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A lot of the articles here on Common Cents Hub are focused on making extra money, and also finding new ways to make extra money.
Making an extra $400-$500 each month can make a world of difference to finally eliminate debt, pay for some training, or start an emergency fund.
Before you think, “I don’t know how to make extra money on the side“, just know this:
Every day, people with no experience, start side hustles and within a few weeks, they’re making an extra $200 a month. A few months later, they’re making an extra $1000 a month.
The point is, that learning how to make extra money from home isn’t a matter of coming up with a genius idea. It’s just finding a service that people need, and providing it.
Here’s how making extra money can help you:
- You can pay off credit card debt that drains away every dollar each month.
- You can build an emergency fund and not have to add to your debt when the next emergency inevitably comes.
- Your emergency fund will enable you to have a predictable budget each month.
- Making extra money will enable you to accelerate your retirement fund.
- You won’t panic when the kids need school shoes, a soccer uniform or have a class trip.
- Having more than one income source is always a good idea.
- Side hustles can easily grow into full-time income, because you control how much time and effort you put in.
Most people think, “I don’t have the experience” or “I’m not qualified”. But the funny thing is, that it’s not complicated learning how to make extra money on the side. You don’t need a college degree.
I’m only listing methods to make extra money that don’t require experience and that you can do on a shoestring.
And once you focus on one or even a couple of these, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to make an extra $500 dollars a month and grow from there.
If you need to stay home, but still need to earn income, this section’s for you. But instead of listing every “how to make money from home” method under the sun, we’ll focus on the ones you can start quick, and for almost no investment.
Make Extra Money from Your Own Blog
Anyone is capable of starting their own blog. Really, anyone.
I knew absolutely nothing when I stated this one. I wanted to find a way to increase my income, but I wasn’t interested in a part-time job.
I wanted something I could do from home. I had been reading other blogs and saw how profitable they can be.
I didn’t take any courses, or read any books before starting this one. I spent about 20 minutes watching a few YouTube videos of someone setting up their domain name and their blog.
A bad habit of mine, is that I fall into analysis paralysis. I’ll read, take notes, screen shots, read some more… but never actually take action. And I sat there in bed with my laptop, thinking about that.
“Is this one more time I’m gonna look into something, research it to death, but never actually do anything…?”
So this time, I made a spur of the moment decision to do it.
It took about 15 minutes get myself setup – basically just clicking next, next, next… to a tutorial, and that was it.
I had my own blog.
In the next few weeks I found tons of tutorials, YouTube videos and Facebook groups that helped me to write my first posts, add photos and whatever else I needed to do.
If you’re looking for something you can do from home too, I’ve posted a tutorial that’ll get you up and running in about 15 minutes. It’s easy to follow, and is enough to get you setup and write your first post.
All of the ideas in the post will enable you to make $400 – $500 a month pretty quickly, but blogging has a much higher potential if you stick with it.
Get Paid to Write Articles
Freelance writing is a perfect example of a business you can start from your laptop on the couch.
You don’t need a degree. All you need, is the ability to write coherently about a topic. You might do an hour or two of research, and then submit 1000-2000 words. Then you’d be paid. Without ever leaving the house.
Over the last decade, companies are moving to downsize their workforce, and outsource more work. That’s why freelancers can work full-time, and be paid much more than you’d earn in an office.
Freelance writing is one way to start making money on the side, that has a very real potential to grow into a full-time job.
And if it does, you’d not only make more money than you would in an office, but your expenses would be a lot lower.
How would you get started?
The best way to get started, hands down, is Holly Johnson’s course, Earn More Writing. I’ve taken her course and to me, it stood out from other courses I’ve taken for these reasons:
A lot of people will sell you their course, but you never actually have any contact with them after that. It’s like, “thanks, good luck with it!”
Maybe they’ll include access to their Facebook group, but they’re never actually in it.
Not so with her course.
It does come with access to her private Facebook group, but she’s actually the most active person in it. Like, every day. And it’s not like you post a question and pray that someone answers.
Each morning, Holly posts what she’s working on, she mentions whatever glitches she’s run into, and how she’s handling them. Then she asks, “what’s everyone else working on?“
And if you respond, you will get a reply, usually within minutes.
Her course is laid out in easy to follow videos and text, where she explains how to go from no experience, to getting your first jobs, how to handle them, and how to gradually raise your rates.
She’s grown her own business to well over $200k per year working from home.
This is something you can definitely do part-time, depending on your own schedule, and gradually scale it as you can handle it.
Make Extra Money by Selling Your Artwork
Do you have an artistic flare? Sites like Etsy, Cafe Press, and Zazzle make it easy to sell your crafts. You’d be surprised at how many people not only make extra money but actually earn a living from something that started as a hobby.
