The 5 Smartest Ways To Make Extra Money

Hey, who here wants extra money? (Oh, hi there, everyone.) But, unless you’re willing to take on a second (or third!) gig, producing those surplus dollars can seem like a pipe dream. Good news, though: Kelly P. Hernandez, the founder and CEO, an independent, unbiased personal finance site for women, has found ways to get you paid (without telling you to get another jay-oh-bee). 

With these super-smart strategies, you can transform everything from last year’s handbag to your Instagram feed into cold, hard cash. We’re not saying you’ll become a millionaire, per se…but you may wind up feeling like one. 


Do A Closet Purge — The Smart Way 

Your vintage Gucci dresses not catching your eye anymore? Got a pair of Pierre Hardy heels that never quite fit? Might as well get some money for them. Selling your designer threads no longer means holding your breath for a good eBay bid, or schlepping your stuff to a consignment shop. The newest online resale sites cater to a style-conscious crowd, so you won’t have to worry about getting peanuts for your Proenza. Two sites we like: Vaunte(which caters to fashion insiders) and the luxe-leaning MaterialWrld.


Turn Your iJunk To Decent Dollars 
Sure, you could sell your old iPod on Craigslist, but why do that when you can just drop it in the mail? Sell used, even broken electronics to sites like Gazelle,BuyMyTronics, and MaxBack. We tried out these sites and found Maxback gave the highest offer for our phone: $75 for a working iPhone 4, and $35 for a broken one. (Amazon offered us even more, but will only pay us with an Amazon gift card.) Clean out, compare your offers, and earn cash.


Get Paid For Spending
Yes, you read that right. Cash-back credit cards can really mean money, especially if you use one credit card for all your expenses, including work travel. Sites such as Nerdwallet make it easy to compare different offers from credit card companies. There are lots of options with no annual fee, and in a few cases, even those with annual fees may be worth it. (Annual fees are often charged on cards that waive foreign transaction fees, so if you lead the jet set life, paying the annual fee may pay for itself with your international purchases.) Just be sure that you actually need a credit card and can pay it off in full each month.


Turn Your Hobby Into A “Paycheck” 

You’re probably good at something — so why not bring in a little money while doing it? For instance, if you’re a photography freak, upload your best pictures to stock photo sites and get paid when others download them. It’s not a lot of money per download, but hey, not a lot of effort either. Three to try: BigStockPhoto123RF, andShutterStock.

Have other skills? Get paid by the minute for giving advice over the phone through sites such as LiveNinja and Or, if you have the time, get project and freelance work through sites like ODeskand the fashion-focused Merocrat. When setting your pay rates on these sites, start out just below your competition initially. As you begin to pick up glowing reviews for your work, gradually raise your rates.


Sharing Is Caring (And Lucrative) 

You’ve probably heard about the “sharing economy,” and yes, it can bring in extra income. Your spare room — or, in some expensive cities, even your couch — can earn you spare cash through Airbnb orVRBO. Rent out unused office or meeting space by the hour through Liquidspace. And, for those of you daring enough, you can rent out your car when you’re not using it through RelayRides. Remember, there are real risks with sharing your personal property and space. Be careful, check your local laws and your lease, and remember — you can always refuse an offer to rent if you feel uncomfortable.

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