4 ways to make money during your downtime

Five Best Ways to Make More Money

There are many opportunities you can take advantage of in your spare time to help boost your cash flow that can pay off later on. Cash flow is how much money you have going in vs. how much you have going out. Whether you are a college student or have a full-time job, there is a side gig for everyone! Another job on the side is not only a great way to expedite your financial goals, but also help you prepare for your financial future. (You can track your progress toward your financial goals, like building a good credit score, on Credit.com.)

Here are four things you should consider doing to boost your cash flow.

1. Babysit

This particular side gig might not be for everyone, but if you are someone who loves kids and maybe even have some of your own that are older, then this side gig is ideal for you. If you have a flexible schedule or don't work a traditional 9-to-5 job, then maybe you should consider giving up some of your downtime to babysit smaller children during the week while their parents are at work. If you are someone who works full time, then you may want to consider giving up some time on occasional weekends. This extra money can go into a separate savings account to help prepare you for the future.

2. Teach a Fitness Class

If you are extremely active or simply love working out, then you may want to consider giving up some of your downtime after work to teach a fitness class. Call some local gyms or community centers to see what certifications they require to teach classes or what positions they may have open or be willing to train you for. You can use this extra money to help start up a college fund for your child or even an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

3. Tutor

If you are someone that has a strong grasp on academics and are looking to share your expertise, then you may want to consider giving up some of your downtime to help tutor children. If you can help someone get that 100% on their reading comprehension test or understand subtraction, then you are truly making a difference. You can choose to work weekends or after work; consider making your own set schedule. If you are receiving regular paychecks from this extra job, then you may want to consider putting this extra money toward your debt. A biweekly payment toward a loan can help you pay it off faster.

4. Sell Your Work

This job can be for anyone who is crafty and creative. You can turn your daily hobbies into chunk change by selling them on various online marketplaces. Whether you enjoy knitting, painting, or if you are skilled in sewing, then this side job is for you. It can be rewarding and enjoyable. If you find your selling a lot, you may even want to start a business out of it. You can use this extra money to help you reach your financial goals.

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4 ways to make money during your downtime

Dog-sitting, babysitting, or house-sitting

These jobs are always in high demand, and the best part: you can name your price and create your own schedule! Post an ad on craigslist, or use your friends' and family's connections to get your name out there. 

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Rent out your space 

List your apartment on Airbnb or another rental site, and make some easy cash by staying at a friends and renting out your place for the weekend.

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Share your space

Just as you can rent out your full apartment or house, you can also post a free room (or even just your couch!) on sites like Craigslist or Airbnb. This way you can split your living expenses -- and maybe even make a new friend!

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Sell your body parts

Now here's a weird one: Donate your hair, breast milk, or even plasma for a profit. According to Grifols, if you're healthy and weigh above 110 pounds, you can earn up to $200 a month donating your plasma to life-saving medicine. 

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Sign up to participate in medical tests and clinical trials. 

Universities constantly need volunteers to test new medicines and treatments -- and because the pool of willing participants is limited, there is typically a large compensation for being a guinea pig. 

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Participate in a focus group

Companies and organizations will pay you to join a focus group. These can be conducted in person, online, or via phone. You will most likely be reimbursed in cash or gift cards -- plus, you often get to test out fun new products! 

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Take online surveys

Similar to focus groups, you can get paid to give your time and insights on an online questionairre. Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch. 

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Bank on your sperm

Although we don't necessarily recommend this option, there is a very high demand for healthy sperm donors. Keep in mind some of the obvious drawbacks, but sperm donation is non-invasive and highly compensated. 

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Crowdfund your dreams

Crowdfunding allows you to raise monetary contributions from a large group of people who want to support your venture. Post your project or idea on a crowdfund site, like GoFundMe.com, and see the cash pile up.

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Become a tutor

If you're qualified, post an ad online or on a community board to tutor children on their school courses or for the upcoming SATs.

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Get a part-time job

Capitalize your free time (on the weekends or after work hours) by working a part-time job. A bartender, waiter, or Uber driver are all great options for an additional source of income -- and great tips! 

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Resell tickets

Take this suggestion at your own risk: If you're staying within legal limits, buy tickets low and sell high as an effective way to source additional money. (Just make sure to check your state and local laws first!)

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You can sell anything on the internet these days... including your companionship! Get paid to go on a platonic outing for a few hours and enjoy your afternoon with a new friend. 

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Rent out your parking spot

Make sure to check with your landlord first, but if you have the option to park your own car further away, lend or share your parking space or driveway for the hour, day, or even month! 

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Keep a coin jar 

This one takes patience before a big pay out, but keep a spare jar or drawer for loose change that you usually toss anyway. It will keep it all in one place -- and those quarters do add up! 

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Make something to sell 

If you have a knack for arts & crafts, create jewelry or other handmade gifts to sell on sites filled with other thrifty vendors like Etsy

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Sell items online

This effective strategy requires low effort with a high return. Post photos of your used or non-used items on sites like eBay or Craigslist, and let the bidding begin! 

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Have a yard sale

Sell clutter you've been meaning to get rid of right in your front yard. This simple tactic is convenient, and guarantees a wad of cash right to your pocket.  

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Return past purchases

This tip may seem obvious, but is often overlooked: Take your recently-purchased items that are laying around back to the store for either store credit or a full refund. 

Recycle scrap metal and cans

Collect cans and scrap metal out your own garbage, basement, and street and bring to your local recycler to exchange your findings for money.  

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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

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