The first step towards a life of financial freedom is to get a handle on your finances. We are taught to figure out how to stretch what we earn and cut back expenses to make ends meet, but what if there’s a better way? Don’t get me wrong, reducing your expenses is definitely an important step – the fewer expenses you have the less money you have going out.

The answer to truly getting ahead may lie in your ability to make more money. This may sound good… but with everything that you already have going on… how can you make that happen? I’ve got a few tips.

Here are 5 creative ways to earn more money:

Free Stuff

Craigslist is a great place to exchange goods and services and it’s usually done for money. But there’s a little-known secret about Craigslist. It can be a goldmine for free stuff. People get rid of stuff for various reasons. They sometimes lack space, need to move quickly, or want new stuff and are ready to let some things go.  No matter the reason, if you pay attention you’re bound to find some gems that you can turn around and sell for a profit.

Tip: The key is to find things on Craigslist that are being offered for free and are also selling on Craigslist or elsewhere. Be ready for the fact that while some items will be in ready-to-sell shape some will not. Spend some time sprucing them up and then resell them right on Craigslist, a local free market, or have a garage sale.

Drive People Around

Despite what you may have heard about rideshare companies, you can make good money driving for Uber or Lyft. Don’t worry, even if you’re not looking to make a living driving around in your car, driving for one of these services in your spare time can still provide a needed boost to your finances. And with daily payouts and flexibility to work around your schedule… it’s a win-win.

Old Stuff

There are a lot of things that we take for granted and sometimes we have valuable items right under our noses. Whether it’s having one of those old original Nintendo Entertainment Systems that may be worth a little extra cash. Or maybe someone in your family was once a coin collector (yes, this is a thing and I’ve actually profited from a relatives old coin collection). And if you happen to come across something that you think is a precious metal and need to sell gold or silver… or something that resembles it, be sure to have it evaluated by a professional. I’ve seen quite a bit of people giveaway or discard items that worth more than they knew.

Rent a Room

Have a spare room in your home or apartment? Consider renting it out to generate some side income. If you have a spare room in your living space and want to generate some side income, consider renting it out. Use Airbnb to put your home to work for you. Use this link and get a $40 travel credit when you sign up. You control if you want to rent out your entire home or just a spare room and when the space is available.

Tip: If you plan on traveling some in the near future, rent out your home and make some extra money while you’re away.

Your Skills

We all have talents and abilities. Why not use yours to make some extra money? Are you a good painter? Or are you a self-taught graphic or web designer? Maybe you enjoy shopping or are willing to do odd tasks for others… it’s time to use your skills to pad your bank account.

If so, check out sites like Thumbtack and Task Rabbit. These are great platforms to sell your skills. Don’t worry, these sites aren’t limited only to those with creative abilities; you can sell all types of services from house-cleaning to closet organizing… the list is endless.