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How to Get The Money – Top 10 Ways To Make Money

Did you know that the phrase “how to get the money” is searched globally 246,000 times a month?!  I figured I’d help hundreds of thousands of people out and make my list of the top 10 income ideas and ways to save major moolah:

1.  Share Your Space

I know the idea of having a roommate may be a turn off, but the cheapest I ever lived (other than at home with my mommy) is when I split the rent of a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other girls in college.  I believe I was still charged $288 a month, but I could have even found something cheaper if I was willing to drive.  You can save thousands of dollars a year.

2.  Eat Out Less

My biggest expense is housing (see above), but the second biggest is food.  Mr. BFS and I cut out budget by nearly a third by simply eating out one time a week instead of 4 or 5 times a week.  Restaurants and fast food chains really do cost more than if you buy AND USE groceries efficiently.

3.  Eat Less Overall

If you are anything like me, you may be eating too much.  Consciously think about how full you are when you eat and try cutting your portion sizes in half if that is feasible.  That could easily cut your grocery bill down another 1/4th or more!

4.  Change Your Mode of Transportation

I love having a car.  It’s easy to just jump in and go.  That said, I could save a few thousand a year if I could take a bus instead.  I’d even lose weight if I’d bike.  Heck, even car pooling would save me a few hundred every couple of months.  If you are looking for corners to cut, transportation is another great place to start.

5.  Get a Job

I know this seems obvious, but this even means look for a better job if you are simply not paid enough.  I have known people who will complain until their faces are blue about their lack of funds even though I know they settled on a job that pays even less than mine.  Learn a trade, take some certification classes, or just network a bit and you could increase your income overnight.

6.  Get a Second Job

Whether you enjoy your work, don’t want to or can’t cut back on any more of your expenses, or simply want a little more money in your life, look into getting a second job.  This could be anything from an actual night shift to a side income through pizza delivery.

7.  Sell Yourself

No, not in the way I know that just popped into your head.  ;-)  Think of everything you know how to do or knowledge you have and work from there.  If you are fantastic at any school subject, look into tutoring.  If you are great with animals, try walking dogs or pet sitting or something.  If kids adore you, babysitting is always an option.  In short, think of all the things you are good at or things you know and make them work to your advantage.  I tried out all of the above and then found blogging – not easy money but money none-the-less.

8.  Sell Your Stuff

Craigslist and Ebay have made selling individual items way easier than in the past.  Garage and yard sales are also a way of cleaning out your house and making some profit to boot.  If you have some time, you could list 5 items a week and work your way through any of the excess you may have accumulated through the years…

9.  Passive Income Streams

Interest from investments and per click ads or affiliate programs are ways of making money even while you are sleeping.  Passive income is usually something that only starts really helping after you’ve created a solid foundation (like saving, investing, creating a good website, or you can even make money selling ebooks), so make sure to have a plan.

10.  Take Care of Yourself

Health care costs are astronomical, so staying healthy is a very important way of keeping your money where it belongs in your pocket.  Take this from someone who just finished paying her husband’s $1500 dental bill; you don’t have anything unless you’ve got your health.

What other income ideas do you awesome readers have?

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41 comments to How to Get The Money – Top 10 Ways To Make Money

  • I’m thinking about changing my mode of transportation (after the winter is over that is). We will sell one car and buy a motorcycle for me to ride to work. Insurance, gas, and maintenance will all cost less than having a car.

    And yes…I’m aware of the safety issues of having a motorcycle. That won’t stop me from getting one though – I’ve wanted one since I was a teenager, and I certainly wasn’t thinking about saving money back then!

  • @Rob, lol. Houston drivers are nuts, the weather is bipolar, and I’m a clutz, so I don’t think it would be a good idea for me. BUT, if you’ll have fun and be safe-ish, woot! It will save you a ton! :-)

  • Nice post.

    At the business owners’ group I joined a few weeks ago, one of the members remarked that she had met a woman who planned to start a business performing services for seniors still living in their homes who can’t quite keep up with the work & the errands. This would entail everything from running around town picking up groceries and prescriptions to walking the dog to fixing a meal in the home to washing the car. Effectively you’d hire yourself (and, eventually, we hope, one’s employees) as a traveling butler.

    Actually, I had a neighbor who was doing something along these lines not for the elderly but for the wealthy, of whom we still have a-plenty. He was a man-for-all-seasons for a very wealthy man — his factotum, as it were. Occasionally you’d see him park a very expensive car in his driveway, where he lovingly hand-washed and detailed it. The guy was making a living doing this, and he was a happy, relaxed sort of fellow. They lived in a nice home in a nice neighborhood and drove two late-model cars.

    His wife decided to start a cleaning business, also catering to the Richistani. Within weeks she had more work than she could handle, from people who paid a couple hundred bucks a hit.

