Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to have Hank McKinsey from HomebyHank.com as a guest poster today. He’s sharing with us his best tips for ways to make extra money this summer. See his author bio at the end of the post for more info.
5 Ways to Make Extra Money This Summer
With the sunny days and cool nights of summer come extra patio dinners, concerts in the park, and action-packed weekends with the kids. This can put a strain on the budget. For me, with the added expense of my new rental property, and great weather on the approach, supplemental income allows me to still do everything I love during the season. I can maintain my outdoor excursions, plan a few weekend trips, take my wife out at night, and pay the bills without re-inventing the income wheel. By planning ahead, and with these tips and resources, you can make some extra money that will blaze a fast path to summer fun.
Tip 1: Live The Part-Time Gig Life
With the luxury of the internet comes endless opportunity! While you hang onto your day job, capitalize on your expertise, interests, talents or skills to bring in a little extra cash capitalizing on seasonal-demand services.
- Make a List. Create a list of your abilities to start, then sift through and focus on the ones that can offer value and service to others. Are you a great outdoor handyman, can you fix a car, or consult on home repairs or gardening?
- Post On Part Time Websites. Sites like Thumbtack and care.com are valuable for individuals and businesses to pick up part-time or full-time work in pet care, child care, errand running and elder services. Others like Homeadvisor.com are great for individuals and companies that offer certified skills as sole proprietors or businesses in the home services industry.
- Go Local. Craigslist is always a great go-to posting or finding supplemental side work when you want it, especially for services that require your presence. If you can perform, visit local venues and newspapers to find gigs in comedy or music.
Check out this resource of 101 Freelance Websites that I have found very helpful.
Tip 2: Be A Connector
Make some extra spending change by planning meet-ups in your area. Sites like WithLocals.com and Meetup.com bring locals and travelers together for outdoor hobby events, socializing, and visits to local attractions. By collecting planning fees from attendees for your events, which most people come to expect, you get to make friends, enjoy seasonal excursions, and earn money for your planning efforts.
- Sign Up and Research. Register at one of the sites that serves you locally. Scour the site and your town for great ideas.
- Be Bold, Be Yourself. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never did? Do you have a special unique interest and would love to meet others who like the same thing? Plan a meet up centered around those things. If you like them, chances are, someone else does too. Uniqueness can be a big draw for an untapped meet-up group.
- Post Often and Communicate. State in your post that you require a fee to attend your meet-up, so everyone is aware ahead of time. Let your guests know where and when to meet and if they need to bring gear, supplies, snacks, or ticket money.
I love this article on what makes a great tour guide. Even for part-timers like me. It is very helpful.
Tip 3: Local Restaurant & Attraction Reviews
Local restaurants and venues are often willing to forward discounts and freebies to local reviewers for good publicity and media exposure. Email the local businesses ahead of time, to let them know you’re excited to visit their business and write about the experience. You may have to show a blog or contact a local newspaper and offer to write editorials before contacting the restaurants. Need help on starting a blog? Check out this awesome guide.
- Be Genuine. Extend courtesy with genuine interest, and offer value to the businesses you contact. Aim to extend them the spotlight.
- Don’t Fish for Handouts. Never outright ask for free products or services. Although reviewing on sites and for submission in publications doesn’t typically generate cash, it may get you some discounts and free services to enjoy as a perk. Recognize the value as money saved being money earned.
- For Long-term, Think Blogs. If you love reviewing, start a blog and gain followers, keep it going year-round. If the blog takes off, you can operate it to generate supplemental cash by way of advertising and affiliate marketing down the road once your blog becomes established.
Tip 4: Rent Your House or Extra Room
If you plan to travel this summer, renting out your home can offer substantial extra income, provided you do your homework and aim to deliver great service. Many Airbnb hopefuls start renting out their place, guns blazing, but quickly fail to see a return simply due to lack of planning. Follow these valuable tested practices to attract great renters.
- Vet Your Tenants. Although Airbnb and some other home rental sites offer insurance policies, and safety checks, it’s a good idea to ask for more information. There are many services out there, make sure to work with a service that offers background checks and criminal history. This resource is a good place to learn about what is included in these ‘checks’.
- Buy Bulk. Having snacks, shower necessities, and clean linens purchased from your local wholesale store will save you money while also winning over your guests with added extras to make their stay great.
- Offer Local Information. Have a pdf with local amenities guests can use to get around town, grab a decent meal, or catch a local sports event.
- List Competitively. Price your listings with rent and accommodation market in your area, to reflect summer rates and maximize your earning potential.
- Clean Up. Bad reviews can cost money. No one likes someone else’s dirt, so be sure to take care of yours by doing a thorough deep clean before listing your home. If you’ll be away for a while, hire a maid service to clean and re-stock your home during guest turn-over. This doesn’t have to be expensive as you can leverage the ‘gig’ sites I mentioned earlier.
Tip 5: Take Up Dog Walking
Dog walking can be a great way to get outside, make some side money, and get some good quality time with man’s best friend. Devote time and effort and you’ll have yourself a side business with lucrative potential.
- Research The Business. Find out what makes a good dog walker in your area. Go online, travel your neighborhood. Call businesses for pricing.
- Make Up Your Advertising. Create business cards and flyers. Post ads in area pet stores, and online to circulate your name. You can find inexpensive, yet professional looking cards and business materials at your local paper shop or sites like VistaPrint.
- Post Online. SitterCity, Thumbtack, Rover or Care.com all list dog walking services for larger cities and their surrounding areas. Check Google to discover which of these is most effective for listings in your area.
- Get The Gear. Stock up on a few different sized leashes, harnesses and toys. Look for what the seasoned pros use, follow suit, and you’re ready for business.
Applying supplemental summer income to your budget can be an awesome addition to your summer festivities. With a little forethought and planning, you can bring home the income, and even have fun while you are at it.
Author Bio: Hank is a fun loving guy with a passion for DIY and all things ‘Home’. Check him out at homebyhank.com or Twitter @homebyhank.