How to Make Extra Money: Earn $2,000 Without Getting a Job: 12 Ingenious Ideas


It’s one thing if you’re in search of income as a more permanent way of securing your lifestyle; but let’s say that you happen to be two-grand short of next month’s impromptu Caribbean cruise, then this paints a completely different picture. The drawback to filling out applications for employment to fund your upcoming excursion (or whatever else could require $2,000), is the fact that you’ll likely have to wait on that first paycheck …and you’ll have to wait an entire month to get the first one. Unfortunately, that ship has already sailed by the time you can drop the cash on a window cabin with a view.

Also, considering that even a generous, say, $17 an hour is the most you’re probably going to earn in a part time position, you’re looking at almost 118 hours –or about 6 weeks at 20 hours per week—between you and your cruise and that’s just not going to work.

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So, is there a better solution?

In fact, there are 12 that could put that $2,000 in your pocket with time to spare.

#12 – Sell Your Stuff: Because, Minimalism

This particular method could really get the job done, depending on what you’re selling. Within just a few days, you could reach your $2,000 …but of course, here are just a few things to consider before liquidating your worldly possessions:

  • You’ll need to secure a market with a demand for your stuff, such as using sites like com. This option will certainly give you the best selling price, however, you’ll also have to wait for potential buyers. Also, don’t forget apps, like LetGo.
  • If time were an issue, there’s always the possibility of approaching businesses that purchase used goods. Such business would consist of companies like Gamestop or 2nd & Charles, or even your local pawn shop. The drawback to this route, on the other hand, is that you’ll receive a very low price for your things. After all, these businesses must turn a profit in addition to the cost of buying their used inventory from sellers.
  • Last, whether you’re the sentimental type or not, you may not enjoy parting ways with your things, especially if that includes the living room couch.

#11 – From Garage Sale to PayPal

You might have noticed that I neglected to mention perhaps the most notable of all marketplace websites: eBay. Yes, eBay could certainly be included in tip #12, but it’s also worth taking a different approach with a useful site.

One great way of generating income on eBay is by using the old tried-and-true method of turning a profit: buy low, sell high. For this reason, many will scour their local thrift stores and will especially be seen doing 5mph in garage sale-rich neighborhoods. Savvy eBayers will purchase items for an extremely low asking price and then ‘flip’ (sell) those same items on eBay shortly thereafter. In order to make this work, however, you will need to a) know enough about the items you are purchasing in order to determine if a profit can be made, and b) know if eBay buyers are in search of these particular items.

The good news is that, as opposed to the last tip, this method won’t force you to bid a sad farewell to your childhood model train set.

#10 – Profit From Coins, Stamps, and Baseball Champs

There is also another interesting opportunity that can be found on most marketplace sites. If you are able to acquire certain collector’s items or commodities, then you can almost instantly know what you’ll be able to get for them. Obviously, you will need to possess an updated reference for this information. But, in most cases, the asking and selling prices are usually fairly consistent.

In the case of baseball cards and stamps, for instance, you’ll have to know exactly what you’re buying and, even trickier yet, how to find a supply of these items. Yet by the same token, a single high-value stamp or sports card (if purchased cheaply from an unaware seller) could be all that stands between you and your $2,000.

Precious metal coins, on the other hand, are much easier to assess in their value. Since sites like make it extremely easy to reference the most updated prices, the homework is much easier, but the profits become much smaller.

#9 – Got a Hefty Diesel Flatbed In the Backyard?

Let’s switch gears for a moment…

You don’t always have to sell things in order to turn a profit. It’s easy to run out of inventory (which will also require a startup investment in order to get the whole thing moving), so let’s explore a different possibility: how about that nice big pickup truck that’s just basking in your backyard?

The reason why this could work in your favor comes down to a simple fact of modern (suburban) life. Most people drive a car, but when it’s time to haul a giant wardrobe from the mother-in-law’s house and across town to rest safely in the guest room, there’s just no way to get that job done with a Prius. And this is where you, and your purring F350, come in handy.

The only trick here is to make sure that your rates are set strategically, accounting for fuel, time, and upkeep/labor. Additionally, you’ll also need to know where to find people in need of this service, so I’d recommend using social media and public bulletin boards as a good jump off point for your marketing efforts.

Soon enough, someone, somewhere near you, is going to need to move a big heavy thing that would certainly lay waste to their 2011 Hyundai Accent.

#8 – Find Clients Who Can’t Work a Screw Driver

Let’s also not forget another notable part of modern life. Many of us have completely forgotten the art of fixing highly important things that tend to break every so often …such as water pipes, light switches, railings, etc.

Now, let’s say that you have not forgotten how to fix these things, and are actually quite good at doing so. Offering your own handy abilities would then put you in the freelance business, which means that your costs boil down to your time and the fact that you can do useful things that others cannot. Simply charge a better rate than the local plumber, and only a few busted kitchen sinks could put two grand in your pocket rather quickly.

Bear in mind, however, that marketing this particular skill could be a bit of a risk. Especially if you are unlicensed, then your clientele will need to be acquired via word-of-mouth and through acquaintances. That way, a mistake doesn’t force you to give up your $2,000 because a small claims judge ordered you to do so.

#7 – Buy, Modify, Create, Repurpose, Sell …Repeat As Needed

One amazingly effective method of generating a profit off goods is to add an aesthetic, creative touch of your own. When something is sold at face value, your profit potential doesn’t have much wiggle room from there but people are very different in terms of artistic taste.

