Turning hobbies into extra income

Do something you love to earn extra cash.

If you are trying to balance your household budget and accomplish your 2017 goals, you may have discovered one of two problems. You don’t have enough income or your expenses are too high and there is nowhere to cut. Before you use credit, you may want to think twice and tackle the one problem that may have a solution.

How do I make more money? There are many answers to that question, but not any one is the answer for everyone. You may be able to ask for a raise or work more hours. You may be able to change jobs or get a second job. In the spring and summer you may be able to have a garage sale. Those of you who are internet savvy may be able to sell stuff on one of the online lists or groups. If these options are not the answer, then increasing your monthly income may take some creativity.

Speaking of creativity, some turn their hobbies into extra income. We have all heard the saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Junk yard owners aside, some have turned “junk” into “treasure” through their hobbies. One example is my colleague Scott Matteson. With a bench grinder, wire wheel, sand paper and other simple tools, Scott has turned old, broken and discarded junk into beautiful, useful tools. He took an old rusted axe head, applied a wire wheel to remove the rust, polished it up and bought a new handle. In the end, he had made a beautiful axe and was able to gift it to a friend. Scott has fixed up many old tools and he has even purchased old everyday table knives for pennies on the dollar and using a grinder, turned them into a set of steak knives. Scott says that he has to get better at putting an edge on the knives, but when you are working with free or inexpensive materials and doing something that you love, you do not mind the time it takes to learn details such as putting on a sharp edge. When Scott needs a little direction for one of his ideas, he usually does an online search or watches one of the many “how to” videos online. In the end, Scott is spending his spare time doing something he enjoys instead of overspending his budget. Whether the result is something he can give away or sell, the benefit received from the hobby has already paid dividends.

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Before (top) and after (bottom) photos by Scott Matteson

Making financial changes can take time and be challenging. Doing something that is both fun and has potential to earn extra income may be a good place to start. If you are struggling your finances, sometimes it helps to speak to a professional. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu.

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