68 Clever Ways to Make Money on the Side
From getting paid to cook to making extra money trying new mobile apps, there's no shortage of ways to make some extra cash. Here's the ultimate list of the most unique ways to earn extra money fast.
Who couldn't use some extra money each month?
We all could.
Whether you find yourself suddenly dealing with unexpected bills or you're just struggling to make ends meet at your current job, there are sadly too many times where you're short on cash.
So you try to search for legitimate work-from-home opportunities to bolster your income.
If you're not careful, though, many companies offering "work from home opportunities" will prey on your desperation.
They often offer what looks like legit job opportunities, only to force you to fork over more cash and leave you even more empty-handed than when you started.
With so many schemes and scams out there, it can be difficult to weed through the chaff and find the real jobs that make you money.
The last thing you need is to end up deeper in debt.
Fortunately, we've created a list of dozens of legitimate ways to earn extra money—some of which you may have never considered before!
We've been helping to educate consumers on financial issues since 1998, and we know that maximizing your earnings plays an important role in your financial health.
Not only can you start the new year off on the right financial foot with a side hustle that's not only fun and engaging, but you'll also get some extra cash in your pocket as well.
Money does so much more than just help you reach your financial goals.
With enough money, you can reach nearly any dream you want.
If you are like me with a small family and so many uncertainties for the future, just knowing you have some cash in the reserves is a priceless piece of mind.
Money can help you afford better food and better healthcare, which in turn can help you live longer.
Beyond that, there's very little that money can't buy.
Today's millionaires are even buying exotic cars and trips into space!
And while these jobs may not buy you a rocket ship, they can help you afford more of the things that matter most to you.
Even if you've tried to make money working from home before or by taking on side gigs, these unique, clever methods are sure to get you noticed and more importantly, get you business.
Check out the detailed list below, along with recommended websites and resources to help you get started fast!
Channel Your Inner Creative
All you need is a computer, a little talent, and an internet connection
1. Freelancing. The mother of all side hustles.
From writing content to designing logos and everything in between, you can make an extra $10, $20, or more per hour with your skills.
The best part is that freelancing work spans a wide range of industries and topics.
You could be ghostwriting the next big romance novel or programming the next must-have app.
2. Start your own blog. Blogging can be an extremely lucrative venture if you approach it right.
If you can write consistent, in-depth articles on a topic that people are interested in, you can quickly and easily build up a loyal following of readers.
It takes time to develop a blog, but as you reach more and more people with your posts, you'll find that the opportunities to make extra money are yours for the taking.
Sponsored posts, video reviews of products, podcasts—all of these can contribute to the authority and credibility of your blog as well as the fatness of your wallet.
To get started blogging, check out wordpress.com.
3. Publish an e-book on Amazon. Like blogging, if you can write authoritatively on a topic, you can turn it into an e-book which you can publish for free on Amazon.
Most Kindle books are around 40–50 pages and some of the most popular Kindle books make thousands of dollars per month.
The best part is, you can write multiple Kindle books and it costs you nothing to get started.
Check out kdp.amazon.com for more information.
4. Write or edit resumes. If you've got a knack for helping people make a great first impression, you can get paid for writing or editing resumes, cover letters, or social media profiles.
Take a look at talentinc.com or offer your own resume editing service locally.
5. Get paid to write. SocialSpark.com is a website that connects bloggers with advertisers.
The goal is to write sponsored posts on your blog.
If you have a blog and want to get paid to write, SocialSpark lets you do just that.
The more you write, the more you can earn—as much as $250 per post.
The website owner asks a few basic questions, such as "how easy was it to find X?" or "what was your first impression of Y?" and you get paid to answer these questions and provide your honest feedback.
7. Become a transcriptionist, captioner, or translator. If you can type quickly, (bonus points if you can do it in a second language), you can make money through rev.com/freelancers/.
Rev is always looking for diligent, fluent workers, and there's always a steady stream of work that needs to be done.
8. Give your honest feedback on software. SoftwareInsider.com pays up to $50 for detailed, honest, hard-hitting reviews of various kinds of computer software.
From educational games to new and innovative business software, there are all kinds of titles just waiting to be reviewed.
9. Flip domain names or websites. If you have a knack for creating high-ranking websites or registering lucrative, short and catchy domain names, you could use them to make yourself some extra cash.
Flippa.com lets you buy and sell domains or websites through their online auction system.
You can even get a free valuation when you sign up.
