Happy Holidays Penny Hoarders! I’m busy getting our tree up and wrapping Christmas presents today, so I thought it would be fun to reach into the archives and share one of the very first articles on this blog – “10 Weird Ways to Make Christmas Cash in a Hurry.” Enjoy!
1. Sell Plasma - It’s pretty easy to do and most places pay between $25 and $40 for a donation. They will pay you in cash or cut you a check on the spot. Check out DonatingPlasma.org for more info and donation centers in your area.
2. Clean Out Your Library – We all have a shelf of books or box of old cds that haven’t been used since New Kids on the Block were hip. Take those to the local Half Price Books or second hand store in your community. I usually get a $1.00 in cash per cd or book that I sell. If you don’t need the money for a couple of weeks you might even be able to sell the books online for a better price. One of my favorite buyback sites is BookScouter.com because they let you compare the payouts of more than 40 different buyback sites.
3. Pub Trivia – Take your favorite, local genius to team trivia night at the local bar and pocket some extra loot. Seriously, if you got some smart friends take advantage. You could win anywhere from $50-$200 for an hour of work. Some bars even give free food to the winners… Try a Google search or TeamTrivia.com for listings in your area.
4. Find a Gig on Craigslist – I love the Gigs section on Craigslist. People list little jobs that they need done and the best part about it is, you get paid in cash (that day!). The gigs range from cleaning houses to mowing lawns. I’ve even been paid to drive people around or pass out flyers.
5. Apartment Maintenance – Call your landlord and ask them if they need any work done around the complex. Landlords always have little projects that need to be done and will usually be willing to exchange cash or a reduction in your rent for that month.
6. Use the Free Section on Craigslist – You probably know that there is a Free section on Craigslist that people list stuff they want picked up. It’s completely free and often times the stuff people are giving away has serious value. Some people just don’t want to take the time to list an item for sale or spend a day having a garage sale. I have made thousands of dollars picking up these free items and then re-listing them under a different Craigslist category or putting them in my garage sale.
7. Collect Bottles - This is so easy that I am amazed more people don’t partake. Several states pay you to turn in bottles and aluminum cans. I was just in Michigan and they were paying 10 cents per bottle. Just visit the local college apartments on a Sunday and you’ll find thousands of beer bottles. You’ll be amazed how fast you start raking in the cash.
8. Clean Out Your Garage – Most of us have a ton of junk in our garage that we haven’t seen in years. Take a few hours to clean it out and then take your unwanted stuff to the local pawn shop. Or better yet, put out a few signs and have an impromtu garage sale. If you are going to have a garage sale I also recommend that you add your sale to Craigslist. I’m obviously a big fan and it costs nothing to list.
9. Open a Bank Account - In an effort to increase deposits to their bank, a lot of banks are now paying people to open checking/savings accounts. The incentives range from $25-$200 and are available at quite a number of different banks. Make sure you carefully read the fine print, because some banks won’t pay you until the account is open for 30 days or so, but I can usually find one that pays out on the spot. For example, Capital One 360 is offering a free $50 right now when you open a new checking account (no fees either!).
10. Take Your Old Clothes to Plato’s Closet - This is a fairly new franchise that pays people on the spot for their old clothes. The clothes need to be in fairly good condition and they won’t buy everything you bring in, but I usually walk out of Plato’s Closet with an extra $30 or $40. Check out their website for more info: www.PlatosCloset.com