There are so many different ways to make a side income. It can be through a part-time job, a side gig online or offline. Really anything you have an interest in can probably have the potential to make you money.
It's always good to have a buffer in income in case there are unexpected expenses that come up like busted pipes, a broken refrigerator or even something like a friend's wedding you were just recently invited to and have to drop $300 on a gift and rent a hotel room for the weekend. Womp.
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The point is, there's an option out there suited for everyone to earn more whether it be for emergency purposes, investing purposes or whatever your little heart desires. Obviously, I'd highly recommend investing whatever extra money you make into your retirement account.
Here are 5 ways to make extra income:
1. Sell your old stuff
If you look through all of what you own, chances are there's a lot you'd realistically consider junk if it wasn't yours. But, on the plus side, there's more chance than not someone will buy whatever you don't want. Another person's trash is another person's treasure! A few places you can sell your old things are eBay, Bonanza, eBid, Etsy and yes, even Facebook.
eBay, everyone knows about. It was all the rage in the 90s. Selling items online doesn't get mentioned still to this day without hearing someone say eBay. All you have to do is create an account, list the items you want to sell, upload the pictures and boom, you're all set. However, the fees can be a bit steep at $.30 per item plus 10% of the sale price of the item. Here is some great advice on how to get started from someone who runs a now $25 million business selling things on eBay. According to WebRetailer, 34.3% make under $10,000 a year. Even if you made say $3,000 a year less taxes, you could turn that into $445,738.85 at a 7% rate saving all of it and investing for 40 years in an S&P 500 index fund. Cool beans.
Bonanza is similar to eBay. However, the cost for listing what you're looking to sell tends to be a bit cheaper. According to the site, there are around 50,000 sellers with around $23 million worth of items sold to date. Even if you were able to sell only $1,000 in your experience with Bonanza, if you invested it, it could turn into $14,974.46 from doing nothing with it in an index fund over 40 years.
Etsy was famous a few years ago for allowing people to be able to sell their crafts they created. Or unless your items are considered vintage (20 years or older), you can also sell these items on the platform.
Listing an item costs $.20, and if you sell the item you put online, Etsy's fees are 3.5% of the sale and 3% plus $.25 for payment processing. That may seem like it's pretty expensive, but the site has over 31.7 million buyers as of November 2017. Lots of opportunity there for you to make some extra money.
Here is an awesome post from The Penny Hoarder how one mom earns $70,000/month. Imagine if she invested all of that money. That's around $500,000 a year more or less after taxes and expenses. If she put that amount away for 30 years for just one of the years she made money, it would turn into $3,806,127.52. If she was fortunate to invest the total net income every year, that would turn into an incredible $54,342,648.20.
Facebook was new to me when it came to selling items. I admit I just realized that little house/shop looking icon on the bottom of the screen of your phone is their marketplace to sell items. I think it looks really cool, it seems convenient for a Facebook user to list something they're interested in selling. I found so many random things like Jordans, a PS4, a Super Nintendo Classic and even a Range Rover! Here is a short helpful article how this person made $520 on the platform. Not bad at all! It doesn't seem like much but even that invested for 40 years at 7% turns into $7,786.72. It might not look like much, but remember this gives you more incentive to save more and invest more.
2. Rent out a room in your house/apartment
If you're strapped for cash or have unused space where you're living, renting out the space could be a great way to make a little extra money. A great platform for this is AirBnB. I even found a posting where someone was renting out their couch for $10/night! You could literally make $13,000 a year if you rented out your couch 5 days a week. If you invested that entire amount after taxes in an index fund, that could turn into $134,770 in 40 years!
3. Go to a garage sale and resell items you think should be worth more
I've read plenty of stories about people who have developed an eye for this kind of stuff, and they've made a great living out of it! This is particularly fruitful when it comes to estate sales. Sometimes the families don't realize the value of the items of the family member who passed away. If you have a trained eye, you can end up making a decent amount of money. Here's an article on someone who makes up to $20,000 a year on garage sales. Say you were even able to make just $1,000 a year and you invested the total amount in an S&P 500 index fund for 40 years. If you kept this up the whole time, you could have $228,584.03 extra by the end of it. Not bad huh?
4. Give sports/music lessons
When I was in high school, I would give soccer lessons during the summer to kids younger than me. I posted flyers throughout the town, and it was surprisingly very lucrative (at least for a high schooler). I was able to charge a rate of $60/hr! To me, just one lesson was a crazy amount of money. But I was able to get two lessons a day at least for five days a week! Some weeks I made up to even $800, it was awesome. It was such easy money, but parents were willing to pay for it to have their kids taken off their hands for a little, it was great!
So even if you're still in school and did this for a summer, you could make around $7,000 if you gave three lessons a day five days a week for two months. If you invest the $7,000 super early in an S&P 500 index fund, that can turn into $104,821 in 40 years. If you do it for 4 years and save and invest all of it, it can turn into 379,905!
5. Give e-commerce a shot with a platform like Shopify
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that has more than 500,000 sellers using its site. The company claims there are 500,000 active stores with $46 billion in sales to date. It's apparently very easy to get a basic store up and running on the site and is 100% hosted, which is nice if you aren't tech savvy, like myself!
Some cons about using the platform are things like there is no real-time shipping or discounts in less expensive plans available. There is also no one-page checkout. Overall though, I've found the site receives great reviews.
A lot of times, people use Shopify and pair it with Oberlo, which is a drop shipping company that allows you to have inventory in your online stores. Here is a step by step guide I found on Oberlo's site explaining how to create an online store with Shopify and Oberlo.
Oberlo is basically a marketplace where you can find a huge variety of products from suppliers who provide fully automated order fulfillment services. People open their stores on Shopify and use Oberlo to provide the products they are selling. If you do the research beforehand to see what niches sell well, you can become pretty successful.
Here's an article I found on the Huffington Post showing how someone was able to do this. Sure, this is a one of a kind success story, but even if you were able to make say $100/month net, while keeping your day job you would be making an extra $1,200. Saving and investing that much alone every year for 40 years in an S&P 500 index fund would produce $274,300.83.
These are just some of many extra ways you can make more money for yourself. If you save and invest the extra, you'll be in prime position for your retirement down the road.
What other ways have you found to make some extra money for yourself?
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