    These two also had an under-the-counter yard sale business. To entertain themselves on weekends, they’d drive around to yard sales (Phoenix is the yard-sale capital of the world), where they’d bargain prices down to the give-away level. They’d also watch dumpsters and alleys for goods that still had some mileage on them. After they’d collected loot for about three months, they’d throw a gigantic yard sale. Because a lot of their stuff was furniture (some of it, no joke, scavenged from the alleys!), they would collect upwards of $600 every time they did this…all of it, of course, tax-free.

    IMHO the trick is to look at what seems like a minor sideline and think what you could do to enhance its money-making potential, preferably to the level of a respectable income.

  • @Funny, you know some pretty interesting people! That couple sounds ingenious! If I had some time and a little more storage space, that yard sale business would work pretty well around here. You’re right, it’s all about monetizing a potential income stream as far as possible! Thanks for mentioning some more ideas! :-)

  • I agree with “eat less.” We eat a lot – snacks, sweets and then huge meals. It all adds up in calories and money. I remember when I moved to the US and saw American portions I could not believe my eyes! How one person can eat a salad, bread, and then a humongous steak with fries?! I still don’t understand a phenomenon of big portions and oversized drinks.

  • I agree with all of these, but finding a better-paying job is easier said than done, especially for people in naturally low-paying fields, like teachers or restaurant workers, and etc. I’m writing a blog post about this as we speak.

    But a definite 100% yes on the tutoring! I do tutoring work at two different places to make ends meet, and there’s just a huge demand for it. If you’re willing to put in the extra time, it can be lucrative even if you make enough money at your “regular” job

  • @Aloysa, yeah, we splurge way too often on non-essentials. I don’t think we’ll stop unless we really do need the extra money for something.

    In regards to the salad, steak, and fries – I love eating the salad at the restaurant and as much free bread as I want and taking 90% of the steak and baked potato home for lunches for the week, lol. :-)

    @Serenity, oh, I know…I’m job hunting right now. This is why I didn’t name the post 10 “Easy” Ways, lol…job hunting stinks…

  • #10 – your health. All on the list are good ideas but #10 is the one that will carry you into the later years. Ignore your health … and it’ll go away! That’s a promise. And then? Try to find it again. Not as easy as it looks either.

    Dumpster Diving: In an ENglish class, we read a short story about a homeless guy and his learning how to dumpster dive. Very sad what all he talked about. But, he also mentioned the idea of finding items that he’d resell for money, food, even find medicines that some threw out (expired dates). I’ve never dumpster dove (dived?) like that, but I have found some neat things next to dumpsters in upscale apartment/townhome complexs. Amazing what people will throw away. I found 5, brand new in the box, docking stations for (then) new laptops that someone didn’t want. Sold’em on eBay for $40-$50/ea. Easy money for just taking the time to “check out the boxes” sitting around a dumpster. End of month, beginning of the next month are prime times to look. People moving and not wanting to pack it up.

    Motorcycle: I drive my M/C to work fairly regularly in the summer months. Definitely saves gas and expenses.

    @Rob: If you’ve never owned a bike, take the time to do a motorcycle-safety training course. I’d highly recommend it. ANd your insurance company will like you too. And invest in a very nice set of rain gear. You’ll need it someday. Get saddlebags or one of those sissybar bags … nice for storage. I have ot down to an art when shopping for 5-10 items. And parking is ALWAYS a snap with a bike. :) And, if riding in a cold environment, make sure to get very warm, gloves. Trust me on that one! You’ll figure out the rest relating to cold weather. But gloves are a priority.

    This time of year is great to ride in. Be safe and always think that no one can see you @ any time. Don’t assume. I’d say that to anyone driving a motorcycle. That mentality will save your life. (I’ve owned a M/C since 15 yrs old … and you can almost reverse those numbers today)

    JOB!!!: Nowadays, it seems that if one is/was making top dollar, they’re the first to be cut and escorted to the door … @ least in the field I work in. Lotsa’ old-timers who were making $60/hr x 50+ hrs/wk. are all sitting around wondering what happened. :) And sadly, a lot of them never saved up for this moment in time. Sometimes, making a little less will make you more money, depending on your field of work. And those older workers are now (reluctantly) having to accept less pay. Definitely an “employers” market. I’m not too worried, I make much less than top dollar where I work. I kind of like it that way … for now. ;)

    Top dollar … is an interesting concept. What I make here … would be a fraction of what others make in California or New England. Ones “salary” is kind of a fluid term. Would be nice to say “Yeah, I make 6 figures here in California.” (but they’re they’re still in debt up to the arse.

    WTGo Crystal. Nice post … and gets me to-a-thinkin’.

