50 Ways To Make Money: Maximizing, Creating And Increasing Your Income

A week or so ago I published a post called 50 Easy Ways To Save Money Every Month where I gave tips for how people can save money every month and improve their bottom line.  We gave tips on how to save on regular recurring bills, how to repair money leaks, and how to get creative to find other savings around the house. The idea is to have more left over to pay off debt, or if you don’t have any debt –  more left over for giving, saving and investing.

While I think it’s important to find ways to save every month, I also think it’s important to make sure you maximize what’s coming in as well.  You can only cut so many things out of your budget, but you can always find ways to increase your income.

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How To Get Money When You’ve Already Got A Job

One objection I often get right off the bat when talking about creating new income streams is this:

“I’ve already got a full time job. How am I supposed to find the time to make money on the side”?

I’ve been working a full time job, raising my son with my wife and making a great side income all at the same time for the last 4 years. It’s isn’t easy, but it’s possible and it can be done.  You just have to decide how important extra income is to you, and find ways to make creating income fun.  You can make it more fun by making money off of your hobbies like I did, or do things more casually to create income.

So without further ado, let’s jump into a list of 50 easy ways to make money (admittedly some of these are not easy).

 

Improving Your Existing Income

make money by improving incomeThis may or may not be obvious, but one of the first things you can do to raise your income is to work at increasing the money you’re making from your day job. Or if  an income boost isn’t in the cards, get better benefits!  There are a couple of ways to maximize your current income.

  • Ask for a raise:  A lot of people would never even think about asking for a raise, but in most cases there’s nothing wrong with asking. If you don’t ask, how do you know what will happen?  If your current job doesn’t show any increase, are there opportunities for advancement?
  • Ask for more perks or benefits: While a raise isn’t always necessarily in the cards find a way to get a raise without increased income by getting better benefits, a company car, company cell phone, tuition reimbursements or other perks.
  • Find a better paying job: If your salary isn’t increasing at the pace you’d like, you can always look for a better job! Just make sure not to print out that resume on the company printer.

I know these things aren’t always going to be options in this economy, so let’s continue looking at other ways to make money.

Making Money On A Hobby

make money on a hobbyMost people have hobbies or things that they enjoy doing in their downtime.  For me I enjoy writing, so I started a blog. After writing for a short time I figured out how to make money from my blog. I have a friend who enjoys photography and she turned it into a side gig taking pictures of events for friends.  Here are some more ideas how to make money from a hobby:

  • Start a blog:  I started my website as a hobby in my free time and only later realized how much money could be made from a blog.   Check out my e-book talking about how to make money with a blog.
  • Make jewelry:  Another friend got really into making her own jewelry and then realized that there was a huge market for that kind of thing on Etsy.com.
  • Knit or crochet things to sell:  Another friend knits things in her free time and resells some of it for a pretty penny on Etsy as well.
  • Doing caricatures or other art:  I have a co-worker who would make some spare money doing caricatures at local fairs, parks and attractions.   Another friend would make sculpture to sell at local art fairs.
  • Roast and sell your own coffee: My brother has turned his love of coffee into a side venture.  He buys green coffee, roasts it and then resells it for a profit (while still being a better value than Starbucks!) His coffee wisdom is free of charge!  (Head over to his site to get some coffee!)
  • Be a DJ: Have a love for music?  Be a DJ and make a little extra change.
  • Be a freelance writer: Have a love for writing, but no desire to start an entire blog?  Be a freelance writer for other people’s blogs, websites and more – and make some money while you’re at it!
  • Watch TV, get paid:  There are now companies that will pay you to watch TV.  For example, one company has an iPhone app that you open when watching TV, and it automatically logs what shows you’re watching. You get paid based on a point system.
  • Cooking/Catering:  Love to cook as a hobby?  Turn your love of cooking into a side business. Offer small scale catering, dessert service or meal preparation for friends, family and others!
  • Woodworking:  Love woodworking in your spare time?  Turn it into a money making hobby by making things that people will want to buy at flea markets, Etsy or elsewhere.
  • Scrapbooking:  I was reading about how one lady turned her love of scrapbooking into a side income.  Clients tell her a page they’d like her themes to create for their scrapbook, and she’ll put one together for a cost.
  • Be a personal shopper:  Some people love to shop, and others would rather die than shop.  Be a personal shopper for those who hate it!
  • Write songs for people:  Post an ad on Craigslist or Fiverr.com offering to write songs for people. Write on request, record and send over an .MP3

The point is, find something you like doing, and get creative about finding a way to make that  hobby pay!

