I’ve written a lot lately about getting rid of debts and reducing expenses.
I thought it was time I address the flip side of your finances: Ways to make extra money.
Thanks to suggestions by my Twitter followers, readers, and other bloggers I’ve been able to put together a solid list of 52 ways to make extra money.
Most, if not all of these ways to make money, can be done even with a full-time job.
I obviously haven’t tried all of these methods, but when possible I’ve tried to (link) to an example of the opportunity actually making money. You should be able to find something here that fits you and your skills.
Swagbucks – You earn points, called SB, just for watching videos, answering surveys, discovering special deals, shopping, or searching the internet.
There is no limit to the amount of SB you can earn, and they can be redeemed for free gift cards to all of the top retailers (Amazon, Target, Starbucks and eBay included) or for cash (PayPal, VISA gift cards).
– Sound too good to be true? Don’t worry. Swagbucks is legit and safe. Check out our Swagbucks review to learn more about the opportunities and to get their $5 bonus offer.
2. Take (Legit) Online Surveys
Did you know that you can get paid to do quick and easy online surveys? Here are a few websites to get you started:
- Opinion Outpost is a great online survey option to consider. They bridge the gap between your opinions and the companies who need them. Members can earn cash, rewards and entries into a $10,000 quarterly prize draw. It’s free to sign up and is quick to join. Sign up for Opinion Outpost.
- CashCrate – There’s some money to be made with CashCrate.com completing the free offers, but the real cash comes from the referral program. Earn extra money at CashCrate.com by taking part in daily research surveys, doing your shopping online, and referring other members to their program. Sign up for CashCrate or read our CashCrate review to learn more.
- Inbox Dollars – This site lets you take surveys, watch TV, play games, and more, and you automatically receive $5 just for signing up. The site is designed to connect brands and consumers, so be aware that your contact information will be shared with the brands you interact with. Sign up for Inbox Dollars.
3. Rent Out Your Car
A service like Turo, provides you the ability to rent out your car and make extra money. There are 3 ways to earn money: local pickup (renting from your own driveway); delivering your car to local places; and also by leaving your car somewhere to be picked up (such as at the airport).
4. Bartending or Waiting Tables
Both are the perfect jobs for nights and weekends. That’s when all the big tips are made anyway. Bartending at nights in a busy bar can really bring in some extra cash and is probably better than waiting tables! You can typically bring in at least $1 for every drink you serve.
I recommend making a list of some of the nicest restaurants or bars in town you can find and start applying. You may need some experience first but set your sights high, especially if you have work experience as a professional. Something can be said for professionalism, dependability and work ethic.
5. Teaching Lessons
We all have special skills or talents. For some it’s athletic and for others it might be academic. Either way, using these skills can help your community as well as help you make extra money.
As an example, if you’re a good swimmer you might be able to pick up a weekend swim teacher gig at your local recreation center. Keep in mind that some places may require a special certification or that you be a lifeguard.
PT Money blogger, Jason, was a collegiate soccer player. During the off-season, he coached competitive youth soccer teams and gave private lessons to youngsters who wanted to accelerate their game. He grossed over $500 per month for coaching a couple of teams and private lessons.
6. Car Valet
If you hook up with a for-hire car parking service (the type hired out for fancy neighborhood parties) you can make some nice cash tips in just a few hours at night and on the weekend, when parties are held. The key here is to do a great job by showing hustle and being super friendly. This was one of the most enjoyable jobs I had during graduate school. Who doesn’t like to drive nice cars?
7. Check Your Credit Score
One of the quickest ways to save yourself thousands of dollars is by checking your credit score and fixing errors on your credit report. The three major credit bureaus have big influence on your current interest rates (mortgage, auto, etc.) and improving your credit score could save you thousands a year in interest payments. Right now, Credit Sesame and Credit Karma provide you your credit score 100% FREE of charge (no credit card, no free trials, no tricks, free for life).
