In my house, it seems like we are always a little short on cash. So I looked into the best ways to earn extra money on the side.
Here’s what I learned:
Some of the best ways to earn a side income include starting a website, managing social media accounts for other websites, house-sitting, dog walking or even using skills you already have such as graphic designing or photography to take online jobs when and where you want to.
Just a small infusion of cash can make a big difference when you’re on a tight budget. But when you look on the internet at ways to earn extra money, it can be a little overwhelming.
Some sound too good to be true. Many sound scammy or spammy.
A few are probably are totally legit but might require an initial cash investment (hey we’re here to earn extra money on the side, not spend money we don’t have, right?)
But, there really are a TON of things you can do on the side without a large investment of time or money. That’s money you can use to pay off debt, save for Christmas Spending (click to read my article on how to spend $1,000 on Christmas with no debt) or just let you catch your breath and stop living Paycheck to Paycheck.
How do I make an extra $1000 a month?
Start a blog!
Blogs make money both from ads (up to about $15 for every 1000 page views your website gets). So if 1,000,000 people come to your website each month, ads alone could make you $15,000 each and every month.
Even if you never get that successful, it could still easily get to a level where you make an extra $1,000 each month.
The key to a successful website is to have articles that come up when people type questions into Google. That process is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). After all, you might be the best writer in the world, but if you don’t show up in Google search results, your articles will never see the light of day.
So start by learning How to DIY your SEO in my comprehensive guide. Don’t worry! I’m not trying to sell you expensive tools; you can do SEO for free by following my steps.
Once you understand how to pick topics to write about, the rest of making a successful website is incredibly easy.
Check out my Step by Step Guide to Building Your Website and see what you can do!
How can I make $5000 fast?
There’s not a doubt in my mind that making helpful websites is the best long-term online strategy for making extra money on the side and eventually replacing and surpassing your 9 to 5 income.
BUT, it’s not a get rich quick scheme.
Generally speaking, it can take 50-100 individual articles on a website and 8 months after you’ve published those articles before they will ever start to make you money. They CAN, however, make you money consistently, month after month, for a long time.
If you need to make $5,000 fast, I would personally do a combination of the following:
- Sign up with Paribus (at no cost!), they will review purchases from major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Amazon and many others and if they see a price drop, they pay you the difference.
- Sell some sort of service on websites like Fivrr (it could be writing blog posts, editing blog posts, etc)
- Drive part-time for Uber or Lyft. Chances are you know and have used them, but if not, you basically become a freelance taxi driver using your own vehicle, taking jobs from your mobile app when and where you want to
But that probably still won’t get you $5,000 within a few weeks to 2 months.
So in addition to considering those things, I would probably also look to do something I could do online late at night or early in the morning whenever I had a spare moment.
Probably the best thing I can think of for that would be to sign up for SurveyJunkie and get paid to take surveys and give companies your opinions on a wide variety of topics.
How much do Amazon sellers make?
Amazon (and Google and Apple) pretty much rule the world.
Last year, as reported by Marketplace Pulse, over 20,000 Amazon sellers made over $1,000,000! There are now more than 2 million sellers on the Amazon FBA program.
But even if you never get to the $1,000,000 level selling on Amazon, last year 140,000 sellers made over $100,000. 39% of those sellers are in China. The vast majority of the rest are based in US states like California, New York, Florida, and Texas.
But it’s not easy, as I talk about below.
Between finding products, paying to ship them to Amazon, paying Amazon a fee, and then hoping people buy them and that no other seller sells the same thing for less, it does have some risk.
There are no doubt going to be plenty of Amazon sellers that never see a profit and compared to some online business models, this one is far from a low cost of entry, and very far from being a source of passive income.
To learn more about how to sell things on Amazon, just click the link.
Is it worth it to sell on Amazon?
Make no mistake, many people go around to Walmart clearance shelves or discount stores buying things for a low price, shipping them to Amazon and selling them for a profit.
The program, which I get into a little bit below also, is called Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon).
Other people use a liaison like Alibaba to find companies in China to manufacture items to their specifications and then sell those products on Amazon.
Some people doubtlessly make millions of dollars doing that.
