10 Legit Ways to Earn Extra Cash This Year

If you're determined to earn more in the new year, now's the time to look for sources of income outside of your 9-to-5 gig. You'll be in good company: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 5 percent of working adults in the United States currently hold more than one job, and half of this group works both part-time and full-time. Many more adults likely have second sources of income but are paid in cash, making the data hard to track. If you're drawing a blank on how to earn some extra greenbacks on the side, here are 10 suggestions to jumpstart your thinking and doing.

SELL YOUR STUFF

Garage sales, Craigslist, eBay, and buy/sell/trade groups are all practical and productive platforms for selling the stuff you don't use anymore. If the item isn't serving its purpose in your home, why hold on to it? Free yourself of clutter while putting extra cash in your wallet.

PICK UP A CONSULTANT JOB SELLING PRODUCTS

There are many products you can sell to earn side cash. Mary Kay (personal and beauty care), Jamberry (nail art), and Thirty-One (wallets, totes, purses) are examples of companies that sell merchandise directly to consumers through independent consultants. Find a product you love and can stand behind, learn the ropes, and start selling.

MOW LAWNS

Sure, mowing the lawn may seem like a chore for the high school kid down the street, but plenty of people need help with their lawns and yards. Offer up your services and if you feel capable, tack on weeding, planting, trimming trees, raking leaves, and spreading mulch. Whatever you can do for a fee, let your neighbors know.

WRAP PRESENTS

Do you pride yourself on wrapping beautiful packages? Offer to help friends and family with their holiday/birthday/anniversary gift-wrapping chores. This definitely is not everyone's favorite task, and you're bound to get some takers.

TEACH

If you have a passion, share your knowledge with others. Teach music, cooking, woodworking. Tutor local students in math, English composition, your native language. Earn a certificate to become a yoga or fitness instructor. These types of classes can fit around a full-time work schedule because many like-minded individuals have daytime obligations.
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EDIT/WRITE/DESIGN

In this Internet era, anyone with a way with words or a background in writing or editing can turn this skill to income-generating advantage. Writing and editing projects usually can be completed from the comfort of home, at any time of day or night. Depending on the company, the payout can be handsome. Ditto for graphic design.

CLEAN OR ORGANIZE HOUSES/ROOMS

If you happen to be super organized and obsessive about cleanliness, one or both of these traits easily translates into side income. You probably won't have to do much advertising or searching for this type of work, either. Offer to help out a friend or two, mention your specialty on Facebook, and word of mouth is likely to net you a few jobs and a fistful of dollars.

SHOP FOR OTHERS

It's probably a safe bet that there are loads of people who need a little help here and there. Parents with small children know that running errands is miserable with the kids in tow and some would gladly pay a small fee for you to take on this chore. Same goes for the senior set -- especially when the weather is bad or sickness hits. Post a notice on your favorite social media, in your local community center, and at church to let others know you're available.

DRIVE PEOPLE

These days you don't need to sign on with a taxi service to earn money driving people around. Companies like Uber make it really easy to earn some cash on the side. All you need to sign up as a driver is a four-door car, a valid driver's license, car insurance, and a clean driving record. (Check local ordinances to make sure this is legal.)

BABYSIT/PETSIT/HOUSESIT

Are you fond of babies or pets or plants? Consider watching out for these beloved family members in your spare time and take home extra cash. Babysitting used to be reserved for teenagers, but companies like Care.com can help you find such opportunities at any age.