8. Sell Yourself Online with Fivver
Get creative and sell you and your time online in a fresh, new way (it’s not what you think). Fivver is a website dedicated to connecting people to talented individuals to get things done. We all have talents and some of them can be quite marketable. Some of the featured gigs I noticed on Fivver include drawing an art illustration, designing logos, creating online content and even providing a voice for a Podcast intro and much more. As you might expect, gigs start at $5. Make extra money on Fivver.com.
9. Write an eBook
I hesitate to put this one in here because an eBook by itself usually doesn’t make extra money unless you’re an excellent marketer. What a great eBook can do though is act as a sales lead to one of your other online businesses.
That said, lot’s of people are making extra money by publishing their own books on Amazon. For instance, my friend Bob published a few books on Amazon on how to make money blogging and has done very well. The first book provided basic tips for a small price, but his next book, Pro-Blogging Secrets, is offered at a premium price and he also has an online course.
Are you seeing the possibilities here? Think about what book, or series of books you could write to help people in your field of expertise? You might start with an eBook offered on your own website that covers the basics. Use the eBook as an opportunity to tell people about your more in-depth book on Amazon and finally, follow through with an advanced book offering.
10. Design Web Logos
If you’re good with Photoshop and can work quick, you might make some decent cash with this online business. Are you a graphic designer or do you have some artistic talents that you know others are looking for? Why not make extra money for your bottom line by designing logos or other graphics for people’s websites, for their newsletters or for other print applications?
Designing web logos obviously isn’t for everyone. It will help you quite a bit if you’ve got some background in graphic design or if you’re relatively proficient in design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, and Adobe Illustrator or other like products. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in graphic arts, as long as you’re able to put together eye-pleasing designs that others will love and pay for.
11. Write Reviews
There are many websites that will pay you a little cash to write product reviews. If you’re knowledgeable and can write fast, this may work for you. The key here is to differentiate yourself by providing a thorough and honest review of the product. This works even better if you can find a niche that you’re passionate about.
A website like Upwork might be a good place to start sharing your resume and experience in this area. UpWork replaced other well-known sites Odesk and Elance. Simply set up a profile and start applying for jobs.
12. Make Money Blogging
This isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time consuming, but it can be done. I started PT Money in 2007 and since then the site has grown considerably, now viewed more than 200,000 times per month. The key to blogging is to have a long-term goal of making extra money in mind. You can get started by reading my article on how to make money bloggging.
13. Generate a New Business Idea
My friend, Ramit Sethi, New York Times Best Selling Author, has created a powerful “Idea Generator Tool” that debunks the myth that you need to start the next Facebook or Google in order to build multiple revenue streams. Ramit shows you how you can earn an extra $1,000 a month on the side with just a few hours a week and you can ramp up from there.
He also has an online mini-course that shows you how to go from no idea to a profitable online business – fast. It’s called “Launch Your Profitable Online Business: How to Find a Profitable Business Idea in 7 Days”
14. Freebie Trading
Freebie trading is a real money maker. But it takes a special person to master the techniques and be consistent with the process. It involves Freebie Sites that provide users with cash rewards or physical prized for trying out services or products. The services can be free or be very inexpensive. They are things you would normally do, such as getting your credit report, but you get paid! You might not make a full-time income doing Freebie Trading but with some work, you can certainly supplement your income. The other great benefit is that you can do this whenever you want and set your own work schedule. Read my interview with a Freebie Trader to learn more about how it works. In his first year, he grossed $28K!
15. Freelance Writing
Similar to writing reviews, you can become a freelance writer and make extra money writing articles and website copy. While you don’t have to be a professional journalist to write for a website, it helps if you’ve blogged or have your own website where you blog regularly. Even better is showing that you have some experience in the niche in which you’re trying to find a job.
Right now on Upwork they are looking for more writers. Set up a profile and start offering up your fast writing skills. You can make decent money with freelance writing and some people are able to make it a full-time business. Check out this interview I did with a freelance writer who has had a lot of success and shares how to start a freelance business.
