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How to Earn Extra Money, and Have Fun Doing It

Tips to make your hobbies pay for themselves.

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In this economy, a lot of people are tightening their belts and watching their budgets, making it hard to justify spending time and money on their hobbies. But these tips on how to earn extra money with your favorite activities can help you include the hobbies you love in even the tightest budget. Make your hobby pay for itself, or even earn extra money to come out ahead -- while having fun doing it.

1. Earn Extra Money with Contests and Sweepstakes

Photo of a man winning cash.
Image © Getty Images / The Image Bank.
Many people don't bother to enter sweepstakes because they feel that no one ever wins. But the opposite is true -- some of these giveaways award thousands of prizes to people just like you. Contests and sweepstakes let you trade a little bit of time filling out entry forms for the chance to win everything from gift cards that let you save money on the things you want to do to big cash prizes. Here are some tips to get you started:

2. Make Extra Money with Your Paintings

Painting is a hobby that Marion Boddy-Evans, our Guide to Painting, describes as "crucial for personal happiness and satisfaction." But can it help your budget, too? Painting supplies can be expensive, but when you're done, you can end up with a gorgeous piece of artwork that you can sell to make extra money and earn back your costs. Here are some tips to help sell your paintings:

3. Turn Your Miniatures Into Cash

Miniatures is a hobby that covers everything from doll houses to model train sets to miniature horses. Some people love to collect miniatures, and others to create miniatures from scratch. Either way, you can turn your enthusiasm for miniatures into extra cash with these tips:

4. Boost Your Income by Making and Selling Jewelry

Wearing the right jewelry can make you look and feel great. If your budget doesn't allow for a lot of jewelry purchases right now, have you ever thought of making your own jewelry? Not only can you make beautiful pieces to wear yourself, you can also stretch your budget by selling your creations. Here's how:

5. Rubber Stamping for Fun and Profit

Rubber stamping is a versatile craft that lets you do everything from creating beautiful customized greeting cards to decorating fabric, eggs, glass, and more. Whether you want to make a few extra dollars to cover supplies or start a career as a rubber stamp artists, there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore. Here are some of them:

6. Make Money with Your Stamp Collection

Stamp collecting is a hobby that lets you own a piece of history, explore exotic locations, and learn about the people, places, and things that are important to countries across the world. And if you do it right, you can buy and sell stamps not only to keep, but also to cover your expenses and earn a profit. Here's how to get started:

7. Earn Cash with Collectibles

Collectibles is a hobby that lets you combine the thrill of the hunt -- finding something rare -- with owning things you love. You can collect anything from sports memorabilia to movie posters to cookie jars (and much more). If you are savvy about buying and selling collectibles, you can also earn extra cash while pursuing your hobby. Here are tips to help you start:

8. Turn Your Coins Into Extra Money

Coin collecting used to be called the "hobby of kings" but it is now the hobby of fun and profit. Maybe your parents or grandparents left you some old coins. Or you found something that looked different in your pocket change. Find out how much those coins are worth and sell them for the most amount of money.

9. Ready to Start a Business?

If you want to do more than just earn extra money, perhaps you should think about turning your talent into a real company. If so, About.com has an entire site dedicated to the arts and crafts business. Here are some tips to help you decide whether you want to turn your hobby into your job.

10. More Ideas for Earning Extra Money with Hobbies

Is your hobby not listed above? Just about every hobby has some way of making money from it. All it takes is creativity and hard work. Here are some more ideas to earn money with hobbies, nicely broken down into categories.

And one final idea. If you are passionate about your hobby, About.com is looking for writers. You can earn extra money, or make a very good career, from sharing your hobby expertise with the world.

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