Start analyzing your decisions from the perspective of a firm. In economics, a firm's goal is simply to maximize profit. Well-run firms spend money only if they can expect to make more money from their investment, and they allocate their resources to the most profitable use. You're not a firm, of course, and you have other considerations, but if you make the majority of your time and money decisions by choosing the options that promise the highest return on investment, you'll likely earn more money, and that's good news for your shareholders (you and your family).
Example, Local farmers in my area love 275 Gallon Caged IBC Tote’s, used ones sell for 150 dollars in the area. I found a person on Craigslist who sells them for 75 dollars a piece about an hour drive from me. After a little on the phone negotiating I was able to pick up 15 totes for 50 dollars apiece. It took the Mrs. and I less than three hours to pick up the totes and return. We kept a few totes for ourselves to harvest rainwater and sold the rest off for a nice profit.
Do you do a ton of shopping but don't always keep track of prices after the fact? Did you know that prices online change all the time, and most merchants have a price guarantee program? Paribus is a service that lets you find out if stores you’ve shopped at online owe you a refund. It’s free to sign up. Paribus connects to your email account and checks your receipts. If they find out a retailer has dropped their price they file a price adjustment claim for you.
I surprisingly get a lot of people asking to detail their car. I never intend to make a business of it, but I love doing it to my cars and people ask me to do it to theirs. All it takes is a cheap orbital buffer (mines a used craftsman) and a shop vac. I normally get easily $100 for a basic wash/wax/vac, or $200 to remove scratches and polish then wax the car.
Passive Income: While you’ll still need to do some light work like processing orders, marketing and customer service, it’s a pretty passive way to make money from home. Importing products from AliExpress, Oberlo Suppliers or Oberlo Verified Suppliers can be done in one click. And so can processing orders. Most of the other money making ideas on this list require trading time for money to make money fast. You’ll be able to do the work casually on evenings and weekends making it perfect for those who still have full-time jobs, new parents or caregivers.
Look, I know it’s not always realistic to pull these off; I personally wouldn’t bother trying. But if you’ve got a ton of stuff lying around — not outright junk, but stuff you don’t need, like the aforementioned DVDs and kid’s clothes — it’s worth a try. Advertise on Craigslist and put up signs in your neighborhood, then come Saturday haul a table out to your driveway (assuming you have a driveway), load it up with stuff for sale, and take whatever you can get.
Regardless if you need to earn some fast cash or we're just talking about making money in the grand scheme of things, there's an important psychology that needs to be mentioned before getting into the strategies. If you study Freud's model of the mind, you'll discover the Psychic Apparatus. It's the three-part construct in your mind that controls all of your behavior.
Turn your photographs into cash via sites like Fine Art America, which lets you upload your images to sell as prints, t-shirts, phone cases and more. Other marketplaces for photographers include SmugMug, 500px and PhotoShelter. Some sites require a subscription but may provide features ranging from cloud storage to password-protected galleries and a customized website.
Rescue battered wood. Pallets and pallet stock are cheap (or free) and easy to come by. Look for untreated specimens at construction sites, community colleges, buildings under renovation, or shipping warehouses and plane them down and/or kiln-dry them in a homemade kiln-dryer to uncover their hidden beauty. You can then resell the wood as is or even turn it into beautiful furniture. (Be sure to advertise that the wood is “reclaimed,” as people are often willing to pay much more for this.)
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers (a.k.a. you). Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.