16. Sell Photos Online
Digital Photography School offers several books to help you take nice pictures. Get them up on the web at a broker, or Microstock site and make extra money. It’s not as easy as that, but those are the basics.
As just one idea my friend shared with me, many people don’t have good home listing photos of the home they’re trying to sell. If you notice, many of these pictures, aside from the ones done by professional photographers, have bad lighting, show clutter, etc. If you’re good at taking pictures and have a nice camera, you might be able to sell your photo taking services to real estate agents or to people trying to sell their own home.
Here’s another resource from Amazon to check out:
17. Get Store Refunds
A service like Paribus automatically gets you refunds you’re owed from stores. Okay, this isn’t work or starting a business, but it is a way to potentially put some extra earnings on autopilot because you’re using an innovative tool to get a refund you deserve. When you buy something and it goes on sale afterward, you’re guaranteed the difference back. Paribus gets you this money back right from your inbox without any effort required on your part. The service will even file price adjustment claims on your behalf. Paribus provides iOS and Android apps with a live feed of savings.
18. Start an Online Store
Setting up an online store is extremely easy with sites like eBay, Amazon, Etsy and CafePress. Assuming you have a product in demand, is high quality and learn how to market your site, you can begin making some serious cash. There are plenty of full-time eBay entrepreneurs out there.
Check out these resources I found on Amazon to get started:
- eBay: Find All You Need To Sell on eBay and Build a Profitable Business
- Sell on Amazon: A Guide to Amazon’s Marketplace, Seller Central, and Fulfillment by Amazon Programs
- Starting an Etsy Business For Dummies
- The Beginners Guide to Making Money with Cafepress
19. Focus Group Participant
Researchers need people to help them develop their results. Become a member of a focus group in your area and get your share of their research funding. Call your local university, museum, or look in your local paper for opportunities or simply do a Google search to find opportunities near you.
20. Sell Bottled Water
Buy bottled water in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club and sell it for a dollar where there are a ton of people: parks, festivals, concerts, etc. People are crazy for bottled water and this is a little summertime gig that can bring in more money that you’d think on a hot sunny afternoon. Here’s a bonus tip: give some of your proceeds to a charity you care about or that you know will resonate with people. In doing so, you’re bottled water business isn’t all about your profit. You’re helping better our world and also provide a thirsty person some water to drink.
21. Sell Your Body
Not talking about the oldest profession here. I’m talking about your plasma, hair, eggs, and sperm. I’ll let you do your own research on this one. 🙂
22. Have a Car Wash
Find a business that’s willing to loan you their parking lot and gather up a few friends to wash some cars. Take donations or ask for very little. People usually do this to raise funds for an organization, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do it for the You Foundation.
All of that said, if you want to take washing cars to the next level, there are some full-time business owners operating mobile car wash and detailing services. You provide a convenience to people by meeting them at their place of business or even their home to clean their cars. People love their cars and even more when they are shining bright.
Check out this resource to get started: Mobile Car Wash Business
23. Cleaning Houses
This is a job with flexible hours, but requires a bit of elbow grease. Some homes would provide their own cleaning supplies and tools.
Do you know there are companies and people out there that make some pretty good money offering their cleaning services to households and companies? They’ll come in and charge you either a set fee per room or an hourly fee to clean up. They can come weekly, monthly, or whenever you think you need some extra scrubbing. What’s the point? Why not have the person they hire be you?
24. Get a Census Job
Perhaps you’re interested in measuring America. “Census Bureau Regional Offices conduct continuous surveys—other than the once-a-decade population count—to supply the nation with important statistics on people, places and our economy.” The US Census website states that the local field workers understand their communities best and are an important part of conducting surveys with residents. You get to work out of your home and you’re also reimbursed for your mileage. The Census Bureau is hiring across the United States and you can search temporary field positions here.
