9 More Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Money

Last week when I posted 9 Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Money, I knew I had tapped a topic that would get some real attention. Of course I have discovered more than 9 ways that are out there and they are really fun, weird, unusual, and even shocking. Ways that are being used every day by some inventive and brave people. These everyday people who either through boredom, resourcefulness or sheer desperation, have come up with the ideas and they do actually work! So as promised, here’s another list of 9 more unusual ways to make extra money!

9 More Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Money

1. Pick up scrap metal and sell it!

Do you have access to a pickup truck or a trailer? If so, finding this kind of hidden treasure can be your way to some real cash. It’s not easy but scrap metal is in great demand from copper pipes to old appliances and everything in between.  You can ask small manufacturing business if you can haul their scraps away (even for a fee amazingly) or if it’s out for trash or simply abandoned and you have the time, patience and strength you will make money by selling it a local scrap yard by the pound.

2. Focus your feedback

Here’s one I have done several times and it’s really fun, interesting, and rewarding. You are selected and join a focus group that is presented with material that is then discussed by the group for its merits, benefits, and value to the general public. It could be a retail product, service, or need. It can be political or entertainment oriented. It is one way that manufacturers, advertisers, and PR consultants (or even political candidates) discover what the public thinks and what their reaction is to various ideas and people who want to appeal to various and different markets (such as seniors or teens for example).

Years ago, I participated in several groups including a viewing of a movie presentation of what became an Oscar-winning film about a very controversial subject. Interestingly enough, the film was modified slightly because of the focus group’s feedback.  The film, Philadelphia, has become an important classic since I participated in that group. Try focusgroup.com for information about participation.

3. Participate in clinical trials

Clinical trials are a lot like a focus group, but set in a scientific setting. People are selected to try new health and beauty related items to test the merits and results prior to marketing the items to the general public. If you have a condition or illness you may be selected to receive not only free medications or beauty products, but you also receive compensation for your time and travel. You don’t have to be ill or a user of the product being tested; healthy people are also selected for trial as a control group for comparison. You only need to qualify for the general population they are seeking such as females age 30-45 or some criteria like that, In addition to performing a real public service with a trial, you can make some extra cash!

4. Sell yourself!

Ok, take you mind out of the gutter for a moment please. I‘m not talking about that kind of selling! I’m talking about two perfectly legal and reasonable ways to earn some quick cash if you’re healthy and not too squeamish. Blood plasma is always in high demand and you can sell some for anywhere between $15-$30 dollars per pint at local sites. You can repeat this process as often as allowed and when times are tough, it may be just what the doctor ordered (forgive the pun). Check out CPL Plasma for more information.

A safer and less controversial way to earn some money is selling your healthy hair. Companies like OnlineHairAffair will post your ad (for a fee) and you can sell your undyed healthy locks for hundreds of dollars. Your hair may be used for tests, or can be made into wigs and/or extensions. You can also search for companies seeking human hair to manufacture those items directly or appeal to hair professionals who make items for their own clients.

5. Caddying

Golf lover? If you are one and you have some knowledge of the game, you can be real desirable resource at the local golf club. It helps to be able to carry a full set of clubs under all kinds of conditions but those who hire you will pay big bucks plus tips if you will and you also shed some keen advice on their game. The bigger the club and the ritzier it is, the better your chances and earnings will be. Ask at the offices or buddy up to the club pro for an entree into this lucrative area.

6. The sound of music

Here’s a no brainer. Try using your talents teaching kids to play a musical instrument. If you play guitar or piano, for example, there are a slew of wannabe rock stars out there who would love to learn and you can charge a good fee for your knowledge, experience, and talents. If you love music and kids (or people of any age really), this is a very nice way to earn the money. You don’t need a studio as they will often invite you to their home and you can instruct them privately there for repeated sessions. Try listing yourself on TakeLessons.com.

7. Lessons of a different kind

Just like music, there are tons of students who need help in learning subjects for school, both high school and college. You don’t need to be a formally educated teacher (although it does help and can increase you earning power). You can use sites like WyzAnt.com (or the aforementioned TakeLessons) to register and place your free advertisement to perspective clients and their parents. The site will allow you to charge whatever you like (be competitive when you see the ads) and will take a percentage of your earnings. You make your own schedules and your coverage areas for travel and can meet in a library or the student’s home to provide the lessons in whatever area you have expertise, experiences or teaching credentials. It’s rewarding in every way.

8. Translator

¿Habla español? Or for that matter any foreign language? There’s such a huge demand for people to help teach, translate, and help others with English that according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, translator jobs are the 5th fastest growing occupations in the USA today and will continue that way for at least another 10 years.  Certain areas of the country like California, Texas, and Florida as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions are real hot spots for this type of work, from translating documents to helping in court appearances for legal matters.  If you are multilingual, this is a golden opportunity.

9. Customer service from home

Those 800 numbers that you call all the time are most likely being answered by a person sitting at home making extra bucks by simply answering a few questions or taking your order. The largest companies in the world are hiring part time people that want to make money and don’t want to leave the comforts of their own homes. All you need is a telephone, an internet connection and a quiet (kid free) space plus time to participate. Just search online for “customer service jobs at home” or check out listings on employment sites and you will find dozens of employment opportunities for part time work. Bonus opportunities if your schedule is flexible and meets the unusal requirements like late night calls or handling international calls.

So there you have them. It’s another 9 ways to consider earning some extra money and some can even turn into a full time gig if you are looking for that. Despite the numbers which tell us that the employment picture has seriously improved and unemployment in the country is down to about 5% nationwide, we all know and feel that salaries haven’t much improved over the past 8 years for the 99% of us. With that in mind, earning extra money may be a big part of maintaining a healthy financial life.

Is that you? If so, what have you been doing to increase your income? Do any of these ideas appeal to you? Do you have another way you earn extra money that you’d like to share?


    1. Thanks, Mel. Back in the day, when I was a kid, we used to collect the glass bottles and get 2 cents on every one that we were able to return. Recycling the cans today in some place is still a way that kids (and others) can make money which not only is good for them, but is also good for the planet.

  1. Mrs. CTC

    Very creative Gary! I’ve never really considered anything you name, but it sounds interesting. I’ll have a look at translating opportunities for example, thanks.

  2. Gary, very powerful! I especially like #8. A lot of Amazon kindle authors are always looking for a partner to translate their books into other Kindle platforms. Spanish and French are HUGE currently, but over the next few years when they add Farsi and Mandarin it will really grow. I have a lady in Germany that did one of my books for 35% of the profits, no cost to me. Sweet deal.

    I also wanted to suggest gardening to some of your readers! Even if you grow simple tomatoes or hot peppers, you can trade them to your neighbors. Fresh veggies have a high perceived value and its a great way to meet the people on your street. If you do some canning or preserving never underestimate the wow factor of giving a jar of jam or canned peaches to the guy next door.

    Thanks for all you do Gary, I’ve added your blog to my Feedly account!


    1. Thank you, Dave, for the kind words! Your idea about trading the fruits and veggies is really a terrific idea. I’m all in favor of anything that’s earth-friendly and healthy at the same time. I know amongst my family members we have often been the recipients of fresh Jersey tomatoes and I always look forward to that.

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