Side hustles are one of the biggest trends of our era. According to 2022 Zapier data, 40% of Americans make extra money through a side gig. With a little bit of effort, you can turn your free time into money that allows you to boost your savings and diversify your income. Your extra cash can help with getting out of debt, achieving financial freedom, or treating yourself to something nice.
Whether you want to learn how to make money fast or you’d rather build a long-term sustainable income generator, there are options for you. In this article, we’ll cover 25 easy ways to make more money and increase your monthly income.
These are the categories we’ll go over so you know how to make extra money:
Online Jobs: How to Make Extra Money From Home
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a growing industry, with experts predicting the total influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. This means there’s room for more influencers and brand ambassadors to enter the market and make money online.
Influencers make money by promoting products and brands to their social media followers. Instagram is the most common platform for influencers, but many influencers also operate on TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook.
If you’re a social media guru and growing your list of followers comes easily to you, this could be the perfect side hustle for you. By including photos or mentions of certain brand products, you can easily bring in extra income.
It’s important to keep in mind that building a following if you don’t already have a large audience on social media will take time. When you’re first starting out, influencer marketing takes hard work and research. Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of the industry, however, becoming an influencer can be a great source of income.
2. Virtual Assistant
As remote work has become more common, a growing number of employers are looking for virtual assistants to help with any number of tasks. Many virtual assistant jobs are part-time and can be completed on a schedule you set for yourself. If you’ve been wondering how to make extra money while at home, this may be your answer.
Virtual assistant jobs are widely varied, which means whatever your skill set is, you can likely find a way to use it. Administrative virtual assistants help their employers with scheduling, sending emails, filing paperwork, and managing expenses.
All you need is a computer and good listening skills to get a job transcribing audio files. Transcription platforms look for people willing to listen to audio clips—ranging from short phone recordings to long interviews—and type what they hear.
Transcription work is typically flexible, so you can fit it around your schedule and work from home. The pay in this field can start low between $10 and $15 an hour, but as your skills advance, you can start making up to $25 or $30 an hour.
While transcribing audio files, you may listen to out-of-context conversations or people speaking with heavy accents. As a beginner, this could slow you down, but when you get the hang of it, your speed will improve and you can make more money.
Rev is a transcription platform that advertises an average monthly pay of $245 for transcription contractors, with $1,495 as the top monthly earning. This is a good platform for inexperienced transcriptionists who want a simple way to get started.
TranscribeMe also hires beginning transcriptionists and advertises itself as an industry leader for pay. This platform works primarily with 2-4 minute audio clips, so you won’t be transcribing long interviews.
4. Independent Content Creation
If you have a knack for creative writing, podcast production, video editing, or another creative field, there’s a good chance you can monetize your talent. With platforms like Patreon and Substack, content creators are connecting with audiences and earning some extra cash.
Writers on Substack, an email newsletter platform, can choose whether to offer free or paid subscriptions to their audiences. Substack has over 500,000 paying subscribers on the platform, and the top ten Substack writers make over $20 million per year.
While Substack writers primarily make money through subscriptions, you can sell ad space, promote your own product, or include affiliate links in your newsletter as long as the main purpose of your writing is not to sell a product.
Unlike Substack, Patreon isn’t just for writers. While writers can add their content to Patreon, photographers, musicians, podcasters, and any other type of content creators are also welcome. Creators on Patreon monetize their content through paid subscriptions. With over 6 million paid subscribers on the platform, many Patreon creators have successfully boosted their income.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an easy thing to learn for anyone who’s been researching how to make extra money. You can make money in affiliate marketing by referring customers to businesses and receiving a commission when those customers make a purchase. Affiliate marketers often start a blog, website, or social media account where they post links to products and brands and encourage their followers to visit those brand pages.
As an affiliate marketer, you’re essentially a salesperson, but if you’re already running a blog or website, it shouldn’t take too much extra effort. Find brands that you support and check if they have affiliate programs.
Many brands list information about their affiliate program on their website. From beauty brands like Sephora and Ulta to travel brands like Beaches Resort, there are affiliate programs in nearly any industry.