25. Sell Your Baked Goods
Are you skilled at a few special recipes or are your friends going crazy over your cakes? You know who you are. It might be time to take your talents to the making some extra money. People love to buy homemade goods, especially when you have a signature item or a story behind it. You can contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc. Or, consider holiday sales for local Christmas parties, birthdays and more.
26. Bing Rewards
Bing Rewards – If you enjoy spending time online, filling out surveys and looking at things you’d normally look at for free, than Bing Rewards is definitely a site for you. The popular search engine offers points for doing just about everything and the more points you receive, the more money you’ll earn! Signing up is as simple as entering your MSN or Hotmail email address and there is no cap to the amount of money you can earn.
Bonus Ideas to Make Extra Money
Sign up for free. Get more ideas to make extra money, intro series to help you get started, and monthly digest. No spam. Ever.
27. Drive People to the Airport
Have you ever heard of Uber or Lyft? Of course you have! This is a good gig for someone with a reliable car and the ability to be on-time all the time. The barriers to entry, assuming you meet the requirements from these companies, is pretty low. Again, you just need to have a reliable car that is efficient to keep your costs down. Offering friendly service, getting people to their destination safely and on-time will take you far in this extra money making idea.
28. Start a Lawn Care Business
I grew up doing this job on the side and loved it. But it’s not just a teenager gig. Obviously, it’s better for warmer climates. With this side job, you can help your neighborhood look sharp as well as make some extra money. Many people pay over $30 per week for lawn care service. For various reasons, people are too busy, don’t have the equipment, etc. to take care of their own lawn. I think you can do well with this business if you start with people in your neighborhood and ask them if you can have an opportunity to perform this service for them. Word of mouth will travel fast if you provide a good value. I think the key to doing very well here is to package your service. For example, try to find a price that works for mowing, weeding and fertilizing altogether.
Check out this resource I found on Amazon to get started:
- The Lawn Care Entrepreneur – A Start-Up Manual: The Ultimate Lawn Care Business Guide for the Gardening Tycoon
29. Be a Mystery Shopper
Get paid to shop and share your experience. In short, stores or restaurants hire people to evaluate their services to ensure quality. Obviously, social media can impact a brand when a customer isn’t taken care of well. Mystery shoppers help prevent this from happening. As a mystery shopper, you’re compensated to provide impartial feedback about products and services. Your feedback may very well prevent the next social media rant. We’ve devoted an entire article to Mystery Shopping that you can read about here.
30. Become a Ticket Broker
No special permit required. If you know sports or entertainment enough to pick the right events and have access to purchase the tickets at face or below, then you can use a service like StubHub.com or Craigslist.org to re-sell the tickets for a profit. I’ve done this both out of necessity and just to make extra money.
31. Paper Route
There is no job too small when it comes to earning to save more or pay off debt and a paper route is about as basic of an extra money job as you can get. Yep, people are still buying newspapers these days. Nothing like a nice clean, crisp paper with a good cup of coffee to start your day. This job will likely take up your early morning hours. You can also search for a paper that only comes out once a week if you want to work less. The bottom line is that a paper route is still a valid way to make extra money and I’d be remiss to leave it off this list.
32. Walk Dogs
If you love animals and live in an urban area then consider this a viable job opportunity. Here’s the problem you might try to solve with this idea: people are busy going to work each day and they have to leave their sweet dog at home. Dogs don’t do well over long periods of time by themselves. They like to be around you and me. Offering to walk a group of dogs once or twice a day, if you have the flexibility, can really rake in some extra money if you’re doing this on a weekly basis and have several clients. Think premium dog walking service: treats, playtime, the works. Obviously, you have to find the right clientele where this service makes sense.
33. Pet Sitting
Take dog walking a step further and actually be paid to watch someone’s pet for a few hours or days. This may just entail checking in on the pet a few times a day or could mean boarding the pet at your home. Have you ever checked to see what it costs in your area to board a pet? I can guarantee you that it’s steep! Do a little research and perhaps charge 10 – 20% less. But don’t expect people to just leave their loved one with a stranger. Again, think premium service (daily walks, play time, etc.). And you’ll also want to make sure they have your reference list and that you have all the bases covered like emergency vet service if Fido gets injured.
