Earn Extra Money: 100 Clever Ideas to Boost Your Income

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A big reason why Ben and I started this blog was to help people learn all about the different ways you can earn extra money.
Earn Extra Money | Make Money from Home | Side Hustle Ideas | Start a Blog | How to Make Money
From simple side hustles, to launching full blown startups (and everything in between), we've wracked our brains and scoured Internet to bring you all that we could find.

The result? A comprehensive list of over 100 ways you can earn extra money.

Obviously, earning extra money is something that can really change your life.  Money can buy you freedom in more ways than one, despite what people may say.

Earning extra money on top of your day job can improve many areas of your life:

  • Less stress from living paycheck to paycheck
  • Reduce the burden of crippling debt
  • More opportunities to save for a dream vacation
  • It can be passed on to others for social good
  • You can retire earlier
  • It can be snowballed into even more wealth

The purpose of this post is to serve as a source of ideas for you to earn extra money.  Let this list be a source of inspiration to you!

Whether you've only got a few spare minutes to make a quick buck or if you are willing to burn the midnight oil in the hours after your full-time job and put in maximum effort, there are SO many ways to earn extra money.

There is a ton of information on this page, so I suggest bookmarking it and coming back periodically.

Alright, let's get to it!

My Top Ways to Earn Extra Money

There's something on this list for everyone, but I wanted to start things off with my personal favorites in terms of making extra money.

1. Start a Blog: This can be just a simple side hustle, or it can turn into something really special; it's up to you. I'm a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. If you want to get started, read my post From 0-$100k: How Anyone Can Start Blogging. If you need some inspiration, read about how we made over $7,100 in one month of blogging. Seriously, don't discount the incredible opportunities that blogging can provide!

HostGator has one of the best deals on the internet right now for getting a money-making blog up and running. They make it  simple and easy to get started (and have everything you need all in one place), which is why I like recommending them to ambitious new bloggers. Zero tech knowledge needed!

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If you've already got your blog up and running and are wondering how you can get more traffic, check out our brand new course: Pinterest Design 101: How to Create Viral Pins that Drive Insane Amounts of Traffic (we get over 100k monthly visitors from Pinterest each month)

Related Post: How We Made $1,500 in Our First Month Monetizing Our Blog

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2. Do Online Surveys: Companies are willing to pay money to get inside the heads of consumers.  Below are my favorite survey sites.  They’re free to join and free to use. Pro tip: It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.

earn extra money

Claim $5

$5 Bonus is Given Just for Signing Up

Check out Survey Junkie to give your opinion on things and get paid for it!

Start Now

Quickest to Start Earning

 

earn extra money

Claim $5

Another $5 bonus, similar to Swagbucks

Other reputable survey sites worth trying:

Earning Station

Survey Club

VIP Voice

American Consumer Opinion

PanelPlace

Point Club  

One Opinion

Harris Poll

3. Drive with Uber: This is a really good use of your time if you are trying to make some extra cash in a weekend. By driving with Uber, you have the flexibility to work whenever you want, which means you can make money on your schedule. Pretty slick!

4. Earn More Interest on Your Savings: Move your savings over to a bank account that actually pays you a decent interest rate on your savings. Discover Bank pays about 5X the national average savings rate.  Take 10 minutes out of your day and do this- over time, it really does make a difference.

5. Become a Freelance Proofreader: In 2014, Caitlin Pyle made over $43,000 by working as a freelance proofreader… PART TIME. When she wasn’t working, she even had time to go on several fun vacations.  After she had a ton of success doing that, she decided she wanted to teach others how to do the same thing, so she started up Proofread Anywhere.  Sign up for her Free  7 Day Email Course on making money as a proofreader.

6. Sell Your Stuff:  Most of us are guilty of hanging onto things that we never use, myself included. Take a day and go through all your old stuff and get rid of some of it! One tool that is really helpful for this is Decluttr.  you can enter your items barcodes into their valuation engine and they'll give you an instant offer.  Then you simply pack all your items into a box and then ship your items to them for free.  Get cash for your stuff with Decluttr.

