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10 Worst Ways You Probably Have Tried to Earn Extra Money

10 Worst Ways You Probably Have Tried to Earn Extra Money

No matter what the song says “love” does not make the world go around, it’s money.  Certainly, we all want to make extra money.  There are always little emergencies that pop up and more money is always a good thing.  However, at one time or another we have all been suckered into believing in “easy” money.  I hope you’ve managed to stay away from these “money-makers.”  But if you haven’t, you’re not alone.  The following are some of the more common ways that people have tried and ultimately failed to earn

1. Internet Surveys

It certainly sounds very tempting and oh so easy. Simply fill out a few surveys and earn some easy, cold, hard cash. While there are a lucky few who report success in filling out surveys. The person has to be within a very narrow demographic in order to profit big. Also, the surveys may pay a penny or a nickel and a particular limit must be reached before the money can be withdrawn. The result is hours of wasted time filling out very few surveys, all while the cash-out remains illusive.

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2. Investments

Here the old adage holds very true, “you need money in order to make money.” And most of us simply do not have that kind of disposable cash. If we did, we likely would not need to invest in the first place. Besides the stock market has been very unstable since 2009, when interest rates were kept artificially low. Ultimately, day and foreign market investing are little more than dangerous gambles. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “sure” thing when it comes to the stock market.

3. Medical Testing

Not only is medical testing an ultimate waste of time, money, and effort a person is risking their overall good health. The money does sound “easy.” Treatment for certain illnesses is free, plus a small compensation is usually provided. Trouble erupts when one person decides to take more than one experiment at a time. The medication or treatment provided may only make the person sicker. Medical testing only puts the person at unnecessary risk.

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4. Selling Bodily Fluids

Once you get past the “ick” factor and really think about this option, it really is a poor way to make money. The process is very, very time-consuming for what amounts to very low pay. Women can opt to sell their eggs, as well. This practice also takes up time and can be quite painful as fertility shots are often required. Donations simply are not a dependable means of making money and very often the practice is limited to strict time restraints.

5. Holding A Sign For Traffic

These folds are often referred to as “sign spinners.” We’ve all seen them standing on a sidewalk, holding a sign to advertise a particular business. Rain or shine, someone can usually be noticed attempting to attract business. The job is tiring due to the requirement of standing on your feet day in and day out. And the pay is generally very poor. Some dislike the practice because it has the potential to distract drivers.

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6. Renting Your Stuff

This practice has become more popular in the last few years. For example, some may rent out their privately owned vehicle or storage space, while still others may rent out homes. The problem is that the return payment may not fully cover any damages done to the personal property. Another disadvantage is that a renter may simply walk away rather than paying on time. The practice simply doesn’t reap the rich rewards in the end.

7. Illegitimate Work-At-Home Jobs

While it sounds great, unfortunately “envelope-stuffing” is not a thing. There are machines that can do the same thing for far less money than their human counterparts. There are hundreds, if not thousands of sites prepared to take your money and offer absolutely nothing but heartache and empty pockets in return. Some of these sites are designed to sucker good people into laundering money for illegal reasons. The best policy is to stay away from these empty promises.

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8. Treasure Hunting

Who hasn’t dreamed of digging up a Spanish gold piece on some distant beach. Geo-caching is another form of the treasure hunting dream. A prize is hidden somewhere and with the use of longitude and latitude people are encouraged to find the hidden treasure. Instead of a metal detector, a GPS is required to hunt for lost treasure. Great amounts of time are required to invest in something with very low return.

9. World Of Warcraft And Similar Games

What could be better than searching for and then selling virtual treasure? It’d be great save for the fact that the market has become over saturated and many have simply lost interest in the practice. Often the result is extremely time-consuming at very low return. Video game reviews and testimonials end up with the same result, too much time with too little return. Not to mention the fact that companies don’t want negative reviews, only positive ones.

10. Recycling

Here again we see an extremely time-consuming effort for very little return. Not to mention the fact that a lot of recycling has to be done before a profit can be turned. In most cases, you would have to collect recyclables from others. And unless you have the storage space and the means to move and clean substantial amounts of items, the effort simply is not worth it. Collections of old cans doesn’t even generate the minimum wage that the effort involves.

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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