And here we are in March! We'd like to check in with a series of challenges to help us achieve some goals this year. In February, we gave you the challenge of giving up something (or a series of somethings) for one month to save $250. How did you do?
One of our staffers (and her partner) gave up alcohol, soda, a daily hot-chocolate habit, and suspended their gym membership for the month and resolved to work out at home. All in all, she calculated they saved $260 (and lost five pounds). She admits that all the changes won't stick, but it was a great way to see just how quickly the little things added up. And now she has some cash to put toward a future challenge.
Here's the March challenge for our GRS community: What can you do this month to earn an extra $150?
We heard from many of you last month that you had already cut your budget to the bone, or that you were focused on earning income instead of cutting. That's great! If you've already identified these opportunities in your life and budget, then, by all means, keep on keepin' on! Some readers, however, are just beginning their financial journeys.
So, what can you do just this month to earn those extra funds?
If you're stuck in the house because of bad weather, figure out what you can unload on Craigslist or eBay to make some money. This will be a double-play: You'll get a head start on your spring cleaning and de-cluttering and you'll make some money.
Do you have an untapped skill that you can parlay into some extra cash? Consider creating accounts and marketing your unique craft or silly skill on Etsy or Fiverr. Are you pretty good with a digital camera? You probably have some friends or family members who'd pay you $20 to snap some photos of their family for an hour. The photos don't have to be perfect to be precious; they will probably just be happy to have something recent without Mom or Dad missing from the photo.
What about unconventional ways to make extra money, like participating in a medical research study or donating blood plasma (one woman made $7000 in a year)? Do you have a stack of points on a credit card? Last month I cashed in a few thousand points for a $250 statement credit.
We'd love to hear about your experiences with this challenge through the month. Who knows? Maybe some of those money-making methods might stick around for a while.
So tell us how you will earn a chunk of change this month — and maybe every month?
Author: Ellen Cannon
Ellen Cannon was the editorial director of the financial services sites at QuinStreet from 2010-2015. She has covered personal finance for magazines and websites for more than 20 years, including five years as managing editor of Bankrate.com. She lives in South Florida with her kitty and sunshine.