7. Donate PlasmaDonating your body is a great way to help other people in need, and some donation centers even pay donors.  I regularly donate platelets and plasma with the American Red Cross (who unfortunately do not compensate donors), but it's a great way to give back to the community.

To find a plasma donation center near you that compensates donors, visit donatingplasma.org.

8. Get Cashback When You Shop:

Earn extra money

Technically you’re not getting money, but you’re getting money back (cashback) on purchases you would have made anyways. Cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have.  The two best sites that offer cashback on your online purchases are Ebates ($10 free signup bonus) and Swagbucks ($5 free signup bonus).

9. Sell Custom Designed T-Shirts: I recently stumbled upon a really neat website, Teespring.com, where you can design t-shirts and sell them online. If you can come up with some cool designs and use Facebook ads to target exactly who would love your designs, you can definitely earn extra money with this side hustle.  How to Make Facebook Ads for Selling T-Shirts.

10. Invest Your Savings: Depending on your age, you should be netting around 7% year with a balanced investment portfolio. Have $50,000 in savings? That is $3,500 dollars PER YEAR that you are missing out on by not investing.  And getting started is easier than you think. Check out How to Make Money in the Stock Market, courtesy of Mr. Money Moustache. And FYI, Ally Invest has a promo going on right now where you can start investing in stocks for only $4.95 per trade (one of the cheapest around).

Related Post: How to Open an IRA in 10 Minutes

…More of My Favorites:

11. Peer to Peer Lending: Using money you already have to make more money is usually a pretty smart move.  Using a service like Lending Club is a great way to act as a lender and earn interest on your money. Essentially, YOU act as the bank, which is pretty neat.  Lending Club is the world's largest online credit marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. Definitely something worth looking into!

Related Post: Our Lending Club Investing Review

12. Manage Social Media for Businesses: This can also include advertising, but many businesses also need help just filling up their social media profiles with relevant (and consistent) content. If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take things a step further and earn extra money, social media management is a great option. If you're good at it, it can also open up a lot of doors for you down the road. This is a great article from Small Biz Trends on How to Start Your Own Social Media Business.

13. Sell Gift Cards You'll Never Use:  We all have them.  That random store that you never go to, but your grandma thought you'd love.  Raise is a marketplace for buying and selling gift cards online. It's free to join, and consumers can either buy discounted gift cards or sell their gift cards in exchange for cash.

14. Participate in Paid Research Studies:  If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants.  While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6 week dietary study.  The study provided all my meals AND paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies taken, urine/blood testing, etc.

15. Use Swagbucks for Online Search:

Swagbucks is a great way to passively earn cash and Amazon gift cards with very little work. They have a search tool, which is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “SBs” for the things you do through their website. Redeem SBs for rewards. And by signing up through our link, they give you a free $5. Boom.

16. Trade Options: Warning: don't do this without at least SOME understanding of what you are doing. Trading options is similar to trading stocks, but there can be higher risks involved. Optionshouse is a great platform for options trading, and right now they have a promotion where they are offering commission free trading for 60 days when you open an account. To learn more about trading options, read this Simple Guide to Making Money with Options.

17. Join the Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel: Install the app, surf the web, and get entries into their monthly $10,000 sweepstakes. Learn more about Nielsen Digital Voice here.

18. Install the Shoptracker App: As the name suggests, this app tracks your shopping habits (anonymously) for market research companies. You get a free $3 just for installing the app!

***no longer a valid offer as of 07/19/2017

18. List an extra room in your house on Airbnb

Have an extra room in your house? Going to be gone for a week and are looking to make some serious dough?

Literally make money FROM your home!

Believe it or not this is seriously the easiest way ever to pull in hundreds (even thousands) of extra dollars per month. Most of it involves very little or no work on your end and there is almost 0 overhead to get started.

This is something that not nearly enough people are taking advantage of. If you own a home, consider putting a room (or the whole place) on Airbnb.

Here’s how it works:

Create a listing my filling out a description, taking  and uploading photos, and setting a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like.

Then, you set the availability and house rules for your listing. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.