Whether your talent lies in duct tape wallets, hand-made jewelry, photography, knitting, woodwork or any number of genres, there’s probably a market for your creations. You could also market them on Amazon Handmade, or even create your own website and collect payments through PayPal.
Earn Extra Money Pampering Dogs
Just like their owners, pets require haircuts too. You can either make extra money from home if you have the space, or provide a mobile pet grooming service.
This is a low-cost way of generating side income, where you make your own schedule and can start to build a lot of repeat business.
Get Paid to Walk Dogs
Walking dogs might seem like a low wage job that a teenager would do in the summer, but it’s not.
A typical charge would be between $15-$25 dollars per visit, so this is a way to make extra money for a minimal investment of time, with virtually no experience. You can easily make at least $100 per week. Would $400 a month make a difference in your budget?
Remember, the most reliable way to earn a consistent income, is finding a service people need, and provide it.
Most people work 9 to 5 jobs, and over 46 million families own dogs. There’s probably a dozen within walking distance of your front door.
There’s almost no investment to get started. And it could easily lead to full-time income by scaling your service through hiring helpers as you gain more customers.
How would you drum up business?
Spread the word among neighbors and friends that you’re available to stop by. Once you get a few under your belt, you have references for other jobs. Then spend about $15 dollars on a box of business cards and put some up at the local Vet office, the dentist, the real estate office or supermarket.
Once you get a handful of jobs, word of mouth will get you more.
Many people have more than one dog, and for them to go away for a few days, they’d pay at least $40-$50 per dog, per day for a kennel.
It’s cheaper to keep them in their own home and pay you to stop by a few times.
Another way to start out dog walking, could be to work for an established dog walking company like Rover until you’re comfortable with what a typical customer expects. They’ll guarantee you regular work, and once you’ve got some experience under your belt, start gaining your own clients.
Make Extra Money Selling Your Photos
My phone is filled with pictures of my dog, or food, or an occasional picture of my feet while I’m trying to capture a nice beach photo.
But some people (maybe you!) can take photos people would actually pay for. Flip through yours and see if there’s some you think others would appreciate.
How would you do it?
Get Paid to Provide Childcare
Remember the key?
“Find a service people need, and you’ll never be without an income.”
I can say from experience that parents with young children need to get out once in a while, and there’s probably plenty of them near you.
Whether they go out to dinner for a few hours, or need someone in the afternoons, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to make decent money without punching a clock.
How would you get started?
Let some friends and neighbors know you’re available, and believe me – when parents know there’s someone reliable, who they can count on, they won’t lose your number.
$20/hour is reasonable to expect.
Another way is to create an account on Care.com. They’ll help you to find jobs not only babysitting kids, but also elders, pets, or even housekeeping.
If you’re between the ages of 15-18 you’ll need to create a parent-sponsored account, and then you too can begin making extra money.
Just create an account and then search their database for work. You don’t even need to handle cash if you set up direct deposit.
How much can you make? Among the various tips on their site, is a wage calculator where you can determine a suggested rate based on your area, your level of experience and the particular job.
Make Extra Money Entering Data on Your Schedule
A data entry clerk in the office wouldn’t be the highest paid job, but if you could do it at home, that’s another story.
When you can do a straightforward assignment at home, with no distractions, no commuting costs and no childcare, suddenly the benefits are a lot better.
Companies are outsourcing a lot of their data entry work these days, and a lot of it requires no more qualifications than quick typing, an internet connection, and reliability.
How to get started:
Check out 7 Ways to Make Money Doing Online Data Entry. It details seven companies to find work with, along with descriptions of the work and a little about the company.
There’s also two alternatives to data entry with tips to get started.
Make Extra Money by Tutoring
Do you have teaching experience or an expertise in a certain area? You can be earning about $40/hour by tutoring a student for an hour.
Or if you can group a couple kids in the same hour, give them a discount to $30/hour and pocket $60/hour for yourself. For kids struggling to learn a certain concept, that extra hour of help can be a huge boost.
How would you get started?
One way is to make your services known in your local PTA. Lots of grade school kids can either be stuck in math, reading, or just need some help with their study habits.
Another way around campus would be to post on the bulletin boards in common areas, or Facebook groups. If there’s a course you’ve taken and did well, there’s almost certainly other students having trouble in it.
And still another way, is to register with Study Pool. Students use Study Pool to find answers to questions in various subject areas. You can sign up as a tutor and be paid to answer their questions.
How it works:
As a tutor, you’d browse the submitted questions and then “bid” on the ones you can answer. In your bid you’d specify the time frame you’ll have it answered by, and propose a price.
