Want to put extra cash in your pocket?
You can find ways to make extra money on the side that can be lucrative and fun. All you need to make extra money is an open mind, motivation, grit, and determination to use your creativity and skills you may already have or can grow. Find a need you see and can fill it. You can do a side hustle in your free time to make extra money legitimately:
- working from home and online
- using a car or a house
- getting additional training or certification
- in your spare time
40 Ways To Make Extra Money
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Have spare time? You can drive for ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. There are a few requirements like having a driver’s license and meeting the minimum age requirement in your chosen area. You can make $100 a day for a six-hour shift, though if you hustle (safely), your pay can go to $500 a day.
You will need a four-door car, preferably not a 20-year-old model, have insurance and registration. If you don’t have a suitable vehicle, you may rent one from these companies. They will review your background, including your driving record, for safety purposes.
2. Wrap Advertisements on Your Car
Speaking of cars, have you thought about using this asset to advertise for well-known brands? Wrap advertising companies calculate your typical driving routes. You can earn $200 per month without having to change your daily schedule just by having vinyl decals on your car that you can easily remove.
They look for newer cars and daily commutes of 30 miles per day. The denser the traffic, the more you can earn. However, some municipalities have restricted this practice, so check your area.
This type of marketing has been around since 1993 when a Pepsi Crystal product appeared on a wrapped bus. Several companies are in this space, including Wrapify, Nickelytics, and Havas Media, part of the global Havas Group.
3. Food/Groceries Delivery Services
In combination with the ride-sharing companies or on your own, you can participate in delivering prepared meals, groceries, or other things while you are on your way to a destination. We live busy lives and make tradeoffs between time and money. The demand for ordering delivery jumped significantly during the pandemic and remains strong.
In the prepared food delivery services, the success of Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub has been astronomical. If your car is too old to drive for Uber, you can still use your car for Uber Eats to deliver food or go by scooter, bicycle, or foot. You can make $8-12 per hour plus tips.
Grocery shopping delivery got a similar boost, benefiting companies like Instacart, Shipt, and FreshDirect. A more recent entry to the delivery of meals is Amazon Fresh.
4. Become a Roadie
You can get paid for delivering packages that are already on your way to the other side of town, a different city, or across the country by becoming a Roadie. Your compensation for a local dropoff ranges up to $60, while long-haul deliveries could be as high as $650. Imagine taking your kid to college by car and arranging deliveries in both directions. You decide on how you want to participate with Roadie.
5. Hire a Chef
Can you cook with flair and enjoy doing so? People like hiring skilled personal chefs for special events or long-term culinary needs. There may be education requirements for being a private or personal chef who can differ from your clients. If you are cooking meals for a particular person or family once in a while, it may be a less formal arrangement.
Hiring a chef may be for varying purposes such as nutrition, elderly or ill, parties, or in-home eating for busy people. Hourly rates are about $30-$40 per hour. However, charges vary by person for large parties.
On the other hand, clients may call on you to have a broad repertoire. You may need to show your cooking ability, culinary training, and certification. You list zip codes or areas you can provide services on sites like Hire A Chef.
6. Tutor Online or in Person
Do you have a passion for teaching and want flexibility? Become a tutor online or in person and share your knowledge. Select your hours and the subject of expertise for the ACT or SAT, or graduate exams. Consider tutoring privately or in classes. It can be a seasonal or all-year-round gig.
There are education requirements, with high school completion as the minimum. Typical hourly pay of $30 or higher will depend on the subject, with a more challenging curriculum like math getting higher demand and pay. A few companies to consider working for: Are the Tutoring Company, Tutor.com, and TutorMe.
7. Private Coaching
Becoming a coach can be very rewarding. Coaching is a service you provide to help transform themselves in a part of their lives. It is a form of mentoring, not counseling, though some training in the area of your expertise can be helpful. Private coaches are in demand in various sports, either one-to-one, teams, or groups. Parents are willing to pay for extra help for the kids or adults who want a running or tennis partner to get stronger.
You can either work freelance as a coach with large schools or work for companies like CoachUp, CoachNow, or TeamPro that can help you build your portfolio for one-time fees and a small percentage of your pay. Besides sports coaching, you can be a finance or life coach.
