Money for (Almost) Nothin’
With the cost of living steadily climbing, many Americans find themselves occasionally—or frequently—strapped for cash. Below is a list of some easy money making ideas that can help ease the pain of rising inflation.
- Donate blood plasma. If you are in reasonable health, you may qualify as a blood donor. The pay varies, but average compensation is between $20 and $50 per donation. Individuals can give blood twice a week. The procedure involves taking your blood, separating the plasma, and returning the red blood cells to your body.
- Donate sperm. In the premiere episode of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Sheldon offer to provide a sperm bank with samples of their semen. Sadly, they chicken out and forfeit their chance to earn some serious bucks. With the demand for sperm donors, TV’s top geniuses could rake in an extra $1,500 a month from the right organization! The donor screening process is pretty lengthy and may require a long-term commitment to the sperm bank. (It’s almost like taking on a new job.)
- Become a clinical research volunteer. It sounds harsh, but this boils down to being a human guinea pig. New drugs and therapies are constantly undergoing clinical trials, and researchers need test subjects. More involved studies requiring overnight stays in a medical facility can pay participants four-figure sums!
The downside of participating in medical experimentation is that you may experience negative side effects from the medication you are given. If you are on the placebo group, you won’t have those, but you won’t notice any benefits, either. However, with the cost of health care, look on the bright side: You get to see a doctor don’t have to shell out a co-pay.
- Babysit. This easy money making idea is an oldie but a goodie. Even the most devoted parents need a date night from time to time, but who’s going to look after the kids? People working more than one job may also need someone to take care of little Bobby and Cindy until they get home. One way for you to earn some extra cash is to mind their rugrats for a few hours. Reliable babysitters can earn between $10 and $15 an hour depending on where they live.
The same principle applies to being a pet sitter or house sitter. When people go away for just a weekend or an extended vacation, they can’t always take their fur babies with them. So, they need someone to feed their dog, cat, or fish and keep any eye on the house. Plants need to be watered, grass may need to be mowed, and giving the place an appearance of still being lived in can ward off potential burglars. House sitters can charge $25 to $30 for a few hours a day or $50 if their services are needed overnight.
- Sell items on eBay. Remember that collection of Star Wars action figures in your attic or collector’s edition beverage glasses from Burger King? Do they have too much sentimental value for you to part with them? If not, you can turn those plastic toys into cold, hard cash by auctioning them off through eBay. A single action figure can fetch $80 or more. Your asking price should be determined by the rarity and condition of the item. Unopened and never used figures are worth more than ones without their original packaging.
- Browse the Goodwill Store. If you are a savvy shopper, you may snatch up some incredible bargains at the Goodwill Store. The goal is to find items surrendered by individuals who were obviously not aware of their true value. For example, if you know a thing or two about musical instruments, you may come across a snare drum or a guitar donated by a former garage band member who invested a lot of money in equipment but gave up on becoming a rock star. With a keen eye for high-quality items, you can pay pennies on the dollar before turning a hefty profit at a shop that knows their real value.
Though the Great Recession is officially over, the Great Inflation marches on. These ideas can help you at least keep up.