I get a little tired of posts talking about ways to make extra money. Many of them give you ideas that might get you $25 all year, or require special skills like writing blogs. It’s not that blogging is really so hard, but it takes a lot of effort to make even a little bit of money. These solutions don’t work for most people. Fortunately, there are some sure-fire ways that anyone can pick up extra cash.
Pay attention to rebates
Rebate sites help you get cash back on products you buy every day. They do not offer rebates in the traditional sense. You can’t surf the site after you’ve already bought something to see if a rebate is available. Instead, you shop through the site getting cash back for your purchases. Ebates is one example of such a website. Credits are made in any way you choose based on a periodic schedule, so you don’t get the money back immediately.I have used Upromise to save for my son’s college since he was born. It works very much the same way. I use the site as a shopping portal and get cash back that is applied to my son’s 529 account. Some shopping portals give you the change to donate your rebates too. Not a way to generate extra cash, really, but I wanted you to know about your options. As loong as you shop only for items you would buy anyway and check the total cost against buying at the store, you will get extra cash shopping this way
There really is only one rewards debit card out there. PerkStreet, where yours truly also contributes content, offers 1 – 2 % back on all purchases, with occasional 5% bonuses and specials every month that boost your cash back.
For me, this is the optimal replacement for my checking account. Experts recommend you never spend more than 80% of your personal income. Now if that is any benchmark for the amount of money I spend every year, even 1% back is significant. The rewards are only given when you use the credit feature on the card. If you enter your pin on a transaction, or write a check, no rewards. That leaves out the mortgage, but makes room for most of your household bills. I call it a rebate on living.
This money-saving measure has been getting a lot of heat lately. Financial analysts are claiming these cards are dangerous because the cash back entices you to spend more or to make impulse purchases. I stick my tongue out at such criticisms.
Smart spenders remove emotions from their purchase decisions and always delay unnecessary purchases. The temptation may be there, but that doesn’t mean you have to bite. I mean, you manage the risk like anything else. Should you stop driving your car because of the risk of accidents? No, you just drive defensively. My advice: take advantage of the cash back, but be smart about what you buy.
Sell Your Stuff
No, it’s not fancy, fresh or unusual. It’s the time-tested advice that always works. Most of us simply have too much stuff. Why not turn it into extra cash now that times are tight? Go through the attick and basement and see what you can find. Put it out in spring or hop on eBay.
Personally, I find eBay’s interface too labor intensive, so I use another software to make my eBay entries. For about $8 a month I get templates image hosting, and a much easier interface.
How Much Will You Save in 2011?
I have estimated my savings using these tactics for 2011. I will get about $1,000 extra cash (maybe more) by following these little tricks. That will pay for more than six weeks of groceries, the family’s car insurance for the year, or two months winter heating costs. Not bad for just a little extra work that doesn’t require any special skills or training.
I’d love to hear about any other ways you use to make extra cash when times are tight. Share your tips in the comments section!
Jessica Bosari is an Internet copywriter and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!