Recessions can be brutal on the finances, especially in an environment with rising costs for essential goods like food and fuel. Combine those rising costs with job losses, business closings and stock market crashes, and things can snowball into something quite stressful in the blink of an eye.

The important thing to remember is that recessions are a natural part of the economic boom and bust cycle. They typically last about 12 to 18 months before things start returning to normal.

In the meantime, there are a number of creative ways to help spur your income.

We’ve compiled a list of five ways you can make some quick cash in a recession and meaningfully boost your income so you can offset any financial losses you may be experiencing.

Photo by Rowan Freeman on Unsplash

Food Delivery

Food delivery services are incredibly popular right now. They were around well before the pandemic, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that people really took advantage of their convenience. Whether you have a full-time job and want to take on some additional hours in the evening for extra cash or you’re in between jobs and need something to fill in the gaps, consider delivering for one of the popular food delivery services like Door Dash or Uber Eats.

As a food delivery contractor, you’ll earn money for each delivery based on the total miles driven, tips from customers, and in some states, you’re even guaranteed a minimum wage.

Monetize Your Blog, Videos or Social Media Pages with an Affiliate Program

There are plenty of ways to monetize the endless hours you spend online if you have a hobby blog, a social media page or a video channel.

One of the most popular methods is to join an affiliate referral network that allows you to promote another company’s products and services to your audience. These can include anything from financial and credit services to health and beauty products.

After you become an approved affiliate of one of these networks, you can share a unique referral link with visitors to your digital properties. When someone clicks the link and purchases a product or service, an automated system tracks the sale and issues a referral commission to your account.

One industry that’s booming despite recessionary pressure is CBD. These natural medicines are used daily by millions of people to help with ailments like stress, pain, and insomnia. CBD affiliate programs give anyone the opportunity to become a part of this highly lucrative industry. Some affiliate programs pay commissions as high as 30% on products that have retail price points of $400!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION: pexels

Sell Your Old Clothes

You’ve got an easy way to generate some quick cash if your closet, dresser, or garage are full of clothes you no longer wear. Plus, you’ll be able to clear up a bit of extra space in your home!

Instead of throwing your old clothes away or donating them, pack them into boxes or lawn bags and head on down to your local consignment shop. There are probably a few of these stores in your area. They’ll help you sort through your apparel and accessories to find what’s valuable, and you’ll earn a percentage of the list price when they sell.

Don’t forget there are online sites like Poshmark which provide an extensive market of buyers and sellers for designer items that are in good condition. Just be sure your items are clean, damage-free and looking their best when you post their pictures online.

Join the Gig Economy

You’ve no doubt spent years building up a specific skillset that makes you unique in the job market. And while it may seem like companies on job boards aren’t hiring for positions with your particular brand of skills, that doesn’t mean they have to go to waste!

The gig economy refers to freelancing your services on an independent basis. Rather than focusing solely on a single company, you can use your skills to reach different markets all over the world. Whether you’re good at writing, coding, designing, or doing voiceover work, the gig economy provides you with access to income with the added benefit of a flexible schedule.

Fiverr is a popular gig economy website that pairs individuals who have unique skillsets with companies looking for short-term “gigs.”

Get a Roommate

Recessionary environments, rising housing costs, and job losses tend to leave many people unable to afford a mortgage or rent for single-person dwellings.

If you have an extra room in your home or apartment, consider renting it out to someone. You’re probably hesitant about allowing a complete stranger to move into your home. But you might be able to find someone looking for a place to live by word of mouth through friends and family. A roommate can shoulder some of the burden you have paying rent, and you will be helping them out, too – a win-win!

There are foreign exchange programs that are always looking for people to open up their homes as well. In this situation, you may qualify for a stipend that will help you financially. Foreign exchange students usually come to the U.S. with money of their own, so any burden you experience taking them in will likely be low to non-existent.

Check your local and state rental laws before getting a roommate. You will want to ensure that you have a signed rental agreement. That way, both parties are clear on the living situation, tenant responsibilities, monthly rent, and, in the event things go south, a way to sever the agreement. You can find basic rental contracts online here.

Final Thoughts

Recessions are highly stressful and challenging to navigate for most people.

There is no doubt that you can find additional income streams to fill the financial gaps by using your network of friends and family, existing skills, and a little bit of ingenuity.

You may even stumble upon something completely new and innovative that not only brings in a little bit of extra money but also becomes your primary income stream.