How Do You Make Extra Money? – Frugal Novice

How Do You Make Extra Money?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m trying to shop smarter and save more money, but the other side of that is figuring out ways to make extra money. What are some ways you do this for your family? Here are the top three that come to my mind:

Garage Sale: This one has a dual benefit for me – clearing out our clutter and making a little extra change! I’ve had some successful sales in the past. Here are a few tips I’ve discovered over years of sales:

  • Have a sale with your friends. It’s more fun, and shoppers love to go to “multi-family” sales. My friend Amanda and I have had many great sales together!
  • Clean/spruce up your items before you put them out. Dust, spots, or scratches will turn people off from making a purchase, or will provide immediate reason to offer a lower price.
  • Organize your items in categories. I felt a little OCD doing this the first time, although it rang true to my love of organization, which is why I tried it to begin with! But let me tell you – it works! There’s a reason why stores do it this way. If people are looking for CDs, don’t make them hunt through piles of your junk to find them. My friend and I used categories like electronics, games, movies, accessories, kitchen, etc.
  • Diversify your advertising – posters, signs on store bulletin boards, an ad in your local paper and in American Classifieds.
  • Ok, here’s one that sounds totally stupid but I swear it works! If you’ve got a lull in traffic and you see cars headed your way, take turns hopping up and pretending to be a customer. I mean, think about it – if you drive by an empty sale, your first thought will be that it must not be worth stopping by, right? But if people see others shopping, that makes them curious about what might be up there worth looking at. Amanda and I make great pretend shoppers. :)

• Sell online. One bad thing about garage sales is that you’re not going to find a targeted audience for unique or very specific items. Have a Coke bottle collection? The likelihood of finding a collector in your city that just so happens to swing by your garage sale is slim to none. But by going online to sell, you can easily connect people who are looking for what you have to sell.

  • Sell gift cards for cash. Have a card to a store you’ll never shop at? Don’t let it go to waste – go online and sell it. You can often end up with a pretty considerable percentage of the card’s value, which is way better than ending up with something you don’t want at all.
  • Sell your items on sites specifically tailored to audiences looking for what you’ve got. For example, you can sell your CDs, DVDs and games on a site like, where you know there will be people looking to buy those kinds of things!
  • Sell local, but online. Yup, you know what I’m talking about – Craigslist. This free service makes it easy to sell goods, especially those that are larger and that you wouldn’t want to try and ship.
  • Sell on eBay. Shocker, I know!  For collectibles or certain brand items, this is a great location to find a specialized buyer who will appreciate the value of what you have to offer.

• Make money by making something – use your talents! Love to make jewelry? Are you great at knitting? Take your skills and make money doing something you love. Etsy is filled with people who are successful doing just that, and more and more buyers appreciate buying handmade.

What methods do you use to make extra money? I’d love to get more ideas to add to my list!


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  • Molly January 16, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Direct Sales. I started selling Thirty-One because I love the products, they are easy to sell, and I can create my own schedule. It has been the best $99 I spent. Choose a product you love and use and you’ll have no problem promoting it! Plus several Direct Sales businesses offer free sign-ups from time to time. I also sell Barefoot Books and Do You Bake? because they fit out family’s lifestyle – reading and cooking – well.

  • Carissa Ott January 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I sell things from around the house on Craigslist and have two jobs in order to pay off debt as quickly as possible.

  • Janalyn January 19, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I’ve found that garage sales ratios of trouble I go to vs. money made are not good uses of my time! But maybe because I always seem to pick the weekend it rains. I think I’ll end up participating in a lot of consignment sales once we’re done having kids to make some money back. Substitute teaching is also an option for some S(or W)AHMs with flexible schedules!

  • Brandy Anderson January 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    If you want to sell kid items consignment events are a really good way to sell them. It does cost a percentage of your sales, but you have way more buyers than you ever would at a yard sale and you don’t even have to set up or sit out in the sun all day. :)