How to Generate Income in the Empty Nest

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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generating income, make money, empty nest, earn money, easy ways to make money

With more time on your hands in the empty nest, contributing to your family’s financial bottom line by generating income becomes a real possibility. Whether you just want to make some “fun money” or need to help finance those kids and their higher education, I’ve got some easy and quick ideas for you today that can help you make some (possibly significant) money.

Sell Your Old Electronic Devices

I’ve sold old phones, iPods, and iPads back to Apple through their recycling program. Payment is in the form of an Apple gift card, so if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, this is a good way to go. I’ve also used Gazelle, and they were so easy to deal with on the sale of my (very outdated) device. I opted for an Amazon gift card with them. Both groups will even buy back phones that don’t work (I dropped mine in the tub while texting and bathing at the same time!) for parts.  Both groups also offer detailed instructions on wiping your phone clean before you send it to them, and they provide pre-paid shipping and packaging when you sell to them.

Clean Out Your Closet & Consign

Whether you are downsizing or just want to de-clutter now that your nest is empty, making money via consignment is a great way to go.  For books, music, movies, games, gaming consoles, e-readers and more, try Half Price Books. For sports gear and equipment, try Play It Again Sports.  For teens and twenty-something boys and girls clothes, try Plato’s Closet.  For furniture, Google “furniture consignment” in your area and read up on the types of furniture (designer, high-end, antique, etc.) various stores accept.  Some will pick up; some won’t.  For children’s clothes, footwear, toys, dancewear, costumes, baby gear and furniture, try Once Upon a Child or online with  For gently used women’s clothing, options should be available in your area.  Use Google to find stores and the types of clothing they accept (designer, vintage, etc.).,  If you want to use an online option, is the largest online consignment retailer for women’s and kids clothing. (That’s what I use.) accepts men’s clothing, and I’ve used them too.

Trade in Gift Cards

You can cash in gift cards you aren’t going to use for cash, or trade in for gift cards you will use. Try,, or

Become a Mystery Shopper

Yes, this is a real thing. I have friends who do it. You can download the Field Agent app right on your phone, complete an “agent” profile, and find jobs near you.  Jobs pay anywhere from $3-$12 each, and payment is via PayPal. Another reputable company is North Fork Research. For more information on this industry (now commonly referred to as the “customer experience industry”), go to

Interested in something more permanent like a full or part-time job? Do you have a passion, hobby, or skill that would make you a successful entrepreneur? I’ll be writing more about that in the coming weeks! I don’t want you to miss a thing, so you might consider signing up for my mailing list. You can do that here.

I hope I gave you a few good ideas! Have you tried any of the ideas I wrote about today? I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.




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Suzy Mighell

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