Nine ways to make money for retirement

Worried about how you’ll manage once you stop working? Worried that you can’t afford to stop working? If your financial picture is a bit overwhelming that’s understandable given all the hits your bottom line has taken over the past few years.

But you’ve got to come up with a plan while you’re shelling out money to the kids and trying to finance mom or dad’s health needs. If you haven’t got a financial advisor, call your accountant or a friend for a recommendation right after you read this post.  You need to know what you’ve got, where to invest it and how to protect it from inflation and the vagaries of the market. Once you’ve decided on your mix of stocks, bonds, annuities—and a sockful of cash under the mattress—relax.

That’s the big picture but with a little creativity you can also raise much needed cash in the meantime with these tips:

1.  Rent out your driveway
This is a great way to make $50 or more per month by doing absolutely nothing! Whether you’ve got a paved driveway or a freshly mowed bed of weeds, you’ve got the ideal spot for a weekday commuter to leave their car. If parking spaces are at a premium in your area you can charge more and if you are walking distance from public transit, even better.

2.  Tutor a student
Were you an English major in school? Did you teach ESL? Are you a math whiz? Are you patient and calm and not easily ruffled? Then post an ad at the local grocery store or online at Craigslist or Kijiji. You could also ask permission to post one at the elementary or high schools in your area.  Check tutoring sites for the going rates and then sharpen your pencils!

3.  Rent out a basement bedroom
Do you have a separate entrance with a secure lock and adequate lighting? Would you mind sharing the kitchen and laundry with a student or a busy professional? Make sure your mortgage lender allows you to do this and then check out your rights and responsibilities and those of your prospective housemate in the tenant act of your province. Here’s a tip from my accountant—a commuter who works in the city during the week would be an ideal tenant because they’d go home on the weekends.

4.  Teach a class
Look at the courses offered by your local school board, or the YMCA and then think about what skills you are known for: yoga, woodworking, computers etc. Spend some time putting together a synopsis and some sample lessons and then give the local school board a call. Don’t just volunteer your talents; get paid to do what you love!

5.  Pet sit
If you like animals this is a great way to get some exercise and make money at the same time. So many people have pets these days and many have small dogs so they’re easier to walk and manage. If you’d like the company you can sit pets at home or you can work in someone else’s home. One downside is that you may be working evenings and weekends while the owners are out but start up costs are low and most of your business will come through word of mouth once you get started.

6.  Help a senior with odd jobs and errands
Are you a patient person who likes to listen? Are you interested in helping seniors and learning from them? Then this option is for you. You can buy their groceries, take them to the doctor and help with household chores. And if you still enjoy cutting the lawn and shoveling snow, you’ll be indispensable!

7.  Sell your own jewelry or crafts
This is the classic way to turn your passion into profit.  You can do the work while watching TV or chatting with friends. Local crafts markets are great places to sell your work and farmers markets often welcome artisans too. If you aren’t a great marketer, team up with a friend who is more outgoing and brainstorm ways to sell your artistry.

8.  Work for a charity or get a part-time job
So many people have been affected by natural disasters in the past few years and many people in spite of their best intentions, are feeling donor fatigue. If your money is tight, working a few hours a week in the administration or marketing department of  a local charity is a great way to give back. You could also work part-time in the kind of store you frequent in your spare time—a coffee or teashop, bookstore, sports store or local movie theatre. You'll have fun while you’re there and you may even get discounts. Just be sure to save more than you make!

9.  House sit
Do you love interior design? Do you love driving through different neighbourhoods to check out the houses? Like pet sitting, this is a fun way to make money while enjoying a change of scenery and if you like animals it may also involve them. Typically you will house sit for two or three weeks while the owners are on holiday so you’ll need to make arrangements for your own home or apartment while you’re away. You may also be asked to sit on short notice as people often decide on a house sitter at the last minute. If your schedule is flexible house sitting can be a travel opportunity if you're open to house-sitting in another city.

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