The following is a list of several small side incomes you can make without much startup capital (or none at all). High school students, broke college students or anyone looking to score a little extra cash can take this advice. This list goes contrary to the saying “It takes money to make money”. I feel there are tons of ways to make money, but people never pursue them because they seem “menial” or “not worth their time”. Well here are a few things you can do to make quick cash without a formal business plan, investors or anything of the sort.
1.) Sell Water. That’s right. Buy a 24-pack of bottled water, ice it, then sell on a hot day. Your $3.00 investment has turned a $21 profit in a small amount of time. This may seem like something only a bum would do, but trust me, you will learn more from this experience than in any marketing class. Water can be substituted with soft drinks, hot coco etc.
Easy Factor Rating: *****
**Tried this experiment on 4-03-2005
2.) Mow Lawns. If you don’t have a lawnmower, borrow one. Go around a neighborhood offering your service. This business works particularly well for younger kids. Live in a cold area? They substitute lawn mowing with snow shovelling. You can ALWAYS get people to pay for this by lowering your price. Surprise people by offering to shovel a driveway for $3 if you are having trouble finding business. Some money is better than none, and you get plenty of excersize!
Easy Factor Rating: *****
3.) Powerwashing. Rent, buy or borrow a simple power washer and clean driveways and houses. Driveways will take 30-40 minutes depending on size. The real goldmine here is cleaning houses. This job will fetch over $100 and requires only a telescoping ladder and a bit more risk. For younger kids, their 30-40 minutes spent power washing a driveway will fetch about $20-$30. The trick here is to start off one house at a low price, then pitch to the surrounding houses showing off how clean their neighbors driveway is. Getting a company to hire you is even better. Gas stations, property management companies all need power washing services, but this may require some heavier duty equipment. Power washing can be done on any lazy Saturday afternoon where you are doing nothing better. Take before/after pictures and show off your work during your door-to-door sales pitch.
Easy Factor Rating: ****
4.) Accounting. Know accounting? Then become a part-time book keeper for a small business. These part timers get anywhere from $14 to $22 an hour for their services. Accounting CAN be self-taught, but a class is recommended. I know two accountants who make very nice livings working out of their garage. I see ads in the paper looking for part time book keepers all the time. You can educate yourself or hone your knowledge for free with books from the library.
Easy Factor Rating: *
5.) Get a job. Duh. If you feel totally inadequate to take a little risk and make money for yourself, or you need a more steady income, just get a small job. Even though I make enough money on the side, I still hold a job for the added income. If you are not picky about your job and just need some quick income, work at a coffee house, or in fast food etc. Get a job as a janitor, helping hand etc. These areas are always looking for non full time employees. You can get hired very quickly if you apply to those types of positions. Jobs are great, but you must obey the orders of others, often perform duties you may dislike and revolve around someone else’s schedule. The other ideas on the list give you more freedom to wheel and deal as you please.
Easy Factor Rating: *****
6.) Computer Cleanup. If you are decently computer savvy, charge a small fee for cleaning up slow running computers. My old 800Mhz Dell desktop can still outperform most personal computers that are four times as fast because I keep in squeaky clean of viruses, spyware, adware etc. Go door to door asking “Is your computer annoyingly slow? Got crap popping up on your screen all the time? Well I can help you solve that problem in 20 minutes.” I figure you will get quite a few people who would pay $10 – $20 (Or way more!) for your few minutes of service. Simply install all Windows Updates on their computer, install Google Pop-Up Blocker, download and run the new Microsoft Anti-Spyware program and BAM….more efficient computer. I do this for friends all the time, and they can never thank me enough for saving them the frustration of a brand new computer that runs painfully slow because of spyware. I see a huge market for this service. This is a GREAT way for a computer savvy student to make some quick ca$h. Total costs for software = $0.00. Every program I mentioned was 100% free. Who says it takes money to make money??
East Factor Rating: ****
Of course these are only a select few ways to generate small amounts of cash. These ideas will most likely not get you rich, but making cash is better than sitting around and being idle! Also, the experience you gain from trying out these ideas is more valuable than anything learned sitting in a classroom.
Now go out there and make some !!!