Creative Ways to Make Money
to Help Balance Your Budget



There are a lot of creative ways to make money to help your overall budget picture. Let's be honest -- at one time or another we all find ourselves in need of extra income.

You might need a one-time infusion of a few dollars to cover those new tires or to pay for the tickets to that once-in-a-lifetime concert.

Perhaps you didn’t get a raise this year, but your expenses have all increased. An extra $100 or $200 a month would balance your budget and reduce the stress of living check-to-check.

Maybe your family needs a second income to make ends meet.

Or maybe you just want to replace your income altogether so you can quit that day job and gain your freedom – doing something you love.

Whatever your need, check out the creative ways to make money listed below. I've offered just a few extra income ideas here to give you a glimpse of the possibilities. You'll find many more ideas in the longer, more detailed lists that are just a click away.



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Before you move to the lists below, you might enjoy this article on MSN from CareerBuilder.com. The author lists some very creative money-making ideas. Who knows? One of them could be perfect for you! A new window will open, so just close it to come back here to continue exploring creative ways to make money.



MAKE QUICK CASH
With a little ingenuity it’s pretty easy to cover an unexpected expense or pay for something you really want that just doesn’t fit into your budget. Do you need a little extra cash for the holidays, or is the deposit due for that dream vacation you’ve booked? Here are a few creative ways to make money to cover those inevitable extras.

  • Clean out your closets and cupboards and have a yard sale.

  • If you have a stamp or coin collection, find a reputable dealer and discuss selling it.

  • Recycling cans, glass and plastic can be very lucrative. Save your own or expand to asking family members, neighbors and co-workers to give you theirs as well.

  • If you’re a physical person, try yard work, cleaning houses, or cleaning out garages or storage spaces.

  • Around the holidays there are a number of creative ways to make money: work in a tree lot, advertise your holiday light installation business, or take on a shift at a local retailer.

You might not want to make recycling or garage-cleaning your life’s work, but most people can do almost anything if they know it’s a temporary situation. Just keep your goal in mind to keep yourself motivated.

This is just the beginning! Click here to check out the full list of creative ways to make money of the quick cash variety!

MONTH-TO-MONTH BUDGET SAVERS
When you completed your budget worksheet, did you find that your expenses are higher than your income? You may have discovered that you need an extra $50, $100 or $200 each month to balance your budget and reduce your stress. This happens to many, many people. No worries – there are a lot of ways to supplement your income with a little extra cash each month. Here are a handful of ideas for finding extra income.
  • Many of the ideas from Make Quick Cash can be expanded to provide an ongoing source of supplemental income.

  • Start a package wrapping service or create gift baskets for birthdays or other special occasions throughout the year.

  • Become a personal shopper or driver for an elderly person or shut-in.

  • Complete online surveys for cash and gift cards. Click here for additional information about how this works, and the survey companies I like.

Click here now to explore more creative ways to make money, and use them as a starting point to think of additional ideas that are a fit for you.

A SECOND INCOME, OR, QUIT THAT DAY JOB!
Financial experts like Robert Kiyosaki, Robert Allen and Jay Abraham all agree on how important it is to have several sources of income so you are not completely dependent on the company you work for OR on your physical ability to go to work every day. This is especially true if your budget is tight.

One solution is to take on a second job. Depending on your schedule, as well as your skills, it’s possible to fit in a second job to supplement your main income. Many people in today’s economy do this to make ends meet.

A second income will definitely help balance your budget. But unfortunately, a second job for you, or sending your spouse to work outside the home, eats up your free time and takes valuable time away from your family. And you’re still dependent on a boss for your family’s livelihood.

Many people are not able to take on a job that requires them to work extra hours outside of the home. When I was raising my kids I could not have worked a second job. I had no one to watch them, and paying for a sitter would have eaten up the pay I earned, so what was the point?

The ideal solution is something flexible – something you can work on from home on your schedule, or once the kids are in bed. So it's time for more creative ways to make money! The following ideas may sound strange or scary, but they are well worth exploring to see if any are a good fit for you.

  • Capitalize on the work you’ve already done: This is one of my favorite creative ways to make money! If you are already a successful business person, use some creative thinking to build on your success. For example, it’s much less expensive to get a current customer to buy again than it is to bring in a new customer. Or you can increase sales by increasing referrals from satisfied clients. Follow these links to get great ideas for finding hidden wealth by changing the way you do business:

    Creative Self-Promotion

    Differentiate Your Business: Dare to be Rare

    Relationships = Referrals = Profits

  • Set up your own Web site (like this one!) about something you are passionate about. Talk about creative ways to make money! Do you like to cook? Do you enjoy traveling? Are you knowledgeable about a particular health issue? There are a million topics that can be turned into a profitable Web business, and many ways that a Web site can generate income for you. This is a great way to bring in a modest second income, or with the right topic and some effort, that day job you’re tired of can become history! Click here for more information including examples of how others have made a web site work for them.

  • Network Marketing: Don’t panic! I don’t mean the network marketing of old. You would be surprised at some of the great companies and great products that fall under this heading. For example, did you know that Avon is considered a network marketing company? There are so many companies and products doing business this way, it’s easy to find something that fits your style.

    Network marketing isn’t for everyone. However, the electronic age has changed the way customers are found – or more to the point, how you find customers who are actually interested in talking about your product and your opportunity – making success not only possible, but probable. There is great potential here, and definitely worth a look. To further explore network marketing, just click here.

  • Consulting or Mentoring: What skill or special knowledge do you have? Have you been successful in a particular trade or business? Do you have a long-time hobby that you are knowledgeable about? You can turn your knowledge into extra income by selling that knowledge to others. For example, I could charge a fee to work one-on-one with people who want budgeting help. Most of us take our skills and knowledge for granted and have a hard time believing that what we know would be worth money to anyone else. With a little creative thinking you can make a plan to make your knowledge help pay the bills! Click here for an example of how this can work for you.
  • Find Opportunity in Adversity: According to wealth coach Jay Abraham, there are riskless money-making opportunities all around us that don't require a dime in capital. The problem is that most of us haven't developed what Jay calls the secret wealth mindset – the ability to recognize and think creatively about these opportunities. This is one of my favorite case studies that Jay gives in his book. I'm intrigued by the simplicity of it. Do you have the wealth mindset? Check it out by clicking here.

I hope that some of these creative ways to make money have started you on the journey to increased income, but don’t worry if you haven’t found several extra income ideas here that fit your life. It was fun compiling these lists (I really enjoy brainstorming!) but they will be far from complete. Each geographic area presents its own unique possibilities for jobs. Each person has different skills, interests and passions to draw on. Use these lists to jumpstart your own thought process about income sources. It’s a fun and easy exercise! For help with the brainstorming process,

click here.



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