How to Make an Extra $1,000 in a Month

There aren’t many of us who couldn’t use a little extra cash here and there.  Maybe you want to hop over to Fiji and need a plane ticket.  Maybe your computer got stolen and you need a new Macbook.  Well the good news is, there are a wide variety of things you can do to make an extra buck or two.   I will tell you how I personally made an extra $1,000 to fund my travels, and also provide a bunch of other ideas that could work as well.  Each idea has a rating based on how easy it is to accomplish, and if I have personally made money doing it, I will specify how much it was.


Collect Loose Change (No brainer,  $87.31)
Last time I decided to go on a scavenger hunt for pocket change I was amazed at how much turned up.  Between my change jar, car, couch cushions, and other random places, I came out with a mini-fortune considering how easy it was. Note: This did include about a year’s worth of change in my change jar.


Scrap Metal (Easy)
I know a couple people that got really excited about the idea of collecting scrap metal for money.  Whether it was old hardware equipment, random stuff found in the garage, or simply collecting cans, they were able to make about $50 in a week just by collecting metal.  Check out “How to Make Money Recycling Scrap Metal“.


Scalp Concert Tickets (Risky, $247.00)
For a brief period of time, I thought scalping concert tickets was the best business in the world. I could do it from anywhere and make decent money, I just had to ignore the fact it was slightly unethical.  If you have knowledge of local (or national for that matter) concerts and venues this could be a great way to make some money.  Just make sure you are able to unload the tickets.  I got stuck with a pair of $50 tickets to a show in Philadelphia in my first foray outside of my hometown.  Let’s just say that ended my scalping career.  I was still able to make $247 in the process though.


TIP: Be on the lookout for Live Nation’s “$24.99 no service fee days”.  You can get amphitheater tickets to dozens of shows for only $25bucks.  They only have a few a year, so I would sign up to their email list to make sure you don’t miss it.


Sell Stuff (No Brainer, Over $1,000)
I think everyone can find at least one rarely used item in their home that could be sold for some extra money. Old clothes? Why go to Goodwill when you can take them to a second hand store like Buffalo Exchange?  On a recent trip to four different stores around town, my buddy John was able to pocket nearly $150 by selling clothes he never wears anymore.


How about that trumpet you played in middle school, but haven’t touched since?  I bet you there is another middle-schooler out there looking for the same thing! As much as I hated to part with it, I was able to sell one of my electric guitars to a friend for almost as much as I paid for it.


Old jewelry (especially gold) can also be a great thing to sell for money.  On a side note: if you haven’t seen the cash4gold commercial featuring Ed McMahon and MC Hammer, you should probably watch it…


Use your imagination, take a look around your place, and if something is just collecting dust, turn it into cash!


Fountain Dive (Easy)
This one all depends on how desperate you are.  But local fountains in parks or malls can be another way to collect some lose change.  Although you may lose your dignity in the process…
Street performer in NY subway

Street performer in NY subway

Become a Street Performer (Takes some skill)
Whether it is a way to make money or not, #12 on my list is to perform on a street corner in a foreign country.  Every day walking through town I see people entertaining on the streets.  Guitars, drums, violin, opera singing, you name it, people are doing it.  So if you have some musical or circus talent, this could be a great way to make some extra money.  And you never know who you might meet in the process!


Donate Your Body (Easy/Risky)
While I have not actually done any of these, I have heard there can be very good money to be made donating the following items:
Plasma: Expect $20-40 per visit for your first four visits, then after that it goes down.  You can do it up to twice a week as long as there are at least 48 hours in between sessions.
-Hair: Earn $5-10 an ounce, use a site like The Hair Trader to market your hair.  Or you can go the charitable way and donate it to Locks of Love.
Female Eggs: While this one might take a little longer than a month, it also pays between $4-5,000.  However be warned, it involves a rigorous 3-6 week drug regimen, some scary looking needles, and lots of opportunities for some pretty ugly side effects.
-Sperm: Involves a pretty lengthy application process, and less than 5% are chosen, but if you are, each sample can fetch you around $60-70 bucks.


