I was young and wanted some way to make extra money – something other than another fast food job. A friend of the family owned a small insurance agency. The owner decided to get into the business of process serving, and I applied for the job. Tracking people down and handing them their court subpoenas sounded like fun.
It was more interesting than most of the jobs I have had. I had to find two defendants in a lawsuit stemming from a school football injury (they worked for the school). Both had moved to the area, leaving no forwarding address. After using my best phone pretexts to get information from the family, and doing a little investigating locally, I found them both working in the same place.
I walked up to each, asked their name and handed them the papers. They were served. The problem was that the company was billing by the hour, and I had found these two quickly, meaning little profit. They dropped the idea for the new service, and dropped my job along with it. So much for getting ahead by doing a good job.
I had a wide variety of unusual jobs and other ways to make extra money when I was younger. Sitting here reminiscing at the keyboard might be considered an unusual way to make money too, but hey, it works. Here are some of the other ways.
Make Extra Money By…
Stealing cars: At twenty-one I was willing to try almost anything to make extra money. My brother’s towing business got a contract to repossess cars, and I became a “repo man.” Prowling the night with my brother, looking for and legally “stealing” cars – this was fun. Don’t expect to make too much money doing this though, unless you live in the right area. Oh, and it did involve getting chased, having a gun pulled on us, and other little adventures.
Making walking sticks: I sold hundreds of my own handmade walking stick alongside our other items at flea markets. I added handgrips made from recycled leather jackets, so they cost about 50 cents to make. I sold them for anywhere between $6 to $26. You may also want to make a hobby into a way to make money, but there isn’t too much money involved most of the time.
Financing other peoples plans. I put up the cash to buy cars for a couple friends. They knew cars, I had cash. A friend needed $3200 to buy and fix a corvette, for example, and two weeks later sold it for $4200, netting us $500 profit each. Letting your money do the work to make extra money – this is one of the best ways.
Rent rooms. At one point I had almost $10,000 per year coming in from renting the rooms in my home. I owed nothing on the home at this point, so this was a nice income. I had decent renters, and I had built a efficiency apartment on the back of the place for privacy for my wife and I. Easy ways like this are my favorite ways to make extra money.