There’s no getting around it: If you want to get ahead in life, you have to work for it.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to make extra money. It’s just a matter of finding the right money-making activities you enjoy.
This article explores 33 ways to make extra money.
Best ways to make extra money
- Sell unwanted items on Craigslist or eBay
- Freelance writing through Fiverr or Upwork
- Drive for a Uber or Lyft
- Deliver for a Postmates, Grubhub, Caviar or DoorDash
- Sell items on Etsy
- Be a social media consultant
- Take jobs on TaskRabbit
- Rent your space on Airbnb
- Become a caregiver
- Care for animals with Rover
- Become a virtual assistant
- Start a blog
- Rack up credit card points
- Take online surveys through Swagbucks
- Sell graphic designs on Amazon Merch
- Be an Instacart shopper
- Try your hand at mystery shopping
- Launch a podcast
- Rent your car on Turo
- Try Amazon Flex
- Teach an online course
- Give feedback through Usertesting
- Sell stock photos
- Sell unwanted tech on Decluttr
- Invest with a broker
- Answer questions on JustAnswer
- Review music on Slicethepie
- Earn cash back from Ibotta
- Peer-to-peer lending
- Explore cryptocurrency
- Write an eBook
- Flip real estate
1. Sell unwanted items on Craigslist or eBay
Chances are you have a mountain of items sitting around that you no longer want or need. Head over to Craigslist or eBay and list your items for resale. Two other sites to consider are Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor. You can even roll up your sleeves and host an old-fashioned yard sale if you’re feeling ambitious.
Selling your unwanted items can put money into your pocket and free more space around your home. This means less surface area for dust to settle on, less clutter, and more capital at your disposal.
2. Freelance writing through Fiverr or Upwork
These sites can connect you with companies seeking independent contractors willing to produce content on a freelance basis. Just keep in mind that freelance exchanges charge commissions, and it can be more profitable to network on your own and forge your own contracts independently.
Freelance writing is great because it comes with flexible hours. You can set your own schedule and charge hourly or by the word.
3. Drive for Uber or Lyft
If you have a decent car and a clean driving record, consider driving for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft in your spare time for extra money.
The great part about Uber and Lyft is that you don’t have to work exclusively for one or the other. Most drivers use both and go back and forth between them strategically throughout a shift.
These companies provide flexible hours, and you can work from the comfort of your own car. All it requires is patience, courtesy, safe driving habits, and a willingness to get up and go to work.
As an added bonus, good drivers sometimes network and form trusted connections with local riders who are looking for consistent service. It’s possible you could meet someone who wants a personal driver.
4. Deliver for Postmates, Grubhub, Caviar or DoorDash
Let’s face it: Not everyone has the patience to deal with passengers, the desire to interact with total strangers, or the willingness to clean up after messy or inconsiderate people.
If this describes you, consider driving for a delivery service like Postmates, Grubhub, or DoorDash. Grubhub and Doordash are exclusively for food delivery, while Postmates also works with local retailers. You can make money shuttling around items ranging from pizza and wings to alcoholic beverages or even office supplies for extra money.
Again, this is where it could pay to forge your own relationships with local businesses, as most third-party delivery services are going to take a cut of whatever you make. Consider going to restaurants directly and offering to deliver items.
5. Sell items on Etsy
You’re the type of person who can transform a ball of yarn or clay into a thing of beauty. Now, it’s just a matter of turning your talents into profits.
It’s time to start making extra money selling your wares on a site like Etsy or Amazon Handmade. These sites handle a lot of backend work most artists don’t want to deal with, like managing a website and driving traffic for your business. These tasks can feel like a full-time job all by themselves. By opening an Etsy or Handmade account, you can list your items in digital marketplaces alongside other creative professionals.
These sites can lead to short-term income, and perhaps even more valuable connections if your work happens to get noticed and shared.
6. Be a social media consultant
Some businesses are really struggling with social media—especially small businesses that can’t afford to hire full-time marketing directors.
Use this as an opportunity to help small businesses with their social media strategies. You can bring in extra money by providing social media content, targeting followers, posting advertisements, providing updates, and responding to customer inquiries.
