Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

Your side hustle awaits

How to make more money when you’re already strapped for time

My friend Michael often says that there are so many ways to make money. He’s so right! Fortunately, the ability to generate additional income is no longer limited to a part time job that keeps you away from your home and family. It also doesn’t necessarily require an additional degree - or even a car! Below are a few excellent ways to earn extra cash:

1. Share your opinions. Online surveys typically take between 5 and 25 minutes, and can net hundreds in points and virtual dollars that can be redeemed for gifts and retail gift cards. Popular surveyors include harrispollonline.com, surveyclub.com, globaltestmarket.com, swagbucks.com and erewards.com. There’s no cost to sign up.

Also within a short amount of time you can evaluate websites via usertesting.com. This requires a little more effort than the surveys but the pay can be greater as well.

2. Stick with your tasks. Things you’re already doing for free are exactly what another may be willing to pay for. Start walking other dogs while you’re out with your own, for example. Trinkets and other items you make can be sold on sites like etsy.com, and if you’d prefer to teach others how to make things, craftsy.com and YouTube are great portals to share.

Spring Cleaning? Consignment stores will happily resell your highest quality clothes and houswewares. Consider donating all other items you’re ready to part with to charity. You won’t get cash but the contribution is a tax write-off. (You’ll thank me for that advice April 15th of next year.)

3. Use your natural skill. Freelancers are in high demand. guru.com is where you’ll find experts of all kind, including web developers, graphic designers, marketing experts, the list goes on. Writers can also check out sites like textbroker.com and freelancewriting.com for editorial work. Photographers, companies like shutterstock.com and dreamstime.com are often looking for great shots.

An honest person who can do basic home repairs is a goldmine! Craigslist.com and other local sites are great ways to advertise your services. Amazon.com also recently rolled out Amazon Home, which connects their customers with locals pros for services like appliance repair, housekeeping, plumbing, car battery installation, etc.

Got a great sense of style? Many people would love to have you peek into their closet for tips on maximizing their current wardrobe. Sites like keatonrow.com connect shoppers with their own personal stylist, but most likely you’re your own walking billboard of style. Work!!!

4. Share your space. In addition to taxi services like Uber and Lyft where you’re the driver, car sharing services like relayrides.com allows you to rent your own car to another user. Sites like homeaway.com and vrbo.com are great ways to list your vacation home. And airbnb.com remains a top pick among world travelers looking for great accommodations without the expensive hotel rates. You can set your own pricing with each of these sites.

Michael was right: there are so many ways to make money indeed.

And so it is.