HELP! I Need to Make Extra Money – A Reader Request

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make more moneyI received this email yesterday….

I have a super huge favor to ask. Do you know of anything I can do for extra $$?? I do survey companies when I can but its not helping me. I work 40hrs a week and take care of all 3 boys on my own with no child support etc from their dad. I can’t even get state help. I’ve sold everything I can and got rid of any bills (cable/internet/phone) and I’m failing. Its very stressful!

She needs to make an extra $200 a month. I have a few ideas to help her out but I thought maybe you guys could help her brainstorm to come up with ideas that I haven’t thought of. I am sure she isn’t the only one in the position, so hopefully this can help out other readers as well!

Quick Money
Sell items on Craigslist or eBay
Sell books on Amazon
Have a garage sale
Clean houses

Long Extra Income
Get a second job
Have a spouse or kid get a job
Look for contract work or side jobs (doing what you do professionally)
Doing Surveys
Reselling – buy items cheap and resell for a profit
Set up an Etsy shop – sell crafts

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to make extra money or have you seen other people do?


  1. Tammy on September 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I just wanted to mention that Amazon is not just for books

    that is where I bring in my extra income. I pay $40.00 per month to list as many items as I want and bring in about $2000.00 extra per month

    hope this helps


    • Julie Hinton on September 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      If you don’t mind my asking, what kind of things do you sell? Things that you already have? Thanks

      • Tammy on September 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        anything I find on clearance at a really good price. Toys, household items, beauty items etc

  2. jessica on September 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    She could go to a place like Biolife and get paid for donating plasma. U can earn over $200 a month doing that and it only takes a few hours a week.

  3. Samantha on September 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Direct Sales have been pretty good for me. I sell Thirty-One and started ($99.00 to get your starting) because I lost my job and needed to make extra money until I got a new one. Now I sell Thirty-One part-time and make about $100.00 – $300.00 per month. It helps pay a bill or two. I have also made some really good friends too.

    Good Luck – Samantha

  4. Beth on September 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve been part of Direct Selling companies in the past and made a little extra money here and there, but not much. I just started with ItWorks in August and already brought in a commission check for my first month. I would love to talk with anyone who is interested in making money and living a healthier lifestyle. It seriously has been nothing but positive results for my family- for our health and our finances! The sky literally is the limit with this. This isn’t a “selling” company, it’s an opportunity for you to offer a better life to others! :) I really would love to talk with her!

  5. jen on September 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Mystery shopping with a reputable company can bring in decent money. Just be certain you NEVER pay to register with a company, and be careful with which assignments you accept. Make sure you can afford to wait up to 2 months to be reimbursed for expenses if you take that type of assignment. There are many available, though, that don’t require out-of-pocket money.

  6. Toni on September 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I sell Avon, I don’t even have to work at it, I just bring brochures to work with me and give some to a few friends. Its 2 orders a month, easy to handle. No home parties. I don’t even try and I make $200-$300 a month. I ordered extra brochures before Christmas last year and worked at it a little and made $450. That month. plus you get a discount on all of your own orders.

  7. Stefanie on September 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Merchandising, demonstrations, or promotions are pretty easy freelance jobs and some pay well and you don’t have to commit to set schedules usually. I used to do liquor promotions and got paid $25+ per hour. A friend used to do demonstrations in places like Costco and make extra money! Use extra skills to do freelance. For example baking custom cupcakes or cakes, coordinate parties, baby sit others kids with your own, etc. I have never been able to make loads of money mystery shopping, but it helps as well! Another thing is seasonal wirk from home jobs. My friend used to work taking orders for a popular florist dyring holidays from home. She woeked with a staffing company. That was really Good job to get. Good luck!

  8. Susan on September 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    It sounds like she’s already working really hard, and is to be super commended for trying to find even more work. I would recommmend that she contact her nearest Legal Aid Society for free legal help. If the dad has any income, his wages can be garnished. They should also be able to help her get food stamps and other public benefits

    Also, as Swaggrabber often mentions, it’s very easy to earn $15 – $30 per month in Amazon gift cards on
    Swagbucks. These can be used to buy groceries, the recent super duper toilet paper deal Swaggrabber mentioned, etc. If they are old enough, this is something the kids could do to help out. Referrals are the key to making lots of Swagbucks.
    Also, she should look for free help with her income taxes. It sounds like she is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which would put money in her pocket. Local librarians often know where to go in your town for this. Also, AARP has a program and the IRS itself has a progam (called VITA, phone 1-800-906-9887).