Paint Curbs (Easy, $140)
Head out to your nearest suburb and start knockin’ on doors!  Offer to paint the address on the curbs of home owners for $5 a piece (or just ask for donations).  This one is easy.  Grab a stencil and a couple of cans of spray paint from your nearest hardware store and you are ready to go.  When you charge a minimal price, you get a pretty high acceptance rate and each house only takes a few minutes to do.  With some motivation, you could easily make $50+ a day from doing this.


If you have more extensive painting experience, why not paint whole houses instead?  I used to make $25-50 an hour when I owned my painting business in college.  I also had ZERO experience when I started out.


Check Out Craigslist Gigs (No Brainer, Takes some skill)
Chances are, most of you have some sort of marketable skill.  Well, Craigslist has a wide array of people looking for your services in their gigs section. Generally these are one off types of things that people need assistance with.  Teach tennis lessons? Give a lesson a week to some local kids.  Know how to repair computer viruses?  Head over to an elderly lady’s house and do it for half the price of Geek Squad.  The options are limitless.  Even if you don’t have any real skills, gigs could have something for you.  Ever thought about nude modeling for an art school?


Write an eBook (Takes some skill)
Have a blog or a business with a website?  Spend a couple weeks writing some premium content for an ebook and post it on your site.  How much you charge is up to you, but if the combination of price and quality is right, this could be the gift that keeps on giving.  I actually have a few potential ideas in mind for this site that I will be working on over the summer.  I will let you know more on that when the time comes.  Take a look at Nomadic Matt’s Ebook for a great example of how to make this work for you.


If you don’t want to take the time to write your own ebook, you can feature other people’s content through the use of affiliate programs.  You post a link to someone else’s product, and if for every click that leads to a purchase you get a percentage of the sale.


Online Surveys (No Brainer)
I had a roommate in college that used to spend hours on end doing two things: playing World of Warcraft and taking online surveys.  From the comfort of your own home, while watching the complete 4th season of Seinfeld, you could be making money taking surveys.  The payout varies greatly, but don’t expect to make your millions doing this; most only pay out a couple of bucks for potentially an hour or more of work.  But hey, if you really need the money…
Monte Carlo casino, Monaco

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Head to the Casino (Risky, $71.22)
One of the more enjoyable ways to make (or lose) money is to head to the nearest casino.  Spend time learning the games and stick to the ones that have the best odds ( I have always been a fan of craps).


Another option is online poker.  Many of these sites will give you free money for signing up and playing a set amount of hands.  I once had to put $20 in my account at Golden Palace, and after playing a certain # of hands they deposited $50 in my account.  Stick to the penny games, and as soon as you reach the magical number, cash out!  I actually had over $100 when I did cash out, but don’t go in with this expectation.  Stick around long enough for your free money, and quit…


Get Crafty (Easy, Takes some skill)
Have a passion for making things?  Clothing, jewelry, etc?  Why not turn your hobby into a creative business idea by selling at your local Saturday market?  You can take this a step further and set up your own Etsy website as well.  This may be time consuming, but if you already have things you have made to sell, then the effort is minimal.


Hit Up a Garage Sale ( Easy/Risky)
If you know something about old stuff, a garage sale can be a potential goldmine.  Maybe you have an affinity for classic vinyl, or know a thing or two about antique furniture.  Garage sales can be just the ticket to taking advantage of the idea “buy low, sell high”.  You might give someone a dollar for a record and they will be fully satisfied, but you will be even more satisfied when you can sell it for $20!  Just be sure you know what you are getting, the last thing you want is a bunch of random crap taking up space in your house.


Break out the lawnmower (Easy)
I know countless people who have made plenty of money charging $12 an hour for good old fashioned manual labor.  Lawn mowing, weed pulling, hedge-trimming, one Saturday of work can easily net you $100 if you are willing to work


Panhandling (Easy)
When all else fails, but on some dirty clothes, grab a cardboard sign and make people feel as sorry for you as possible!
Maybe a clever sign will get you more money?

Maybe a clever sign will get you more money?

As you can see, most of the money I have made is through selling old items.  But a combination of labor jobs, ticket selling, and a few other things here and there has given me over $1,000 for my travels.


Hopefully this list gave you a few implement-able ideas for you to consider in your quest to make extra money.  Have some ideas I missed? Share them with us in the comments!
If you enjoyed this article sign up for my email updates or RSS Feed!
Karen July 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Hey Sean!

