Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 20 More Income Generating Ideas From Our Readers

A while back we ran a series on this site where we looked at a variety of ways that you can create extra income for your family. Creating a side income is a great way to get ahead and dump debt faster, work towards maxing out that Roth IRA or 401(k), or to just build up that emergency fund. Having secondary sources of income has been a huge godsend for our family, and I believe it can be for yours as well.

Today I thought we could look back at some of the posts we’ve done in the past couple of years that involved creating side income, including posts from our “Ways To Make Extra Money” series. Have your own posts about how to make extra income? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll try to make sure it gets approved.

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50 Ways To Make Money: Maximizing & Increasing Your Income

ways to make money

Here are a few more posts that we’ve written on the topic of making extra money:

Reader Ideas for Creating More Income

Today I thought I would wrap things up with a few more ideas brought to us by our readers in the comments,  as well as suggestions given on Twitter.  If you want to add your own – as always – add your suggestions to the comments!

Money Making Ideas from Twitter:

  • Make Money by starting a local community website and selling advertising locally.  @mattjabs
  • Sell old movies, CDs, books on Amazon. Everyone has at least 10 items they’ll never use again that they can sell.   @foreignersfinan
  • If you have a skill like another language, you can try tutoring for local schools or universities (I’m fluent in German).    @lafoxey86
  • Mechanical Turk will pay at least a few bucks an hour.  Was just playing around with it last night, it’s interesting! @ericabiz
  • Think about stuff you don’t like to do and would pay somebody for, then offer that as a side hustle.  Dog Poop anyone?  @fiscalgeek
  • Depending on how much soda your family drinks, there’s always recycling. Money’s low but it’s a good lesson for the kids. @ipickuppennies
  • Tutor students in courses you did well in. People want to get high grades/pass and they are willing to pay for it.  @studenomics
  • Sell homemade food. I used to sell homemade bread. @domesticcents
  • Start a business.   A blog, a cake business, something u are passionate about & will pour time/patience in to develop.  @nodebtplan
  • Submit to a site that pays for articles. @budgetpulse
  • Can you guess my favorite way to make extra money?  @deliverawaydebt (as in delivering pizzas!)

Money Making Ideas from the comments:

  • English as second language is huge right now with the migrations from various parts of the world. There are certificate programs you can take or you can do it informally. That’s a niche you can enter for no other reason than being able to speak the native tongue!   Kevin at Out Of Your Rut
  • My wife has begun keeping kids in our home. I am starting part-time census work this month.  Ken at moneymakingsense.com
  • If you happened to have a plow for your truck in the southeast this year you could have made a killing as much snow as we have gotten. Supply and demand was in effect and the demand for snow clearing far outweighed the supply of plows.  Kyle at SuburbanDollar.com
  • I am commissioned as a notary here in WA, and when I was laid off in 2008 I took a gamble and started a full-time mobile notary service. It keeps me busy and is great income. I got additional training on how to close real estate transactions (I wouldn’t advise anyone to try to do it without that training) but if you’re already a commissioned notary or can become commissioned easily in your state, the “odd job” general notary work is great extra income.  Jessica at thepennywisefamily.com
  • Last summer garbage collectors in Toronto went on a very long strike, my brother (a entrepreneur by nature) took quick advantage of the situation by setting up his own private temporary garbage collection services. Start up cost was about $700 and they made over $25,000 in about 3 months. Paid tuition for 3 years.  Ray at Financial Highway.
  • A friend of my was able to make some extra money writing short scripts for a production agency. They ranged from 10-30 pages, and it was basically creative story telling. They gave him the premise, he made up the rest. Easy money considering all you have to do is come up with some stories!  myfinancialobjectives.com
  • I used to have a thing for designer shoes (in my carefree days of high living off of credit cards). There were many pairs that I sold on eBay for about $800, but they were mostly unworn Jimmy Choos. I had a few other pairs that were equally lovely but I couldn’t get any interest on eBay, so I took them to a local consignment shop that only deals in high end merchandise. Out of the 8 items I’ve taken in, so far, I’ve made $250.  Danielle at thefrugallawyer.com
  • My husband and I have turned my hobby of making hair bows for girls into a business.  bowsoprecious.com
  • Amazon’s great for selling books, movies, etc. The amount of people on Amazon is ridiculous and when I sold textbooks in college I was shocked by how many books old and new I could sell.   Austin at foreignersfinances.com


One of my main reasons for doing this series, was not necessarily to give specific ideas and methods for making money, but rather to get the creative juices flowing and to  help you to find your own best method(s) for making money.

So often on personal finance blogs we focus only on the frugality aspect of personal finance.  But in reality, you can only cut back so much and you can only be so frugal.  My opinion is that you ignore the other side of the coin – generating income – at your own peril.