10. Do the little things that computers can't do. For all their power and innovation, there are just some things that computers are bad at.
These things can include creating texts (that make sense), categorizing photos, and more.
Most jobs take only a few seconds, but if you're just watching TV anyway, you can at least earn a few bucks during commercial breaks.
11. Proofread text. If you have an eye for spotting grammar or spelling mistakes, you can use your talent to start a proofreading business.
Even if you've never proofread before, sites like proofreadanywhere.com can teach you how.
You can even enroll in advanced technical proofreading classes to make even more money on the side.
12. Create an app. With sites like seattlecloud.com, you don't need to be a developer or programmer to build your own native iPhone or Android app.
This template-based service lets you build apps for bands, magazines, restaurants, events, and more.
Become the go-to app developer for your local community and make extra money on the side.
13. Become a coach or consultant. There are coaches for everything these days, including life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.
If others often come to you for advice, it may be the perfect time to start your own business and get paid for it.
14. Get paid to try new apps. Mobilexpression.com and computermobilepanel.nielsen.com are two websites that are looking for users to install a special app on their phone that gathers data anonymously on how they browse and shop.
In turn, there are marketing and data research companies that pay for this information.
You can get paid in the form of cash, merchandise, or gift cards depending on the project.
15. Create your own online course. If you're extremely talented at a particular skill, chances are there are others out there who'd like to learn it too.
Udemy.com lets you create an online course complete with lessons and worksheets to impart your knowledge to others.
Many of the courses deal with computer programming, but you can teach anything through Udemy, from painting and pottery to cooking and creative writing.
Some instructors charge up to $250 per course, so you can easily see how lucrative this opportunity can be.
16. Serve on a mock jury. Oftentimes, trial lawyers will try their case with a "mock jury" before it goes to real court.
The good news is, you can be an "e-juror" from anywhere.
Signupdirect.com pays $100 or more per day to serve as a mock juror.
No experience needed.
17. Make money as an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketers make a commission selling other people's products.
Some of the commissions you can earn range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the product.
Most of the products are digital, which means you don't have to deal with things like inventory, shipping, or customer service.
If you have a knack for selling anything to anyone, check out clickbank.com to learn more about making money as an affiliate marketer.
18. Make money on YouTube. Those hilarious cat videos or crazy driver dash-cam videos are doing more than just making you laugh (or gasp in shock).
They're also making their creators tons of money thanks to YouTube's Partner Program.
This program makes it possible for you to make money with your YouTube videos.
You get paid as people watch your videos.
Many people have built entire businesses creating their own channels about everything from fitness to gaming.
To learn more about this opportunity, check out youtube.com/yt/creators/benefits/.
19. Become a drop-shipper. Drop-shipping used to mean a massive inventory to manage and countless product fulfillment headaches.
Thanks to the internet, that's no longer the case.
Doba.com is an online drop-shipping marketplace that lets you pick and choose the products you want to sell at retail price, and then lets you pay the wholesale supplier directly.
They take care of order fulfillment while you keep the profits.
As one example, the retail price of a hoverboard is $499, while the wholesale price is $175.76.
Selling just one of these hot, in-demand toys earns you an extra $323.24.
20. Improve results for search engines. You can get paid by Google, Bing, and other search engines to help them improve their search results.
Join at join.appen.com to learn more.
Some of the search engine results are in languages other than English, so you may earn even more if you are bilingual.
21. Get paid to tweet. If you enjoy using Twitter and have a large, engaged following, you can get paid to 'tweet' by sponsoredtweets.com.
SponsoredTweets is run by the same company that owns SocialSpark.com, so the system is similar if you are already familiar with getting paid to blog by advertisers.
22. Become an online tutor. If you're a whiz at math or a pro at languages, you can get paid to become an online tutor at Wyzant.com.
Users can choose tutors near them locally or online.
You can set your own rate and choose the students you're willing to work with.
Booking and scheduling are all handled through the Wyzant platform.
Help a Neighbor in Need
Earn extra cash by doing various tasks in your neighborhood
If you'd like to earn extra money on the side but don't want to stay tied down to your computer, you're in luck.
There's plenty of work that needs doing in your local area.
Here's how to find it:
There are numerous job openings for seasonal, part-time, or even full-time help.
Be careful, though, as some of these jobs can masquerade as work from home opportunities that then require you to pay an up-front fee.
No job will ever make you pay for something up front before you're hired.