8. Answer Surveys
There are several ways you can make cash, get gift cards coupons, earn redeemable points or rewards by answering surveys and participating in polls. It is easy to sign up and contribute your opinions on market research brands and watch movie trailers in your free time. It is easy to participate, earn some money (it won’t be significant), and learn something new.
Here are the more established names:
- Branded Surveys
- Survey Junkie
- Life Points,(originally National Family Opinion)
- VolKno (video trailers)
- Pinecone Research
9. Participate in a Research Study
Medical research is essential to finding new drugs, remedies, and dietary supplements, but they have to go through many clinical trials. Teaching hospitals, clinics, biotech companies, and research organizations seek people who will participate in their studies for paid opportunities that can be $1,000 or more. You can check local hospitals or clinics in your area, like ResearchMatch.org, Covance, or ClinicalTrials.gov. Kessler Foundation does survey questionnaires.
10. Taste Tester
Want to make some cash or gift cards in your free time, be a taste tester and have some fun. You can work for companies, such as Schwan’s Food Company, who may deliver their food to your home, and in less than 15 minutes, you can make $15. Several market research firms can contact to taste varying products, including PVR Research, CMR Research, Discuss Research, and Contract Testing Inc. Besides food testing, there may be smell testing.
11. Teaching a Language Online
Being bilingual is a great skill in life and can be profitable globally. There is a tremendous demand for teaching languages to children and adults online as professional teachers or community tutors across the globe. Requirements vary, but reliable technology is essential.
You can teach a language from anywhere. Knowledge of reading and writing in more than one language and a college diploma are a plus. Hourly pay ranges from $8-$30 per hour, with the higher amount associated with more excellent proficiency and experience.
These companies are looking for those with language expertise:
Teaching a language should strengthen your skills and open doors to more opportunities. There is substantial demand for translators and interpreters with higher pay per hour of $20 or more depending on the specific language.
12. Become a Drone Pilot
This choice is a fascinating way to make extra money if you own a drone. Freelance drone pilots can do aerial inspections for utility companies, aerial surveying for real estate companies, or social events like weddings, travel, and hotels that want to show their grounds. To become a drone pilot, you will need training (DroneU, ABJ Drone Academy, or Pilot Institute) and FAA certification. You likely would need insurance.
Although there are some upfront costs (e.g., drone, training, insurance), you could do this kind of work on a part-time basis. Your compensation varies by the company or group you may be working for $500-$600 per week is not out of the question.
13. Earn Money Working for Amazon
Did you see the movie Nomadland with Francis McDormand? Fern’s character works as part of Amazon’s “Camper Force’s” temporary workforce. Amazon offers sign-on bonuses of up to $1,000 and $20 an hour to work in their workforce. The vast majority of Amazon’s 1.3+ million employees have hours that work for them. Part-timers get the same benefits as full-time employees. Amazon has other opportunities, notably:
Amazon Flex encourages you to use your car to make deliveries for $18-$25 per hour, depending on the location.
Amazon Fresh is its grocery delivery of fresh food.
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is an online crowdsourcing marketplace. You can become an MTurk employee in your spare time and be part of their global on-demand workforce.
Suppose you have spare time and want to work at MTurk from home. In that case, you can apply your skills to research data processing, data verification, and details, image/video processing, transcribing audio recordings, and information gathering. Much of the work deals with tedious data gathering of completed surveys and polls. The hourly pay varies from low single digits to $16 per hour depending on the task, plus some jobs pay bonuses.
14. Become a Local Guide
If you have specialized knowledge, speak in more than one language, and are passionate about the area you live in, you can become a local guide. People enjoy learning about things off the beaten path from typical tourist stops. The guides are usually experts in nature, history, food, wine, or cemeteries.
15. Become a Hair & Makeup Artist
There is high demand for people who can do hair and makeup in their homes for special occasions, work events, and parties, including weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. This freelance job is lucrative for those with talent and flexible schedules. If you have the flexibility to do the work at odd hours, like six AM, during weekends or holidays, you can earn $150-$600 or more for this job. You may need some training to learn about different styles and cosmetics.