  9. Christine Freeland on September 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I have a great idea. Sell Mary Kay . You make 50% ,yes I said 50% of everything you sell . It is a well known product, and they train you to make as much money as you want . You don’t need to recruit, sell to family and friends or learn to sell outside your comfort zone . Email or call me I will give you a break down of just how much you can earn . Mary Kay is the number one seller of skin care and cosmetics in the USA . I love my Mary Kay . 561-644-6260. Christine Freeland

  10. Sun on September 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    It sounds like the Mom of 3 is very busy. I would recommend more passive ideas:
    – can you take in a boarder at your home? That will easily get you about $300/month.
    – charge everything on a reward credit card.
    – can you write? E-How pays writers based on views.
    – can you babysit? You are likely home with your kids. If you did this every Friday night, you could earn $200/month.

    Best wishes!

  11. Jenn on September 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Thanks guys! I have sold everything I can to make it. Have nothing else to sell. I work 40hrs a week and am not able to get any help thru the system. The father and I have split 50/50 custody so he does not have to pay child support. And since I don’t get child support they will not help me at all. I don’t have internet at home so I’m not able to do things like surveys, listing things to sell, or anything like that. At work it is not allowed either. I also live in a very small 800 sq ft house with 3 kids so could not take anyone in . Again, thanks for all the comments! I truly appreciate it!

    • Tammy on September 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      most libraries have internet connection where you could start small and list until you could afford internet connection which is usually around $50.00 per month.

      I also use a Voice Over the Internet Phone System which is only $15.00 a month so I cut phone expenses there as well.

      I can truly vouch for the online sales (I do better on Amazon than ebay, but ebay is also an option). Ebay allows 50 FREE auction listings per month and you only pay the commission if the item sells.

    • Susan on September 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Even if you have been turned down for public benefits, a lawyer can sometimes get them for you. I know someone this was true for. If you haven’t talked to a lawyer about this, try talking to a lawyer at your local Legal Aid Society. It should be free. In some states it’s called something a little different – Legal Services, or something like that. Your local library should know.

      Also, if you earn your Swagbucks mostly through referrals, you’d only have to log in about once a week, and could do this at the library.

      Good luck!

  12. alison on September 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What about dogwalking or watching dogs/housesitting while people are on vacation? We paid a lady 50 dollars a day to stay at the house and walk the dogs and just be there. You could start by offering friends/family/ people you know etc….

    • Aaiza on September 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Dear Sir / Mam,We are a group of Investors and looking for 20 Condos below 2 Million Baht.And the lotocian we are looking in Sukhumvit or nearer to it.We kindly request you to please send us the complete details with your best offer looking to our budget & liking. As per the above said things we required I hope we will get the positive reply from your end then we can plan to come and click the deals. waiting for your valuable reply as soon as possible.Regards,Kapil Saraogi.Mumbai (India)

  13. Tory on September 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I know a mom from our preschool who cleans friends’ houses. I think she spends 2-3 hours and makes $75 per house. That is cash, under the table. Her friends love it because they are helping her out, and at the same time, having someone they trust cleaning their house. I think she does about 4 jobs a month, so probably makes around $300 monthly.

  14. Ginger on September 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Jenn
    I know you said you can’t get anything through the system, but I want to mention a couple of things anyway! I guess you have applied for food stamps, rent assistance, heating assistance and things like that?? (my hubby just said there is something called “li-heap” you can apply for that helps with certain things, will try to post more info on that. What state are you in? They all seem to be different! I have a couple of friends in the same situation, struggling to save their homes and get by. My first thought was the survey thing…in some states you can get free or very reduced rates for internet, I think that is if you have young children in school. If you are already working 40 hrs/wk and caring for your kids, not much time for a “sales” type job. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and ask around to see if I can come up with any more ideas. Times are tough for so many people. God Bless You, I speak blessings into your life! :)…..Ginger

  15. kal30314 on September 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

    -use coupon on your grocery bill, if u don’t have time to cut them have one of your kids to cut them out. coupon insert are in the sunday paper will cost about $2. i had luck finding coupons at my local library. you can even sign up for coupons to come to your home. if u like a brand of food or other items call, write or email company to tell them. sometime they will send u coupons. by doing this you can save money off your grocery bills.
    -shop online through cash back programs.
    -surveys companies, sign up with more than one company.
    -recycle alumina & copper and turn them into a few bucks.
    hope this help, good luck to u

  16. Shamina on October 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Need to make some extra money quick and simple??

    Check this out!

  17. xavier bradley on November 30, 2012 at 12:46 am

    if you are serious about making some money, them im the guy you need to talk to, and i mean up to $400 a week, just from using your facebook!! just shoot me and email or add me on fb if you have one and inbox me

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