I’m really torn here. As a writer, I sympathize with you. I’ve looked again and again into freelancing, and consistently find that the rates other people are willing to work for make it an insulting waste of my time. (Like, $10/hour is what a 15-year-old babysitter makes, not a professional writer.) On the other hand, you really can’t ask others to not compete with you. On the plus side, in my (limited) experience, you do get what you pay for most of the time. My sister had a less-expensive wedding photographer, and she was definitely less than happy with the results. So …
Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products such as poster designs.
Let’s say I’m an Amazon affiliate for camping gear, and I want to write an exhaustive, in-depth blog post and review of the “50 Best Hiking Backpacks for Adventuring Outdoors.” By running a quick Keyword Planner check on the organic search volume I can see that there’s around 5,500 monthly searches for the keyword ‘hiking backpacks’ alone. I'll then start with putting together a blog post outline to highlight my unique angle and make sure I'm doing the best possible job of answering reader questions.
If you have a vehicle that just sits in your garage for long stretches of time, you might find a car rental service like Turo is one of the easiest ways to make extra money. Let’s say you list your 2014 Nissan Maxima in Denver, Colorado. If you rent out your car for just 10 days a month, Turo says you could make around $365. That’s more than $4,300 a year!6
The best part? You get to put a smile on someone’s face — and you get paid to do it. Though exact wages will vary, Instacart Shoppers can earn as much as $20 per hour. If you committed to a typical 40-hour workweek, your compensation would come in at just under $40,000 per year (without taking into consideration expenses like gas and wear and tear on your vehicle).
That means that if you have extra money just sitting idle, either in a checking account or a low yield savings account, you might be better suited to put those funds into something that can grow faster. Depending on your age and how much risk you are willing to take with your investments, you should be netting around 7% growth per year with a balanced portfolio. Of course, there will be ebbs and flows (and you won’t make money every day), but investing over the long term is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth.
Utilize websites like Payscale.com, Salary.com, and free salary guides from Robert Half and Randstad to find out what a competitive salary might be for someone with your expertise and education in your area. Document everything that you have accomplished at work in the past year and present it to your employer. When you are making an honest case for yourself instead of demanding a raise, your employer will at least consider your request.
Search for unclaimed money or property. Go to unclaimed.org to be linked to the official pages of US states or Canadian provinces you have lived in, then follow the instructions to search for and, if necessary, claim funds owed to you. If you ever had a deposit or check that went unclaimed because you couldn’t be found, this is the place to go.
When it comes to at-home income, selling your unwanted stuff is the definition of “low-hanging fruit.” Even if you’re resolutely intentional in your purchasing habits, you surely have possessions that you can do without: old kids’ clothing and toys, disused sporting goods, out-of-fashion wardrobe accessories, electronics, entertainment, valuable but non-sentimental keepsakes such as watches and jewelry, broken-in furniture, dusty tools and outdoor equipment, and perhaps even big-ticket items like a motorcycle or second car.