16. Become a Photographer
Do you enjoy photography as a hobby? Why not take it to the next step and pursue what you love doing, whether portraits, family photography, travel, sports, nature, stock photographs, or candid photography. Sell your photos online or to respective companies that specialize in your area of expertise. Consider listing Fine Art America or stock photo sites like Getty Images or Shutterstock.
17. Become a Tasker With Taskrabbit
Are you handy with your hands and have some flexibility? There is a task waiting for you on TaskRabbit, and they will pay you a generous hourly rate, depending on the job and location. Can you wait in line to get tickets for a show in NYC? They will pay you $43 per hour. TaskRabbit takes a 15% cut of your pay before tips for popular tasks such as deliveries, handyman, TV mounting, hanging pictures, moving, and furniture assembly.
Next Door, a neighborhood community version, posts similar tasks.
18. Freelance Writing
Do you enjoy writing? If you write well, you may want to consider doing it freelance. You want to consider a desirable niche that works for you. It takes time to develop your niche, writing skills, and voice.
There are many ways to land some writing jobs online. It is easier if you have a professional blog to point to your work. However, you can start by doing cold pitches and contacting editors online. When you’re new to freelance writing, check the job board for freelance writers, and ask around if you can guest post.
19. Become a Blogger
Like a freelance writer, if you are interested in blogging, you need to find your niche. Earning money from a blog takes longer than many other areas suggested in this article. There are some upfront costs like building and designing your website and hosting.
You can go at your own pace in building a following and traffic before you can earn money from ads, affiliated marketing, sponsored posts, selling courses, and other products. Think of blogging as a longer-term proposition to potentially make a living on a flexible schedule.
20. Repair Electronics
Like fiddling with computers and smartphones? You will be in demand by folks like me who don’t know what is wrong with their electronics. The compensation for repairing electronics varies in the $15-$20 per hour range. This kind of work can be done locally on your schedule when free.
21. Selling Spare Electronics
Somewhat related to repairing electronics is selling spare, used, or unused electronics such as iPads, media players, smartphones, printers, cameras, or headphones. The parts from these devices are valuable and profitable. You can contact several companies to sell your electronics, notably BuyBack World, Sellcell.com, Decluttr, Swappa, Gazelle, and Facebook Marketplace. You can trade in your electronics for cash, and these companies will refurbish and sell certified pre-owned.
22. Sell Your Used Items on Craigslist or eBay
You can sell used items like electronics, appliances, and furniture online. Craigslist is more like an online community board, with most free advertisements. eBay has various fees, and you will pay a percentage of the final value.
23. Sell Your Crafts as an Online Storeowner
It has become much easier to sell your crafts and unique goods to a seemingly boundless market in recent years. These online marketplaces may charge listing, transaction, and payment processing fees, so you must check each company. The best-known companies are:
- Big Cartel
- Handmade at Amazon
24. Selling Your Professional Services Online
There are expanding platforms to sell your professional services as freelancer. Among the places, you can list your services and bid for jobs are Fiverr, Upwork, and 99 Designs. You can name your price starting at $5, and give your experience and how you work. Among the services you can offer:
- Graphics & Design
- Digital, Email and Social Media Marketing
- Web Development
- Writing & Translation
- Videos & Animation
- Music & Audio
25. Sell Unused Gift Cards
Do you have some gift cards in a drawer? I do too. Legally, gift cards cannot expire in less than five years after the purchase price, but you may incur fees for inactivity. You should use your gift cards as soon as you can so you get the total value. Sometimes you may get a gift card from a well-meaning friend who wants you to try out her favorite place that you have little interest in shopping there.
Instead, sell your unused gift cards for up to 80% of their value on Raise, CardCash, Cash Star, among others.
26. Become a Mystery Shopper
Do you like to shop? Marketing research companies will hire mystery shoppers to buy items in retail stores, eat at restaurants, and ask salespeople and customer service questions. They provide a detailed account of their experiences. These companies engage these shoppers to collect valuable data to measure sales and service quality and understand the market, including its competitors.
