Ten Ways To Find Extra Money To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

by Hank Coleman

After years of overspending, many Americans are still struggling to pay off their credit card debt. According to a recent Trans-Union study, the average credit card holder had a balance of $5,165 which is down from the $5,776 that Americans were carrying last year on average. But, the numbers might be artificially rosy thanks to debts that have been charged off by the card companies from people who can’t or won’t pay their debts back.

If you find yourself in $5,165 worth of credit card debt or more, you can dig yourself out of that debt with a little hard work. I won’t lie to you and tell you that it will be easy. It won’t, but you can do it if you truly want to. Here are ten ways to find extra money to throw at your credit card debt.

1. Have A Yard Sale. I think that yard sales are a lost art. I hate yard sales, but other people love them. If you hate them too, maybe you can find a couple of families that you can combine your stuff with. That way, you provide your goods to sale and make someone else who is better at selling or negotiating sell them.

2. Sell Old CDs and DVDs. My wife brought up a great point a few years ago. How many times am I actually going to watch season four of the Sopranos? I had accumulated over 400 DVDs that I never watch. Just selling them for $10 each would net $4,000. What could you do with an extra $4,000? That would be almost your entire $5,165 worth of credit card debt assuming that you are an average American. I love to sell CDs and DVDs on Half.com.

3. Sell Stuff on eBay. The same is true with the rest of your stuff. You can make a little bit of extra money selling the stuff in your closet or garage. I have boxes of stuff in my garage that I have not used in years. I have tons of things from my childhood in boxes. Deep down, I honestly know that I am never going to open those boxes. Most of that stuff should be sold or thrown out.

4. Deliver Pizzas. Dave Ramsey loves to tell people to get an extra job to help pay off their debts. Delivering pizzas is his favorite part-time job for people to get.

5. Mow Lawns. I am constantly blown away by how un-enterprising the kids are in my neighborhood. Does no one want to mow lawns anymore? I had to go on Craigslist to find someone to come over and mow my lawn. If I was a person who needed a little extra money, I would have at least stopped and rang my doorbell after walking by my unmowed yard day after day. There are 80 homes in my neighborhood. At a price of $40 per yard, there is a potential $6,400 per month to be made (every home mowed twice a month).

6. Do Freelance Work. When a recession strikes, freelancers come out of the woodwork. Selling a service on the side is a great way to earn a little extra income. There are a few great sites out there to help you such as Fiverr.com and elance.

7. Take In A Baseball Player. It may come as a shock to you, but minor league athletes do not make very much money at all. Many have to subsist on either a signing bonus or a part-time job on the side. Many minor league baseball clubs and college summer league teams have to rely on families in the community to sponsor a player and let him live in their home and provide him with meals.

8. Sell Plasma. Blood plasma is prepared by spinning a tube of fresh blood in a centrifuge until the blood cells fall to the bottom of the test tube. It is just like giving blood. You can make approximately $240 a month if you donate twice a week.

9. Sell Photos. I buy most of the photos you see on Own The Dollar from istock.com. Enterprising photographers and even everyday photo bugs can sell their photos to publishers like me and earn a percentage of the sale. iStock pays contributors a base royalty rate of 20% for each file downloaded, and rates can go up to 40% of the purchase price.

10. Pet Sit. There are tons of people out there who want to travel but are tied to their homes thanks to the pets they love. There are tons of opportunities to pet sit if you get a little creative to find the jobs.

There are many options to earn extra money to get out of credit card debt. A lot of people just focus on one half of the equation by trying to reduce your expenses. Managing your budget is a great tool, but there are only so many cups of coffee and lunches out on the town that you can skimp on. You have to raise your income. These ten ways to find extra money will help. There are many others that I did not mention. You just need to get creative to find them.

What is your favorite way to earn a little extra? I’d love to hear what works for you in the comment section.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

fern July 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

i’ve been out of work for over 9 months.

I regularly do online surveys, which earns me $40 to $50 a month. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but I can do it from the comfort of my own home with no overhead expenses, like gas.

I also like doing market research focus groups. The last one I did earned me $200 for a full day, plus they fed me breakfast and lunch. Most of them pay $100 for a few hours of your time.

I’ve sold stuff on Craig’s List, but it’s very hit or miss. Tag sales require a huge amount of prep work and you usually end up with a lot of stuff even when prices are dirt cheap.

RACNicole July 7, 2010 at 5:15 am

Hi, this is Nicole from vWorker (formerly known as Rentacoder). Like Elance and Fiverr, vWorker provides access to a wide variety of jobs. Success at these types of sites strongly depends on what these services offer, and the services available at Elance and Fiverr could limit that success. Consider the following:

1. Workers on Elance cannot place more than 3 bids a month unless they pay a subscription fee ($9.95/month for 20, $19.94/month for 40 or $39.95/month for 60). That’s going to make budget management tough for a person struggling out of credit card debt.

2. On Elance, an Employer can challenge you with an arbitration at any time. If they do, you must either choose to pay the non-refundable arbitration fee ($66-$133) or forfeit your money-back guarantee. Not good for the cash-strapped worker.

In addition, an Employer intent on abusing the system can stall the start of arbitration on Elance for 21 business days and during this period your money is not available to you. Credit card companies don’t wait for their due payments, why should workers?

3. Elance does not guarantee any hours until you’ve worked at least 80 hours. During this time you may find yourself working for free. Elance only guarantees to pay you for the first 40 hours you work in a week. If you are working longer hours to help a client, you may find yourself working for free.

4. It’s going to take a lot of $5 jobs to pay off credit card debt.

For more details on Elance, see:
http://www.vWorker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/misc/CompetitorInformation/OneOnOneComparisons/ElanceVersusVWorker_ForSellers.aspx

I think the best way to work out of credit card debt is to work with a service that has a worker’s best interest at heart. And vWorker has been that service for 10 years now.

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