Money is tight – we get it. But thanks to the internet and technology, it’s easier than ever to make a few extra bucks from the comfort of your own home with a side hustle.
Skills and experience are necessary for some side hustles, some just take a phone or laptop and a Wi-FI signal. Some take even less, just a willingness to get out there and do something. You can make money for things like shopping, answering surveys, playing games, watching videos and even for sleeping or losing weight.
Here are 19 ways to make some extra money and boost your budget:
1. Make Money Delivering Food
Everyone’s familiar with food delivery services by now and almost everyone can do it.
If you have a driver’s license, smart phone and car, you can sign up for food delivery services DoorDash, GrubHub or UberEats. The services aren’t tied to a specific restaurant, but pick up food from member restaurants and stores.
You work when you want and get paid a fee for each delivery, and can also make tips. It’s all done over a smartphone app, which makes it efficient and reliable.
Depending on where you live and how much you want to work, you can make hundreds of dollars a week.
2. Make Money Delivering Groceries
App-based Grocery delivery services, like Instacart, Peapod, Fresh Direct and more. The average grocery deliverer makes $32,512 a year, or about $15 an hour.
It’s similar to food delivery services. You need a smartphone, driver’s license, reliable car, and there are requirements for the ability to lift a certain weight, usually 40 pounds.
3. Make Money Driving People Around
Get a gig with Uber or Lyft and become your own taxi service. It’s almost become old school.
Requirements are a driver’s license, reliable car, a clean driving record and background check. Like food delivery, you pick how much you want to work. Rates vary according to time of day, special events in the area and how many drivers are working. Those who live in more populated areas generally do better financially.
Some drivers make a living do this, but there are fees and costs involved and some make as little as $5 an hour or less.
Pro tip: Research your region carefully to find out what the best times to drive are to make the time worth your while.
4. Make Money Freelance Writing or Editing
The internet and remote working have provided more writing and editing opportunities, and all kinds of “content producing” gigs are out there, with pay ranging from pennies a word to hundreds of dollars an article.
Having a background in writing or editing helps, because there’s a lot of competition in this field.
One of the best ways to find freelance opportunities is through the Editorial Freelancers Association, which not only has a clearinghouse, but also has resources for freelancers, and requires a fee to join. There are also freelance writer marketplaces, like Upwork, though part of what you earn goes to the platform. If you just want to wing it, comb the job boards, like Indeed and LinkedIn and sign up for updates.
A web presence is a must for those going it on their own, so writers should set up a portfolio website like Clippingsme, Contently or Journo Portfolio. If you’re going it alone as an editor, the most cost-effective way to market yourself is to set up a free Facebook business page as well as a robust and updated LinkedIn profile. Be sure to get some reviews and references.
Pro tip: The market is saturated with journalists and others who have lost their jobs in the past decade, so the better your credentials and skill level, the better jobs you’ll get.
5. Make Money Tutoring
Tutoring, particularly online, is a growing industry. Online tutors can make $30 an hour or more, and the average pay for an in-person tutor is $50 an hour. All you need is a high school diploma, or its equivalent, a website that explains who you are and what you teach, and a way to market yourself.
Tutoring can range from traditional school subjects to things like sports, performing arts, web design or bookkeeping.
While not necessary, it’s a good idea to get certification, which is a great marketing tool and gives you credibility. Some organized tutoring settings require it, including schools and after-school programs. The American Tutoring Association, National Tutoring Association and Association for the Tutoring Profession all offer certification and other resources.
6. Make Money Teaching English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language online teachers, as well as those who teach other languages, generally make up to $30 an hour.
There are a variety of ways to go about this, and a teaching background isn’t necessary. The most traditional way (and ultimately one that will make you more money), is to get TEFL/TESOL (Teaching English to Foreign Learners/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. This can be done online through a variety of services, or through a local college.
It will cost you money, but you can make more money. Services that hire online tutors include VIPkid, QKid and EF Education First. You may also find work through your local school district’s adult education program, which may have its own requirements.
7. Make Money from Your Arts or Craft
Artists and craft makers have a variety of online platforms that can bring their wares to an international audience.
