Many Americans are anxiously awaiting a second round of stimulus checks as they struggle to make ends meet. When the CARES Act was passed in March, individuals were eligible for up to $1,200 each in stimulus payments or up to $2,400 per married couple filing jointly. The average payment came out to $1,809, according to IRS data.
For months now, there has been no question that more stimulus checks are very much needed, but there has been great uncertainty about whether they’ll become a part of the next coronavirus economic relief bill. President Donald Trump recently suggested that Congress send more stimulus checks using $300 billion in remaining Covid relief funds, but whether this will actually happen remains unknown.
As you wait to hear more updates on stimulus checks, you can hang tight… or you can take a proactive approach to getting more money in your pocket sooner rather than later.
Below, 12 ways to make a quick $1,200 in just a few weeks or months.
1. Become a reseller
When Olivia Stephenson, a doctoral research fellow at St. John’s University, isn’t studying, she can be found rummaging through the Goodwill Outlet or other thrift stores and then reselling her finds online. A Lululemon tank top that she snagged for $2 later sold for $38 online. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Stephenson has made over $4,500 on social ecommerce marketplace Poshmark. Last month, she made just over $1,400.
For Stephenson, a little research during her early days of reselling has gone a long way. She learned that on Sundays, Goodwill tags new items at 50 percent off, so there will likely be the biggest variety of items for the least amount of money on that day. She has also learned to take advantage of the Goodwill Outlet’s pay by the pound promotion. Furthermore, by watching other resellers’ YouTube videos, she quickly recognized that every reseller has a specific target audience, and for her, brands such as Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret PINK and Lululemon do quite well in terms of making a profit.
Recently, Stephenson has been detailing her reselling adventures on her YouTube channel. Her advice to up-and-coming resellers is to start by selling items in your own closet and then invest that money in thrift store finds. “When you first start looking into reselling, you’ll find some big success stories,” Stephenson says. “Just know that it could take some time and that you shouldn’t get discouraged. While it’s easy to feel discouraged at first, try to find out what works best for you and your audience and use that knowledge to inform future purchases,” she adds.
2. Sell handmade goods
Take a look at Etsy or other online ecommerce sites, and you’ll find no shortage of handmade items for sale. Wreaths, T-shirts, crocheted items and blankets, masks, furniture and the list goes on.
Jamie Torello, of East Haven, Conn., began making and selling beautiful wreaths and centerpieces at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to channel her creative talents and make some extra money. Within about five weeks, she made her first $1,200 in profit. She promoted her decorations through word of mouth and on Instagram and Facebook, posting pictures of each item she made. Her best advice to others hoping to tap into their creative talents for extra income is not to wait. “If you have an idea and you want to try it, do it,” Torello says. “You’ll surprise yourself with the talents you never knew you had.”
“You can make someone else happy while feeding your passion,” Torello says.
3. Provide lawn or home care
If landscaping, power washing or cleaning homes is a strength of yours, consider offering services to neighbors, friends and family. With some promotion on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, you can easily spread the word to get more business. You can also sign up with a site like Jiffy, which allows you to list home repair and maintenance services, like landscaping and cleaning. Expected pay ranges from $40 to $85 per hour, according to SideHusl.com.
4. Provide childcare or pet care services
Babysitting, pet sitting and dog walking can lead to extra income fast. Consider signing up for jobs on a site like Care.com or spreading the word among your trusted circle of family and friends. There’s also a growing need for virtual school help these days. If you have experience or expertise in this area, be sure to emphasize that when applying for positions.
5. Shop for others
Consider partnering with Instacart, Shipt or Dumpling to earn extra money shopping and delivering groceries and other consumer products to customers. Instacart and Shipt are well known and can provide a steady stream of gigs. Dumpling is less known but offers greater flexibility. For example, you can set your own hours and availability and specify which stores you’re willing to shop.
6. Deliver food
Delivering meals through GrubHub, Uber Eats or DoorDash can provide quick and easy money. To sign up, you’ll need a car (or a bike in some cities), as well as a valid driver’s license, auto insurance for your car, a valid state I.D. for bike riders and a smartphone.
7. Provide rides
Consider becoming involved with Uber or Lyft if you’d like to provide car services to others and benefit from a flexible schedule. If you apply to provide rides, you can expect a vehicle inspection at a location near you to determine if your vehicle is ride-ready and then a background check will follow.
8. Slash your monthly expenses
Take a close inventory of your monthly expenses and find opportunities to cut down on your spending. From app subscriptions (some of which you might not even know you have) and gym memberships to cable, utilities and grocery bills, it’s possible to save a decent amount of money each month. Make a spreadsheet and challenge yourself to save as much as possible. This might involve calling your cable company to negotiate a better package or cutting the cord completely by using a streaming service instead. Better meal planning and designating some days as “no spend” days can also do wonders for your wallet. You can also remove your credit card information from online accounts so that it makes it more difficult to make online purchases. Track how much you save each month, knowing that it’s the equivalent of extra money earned.
9. Become an online teacher
Consider teaching English as a second language online by signing up with a site like VIPKid. To apply, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience teaching, tutoring, coaching or mentoring is recommended. The site provides lesson plans and requires that teachers have reliable technology and are eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada. Teachers can set their own schedule with no minimum hour commitment.
10. Find freelance work
If you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer, editor, publicist, graphic designer or more, there are a number of options available. You can spread the word about your services to friends, family and everyone in your professional network to see where you might be a fit for offering creative solutions. You can also sign up for freelance sites such as Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com.
Are you super organized and detail-oriented? Consider becoming an executive assistant, which makes an average of $28 an hour, according to FlexJobs. Is market research your specialty? Quantitative market researchers average about $25 an hour. For more details about high-paying side gigs, from a graphic designer to a sign language interpreter, check here.
11. Provide market research services
There are a number of platforms out there that allow you to provide insight or your opinions for extra income. Ivueit provides extra money to those willing to take on projects that require them to take photos and provide information about commercial units to property managers. There’s also market research site Product Tube, which allows users to record short videos about products and consumer habits in exchange for Amazon
12. Apply for a new job
If you’re currently unemployed or looking for a better job opportunity, consider applying for a new full-time or part-time job in your chosen field. Take a look at this list of the top 25 companies that are hiring work-from-anywhere jobs, according to FlexJobs.