Back when I started my website, I checked out virtually all the different ways to make money online. Ultimately I decided to start websites and provide helpful information, earning money from the ads on my sites as well as from product recommendations.
While you certainly can make money on Amazon, I didn’t like it because:
- You have to shell out the money upfront to buy products
- Then you hope people buy those things on Amazon
- You have very little control as to how your items show up in Amazon searches
- You also don’t have any control in whether anyone else is selling the same things as you (or what price they sell them for)
So for me, Amazon was NOT worth it, in terms of being a seller. But if you have some amazingly low-priced discounters near you that have tons of stuff on their clearance shelves marked way down, you may be able to make it work in your favor.
Alternately, if you have a product idea you truly believe will be a hot seller on Amazon and currently, there isn’t a great product filling that demand, you might strike gold finding someone in China to make it for you.
But let’s dive into my . . .
53 Clever Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side
1. Sell stuff!
It sounds simple. If you’re anything like me you’ve got tons of stuff in your house you aren’t using. You can sell on Craigslist, Ebay or Amazon or even your local neighborhood Facebook page if you have one.
I typically find Craigslist is best for larger things that would have high shipping costs or for things that are hyper-local (like my wife’s college textbook from last semester that was branded with her college name).
Ebay is not as great as it was a decade ago, but if you search for your item and don’t see hundreds of others selling the same thing it can still be a good way to go; just make sure to price your things competitively.
2. Amazon FBA Program
Very simply this is a program where you find stuff on the clearance shelves of Wal-Mart, Target, etc that you buy and turn around and sell on Amazon for big bucks!
It’s easy and free to join and there’s a free app you can use to scan the items you are considering buying and it will tell you what the current going price is on Amazon so you can quickly and easily calculate how much money you’ll make.
The best part is you ship everything to Amazon and they take care of selling, packing and shipping the items to the customers who buy them!
Learn more at AmazonFBA
3. Take Online Surveys and get paid!
GoldOpinions shows you how you can sit in your PJs, drinking coffee, taking online surveys while earning big money.
Talk about quick and easy cash? This one is a no-brainer!
4. Promote items from ClickBank
Sell countless items to friends, family, through Facebook ads or your own website! If you don’t know ClickBank, it’s the top site for what’s called Affiliate Marketing.
Essentially, it’s free to join and if a product or service you promote has a sale, you get a commission. No sales? It costs you nothing, but some people make thousands of dollars doing this.
Want to dive in deeper? Get started today with this free eBook!
5. Going on vacation? Rent out your home while you’re gone!
Renting your place while it’s empty anyway just makes sense.
But if you live someplace like I do (the Austin, TX area), when big festivals roll into town like ACL or SXSW and all the hotels are booked up, go stay with friends or family and rent your house out for big bucks!
FlipKey by TripAdvisor makes it quick and easy to list your house and earn extra money on the side!
6. Know how to draw, paint or use Photoshop?
Simply get registered with them, look for people looking for designs, submit a design and get paid once it’s selected!
7. Become a Virtual Assistant to anyone around the globe!
Virtual Assistants, or VA’s as they are commonly called, are increasingly popular among entrepreneurs and small businesses who need help but can’t afford employees or don’t want the hassle of managing people.
Work from home, set your own hours and do work you love and who knows? You might even end up ground level at the next Facebook! Upwork is a great way to get started and to earn extra money on the side!
8. Take a dog for a walk!
Yes, you can get paid to walk people’s dogs. Rover is a nationwide network connecting dog walkers and dog owners. Simply sign up, tell Rover what days and times you are available and start earning cash today!
9. Get paid when you’ve overpaid on shopping!
Sound too good to be true? But yes, if you sign up with Paribus (at no cost!), they will review purchases from major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Amazon and many others and if they see a price drop, they pay you the difference. Earning money was NEVER this easy!
10. Get paid to do online work for others!
Fiverr is a site you’ve probably heard of. If you have a talent for writing music, transcribing, designing, programming, marketing or many others, you can look for others around the world wanting to hire someone to do that for them. Do the work and get paid!
Think you don’t have any skills? I’ll bet you can read and type! If so, check out how to earn thousands doing simple data entry work by going to HomeJobsDirectory.
