Having the maternal instincts of a boiled potato, babysitting isn't one of my fortes, but there are always parents desperate for child care. As far as money goes, it's a pretty easy gig. Usually, the kids are going to bed just as you arrive, so you're basically getting paid $20 an hour to watch TV and raid the refrigerator.
Advertise your skills on one of the many job websites, like Elance, oDesk or PeoplePerHour. They are online virtual marketplaces outsourcing work to writers, graphic designers, web gurus and administrators. The majority of clients are small businesses who don't want to employ full-timers.
As the old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure, so instead of discarding things you no longer use, put them on eBay. It's a great way to get rid of all those clothes you no longer wear and dispose of small appliances that you had great intentions of using, but rarely see the light of day.
Provide a pooch or cat-sitting service for pet owners who can't bear the thought of leaving their precious fur babies at a cattery or kennel. You could work out charges for bathing, walking, feeding, organising annual vet check-ups and staying on site while the owners are on holiday.
You can get paid for becoming a human guinea pig to test new drugs, which could ultimately save lives. There are no guarantees that there will be no nasty side effects, but you can earn from $200 up to around $4,000 to participate in a medical trial. South Australian Alex Magarey, a serial clinical trial volunteer, earned around $30,000 in just two years.
Getting a boarder or two can help ease the burden of living expenses. You could rent any spare rooms out to backpackers or overseas exchange students for some extra pocket money. You could even rent out your entire house and move back home with your parents for a few months.
Save money on joining a gym because you won't need it when you are pounding the pavement delivering junk mail or local papers to letterboxes. It's not the nicest job when the weather outside is cold, wet and windy, but it's better than nothing.
If you're a wizard in the kitchen, whip up some homemade pies, muffins and sausage rolls. Do the rounds of corporate offices just before morning tea and lunch and you're likely to find lots of hungry workers who don't have time to leave the office to grab food.
Rifle through your garage, basement or backyard for scrap metal and take it to a yard or recycling centre in exchange for cash. It can be quite worthwhile, especially if you have been a hoarder over the years.
If you have a spare parking spot or two that you aren't using, renting a car space could be a good little money spinner, particularly if you live near the inner city or a hospital where finding parking is a mission and extremely expensive.
If you have good administration and customer service skills, you can make fairly decent money from temping. Short-term assignments will ensure no two days are the same. Sign up with a recruitment agency as they are normally short of reliable temps.
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