Freelancers can be found in nearly every industry. Whether you’re a graphic designer, copywriter, social media expert, web developer, or videographer, there are businesses out there that could use your help. Freelancers contract with companies for either set amounts of time or for the duration of specific projects. Usually, freelancers are able to work on their own schedules and from their own homes.
The trick to becoming a successful freelancer is learning how to find the right clients. While it may be easy to find clients if you’re willing to work for less money than any of the competition, doing tons of work for little pay will quickly become exhausting. Not only is it important to find clients willing to pay competitively, but it’s also crucial to find clients who are respectful and easy to work with.
Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork connect freelancers to high-quality clients, but you can also advertise your services within your own professional network. Promote yourself on LinkedIn and other social media sites. While it may take time to get started, once you’re in the groove of it, freelancing can be lucrative and fulfilling.
7. E-Commerce Entrepreneurship
Ecommerce entrepreneurs source and sell products online. Many e-commerce brands sell their products through Amazon, while others use independent sites to market and sell products. The key to a successful e-commerce business is finding the right product to sell.
The perfect product will have relatively low production costs with a high amount of demand from consumers. While there is some risk in e-commerce entrepreneurship, if you do your research, there is potential to make significant profits.
8. Sell Gently Used Clothing
The market for secondhand clothing is on the rise as shoppers look for ways to save money and reduce the environmental impact of their purchases. If you have high-quality or trendy clothing that’s still in good condition, you can convert that clothing into cash. Check out Poshmark, Mercari, or thredUP for a place to sell your gently used clothing.
Taking Advantage of Your Spare Time
TaskRabbit is a platform that connects people with easy ways to make money. If you have a little bit of free time you can connect with people who need help with small jobs. You can be hired to pick up groceries, help move furniture, weed a garden, or do any other task that someone needs assistance with.
You can make anywhere from $15 an hour up to $75 an hour, depending on your skills and the types of tasks you work on. The average person working for TaskRabbit makes about $110 per month, which is often only 1-3 tasks. This is a great option for anyone with a spare weekend or two.
While people travel for work and family vacations, they need someone to water their plants, take care of pets, and ensure their property is safe. Housesitting works well for remote workers who can travel to find the best-paying house-sitting gigs. Bring your computer, work from someone else’s home, and get paid for it—as long as you remember to put food out for the pets.
Some house-sitting jobs don’t require you to stay in the home, which means you can be paid to stop occasionally to ensure everything is still in order. While house-sitting won’t make you rich, it is a low-effort way to bring in extra cash. Housesitter.com is a free platform that can connect you with homeowners in search of a sitter.
If you love animals, pet-sitting is a great side gig that will barely feel like work. When pet owners go out of town or have long work days, they need someone to take their pets for walks and refill their bowls of food and water.
If you have experience training dogs or other pets, you’ll be able to charge extra for your pet sitting services, and you’ll have an easier time finding clients. Many busy pet owners struggle to find the time to give their pets the attention they need in order to train them. You can provide a needed service, earn extra cash, and meet some cute animals during the process. Check out Rover for pet-sitting listings in your area.
12. Food Delivery
Food delivery services exploded in popularity during the pandemic, but the trend seems here to stay. While people crave convenience and speed, the demand for delivery drivers is growing.
All you need is a car to be able to sign up to drive for services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, Doordash, and Postmates. Drivers are most needed during peak hours like late nights and weekends. If you’re available during these times, your earning potential will increase.
13. Uber or Lyft
Since Uber hit the scene in 2009 and Lyft followed three years later, drivers have been making extra cash by using their own cars as temporary taxis. Most Uber and Lyft drivers make between $15 and $22 per hour. The pay depends on region, time of day, how often you work, and how much passengers tip. If you are available to work late on weekends or during holidays like New Year’s Eve and Halloween, your earnings will be significantly higher than driving during other hours.
One of the benefits of driving for Uber or Lyft is any expenses related to your car are able to become tax write-offs. While you were likely already paying car insurance, lease payments, and maintenance costs, all of these things can be written off during tax season.