The two biggest online marketplaces are Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Etsy charges a 20 cent per item fee and a transaction fee; Amazon Handmade doesn’t have a listing fee, but does have other requirements.
You can also go old-school sell your wares at craft shows and consignment shops. There is frequently a registration fee or vendor table fee, and sometimes jury process to determine if what you make is the type of item they sell, but local off-line selling can be lucrative, particularly in populated areas or ones that draw a lot of tourists.
8. Make Money Being a Mock Juror
You can make money as a mock juror without ever stepping into a courtroom. Many attorneys want to test-drive their cases before trying them, and websites like e-jury, onlineverdict and more offer anywhere from $5 to $60 to assess arguments online.
Requirements are usually pretty simple – you must be over 18, a U.S. citizen and not have been convicted of a crime. Many communities also offer occasional opportunities to be an in-person mock juror – check out the local judicial website to see if these are offered.
9. Make Money Selling Stuff on eBay
The old standby eBay is still a good way to make money selling things you have around the house, or even things you seek out to resell. It claims nearly 2 billion transactions daily.
You can sell things individually, or, if you’re more ambitious, set up a store and re-sell things you scoop up at yard sales and thrift stores, like vinyl records, books, vintage clothes or baby items.
Other options for selling include Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Many areas have local online sellers. For instance, in Maine, Uncle Henry’s, which started as a print “swap and sell guide” decades ago, now has a national online following.
Check out your region to see if there’s a popular online seller, which can help keep your delivery and postage overheard low.
Pro Tip: Shipping costs can make you or break you. Be sure you charge enough for shipping to at least cover what it will cost you.
10. Make Money Selling Stuff at Flea Markets
Don’t want to bother with technology, but still have items to sell? Flea markets are another option.
Communities across the country have seasonal or year-round flea markets that charge a table fee or one-time fee where you can sell whatever you want. Finding out the type of things that sell and hunting down cheap ways to buy them for resale is a fun way to make some money and meet people.
11. Make Money in Clinical Trials
Medical research depends on clinical trials, and that means using real people. You can make $50 to $2,000 by taking part in a clinical trial or other medical research program.
This involves putting your body on the line, and often homework that includes tracking symptoms and more. Often, too, the researchers are looking for the right person – whether it be age, physical condition or more.
The medical research site Antidote has a clinical trial match that can pair willing participants with the right trial.
12. Make Your Home Make Money for You
If you have an extra room, an in-law apartment that’s not being used, some space you can convert, or even an RV or yurt in the backyard, you can become a short-term rental host.
On average, Airbnb hosts, the biggest short-term rental platform, make $924 a month. You can make more or less, depending on where you live, the kind of space you have, whether it’s a year-round or seasonal rental and more. You list your property on the platform, renters rent it using a credit card. Both hosts and renters are rated by users to keep things honest.
Some of the biggest short-term rental platforms besides Airbnb are HomeAway, VRBO and FlipKey. There are restrictions in some areas, and there are considerations like taxes, fees, cleaning and more, so be sure you do your research.
13. Make Money Doing Odd jobs
It’s a fact of life that there are things people don’t want to do – clean their gutters, wash their windows, haul rubbish to the dump, weed the lawn and more. If you can do it, someone will likely pay you for it.
You can specialize or be an odd-job generalist. There are apps – of course – the most common one is TaskRabbit, which sets hourly rates and takes 15%.
If you want to work for yourself, marketing can be as simple as putting a poster with your phone number up at the supermarket or creating a free Facebook business page. Cultivating customer reviews, finding ways to enhance your knowledge and experience (for instance, taking adult ed courses on things like gardening or home repair. Letting people know you’re out there is key.
14. Make Money Caring for Pets
If you like animals, you can hire yourself out as a dog-walker and/or pet sitter. Boarding a pet at a kennel can be expensive, and if the pet is a cat, bird or ferret, many times boarding isn’t the best option.
This is another side hustle for which creating a free Facebook business page and getting references and reviews helps. You may want to volunteer at the local humane shelter as a dog-walker or cleaning out cages to gain some cred and experience that’ll make feel people comfortable leaving Rover or Mittens in your care.
