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10 Unusual Ways To Make Money

10 Unusual Ways To Make Money

The median U.S. salary is less than $29,000, and even those who exceed this metric are not likely to make more than $45,000. In other words, individuals who are working a typical 9-to-5 job may not be bringing in enough money to have their version of the American dream. This becomes even more difficult for retirees and those who are not suited to a career in Corporate America. Fortunately, there are several alternative methods you can utilize to either boost your current income or to replace a typical job altogether.

1. Join A Clinical Trial

Not every clinical trial offers cash compensation, and the amount paid in others will vary. However, it may be possible to earn anywhere from a few dollars to almost $2,000 for participating in one clinical trial. The trick is to pay close attention to the qualifying criteria and any applicable payments so that you can choose the right type of trial for you. As an added bonus, some people who choose this route are able to gain access to potentially life-saving medication for a variety of medical issues.

2. Start House Flipping

The housing market is continuously improving, but there are still many foreclosed properties that are available for a discounted price. This gives someone who is handy with tools a good opportunity to get involved in house flipping. In a nutshell, the process of flipping houses involves buying cheap homes with the intention of investing enough time and money to dramatically increase their value. The amount of money that you can make will depend on several factors, but a quick house flip has the potential to bring in several thousand dollars in one month.

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3. Dog Walking And Pet Sitting

Many people who work full-time hire others to walk their dog or even pet sit throughout the day, and this is also a useful alternative to boarding animals during vacation. In the past, this was something that people in the local area could use as a way to make a few dollars, but the rise of websites such as Care.com and Pet Sitters International makes it possible to earn $10 an hour or more offering these services. This is a great way for animal lovers to supplement their income, and some people have even turned it into a career!

4. Tutor Others In Your Top Subjects

YouTube and other online resources can help students get a better grasp on tricky subjects, but there are still many people who need an actual tutor to answer questions and show them more difficult concepts. Tutors for every subject imaginable can be found in-person and on numerous websites. According to Presto Experts, online tutors can earn at least 50 cents per minute for offering their knowledge to others. This may not be a steady source of income, but it is a good way to earn an extra $30 per hour every so often.

5. Sell Your Hair And Plasma

There are many things that you naturally have on and in your body that are worth money to others, including hair, plasma, and sperm. For example, the online hair price calculator indicates that 6 inches of brown undyed hair is valued at $59. Donating plasma can bring in $200 or more per month, and a sperm donation is usually worth at least $35. There are also some much more highly invasive procedures you can go through if you need to make a larger amount of money. Qualified women have the option of selling their eggs, and a completed cycle is typically compensated with an $8,000 payment.

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6. Become A Professional Gamer

Are video games one of your favorite things about life? If your skill level is high enough, you may be able to turn your interest into a viable career. The top professional gamer in the industry earned $454,544 in 2013, but it is important to note that this is not a typical salary. Earning an annual salary of $25,000 as a gamer will require you to win at least one U.S. tournament each year, so you need to be very dedicated and skilled to make a decent living.

7. Turn Your Snapshots Into Stock Photos

Stock photos sites are very common, and almost anyone with a camera can join them in order to make some extra cash. Simply upload any pictures that may be useful for websites or marketers and set your price. Most people will not accrue a lot of money by doing this, and you may end up selling photos for less than 50 cents each. The good news, though, is that this is something that can be done in your spare time, and each picture has the potential to make money after it has been uploaded.

8. Make Your Backyard A Rental Space For Campers

People who do not spend all of their time in one location can turn their house into a rental home, but this is not going to provide any steady source of income unless you have two houses. However, your backyard will always be available, and some resourceful individuals have started renting this space to campers and gardeners. You will need to make sure that you have the proper insurance and that you are not violating any local laws, but most homeowners should have the ability to utilize this unusual revenue source.

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9. Become A Local Tour Guide

Do you live in or near a popular tourist destination? If so, you can turn your localized expertise into an easy way to make extra money! There are multiple websites you can join to advertise your services, and this is also a great way to spend time outside while socializing with new people from around the world. Guides do everything from providing a generalized overview of the city to taking people on specialized routes such as the macabre Jack the Ripper tours that are very popular in London.

10. Flip Items On eBay

House flipping comes with a bigger reward than eBay flipping, but it also requires a larger initial commitment. If this is out of your reach, you can start building some capital by picking up useful and collectible items from yard sales and flea markets. After you clean them up, they can be flipped on eBay for a profit. Make sure that you pay close attention to current trends, and it is also wise to invest in a current toy collectible pricing guide so that you avoid overspending.

Combining these money-making tips with some of the most unusual ways to save money is a great way to boost your bank account! Even if you are only able to utilize one or two of these methods, it should soon be at least a bit easier to pay all of your bills and keep some money in your savings account.

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Featured photo credit: TaxCredits.net via flickr.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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