Monetizing Your Hobbies
If you’re handy with a camera, try advertising your ability to photograph family portraits, engagements, weddings, and other important events. Make sure you have a portfolio of your best work to show people your style and skill level.
Photographers can make anywhere from $100 to $500 an hour. The amount you charge is up to you. If you’re just starting out, you may want to charge less and provide a service to friends and family to build your skills and your portfolio. As you get more experienced, you can increase your rates.
15. Sell Your Handmade Items
Do you make your own jewelry, clothing, or home decor? Put your creativity to good use by selling your creations. Boutiques and farmer’s markets are often looking for more local handmade products.
If you prefer to sell your products online, you can start your own independent site and advertise through social media, or use a platform like Etsy to find buyers. Ceramics, personalized art, and custom wedding decor are some of the most popular items sold on Etsy.
Getting Paid for Consumer Insights
16. Take Surveys
When wondering how to make extra money, many people don’t realize taking surveys is one of the simplest ways to do it. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or TikTok when you have a few spare minutes on your phone, take surveys and earn some cash. Companies are willing to pay for insights into consumer behavior, which is why there are multiple survey platforms that will pay you for your feedback.
Taking surveys is definitely not a get-rich-quick money-making strategy. This is more of a slow-and-steady way to earn a little bit of spending money. But if you take a survey whenever you’re standing in line, waiting for a bus, or just need a quick mental break, your effort will add up. Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and MyPoints are all platforms that will pay you to take surveys.
17. Test Websites and Apps
It’s important for companies to know how users interact with their platforms. If you have some spare time, you can get paid to test various websites and apps. While it takes a little more effort than taking surveys, you’ll make money every time you complete a test. Check out these platforms to get started:
- IntelliZoom pays users an average of $5 per test and tests generally last 10-20 minutes.
- TrymyUI sends users 20-30 minute tests and pays $10 for each completed test.
- Userlytics has a range of test lengths and pays as low as $5 or as high as $90 for a completed test. Pay increases as the length and complexity of the tests increase.
18. Join a Focus Group
Focus groups require significantly more effort than taking surveys or testing websites from your home. As a member of a focus group, you’ll participate in a guided discussion with a group of other people. You’ll often be asked about your reactions or opinions to a certain product, ad, or political campaign.
Some focus groups are held online, but many require you to participate in person. You can expect to make $30-$150 for each session you participate in, with in-person sessions generally paying more than online sessions. Each of the following platforms will collect your demographic information and help you find focus groups that need your feedback.
Sharing Your Knowledge
19. Consulting Services
A consultant is an individual with specialized knowledge that they use to help a business solve a problem or provide expert advice during a particular project. Consultants typically work part-time for a company until they’ve completed the project they were assigned to work on. This allows many consultants to keep their full-time day job while offering consulting services on the side for extra money.
Consultants can specialize in nearly anything, but the most commonly hired types of consultants include marketing, strategy, PR, and legal consultants. Consulting isn’t a job that anyone can jump into overnight, however.
You’ll need extensive knowledge and experience in the industry you’re working in. If you have that expertise, however, you’ll be paid well for it. Because consultants are considered experts in their field, they are able to charge high hourly rates and earn significant amounts of money.
Are you an expert at writing essays, a math whiz, or fluent in a second language? You could help anyone from elementary school kids to college students get some additional help outside of class.
Check out platforms like Tutorme, Tutor.com, and Wyzant for help finding students. You can also ask friends, neighbors, and family members to spread the word that you offer tutoring services. These are some of the most common subjects students need help with:
- ACT prep
- Foreign language
- Computer programming
If you’re an expert in any of these categories, put that knowledge to good use. A beginning tutor can make around $15 an hour, but an experienced tutor can make double that amount. Not only is tutoring a great way to make money, but it’s a fulfilling experience to watch students succeed with your help.
21. Teach a Class
Do you know how to bake, paint, dance, or do yoga? Many other people are likely eager to learn these things as well. Create a class to share your skills with others. Check with your local community center to see if they offer space for teaching classes. If you teach yoga or fitness classes, ask gyms in your area if they need more instructors.
