigslist is also an option. Be sure to exercise caution when meeting buyers, especially for big-ticket items. Always meet buyers in a public location and accept only cash to insure your safety and the legitimacy of the deal.
Join the Sharing Economy
New technology has made it even easier to close the gap on monthly expenses. AirBnB has become one of the most popular options for travel accommodations, allowing people to list rooms of their home to rent for a few days at a time. Forbes compiled a list of suggestions for first-time renters, most of which involve clear communication and friendliness. One keen piece of insight: Be professional. Tourists choose AirBnB because they can save heaps of money over a hotel, but that doesn’t mean you have to be cheap. If you offer parking or other extra amenities, consider a higher fee. But make sure you’re realistic with your availability – the potential for extra spending money is alluring, but you might want to keep some weekends for yourself.
Turn Your Passion Into a Paycheck
If you have a creative hobby, you might be able to get paid for it. Once again, the Internet makes marketing and selling your work almost effortless. Etsy is one of the most popular sites for artists selling handmade crafts like jewelry, pottery, artwork and much more. Etsy will also allow you to sell craft supplies and antiques that are at least 20 years old. If you hand make crafts, consider looking into selling on Etsy. Many people have also found success on YouTube by producing videos that explain basic car repair, cooking recipes, or tutorials on how to apply makeup, among many other topics.
As with renting out extra rooms, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks to monetizing your hobby. Inc.com lists a brief rundown of some questions to ask yourself before diving head-first into this plan. The basic takeaway: Turning your hobby into a business means your hobby becomes work, and you may not enjoy it as much. This may be a minor issue for some, especially with the potential to make as much as $70,000 per month. Of course, this large number is far outside the norm, but every dollar counts.
Falling behind on payments can be a stressful thing, but with a little creativity this no longer has to be as big of an issue. Selling everything from unneeded items, to house space and homemade crafts can help you earn a little more money when needed.
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