How to make extra income from your hobby

Turning Your Hobby into Extra Income

by Teena M. Stewart

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Many of us have hobbies we enjoy and these breaks from routine can be very relaxing. But hobbies can also be a great source of extra income.

Sports - When my husband told me he was thinking of becoming a baseball official, I was skeptical as to whether he would have the discipline and focus to learn all those rules and enjoy doing it. He has since proven me wrong, excelling at officiating in baseball and several other sports. In fact, his extra income helped support us after I lost my full-time job. Many of us enjoy watching sports on TV and are natural armchair officials, calling the game as we see it. If you know a sport well and feel you would enjoy officiating, you can actually make money at it whether the game is basketball, football, baseball, soccer, or something else. No matter what condition the economy is in, people always play sports, and the teams need paid officials. You will have to study up on the rules and then pass a competency test. To get started in high school sports officiating, visit here.

You can also consider giving sports lessons. For instance, if you are an expert tennis player, skier or golfer, advertise your services for one-on-one coaching sessions. I know one young man whose hobby is competitive water skiing and snow skiing. In his spare time, he teaches skiing lessons. He's also worked at summer camps teaching the same.

Arts and Crafts - Arts and crafts are a great way to unwind. Having participated in arts and crafts shows, I can assure you that it is easier to spend more than you make because you may keep sinking money into costs. However, you can make extra money if you reign in your costs and go for the "bird in hand" approach. Listen to the feedback regarding your work and be willing to tweak it in order to meet demand. For instance, if folks want something you've made in a slightly different style or color, be willing to do commission work but guard your supplies spending. I have made everything from custom jewelry for people to hand-painted mini-wheel barrows and artwork. Unless you know the person well, ask for a down payment and charge slightly more for custom orders.

Organizing and Cleaning - Believe it or not, some people like to clean and organize in their spare time. Are you a natural organizer? Do you like to tidy and clean? Your affinity for order and cleanliness can help others while bringing in extra income. Susan, a friend of mine, hires out her services to give order to garages, offices, and living spaces. Many people find it well worth the money to be rid of the clutter. One woman I heard of turned her joy of browsing through rubbish into a full-time business. She does estate cleaning, helping ready houses for sale. She sorts through accumulated junk in attics, basements, and living spaces. Those who hire her ask her to handle their estate sales, or give her permission to haul it all off after they have picked out what they want. Leftovers sometimes yield collectibles and items she can resell in addition to the money she has already made while cleaning.

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Seasonal Decorator - We all love the look of a festive house, especially during the holidays. However, decorating a home can be overwhelming, especially to those who work full time or who may not be able to physically manage the duties that come with decorating. If you have a natural flair for decorating, make it pay by offering your services. Many people would love to have you. Offer to either work from the supplies and decorations they already have on hand, or ask that they provide you with a budget for purchasing supplies and have them pay you per job or by the hour. Target affluent people or busy professionals. Make sure to have photos of your decorating expertise and referrals from those who have seen your work.

Personal Chef - Do you love to cook? Offer your cooking abilities to those who don't like to cook or who don't have time. It can be as simple as coming in to cook dinner a few days a week or precooking prepared meals and bringing them prepackaged to those who order them. Be aware that if you do decide to opt for selling prepackaged meals, it's best to get your kitchen licensed. Check with your local health department to determine their regulations. Often it is as simple as just a few alterations.

What can be better than doing what you love for pay? With a little extra marketing, it can be just the extra income you need.

Teena Stewart is a published author, artist, and ministry leader. She and her husband, Jeff, operate Java Journey, a Christian coffee shop ministry in Hickory, North Carolina.

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