If your bid is selected, you’re off to the races. There’s no limit to the number of questions you can be paid to provide answers for.
Create Your Own Course and Get Paid Over and Over
Is there a particular area you have a talent in? It could be anything from photography, to freelance writing, website design, cooking – anything you have knowledge in can be taught in an online course.
Rather than teaching individual students in person, you can leverage your know-how better by creating a course once, and having it available worldwide, 24/7.
How to get started:
The best course creation platform I’ve seen, is Teachable. It’ll help you create a course in whatever format works best.
I’ve taken Teachable courses from 4 or 5 different people in several different formats and they’re all easy to navigate, provide good feedback, and have a very good reputation.
Teachable also has an affiliate program. So even if you don’t have your own website to promote your course on, you can arrange with other site owners to review your course.
And if they’d like to promote it, they’ll get a commission from your course sale, and have an incentive to further promote it.
Get Paid to Give Your Opinion
If you’re sitting on the couch at night, eating lunch, or waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice, why not take a few simple surveys and be paid for it.
Taking surveys won’t exactly pay your rent, but they can be a steady source of extra income that you can earn in your spare time.
All you need is your smartphone, a laptop or tablet.
A few of the popular ones are:
Inbox Dollars does marketing research on consumer preferences. Why? Well, various businesses need information about the types of products customers prefer.
It’s nothing complicated. Just multiple choice questions about your buying preferences on anything from shoes to carpet.
Instead of hiring their own marketing department, companies pay a service like Inbox Dollars for their research.
So, Inbox Dollars creates surveys or has you watch short videos and then enter your preferences. You can make extra money just by providing your input to basic questions. It’s free to sign up and these are short. Probably none over 15 minutes.
Survey Junkie is really simple to sign up for and use. Over 5 million people participate and have payments made right to their Paypal account.
I’ve used Survey Junkie off and on for the past year, and it’s nice being able to generate some extra income whenever I need to.
Swagbucks is one of the most flexible ways to make a side income. It’s similar to Inbox Dollars, in that you sign up for free, then you’d click to download their browser add-on.
As you complete surveys, they’ll award you “Swagbucks” which you can then trade for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, or iTunes.
Once you accumulate 300 SBs (equivalent to $3) you can cash out, or just wait until you’ve accumulated more.
It’s free to sign up, and you’ll earn a $5 sign-up bonus if you complete certain tasks after you register.
One thing to keep in mind about survey sites
Survey sites like Swagbacks, Inbox Dollars and Survey Junkie are usually trying to get the opinions of a specific demographic group.
For instance, if one of their clients is looking for opinions on women’s hair products, they wouldn’t accept men in that particular survey.
So if you’re intent on having a steady stream of surveys, you’re better off signing up for a few of them to better your odds.
Earn Money Driving for Uber or Lyft
According to Yahoo Finance, the average car sits unused 95% of the time! That’s a lot of money to invest in an asset that’s used so little.
Why not have your car start earning its keep?
You can drive with Uber and and keep 80% of your fares for yourself. You’d be your own boss and decide whatever fares you want to accept. You wouldn’t be driving all over the state either. You decide where you’ll work.
How to get started:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A four door car that seats at least four people other than the driver.
- A valid, in-state driver’s license.
- Your car needs to be registered and insured in the state you’re working in.
Several hundred dollars per week is a realistic expectation driving part-time for Uber or Lyft.
Make Extra Money by Renting Your Spare Room
If you have an extra room, it could be generating a consistent income through Airbnb. People are always looking for a clean, quiet room without all the extra fees and taxes.
Or if you’re considering an extended trip, you could consider renting your home and having your mortgage paid while you’re gone. If you plan ahead, you can travel for a fraction of the usual cost.
Earn $50/hour Cleaning Homes
Yep, $50/hour, or $100 for a two hour cleaning visit in an average sized home is pretty standard.
Sure, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves to clean homes, but this is something you can start at a really low cost. Have a broom, a vacuum and some spray cleaner? You’re good to go. The flexibility to schedule your own hours, and the ability to bring home $100 for a few hours of work make house cleaning a legitimate way to make extra money.
How to get started:
Have some business cards made and distribute them at local realty offices, the supermarket, vet or dental office. Once you have a few clients, word of mouth should be enough to fill your schedule.
If you live in an area with a lot of seasonal visitors like I do, you can really clean up on the rental changeover day – when one renter leaves and another comes in a few hours later. Line up a handful of jobs for that day and you can take home a week’s pay in one day.
Another reliable way to find clients would be through Care.com.
