12 ways to earn extra money to pay off your debt (you’ll actually want to do these)

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I was recently speaking with a friend about her debt. She pays $600 in interest on four credit cards and is only making the minimum payment. My first thought was “that’s $600/mo she could be putting towards her actual debt, retirement and investing”.

I suggested she get a 21 month zero interest credit card and use that same $600 to pay off her debt in the 21 months. Unfortunately, she has poor credit and is maxed out on all of her cards and can’t get another credit card.

As we started to dig deeper I realized the only way my friend is going to get out of her debt is if she chooses to;

A. Shift her money mindset.
B. Learn to budget and/or create a spending plan.
C. Stop using her credit cards.
D. Find a better paying job.
E. Make extra money on the side to pay off her debt.

Here are 12 ways to make extra money to pay off your debt.

1. Ask for raise

A boost in your pay would be a quick fix for paying off your debt, wouldn’t it? It’s important to know your worth and when to speak up. Asking for a raise is not always easy or a comfortable position to be in. Make sure you do your homework before starting the conversation with your boss. Ask around to see what others in your position are making and use online salary tools to give you better-negotiating points.

If you’re finding it difficult to start the conversation you can always ask your boss to sit down for a review of your performance. Find out what you can do to help the company be more profitable.

Find a way to step up your game plan such as coming into work early, taking the initiative on projects and/or taking a course that improves your skills and then ask for a raise. If you really want to go for it check out my post on how to really get a raise.

2. Sell your stuff

An easy way to make extra money to pay off your debt (and de-clutter the house) is by selling your stuff. You can use the Nextdoor app and/or Craiglist which are both no-fee ways to sell to your neighbors. It makes selling larger items easy because you won’t have to worry about shipping.

Craigslist and eBay are also great resources for selling items you no longer need. I recently sold our old appliances on Nextdoor and Craigslist. The appliances were sitting in the garage for two months and made $320 selling them to people who were in need. This motivated me so I purged my closet and made $452 selling clothing and shoes on eBay I no longer wear!

Selling stuff you no longer need or use is a great way to earn extra money. It not only clears up your debt but your space and gives you more time. The less stuff you have the less time you need to manage it. You’ll also think twice about buying something you don’t need!

3. Start a blog

You can make extra money to pay off your debt by starting a blog. It’s not an overnight fix but there are many success stories of people who started blogging and paid off their debt. Michelle from Making Sense of Cents paid off her student loans with her blog and now travels full time. She makes six-figures a month. NatalieBacon was an attorney who became a financial planner and then blogger. She started her blog to pay off her debt and now blogs and coaches full time.

4. Dog walk/dog sit

My friend who pays $600/mo in interest had mentioned she lost her dog and really wanted another one. She wasn’t ready for the responsibility and financial commitment so I suggested she start dog sitting and dog walking. She’ll get some puppy love, exercise and make extra cash to pay off her debt. It’s a win-win if you ask me!

Depending on where you live you can make $15-30/dog per walk. If you’re walking them twice a day expect to make more. If you’re staying overnight expect to make $50-60/night. You can ask around your neighborhood and/or find jobs through sites like Rover, Wag!, Housesitter.com and the Nextdoor app.

5. Rent out a room on Airbnb

If you have an extra room in your house and you’re comfortable sharing your space try listing a room or your house on Airbnb. It’s an easy way to make extra cash. If you’re renting your place you’ll need to check with your landlord first. If you own your own home make sure to check with your city laws and regulations before listing your home. You have to consider things like a business license, building and housing standards, zoning rules, special permits, taxes and other rules. Although it can be risky many people run a six-figure business with Airbnb.

6. Become a freelance writer

Elna Cain wrote an awesome article “How to make money as a Freelance Writer“. In the article, she suggests starting a blog with a profitable niche and defining who your ideal client would be. There are many ways to become a freelance writer. You can blog, write for clients like IBM, pitch a guest post or become a copywriter. You can earn a few hundred or a few thousand dollars a month with freelance writing. It will depend on your skills and of course how badly you want it!

7. Become a house sitter

Even if you’re working full time you can still house sit on the side and make extra money to pay off your debt! Jobs can range from one time gigs to a full-time salaried position. Check out www.housesitter.com. A house sitter can do a variety of jobs from watering the plants to getting the mail, watching pets and being a full-time caretaker. You can make anywhere from $25-$50 a day depending on your responsibilities.

8. Get paid to run errands

If you don’t mind running errands why not get paid for it. Use sites like Task Rabbit and So Many Errands to help others with tasks such as pickup and delivery, putting together a piece of furniture, yard work and more. It’s a good way to earn extra cash in your free time.

9. Digital tasks and services

Interested in getting paid to perform digital tasks such as designing logos, illustration, voice over, translation or social media? Fiverr and Upwork provide business owners with people looking to offer their freelance services. You can make anywhere from $20 to a few hundred dollars depending on your experience and skillset.

10. Sell on Etsy or Amazon Handmade

If you’re an artist, the creative type or have a talent or skill you may be able to create a small side business selling digital downloads or crafts on Etsy or Amazon Handmade. You’ll be able to reach the masses through these sites and hopefully turn a lucrative profit to pay off your debt and then some! It’s always good to diversify and not be solely dependent on one marketplace. Handmade’s fees are higher than Etsy.

11. Become a virtual assistant

A virtual assistant works behind the scenes to help business owners and entrepreneurs run their business. They may write or proofread a document, provide customer assistance and work on projects from home in a clerical or administrative format. They are typically paid hourly or by the project. Other than networking, Task Bullet, Affiliate Elance or oDesk are a few places to find virtual assistant jobs. Kayla from $10K VA earns over $10,000/mo being a virtual assistant. She started a course called $10K VA to teach others to do the same.

12. Use your reward points toward debt

If you have a credit card that offers you cash rewards use this toward paying off your debt. I recently did this with an unexpected vet bill and paid off an extra $150 of debt before coming out of pocket. It helps to call your remaining credit cards and request a lower interest rate. If you’ve been a customer for awhile they will hopefully value your business and help you out. If the representative denies you ask to speak to their supervisor or call back. It’s worth a try.

If you have debt or you’re choking on interest payments like my friend you need to come up with a plan to pay off your debt as soon as possible. Start by creating a budget and find ways to earn extra money on the side. Once your debt is paid you can use the money from your side hustle to save towards an emergency fund or retirement.

Do you have any tips to earning extra money to pay off your debt? Leave them in the comments below!

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12 ways to earn extra money to pay off your debt (you'll actually want to do these)