How to Earn Some Extra Cash (and Not Get Fired For It)

A lot of companies these days are asking employees–even those at the lowest level–to sign non-compete clauses. This means that if you work for a company that, say, creates apps, you cannot start selling your own apps on the side or work with another app creation company at the time time. Some companies are incredibly strict about this and others are intentionally vague, like Jimmy John?s–and they leave the door open to go after you later if they decide you?ve violated that particular contract. In keeping with our app example, your boss may decide to fire you after discovering that you helped a friend market an app that she has created.

This wouldn?t be a big deal if first ?real job? salaries actually paid you enough to live and keep paying your bills. Unfortunately, even if you?re living with three roommates in a one bedroom apartment that isn?t always the case. So how do you bring in extra cash without risking your current precarious employment?

Sell Your Old Tech

You want the new iPhone. Who wouldn?t? It?s awesome. It is also incredibly expensive. Even if you?re due for an upgrade, finding the cash to come up with the discounted rate can be tough. There are, of course, websites that will promise to sell you the newest technology for pennies on the dollar. It?s better, though, to buy your new phone from a reputable dealer. That way you don?t risk accidentally buying a stolen phone (a very real possibility when buying from independent sellers online, especially those trying to unload expensive stuff really cheaply). It is better to save up for the upgrade and then recoup the cost by finding reputable buyers who will let you sell a used iPhone 5?to them.

Pet Sitting/Dog-Walking

Yes, really. It sounds kind of cheesy but pet sitting has become a viable full time income for a lot of people. According to an article on PennyHoarder, pet-sitters can make up to $100 a night. There are lots of ways to cobble together this income. A lot of people do it by allowing a dog or cat to spend a couple of nights in their home (or spending the night in the home-owner?s home). It can also be done via drop-in visits that can be accomplished before or after work or even, depending on the location on your lunch break. Typically the best way to start earning money this way is to register with a pet-sitting service so that you can get some referrals and then branch out on your own. There are also a few basic certifications that you?ll want to get but they don?t cost much and won?t take much of your time.

Sell Your Car/Rent Your Parking Space

Bicycling costs much less than driving and will allow you to cancel your gym membership (more savings!). Simply carry a set of dry clothing in your backpack in case of inclement weather. You can use the money you make from your car sale to pay off some loans or build up your emergency fund (do not use it to buy a bunch of cool stuff, as tempting as that might be). Then, rent out your parking space to someone. You can rent it out on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. As long as you?re charging even slightly less than it would cost someone to pay for street parking all day you shouldn?t have any problems renting it out. You can charge more than street parking rates if your spot is in a covered and secure structure.

Note: You could also drive for Uber in your spare time–they?ve been advertising all over the country lately.

The key is to find a way to earn money that won?t violate any non-compete or non-disclosure statements in your employment contract and that won?t get in the way of your day job. Get creative and you?ll be making more than enough to stay afloat!

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