Earn an Income Providing Computer Support
Who doesn’t own a laptop or desktop these days? Most homes have multiple devices, and you’d be surprised at how many of them are discarded due to problems that can be resolved by someone with a bit of experience.
People regularly pay for things like:
- Initial setup and app installs.
- Printer setups.
- Virus installs or scans.
- memory upgrades
If you’re comfortable with typical installs or troubleshooting, and can explain things in an easy to understand way, your skills will be very marketable.
How to get started:
$75/hour is a pretty standard rate for computer support.
To drum up business, place some business cards in your local supermarket, community college, retirement village or dental office.
Or create a basic website, a Facebook page, or place an ad on Craigslist to start building a customer base.
Get Paid to Freelance
According to The Balance, approximately 56.7 million U.S. workers had some kind of freelance gig in 2018. And they estimate that by 2020, 60 million, or 40% of us will be freelancing.
It’s not just workers fleeing the office either. Businesses are on board now too, because in many cases, it’s cheaper to pay a freelancer than to pay an employee year round.
What can you do?
Almost anything from data entry, transcription, graphic design, content writing, bookkeeping, virtual assistant services… just about anything that can be done in an office.
How to get started:
What’d help you to get started as a freelancer, is first getting specific about what kind of service you’ll offer. Once you nail that down, start to advertise your services:
- Create a LinkedIn profile, describing your service, and any qualifications that could be helpful.
- Have some business cards made up.
- Check for local organizations where you may be able to network.
- Join Facebook groups to interact with people already earning an income.
- Setup a basic website with a menu of your services.
Have a Truck? Let it Earn Money
Do you own a pickup truck or small trailer? It may not be the most glamorous job, but people are always looking for help moving items, hauling things away or snow plowing.
If your town has a designated location to bring unwanted items, you could make extra money by helping them out.
Sell eBooks Through Amazon's Kindle Publishing
Publishing and selling your own eBooks on Amazon is one of the best ways to generate passive income.
Here’s why – you do the work once, then earn a steady income from it. And don’t let the word “publishing” scare you away. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the most accessible ways for you to get your ideas in front of potentially millions of people.
Think about it. Millions of people already have their account setup within Amazon, and they can make a purchase within seconds. If you can offer an interesting how-to process, a review or a description of a certain place – you can put it in front of millions of buyers. And at this price range, buyers are not going to agonize over spending the money.
How to get started:
One of the best ways to get into KDP is to produce non-fiction books of no more than 40-50 pages.
These can be how to books, a guide on a certain topic, or destination, recipes, a summary of your experience with a particular topic – there are dozens of topics you could write about.
How would it work?
You’d write your eBook in whatever word processing app you normally use. You can edit it yourself, or pay someone a reasonable fee.
Then, either create a cover for your book, or wait until you’re ready to upload your book and use use Amazon’s cover wizard. It’ll walk you through creating a cover for no extra charge.
Continue using the wizard to upload your book, and you’ll be prompted for the price you’d like to charge for it.
If you charge between $1.99 and $3.99 you would keep 70% of the selling price.
You can get as elaborate as you want, like hiring an editor, a cover designer, or a marketing consultant. But the point is, none of that is necessary to get your foot in the door and get started.
You can literally start writing tonight and have a published book on the largest platform in the world and be making extra money within the next few weeks.
Providing Personal Training - Virtually
Millions of people try and fail at trying to get in shape because they’re not sure how to approach it. It’s hard to know how to put together a program for your fitness level that will challenge you, enable you to progress, and hold you accountable.
So if you have experience at running, working out, nutrition and diet, or other fitness areas, then you have something to offer that others may pay you for.
Some people would like some personal guidance, but they may want the freedom to do the actual workouts on their own.
And it doesn’t have to be limited to the people in your neighborhood. You can easily create your own website and offer your services as a virtual trainer.
How would this work?
A perfect example is Laura Fountain’s website Lazy Girl Running. Laura lives in London and has completed everything from 5ks to marathons.
She consults with runners of all levels, and depending on their plans, Laura will provide a personalized training program.
They may or may not meet in person, but if not, they still check in regularly to check progress and make whatever adjustments are needed.
Laura also holds scheduled group runs.
If you have experience in running or any other physical activity – could you provide training virtually?
Get Paid for Pet Sitting
Of all the ways to make extra income, you’ll find the most enthusiastic and thankful customers here.
With the cost of an average kennel at $40-$50 per night, it’s much more economical for families to leave their dog in a trusted local home where he/she won’t need to sit in a cage.
How to get started:
You could put feelers out around family and friends to get started boarding dogs when you can. But a better way would be to start out by going through a company like Rover.