Find A Need And Fill It

make money by filling a needSometimes in the course of your day you’ll figure out that you’re constantly getting asked by family and friends to do something for them. Instead of doing it for free, turn it into a service and charge!  For example, I kept getting requests from friends to do logo designs for them, so eventually I created a website and started charging for my hard work.

  • Graphic design:  I do some graphic design through my day job, and friends were asking me for help.  I turned my skills into a side gig with my graphic design site.
  • Computer support: Another friend of mine is good with computers and will help people out on the weekend for a small fee.
  • Walk dogs or be a pet sitter: Good with dogs? Be a neighborhood dog walker, or offer your services as a pet sitter!
  • Create websites:  A gentleman I know through work consults with local businesses and helps them create a basic website using WordPress and his design skills.
  • Consult in your area of expertise:  Run a successful web business? Consult with other entrepreneurs for a reasonable fee.
  • Write an ebook: Know a lot about a certain topic, or are interested in learning? Research and  put together an ebook about a certain topic and sell it!
  • Open a niche store:  Think of a product that would sell well online?  Open a niche store as others have done with some success.
  • Be a virtual assistant: More and more online entrepreneurs are looking for reliable help in performing everyday tasks online.  You can make a few hundred a month at this if you want.
  • Create and sell t-shirts and other products:  Keep tabs on popular culture and then create and sell t-shirts based on popular events and people. Check out my blogger store on  CafePress.com or also use a site like Zazzle.com.
  • Offer to do odd jobs:  Sites like Zaarly.com make it easy to post a job you’re willing to do online, and then have someone hire you to do it.
  • Rent your parking spot: Have a parking spot near a popular attraction or sporting event?  Rent it out by the day and make some money.  I know some people near our Minnesota State Fair make hundreds of dollars every year allowing people to park on their lawns and driveways.

Making Money On The Side

making money on the sideThere are a lot of other miscellaneous ways to make money on the side.  These things aren’t going to make you rich, but can be fun or a nice way to get some extra spending cash. Here are just a few:

  • Be on a virtual jury:  Some people will make money by being on virtual jury – to help a defense attorney try out a case on live people. You can try sites like http://www.ejury.com/ or http://www.virtualjury.com/ for e-duty.
  • Be a referee:  Everybody knows that refs are blind, but you can still make some decent dough reffing on the side!
  • Get a paper route: My brothers and I did a paper route with our dad for several years growing up.  It was a few hours on weekends, and made a few extra bucks.
  • Deliver pizzas:  The hours can usually be pretty flexible, and you can make some decent money delivering pizzas on the side!
  • House sitting: House sit for people and get new jobs via word of mouth.
  • Rent out a room:  Make some extra coin by renting out an extra room to a college student or friend from church. Make sure you know the laws surrounding this in  your area.
  • Rent out your tools:  You bought all those expensive tools, but hardly use them. Consider putting them to use and renting them out on a site like NeighborGoods.
  • Be a tutor: You can tutor kids in an area of your expertise in your spare time.
  • Babysitting:  Both teenagers and young adults can do this!  I know some parents who will take in an extra kid on a regular basis for less than the cost of day care.
  • Give music lessons:  Play an instrument and love to teach? Give music lessons.
  • Be a landlord:  While this one requires a substantial outlay of capital up front, it can lead to some positive cash flow every month if done right.
  • Be a movie extra: Sign up with an agency to be a movie extra when films come to your area.  It may not pay much but you’ll at least get a free lunch and a small check!
  • Take surveys: There are sites like Survey Savvy where you can take surveys and get paid in cash or gift cards for your participation.
  • Use “get-paid-to” sites:  Sites like Cash CrateSwagBucks or Ebates are sites that will pay you for you shopping via their portals or for filling out surveys or signing up for trial offers. Cash Crate has worked well for me, I’ve made almost $6000 from that site in the past few years.
  • Use smartphone apps to make money: There are a variety of smartphone apps out there that you can use to make money for doing simple tasks like taking a picture of a product in store, to checking in at local businesses and more.  A few include: WeReward, CheckPoints and Gigwalk are a few to check out.

Sell Things To Make Money

make money by selling thingsIf you’re short on cash you can also sell things that you’ve got around the house, buy and re-sell things from garage sales – or if you want to live on the wild side – you can even sell your body!

