If you’ve cut every unnecessary expense from your budget and are still struggling to pay the bills or reach your financial goals, it’s probably time for the other option: make more money.
But how? Asking for a raise or finding a new job is one answer, but sometimes you just have to make more money on the side. If you don’t want to get a retail job or find a traditional part-time work, there are lots of options for you. Here are some of the best and weirdest ways to make money on the side.
Plasma donations pay between $20 and $50 a session and donors can earn extra if they donate multiple times a week. The initial intake session usually lasts a couple hours, but subsequent sessions usually only take one hour, not including travel time.
You do have to be comfortable sitting in a room with a needle in your arm. The entire process is only mildly uncomfortable, but it might freak out anyone who’s not comfortable with needles. Users must be in good health and will need to be clear of any major diseases before donating.
Drive for Uber or Lyft
On average, Uber drivers tend to make between $15 and $18 an hour – not a bad rate for a job that’s entirely flexible. This doesn’t include any bonuses they might get or cash tips. Plus, drivers who choose weekend nights or other busy times will make more due to surge pricing.
A big concern for those who choose ridesharing as their side hustle is the wear and tear on their vehicle. Drivers should be cautious about how many miles they put on their car and be extra vigilant about taking it in for oil changes and other maintenance.
Internet surveys get a bad rap, but they can often be an easy source of money. You can do them while you catch up on Netflix, wait for the laundry to finish or tan by the pool.
Reputable survey sites include:
This isn’t the best way to make a lot of money fast, but if you work at a job with access to a computer and little else to do, you can easily make a few dollars.
Do nude modeling
People who take art classes frequently use nude models to practice their skills. Models must be comfortable being completely naked and standing, sitting or lying down in a variety of poses, sometimes up to 30 minutes.
Jobs pay about $20 an hour, but it can be hard to find recurring work. Some art teachers prefer to have different models each time, to keep it interesting for their students. Obviously, if you took this kind of gig, you’d have to be comfortable with your body and the idea of people looking at you. Art classes often last several hours with few breaks.
Flip garage sale finds
If you haven’t been to a yard sale in awhile, you might have the wrong idea of the merchandise sold there. Yes, a lot of it is old clothes, once-popular paperbacks and toys that no one plays with anymore.
But you can often find hidden treasures, like collectibles, designer purses and antiques. Some people make a decent side hustle finding underpriced items at yard sales and flipping them for a profit through sites like eBay.
If you’re interested in this, know that this is a hit-and-miss business. Some weeks you can find a gold mine (literally) and other weeks there will be nothing. It can take a while for you to figure out which neighborhoods are the best and how to haggle well.
Find easy jobs on craigslist
Most people use Craigslist to find used furniture, but the site also has a job section where people list ads for almost anything. If you’re strong, you can look for manual labor jobs where you need to move furniture for a couple hours.
The positions vary and there are plenty of scams on the site, so be careful. Hourly wages vary depending on the work, so always ask for more details before you sign up.
If you’ve got expertise in a particular school subject, you could consider tutoring children. Rates depend on the child’s age and your level of knowledge. A person with a Master’s Degree in History could earn more tutoring a high schooler taken AP US History than someone with an Associate’s Degree.
Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to make a name for yourself, but it can be tough to get started. Find people you know who are teachers, parents or have some sort of connection to schools. Old-school flyers work as advertising, especially if you set up a basic website hocking your skills. Sites like LearnOK.com also make it possible to tutor virtually.
You can also work to prepare high school students for college applications, proofreading their essays and quizzing them on interview questions.
Rent out a room on Airbnb
Plenty of people rent out their apartment or house on Airbnb when they go on vacation, but few attempt to do it while they’re still living in the space. If you have an extra bedroom or bed, you might consider putting it up on Airbnb. If you rent out a room consistently, you could even make enough to pay for your rent or mortgage.
How much you earn depends on the space available, your neighborhood and the city you live in. A spare room in Manhattan, New York will cost more than one in Manhattan, Kansas. There are also a few expenses related to Airbnb including taxes, cleaning supplies and other fees. There’s also the risk you take of having someone you don’t know staying in your house. Do you trust them around your things? Will you be ok if they damage something, accidentally or negligently?
Do tasks on TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit allows people to hire help for some of the most mundane tasks, like mounting shelves in their living room or picking up your dry cleaning. Taskers can set their own hourly rate and even receive tips through the app. There is a 30% service fee that cuts in that rate, so be careful when you’re signing up.
The more jobs you do, the more reviews you’ll get and the higher rate you can command. Plus, you can decline jobs if you’re busy or take on more if you have free time. Easy tasks usually get paid less, while more specialized work will have better rates and less competition.
Deliver groceries via Instacart
Whole Foods shoppers use the app Instacart to have their groceries delivered instead of pushing through their crowded aisles. Shoppers get a list of things to purchase and an address to deliver them. They can earn between $10 to $20 an hour and can also accept tips.
Gas, wear and tear on your car and tolls can eat into your profit, so be mindful of that. Remember, you can deduct any related expenses so make sure to track those if you choose Instacart or one of the other car-dependent side hustles.
Walk dogs or pet sit
Rover.com is the best way to find pet sitting or dog walking gigs. You can set your own rates and only choose to go a certain distance from your house or you can dogsit in your own home. Rover claims that those working part-time can earn $1,000 a month depending on their clients. The more reviews you get, the more money you can charge.
If you choose to use your own space for dog sitting, remember that new dogs might find your leather shoes or velvet couch all too appealing. Factor in money for cleaning and damage. If you rent, make sure it’s alright to have pets in your building. You don’t want to get a notice from your landlord in your attempt to earn extra money.
If you thought babysitting was a job only available to teens, you’re wrong. Care.com is one of the top sites where parents can find babysitters and nannies. Rates start at about $10 an hour, but can go more if you live in a high-cost-of-living city or have excellent reviews. You can also charge more if you can tutor or help kids with their homework.
Again, this job is perfect if your work schedule changes regularly and you can’t determine when you’ll be available. If you find a family that likes you, you can get recurring gigs without doing too much marketing.
The bottom line
Making money on the side has its drawbacks, especially if you’re already working a stressful job and trying to balance your family and a social life. But it also has lots of benefits and can significantly improve your finances.
Pick one or two side hustles to start and see how it goes. If you get overwhelmed or busy, you can quit. If you end up making more than you thoughts, then you now have a new stream of income to support your family.