If gas prices haven’t given you financial stress, then the cost of airfare and household items are sure to make your head spin as you contemplate spending summer in the backyard. No doubt, everything has become more expensive. The solution? Along with spending less, finding easy ways to make money can help relieve some of the anxiety you might be feeling.
Before you ask “who will watch the kids while I work?” or say “I haven’t had a full time career in 5+ years,” let go of the traditional idea that you have to find a job posting, apply for it and interview. Open your mind to the various income sources that offer flexibility, while paying a pretty penny – or many! Living in a post-pandemic world has its benefits, including the ability to make money virtually (thanks to many apps that have gained popularity) or to connect with small, local businesses that are looking for the occasional extra set of hands.
4 Easy Ways to Make Money
Host a garage sale
Not only are garage sales an easy way to make money, but it’s a guaranteed way to declutter and meet some neighbors in the process. Recruit the family and introduce the littles to entrepreneurship by setting up a lemonade and/or cookie stand. Here’s a checklist to get you started and to see it really can be pretty simple.
- Choose a date and time – weekends are best! And be ready to go by 8 a.m. because you will likely see a lot of early birds.
- Consider HOA and city policies. Contact them for required permits and/or approval.
- Advertise with signs, post online in Facebook groups. Don’t forget to tell friends and family!
- Recruit help from your children, spouse or friends who also have items to bring and sell.
- Price items. Be willing to negotiate!
- Set up your station – a table and chair, shopping bags, cash/change box, snacks, water and shade. Be ready with a digital payment option such as Venmo in case people don’t have cash on hand.
- Have a plan for what to do with remaining items. For example, let people know that after 1 p.m., items will be 50 percent off. Once you get a certain time, reach out to Goodwill or The Salvation Army to donate what’s left.
Sell online instead
Don’t want to deal with the physical labor of setting up tables and spending the day outside? Consider selling your stuff online. The following platforms make it easy to pass your treasures (those jeans you haven’t worn since pre-pandemic days, that baby swing collecting dust in the attic, you get the idea) on to someone else who is willing to spend money on them.
- Facebook Marketplace
Share your skills
Are you an avid seamstress? Master organizer? Baking queen? Painting pro? Let’s turn those pastimes into paid gigs! (See An organization expert shows how to conquer the clutter to see how one woman turned a hobby into a career.)
Promote your new side hustle to various networks of friends. This can include classroom moms, PTA members, moms from your fitness class, storytime friends, your bowling league etc.
If you have a strong community of parents supporting parents, these individuals would likely love to shop small once they find out about your services. Promote your cupcakes or customized quilts as items that could be gifted for baby showers, wedding showers, anniversaries and holidays. Word of mouth goes a long way when it comes to finding new customers. Here are some additional ways to promote your services from home.
- Create social media pages and share photos of the creation process, as well as the finished product and the story of how you got started
- Give the occasional gifted product to your hairstylist or fitness instructor – they’re sure to rave about the exciting gift when it catches the attention of their clients.
- Partner with local businesses to host collaborative giveaways. This is a great way to connect with their clients who can then become your clients!
Find your place at the farmers market
If you’re not quite ready to start up your own side hustle, shop for someone else’s! Offering your time and enthusiasm to a local business is an excellent way to connect with like-minded people and earn yourself a paid spot in their vendor booth.
The next time you’re at the farmers market, find the products and people you resonate with. (Does anyone else love the coffee tents and nut butter booths?!). Talk with the owner and learn more about how they got started and what their business plan is. Perhaps they’re overwhelmed with online orders or production and their time would be better spent somewhere else on a Saturday morning vs. selling pickles or puppy biscuits. Express your interest in their products and working together by manning their booth. Ask them for a business card so you can support them on social media and follow up with an email or phone call a couple of days later. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be a farmers market. Small businesses can be found at 5k events, holiday expos, community celebrations and more.
Think outside the box
Want to earn money by walking? We’ve gotcha! Trying to spend less on gas? Look no further! Whether you’re looking to make money or save money, there’s an app for that. Check out these faves that allow you to manage your own hours, making it family-friendly and parent-approved!
Apps that help you save and earn money
- Save Money at the pump: Not only does GasBuddy help you locate the best prices on gas, but it provides trip cost calculators, fuel insights, a fuel log book and more.
- Rebates: Ibotta. This cash-back shopping app has partnered with stores including Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, Sam’s Club and even Aldi. The app will show your favorite stores and the current offers. Once you add the offer to your account, you go shopping and purchase that item. After uploading a photo of the receipt, you’ll receive the special rebate.
- Sweatcoin. This free app tracks your outdoor movement and rewards you for it in digital currency called “sweatcoins.” You can exchange your Sweatcoins for rewards or cash.
- Turo. Already spending more time at home? Why not rent out your car on Turo? This app allows you to list your car for other people to rent.
- Rover. If you’re a dog-loving family, this is an excellent way to make some money. Through the app, you can offer services including overnight pet boarding, dog walking or doggy daycare.
- Instacart. Get paid to shop for and deliver groceries!
- Neighbor. Neighbor matches people who have empty space with others who live nearby and are in need of storage or parking. As a host, it’s a great way to earn extra money with very menial work on your end.
We’re living in a time where prices are high, which might put a damper on your enthusiasm to go places and do things. The ideas in this article can help you create a cushion of money and offer some relief from stressful spending. Keep in mind, some of the greatest moments and experiences of life don’t cost anything. Reading to your children, going for a family walk or visiting the local park are all excellent ways to spend quality time instead of spending limited dollars.
Hi! My name is Megan. I’m a Certified Personal Trainer. Megan Meisner Fitness emphasizes activity, nutrition and restoration. In a world that overwhelms us with diet plans, new workout routines and the latest “stress-busting, abs-lusting” claims, my fitness community will help you silence the distractions and focus on mindfulness, self awareness and support to reach your goals. The emphasis is on progression, not perfection. Megan’s other SLB stories include 4 Tips for Post Baby Fitness and A New Mom’s Survival Guide.