Social media management is something you can do in your free time, or even during the day while you conduct other work. It can be very lucrative, and it’s both fun and flexible. Once you have the basics down, charging $50 per hour or more for these services is not out of the question.
7. Take jobs on TaskRabbit
If you are great at doing jobs around the house like putting together furniture, painting walls, and raking leaves, then you can make money using an app like TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit is a service that enables people to post jobs with which they need help. Workers can then browse job listings, apply for them, and get paid through the app, making it a safe and reliable way to make extra money.
You can also find similar work by approaching people in your community and letting them know you’re willing to help with small jobs on a part-time basis. For example, you could offer to work as someone’s snow shoveler, lawn mower, gardener, or pool cleaner.
8. Rent your space on Airbnb
If you’re a homeowner, or if your lease allows you to sublet the apartment you’re renting, you can make easy money renting your space on Airbnb, the leading accommodation rental website.
Airbnb lets you determine when you want to rent your space, how long you rent it for, and how much you want to charge. You can even set specific house rules, like asking people not to smoke or wear their shoes inside if you’re picky about germs. The company also provides insurance for landlords, so your place and things are protected in case something goes wrong.
Airbnb is especially useful if you work a lot and aren’t always home, or if you travel frequently.
9. Become a caregiver
There is always a demand for people who can take care of others. So if this describes you, consider working as a caregiver.
Babysitting, for example, is one of the most reliable side hustles out there. It’s a great part time job option for responsible young people who like spending time with children.
If watching kids isn’t on your list of favorite things to do, you can also find gigs helping senior citizens and people with disabilities.
10. Care for animals with Rover
If you’re better at working with animals than humans, consider joining an app like Rover, which can connect you with local pet owners in your area.
You can get money for a variety of tasks like pet sitting, walking dogs, feeding pets, or even just stopping by to visit with animals during the day.
Of course, you don’t have to join Rover to become a dog walker. Consider your existing network and ask your friends and family members if anyone needs help taking care of their animals. Pets are a lot of work, and chances are someone you know could use a break—and they just might be willing to pay to have you on a weekly or monthly retainer.
11. Become a virtual assistant
Busy professionals often lack the time and patience to set up appointments, write emails and letters, and receive telephone calls. These types of tasks can pull people away from other, more important tasks, and be distracting. But they’re also important, which is why there is a high demand for the role of virtual assistant.
If you’re highly organized, punctual, and have strong communication skills, consider going to a site like Upwork and freelancing as a virtual assistant. It’s a less physical sector of the gig economy, which could be perfect for those with disabilities or mobility issues. You can get paid for short-term tasks, recurring projects, and even full-time contract work.
12. Start a blog
It’s never been a better time to make money online, and one of the best ways to bring in extra cash is to start a blog. All you need is some creativity and subject matter expertise.
Blogging is a great opportunity for mid-career professionals who are experts in their fields and in a position to turn their ideas into a steady cash flow.
For example, suppose you work as a mechanic or know a lot about cars. You could start an auto-focused blog that teaches people about cars and how to fix them. Or, maybe you are a foodie. You could create a blog that offers how-to recipes and restaurant reviews.
To make money blogging, most people add Google AdSense to their sites, or embed affiliate marketing links to their posts. You can then get paid when visitors click on the links and make purchases. Once you build up enough traffic, you can reach out to name-brand advertisers directly for sponsorship opportunities
13. Rack up credit card points
There’s nothing better than getting paid to spend money. If you use credit cards responsibly, you can rack up cash rewards just for making your everyday purchases.
Credit cards can be a dangerous trap, so always make sure to pay down your balances in full each month. But if you can handle using them and stick to a budget, there are many cards offering points and cash rewards.
Shop around for cards that offer enticing payouts like the Citi Double Cash Card, Discover IT Cash Back, and Chase Freedom Unlimited. At the end of the month, you might be able to earn $100 or more in cash back just for using your credit card to buy the things you need.
14. Take online surveys through Swagbucks
Online surveys tend to get a bad reputation because there are a lot of scams. However, there are some perfectly legitimate ways to make money taking online surveys. One of the best sites to explore is Swagbucks.