15. Make Money House-Sitting
People who have to spend time away from home don’t always like leaving it empty. Setting up a house-sitting service can be a side-hustle that brings in some extra money.
You don’t have to stay at the house, but can set fees for services like taking in the mail, watering plants, caring for pets, maintaining the yard and more. It may take some research to figure out what people will pay, or work with customers to set custom fees.
As with other side hustles that involve personal marketing, a free Facebook business page gives you a web presence and a platform for reviews and to answer questions and more. It’s important to make sure potential customers know you’re reliable and honest, so whatever you can do to add that credibility is a plus.
16. Make Money Babysitting
This is another old-school side hustle that still can pay in the modern world. Advertising yourself as a babysitter,creating a free business Facebook page and getting references and reviews makes a lot of difference. Taking CPR or other first-aid courses and other enhancements that make you stand out is a plus.
If you’re going to watch kids in your own home, research local rules that allow you to do it without having to officially become a daycare center, these are usually limits on how many kids can be under your care at a time.
17. Make Money by Spending Money
This doesn’t involve working, just spending money to make money. A variety of debit cards offer cash-back rewards. Most offer 1% with no fee; some have fees and offer more money back.
There are a wide variety and it’s smart to research what would work best for you and your spending habits and finances. Aspiration offers 3-5%, with a monthly fee of your choosing; pay $15 a month and get 10% back.
Cards offering 1% with no fees include DiscoverCard, which offers cash back on the first $3,000 spent each month; Axos has no cap, but it’s on transactions that require a signature. American Express Serve Cash Back is a prepaid debit card with cash back. The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard also pays 1% cash back. Radius offers 1.5% back, but you have to maintain a daily average balance of $2,500. Cheese, which caters to Asian communities, offers 10% cash back when buying from a partner business.
Your local bank may also have a cash back perk. Go online and check it out.
18. Make Money Watching Videos, Playing Games and More Online
This is almost like making money for doing nothing or doing what you do for fun every day. The website InboxDollars will pay you for taking surveys, watching videos, playing video games, reading email, shopping online and more.
Admit it – you do all those things anyway.
The company pays a $5 bonus to sign on, and the pay for each activity is small, generally five to 25 cents, but it can add up.
If you’ve got game, check out Bubble Cash. This free online game app pays up to $83 when you win playing the classic Bubble Shooter game. It takes skill, but the more you play, the more likely you are to win.
19. Make Money by Losing Weight
How many times have you said, “I could lose weight if someone would pay me?” Now there’s an app for that. HealthyWage pays you to lose weight.
This “side hustle” requires keeping your eye on the prize to make money, but you could lose money if it doesn’t work for you. You make a bet on how much weight you can lose over a period of time, and pay a monthly wager, with a minimum of $20. If you lose the weight, you get your money back as well as a bonus payment. The bonuses are custom for each participant, based on the wager, time element, age, amount to lose and more.
You can fiddle around with the calculation to get something that works for finances and also that’s an achievable goal before committing. The app encourages healthy weight loss, usually a rate of one or two pounds a week. You send a video “before” image (the app walks you through it) and another at the end to prove you lost the weight. You can also join challenges or get friends to join to earn more money.
If you can’t lose the weight by the deadline, you can extend it. I signed up for this earlier this year and am paying $40 a month, wagering I’ll lose 40 pounds in a year. If I do, I get back the $480 I paid, plus another $652 for a sweet payout of $1,132.
Keep your fingers crossed!
Tom Jackson focuses on writing about debt solutions for consumers struggling to make ends meet. His background includes time as a columnist for newspapers in Washington D.C., Tampa and Sacramento, Calif., where he reported and commented on everything from city and state budgets to the marketing of local businesses and how the business of professional sports impacts a city. Along the way, he has racked up state and national awards for writing, editing and design. Tom’s blogging on the 2016 election won a pair of top honors from the Florida Press Club. A University of Florida alumnus, St. Louis Cardinals fan and eager-if-haphazard golfer, Tom splits time between Tampa and Cashiers, N.C., with his wife of 40 years, college-age son, and Spencer, a yappy Shetland sheepdog.
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