Updated: Jun 26
You've decided you want to buy a house someday, and after creating a household budget, you realized you need to earn more money. You could take on a part-time job, but your present assignment, career, or family obligations make that difficult. So instead, there are other ways to supplement your regular income. You have probably heard the term “side hustle” or maybe the more formal “second income stream." Both ideas refer to earning extra income in less traditional means. There are many possibilities but start by thinking about what you know and what you can do.
Think about the skills you use in your regular job or skills you have but don’t use. Can you write or do computer graphics, for example? Even if you are just an expert in creating resumes or writing letters, your skills are marketable. If your good at creating logos, that can earn you money. Other jobs include accounting, editing, bookkeeping, personal assistance, data entry, translation, and customer support. While you can set yourself up as an independent contractor and try to get clients yourself, you might want to try one of the many freelancer sites first, like upwork.com or freelancer.com. You may not earn much at first, but you will add to your experience and learn a lot about how freelancing works. If you find a few steady clients, you can easily add meaningful income by working a few hours throughout the week, whenever you are able.
An online selling site, like eBay, Etsy, Shopify, or Amazon, is easy to set up, and you might be surprised to see what people buy. A smartphone is all you need. Snap pictures of the items, describe and price them, and post. You may have enough unwanted saleable items around your own home to get you started. Books, LP Records, CDs are a start. Collectables that no longer interest you, clothes, or shoes you no longer wear (especially designer) are all possibilities. Some sites specialize in clothing. Once you get a feel for what people want, have some fun cruising yard sales and secondhand shops to find bargains on things to resell. You can also buy and sell new items, but it takes to research and investment.
There are websites that send you a rebate whenever you buy through them. Some people think of cash-back deals as saving money, but if you purchase things through these sites, you will buy anyway, you are making money. If you have a shopping addiction, steer clear of these deals because you can get caught up, buy things you don't need, and blow your budget. On the other hand, if you are a disciplined buyer, you could earn extra money by spending the time to take the required buying steps. The portals make money by referring online shoppers to selling sites, and you, as the buyer, get part of the funds they earn.
If you want to earn some extra money but can't take on a regular part-time job, you can freelance, sell online or make money by shopping. Adding to savings can help you prepare to buy a house. Although VA Home Loans don't require a deposit, there are closing costs and other expenses when you move into a home of your own.