It is easy to become a slave to money. One way to avoid this is to create a budget. Committing to a spending plan is what keeps our families fed and roofs over our heads. It also secures our future.

Even so, a budget can feel like a restriction in and of itself. While the dollars add up on paper, in reality, it never seems like there is enough money to buy all the things we need. And more often than not, a budget rules out us buying the little things we want.

Is there a way for us to make some extra cash so we can have the lifestyle we want at a price we can afford?

Your Unique Talent (and Stuff) is Worth More than You Know

These days, it is easier than ever before to sell goods and services. This is because the Internet makes it easy to connect with people who want to buy what you are selling. Online marketplaces are massive gathering grounds that can be lucrative for individuals who have unique talents and possessions. Jump on in!

Have a garage sale, eBay-style

When you think “online marketplace,” eBay is probably one of the first thoughts to pop into your mind. You can sell almost anything on eBay. The best approach to making money on this virtual flea market is to think outside of the box.

Look around your house and office for things you could sell and would love to get rid of. Read the “Top 10 Gift Ideas” lists in magazines and on the Web, and see if you have these items; they are probably in high demand. Also, peruse Amazon and Rakuten bestseller lists and do the same.

To sell books, movies, and games, try Half.com, an offshoot of eBay that specializes in these items.

Take your skills into freelancing

An estimated one in three American workers is a freelancer (Forbes.com ). By 2020, that number could swell to half the U.S. work force. The current state of the economy has driven individuals to do freelance work because there aren’t enough full-time jobs to go around. Companies use freelancers and independent contractors because of what it means for their bottom line.

Are you a writer, Web designer, graphic artist, illustrator, programmer, translator, or a professional of some sort? You might be able to make freelancing work for you. Being a freelancer means you can set your own schedule. You can work as much as you’d like (the more you work, the more money you make), but you could also freelance as a supplement to your existing work. You can even work around the schedules of your children, your spouse, and your household.

If you have a professional skillset, freelancing could be lucrative for you. There are many people who freelance full-time, but be aware that full-time freelancing is essentially running a business. It may or may not work with your schedule, your personality, and your needs.

Have agencies do the heavy lifting

If you want some of the guesswork and administrative duties of freelancing taken care of, you could try an online freelance marketplace. They do the most important—and difficult—work of all; they find your clients for you. Sites like Elance, Guru.com, and oDesk are essentially matchmakers for freelancers and clients.

Sell your one-of-a-kind creations on Etsy

Make, design, craft, sew, knit, or build something to financial freedom with Etsy. People explore this “handmade marketplace” to find unique handmade or vintage goods. If you’ve got some handicraft worth sharing, it may be worth it to open your own Etsy store.

The most popular items on Etsy are:

  • Jewelry — Vintage pieces or handmade, welded, soldered, beaded, strung… Gems, no gems… The sky’s the limit.
  • Baby clothes and accessories — Knitted or crocheted items, silkscreened onesies, funny toddler tees, and so much more. Think cute, charming items for parents wanting to dote on their little ones.
  • Vintage toys — Geek toys, unopened nostalgia or popular items in good shape. Have something cool from the ‘70s? Star Wars? Barbies? Even newer stuff like Harry Potter or LEGO? Someone on Etsy is looking for it.
  • Unusual fashion — Goth or steampunk hats and accessories; Renaissance-style bodices, corsets, and lace; pin-up era bathing suits; cute dresses to do the Lindy Hop in. Imagine costume-style clothing created for everyday-wear.

Financial Freedom is liberating

Some extra cash can be liberating. Earn some pocket change or create a supplemental income by exercising your industrious, creative side. Start today and before long you could be saying, “Show me the money!”

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