I was just thinking that if I only had $1000 extra, it would solve some current financial issues… and you make it sound so easy!! I have to say I am a bit relieved that you haven’t had to fountain dive, yet, but including it in your list shows your open to all options! 😉

I love how you included the amount you have learned from each endeavor. Clever article! 🙂

Cody McKibben July 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Hehe, I love some of these! Wish some of these were more do-able from Thailand, but I like your creativity—it always takes creativity to increase your earning power! And we can all use a little help in this economy. I’m actually working on a few e-book/info products of my own in the upcoming months. Cheers Sean!

Sean July 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

@ Karen, Thanks for the comment! I always appreciate your positive and humorous comments 🙂 Luckily, I haven’t resorted to fountain diving just yet, but who knows where I will be in a few months!

@Cody, I am definitely looking forward to seeing what kinds of products you come up with, as I know first hand how much good information you have to share. Expect a post later this week about our conversation from last week! Thanks again!

Brandy July 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Great post, Sean! Lots of good ideas I’d never thought about really for making some extra money beyond just getting a part-time job.

Rasheed Hooda July 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Love the simplicity of the list of ideas.

I twist balloons for tips at local restaurants and make several hundred dollars every week end, working about 20 hours. I will teaching classes on how to do just that next month at a local Lifelong Learning Institute. I am in the process of writing a book and creating a couple of DVD’s (maybe I can make it an e-book and MP3 downloads too)

My son was thinking about selling iced cold water on a street corner during summer, but hasn’t done it yet. You can buy a case of bottled water for about $3 and $2 in ice, put it in an ice chest and you can sell it for $1 a piece. that’s almost $20 profit.

We have a guy around here who holds out a cardboard sign that says “need money for beer” and he always seems to be in good mood and full of energy.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Sharon July 21, 2009 at 10:05 am

I’m personally glad you didn’t have to sell your body….

Steve aka Dream August 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I’ve done a bit of panhandling and known a few people who did a lot of it. The best panhandlers,(those collecting decent money!!) usually did well because they managed to get a smile along with the spare change. One of my favorites was a buddy of mine who went around asking, “got a quarter?, need a quarter?” There was still pay phones back then, so he was giving away about one quarter for every 10 he collected. I’ve seen him make almost 20 bucks in less than an hour doing that one.
We were in Atlanta at the time, near the Jimmy Carter Memorial Center.
The center had a huge rose garden. On Sunday mornings we would go into the garden and “liberate” about 30 roses. (This was when I was homeless and although there were thousands of roses, we made it a policy to never get greedy.) The shops (and bars!! LOL) opened around noon and shoppers would show up a bit earlier. This was in “Lil” 5 Points”, Atlantas’ version of the Haight or Greenwich village. Young suburban couples were often the norm. We’ld pass out a rose to the young lady then “admit”, “If you can spare a buck that would be great, either way, women and roses need each other”. We usually picked up just over 25 dollars in less than an hour. That buys a lot of pitchers of draft beer. Trust me on this, a lot of people turn to alcohol to fight the depression that comes from being homeless more than alcoholism leads to homelessness!!

Sean August 10, 2009 at 9:41 pm

@Steve I have seen multiple people at bars in Portland trying to sell roses, and they are usually looking pretty successful! I will even admit to buying one or two at various points in time. If you really want to make money, you will figure out how. There are millions upon millions of people in this country and they are each doing something different. While you may not become a millionaire from any of these ideas, it’ll at least get you a few pitchers on a Saturday night! Thanks for the comment!

Robert February 9, 2010 at 4:43 am

If I had a bum like that in my city with a funny sign that made me laugh as hard as I just did, I’d pay him $5, not just the regular quarter I give out.

…Well, I did actually. There was a bum holding a sign that said, “I had an affair with Tiger Woods and look where that got me.”

It was at the time last year when everyone was bashing on him of course, but he gave me great laughs as well. That deserves something extra.

Michael February 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm

with the ebook idea, write something of decent quality and throw it up on clickbank and get other people to promote it for you. much simpler but takes a whole lot of effort.

Comments on this entry are closed.

« »