Making some money in creative ways (without becoming a stripper)

by Erika Torres

Eric and I have been thinking of ways to rack up some dough to help us with upcoming costs associated with the move.

In addition to paying an extra week’s worth of rent due to an overlap in our leases, we will also need to buy a fridge and a television (things that came with our current apartment but not our new place). Luckily we already paid the deposit (straight out of savings!) so we at least got that covered.

Fridge. I had lunch with a former boss of mine and she offered to give us her stainless steel fridge! This was great news, except her fridge was too large to fit into the designated fridge space. Luckily, my parents offered to take that fridge and give us $75 instead. So now we’re trolling for a used fridge on Craigslist. I’m hoping a black fridge with freezer on the bottom (which I LOVE) will work out for $150! Costing us only $75 total!

Garage Sale. Sometimes in order to get new things you have to get rid of old things–and what better way than to sell them? My mother-in-law is having a garage sale this weekend and offered to let us sell some of our own items. I’m taking mostly clothes and some wall paintings. My goal is to make $50 (I don’t know what’s normal for a garage sale since I’ve never done one before!) And I plan on using all $50 for my pillows!

Ebay. Eric has had two pictures or paintings or posters– or whatever you want to call them–from his bachelor days that I have been begging politely asking him to get rid of. They don’t go with our decor at all, and it’s not like we have any extra space right now for his man cave. One painting is already up to $80 on Ebay! I hope to use the money from his paintings to go toward our “new TV” fund–that way he’ll feel like his paintings went toward something that would benefit him (and not my pillow obsession).

Consignment. I took about 5 pairs of designer jeans (Seven for all Mankind, Rock and Republic) that I hardly ever wore to a consignment store. I’ll know in about a month how they did, I hope to make enough to buy another pair of jeans, since I’m down to about 3 that I actually wear and winter is coming!

So there you have it. Four ways we’re trying to save money, make money and get new things! Gotta keep everything within budget!

Have you ever come up with some creative ways to make money besides your day job?

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prettylittlereckless September 21, 2010 - 7:34 pm

In the past here’s what I’ve done:
– coupons!
– sold barely used Coach bags to friends or on Ebay
– reduced cable to only basic channels and internet of course
– when I was in fear of losing my job, I cut back on my cell phone- no data plan, just basic mins and some texting
– ate what I already had in the cupboards and fridge.
– stopped eating out/made meals that ‘went farther’
– no shopping!

just in general cut back. was only buying necessities and the occasional treat so I wasn’t totally depressed over things 🙂

Newlywed and Decorating September 21, 2010 - 6:59 pm

Great ideas! That’s amazing that your husband’s bachelor decor is racking up so much money- I bet he’s glad he’s earning that TV!

Dani @ Body By Nature September 21, 2010 - 6:34 pm

You totally inspire me to get my financial act together!

CarrieV September 21, 2010 - 1:51 pm

I love the Ebay idea. We made $500 last month just clearing out old college textbooks, video games, dvd’s, purses, etc. It was stuff we never used and it just sat in a closet, so why not?

IntrigueMe (Quarter For Her Thoughts) September 21, 2010 - 12:29 pm

What kind of apartment doesn’t come with a FRIDGE? Seriously! Is this normal where you live?

Anyways! Are you willing to go without a TV for a while and watch shows online instead? That might not be a bad idea if your computer monitor is a decent size.

In the past I’ve done something called “focus groups”. This is usually organized by a marketing company and esentially companies hire them to conduct these groups so they can gather information for marketing, etc. Typically the ones I’ve done have been about 10-15 people in a board room style environment with a one way window where the company rep sits to observe (there are video cameras and you have to sign a waiver) and they ask you questions and for your opinions on certain things. I did one for our local university here when they were thinking of changing their slogan… they asked questions about which idea would be most catchy, etc. I’ve also done one on a city-wide emergency plan and one on politics. You don’t always know who the company requesting the focus group is but the marketing company gets you to fill out a survey first so you go to groups that are applicable to you. I’ve been paid anywhere from $50-$200/2-3 hours, and they pay cash (it’s not taxable!). I would suggest looking up focus groups in your area and signing on for the mailing list of the marketing companies that host them. They can be really fun, especially if you’re opinionated like I am!

I’ve considered getting a part-time, once a week/month kind of job at someplace I like to shop (like bath and body works, which is where I buy all my soaps!) just for the discount. A little bit of extra cash can’t hurt and the discount on something you use a lot might be worth it. (You could always apply at your grocery store for one shift bi-weekly or something).

Some apartment complexes will give renters a discount if they agree to be the property manager (collecting rents, dealing with complains about noisy tenants etc.).

That’s all I’ve got….

Cindy Brick September 21, 2010 - 12:05 pm

*giving lessons in whatever… (I have a few piano and voice students, but you could easily make it in art, lettering, cooking, whatever)
*selling veggies and herbs from your garden
*swagbucks, taking surveys, etc. (although this comes slow — but I’ve made approx. $90 in gift cards this year from Swagbucks, just for doing searches)
*taking an occasional job babysitting or petsitting. Put this money AWAY…let it grow.
*scavenge from dumpsters — then resell those items on Craigslist. Or keep an eye out for underpriced items at your local garage sales — then ditto.
*offer to put items up on Craigslist or Ebay for non-computer literate friends and family…then take a percentage for your work

If you’re in a college town, try advertising that you’ll make birthday cakes, Christmas cookies, etc. Or you’ll ship ‘care packages’ for parents.

And like you’re doing…if you spend your money on something, get the absolute best price you can. Even if that means waiting and doing without for a while. You’re starting out great!

Kelly September 21, 2010 - 10:08 am

The garage sale can be great – unless EVERYONE there wants everything for a quarter. Then you just end up pissed off…. haha


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