How To Make Extra Money This Winter
With all of the cold and snow upon us, you may not think of it, but winter is a great time to start working on making a little extra money. Winter tends to cost more – from buying outerwear to extra snacks – and let’s not forget the recovery period from the holidays. The good news is that in this day and age, you can take advantage of the time that you may be stuck at home because of the weather.
There are lots of ways that you can make some extra money both on the computer and in the neighborhood, you just have to be creative. If these suggestions don’t all work for you, pass them along to your children or family members. There really is something for everyone!
Offer Child Care or Pet Care Services
Very frequently in winter, people take extra time off work. They save up their vacation time so that they can be home when their kids are sick or home for a national holiday. Many people also take off just to be able to burn through their allotted vacation days that will expire in January or February. Because of these days off, you may find couples who are looking to spend a little extra time together without the kids or pets. Therefore, winter is a great time to offer child and pet care services.
Are the kids off from school for Washington’s birthday? See if anyone needs some pet care so that the family can get away for the weekend. Do you know a family with small children? Let them know that you have a bag of tricks for entertaining their kids should they want to go grab lunch just the two of them. People want to know that their children and fur babies are being well taken care of and are willing to pay more (and be a return customer!) if you can prove that you’re that person.
Offer a Shoveling Service
If you are in an area that gets a lot of snow (like those of us in Chicago!) or even areas that don’t usually get any, make sure that your neighbors know that you are available! Pass out a flyer in the area that you can be reached by text if they should need you to come over and shovel.
Rates can range anywhere from $5 per shovel to $20 per week, depending on how many times you expect to shovel and how heavy the snowfall is. Don’t sell yourself short, but be reasonable based on how often you’ll need to be available as well as how many clients you have.
You’ll need to have a strong body for this one, so please don’t put yourself in a position to hurt yourself. Weekly snow shoveling is a great job for teenagers, who are more likely be home than adults. And make sure not to forget the rock salt! That is the kind of bonus that will keep people calling again and again.
Collecting Scrap Metal
Get into scrapping metal for an easy way to make some extra cash when the weather gets cold. People spend Christmas time upgrading everything – and find that they have more than they need. Often times, after the holidays, the cold weather makes people not want to deal with the extra “stuff.” Other people’s trash is another person’s treasure!
Make a point of driving around the neighborhood (and/or the surrounding neighborhoods) the night before trash pickup. People will leave all kinds of things on the curb. If you find any kind of scrap metal, throw it in the trunk or (if you have one) the bed of your pickup truck.
Do some web searches in your area to make sure that you know the rules for scrapping as well as the closest scrap metal yards. Most areas will have slightly different rules, requirements and payout.
Get into Resale and Clean out Your House
While you are out looking for scrap metal, see if there are any items of value that people have discarded. Sometimes it only takes a good wash in order to make something old look new again. People discard everything from items that they believe are broken to items that they hope will go to a new home, so there will likely be new finds every week.
Additionally, make a point of going through your house. As crazy as it is spending the winter decluttering, just think of how much freer you’ll feel come spring!
What do you do with all of these items, you ask? Start accounts on sites like eBay or LetGo as well as Facebook. Get an idea of how much things are selling for and try to price items slightly lower (assuming you want them to sell quickly). If items don’t sell, consider trying again in a few weeks or holding a yard sale in the spring and summer.
Offer Your Skills
Do you have a special skill set? Do you know how to sew, use technology, paint, do basic home repairs, type quickly or anything else that might be of use to others? Offer yourself up!
Many people have many things that they need to get done. We all have those jobs that we never get around to finishing. Let your friends and neighbors know that you’re around! Post in your local Facebook groups that you have this service to offer and can be contacted for rates.
Develop Your Craft
Are you crafty, but you’ve never had time to invest into creating your items? Take the time this winter to start developing a portfolio. By spring, try to have at least twenty items that you could sell. At that point, it’s time to hit the craft fairs or open an Etsy shop! Give yourself permission to do what you enjoy and turn it into the small business that you may have always wanted to have.
By embracing a hobby that you love you are giving yourself a bonus advantage. Doing something that you enjoy helps to fight off the winter blues. You have a purpose, you have a goal, and no matter the weather, you can get there. Make this a tradition each winter if you find that it works for both your mood as well as your wallet!
This is just a beginning to the ideas you may come up with. There are lots of ways to make extra money, just think about your strengths. There are always people who need assistance, you just have to figure out how you can solve a problem that someone else may be having. Good luck!