As a disclaimer, you can’t make a lot of money taking online surveys. Most sites don’t pay very much, and you have to reach a certain payment threshold before cashing out. Yet if you take a lot of surveys, the money can add up. It’s a good thing to do during your downtime, like when watching Netflix at the end of the day.
InboxDollars is another reputable survey site you can check out, if this direction interests you.
15. Sell graphic designs on Amazon Merch
Artists often love drawing and making graphics, but don’t want to go through the hassle of putting them onto items and selling them.
One service that can handle this process for you is Amazon Merch, a platform where you can upload your graphics and earn royalties whenever someone uses them.
16. Be an Instacart shopper
Instacart is a service where people can order groceries from their favorite stores and have them delivered right to their doors.
As an Instacart shopper, you can earn money working hourly from the company by working inside grocery stories and collecting the items on customers’ shopping lists. You can also cash in on tips from deliveries.
17. Try your hand at mystery shopping
When mystery shopping, you can get paid to interact with customer service representatives, report on the cleanliness of a store, or find and purchase specific products.
18. Launch a podcast
Launching and monetizing a podcast isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it sounds.
All you need to do is come up with a great premise for a show—my personal favorite being finance strategies for millennials. Then, outline a few episodes and record them. If your show is a hit, you can post them on a podcasting site like Buzzsprout to get the word out there.
Once you generate some traffic, you can approach companies in your space and get paid to produce custom advertisements and endorsements. You can also create a paid subscription service, or ask for donations from your fan base to fund future projects.
19. Rent your car on Turo
Chances are you’re working most of the day at a computer and not using your car much. You can make extra money by renting your car on Turo.
To rent your car out, simply register it on Turo and post its availability. When someone rents it, you simply transfer the key and let them use it for the specified period of time. Then, you get paid through the app. Turo also offers insurance to protect your vehicle.
This is an excellent way to make money for people who own vans and trucks.
20. Try Amazon Flex
Amazon delivers approximately 1.5 million packages each day, and many of them are actually delivered by people like yourself through its Amazon Flex service.
If you have a car, you can get paid to pick up packages from Amazon distribution centers and deliver them to people in your area. Amazon Flex is a convenient way to make some extra money when you’re out and about during the day.
21. Teach an online course
Teaching online courses is a growing way to bring in some extra income.
For example, you can teach English through a site like VIPkid or Qkids. Or, you can start a YouTube channel that features your lessons on the topic of your choice, and monetize the ads (once you build up enough followers).
You can also create your own course and sell it using an online course creation platform, such as Teachable.
Online tutoring is a solid side job for people who are proficient in subjects like math, science, history, and various world languages.
22. Give feedback through Usertesting
Companies often rely on consumer feedback to make better products. Get paid for your input through a site like UserTesting.
All you have to do is sign up online, take tests and surveys, and provide feedback on products. You can earn $10 for every 20-minute test you take.
In the era of working from home and social distancing, this doesn’t sound like a bad side job.
23. Sell stock photos
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to make money selling photos. All you need is an eye for design and a camera, and you can make money selling creative stock photos online.
The first step is to find a stock photo site, such as ShutterStock. Go through the approval process and see if you have any photos, or ideas for photos, that might be marketable. If they are, you can potentially receive payments every time someone downloads your work.
Additional marketplaces for photos include iStock Photo, Stocksy, and Alamy.
24. Sell unwanted tech on Decluttr
Almost everyone has a box full of unwanted tech items like old phones, DVDs, games, and video game consoles. You’re probably never going to use these items again, so it could make sense to get rid of them through a site like Decluttr.
Not only does Decluttr pay you for your stuff, but they’ll also send you a box and cover shipping costs. Plus, they promise to wipe your devices and erase your personal data upon receiving them.
Bartending is a great way to bring in extra cash. You most likely won’t make much in hourly pay, but you can bring in a lot of money in tips, especially if you work at a busy bar during peak hours.
Many successful people I know used to be bartenders back in their younger years. It’s a great way to meet new people, practice your sales skills, and potentially make business connections.
