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Marc Cuniberti: Generate extra income with old-fashioned methods

In the previous two Money Matters columns we focused on cutting expenses by finding the “money leakers” in your budget. Today we’ll look at finding new ways to generate some extra cash using a few time-tested methods that can add to your disposal income.

It is said if you don’t use something in two years or so, you don’t need it. I find getting rid of a few of these things makes for an uncluttered home and clearer mind.

The proverbial yard sale is a great way to empty crowded closets and garages and by putting a little effort into it, you will find way more than you think.

Start by taking a few hours going through every drawer, closet, storage bin, attic and toy box. Then empty the garage almost completely to see what you have buried there.

Think of what you would do if moving and need to dig deep. Pull out everything that does not have sentimental value and consider selling anything you haven’t used or missed during the last 24 months or so.

Compile it all in the driveway, clean it off (clean items sell quicker) and ready it for sale. You don’t need to price everything, just the big ticket items. To make the most money in a yard sale, the object is to move the most inventory. Don’t haggle too much over price, just get rid of it.

Yard sales are more successful the bigger they are so call your neighbors and coordinate with them to combine items or hold a “block” sale. Work out the payment details and set a date at least a month in advance then set about advertising it.

Flyers help and public service announcements from community radios stations offer free advertising for such events. Look for the community calendar section on the radio stations website or call them. Swap shop radio shows also may allow your announcement.

Get the word out on the date, location and time in as many places as you can before hand. The public won’t come if they don’t know about the sale and hanging a paper sign at the edge of your street the day of the sale is not enough. Spend some time pre-advertising the sale and you’ll get many times the attendance.

Have a spare room or garage?

Consider renting it to either a tenant or for day use.

Have some spare time? Try filling it with either a part time job or helping out with somebody’s clerical needs. I personally find it hard to find anyone to do simple filing or typing at a reasonable rate and although a minimum wage might seem beneath you, keep in mind you’re supplementing income and can settle for a few hours a week at $8 an hour or so. I find a few hours of manual labor or work not related to what I do not only profitable but therapeutic to an otherwise hectic mind.

Have plant cuttings or a massive vegetable garden? A friend of mine financed an exchange student trip to Japan by digging up and selling “volunteer” saplings from his orchard and hosting air soft games at his house. Small fruit vegetable sales can also add a few bucks to your wallet.

Mending and carpentry skills are always in need and performing the odd job for a friend or acquaintance not only helps them out but puts a few extra bucks in the kitty for a rainy day fund.

I find people waste a tremendous amount of time complaining about their financial situation but spend little time addressing it.

By implementing some of the budget savings tips in my first two Money Matters savings articles and then complementing those savings by earning and extra buck or two can add up to making a big difference in your annual budget. Get creative and put some effort into it and you’ll be surprised how much money you can coax your way.

This column expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti. He hosts “Money Matters” on KVMR FM 89.5 and 105.1 FM at noon on Thursdays. His website is http://www.moneymanagementradio.com.


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