There are a million and one ways that you can find to generate income, you just have to find where your skill sets lie, what you’re passionate about, and where there is a need.  So go out there and start earning!

Have more ideas for generating income?  Have a sure fire way to make money?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Last Edited: 28th July 2015

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    Share Your Thoughts:

  1. says

    Another way to make some extra money is to become an affiliate to a company such as amazon. By displaying links (with your account id) to their products on your blog, you can make a commission for each product purchased by someone using your link.

    Thanks for the article, good ideas!

  2. says

    All of these ideas are based on getting paid for your time. If you don’t work it now, you don’t get paid. When my wife and I looked for another source of income, we decided to work towards something that could not only add to our income today, but also replace our jobs in the future. That is why we became distributors of a online greeting card and gift company that markets it’s products and services through the MLM marketing plan. We became customers first and loved what they do so much that we decided to join and see if we could possibly replace our jobs with income from own business and the true residual income it can provide. Besides, our products bring great joy to the people who recieve them, and our closest competition can’t come close to providing the quality, price, and the service that I can provide for my customers. I really have no competition.

  3. says

    Don’t know if I saw this one or not, but how about taking out your own garbage??
    I have never paid for garbage pick up and never will.

    I take mine to work with me and use their dumpster.

    It is not gross or disgusting at all, and I don’t have a huge can of garbage piling up in my backyard every week.

    I save about $50 every three months.
    David/Yourfinances101´s last post ..Five Reasons to do Your Taxes Online

  4. says

    Nice work on this series, Pete and staff. Obviously you’ve engaged the readers and are “getting the juices flowing”. Once thing I struggle with is picking an idea and sticking to it. I guess you can use a combination of things, but I struggle with prioritizing my efforts. It would be good to explore methods for helping you prioritize and be consistent.
    PT´s last post ..Question of the Week: Who Does Your Car Service?

  5. says

    You can also start up a blog on WordPress or use a hosted platform and solicit referral income from local businesses. Also – do you have a business? Consider collaborating with non-competing businesses to issue a coupon sheet or coupon book, and everybody else subsidizes your ads :) Start your own side business – it’s a great fallback when you lose your job – at least you can declare your business losses on and pay zero taxes while you are busily applying for every job!

    If you’re gonna “lose” to the economy, spin it into a Win!

  6. says

    I’m a huge believer in generating a number of streams of income. It in fact is the only thing that has continued to keep us moving forward in our financial goals during the last few years that our primary business has taken a HUGE hit. In fact I just finished our personal taxes and was surprised when I thought I really hadn’t done any mystery shopping last year I still made about $1,000 from that. It all adds up!

    Here are a few of the articles I have written on generating some extra income.

  7. says

    Great tips Pete.

    I’ve personally made a lot of money from tutoring. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are people who will pay you handsomely to help them learn a particular skill.

    If you know Microsoft Excel, Java, Perl, or even how to set up and run a blog there are people who will pay you to teach them.

  8. says

    What a great series! Another tip that I really didn’t seem mentioned up there is freelance writing. There are so many gigs that can be found online through outlets such as TextBroker, Craigslist and more. I do this on a part-time basis and can easily snag $25 per hour.

  9. April says

    Hi, i just started subscribing to your newsletter, and wow! Am I amazed! I love that all of these things are Biblically based. I recently have started to clean other peoples’ houses. I started with just one and now I am up to 4 houses and am continuing to grow. Praise God! He is so good! I am a stay-at-home home and my husband is a part-time EMT. Sometimes he has an over abundance of hours, and some he has very few hours, so the extra that I bring in helps with life’s essentials. You know, like gas for the car, food and other such needful things! Thank you so much for putting this newsletter online. It is very much needed.

  10. says

    This post is a little old so I thought I’d bring a more recent comment. By the way I do love all of these suggestions.

    I drive for Lyft and Uber. I do have a full-time job Mon-Fri and these services allow me to work when I want and how long I want. I typically drive weekend nights due to my other job. It is a great way to meet people, network, take them where they need to go and make money all at the same time. I find that typically most riders are as curious as I was before I started driving.

    I will say, before driving for these companies I had no entrepreneurial spirit or thought in my body. Now you can say otherwise. I am constantly promoting the service (you get paid for driver and passenger referrals) and am always thinking of new ways to make extra income. The thought of making more money than my base salary before never crossed my mind. Now all I can think about it how can I make more!

    Please let me know if you have any questions about the service. I would love to help!

    Sign up to drive for Lyft using the link below you can earn an extra $500 bonus! (Complete 30 rides in 30 days).

    Sign up to drive for Uber and earn a $100 bonus.

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