Check out these resources to get started:
- The Business of Dog Walking: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love
- Six-Figure Pet Sitting: Catapult Your Pet Sitting Business to Unlimited Success
34. Baby Sitting
If you enjoy kids and are good with them, this can be a fun and easy way to make a little cash. You can advertise your baby sitting services for free online with SitterCity.com. In need of a baby sitter, browse their website for free. We also have an interview with a baby sitting expert that you an listen to here.
Have a knack for a certain subject and live near a college? Consider offering up your brain power and teaching skills for some quick cash. Grade school kids need help too, and parents pay better than college students. You can take this idea to the next level and scale by tutoring online. We have an interview post dedicated to a chemistry tutor who took his skills to Tutor.com. To be successful, you have to have a good grasp of the concepts but also be able to find a way to relate topics using real-world examples.
36. Play Music in Church or at Weddings
Some churches don’t have volunteers for their music. A talented pianist, guitar player, etc. can make pretty good money doing this on the weekends. Most churches offer tryouts on occasion. This idea is pretty easy to get started in that you just need to reach out to your worship pastor or someone in that ministry and let them know you have the talent and some experience. Don’t be shy!
37. Teach English to Adults
Did you ever see the movie Stripes? It’s an 80’s classic and one of those timeless comedies with Bill Murray. Click here to see Harold Ramis teaching his English class the Do Do Run Run by Shaun Cassidy. To get started, go through your local schools and colleges to find classes where teachers of English are needed.
38. Collect Aluminum Cans
I collected cans in my teens and made a few extra bills for spending money. If this idea is of interest, you might be motivated to hear the true story of Maisie Devore who was able to raise money collecting cans for a community swimming pool. She was able to save $73,000 over three decades and is still collecting. Whoa! Learn more about this idea by reading my collecting aluminum cans for cash post.
39. Sign in the Yard
In our local neighborhood we’ve seen this service hired out to place signs in people’s yards for announcements or funny pranks. Ha! If you’re out and about on a Sunday you’ll see plenty of people putting put signs for open houses. You’ll probably have a great opportunity for this extra money idea if you can locate a neighborhood where lots of real estate agents or putting out there own signs. Wouldn’t an agent rather be prepping the house for sale or doing marketing activities than placing a sign at a busy intersection? You bet and that’s why outsourcing to you could work!
40. Stage Homes
People who are having trouble selling their homes these days and could use a second pair of eyes to stage their home for the quick sale. To help people sell their houses, your staging services need to get buyers to envision themselves in the property. This opportunity takes some passion and skill for the job. You’ll have to be comfortable telling people they need to remove clutter, rent furniture, etc. to get it in top selling condition. You’ll need some designing skills but also have additional resources at your finger tips, such as a furniture company, storage options, etc. This will take some work getting set up but once you’ve done so, you can start networking with realtors. Consider offering some discounted services to make a name for yourself.
41. Sell Stuff on Craigslist.org
Craigslist.org is the first place I go to sell something. It’s best for items you think will appeal to everyone (therefore justifying the smaller audience) and large items that can’t be shipped. Craigslist.org is great for taking your yard sale items online for local sales. For example, one writer for PT Money recently bought two fans from people that live close to him. These one-off type items do very well on Craigslist. Just remember to use common sense and be safe out there.
42. Sell Your Stuff on eBay
I mentioned an idea above to create an online store and eBay was one option. Consider selling your own stuff around the house to earn extra money to feed your financial goals. It should be used for those items that are unique (you need a larger audience) and that are easily shipped. Easy shipping is key as you don’t want what you sell to eat up all of your profits in shipping costs. Signing up for eBay is simple and can be done at www.eBay.com.
