Expecting a financial squeeze and need money in a pinch?
Perhaps this year the taxman’s taking more of your hard-earned cash, or not giving up as much in rebates. Maybe you’re only now recovering from those dreaded Christmas expenses, only to face the pending costs of summer (camp, vacations, etc.).
Maybe you’ve hit a slump, given that, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Canadians are the most indebted in the world.”
A Bank of Montreal study reinforces the point, asserting that 4 in 10 Canadians are cashing out their retirement savings to pay bills: the average withdrawal was about $21,000 in 2017, up from $17,000 the previous year.
Whatever the case, many of us could use a little financial boost. If you’re looking to earn a little extra, you can harness your entrepreneurial spirit and find several new sources of side income. Here are some suggestions:
Leverage Your Skills
There are several online portals where you can peddle your talents, skills, and wares.
Guru.com has three million global users and boasts a million jobs completed, from programmers and developers, to writers, artists, researchers, translators, admin staff, salespeople – the list goes on.
Upwork.com, Fiverr.com and Freelansy.com generally have the same feel to them, they’re all free to join, and no one says you should be exclusive to just one. Upon joining, things usually start with “I can [do a specific job] for you,” and the sky’s the limit on what you can help someone with.
Be a Virtual Assistant
You can be indispensable to a company or entrepreneur from the comfort of your home, on your own time.
The Work At Home Wife has an exhaustive list of services a VA can offer, including data entry, social media management, transcription, answering phones, blog writing and posting (it helps to know your way around WordPress), editing, and email management. To get started, use your Twitter or Facebook account to say that you’re seeking virtual assistant work, and detail what you can offer.
Sell Your Stuff Online
If you’re thinking a spring purge/de-cluttering might be in order, take a look around the house to see if there’s stuff you can offload for cash. If you have Netflix, maybe that box of DVDs could be sold. Some of those old Disney VHS tapes could have major hidden value.
Other things you can sell for quick cash include good quality or designer clothing, purses, sports equipment (skis, skates, etc.), bikes, toys, maternity and baby clothing, and unused wedding gifts like vases or serving dishes.
Driver for a Ride-Sharing App
If you have a car, you can sign up for any of the app-based ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, FaceDrive, InstaRyde, and DriverHer (for women only). Make your own hours and choose the riders you want to drive.
Are you an able-bodied individual with some muscle to spare? There’s good money to be made helping those who are either disinclined, or incapable, of shoveling snow or mowing their yards. There’s also bagging leaves or fruit pickup.
Sometimes life has its surprises and leaves you in a jam, and time is truly of the essence. Be it fees, the spending limit, or weaning yourself off plastic, you might not be wild about using your credit card for cash advances. If so, there are many other places to get a short-term loan, such as Western Union or Magical Credit.
When investigating places to borrow from, check out their ratings on Facebook or elsewhere online, and see if they have a customer hotline, so you can call and ask questions, or, if necessary, lodge complaints.
Dave Gordon | Contributing Writer