Don’t feel up to learning the skills of a bartender? Many bars and restaurants need bartender-adjacent staff too, including barbacks and bouncers.
One downside is that it can be tiring, especially if you work late hours after working a day job. At the same time, this is also how many people double their income.
26. Invest with a broker
If you already have a little bit of money sitting around, you should invest it. In my opinion, investing is the ultimate form of passive income because you literally don’t have to do anything to make money other than deposit your funds into your investment account. From there, you can just sit back and let the market do the heaving lifting.
27. Answer questions on JustAnswer
Are you a total expert in a certain field, such as education, healthcare, or marketing? If so, you can get paid to answer queries on JustAnswer, a leading peer-to-peer question site.
To qualify for JustAnswer, the site requires you to submit proof of experience. Then, you can start answering questions and get paid for each response.
28. Review music on Slicethepie
Music lovers, rejoice! Now you can get paid to review music through a site like Slicethepie.
This site pays music lovers to share their opinions on songs before they get published. Your feedback goes straight to the artist, providing valuable feedback to help them create music that resonates with audiences.
Other sites that pay you to listen to music include Musicxray, WeLocalize, and RadioEarn.
29. Earn cash back from Ibotta
Ibotta is an online rewards service that pays cash back for purchases on groceries, apparel, travel, and more.
To earn rewards, all you have to do is create an account and install the browser extension on your computer or download the mobile app to your phone. From there, when you make purchases through supported retailers, you can automatically earn cash back in your account.
At the time of this writing, up to $20 in welcome bonuses is available for new Ibotta subscribers.
30. Peer-to-Peer lending
Peer-to-peer lending involves issuing loans to other people online through a platform like Prosper or Upstart.
To be clear, peer-to-peer lending is risky. There is no telling what the person you issue a loan to will do with your money. However, most sites (like the ones above) offer visibility into who you’re issuing money to and how they plan to use it.
In addition, you can potentially earn higher interest rates than from traditional investments.
31. Explore cryptocurrency
The crypto market is booming following Bitcoin’s record bull run in 2020 and 2021, when the asset saw a value increase from roughly $4,000 to over $50,000.
There are many coins other than Bitcoin to investigate. Just remember that cryptocurrency is very risky, and you may lose money. If you already have a solid, diversified investment portfolio in the works, it might be worth the gamble.
32. Write an eBook
Writers take note: Self-publishing an eBook through a service like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a real money-making opportunity.
Amazon pays up to 70% royalties on sales to customers across the world. Best of all, you can retain the rights to your work. So if your book takes off, you don’t have to worry about losing control over your title.
As an added bonus, Amazon lets you publish paperback and digital copies of your work.
33. Flip real estate
You don’t need a license or certification to flip real estate. If you’re handy with home repairs or have a good network of contractors, you can potentially buy a fixer-upper, renovate it, and then rent or sell it for a profit.
Real estate investing isn’t for everyone. However, plenty of people have become very wealthy with strategic real estate investments. You could, too, if you play your cards right.
Frequently asked questions
Is it good to get paid in gift cards?
It depends. Many survey rewards sites offer to give participants gift cards instead of cash. For example, you may receive payment in the form of an Amazon or Walmart gift card. If you have the option, always choose to get paid in cash. This way, you can invest and grow your earnings rather than spending it on stuff.
Is a side gig a part-time job?
Yes. A side gig is technically a part-time job. If you’re working and bringing in money in addition to your full-time gig, it’s a side hustle. As you should know by now, side hustles can be a great source of extra income.
Do I need a side hustle?
Side hustles aren’t necessary, but they can be largely beneficial. It depends on your financial goals and how much you’re making. Some people are perfectly fine working their full-time job and calling it a day.
However, if you’re looking to attain financial freedom, having multiple income streams (e.g., side hustles and investments) will probably get you there much faster.
The bottom line
There are countless ways to earn side income, from working as a blogger to walking dogs and everything in between. It all depends on what you want to do and how hard you want to work.
My advice is this: Use some of the ideas mentioned above to bring in extra cash and pad your bank account. Over time, your money will start piling up before you know it. But only you can take the first step.
Here’s to getting closer to financial independence, one gig at a time.