Scroll through the listings for your area and look for more established brands or companies.
Some temp job sites will even help you complete and upload your resume.
24. Give a guided tour of your area. If you live in or near a popular tourist attraction or a historic town, you can get paid to give guided tours of the area through sites like Vayable.com.
You can set your own rates and Vayable handles all of the online booking and payment.
25. Get paid to run errands. Everyone could use a hand from time to time.
If you'd like to get paid to drive others, either uber.com or lyft.com can provide a nice side income, particularly if you want to only restrict your service to rides along the route you're going (like to or from work).
27. Rent out your home via Airbnb. If you live in a tourist area or hot vacation spot, you can earn extra cash renting out your home (or just a room) on Airbnb.
Enter your city on the homepage to find out how much you could earn.
28. Become a chauffeur for busy kids and parents. If you have no problem with fingerprinting, a background check, real-time drive monitoring, you can make money chauffeuring kids to various appointments or activities when their parents can't.
This service is available through HopSkipDrive.com
29. Get paid by college football fans. RentLikeAChampion.com is like Airbnb but for fans of college football.
If you live in or around a popular college sports hub, this is a great way to connect with fellow fans and make extra money.
30. Make money with your computer skills. Hellotech.com works with computer professionals in every state to provide "tech support to your door."
From TV and AV mounting to mobile specialists and smart home device installers, Hellotech is a great way to get paid to geek.
31. Make money babysitting. If you love kids and people tell you that you'd make an excellent babysitter, it may be time to make some extra side money with this all-time popular side job.
SitterCity.com connects parents and caregivers to babysitters around the country.
SitterCity also helps match people looking for pet-sitters, nannies, at-home caregivers, and housekeepers as well, so if you're more fond of Fido or Fluffy, there's plenty of work to be had.
And don't worry about damages—you're protected by over $1 million in insurance in case your car gets damaged or totaled.
33. Put ads on your car. If you want to make money driving your car but don't want to pick up people you don't know, you can turn your car into a driving billboard with services like autowrapped.com or freecarmedia.com.
Drive around with ads on your car and make some extra cash.
34. Rent out your stuff. From unused sports equipment to limousines (no kidding!) you can rent out your stuff at loanables.com.
Nearly anything is up for rent here, including inflatable bouncy castles, clothes, and lawn equipment.
Clean out your closet or garage and make money—a win-win!
35. Get paid to be a virtual assistant. Busy executives and professionals always need an extra set of hands to help schedule appointments, book accommodations and more.
Fancyhands.com hires U.S. based help to tackle all the little but important jobs that need to be done.
36. Craft handmade items. Local fairs and farmers markets are booming across the U.S., and it's easy to see why.
People are turning to more and more handmade gifts and items as a way to support their local small businesses and local communities.
In fact, you may be surprised at what kinds of items sell out fast.
Everything from homemade salsas and dips to handmade soaps, candles, and fresh-baked bread are always popular, and they're easy to make.
37. Sell your creations online. While you can't sell fresh-baked bread online quickly, you can put your crafting skills to work through Etsy.com.
If you have some creative experience, you can make a nice side income crafting, painting, etching and more.
38. Rent your RV. If you own an RV but haven't used it much, you can rent it out via rvshare.com.
All types of RVs are available to rent, including all major classes, fifth-wheels, and travel trailers.
You can even see how much you'd earn annually (approximately) by choosing the type of RV you have from the drop-down menu.
39. Get paid to go to the movies. Movie theaters can be an expensive business to run, but they have a reputation to maintain.
By becoming a certified field associate at certifiedfieldassociate.com you can get paid to do "theater checks" in the U.S. and Canada.
A theater check can involve watching and recording trailers, checking showtimes, checking advertisements and more.
In some cases, you'll even be asked to review items such as the customer service, cleanliness of the facilities, and more.
40. Get rid of your stuff and get paid. Decluttr is a free app that lets you list CDs, DVDs, games, books, and cell phones online and get paid for them while you declutter your home of stuff you no longer need or want.
41. Make money cooking. If you love to cook and have people over, you'll love Eatwith.com.
This site lets you create a communal table and get paid to host a meal. People, in turn, pay for the experience.
From seafood tasting in New York to paella in Barcelona, you don't have to be a professional cook to get started.
All you need is to create a menu, schedule a date, and set your price.
