My husband and I are retired and living on a fixed income and have tried many things to supplement our finances. Some ideas have worked and some have not. Some have created a great deal of "fast cash" and others have only generated a small amount.
You see, we both feel that being retired does not mean that we will never work again or make more money.
With that thought in mind, here are just a few simple money making ideas we have tried successfully over and over. Some are so easy that you will wonder why you didn't think of this before now. More importantly, these are things that absolutely any one of any age or financial situation can do to make some fast cash with very little effort.
Make fast money by going to garage sales or thrift stores. Look for items that you can clean or paint. Examples of such items are wooden furniture, technical items, or wall furnishings. We have found that people in our area are looking for antique style dressers, china cabinets, small occasional tables for knick-knacks, anything for the kitchen and 50's home décor. Trash pickup day is also a terrific time to find some of these items.
There are a lot of people who get tired of household items and just kick them to the curb to get rid of them.
My husband brought home a very nice but badly scratched up dresser with missing drawer pulls. He found some antique looking drawer pulls in his stock of "stuff that might be used someday", stripped the dresser, refinished it and brought it back to life. We advertised it for sale by posting for sale notices on store bulletin boards and within 3 days of posting sold it for $175.00. We found a 3-tier knick-knack table at a garage sale that looked as if it might not even be good for firewood. The price was "make an offer"; so, my husband offered $2.00 and into our truck it went. Again, he fixed it up and it looked so good I wanted to keep it. But when he asked, "just where you think you have a place to put this?" We did more for sale postings and sold it for $100.00.
Most old wooden chairs, tables, dressers and storage cabinets can be revived with some "elbow grease".
First, sand the item off, then follow with a coat of stain or paint and, if you like, clear coat. It does not take very much money, but simple money-making ideas such as these can help you resell an item for much more than what you paid. Garage sales typically offer these types of items for pennies just to get rid of them. I can't tell you how many chairs we have brought home from garage sales, done a bit of refurbishing and have sold them quickly. Depending upon the type of chair, we have made $25.00 to $100 with only a bit of effort on our part.
To re-upholster a dining room chair seat, all you have to do is remove the tacks or nails from the seat, take off the old stuffing and fabric, add new stuffing or foam, replace the old fabric with a pretty, eye-catching new piece and you're done. You don't have to know how to re-upholster to do this and it's so easy to make money. One time, we had a set of 4 matching dining chairs that we spent a few extra bucks for the new fabric and cushion material. After refinishing and adding the new fabric, the set looked fabulous! The set sold within 2 weeks for $200.00 and the couple who bought it was overjoyed at the bargain they just scored!
For the record, we picked up all four chairs at an auction for $50.00.
Paint mirrors with ceramic or wooden borders to create an antique look. You can accomplish this by spray-painting it black, dark green or red. Buy gold leaf and apply it to the item over the paint. It will make an old mirror look new, traditional and elegant. Apply the same procedure to picture frames and ceramic vases and turn them into some fast money. Again, garage sales will keep you supplied in mirrors, picture frames and ceramic vases for just pennies. You don't have to have special talent to spray paint or apply gold leaf so give this a try. How much money you make depends upon you. We sold a set of pictures in antique looking gold frames that we reworked for $85.00. We paid $5.00 for the set at a garage sale.
Now, if you hit several garage sales in one day and can find a dozen or so mirrors and pictures with decent frames, you have invested in some excellent "fast cash" income.
Although you can generate enough fast money for gas, groceries, or even paying some bills, some people make full-time income by applying simple money-making ideas such as these.
We have a retired friend who picks up large furniture - dressers, bedroom sets, kitchen tables and chairs and china hutches, refinishes them and sells them at auctions, antique shows and various community week-end celebrations. When he's in our town, we always make a point to go see him and what he has for sale. He is making BIG BUCKS and enjoys every minute of it. He spends his winters working on the furniture he picked up and sells it in the spring and summer.
He told us if he had known he could have this much fun and make this much money, he would have retired 10 years sooner.
An idea and some creativity is all it takes to make some fast cash. We do it all the time and so can you!
Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.