  • It’s funny when you see all the options laid out like that how possible it really is. Now that it will be getting colder, I won’t be able to ride my bike to run errands as much as I have been unfortunately. Mass transit is not an option here at all, so my car is my only option.

    Gotta go sell myself now… :)

  • I like your list. #10 is one particular that many folks might not think of, but it’s HUGE. If you’re not healthy, it could curtail your ability to work effectively, if at all. Not to mention those healthcare costs.

    One to add might be success on the job. Getting promotions can ramp up income as well.

  • We cut our eating out budget by 75% which led us to eat healthier which led us to spend less on groceries.
    What I added was time spent in the kitchen making everything from scratch.
    I totally agree with #10. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me growing up was regular dental check-ups.

  • “How to Get the Money” is never a term I would think to search on. Am I just old and not with it? Is this slang of some sort? That in itself makes this article interesting.

    #5 is funny because I know people who complain about money who do not work. Sometimes it’s hard to say “how about looking for work” in a way that doesn’t condescending.

  • HA! molly’s post about dental checkups made me smile. My wife used to complain about all the dental floss containers I had .. in car, bathroom/bedroom, living room.

    Her last checkup, she had a cavity, because she didn’t floss enough. (she’d kill me if she knew I said this). She’s now a fanatic about it like me…. well, almost like me.

    One can never have too little an amount of minty dental floss. IMO. :)

  • Hehe, When I started reading #7, the song Roxanne by the Police popped in my mind.

    Great list, and thanks for the chuckle, I need one today… :)

  • gotta love #9 – it gets me excited.

    i am actually working on a post where i will be discussing alternative investments. so to answer your closing question, alternative passive investing is one of the better investments in my opinion (i.e. venture capital and angel funding). it could apply both on a micro and macro level.

    i also enjoy a good amount of monthly rental income from several properties – not to mention the free equity build up over time, and appreciation, which if happens is the icing on the cake

  • @ODWO, yeah, I never think about my health much until I’m sick and then it’s the only thing that matters. I’m glad you liked the post!

    @Everyday Tips, did you sell yourself successfully?

    @Squirrelers, good point – having a job is good, but doing well and earning raises is even better – maximize your job’s earning potential.

    @Molly, yeah, cooking from home added a little extra time to the equation, but we’ve gotten better at cooking tasty meals that make the time worth it, lol.

    @Sandy L, it’s not any slang I know of…just a weird way of typing in a search in my opinion – my nod to SEO, lol. #5 makes me smile too since I was one of the whiners who just felt stuck…self-imposed, completely self-imposed…

    @ODWO, your habit of flossing all the time after I saw you eat led me to reevaluate my own irregular habit, so thanks, my teeth thank you too. :-)

    @Money Reasons, glad to have made you smile! Your reference to Roxanne has gotten it stuck in my head – I keep replaying the one from Moulin Rouge…

    @Sunil, passive income streams get me excited too. I’m trying to grow all 3 of my blogs to the point that ad revenue from Adsense alone will be enough to provide my whole income – we’ll see…

  • The two things that have helped me the most here are eating out less (I probably eat out around 2 times per month) and changing my mode of transportation. I no longer have a car and use almost 100% public transportation. For the rare times i truly NEED a car, I use zip car. It’s amazing how much these 2 things can do for your finances…they also both help out with your health too!

  • These are great tips! I think I’d also include downsize your living situation. Instead of living in a 3-bedroom house or 2-bedroom apartment, downsize to a 2-bedroom or 1-bedroom house/apartment instead. Not only would rent or mortgage payments be less, but utilities would be less too. I’m considering moving into a very large 2-bedroom apartment from a smallish 3-bedroom house, and though the rent is a wash, I’ll be saving quite a bit on the utilities (water in particular!)

  • @Andrew, I’ve heard of zip cars! I’m glad they’re working out so well for a bunch of people. Nice combo attack, by the way, with the food and transportation!

    @Little House, good tip for almost everybody!

    The only time this method doesn’t work is when the smaller place is significantly older or crappier built – it’s amazing how much energy efficiency can affect utility bills! Our last apartment was built with crappy windows and a/c unit and cost more in utility bills than our house which is 75% larger! Very weird…

  • Definitely! Food and transportation can save a ton because we do it every day!

  • I like that so many of your tips have a dual purpose. For instance, using groceries wisely and eating out less is great for your wallet and overall health! “Selling yourself” is a great way to develop yourself and to push yourself – as well as a source of additional income.

  • I like your point about saving money by taking care of yourself!

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  • Saving is not much fun. It is more fun to spend! But, we must limit our expenses. Thanks for the reminder.
    #9 is extremely tough to do, and millions go at it the wrong way and lose their shirt. Passive income streams can be set up. When one is actively adding to them, they can become more than substantial.
    #10 Taking care of yourself is one we often neglect — at great cost! Kudos to you for your insight in including this one!

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