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Earning Extra Money: Moonlighting and More

People look for ways to supplement their income for a lot of reasons - some choose to moonlight because they're trying to start a new career, while others are looking for extra money because they're saving for something special, or need the extra income for payments and expenses. Whatever your reasons for wanting to earn extra money, we've got some tips and ideas that can help you earn the extra cash you need.

There are a few approaches you can take to earning extra money:

  • Take on a second job. This can be a great way to explore a new career or new interests, and still earn some money. Consider taking seasonal work or a part-time job where you can take advantage of staff discounts.
  • Start your own business. Turn your hobbies and talents into extra money by using your professional expertise to consult, or start a home-based business that lets you work around your full-time job.
  • Sell some of your unwanted stuff in yard sales or online, at auction sites like eBay. Organize a block sale with people in your neighborhood. You'll not only earn some cash, you'll cut the clutter in your house.

Each option has its advantages, depending on your lifestyle and goals.

Taking on a Second Job

Getting a second job can be a chance to explore a new career and earn some extra money. There are plenty of benefits to working for someone else, and plenty of things to consider when you're looking for extra work, including:

  • Look for a part-time job. A part-time job can be a great way to earn extra money and gain experience in a new field if you're considering a career change. You may want to check and make sure your employer doesn't have a policy against moonlighting.
  • Pick up seasonal work. Consider working in retail during the holidays.
  • Take advantage of staff discounts. Your part-time job could offer some extra perks, and might even save you money in surprising ways.
  • Try asking your current employer for extra overtime. You may be able to earn some extra money without taking on another job.
  • If you have a stressful day job, find a low-stress part-time job.

Starting Your Own Business

Staring your own business is also a great way to make some extra cash. You can turn your hobbies and talents into extra money - and who knows, you may even discover a new career in the process. Take a look at some of these ideas:

  • Use your professional skills - Start a consultancy, or take on freelance work. Just make sure there's no conflict of interest with your full-time employer.
  • Pet or house-sit for vacationers - You can work this in around your regular job, and it can be a great balance to a stressful day job.
  • Become a tutor or instructor - Do you play an instrument? Are you a whiz at math or English? Consider teaching or tutoring kids after work.
  • Put your "handy" skills to work - If you're great at doing things around the house, consider hiring yourself out to mow lawns, paint, or as a "handyperson".
  • Sell your crafts - If you're a crafter at heart, consider selling your goods. Try local flea markets or craft shows, or become a vendor on an auction site like eBay.
  • Turn your hobbies into extra income - Think about ways to turn your passion into a business. If you're an expert, consider teaching your skills to others - take a look at local associations, who may be looking for instructors to teach classes.

Selling Your Stuff

If you don't have time to take on a second job, consider selling some of your extra stuff. Clean out your garage, attic, closet and basements, then hold a garage sale, take your things to flea markets or consignment shops, or sell your things on auction sites like eBay or Craigslist. Don't want to go it alone? Organize a group sale with some of your neighbors.

Go in With Your Eyes Open

Keep in mind that however you earn extra cash, it's going to eat into your spare time. You may only want to take on extra work until you meet your financial goal (for instance, paying off your debt). And no matter what, you should still make time for the people in your life - reserve some time just for your spouse, family or friends.

Need More Advice?

Contact a government-sponsored job center for assistance or free counseling. They'll talk to you about employment issues and strategies for managing a second job. Visit www.servicelocator.org to find one near you - you'll also find links to continuing education programs, job training, and other services. And don't forget to check out our online community, where you can connect with other people to ask questions and share experiences.

If you liked this you may also like:

  • When Working 9 to 5 Isn’t Enough: Learning the Ins and Outs of Moonlighting

    Whether you need an additional source of income to make ends meet, would like to build up your savings in case of a job loss or pay cut, or just want to get ahead of the game, moonlighting might be the answer for you. Taking on the extra responsibilities of a second job and pulling in some extra income isn't just for blue-collar workers juggling hourly jobs. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com in 2009, approximately 10% of the more than 4,400 participants surveyed have taken a second job to make ends meet. As of April 2010, data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 5.1% of Americans were working multiple jobs, according to BLR.com.

  • Why Part-Time Employment Might Be a Good Option

    Part-time positions can offer good wages, opportunities for advancement, and even benefits. If you are considering part-time work, check out these five suggestions for success.

  • 7 Tips for Saving When Your Income is Not Steady

    In the last few years, thousands of people have joined the "gig economy". Instead of having a steady paycheck to manage, they receive income from projects and contracts that pay different amounts at different times of the year.

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    Want to make some extra cash? Consider selling on eBay: the virtual marketplace of virtually everything.

  • Ways to Earn Fast Cash in College

    There comes a time in every college student's education when he or she will need some extra cash - and fast. Maybe your car breaks down or your cat gets sick. Whatever the circumstances are, there are ways to earn cash without having a part time job.

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