11. Know a little math, English or science? Become a tutor
You can post an ad on Craigslist or your local HOA Facebook page or use a service like Wyzant which connects thousands of tutors with parents looking for tutors, including ONLINE tutoring.
Simply create a free profile and start getting students today. earn extra money on the side while helping kids at the same time!
You can post an ad on Craigslist or your local HOA Facebook page or use a service like Wyzant which connects thousands of tutors with parents looking for tutors, including ONLINE tutoring, and Preply that allows you to become an English teacher at ease.
12. Like to take pictures? Sell them to Shutterstock!
Shutterstock is the premier stock photo company (ie: the only one Facebook is directly affiliated with for their ads) and you can sign up, upload your photos and get paid every time someone downloads one. And hey!
Maybe the next Facebook ad you see will have your image in it!
13. Get Paid to help others manage their social media!
As crazy as it sounds, you can get paid to help entrepreneurs and small businesses post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Simply log in to this account, scan for available work & see what the job pays and apply for that job. Quickly and easily start raking in cash. As an example, one retailer is willing to pay $95/week for daily Facebook posts to their business fan page.
Talk about an easy way to earn extra money on the side!
Learn more at PaidSocialMediaJobs!
14. Teach English (or your native language) online!
Italki.com is a virtual online classroom where teachers and students come together and get connected. You don’t have to be a professional teacher, just take the skills you already have and help others learn the basics.
Is there anything better than getting paid while helping others at a potential range of up to $20/hr.?
15. Have a car you don’t use all the time? Rent it out or drive others for cash!
You’ve all heard of Uber and Lyft which allow you to sign up to essentially be taxi drivers. You set your own hours & schedule and drive when and where you want to earning fares and tips as you go.
However, Turo.com is a company that allows you to safely and securely rent out your car locally for short or long periods of time.
If you’re paying car payments, inspections, registration, and insurance make that thing work for you and earn extra money on the side!
16. Have some DIY skills or a trade? Sell your services with Zaarly!
Zaarly is a site similar to Angie’s List where local business and service providers offer their services to customers looking for that service. Zaarly does not allow these people to advertise, so unlike Yelp or the BBB, these service providers are earning their reputations purely based on legitimate customer feedback. They’ve been featured on CNN and in the Wall Street Journal.
Sign up today and start getting jobs, paying Zaarly just 10% for sending the customer to you.
17. Get paid to perform small tasks for your neighbors!
TaskRabbit is a site that connects people who need errands run or small tasks performed with people who want to do them. Simple right? Their app will notify you of tasks needing to be done in your area and you simply accept and get paid!
Recommended by Inc and Fortune and it appears they just got bought by Ikea!
18. Get paid to shop!
EasyShift is a free app that allows you to earn extra money on the side to scan items while you’re doing your shopping. No purchase necessary, just scan the barcode of the items and keep moving!
They pay between $3 and $8 per shopping trip, so you’re not traveling to Costa Rica on that, but hey! You’ve gotta go shopping anyway, right?
May as well earn extra money on the side!
Wondering how much some of these jobs really pay in the real world? Check out this handy infographic from a recent study by Earnest.com
19. Get paid to share your thoughts!
Believe it or not, large companies pay big bucks for “market research” and one of the key ways they do that is to gather small groups of typical shoppers and have them participate in what are called focus groups.
Essentially you’ll participate in a meeting with a representative from the company who will ask questions and solicit thoughts, feedback, and opinions. Check out www.focusgroup.com to earn extra money on the side today!
20. Get paid for your daily commute!
If you’re going from point A to point B every day, why not drop stuff off along the way and get paid for it? Roadie.com is a service that connects you, the commuter, with people in your area who need stuff picked up near where your starting point is and taking it to somewhere near your destination.
Up to $50 per local trip depending on distance and if you’re willing to drive further (or do already), you can make hundreds driving a route you were already doing anyway!
21. Sell Books, CDs, and DVDs for quick cash
For most of us over 40 our house is likely filled with old CDs, DVDs and books we aren’t using anymore. Half Price Books will pay you cash while you wait at anywhere from .25¢ or more on the dollar.
