Ideally, we’d all have at least six months of expenses set aside in an emergency fund. In reality, that’s a big ask for many of us. But you can find many innovative ways to bolster your emergency fund if you think outside the box.
1. Monetize a Hobby
If you have something you’re already good at and enjoy, like making jewelry, wood turning, macrame, 3D printing, laser cutting, or ceramics, monetize it. There’s a big market for handmade arts and crafts items, so tap into it with a skill you already have.
Sell online, go to craft fairs and vendor markets, and start selling your wares. I do pretty well with selling chainmail, beaded items, and macrame.
2. Offering House Clearance Services
Handling a loved one’s possessions can be overwhelming for many. If you’ve got the space in your vehicle, offering house clearance services can fill a crucial need. You can refurbish or upcycle many of the items you clear and sell to boost your income further.
3. Professional Decluttering
Assisting people with decluttering their homes can be incredibly rewarding. Acting as an impartial advisor, you can help others streamline their belongings while making a tidy sum for your services. And, just like with house clearances, you may be able to sell some of the items you clear.
4. Become a Film Extra
Film extras play a crucial role in creating realistic scenes. Most extras are amateurs, and it can be an interesting way to earn money and maybe even spot yourself in a movie or TV show.
My grandfather got his Equity card and became an extra after he retired for extra cash and something different to do. He appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows and even met a few famous folks, including Dame Judy Dench, who is undeniably fabulous.
5. Try Freelance Writing
If you have a flair for writing or want to learn, turn to freelance writing and funnel that income into your emergency fund. Write for businesses in niches you have experience in, write blog content for other bloggers, or specialize in a specific industry and type of writing.
6. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Pet care is a burgeoning sector, and offering services like pet sitting or dog walking is enjoyable and lucrative. After a personal experience with a cattery, I’ve always preferred a pet sitter for my cats. This sector is growing, offering ample opportunities for animal lovers to earn extra income.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Your blog or website can be an excellent platform for affiliate marketing. So can your social media accounts if you have a reasonable following. Earn commissions by promoting products or services to your audience. It’s a strategy that has turned many blogs into profitable online businesses.
Photography is a versatile and fulfilling way to make extra money. Forget stock photo agencies that pay minimal amounts; instead, directly approach websites and publications that align with your photography style.
Stock photo libraries, however, are a good place to get started, as, although the payouts are minimal, you can build up a nice little stream of passive income and get feedback on your efforts.
9. Offer Gardening Services
Busy homeowners often need help maintaining their yards. If gardening is your forte, this can be a profitable and enjoyable way to spend your weekends, helping others while earning extra cash.
10. Market Research
Companies value consumer feedback on new products and services. Joining market research panels is an interesting and potentially well-paying side hustle. You can participate in sessions in-person or online, sharing your opinions and influencing future products.
11. Cash In on Cashback Opportunities
While cashback options won’t make you a fortune, they can help pad your emergency fund. Sign up for cashback sites and earn some of your spending back on regular purchases.
12. Monetize Your Parking Space
If you have a driveway or parking space that you don’t use, consider renting it out. This can be incredibly lucrative in areas with high parking fees, providing a steady stream of additional income.
13. Get Paid for House Sitting
While being a good neighbor is invaluable, house-sitting can be profitable. Offering to care for homes while neighbors are away — watering plants and checking on appliances — can provide additional income.
14. Start a Personal Blog
For those who prefer more creative freedom, why not start a blog? Share your passions and insights with the world. With commitment and the right strategy, your blog can become a source of income through various monetization methods.
15. Offer Tutoring Services
Tutoring is a rewarding way to share your expertise if you’re knowledgeable in a particular subject. Whether it’s students preparing for exams or individuals wanting to learn a new skill, such as a musical instrument, tutoring can complement your full-time job, often fitting into evenings and weekends.
16. Semi-professional Athlete
The world of sports offers unique opportunities to earn money. While only a few reach the heights of full-time professional sports, semi-pro leagues often pay players. Consider this route for additional income if you’re skilled in sports like soccer, basketball, or golf.
17. Let Your Inner Artist Run Wild
For the creatively inclined, selling your art combines your passion with profit. Online platforms have opened new avenues for artists to sell their work, making art a more viable career option than ever before.
18. Create Cartoons
Cartooning is a specialized skill within the art world. If you excel at creating cartoons, your talents could be in demand from writers, magazines, and publishers, offering a unique way to monetize your skill. You could even develop your own cartoon strip or comic book and self-publish.
19. Design Greeting Cards
The greeting card industry often relies on freelance designers. Platforms allow artists to upload and sell their card designs, providing a creative and potentially profitable side hustle for talented designers. And, of course, you could create your own website or sell your cards via social media.
20. Be a Courier
With the rise in online shopping, courier services, particularly food delivery, are in high demand. Becoming a courier in the evenings or at weekends can quickly boost your emergency fund.
21. Become a Mystery Shopper
Mystery shopping is an enjoyable way to earn extra cash and cover some of your expenses. It involves assessing customer service quality and product standards in stores, and you’re compensated for your time and purchases. It won’t make you rich, but it might just add a few extra bucks to your emergency savings.
22. Professional Office Cleaning
Office cleaning requires attention to detail and dedication. If you have a knack for meticulous cleaning, offering your services to offices lets you earn a consistent amount of extra cash.
23. Mattress Flipping Business
Mattress flipping is a unique venture. The process involves collecting unwanted mattresses, refurbishing them, and selling them for a profit. This niche market can be surprisingly profitable. You can also get paid to take away and dispose of old mattresses.
24. Participate in Online Surveys
While online surveys vary in pay, some offer reasonable compensation for your time. Researching to find the most lucrative survey sites can turn this into a viable side hustle. And, at the very least, it lets you monetize those short periods, like when you’re waiting to pick up your kids from practice or waiting for the coffee to brew.
25. Thrift and Resell
Exploring the world of online auctions is fun and lucrative. Think outside the box and seek out auctions that sell bulk lots of collectibles or unique items. Your knack for identifying and delivering what people desire can transform this side hustle into a profitable venture.
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