Be a Clown and Four Other Quick (and Legal) Ways To Make Some Extra Cash


I know that if you are a frugalista, like me, you are always looking for ways to increase your income. You have two ways to do that: increase your streams of income or decrease your expenditure. Today, I am going to share with you how I did the former without stressing myself out.

1. Be a Character at Birthday Parties I had a great gig playing Mickey Mouse at children’s birthday parties. I made $50 for a two-hour party, but I did not have to wear the big ‘ol heavy clumsy costumes for the whole time. Because it gets hot in there, I believe I only had to be Mickey for 45 minutes. One of my best memories being a Mickey Mouse character was when a birthday girl, a 2-year old, kissed me on the nose.

If you want quicker, bigger money, consider being a clown. Clowns tend to make more money than characters because they have to engage the children for the duration of the party and make ballon animals and do facepainting. The she-clown that I worked with made close to $45/hr and was reimbursed for gas and tolls. On the other hand, the company owner, who also worked as a clown, charged $150/hr for his services and kept the majority of the cut. So depending on where you are on the totem pole, the compensation varies.  Get details from your local birthday party planners to get the specifics.

2. Sell Your Gold For Cash: After I called off my first engagement, I was left with a man’s (unwanted) wedding band. My ex-fiance refused to exchange rings so I could have the band that I had chosen for myself. I had spent some good money on that ring but could not return it because too much time had elapsed. Last year, there was a Cash For Gold store that opened up in my neighborhood and I carried the ring in and was able to get a couple hundred dollars for it. It was nice way to bring closure to that ugly situation and pay me (literally) for my suffering. If you have jewelry from ex’s or only one side of several earrings, you can monetize it. You can even host parties and be paid a portion of your girlfriends’ payouts. Check your local listings for stores near you.

3. Have An Indoor Yard Sale In Your Living Room: Three summers ago, I decided it was too hot to have a yard sale outside so I decided to take the yard sale indoors. I called my friends and gave them an appointment for viewing items that I had selected for them specifically. For a teacher friend, I had baskets for classrooms, teacher manuals, and the like. For another, I had jewelry and exercise equipment. In addition, I had refreshments and light music playing. None of my friends came during their appointment times; they all showed up at the same time. In hindsight, it was the best thing that happened. They lingered longer and shopped more because of the company and the conversation.  In about 3 hours, I made close to $300.  With summer here and the unbearable heat, try this approach and see how it goes.

4. Have a Silent Auction: I personally have never done with one but have seen this work for artists and ladies with gently-worn designer clothes, and bags. (TRANSLATION: You gotta have stuff that people really covet and want have at a discount). Invite friends and acquaintances over and have key items displayed and let them bid. You can set a minimum bid and provide numbers to the bidders instead of names to maintain anonymity.

5. Start an Amazon.com book business: I had an Amazon.com business where I sold books online. In particular, I sold my old college books (not textbooks), teacher resources, and test prep books for SAT, CLEP, and ACT. In a year, I made $1,000. To maximize this gig, you have to be organized, price your books so you factor in the cost of shipping and competitors, and ship your books on time to ensure high customer satisfaction. Go to www.amazon.com to find out how to get started. It is super easy.

None of these gigs will make you rich overnight, but knowing that you can use your creativity and resourcefulness to provide yourself and your family will provide you will a deep sense of financial confidence and financial self-respect.

Frugalistas: What have you done to make some quick cash?

If this post really resonated with you and you want to transform how you feel and think about money so you can live your best life, consider money therapy.   

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