Be the Boss of Your Income: Practical Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Career

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The post-holiday financial struggle is real if you find yourself scraping together every last penny lately, you’re not alone. So many hardworking Womanistas are in need of a little monetary boost around this time of year after shelling out the big bucks for Christmas gifts, fancy party dresses and probably one too many martinis.

But your income doesn’t have to be dictated solely by your salary. There are so many ways to rake in some extra cash that have nothing to do with your day job. With a little creativity and effort, you can earn additional income to help pad that used-and-abused bank account.

Resell yard sale items
On weekends, hunt down any yard sales or estate sales and snag any items you think you can re-price and resell on Craigstlist or eBay. Just be prepared to put in a lot of behind-the-scenes work listing the items and providing customer service.

House sit
You have to sleep somewhere anyway, so you might as well make it at someone else’s house when they’re traveling and earn a few extra bucks simply by resting your head, collecting the newspaper and maybe watering a couple plants. 

Tutor children
Meet with a local children’s organization and see if they offer any sort of after-school tutorial program for kids in your area; aside from making extra money, you’ll also feel great about helping others who are struggling.

Be an extra
Fulfill your forlorn Hollywood aspirations by volunteering to be an extra in TV shows or movies. Or if you live in a city like Nashville, there is no shortage of music videos to be an extra in. 

More times than not parents of young children are desperate for extra help both during the day and at nighttime; get paid to feed snacks, play with puzzles and watch TV with little humans.

Take photos
If you have an eye for style and for what looks good in photos, invest in a quality camera and reap the benefits by offering to take photos of friends and family (for a fee, of course); graduations, baptisms, first birthdays, Christmas card photos — the list of opportunities you’ll find is endless.

Host a foreign exchange student
If you find yourself with an extra bedroom or maybe even a little loft above your garage area, rent it out to foreign exchange students who will be oh-so-grateful for your hospitality.

Create websites
People will pay good money for a quality, effective website that will help their own business thrive. Put your flare for technology to good use by creating websites in your downtime after work.

Walk dogs
If you’re a dog lover and you enjoy being outdoors, combine the two and offer to walk dogs in your spare time in the evenings or on your lunch break; walking more than one dog at a time will rack up even more profit.

Donate Plasma
If you're healthy and aren’t squeamish about needles and blood, considering donating your blood plasma. There’s always a need for it, plus you can rake in a few hundred bucks a month if you go frequently.


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Hayley Simmons |

Hayley Simmons is a twenty-something writer, wife and new mama to her baby girl, Scout. A native Texan turned Nashvillian, she spends her time experimenting with healthy recipes -- then forcing her husband to eat them, finding new ways to not hate the gym and shopping for (an absurd amount of) baby clothes.