1. Cull through your books, DVD, CD, and video game collections. Half.com is part of the vast online flea market that is eBay, but it's much, much easier to navigate. There are no listing fees, for one thing, and while you do pay a small percentage of the profit once your item has sold, it's really quite reasonable. You're listings are limited to media (books, audiobooks, video games, music, movies), but Half.com reimburses most of your shipping costs, collects the money from buyers for you, and pays out twice a month directly to your checking account. Cash4Books.net offers a decent price for newer hardcover books and textbooks (they even pay for shipping). If there's a used book store in your town, see if they'll give you cash, or at least store credit, for your books. Want to quit your bookstore addiction cold-turkey? The library is your best bet -- and they may even take some of your own books off your hands, and give you a bit of a tax deduction in return.
2. Make those coins count. It's amazing how quickly spare change can add up! So much so that some banks offer to manage it for you by automatically rounding your debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and depositing the difference into your savings account. There's no reason why you can't do that for yourself: Instead of spending your coins, dump them into a container at the end of each day and haul them in to your own bank every few months. Don't think you have the discipline to do so? Trade them in for gift cards at those green Coinstar machines at your grocery store. Coinstar will count your change for free if you're using them to get a gift card or eCertificate; use the cards to augment your shopping budget if you need to. The gift cards are for big-name stores like Albertson's, Amazon.com, Borders, Lowes, and Old Navy -- check out the entire list at Coinstar.com.
3. Get crafty. If you have a hobby, put it to work for you. Do you like to make earrings? Sell them on Etsy. Make your own giftbaskets? Got a flair for graphic design? Make your own mugs, T-shirts, and more onZazzle or Cafepress and sell them there or on Craigslist.
4. Make money by saving money. Raise your deductible on your car and home insurance. Look into ways to save on cooling costs this summer. Eliminate the extras, or substitute DIY versions so you can still indulge without the investment. (Example: Five Starbucks-type lattes a week = about $20. Five convenience-store coffees a week = about $10. Five made-at-home coffees a week = About $1.50 (and that's using $8-a-pound coffee beans, which brew up about 30 large cups of coffee per pound). Try swapping instead of shopping: AtZwaggle.com, which is free to join, members earn and use points by trading gently-used items (clothing, baby stuff, games and toys) with one another.
5. Clear out the clutter. There's Craigslist, of course, and eBay, but did you know that you can even sell your collections on Amazon.com? Yes, there's a fee, but you can reach a huge (and sometimes international) audience. Don't feel like listing your things or trekking to the post office? Donate them to charity and take the tax write-off instead; the Salvation Army offers a guide to how much your stuff may be worth.