Everyone can use some extra cash, whether it’s for everyday expenses, something special like a vacation, or funds for a charitable contribution. Your family can earn extra money in several simple ways. These money-making methods also have some good side effects, like helping you reduce clutter in your home or teaching responsibility to the kids.
Hold a Family Garage Sale
Garage sales are a classic method for earning money. They have the added bonus of giving your family a reason to clean up the clutter once or twice a year. Hold a family garage sale every spring and fall. Everyone should contribute to the sale, whether it’s Mom and Dad cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and raiding the garage for appliances, tools, and other things that are never used anymore to the kids getting rid of old toys, games, and outgrown clothing.
Get everyone involved in the sale. The kids can help mark prices and set up the display tables. They can also collect money and count out change if they’re old enough.
If your neighborhood has restrictions on holding garage sales, designate a weekend to haul everything to a local flea market or swap meet. You’ll have a pay a small fee for a space, but you should make it up easily with your sales.
Sell Things on eBay
Garage sales are old school, but eBay lets anyone be an entrepreneur right from their keyboard. Your family can sell anything from clothes and toys to small appliances and household goods on eBay. If it can be shipped to a buyer, it’s fair game.
Let the kids help you take photos for your auctions and even write up the descriptions. Your whole family will feel the excitement as they watch the price go up (hopefully) in the final moments before an auction ends.
Craigslist is another good spot for making money online. Unlike eBay, you’ll have people come to you to look at the “for sale” items instead of shipping them, so take precautions to stay safe.
Go on a Recycling Spree
Recycling is always a good idea, and your community probably already has a recycling program that lets you put certain items out for collection. However, your family can make money with certain types of recyclables rather than letting your municipality pick them up.
Have the whole family start putting soda cans aside if you have an aluminum recycling plant nearby. Other recyclables that can be turned into cash include certain types of batteries, old computers, cell phones, and various types of metal. Check with your local recycling facility for specifics.
Your family can also earn money for charity by recycling. Such sharing is always pleasing to God:
But don’t forget to be doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. —Hebrews 13:16
Companies like TerraCycle send you a box in which you collect certain recyclable goods. When it’s full, you send it back to them with the shipping label they provide. You earn points for each shipment, and when you get enough, to can redeem them for charitable gifts or a monetary contribution to your favorite charity.
Older kids have made money babysitting for generations, but your family can make extra money by branching out into the pet sitting business. Many people consider their dogs or cats to be almost like children, and they don’t want to leave them at a kennel while they’re on vacation. That’s where your family comes in.
Take care of pets while their owners are away, walking and feeding dogs and making sure cats have enough food and a clean litter box. If your whole family gets in on the business, it will help you be more successful. Dogs need to go out more than once a day, so potential clients will be more likely to hire your family if they know there are multiple kids to cover every walk and that the adults are involved, too.
If your house is pet friendly, you can even offer in-home boarding. Services like Rover.com let you advertise your family’s pet sitting business very easily. It’s free to put up an ad; you don’t pay until someone books you, and then the service takes a percentage of the fee.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
There might be more extra money in and around your house than you realize. Go on a family treasure hunt that involves scouting through sofa cushions checking pockets of clothes in the laundry, sifting through the junk drawer, and raiding the cup holders and glove compartment of your cars. Most families have a lot of loose change, and even paper money, lying around in those places.
You can even use the treasure hunt as a way to kick off a family savings plan. Put all the found money into a large jar, and have everyone toss in all their loose change at the end of the week. Designate the money for something fun, like a dinner out or souvenir money for your next vacation, to encourage everyone to participate.