Even when the economy is good, the cost of living can add up quickly. Transportation, groceries, medical appointments and entertainment can really drain a budget. A bad economy doesn't have to put a damper on your quality of life. There are plenty of ways to offset financial burdens and deficits. With a lot of determination and some creativity, you can find financial opportunities instead of roadblocks.
Hold a garage or yard sale, or sell your items on auction and shopping websites. Take a day to go through your home and collect all the items that you no longer use. Make sure everything is clean and in good condition. Items could include everything from housewares and electronics to clothes and crafts. Some items sell better online, such as antiques, so make sure to set these items aside if conducting a garage or yard sale.
Go out on garbage night and look for treasures in your community to sell online or at a garage sale. Beware of the laws in your area, however. Some municipalities consider dumpster diving illegal.
Start writing your own blog or write articles for user-provided content websites. Many blogging and content sites offer compensation. If you have a wireless laptop, you could write from anywhere -- such as the train during your morning commute.
Work a part-time or seasonal job in addition to the job you already have. Some popular jobs you could consider include restaurant waiter, bartender, cashier, stock clerk, security guard, home-care aide, usher, handyman, errand-runner and baby sitter. Keep in mind that some jobs will require some short-term training.
Rent out a room or apartment in your home if you have the space. Before doing so, consult a real estate broker. A real estate broker can perform a credit check for you and do a background check to protect you and your family financially and physically.
Donate plasma at your area donation center. Most donation centers compensate donors. Plasma donation takes an hour or two and can earn you a good chunk of extra spending cash if you do it regularly. The best part is you'll be helping save and improve the quality of lives.