Last week I posted an article about some unconventional ways to save money that people are using in our down economy. The ideas varied from roasting their own coffee (I’d do that!) to no longer using toilet paper (no thanks!). While I know some of the ideas aren’t for everyone, I think it’s a good exercise to think creatively about ways to save money. Even if you’re not struggling, it can be a good way to get some extra money to save, invest or give.
That last article I looked at the topic of saving money, ways to cut back on spending. I like to look at both sides of the coin on this site, however, and today I thought I would cover the other side of the spectrum – ways to make income that may be a bit more unconventional and weird.
10 Not So Normal Ways To Make Money
- Bleacher scavenger: Some folks will regularly go underneath the bleachers after local high school football games or other events to find and pocket what people have lost (and that isn’t personally identifiable to be returned. People will often find jewelry, cameras, money and more.
- Hunting for diamonds… in parking lots: One idea that sounded bizarre to me at first, but that makes sense once you think about it is becoming a parking lot diamond hunter. The reasoning behind it is this. On hot summer days people drive around in their air conditioned cars with the AC on full blast. When they park and get out of their car and then step into the hot temps that are magnified by the blacktop in the parking lot, the metal in their jewelry can expand a bit and sometimes the diamonds can pop out of their settings. True? I don’t know, but even if you don’t find diamonds, you’ll often find plenty of money and other items in a parking lot.
- Pooper scooper: There’s quite often good money to be made in doing things that other people don’t want to do. I’ve read several accounts of people who start a dog poop scooping business where for a monthly fee they’ll come out on a regular basis to pick up all the dog waste in your yard and dispose of it.
- Sell your bodily fluids, or be a guinea pig: You can make some regular cash by selling your blood, sperm, eggs (ladies) or other bodily fluids. If you’re really crazy you can get paid to be in clinical trials for new drugs too! One guy started a site called “Just Another Lab Rat” to detail how he makes extra money from clinical trials. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!
- Sell your hair: Some people will sell their hair to make a little extra money. The hair is usually used to make wigs, hair extensions or used in artwork. One woman sold 27 inches of her hair for $1200, while others routinely make between $300-900.
- Hunting for scrap metal: Some folks will look for and sell scrap metal to make an extra buck. They’ll often go down alleys before garbage collection day and scavenge items that can be resold for scrap, or recycling. Another thing that some people will do is go to places that have music festivals, art fairs and other big gatherings, and then collect and recycle cans and other metal items. People in states where cans have a deposit on them like Michigan can make even more. Some people go too far on this one, however, stealing copper wiring out of houses and power lines to re-sell. I just saw a story about one man who was killed stealing copper from the power lines in one neighborhood. Be careful and stay legal!
- Road kill or dead animal cleanup specialist: Work as a road kill cleanup specialist. Contract with the local city or municipality to remove road kill in the area. You can also do this work for private folks by placing ads in your local area or on craigslist to remove dead animals from people’s property or homes.
- Be a busker and entertain for tips: I know of people who will go and perform on their instruments at local festivals, coffee shops or busy public places to make tips. Others will do juggling performances, magic and slight of hand trickery. On a good day you can make a few hundred in tips, or as little as a few dollars. Of course, to do this you’ll need some entertaining abilities.
- Crime scene cleanup technician: If you’re not averse to all sorts blood, gore, awful smells and disease risk, you can make good money cleaning up crime scenes. By some accounts this can be a six figure career that doesn’t require a college degree in most cases. Of course you’ll have to be witness to the worst of humankind, and cleaning up blood and guts isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.
- Be on a virtual jury: You can sign up to be on a virtual jury for attorneys looking to try out different defenses for a case – to see how it will play. Check out sites like http://www.ejury.com/ or http://www.virtualjury.com/ for details.
So there are 10 weird, unusual and unconventional ways to make money.
If you have your own weird ways that you’ve heard of or use to make money, we’d love to hear it in the comments!
Last Edited: 19th August 2011