  • Sell yourself:  You can make money in some interesting ways, not least among them selling your body!  No, not like that – but selling your plasma, your eggs or your sperm.  If you’re extremely adventurous you can take part in a drug trial!
  • Have a garage sale: You can have a garage sale to get rid of some clutter, and make some cash.  Our most recent garage sale made us several hundred dollars!  Here are some tips for a successful garage sale.
  • Sell things online:  If you’ve got unused things around the house that are worth something, sell them online.  I’ve had good luck selling smaller items like video games, music and movies on eBay or Amazon.com, while for bigger items Craigslist seems to work pretty well.
  • Sell your follicles:  Some people will sell their hair for a good chunk of change.  The hair can be used to make wigs,  hair extensions or used in artwork via sites like TheHairTrader.com.   Some people routinely make between $300-900.

Making Money Doing Things No One Else Wants To Do

make money doing dirty jobsSometimes there’s a buck to be made doing things that other people don’t want to do.  Trust me, there’s a lot of jobs to be done doing things other people don’t want to do.

  • Be a poop scooper:  One enterprising young man I read about turned his neighborhood poop scooping  help into a full fledged business where people would pay monthly fees to have their yards scooped for them.
  • Cut the grass:  Mow grass in the summer for an extra buck.
  • Hunting for lost golf balls:  Get permission to find stray golf balls in course water hazards and near local courses.  Re-sell the balls for a profit.
  • Shovel walks or plow driveways in the winter: Shovel walks or plow driveways if you have the strong back and the equipment.
  • Telemarketing: Seems there are always jobs open in this line of work. I wonder why?
  • Hunting for aluminum cans:  Hunt for aluminum cans where no one else will look, and turn them in for (a small amount of) cash.
  • Crime scene cleanup: You can find flexible jobs cleaning up houses to make extra money, or even make six figures cleaning up crime scenes if you’re not squeamish!
  • Garbage day scrap metal detective: Some people will make extra money by cruising through alleys on garbage day searching for all kinds of scrap metal that they can turn in for cash.

Conclusion

So there are 50+ ideas of how to make money to help your budget stretch a bit further. The list is far from exhaustive and is truly only a starting point to get you thinking about different ways to make money and create a new diversified source of income for your family.   It’s hard work, yes, but the goal is worth it.

Have your own ways to make money on the side, or experience with one of the ones listed above?  Tell us what they are in the comments!

NOTE: Don’t forget to check out our post on 50 Ways To Save Money Every Month

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Last Edited: 16th June 2014

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  1. says

    Great list! Something my gf did this last year was become a Certified Nurses Assistant in 2 weeks, and then was able to work part time at a nursing home. The extra income is about $2-300 per month week, depending on the hours she works. Not bad for someone still in college. :)

  2. Michelle says

    These are very creative! Especially the neighborhood pooper scooper. What will they think of next?! :)

  3. says

    I also have a full-time job, a wife, and kids (3 years old and 5 months old). I work my day job, play with the kids when I get home until they go to bed, and then I sit at the kitchen table and work on my passion – a Roth IRA informational website. If you have quality, useful information that others are seeking, put it on the web – then through ads, affiliate links, and other methods, you can build a steady, passive income stream!

    • says

      That’s right, it’s all about providing something that people need, and you don’t have to have all the time in the world to do it! You and I are perfect examples of that.

  4. says

    This may not apply to everyone, but if you need to make more money and get a large tax refund every year, then you should adjust your withholding to get it back throughout the year. It’s almost like an “instant raise”, and if you don’t make enough at your job to do get by, then you will benefit much more by having that money sooner rather than waiting more than a year to get your hands on it.

  5. says

    I like how you listed a handful of ways in several categories. There is something for everyone on this list. I also believe strongly in trying to maximize incoming cash while minimizing outgoing funds. At the end of the day, you can only save so much of a finite amount, but if you learn how to make more, then your savings can grow exponentially. I say, if you can make an extra $50, then you can make an extra $2,000! All it takes is working smart. :) There’s money everywhere…especially in the tasks that others don’t want to do.

    • says

      I totally agree, there are literally hundreds of ways to make money on the side through part time jobs, starting your own small business and through small things you can do every day. It’s really all about getting creative and adding to your bottom line. I think most people would be able to make an extra $500-1000/month if they would only try – if not more!

