Supplemental Income

$100-a-Month Budget Savers

In today’s economy almost everyone is in need of supplemental income to balance their budget. When you planned your monthly budget, did you find that you came up short, even after trimming your expenses as far as possible? Here is my list of ways that you can bring in at least $100 a month to help fill that gap – and in some cases much more. This list is just a beginning – use these supplemental income suggestions as a starting point to find something that is a fit for you.

  1. Many of the suggestions for Making Quick Cash can also become supplemental income sources of $100 or more per month:
    1. Personal shopper
    2. Part time retail work
    3. Tutor
    4. Bake specialty cakes for birthdays and other occasions
    5. Plan children’s parties
    6. Entertain at children’s parties as a clown, magician, balloon artist or other character
    7. Yard work
    8. Handyman
    9. Housecleaner or business cleaning crew
    10. Deliver newspapers
    11. Installer of electronics or home items like doors, lighting, ceiling fans, sprinklers, etc.

  2. Prepare income taxes – For the price of a computer program you can do taxes from your home, or take a training class and work for a tax preparation company. This is great work for about 4 months of the year.
  3. Recycling – Get intentional about it. Contact local street fairs, kids’ sports venues or other high traffic locations to get permission to put out and pick up containers marked specifically for cans, plastic and bottles. Or if it fits your style, set up a specific route that you travel at regular intervals to capture cans, glass and plastic bottles that have been thrown away.

    My granddaughter recycles plastic and aluminum cans that she collects from our household and her great-grandparents. It’s not much – just enough to fill up the back of my car once a month – and she consistently makes $20 or more. If you were able to collect this much or more each week from various sources, including family and friends, you could easily supplement your income with $100 or more each month. There are also other materials such as copper, cardboard and paper that may be worthwhile to recycle depending on your area and access to sufficient quantities.

  4. Babysitting and Childcare – take in a child several days a week after school, or sometimes it’s the before school hours that are problematic for parents. Current rates for sitters in my area run $10-$15 per hour. There’s a difference between babysitting and being a childcare facility, so be careful to find out about the guidelines in your area, and follow all local and state requirements regarding childcare facilities and workers if you choose to take this on in a more structured way.
  5. Take inventory – This is an off-the-wall way to add supplemental income, but for some people it’s the perfect type of work. In a nutshell, you count items on the shelves of supermarkets and other retail businesses, while entering the information into an electronic device. While there’s typically a team of inventory takers doing the entire store in one session, it’s fairly solitary work as you count your own aisle or department. Often inventory work happens overnight so it requires a flexible schedule, but if it fits your life you can make $160 per month with just one job per week.
  6. Become a treasure hunter – With the price of gold and silver on the rise, you can make good money if... 1) you live in a populated area where there are plenty of yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and swap meets; 2) you know how to recognize “treasure”; and 3) you have a reputable coin or precious metals dealer nearby to do business with. The down side is that you have to put out money up front and hope that you've bought something worth more than you paid for it. If treasure hunting sounds fun to you I suggest you start with small items until you develop a good sense of what your dealer is looking to buy. Remember – you're looking for supplemental income, not supplemental debt!

    I was in a coin shop recently, waiting for my turn and shamelessly eavesdropping on the transaction happening at the counter. The woman had several items that the broker told her had little or no value. Then she put a pair of gold cuff links on the counter. To my surprise (and obviously hers too!) he offered her $300 for them, and an additional $200 for the small diamonds in them. That’s when I realized that finding gold jewelry, old watches, silver plates, sterling silver flatware or other items at yard sales could be lucrative if you know how to recognize the real thing. Do your homework so you can maximize your return on investment for each item.

  7. Teach a class on something you’re good at (yoga, guitar playing, cooking) or something you know a bit about (finances, gardening, parenting.) Check with the local senior center, community center, or recreation department. If you have specific knowledge gained through experience (for instance: marketing, basic law, mechanics) you may be able to teach a class at the local community college.
  8. Caretaker for an elderly or infirmed person
  9. Wedding Planner – Guide couples through the maze of arrangements that need to be made to make their big day go smoothly. For the right person with great organizational skills and an eye for detail, this can be quite lucrative.
  10. Build your own Web business – What are you knowledgeable about – antique toys, vintage jewelry, cats, travel, hermit crabs, trading cards, Crohn’s disease, snowboarding, genealogy, budgeting (just kidding on that one!) or travel? If you have a hobby, or a passion, or special knowledge of something, you can have your own web site and earn supplemental income from it. There are a lot of ways a web site or blog can earn money for you – and done right the income can be substantial. But you have to realize that to do it right takes time and it won’t happen overnight. Depending on your knowledge of the process going in, and the complexity of your topic, it can take several months to get up and running and have the search engines like Google and Yahoo send visitors your way. You’ll need other means of filling in your budget gap in the meantime. Realistically, this option isn’t for everyone, but it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding for those who try it. If you’re intrigued and want to learn more about it, just click here to take a tour through the process. (This will open a new window.)
  11. Do online sales as a business through sites like Ebay, Yahoo Marketplace, or Amazon. This is a good option if you are knowledgeable about a particular type of item such as vintage toys, antique jewelry, sports memorabilia, etc.

I recently discovered the article “20 Ways to Make $100 More a Month,” written by Liz Pulliam Westin for MSN Money. It has some great ideas for earning supplemental income, submitted by people who have experienced them. Some of the ideas are already here on my list, but there are others that are definitely worth your time to explore. Click here to read the full article.

And here's another good MSN article about 10 Companies that Hire Part-Time Workers by Rachel Zupek for It may be helpful for people who live in the areas where these organizations are located. At the very least it may give you a new idea about a part-time job in your local area to add supplemental income to your budget.

Let me hear from you about other budget savers that can supplement your income with $100 or more per month. I’ll add the best ones to the list!

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These supplemental income ideas are suggestions only and carry no guarantee of success or monetary result. Be sure you research and follow all state and local licensing, insurance and tax requirements for any of these suggestions you chose to pursue.