The following is a guest post from David Bakke of Money Crashers Personal Finance.
Ready to tackle that credit card debt? Initially, you must come up with a plan to reduce your spending – but after that, how about taking a more proactive approach by generating additional income?
If you can find a little bit of extra time to implement a few simple ideas, you’ll get some extra cash to help pay off those debts faster. So turn off the “Seinfeld” reruns, forget about your Facebook page for a moment, and follow these five tips to become a member of the debt-free club:
1. Sell Your Stuff
If those old college textbooks and last season’s clothes are still sitting in your closet, clean them out and turn them into cash. Old electronics such as digital cameras, GPS systems, and cell phones are a great place to start.
You can open a seller’s account on eBay, or to get better bang for your buck, consider selling on Craigslist which is 100% commission-free. Ship your items quickly and package them securely – and with Craigslist, always meet in an open, public place and accept cash as your only method of payment.
2. Complete Paid Online Surveys
You’re unlikely to hit it rich by filling out surveys, but every little bit helps. Payouts from some of the online survey websites are around $2 to $3 per completed survey, which usually take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. If you’ve got some downtime at night, this can be a low-stress way to make a few extra bucks. Just be sure you’re dealing with a reputable website, such as Lightspeed Research and Pinecone Research.
3. Start Your Own Business
Starting your own business is a great way to bring in some extra cash. For instance, you may want to consider launching a consulting business. Pick a subject you’re well-versed in, print some business cards, and advertise your services on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. You never know – it may blossom into a full-time gig.
4. Participate in Paid Focus Groups
To participate in a paid focus group, you most likely need to live in or near a big city – however, if this is an option, the payouts are tremendous. When you sign up at a website such as Delve or Focus Pointe Global, questionnaires are periodically sent to your inbox.
If you meet the qualifications, you will be invited to participate in a paid focus group. It could be a roundtable discussion or a group study in which you answer questions on a response pad. You can make $50 to $75 for each hour of your time.
5. Rent Out Your Car
This may seem like a scary thought, but the website RelayRides has taken the fear out of the equation. You decide your price, approve the people who rent your car (after they’re pre-screened), and RelayRides is responsible for insuring your car. According to the website, you can earn as much as $1,000 per month. If your car is just sitting in the garage, put it to work for you.
If you find yourself with a significant amount of cash after implementing these ideas, stay disciplined and be sure to apply it to your debts. The sooner you get out of debt, the sooner you can resume your normal lifestyle. If you happen to find great success with these strategies, keep them going. Your retirement savings or your child’s college education will feel like less of a burden if you get ahead of the game.
What other ways can you think of to generate cash?
David Bakke is a small business owner who managed to pay off over $30,000 in consumer debt he racked up during his college years. He shares his tips and experiences on the blog Money Crashers Personal Finance.
[image via flickr]