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15 ways to earn extra cash fast

15 ways to earn extra cash fast

As much as many of us look forward to the holidays, there’s that pang of dread: It’s an expensive time of year. And if you haven’t budgeted for it, those costs will eat into your usual monthly expenses or add to your credit card debt.

What to do? There are plenty of legitimate moneymaking opportunities for you to capitalize on at your convenience as 2016 winds down. Some are simply good for a fast buck, while others could turn into consistent streams of income after the holidays. 

Which cash-generating ideas will help you fatten your wallet this season?

Sell Unwanted Electronics

Surely, you're planning to upgrade your tech gadgets and toys this holiday season.

Don’t leave smart phones, tablets, computers or game consoles you’re no longer using in a desk drawer or the back of a closet. 

You can easily cash in on your unwanted electronics -- even damaged items -- by selling them online.

Also read: 22 weird jobs famous people had before making it big

Search for Unclaimed Property

There are billions of dollars of unclaimed property, and some of it could be yours.

Like tax returns that are returned because of mailing errors and never claimed by taxpayers, the government also holds onto forgotten savings bonds, government-guaranteed mortgage-insurance refunds and government pensions that were never claimed.

Tutor or Teach

If you have a special skill -- whether it’s the ability to play an instrument well, paint like Picasso or explain calculus in a way anyone can understand -- you may be able to make money sharing it with others.

Advertise your services on school, campus and community bulletin boards, or tutoring websites. And take advantage of social media sites, such as Facebook, to let people know about the lessons you’re able to teach.

Be a Tour Guide

If you know a lot about the city where you live, you may be able to profit from your knowledge by guiding tours -- especially during the holiday travel season.

If you live near an historic site, you could become a licensed guide.

Or are you a runner? Consider earning extra bucks as a running tour guide.

Also read: Top 10 business ideas you haven't thought of before

Get Paid for Your Opinions

Hey, it's one thing to spout off your opinions around the holiday dinner table to family and friends. Why not get paid for it? Market-research firms are hired by big businesses to get inside the heads of consumers and can earn you some quick cash.

In exchange for taking online and phone surveys, some firms offer rewards gifts and merchandise.

Sell Gently Worn Clothing

If you or your family members have brand-name clothing, accessories or shoes that are in good condition but no longer being used, turn them into quick cash by selling them on consignment.

You might be able to get more for your used clothes by selling them online.

Or skip the middle-man and sell your used clothing on eBay, which will require more effort on your part but could result in a bigger return.

Join a Street Team

The weather outside may be frightful, but street teams still need energetic, outgoing helpers to promote products, films, albums, events and more by handing out samples, interacting with people on the street, or dressing as mascots, which all come with a wage.

Be a Babysitter

Babysitters are in high demand this time of year, what with all the holiday parties busy parents wish to attend. Babysitting can be a fun way to put money in your pocket if you like kids.

Sell Excess Furniture

If you have an attic, garage or storage unit filled with furniture you’re not using, unload those items for holiday cash by selling them online or in second hand stores.

Also read: The Aussie industry where jobs are going gangbusters

Redeem Rewards Points

You could be sitting on an untapped source of cash if you haven’t bothered to redeem your credit card rewards points lately. And during the gift-purchasing days ahead, now is a great time to cash them in.

Walk Dogs

Why not get a little exercise while you earn anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour? Working folks will pay plenty for you to take Rover or Scruffy on a daily stroll while they’re at the office or busy getting ready for the holidays. Or consider pet-sitting for people while they’re away for the holidays for a higher daily fee.

Sell Your Creations

If you have a knack for creating anything from baked goods to intricate art designs, you can profit from your talent.

You can find clients for your baked goods by volunteering to provide treats for your children’s holiday school functions or for church or other religious gatherings, or by selling them at a farmer’s market, flea market or local festivals.

If art and design are more your speed, consider selling your creations at local weekend craft shows.

Also read: 10 surprising jobs where Aussies can earn more than $100k a year

Cash in On Unused Gift Cards

Billions of dollars worth of gift cards go unused in a six-year period, according to recent data.

Avoid letting your card go to wast by reselling it online. You won't get the full value but if you have no intention of using the card, any money is free money.

Perform Odd Jobs and Small Tasks

Are you happy to perform small tasks, run errands or lift heavy items? Why no sell your time online for a bit of extra cash.

Drive Other People

If you’ve ever found yourself in need of a quick ride, you may have turned to Uber, the anytime, anywhere ride service that has gained popularity over the last several years. But have you ever considered becoming an Uber driver?

If you are at least 21 years old, own a car made after 2000 or 2005 (depending on the city), and pass background and driving checks, you could earn cash by driving people around in your free time. And, as this is holiday party season, it shouldn't be hard to find plenty of business chauffeuring those who have had a little too much eggnog.

 

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