Don’t have one near you? Craigslist, Amazon or eBay can be good options too. But for books specifically, especially textbooks, check out www.bookscouter.com. They will search the web for people looking to buy the titles you want to sell.
Earn extra money on the side or have stuff taking up space on your shelves? An easy decision in my book!
22. Cut your bills!
Want an easy and cheap way to cut your bills?
I just signed up with Trim. They negotiate with the bill companies of your choice. If they can lower your payments, they take a small percentage of the savings. If they can’t reduce your bills, it costs you nothing.
The app automatically looks at your monthly bills & spending and then cross-checks that with savings programs almost all vendors have. It’s a great way to put a few extra bucks in those envelopes each month!
When they match up, you save. They’ll even handle the hassle of canceling memberships you no longer want or renegotiate bills for you like insurance and cable bills.
Just sign up and spend on your Visa card and earn automatic savings back on your statement!
Learn more over at Trim.
23. Play the virtual lottery
Lucktastic is an app for your phone that lets you play a virtual scratch off. Win cash, prizes, gift cards and more!
24. Get special offers and discounts for the shopping you already do
Ibotta is an app that allows you to get discounts and special offers from the retailers you already buy from. Just select the offers that appeal to you. Make your purchase, snap a pic of your receipt and wa-la! Cash comes your way!
Examples of offers at this time (may change):
- $3.50 off Heinz Mayonaise
- 50% off Amazon Prime Student Membership
- $3.50 off Meow Mix Cat Food
25. Get paid to take and test video games!
Love video games? Have we got a job for you! Make up to $3,500/month playing video games from the comfort of your own bedroom. Check out Gaming Jobs Online to learn more!
26. Love to write? Get paid to write blog posts, e-books and more!
Work from home or a laptop on the beach. You choose the jobs and you choose the hours.
This program has been featured on MSNBC, Entrepreneur and more.
Check out WritingJobsOnline to learn more.
27. Invest with pocket change and watch your money soar!
Acorns is an investment site like no other. When you make a purchase anywhere, be it Starbucks or the gas station, you set our app to round up the purchase. The spare change is automatically invested in your account. The app does all the heavy lifting, so no detailed financial savvy needed and best of all; no will-power needed!
With literally no effort at all, you could easily rack up hundreds of thousands without even trying. See why this company has been talked about by Forbes and ABC!
28. Save big on recurring monthly bills
The app Trim automatically looks at your recurring monthly bills and then cross-checks that with savings programs almost all vendors have. When they match up, you save. They’ll even handle the hassle of canceling memberships you no longer want or renegotiate bills for you like insurance and cable bills.
Come see why they have been recommended by the likes of the New York Times and Fortune Magazine.
29. Get cash rewards for the purchases you already make!
Drop is a game-changing app! It’s totally free and when you link your debit and/or credit cards to it, you earn points for the purchases you were going to make anyway. “Rack up points for going grocery shopping, taking an Uber to work, grabbing a snack, and more. ”
Then those points can be redeemed at places like Starbucks, Trader Joes and hundreds more. See why the Wall Street Journal and USA Today are singing their praises!
30. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Set your own hours, take the jobs you want, be picky about how far you’re willing to go. You’re in the driver’s seat (literally and figuratively).
You’ve all heard of Uber and Lyft which allow you to sign up to essentially be taxi drivers using your own vehicles. You set your own hours & schedule and drive when and where you want to earn fares and tips as you go.
Easily earn extra money on the side of upwards of $400/month to your income for just a small investment of your time.
31. Add a part-time job with Flexjobs.com
FlexJobs is an online resource for locating part-time jobs in your area. Match your skills and qualifications with the vetted and legitimate employers looking for people just like you.
Avoid the scams and too-good-to-be-true ads you see in places like Craigslist and start earning with a side hustle tomorrow!
32. Have a website? Become an Affiliate for Amazon!
If you have a blog or website and aren’t signed up for Amazon’s Affiliate Program you’re definitely leaving money on the table.
What’s an affiliate program? Essentially you recommend items on Amazon to visitors to your website. If they buy that item, you get a commission on not only that item but anything else they buy within 24 hours!
