How to Make Money

Want to Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones in 2016? 8 Ways to Earn Money While You’re at It

January 5, 2016
by Jamie Cattanach
Staff Writer
family time

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Vowing to lose weight? Finally getting out of debt? Going to spend less time in front of your computer?

If you’re like a lot of Americans, spending more time with loved ones probably has a place on your list of 2016 goals.

But what if your goal of more family time could also help you achieve another goal: earning more cash?

Keep Your Resolutions — And Earn Money, Too

It turns out you can kill two birds with this particular stone.

Lots of our favorite ways to make money have even more earning power when you bring a friend or five.

And if you want to get your family in on the fun, teach your kids about the value of a dollar and how to earn and save cash!

Here are eight ways to get started on your goals this year.

1. Start a Family-Friendly Side Gig or Freelance Business

You’ve already got a great group of people — why not start your own enterprise? Don’t worry, you don’t even have to invest in an office!

Maybe you could gather the family to bake or craft something to sell at a farmer’s market or on Etsy? What about the iconic family recipe that absolutely everybody loves? You could be sitting on a delicious gold mine!

The time you spend together in the kitchen or around the living room table with your hands occupied rolling pie dough or stringing beads is the perfect time to get in some smartphone-free face time.

Don’t forget the classics: Teach your kids important money lessons by helping them run a lemonade stand or put on a family car wash! Psst — adults can earn the exact same money as kids can with those classics.

2. Make Your Friend Your Partner

I’m not talking about romance.

If you and a friend or two share a hobby or talent, use it to earn cash this year.

Run in creative circles? Become freelance photographers or writers together. Assist each other on shoots or work on your writing at the same coffee shop. Maybe you have what it takes to start a YouTube or YouNow channel.

If you’re in great shape, run a fitness bootcamp with your gym buddy!

3. Hang Out at the Bar with Your Friends

We all have one — the Friday night friend.

Maybe you two can earn back all the cash you’ve blown at bars this year by teaming up on one of these awesome ideas.

4. Rake Through the Gift Cards You Got Over the Holidays

If you’re going to use them, by all means, keep them. A penny hoarded is a penny earned, after all.

But if you know your gift cards are just going to take up room in your wallet, have a party with like-minded friends and family, and sell ‘em on Raise.

5. Have a Spring Cleaning Party — And a Garage Sale

You might have a ton of stuff sitting around your house or storage unit, serving little purpose but cluttering up your life.

Spend some quality time cleaning up your act and getting that stuff ready to sell at a garage sale or online.

Here are some great tips for making more money when you sell stuff on Craigslist — and don’t forget about Ebay!

Love selling stuff like this? Consider starting a flea market business. You could spend a couple evenings together each week raking through thrift stores for stuff to polish up and turn around on the weekends.

You could even get really frugal and dumpster dive — you might be surprised at how much you can earn!

6. Open Your Home to Guests

If you have a spare room, a couch or a backyard and tent, you might be able to make some spare change (or a lot more) opening your home to guests.

If haven’t tried it or have only been on the staying end of Airbnb — give it a try. Here are some tips to get the most bang for your bedroom.

This will help you earn money from home, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones. Plus, you can all learn about a new culture when you host adventurous travelers from far-off places.

This is especially true if you try out another awesome home-share app: Homestay. You can’t rent out empty homes, which basically requires social interaction between hosts and guests.

You and your family will spend time together and make a new friend who teaches you about their culture!

Not a people person? If you like dogs (and own or have a dog-friendly rental), try out Rover. This app lets you open your doors to a furry friend — and make a few extra bucks while you’re at it.

7. Go on Shopping Scavenger Hunts

Getting the family together for grocery shopping can be little hectic.

Wouldn’t it be nice to keep everyone occupied — and earn a little extra money at the same time?

You can! Use cash-back or shopping rewards apps like Ibotta and Shopkick to earn a little extra next time you go to the store.

Make searching for rewards a game. Each of your kids can scope out Ibotta’s rebates at different stores. Then decide together which one will get you the most cash back.

With Shopkick, earn money even if you don’t make any purchases. Just walk into your favorite stores to earn! If everyone in your family downloads the app, you’ll triple (or quadruple, or…) your earnings.

Or check out Nielsen Homescan — it will pay you to report your purchases. All you have to do is download the app and scan the barcodes of the products you buy. What kid wouldn’t want to be in charge of that?

8. Watch Videos at Home

If your favorite way to spend family time is in front of the TV, you might be wasting your opportunity to earn.

Swagbucks will pay you in SB (Swag Bucks) just to watch videos on their site — options range from fashion to cooking shows.

Since SB are redeemable for gift cards from Amazon (and other popular vendors), this is a great way for the whole family to pitch in on regular purchases.

Plus, it’s fun!

If you love spending time with friends at the mall, bring the party home and shop through the Swagbucks cash-back portal. Earn a little bit back every time you splurge.

Your Turn: Will you spend more time with your loved ones in 2016 and earn some extra cash while you’re at it? What ideas have we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We would have shared them with you anyway, but a true “penny hoarder” would be a fool not to take the company’s money. :)

Jamie Cattanach is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and a native Floridian. She’s passionate about learning, literature, chocolate and finding ways to live the good life as cost-effectively as possible. You can wave hi to @jamiecattanach on Twitter.

by Jamie Cattanach
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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