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
This 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.
Sell Things To Make Money
If 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 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 cell phones, video games, music and movies on sites like Gazelle, SellShark.com, Decluttr, BuyBack World, Buyback Boss, Glyde, eBay or Amazon.com. For bigger items (furniture, etc) Craigslist seems to work pretty well.
- 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 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 On A Hobby
Most 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
Sometimes 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! One app you can use to make money is Rover.com.
- 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
There 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 an Airbnb host: Using Airbnb when traveling can help you to save money on lodging, but it can also make you money if you become a host at your own home! One study on SmartAsset.com found that on average, an Airbnb host could expect to pay about 80% of their rent by listing one room in a two bedroom home on Airbnb. Here's my post on how to become an Airbnb superhost.
- 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 ejury.com or 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 Zilok.
- 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, Survey Spot, Opinion Outpost, PineCone Research, Harris Poll, Nielsen Digital Voice, Permission Research, Vindale Research, YouGuv and more where you can take surveys and get paid in cash or gift cards for your participation.
- Use “get-paid-to” sites: Sites like Cash Crate, SwagBucks, Inbox Dollars, ExtraBux or Ebates are sites that will pay you for you shopping via their portals, referring other users or for filling out surveys or signing up for trial offers. Cash Crate has worked well for me in referring other users, I've made almost $10,000 from that site over the 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 couple include: CheckPoints and Gigwalk are a couple to check out.
- Make money by renting things out: We have all heard of people making money renting rooms out on Airbnb, but for those of us who lack the spare space there are still ways to take a slice of the sharing economy. A peer-to-peer rental platform, Fat Lama, has taken the model of Airbnb and gone one step further – making it possible for you to list almost any item you have lying about for rental in the local area. By renting them out to local people (fully insured) you can turn your otherwise useless clutter into a passive income.
Making Money Doing Things No One Else Wants To Do
Sometimes 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.
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