42. Sell your old clothes. If you have clothing that's in good condition, you can sell it on thredup.com.
Pay is $2–25 per item and they pay for shipping, so it's a great way to make some extra cash for stuff you don't wear anymore.
43. Become a mystery shopper. Be careful when researching this job opportunity, as there are countless scams out there that masquerade as mystery shopping, but require a hefty up-front fee to "join" the network.
Bestmark.com is not only one of the largest and longest-running mystery shopping networks, but it's also one of the most trusted.
Check them out if you'd like to get paid to evaluate customer experiences at businesses near you.
44. Frequent yard sales. You'd be amazed at the things people sell and possibly even more surprised by how much you can make from them.
If you can't pass up a good deal, frequenting yard sales can yield many older or unusual items that may be worth a lot of money.
You'll need to arrive early for best results and have a bit of a collector's eye so that you don't end up with a bunch of stuff that won't sell, but this hobby could turn into a lucrative side business if you enjoy it!
45. Become a professional organizer. If you have a knack for finding a place for everything and everything in its place, you may be surprised to learn that there are disorganized people out there who will pay for your skills.
A professional organizer does more than just tidy up.
They also help people come up with workable strategies to help them stay organized.
Busy parents and business owners, in particular, could use this service, and there's no certification or licensing needed.
Most professional organizers make around $40–$50/hour.
46. Make money fixing cars. Yourmechanic.com is looking for local mechanics across the U.S. for on-call, on-site car and truck repairs.
Users merely input what they need to be fixed through the yourmechanic.com platform, then book a time and place to have the mechanic meet them.
If you're good at fixing things or have a background in automotive repair, this could provide an excellent second income.
47. Become a delivery courier. On-demand delivery services are cropping up all over the world, but perhaps none are quite as large or as popular as postmates.com.
Get paid up to $25/hour to deliver anything anywhere on your own schedule.
Running local errands and getting paid for it is a great way to make some extra spending money.
If you'd like a business idea that's "so crazy, it just might work," these ideas are sure to get your mind spinning with possibilities.
Think Outside the Box
Clever options to help you make cash fast
48. Be a friend in need. You may have heard that "money can't buy you love," but it can buy you friends!
Rentafriend.com lets you rent a friend to go with you to the movies, go sightseeing, or just hang out.
The service operates around the world, too, so if you've just moved, it's an excellent opportunity to get to know people and make some extra money also.
Cuddling is strictly platonic, and these sites were formed out of our intrinsic human need for touch.
Some people have gone so far as to host cuddle-parties too!
50. Make money by losing weight. If you've ever needed the right motivation to help you lose those stubborn pounds, healthywage.com could be precisely what you're looking for.
With this site, you make a bet on how much you can realistically lose.
If you win, you get cash!
The money comes from those who lost their bets, so the potential loss of money may be all the motivation you need!
51. Get cash back from credit cards. This isn't exactly a way to make a full-time income on the side, but if you're buying things on your credit card anyway, it makes sense to get cash back where you can.
Fortunately, there are dozens of great cash back credit cards that will give you a percentage back on the things you buy the most.
Whether those things are airline tickets or groceries, gas or office supplies, chances are there's a cash back card for it.
52. Turn your smartphone photos into cash. Beyond the photos of sunsets or your pets being silly, you can make some extra cash with your smartphone photos at FOAP.com.
With FOAP, users specify the kind of story they want their photos to tell, and then different freelancers use the power of smartphones to make the story come alive with pictures.
Major brands use this platform to get authentic photos. Current "missions" as they're called, are available from brands like Nivea and Pantene.
53. Get paid to listen to music. If you're the kind of person who likes to listen to new, up-and-coming bands or artists, you can do what you love and get paid for it.
54. Become a pet behaviorist. Many pet owners ask themselves, "Why does my dog do that?" or "Why is my cat acting like such a nut?"
These are the kinds of questions that a pet behaviorist can answer.
It's easy to become one by going to www.iaabc.org — the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
You take a test at the cost of $125 and pay an annual due of $110, but beyond that, you can set your own fees.
There are both guided workshops and self-study courses.
If you're someone who loves working with animals and helping ensure happy homes for pets, this side job could very well become a full-time career!
55. Sell your unwanted trees. If you have a lot of acreage with unwanted trees, check out sellyourtrees.com.
This company works with local tree removal services to get rid of your unwanted trees and sell the wood to lumber companies.
They take care of the removal and cleanup, and you're paid before any work begins.
