10 Ideas for Saving Up a Down Payment Through Alternative Income

Written by admin on December 7th, 2010

For many people, it is hard to come up with even 5% down to qualify for a better mortgage. One great way is to make a little money on the side and apply it to a high-yield savings account. Here are 10 ideas for generating more income:

1. Get a second job. This won’t work for everyone, but if you have some spare hours that you don’t mind investing, try it out. Even a couple of hours a week at a demonstration stand can mean a hundred extra dollars a month.

2. Take contract work. Do you know how to do or make something? You would be surprised at the amount of people who are willing to pay you to teach them something. Check out your local community recreation guide or center for advice on how to start and market yourself.

3. Invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds and/or trusts. You might want some professional advice on the best ones to invest in, but over time these can add a lot to your savings. Bank on several years’ worth of investment to see a decent return on your money.

4. Go for online income. Make a website or blog and put ads on it. Sell your designs on cafepress.com. There are places that will give you money for photos and online movies that prove to be popular. You can even write reviews for money on the Internet – do a search for money making opportunities to get huge amounts of information on the subject. Beware, however, that many unscrupulous individuals and businesses will offer you chances to earn income off the Internet, promising huge dividends for very little effort. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

5. If you have skills that you can apply at home, like writing, drawing, etc. see if there are people out there who are looking for your talents. Elance.org is one example of a site that matches writers, artists, Internet experts, etc. with people willing to pay for their products.

6. If you have a gardening bent, consider selling produce, plants and herbs at farmer’s markets. Or, sell baked goods and crafts – there are people who haunt farmer’s markets, looking for locally produced food and goods.

7. Consider starting a small business on the side, such as child care or petsitting. You may have to be licensed if you are caring for children, but babysitting seldom requires certification and you can earn money in return for a few hours of your time. In the summers and on weekends, there are plenty of people who will pay a very fair price for their dog to be walked and fed while they are on vacation.

8. Invest all tax returns, gifts of money (unless given for a specific purpose) and other income into the downpayment fund. You won’t miss this money and it can spend its time quietly earning you more interest from your savings account. Over the course of a year, you probably get at least a few hundred dollars this way. Use it to better yourself instead of spending it on impulse purchases.

9. Lend money to people in return for interest through P2P lending. Prosper.com is one of the most popular sites for this kind of investment. Be warned that some people view P2P as a cash cow and don’t pay their debts. Spread your money around several different loans to minimize risk.

10. Sell some of the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. If you haven’t been using it in the last 6 months or so (unless it’s something like seasonal sports equipment), you probably won’t miss it. Craigslist, E-bay and local used sites and publications can be your friends. If you have an eye for valuable items, you can also start buying and selling for profits.

None of these ideas are “get rich quick!” schemes. With careful investment of your time and money, they will probably provide you with a decent trickle of money you can save to realize your dream of owning a home. Properly improved and maintained, they can even help you pay your mortgage. Keep to frugal habits and you will be able to own your own home sooner than you might otherwise.

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