      • says

        Yes, exactly! IF they would only try! My husband says I have a way of thinking solutions are obvious to everyone simply because they are apparent to me. I’ve been working on my own list of ways to make an extra $245,000 (the amount we need to pay off our house LOL). It’s along the lines of a way to make $1,000 two hundred and forty five times or a way to make $245 one thousand times, etc. I think it will be manageable once we have a plan in place and smaller specific increments to raise versus one large, seemingly ridiculus sum. He looked at me like I was crazy when I first mentioned it, but I think he’s starting to believe I’m being serious now. :)
        If I think of it, I’ll come back here and link to that post once I finish it.

  6. says

    Peter, It’s amazing how many ways people can make money. It just takes the courage to get out here and do it. Even just making a couple hundred a month can make a big difference. The things on your list takes little or no knowledge. Good list!

  7. A.S. says

    We use LED lanterns at night for light. We charge them during the good hours after we go to bed and unplug in the morning. We also use outdoor solar lights indoor for extra night time lights like night lights in the kids rooms or bathrooms. We plan monthly dinner meals after listing everything in the fridge/pantry and freezer. We write a grocery list for needed items to complete the monthly dinner meals and we shop for the month. We buy our meat directly from the farmer, skipping the middle man, which saves on huge fees. We created a separate account for those quarterly bills that always seen to be forgotten until you get the bill. That account is created and then we set up the amount to come out of our paychecks through direct deposit so when quarterly bill comes, the money is in that separate account. I have a bunch more ideas that I can share later if interested????

  8. says

    I like how you balanced “50 Easy Ways To Save Money Every Month” with this post on how to make money..

    Because there came a time in my life when I decided my income was just going to have to keep up with my financial desires. It’s just a whole lot more fun to make money than budget it.

    That said: I’m really good at not spending money on what doesn’t matter to me so that I have the money for what does.. Like I might go to Walmart to buy flip flops to wear at a 5-star hotel.

    Or I’ll spend three days shopping and negotiating for a mortgage to save 1/4 percent on the interest cuz I know it’ll save me $28,000 over the course of the loan..

    Anyway, I haven’t visited your blog in forever.. I think it’s even better than last time I stopped by!

    ~ darlene

  9. says

    I’m a stay-at-home, homeschool mom and I recently found your site through a comment you made on another blog about blogging. I love these ideas and have already signed up for a few things. We’re a one-income family so I’m always looking for ways to save and make money. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  10. says

    Hey – Actually some pretty good ideas on this list. Don’t forget that when you are focusing on making additional money on the side, you can also focus on reducing your expenses as well.

    James

  11. says

    Another extremely popular method of making money on the side has recently emerged on Facebook. The era of localized online yard sales has begun on Facebook. If you search for your town and yard sale you should see a group dedicated to buying and selling with folks in your local area. In some cases your items can sell in minutes. I wonder what effect the popularity of these new groups is having on the big auction sites such as ebay? Thanks for this article Peter! I enjoyed it…

  12. Connie Stennett says

    I’ve not been your email list very long. I see “Bible” in the name of your website, So far,
    I haven’t seen any references to it in your articles. I see that you state that you are a Christian. Again, I don’t see any references in your articles how the topics affect you, or affect your readers as Christians.What does the Bilbe say on these topics. I would like to see some Scriptures related to, or backing up your advice.

    I know that some of this is strictly advice…good advice in my opinion. I definately can use the advice. I am battling breast cancer and our budget is stretched beyond our means. I also have Bipolar Disorder, and I am receiving diability income from Social Security.

    I have many, many hobbies…a whole basement as an art studio. My advanced level arts include sewing garments, designing pretty head-wear for cancer patients, bridal veils, painting or other desings on tee-shirts, and fashion “bling”, They also inlcude scrapbooking, card making, knitting, multi-media art pieces, Also, organizing, srorage ideas, creating unique functional items, ideas for multi-use items, home decor, room design, and garden decor. I love repurposing all kinds of things. I find unusual things at garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, moving sales, and estate sales. Craig’s List is a good way to find these locations and sales. Quite a list!

    Some of my intermediate skills are making jewerly. I have taken some classes, and have made some for myself and as gifts. I also quilt, crochet, and more.

    I would venture to guess that most of what I am able to do, could bring in some money. I am in the midst of organizing my work space. I am excited to see what things might be the most usefull to make and sell. I do not know a thing about blogging, but I’m sure I can find out online. Thanks for this article and giving out some good ideas.

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