The mystery shoppers have to buy the products, but they usually receive reimbursement for their expenses or purchases. The companies pay a flat amount for their assignment, which can go up to $50-$100, or provide them with discounts. You can become a mystery shopper with BestMark, the first and largest mystery shopping measurement company. Others are Market Force, IntelliShop, and Second to None.
27. Get Cash Back From Shopping Apps
You can earn cash back, coupons, rewards, or points from your home online using shopping apps. Ibotta is one of the better-known free mobile apps that gives you rebates for varying grocery items. You find more cashback apps that are easy to use once you download them. Shopkick, Fetch Awards, Checkout 51, Dosh, Coupon.com, and NCPMobile.
28. Become a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a contractor who works remotely provides general administrative support by performing varying tasks: email management, content creation, bookkeeping, scheduling, graphic design, social media, copyrighting, and e-commerce. According to Payscale, you can earn $10.16 to $29.49 per hour. More experienced VAs can earn higher rates of $50 or more.
Outsourcing to a virtual assistant has been in demand by online businesses and entrepreneurs in recent years. You can list with Fiverr, UpWork, VaNetworking.com, oDesk, Linkedin, and Indeed.
29. Social Media Manager
Social media marketing is exploding. Over 3.6 billion people were on social media sites in 2020. The growth of social media commands companies to master engagement with consumers on various sites. However, social media management is not just for large companies, as small businesses need this exposure to grow.
Social media managers are essential in developing campaigns, managing digital marketing and analytics, helping their clients grow their businesses. Social media hone their skills to create engaging content to convert followers into loyal customers. The managers spend time monitoring and measuring the social media presence of a product, brand, company, or even an individual. Upwork shows social media managers making $12-$35 per hour, but the more experienced managers can make .
30. Participate in Focus Groups
Market researchers rely on consumers to participate in focus groups to retrieve invaluable opinions on new and existing products and services. You can participate one-to-one by phone, zoom, in a small group that meets in person or online. Each focus group will be different. Your compensation could be on an hourly basis ranging from $50-$150 or per research session. Groups typically meet for an hour or two. This can be a lucrative gig for studies paying $400 per hour for those who have flexible schedules.
Here are recommended focus groups given their ratings:
- User Interviews
- Recruit and Field
- Probe Market Research
31. Sell Unused Clothes
Have an eye for fashion but still have tags on your clothes? There’s a market for that. You can sell your unused clothes on several sites that may give you up to 80% of the cost of the item. Some will take a small commission.
Places you can tap to sell your clothing are:
- ThredUp (easy to deal with)
- Poshmark (original reseller)
- The Real Real (luxury)
- Etsy (takes 3% commission)
- Facebook Marketplace
32. Sell Baby Gear
Have baby clothes that are either gently used or with tags on them that you would like to sell? Listing on Kidizen is free, but they take a percentage of your selling price on various items. You can also sell maternity clothes, bags, and children’s books. Alternatives to Kidizen are OfferUp, Letgo, used goods marketplaces recently merged, and have an app.
33. Closet or Home Organizer
Want to organize someone’s closet or drawers professionally? If you know how to declutter someone’s home or closet, there is a job for you in this market. If you have these skills, you can make hourly rates of $20 or more, or it can sell as a package deal, such as sorting out someone’s garage or basement for $250-$300 or more.
It depends on the specific needs, such as going through someone’s papers to find essential documents and redoing an entire closet or room. People often hire others for this task because of the emotional baggage, especially when a loved one has passed away.
34. Become a House Sitter or Watcher
When people take vacations or travel for work, they will consider hiring a house sitter. Owners worried about burglaries seek security and peace of mind. Professional house-sitters may water plants, collect mail, take out the trash, and do pet care. They can earn $25-$45+ per hour, depending on the location. House sitters may do short overnight stays or more extended stays.
It is essential for the owner to trust someone temporarily residing in their home, taking care of beloved pets or plants. They will want a background check. You can register with organizations such as TrustedHouseSitter.com or HousesittersAmerica.com, where reviews and verification are helpful for prospective customers. When pet sitting is the primary function, you can hire a pet sitter (see below).