43. Sign Up with Upromise
Upromise puts money in your kids college funds while you do your normal spending. Yes, it’s another way to make extra money or to use your own money for other goals since you’re not having to save as much for your kids college. Just remember to make wise decisions with your spending. You’re not spending so your kids can go to college. The Upromise contribution is a side-benefit to spending on items already in your plan.
44. Retail Arbitrage
Find items that you know are selling below their full value (either online or through a deal website like SlickDeals.net), discount stores (Marshalls, Ross, etc.) buy them and sell them for more on eBay or Amazon. Once you find your product niche you can set up a system. Don’t read over that too quickly. You need to find a particular product or niche to really make this work. Otherwise, you’re met with different shipping costs, always trying to figure out new margins, etc. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Try to be good in one particular. Maybe it’s a product you’re passionate about such as selling trucker hats. 🙂 Click here for more on this idea.
45. Re-sell Computers
This is slightly different than eBay Arbitrage. Find a distributor that will sell to you at their discounted prices. List these items online. Buy and ship to your hearts content. Basically, you become a reseller of computers and other hardware. Another thought here is to sell computer parts. Can you find a part that seems to be in demand. If you can supply the demand, you may just have yourself a part-time business.
46. Look for Odd Jobs
People need your help and they will pay you for it. Seriously. The jobs are there on Craigslist.org, your neighborhood your church and many more places. Traditional job search sites can be overs saturated with applicants but non traditional places, as mentioned, can provide you a means for earning some extra income. You just have to be a go-getter and get hungry to find them.
47. Have a Garage Sale
The stuff you can’t sell online, you could sell from your garage on the weekends. Many neighborhoods plan annual or bi-annual yard sales. If you have items to sell, this is a great time to do it as the neighborhood as a whole can bring in a lot of traffic and help you perform better than you would on your own. If that’s not possible, consider partnering up with a couple of families in a popular neighborhood.
48. Put Stuff on Consignment
This is great for clothes and other items that aren’t easily sold online. Side tip: you can save a lot of money by purchasing children’s clothes on consignment. You can do well if you’re selling well-known brands that aren’t too aged. Also, season is everything here. It’s unlikely you’ll do well selling winter clothes in the summer. So, time your offerings wisely.
49. Bank Account Opening Bonuses
Many bank accounts will give you a cash bonus to open an account with them. I’d start with an online savings account that will pay you higher interest. Look for special deals and offers that we occasionally write about here on PT Money. You can also sign up up for our bonus ideas (see form below) and you’ll receive our monthly update with early notification of such offers.
50. Credit Card Bonuses
Like the bank accounts, you can sort through the many best credit card bonuses available just for opening an account. Credit card bonuses, in a way, put cash in your pocket. As an example, instead of taking your own money for a plane ticket or hotel reservation, you might receive free miles or hotel points to apply to your next reservation. This can save you a lot of money and possibly a free reservation.
51. Rent Out A Room
If you have an extra room in your house, consider renting it out to a friend, relative, or random person you find using what else, Craigslist.org or a newer service like Airbnb.com. Airbnb provides rentals for vacation homes, homes, apartments, etc. What this means is that you can actually make extra money from renting out your spare bedroom (or master) while you’re away. This extra money could fund part or all of your stay elsewhere. You can currently book in 191 different countries. Yeah, this service has really taken off.
52. Paint Street Numbers
With just a few paint and stencil supplies you could walk the neighborhoods with curbs and solicit your curb number painting services. Obviously, you need to be somewhat handy with a can of spray paint and stencils, otherwise, you might have people coming after your if you mess up their curb. That said, there is a business for this as people are out there making it happen.
Top Reader Recommendation
One idea to make extra money that I left off my list is to use Ebates.com when you shop online. Ebates is a free service that gives you cash back just for shopping like you normally would. Join free now and receive $5 cash.
Bonus Ideas to Make Extra Money
Sign up for free. Get more ideas to make extra money, intro series to help you get started, and monthly digest. No spam. Ever.
Finished making all the money you can make? Visit my 104 ways to save extra money.