Most commissions are only 4% so you aren’t hanging with the Rockefellers yet, but you’re well on your way!
As an example, check out my Amazon Influencer page on Amazon which shows the top items I love and recommend.
33. Sell your photographs online using PhotographyJobs
PhotographyJobs is an online system that shows you step-by-step how to take pictures you probably already have or can easily shoot and earn extra money on the side!
Every website on the planet uses stock photos, including mine. So why can’t your photos be some of the ones that get used?
Make up to $250/day uploading pics from home.
They pay $1.00 per picture downloaded and have millions of potential buyers waiting for your next picture.
34. Have a skill others need? Create and sell an online course on Udemy!
Udemy allows anyone to create an online course on virtually any topic and then sell it to their millions of visitors looking for courses.
Not sure how to create an online course? I bet Udemy has a course for that!
35. Register website address and sell them to prospective buyers
What if you’d been the person who thought to register Apple.com back when the internet first took off? Well if you’d registered the name before Steve Jobs did he’d be paying you a LOT of money to buy it from you.
People register URLs all the time with no intention of putting a website on it. They are banking that if they pick the right name someone will later come along and want to buy it.
Register your next domain name at GoDaddy for up to 30% off! Some are as low as 99 cents!
36. Sell those old phones, laptops and other tech collecting dust!
Swappa is a site that allows you to sell all your old tech; Apple, Android, laptops, video games and more.
Almost all of us have that old iPhone or laptop that we don’t use any more, so you may as well sell it and earn extra money on the side today!
37. Build websites and sell them to local businesses
This is an idea I had myself that I haven’t implemented yet, but I still think it’s a great idea.
If you sign up for Siteground web hosting’s Grow Big Plan at only $5.95/month you can host unlimited websites.
Look for local businesses in your area that are not ranking well on Google. Then pull up their website on your phone. If it’s not a good looking site and/or not mobile responsive, they are leaving money on the table.
When it’s ready, reach out and let them know you noticed they weren’t ranking well and that their website is likely the culprit.
Send them a link to the site you created (which will be a temporary URL since the final site will be on their URL). Offer to sell them the site for $200 (or more).
Offer to handle the switch (which the Siteground free tech support will mostly handle for you) for an additional fee and offer to maintain the site monthly for a recurring fee.
Rinse and repeat and who knows? Your side hustle might become your full-time job!
38. Sell your hair!
No; I’m not kidding. BuyandSellHair.com has verified buyers waiting to buy your extra hair!
Believe it or not, but some hair sells for hundreds of dollars! Get a nice shortcut for summer and earn extra money on the side tomorrow!
39. Sell your recycling
I know most of us still put the recycling out curbside, but many towns have recycling centers where you can sell your recyclables.
Simply get a few of these 32-gallon trash cans on Amazon and put in your garage so you can keep the recyclables separate. When they’re full, take them to your nearby recycling center and earn extra money on the side!
Don’t a truck to haul those bigger trash cans? Consider these little 10 Gallon Cans which should fit nicely in any car.
40. Win cash playing online game shows
Log in at 3 pm or 9 pm, EST and try your shot at the usual $2,000 grand prize! Dan Rather actually won a round in December 2018. Will you be next?
41. Sell those old DVDs, CDS, and tech
Decluttr buys it all; CDs, DVDs, books and more. Enter the barcode on your item, specify the condition and receive an instant offer. Get paid the day after they receive the item and shipping to them is free!
They even have a free app for Apple and Android that makes the whole process seamless!
42. Pick up your neighbor’s curbside discards and sell for cash!
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, the neighbors are always leaving old furniture, baby stuff and a whole lot more out by the curb for free.
LetGo is a free desktop and mobile app you use to post the items you find for sale. Snap, post, chat, sell. It’s that simple.
43. Get paid for looking at the ads you already see anyway
Let’s face it, we can’t look at any device these days without seeing ads; mobile, Netflix, websites; you name it. So if you’re seeing the ads anyway, you may as well get paid for it!
Slidejoy is an app that rewards you in gift cards for viewing ads and trending news on your phone. Redeem the rewards to your Paypal account or gift cards to your favorite retailers.
