Make Extra Money This Month – Your Third Challenge

Make extra cash during the January Money Diet


It’s Day 11, and it’s time to tackle Challenge #3 of the January Money Diet.

As you may remember, we’ll be tackling 5 challenges throughout this month to strengthen our relationship with money. If you complete all five of the challenges, you’ll be eligible to win prizes at the end of the month.

In case you missed them, here are links to the first two challenges:

Challenge #1 – Give 31 things away throughout January.

Challenge #2 – Figure your net worth.  **You could win a copy of the book Your Money Or Your Life if you complete this before midnight MST Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Challenge #3 is this:  Do something to earn an extra $25 or more this month. Here are some ideas:

Sell Something Gathering Dust

One of the easiest ways to bring in extra cash is to find something unused among our treasures we can sell. We’ll eliminate clutter and free up some space, and we’ll keep one more thing out of landfill.

I’ve sold several things quickly and easily on, which is a site that connects local neighbors. Classified ads are free, and you can choose exactly which neighborhoods in your locale to target. Craigslist can be great for getting rid of larger items like unwanted furniture or appliances. Selling something locally has the advantage of being quick, and you don’t have to mess with shipping or waiting for payment.

One caveat — please be careful when responding to potential sellers on big, public sites like Craigslist. Scammers abound. If someone offers you more than your asking price for your item, that’s a huge red flag. Don’t respond, and report the user.  Ask for cash payment, and always meet in a public place (we go to the library) to exchange items.

I’ve also sold unwanted books, DVDs and CDs on Amazon. You don’t need to take any photographs; just sign up for a seller account, list your items (Amazon gives you very specific guidelines so you can accurately list the quality of the item) and wait for the orders. Books and discs are easy to ship, and Amazon reimburses you for the postage. If you use the USPS’s media mail, you might even make a little profit on the shipping fee. The one thing I will say is that prices are rock-bottom on Amazon, so you might have to sell a handful of items to make it worth your time.

eBay takes a little more effort, but the results can be amazing — especially if you have a hot collectible. I’ve sold hundreds of things on eBay, and their Quick Start Guide shows you how easy it is to list your items. Just set up a seller account, take a photo of your item, write an accurate description, and carefully pack and ship your item. If that sounds like too much work, you can use eBay Valet and a professional seller will take care of the transaction for you in exchange for a cut of the sale.

If you have unworn clothing in good condition, you might try selling it at a consignment store. Retailers like Plato’s Closet pay cash on the spot for trendy clothing. My neighbor sells her daughters’ lightly-worn clothes to a children’s consignment shop nearby. Do you have broken gold or silver jewelry, or pieces you no longer wear? JMDer Kathy wrote that she sold her single earrings and a few other pieces for cash.

If you live in a warmer climate, you might consider holding a garage sale this month.

Offer Your Expertise

Snag a pet sitting job, or babysit, or teach a cooking class, or get a quick freelance job, or volunteer to work overtime at your job.

Perhaps you could offer handyman services, or do housecleaning, or dog walking, or tutoring.

For more ideas, our friends at The Penny Hoarder have compiled a fun list of 29 smart ways to make money on the side in 2017.

Challenge #3:

Get creative and bring in at least an extra $25 this month, and leave a comment on this page when you accomplish the goal. Hang on to the money and don’t put it in your general fund, because you’ll need it for Challenge #5.

We’d all love to know what you come up with to earn a little extra money this month – will you share your ideas and successes?


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Make Extra Money This Month – Your Third Challenge

  • Nancy

    Must say I work a bit extra every week at a second job. It takes the stress off of having to worry about money. I also get to see old coworkers and mix up my week a bit.

  • Melissa

    I made several trips to Half Price Books to sell unused CDs, DVDs, books and magazines. Space has been created and money came in 🙂

  • Lyn

    1. I finally submitted the rebate forms for my kids contact lenses. I was too lazy in the past, but was able to make it work. Yay. There should be $240 coming in some time this winter.

    2. I finally clarified my purpose – – to use my photography to celebrate and inspire. My focus is a project I call Compost Compositions – – To me, refuse, transformed, redeems.

    At this particular time, these images carry a powerful message about what it means to live in a healthy, democratic and diverse society. I Created a new website, figured out how to sell the images through Smugmug and made a small, inspirational book that I am selling on Blurb – – I will donate a portion of any profits I make to organizations the promote a flourishing planet. You can also find me on Instagram @evelynrswett

    3. If you know of any galleries or people who represent emerging photographers, let me know. I’m looking for an agent so I can focus on my work. Thank you all for the inspiration this month!

  • No takers yet for what I’ve listed on Nextdoor, but there’s still time. We did find the receipt for the medical bill we paid and were billed for a second time, and the hospital reimbursed us for it, saving us $97. Hooray.

  • Annette

    We cleaned out our entertainment unit and discovered a fair number of forgotten CD’s. We actually made $90 selling them to a local music store. Yipee! We plan on putting the money towards a nice dinner out in February.

  • Sara

    I made 28 dollars through a Community involvement. And my brother let me sell one of his course books for a 50%-50% split. I made 14 dollars from this.

  • Judy

    I have sold items on Ebay in the past….so put in some extra effort this month. I listed 5 items and 4 of them have sold so far….for a total of $102.75 after fees. They were linens and a collectible item. All have found happy new homes!

  • Bobbie Gordon

    I sold some old coin collections that were gathering dust.

  • maggi

    i just started being on call at night and some weekends for security in my apartment building. it doesnt pay much because there isnt much to do, but the extra money will help alot.

  • Betty

    I brought a bracelet to the jeweler to be repairs. It was more costlly to repair than I was willing to pay. So I sold it and made $56. Bingo! Challenge completed!

  • Kimberly

    working on it. Hate giving away things for nothing but I am trying to make a little.

    • Kimberly, I share your pain. Most used things that we sell only fetch a percentage of their value. The only silver lining, for me, is that trying to cast off my old stuff helps me be less inclined to make impulse buys in the future. Good luck with the challenge, and I’m sending you extra encouragement. xo

  • Colette Winston

    We have some great selling sites on Facebook. I use our local swap group as well as our vintage, shabby, and antique auction page. This is much easier than having a yard sale, and everyone comes to our house to pick up their items. I currently have bids on vintage soda fountain bar stools, a dressing table, enamelware teapot, and an antique egg basket. So far, the total will be over $220. Today someone bought a basket of rubber ducks that belonged to my grown daughters!

    • Colette, you have some real treasures and your results are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing the Facebook idea, too. I haven’t personally used Facebook for selling but I know others have had good success. You rock! xo

  • Susan Trimble

    I did ceramics years ago. I sold a piece today for $25.

  • Catherine Godfrey

    I sold old jewelry yesterday got $100. Still have more listed on EBay & Craigslist

  • Steve

    I am signed up to chaperone my school’s Winter Dance, which pays a special chaperone rate.

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