56. Take advantage of the "Disney Vault." The Disney Vault is a marketing tactic used by the Walt Disney Company to promote scarcity of their videos and DVDs.
Every few years, a movie is released from "the vault" to the general public, and is then put back in the vault for 7–10 years as the current supply dries up.
If you have old Disney movies laying around that you or your kids no longer watch, collectors may be willing to snap them up at higher prices.
57. Get involved in political movements. If you enjoy getting involved in politics and want to help bring attention to various causes, check out onpointathome.com.
This site recruits paid "advocates" to help call and organize various political movements.
Keep in mind that these organized rallies and phone calls may involve partisan or bipartisan causes, so this type of work is ideal for someone with an open, tolerant perspective of issues on both sides of the aisle.
58. Rent out your 3D printer. If you own a 3D printer and would like to make some extra cash with it, check out 3dhubs.com.
3D Hubs contracts with users to rent out the functions of their 3D printer to companies who make molds and other printable items.
59. Start your own boxed subscription service. These days, nearly anything can be (and is) sold as a boxed subscription service.
From makeup to pet treats, there's no limit to what people will pay to receive each month.
CrateJoy has a detailed article on over 100 different boxed subscription services as well as how to start your own.
60. Become a voice-over artist. If people tell you that you have a voice that was "made for radio," why not use it to make some extra cash as a voice-over artist?
Backstage.com is a site where voice-over artists and people in need of voice-over work can connect to work together on audio, video and more.
61. Rent out your garage or parking space. If you have a parking spot or garage in a lucrative, easy-access space that you're not currently using, you can rent it out and make extra money through justpark.com.
Listing your parking space or garage space is free and only takes a minute.
62. Split logs for fast cash in colder climates. Firewood is a "hot" commodity in colder climates, but it can be dangerous work for some.
If you have a log splitter, check out craigslist.org in your area for anyone getting rid of free wood from fallen trees.
Chop it, dry it, and bundle it for easy, fast spending money in cold winter months.
63. Go camping. You can't exactly make money just by camping, but you could follow the example of suburbancampsite.com to earn extra cash bringing a bit of nature to the big city.
This business venture was formed from the idea that many living in larger cities had never experienced a quiet, "s'mores-and-ghost-stories-by-the-fire" campsite experience.
Are there similar types of ideas that you could try in your town or city?
64. Sell unwanted or unused gift cards. Raise.com is a network of people looking to buy and sell unwanted gift cards and could be a great way to turn great aunt Edith's holiday gift card to Socks Emporium into something you'll actually use.
65. Become a notary. It costs less than $100 to be registered as a notary public, and you can charge whatever rates you want.
Check with your local state guidelines for the steps to take to become a notary.
66. Invest and grow your money. You don't have to have a lot of cash to get started with investing.
Stashinvest.com lets you start investing for as little as $5.
Your first month with them is free, and there's a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000.
67. Start a social media business. More and more companies are joining social media for the first time—and they could use some guidance.
Starting a social media business can be a very lucrative venture that could turn into a full-time income.
Typically, companies need someone to post to their social media accounts with relevant content, questions or research.
They also often need professionals to handle their advertising, invite discussions with their followers and much more.
You can start by looking for local companies in your area that don't have much of a social media presence and approach them about helping to build up their fans and followers as well as post interesting, engaging content and questions.
68. Play and stream video games. Sites like Twitch.tv have taken video game streaming to an entirely new level.
While Twitch themselves won't pay you to stream, you can create your own gaming stream and invite others to subscribe or sponsor your stream for cash.
The best video game streamers often comment on the games they're playing with tips, walkthroughs or other hints.
Some streamers only stream retro games or "speed clears" where they beat games as quickly as possible.
Others do shooting or sci-fi games.
If you can get enough people engaged in sponsoring your content, it could be an excellent way to afford even more games in the future!
Opportunities for Extra Money Are out There
Now that you've learned about dozens of new opportunities at home and around town that can make you some extra cash on the side, you should shortlist the ones you're most attracted to and get started!
Check out the websites we've posted for various jobs to learn how to jump in and don't be afraid to do your own research as well.
I wanted this article to give you the full spectrum of options and help you get the side gig you want as quickly and effectively as possible.
The most important part is that you take steps to get started — that alone will put you miles ahead of all those people who are merely "wishing" they could start their own business instead of actually doing it.
Do you have a side hustle? Is it helping your finances? Let everyone know in the comments below!