Our current economy being what it is, plenty of people are looking to make extra money, fast. Here are five ways to do so, ideas you can put to work today.

1.If you’re like me, your garage is probably piled with boxes of things you either no longer use or just plain don’t need. Get the whole family out there and spend the day going through all of this stuff. If you’re the pack-rat type, forget the sentimentality and don’t waste time trying to rationalize a reason to keep something you haven’t used in a year. Put flyers up around the neighborhood, along with an ad in the local paper. A friend of mine holds a garage sale three or four times a year (she’s got four kids) and makes $200-300 every time.

2.Make holiday craft items. You can sell these at crafts fairs, church bazaars and, depending on the item, even in small local shops. Items like wreaths, candles, decorated baskets and Christmas ornaments sell like hotcakes! This is a great way to make extra money fast.

3.Most of us have clothing items and accessories in our closets that we no longer use, like or need. Have everyone in the family go through their closets and sort out unwanted items. Again, ditch the sentimentality. Keep your goal in mind – you’re looking to make extra money fast, not go on a nostalgic journey. Make sure each item is in good repair and clean. Take the clothes and accessories to a consignment shop and sell them. If you need the money right now, most shops will buy them and pay you upfront, although you’ll take a reduction in the percentage offered. For example, if you wait until they sell, you generally get 50% of the selling price. For an immediate sale, you’ll get something in the neighborhood of 40% of the projected selling price.

4.If you have valuable jewelry, it’s hard to part with, for obvious reasons. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. A good quality half-carat diamond will fetch you at least $250 on the spot at a pawn shop. If you anticipate an improved financial situation in the near future, you can always redeem it. The usual contract gives you three months to buy it back. If you have gold jewelry, such as necklaces, rings and bracelets, you can get some significant money with these pieces, as the price of gold is quite high now. Such jewelry must bear an imprint indicating whether it is 14-karat or 24-karat gold, as the value is assessed by weight. This is perhaps the easiest way to make extra money fast – as in today.

5.Last, but not least, consider taking any old part-time job. Minimum wage jobs, especially ones most people don’t want to do, usually pay on a weekly basis. You don’t want to be picky when you’re trying to make extra money fast. Even if you’re digging ditches in the rain for a week, you will have money at the end of that week.

So there you have it. Five guaranteed ways to make extra money, fast. Good luck!

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