If you were blessed with a creative eye and a bit of ingenuity, you could do just about anything. For instance, you could sell things like…

  • Paintings or photography
  • Craft decor wall art
  • Jewelry and other intricate metallic items
  • Repurposed/rejuvenated antique furniture
  • Children’s toys
  • Lawn ornaments and garden decorations

Really, the sky is the limit in what you can do. Again, the difficult part will be in securing a market (and don’t forget startup costs/labor); however, if you were able to rent a booth at an art show or local marketplace, then your creations could have you cruising in no time.

#6 – Become the “Cocker Spaniel of Wall Street”

Unlike the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, you should probably stick to ethical means of making money. With this being said, that doesn’t rule out the potential for money to be made on the more nimble and lightweight stock exchanges. According to, penny stocks are most likely going to offer the highest chances in the shortest amount of time:

The terms “penny stocks” and “micro-cap stocks” can be used interchangeably. Technically, micro-cap stocks are classified as such based on their market capitalizations, while penny stocks are looked at in terms of their price.

Essentially, you can purchase a penny stock at usually about $1. And while this tends to create an extremely risky investment environment, the penny stock is listed in this article because …well… you’re probably not betting your 401k and life savings on the stability of a garage-based startup company that delivers ice cream to neighborhood children via aerial drone.

Obviously, you will need a bit of knowledge of how the system works (in addition to a bit of startup funding). And, also let’s just get this out in the open: only attempt this method if you’re willing to risk not going on your Caribbean cruise.

#5 – Uber

Using Uber to make your $2,000 is an idea that requires very little explanation, given just how well-known it’s become over such a short period of time.

However, since the company had created such massive media waves over the last several years, the company has had to do some shifting on its own in terms of claiming how much their ‘freelance’ drivers make in a given year. It does stand to reason that when Uber said their drivers made an average of $90,000/yr, many drivers were left wondering why they never received their own cut of such lovely earnings.

All in all, $90,000 was a gross overestimation, especially when taking into consideration the costs of doing business.

Ultimately, it really comes down to using common-sense business practices, and only driving when people most likely need rides. So simply keep your Uber app running during the evenings and on the weekends -and being in a nightlife-active city certainly helps. While I wouldn’t recommend making Uber a career decision, it’s definitely not a bad way to make a little temporary cash.

#4 – There’s Always #gofundme

If you’re a bit nervous about making the ticket deadline, you might also have a contingency plan at your disposal. It is true that, a rather famous crowdsourcing site, is usually used as a way for charities and special causes to quickly raise money. But then, you’ll sometimes get stories about the money being raised for less humanitarian reasons. For instance:

Gregory “Catman” Good is a well-known superfan of the Carolina Panthers, and has never missed a single home game since 1995. When he attends their games, he can be seen sporting a bright blue costume, complete with a wacky wig and a Panthers cape. To repay the joy he has brought to so many over the years, Catman’s friends and fans are helping to send him to Santa Clara this weekend to cheer on his beloved team.

And so, whereas our friend, “Catman”, feels strongly enough about the Panthers to raise the cash to keep the tradition alive; there’s no reason why your Caribbean cruise should be overlooked either. With gofundme and a bit of convincing content, you might just find that people are willing to help with your $2,000 goal.

#3 – Think Outside the Box

Though there could be a great deal to say about innovating your way through to your seaward vacation…

At the end of the day, it really comes down to leveraging your own unique ingenuity. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but those tend to shine brightest when we’re under the gun and need to pull a rabbit out of a hat in a short amount of time. With that being said, of course, the basic rule of thumb for thinking outside the business box is to follow these two rules:

  • First, the whole point of what you’re doing is to make a profit, so as long as your bottom line is moving upward. Then, at least you’re on the right track.
  • Second, you have to think from the client/customer perspective, and why on earth they would give you money.

And the more creative you can blend those two rules together in the most harmonious way, the more you’ll stand out and get people talking.

On a smaller scale, it could simply be a matter of inventing a brilliant self-selling trinket and selling them at a local AAA baseball game.

#2 – Freelance: Doing That Thing You’re Good At

Perhaps one of the most common ways money is made without the need for a job is to use your intellectual skills to generate the income you want. So, if you’re a graphic artist, a computer programmer, a writer, or even if you’re a video game genius, chances are, there’s probably a freelance market available. All you need to do is figure out where it’s hiding and how to access it.

But before you advance toward contacting potential clients with a fancy cover letter, the first thing you must absolutely do is to update your LinkedIn page. It’s the profile that clients sometimes use exclusively to weigh your qualifications, and if not, they’ll want to determine the consistency between what was mentioned in your LinkedIn page and your other professional profiles.

Your profiles are basically the new 21st century resume, and to a freelancer, a resume is basically your billboard, business card, and brochure all wrapped up into one place.

#1 – Search Your Soul For the Dollar Signs Within

Lastly, there’s what you’re good at, and then, there’s what you really really want to do. To explain, we’re all basically good at something important and ‘relevant’ to the marketplace; however, there are also less marketable things that we’re simply passionate about. But when it comes to business, it’s not always about doing something marketable (because it’s probably already being done).

It’s often about taking a major creative risk, and getting people talking about you…

Because who could ignore that perfect Elvis impression with the guitar solo that was simply on point? Who knows? Maybe you’ll make that first $2,000 after a long trip to Vegas when you were making people believe that the great one is still alive and well, headed on a cruise in a week or so.

Happy travels!

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