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5 unique ways to make extra money

Almost four years ago, I quit my job to start working for myself. I was able to do this for two reasons; first, because my wife Kim and I paid off our $52,000 in consumer debt. Second, because I started researching legitimate ways to make money on the side.

There are tons of ways to make extra cash; some are legit, some are not. Some require a lot more work than others. You might not be up for driving for Uber or starting a dog walking business, but even if those things aren’t for you, there are still unique ways you can make money by doing side hustles that don’t require you to sacrifice too much of your time or money to get started. After all, the goal is to make money, right?

Here are five unique ways you can put some extra moolah into your pocket and you can do them all on a schedule that works for you.

1. Rent Out Your Spare Bedroom

Sites such as Airbnb advertise rooms and entire houses for rent for travelers. The goal of Airbnb is to provide comfortable staying spaces for travelers at a great price. If you’ve got a spare bedroom in your house, you can advertise the space on Airbnb and host travelers that visit your city or town when it’s convenient for you.

A quick search of my local area showed private rooms for 1-2 guest renting for between $30 and $75 per night. This means you could potentially make between $60 and $150 per weekend by just renting out your spare bedroom.

2. Design Products

If you have a knack for creating designs for t-shirts, coffee mugs, shower curtains, blankets or any other number of products, think about posting your designs on Cafepress. Your part of making cash through Cafepress is easy: you create and upload your designs to your Cafepress account. When people buy a product with one of your designs, you get paid a commission; 5% to 10% of the selling price.

One of the other great things about working with Cafepress is that it’s a largely passive income source. Once you’ve set your designs, there’s very little work to do in terms of making money, provided you’ve done some marketing to get the word out.

3. Take Online Surveys

There are several online survey sites touting big payouts to survey takers, but not all are legit. One of my favorite legit survey companies is Harris Poll Online. I like Harris Poll Online because it’s free to join. Then, when you take their online surveys you earn points. These points can be used to purchase gift cards from a number of different stores such as Amazon and iTunes, or you can use your points to purchase goods such as movies, books or stuff for the home.

4. Rent Out Your Car

Turo is another great option for making extra cash. If you’ve got a car that you don’t use often, you can list it on Turo as available to rent for business and recreational travelers. It’s pretty easy; you register the make and model of the car and where you’re at, Turo sets the rental price and you get paid 65%-85% of the trip price via direct deposit. It’s worry-free income too; Turo insures your car with a plush insurance policy, and you get to accept or decline requests to rent your car as you see fit.

5. Report Your Shopping Habits

Another cool and different way to make money is through reporting on your shopping habits. Here’s how it works: when you sign up with National Consumer Panel, they mail you a hand held scanner, kind of like the ones you use for gift registries.

All you have to do is scan the barcodes of the stuff you buy as you put it into the cart. You also record the total you paid and what store you bought at. Then, at the end of each week you send your shopping report in electronically.

NCP then awards you points based on your shopping habits, and you can trade those points in for cash, an Amazon gift card, a Visa rewards card, an iTunes gift card or toward the purchase of a Kindle Fire.

Earning extra cash through sources like these is what helped Kim and I pay off our $52,000 of consumer debt in just 18 months.

Have you tried any of these ways to make extra money?