Rover connects people with available homes with dog owners. So starting with Rover would be a good way to learn best practices.
They’ll pay you $25 per night per dog, and save you the trouble of advertising on your own.
Once you’re comfortable, you may want to work on your own, but Rover can give you a nice head start.
Get Paid to Clean and Test Local Pools
If you’ve owned your own pool then you know two things:
- It’s a bit of a learning curve getting to know the right balance of chemicals needed. But once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard.
- If you don’t monitor your pool regularly, it’ll get out of balance and look like a bad science project within a week or two.
So, if you’re already familiar with the process, why not make extra money visiting a few pools in your neighborhood.
This is one of those gigs where word of mouth will help you. Tack some business cards in your local supermarket, dentist office, pool store or community center.
Once you get a couple jobs under your belt, and people appreciate their clear pools and free time, you’ll hear from their neighbors.
Make Extra Money Officiating Rec Sports
Local recreational sports leagues are often in need of referees. This can be a great way to make extra money and get a bit of exercise at the same time.
And almost all youth games are held either after business hours or on the weekends. And most likely, you’d work with one or two other referees.
How to get started:
Local soccer leagues would want you to have an “F License” to referee. Many towns conduct classes leading to your F license, but you can also get your license online at U.S. Soccer.
It’sa two-hour course that will run you $25 dollars, and you’ll have to be at least 16 years old.
Once you have your license, you’d be paid about $25 per game, and there’s a good chance you’d do several games on one day.
Design Your Own T-shirts and drop-ship them
Here’s a great way to make extra money online. Have you ever thought of a great design or saying that you thought would make a great t-shirt?
You don’t need to own a screen printer or even buy t-shirts first.
How to get started:
Just log in to Teespring, create your own custom design, select your shirt and have them shipped from Teespring to your customer.
You don’t need to spend money on inventory, equipment and supplies when you haven’t made any sales.
Why not advertise your shirts on Amazon, eBay, Facebook or your own website and ship t-shirts once you have orders.
Get Paid to Be a Transcriber
Transcribing is a bit like data entry except that you’d be listening to words and typing them instead of copying from a written document.
It’s possible to use a transcriber’s foot pedal that enables you to stop and start the audio whenever you want.
It’s a flexible job, there are hundreds of opportunities to work from home, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll never be out of work.
How to get started:
To do legal transcription you’d want to familiarize yourself with some legal terminology, but for general transcription, if you’re a quick typist, you’re half way there.
For either, legal or general transcription, there are two free mini-courses I’d recommend from Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere:
Janet has worked as a transcriber for over a decade, and her courses teach everything you’d need to know through self-paced video tutorials.
There are lots of practice tutorials of multiple skill levels, and all the tools and resources you’d need to find jobs once you’re ready.
Make Extra Money by Shopping
Yes… you can actually be paid for browsing around some of your favorite stores. have you heard of mystery shopping?
A mystery shopper is paid to go to certain store and just shop as a normal customer. You’d look for certain things, like product availability, cleanliness and appearance of the store, or the quality of help you receive from the employees.
Then after your visit, you’d provide simple feedback on it.
In return for your review, you’ll be paid. You may also be expected to make a purchase, but you’d be reimbursed for it.
How to get started:
Here below, are several established mystery shopping companies you can start with. Just beware of any companies that ask you to pay money to sign up.
Any legitimate mystery shopping gigs should not be asking you to pay anything to sign up. One way you can make sure is to check on their site to see if they’re a member of the MSPA. This is the organization that regulates mystery shopping businesses.
Once you sign up, then look on their site for an available merchant to shop at. Just think – you could sign up for companies that you’d be going to anyway.
So there are 25 different ways to make extra money that’ll help to pay down your debt or maybe afford something that you can’t now. Each one of these methods costs almost nothing to start, and could enable you to make $500 a month.
And once you start, and see how to make $500 a month, you’ll see that $1000 or $2000 is not out of reach.
But getting that extra income can be life changing. For most people, it’s not a catastrophic expense that prevents us from getting ahead. It’s that never-ending $400-$500 a month in credit card bills. And if you can finally get into a position to eliminate that and have an emergency fund, it could really open up possibilities in your life.
Very often, people find that their side hustle expands into full-time. One thing to remember about jumping into something you’ve never tried before, is that everyone starts somewhere.
Even the most established companies started with someone like you or me thinking, “what if I tried…”
If you need to make extra money, don’t waste precious time over thinking it. The key is, finding a need, offering your services and then showing up (in person or online).
If you offer a service people need, then show up and deliver what you promise, you’ll never be without income.
So how about you? Have you tried any of these, or have you come across another reliable side income opportunity? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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