A house or property watcher is different than a house sitter. The person may monitor the home a few times during the week. They look for disturbances and leaks and check the temperature inside the house to avoid burst pipes or boiler problems. This job can be seasonal when areas are primarily for summer or winter homes. The house watcher’s pay is likely weekly and provides relatively more minor compensation than a house sitter, but they can do more houses in total.
35. Become a Pet Sitter
We love our pets and will do almost everything to keep them comfortable when we are away. When pet sitting is the primary concern, owners will seek out experienced pet sitters to take care of their pets by feeding, walking, and paying attention to them. Let’s face it, we love these essential family members and want to avoid the kennels. We also want to travel without guilt.
Pet sitters can be paid per hour or daily for visiting the pets during the day or staying overnight either in the person’s home or your home. Professional sitters may have several pets in your home at a time. The house-sitting organizations mentioned above do pet sitting as well.
Pet sitting can vary from $15-$50 per hour. We paid $65 per day plus tips for a pet sitter who happened to be our dog walker. He stayed overnight, feeding, walking, and caring for our dog.
36. Become a Host Ambassador With Airbnb
Do you have a property that you don’t use all the time? You might want to consider hosting or renting your property through Airbnb anywhere in the world for short- or long-term stays. They make arrangements, provide insurance for potential damage, and support services.
The average host makes about $924 per month. Amounts will go higher if your property is in a desirable market, like San Jose, California, where a four-bedroom house may command $3,000 a week. Be aware that there may be upfront costs if you need to redecorate your home to make it suitable for renters. Besides Airbnb, there are alternatives like Vrbo and VacRentals by Owners.
37. Rent Your Car With Turo
Airbnb is so popular that it has become a verb, as is Airbnb your car by becoming a host and renting your car. You can do so through Turo, the largest car-sharing marketplace. The company website says you can make as much as $10,516 annually by renting one car. Turo’s US requirements include having a clean title, registration in any state (except New York), meeting their insurance requirements, having fewer than 130,000 miles, and a fair market value capped at $150,000.
38. Become a Caregiver
Do you have a passion for taking care of others and earning some extra money?
Caregiving looks after a child (e.g., babysitter), a sick, elderly, or disabled person, and is in high demand. It can be for hours a day, evening, or regularly, requiring different skills. The hourly pay averages about $17.50 (over $20 in New York and other cities) when caring for children. However, the payment will be higher if you are preparing meals or helping them with their homework.
Caregivers help adults with their day-to-day needs. That could range from keeping them company, monitoring, helping them with their mobility, medication, hygiene, grocery shopping/meal prep, running errands, picking up a prescription, and doctor visits. These professionals may need CPR certification or other training to administer drugs and physical therapy. Caregivers make from about $10-$20+ per hour, depending on their skills.
Background checks are likely for a caregiver for a child or adult in need. When our kids were young, we often needed caregivers and our elderly parents. Care.com is an excellent resource to find the right person and a perfect way to land jobs based on your availability.
39. Money-saving Measures
I can point to a few legit low-risk, high return strategies if you want to generate income generation that will benefit your pocket.
- Refinancing your mortgage may produce savings, net of fees.
- Paying off high-cost credit card debt and don’t carry balances.
- Reduce or eliminate other consumer loans if you can refinance loans at lower rates.
- Improving your credit scores ahead of planned borrowing may produce some savings.
- Seek out learning new skills or training that can bump their salary.
- Ask for a raise.
40. Invest Money in Dividend Growth Stocks
If you put some portion of your investments into dividend growth stocks with above-average yields, you can raise your income. For example, a $500,000 investment in 4% yielding stocks will provide $20,000 in annual pretax income. A $2.5 million portfolio in dividend stocks paying 4% yields equates to $100,000 in yearly revenue. At a more reasonable 3% yield, annual income would be $75,000.
There are many ways to earn extra money, save, pay down debt, or build your investment portfolio. Consider your skills, interest, and time to spare to find a suitable way to make extra money and build your path to wealth.
Linda is the Founder of TheCentsofMoney.com. She's out to teach financial education and inspire a greater comfort about one of life’s great stresses. She uses the financial skills honed by decades of professional experience to help others.