Talk about one of the simplest ways to earn extra money on the side! Android only for the moment.
44. Find a class action lawsuit near you!
Millions of businesses get sued every year and chances are one of them you’ve used. Check out the ever-updated list of class action lawsuits on the Penny Hoarder website.
See one that looks familiar? With a little detective work and proof of purchase, you could be well on your way to partaking in the next million dollar settlement!
45. Claim your forgotten cash!
Almost everyone over the age of 30 likely has some bank account they opened as a kid or a languishing old 401k at your first employer. Or maybe your parents bought a life insurance policy on you as a baby?
Search now (search for an immediate family too; maybe they’ll give you a cut?) and see what might be out there for you! Check out the Unclaimed Property website and start your search today!
46. Give Congress a piece of your mind and get paid to do it!
Finally, get the political respect you deserve and earn extra money on the side! Well, maybe not the political respect, but NextWave Advocacy Group will pay you to write letters to prominent politicals of all major parties.
Pick and choose the campaigns that suit your needs and views. Some projects take just minutes while others may take weeks. The more you do the more you earn!
47. Buy and Sell Bitcoin
Coinbase is a broker where you can buy or sell Bitcoin. As of this posting, 1 Bitcoin is selling for $8,250! 1 year ago its price was about $1,200.
Just think if you had bought just 5 Bitcoins a year ago for $6,000, that would be worth a whopping $41,250!
Of course like all investments, nothing is guaranteed and your results certainly could vary but it’s still a great way to possibly earn extra money on the side!
Localbitcoins is a peer-to-peer marketplace where you can buy bitcoin with Paypal, credit credits, or cash.
Learn more about the Risks of Bitcoin before you dive in!
48. Participate in a medical study
The US National Library of Medicine has a database of privately and publically funded medical studies looking for volunteers just like you. Just do a quick search and browse the hundreds of thousands of available trials available.
Then narrow down the options with the choices that best fit your needs. A quick check of my specifics yielded over 30,000 results. Keep narrowing down, apply and get paid!
Even if you have no medical issues, many are always looking for healthy adults!
49. House Sit
Almost all of us get a little nervous when we go away on vacation. Now you can put someone else’s mind at ease and earn extra money on the side while you do it!
Thumbtack is a network that connects people looking for services like home sitters (and hundreds of other services) with people like yourself who are willing to do that job.
50. Stage a home for sale
Almost all of us have at least 1 friend who is a Realtor. According to the National Association of Realtors, a staged home will sell for 17% more than a non-staged home.
How do you get started? Start with a small inventory of stuff from your local Ikea or even Goodwill. Remember smaller pieces and fewer of them make the home look larger. Bright colors make the home cheerier as well.
For your first home why not start by just asking for a percentage of the negotiated sale price; that way you’re earning the Realtor’s trust. Once the house is sold, move the furniture on to the next one and make sure to get their referral!
Learn more about How to Become a Home Stager for Less than $100.
51. Rent out your garage or driveway
You may be limited by an HOA but if it’s allowed in your area consider renting out a portion (or all) of your garage and/or driveway to a neighbor with a boat or RV.
Lots of folks have ’em and many end up paying to store them someplace so it might as well be with you.
Start by just contacting neighbors who have one and ask. Or post a free ad on Craiglist.
52. Start a Blog!
Blogging is great and it doesn’t have to just be a hobby.
While it takes a little time to get people coming to your site, you can make money from ads, or sponsors and affiliate products. Learn more about how to Start a Blog.
53. Move your savings account to a high-interest one
This one isn’t quite about how to earn extra money on the side as much as it is maximizing the cash you already have.
The average bank’s savings account pays almost nothing in interest. Discover Bank, however, pays 1.75% interest. That’s a whopping 5 times the typical bank interest rate.
Did I cover all the ways to earn extra money on the side you were hoping for?
In this post, we took a look at 53 totally legit ways you can earn extra money on the side right now!
I’m not talking about day labor or delivering pizzas.
No, these are legitimate ways to get a few extra bucks, many of which can be done online and/or from home.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If not, or you have other ideas, please share them here with a comment!