Tell your friends and family about your class and ask them to spread the word, so you can find students. Try offering your classes in the summer and advertise them as kid-friendly. Many parents look for fun learning activities for the kids while school is out, so you’ll likely find plenty of students.
Learn How to Make Extra Money With Passive Income
22. Equipment and Storage Rentals
When you don’t have extra time, but want a way to earn more money, renting out the things you already own is a perfect solution. If you have room in your garage, that extra space can be put to work earning you money.
Your unused outdoor gear, power tools, and electronic equipment all have the potential to become a source of passive income. These platforms can connect you to potential renters so you can start earning money.
- Neighbor connects anyone with a spare room in their garage or driveway to people needing more storage space. The platform advertises an earning potential between $100 and $600 per month.
- Spinlister is your place to go if you’re an outdoor enthusiast who has built up a large inventory of gear. List your bikes, surfboards, paddleboards, snow gear, and many other outdoor items for people to rent.
- Fat Llama and Yoodlize allow you to list any type of item for rent—from board games to camera equipment to Halloween costumes and nearly anything else you can think of. Both of these platforms have yet to spread nationwide, so they may not yet be available in your area. Fat Llama is most concentrated in large cities, and Yoodlize is primarily located in the Mountain West, however, keep your eyes open for these platforms to enter your area because they both have seen rapid growth in recent years.
Do you have a guest bedroom in your home? If so, you have a valuable asset you should be taking advantage of. Since Airbnb hit the scene in 2016, numerous people have made enough money on the platform to be able to quit their day jobs and commit full time to simply managing their Airbnbs.
Whether you’re hoping to quit your day job or just make some income on the side, with a few photos posted on Airbnb’s app, your extra room could bring in hundreds of dollars per week. If you’re willing to invest in some home renovations, adding a kitchenette and private bathroom for Airbnb guests can increase your earning potential even more.
While Airbnb is often considered passive income, it does take some work to manage your listing. You’ll have to communicate with guests and make sure their room is clean when they arrive. If you don’t have time for these tasks, there are many management companies that specialize in working with Airbnb owners.
24. Dividend Stocks
Investing in the stock market requires some initial capital upfront. But if you are able to invest in dividend stocks, you’ll earn passive income and make back your investment over time. Anytime you invest in the stock market, there is some risk. However, there are a few reliable dividend stocks that are historically consistent in paying dividends to their shareholders.
- Coca-Cola has consistently paid dividends to shareholders for the last 60 years. On average the payout is around $.041 per quarter per share.
- Lowe’s has paid dividends consistently for the past 48 years. The dividend range for the past five years has been $0.41 on the low end and $1.05 on the high end, with the most recent payouts being on the high end.
- Target has paid dividends to shareholders for the past 50 years with steadily rising growth in the value of the payouts. The current dividend payout is above $3 per share.
Investment apps like Robinhood, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab are great places for beginners to start when looking to get into the stock market. These apps allow you to invest small amounts while you’re still learning the markets.
Stock market investing is primarily a good option if you are able to handle some risk in the pursuit of creating passive income. However, generally, the risk decreases the longer you hold onto your stock. If you consider this a multiple-decade investment, you are likely to make a good profit over the years.
25. Real Estate Investment
Real estate investing is one of the most common strategies for creating passive income, however, it requires significant capital upfront. This strategy is best for those looking for long-term investment. It is considered an advanced money-making strategy.
If you choose to pursue real estate investment, you should already be financially stable and looking for ways to build long-term wealth. The best way to earn money consistently from a real estate investment is to find an area where the price of rent is higher than the price of the mortgage payment.
Build Long-Term Wealth by Learning How to Make Extra Money
Maybe initially you were wondering how to make more money so you could come up with the cash for an upcoming vacation or to pay down some credit card debt. But if you give it time, your side hustle can become a solid source of income.
Many entrepreneurs build their side hustles into passion projects that produce consistent profits. With enough time, effort, planning, and relationship-building with clients and customers, you can do the same. If you’re ready to take things to the next level, learn how to create a business plan by checking out this article next: “Business Plan Outline for Entrepreneurs.“