To up the “trust” factor for both the host and the guests, Airbnb does require some verification information, including phone numbers. After a visit, everyone gets the chance to write a review. Reviews keep guest accountable for treating hosts and their homes with respect, and helps ensure hosts make their space as welcoming as possible.

Learn more about how you can make money as an Airbnb host here.

19. Consulting for Local Small Businesses: This side hustle can easily become a full time job! If you've got expertise in an area and think you can help small businesses near you, give this a shot. For instance, Ben and I know a lot about running Facebook advertising campaigns, so we approached the owner of our gym if he would let us design a few campaigns for him.  And of course he was thrilled to get the help! Here's a useful 18 Step Checklist for Becoming a Small Business Consultant.

20. Affiliate Marketing: That's how this website is able to generate thousands in revenue each month without selling anything. Setting up an affiliate-focused website is fairly easy, but it will take quite a bit of time and effort to draw in enough traffic to make decent money. Our article From 0-$100k: How Anyone Can Start Blogging is a great starting point!

Other Ways to Earn Extra Money:

21. Create an Online Course: If you've got expertise in a certain area, package up your knowledge into an online course and sell it. This has become a very popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years.  The two big websites that are used to sell online courses are Udemy and Teachable. Check out this awesome article from Regina over at byRegina.com on How to Create an Online Course that Sells.

22. Offer Resume Help: This can either be done locally or through an online service like Fiverr. Resumes are something that people can be very insecure and self conscious about, which means there is always a demand for services that will help spruce them up.  Holly Hanna from The Work at Home Woman wrote a really useful article on How to Make Money from Home with Resume Writing.

23. Become a Bartender: If you live in a college town, this can be a really lucrative side hustle. Get a better idea of how much you can expect to earn as a bartender here.

24. Pet Sitting: Especially around the holidays, this service is in high demand. People want someone they can trust to look after their pets while they are out of town.  ToughNickel has a helpful page on Making Money as a Pet Sitter.

25. Start Personal Training: If you have a passion for fitness and love helping others improve their health, you might consider becoming a personal trainer. With social media, there are now more ways than just 1 on 1 training to earn extra money in the fitness industry. Smart Asset wrote a great piece on The Economics of Personal Training.

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Jeff Proctor

Hi there! I'm Jeff. I started VTX with Ben after working in professionally in the personal finance field for almost 3 years.

You'll usually see me on here writing articles about how to save (and make!) money, how to make smarter investment choices, and how to have a better overall financial life. If there's ever a topic you'd like to see me cover, shoot me an email!
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21 comments

  1. This is great! I’ll be looking into many of these ideas, especially betting on my weight loss:). You forgot to mention marrying rich;)

  2. hi jeff really helpful article .I am sure i am going to try many idea like making apps,crowdfunding and many more.
    thanks for this valuable information. I am sure you have to do a lot of research and hardwork before writing this post.

  3. Hi Jeff, here’s another way for you to explore. Do you know that more than 1.8 billion of images are uploaded every day on the Internet? Well, PixGift.com created a bunch of ways for people, businesses, and nonprofits to get cash for others’ photos, selfies, and digital images, so that they can monetize their websites, raise funds, or generate leads. As this ingenious “Treasure Hunt” where people can buy tiles from a virtual mosaic and win the sweet prizes that are hidden behind the tiles while you earn extra cash (you can repeat it as many times as you want). Or also, the virtual paying-it-forward wall that allow you to sell treats for friends that can be redeemed at a coffee shop or bar that you can partner with.

  4. Hi Jeff,

    Awesome article. It’s really motivating when you involve in extra work to collect some money that helps you to pay off extra bills. I am currently working on American opinion surveys, swag bucks and other. Have a blog earn income and also learn new things. Great. Thanks for sharing article.

  5. Hi Jeff,
    This is a great article chocked full of excellent options. Well done.

    Let me know if you need a virtual assistant. 🙂

    Best,
    Alex

    1. Swagbucks tends to have a bigger selection of opportunities, but my advice is to sign up for multiple survey sites since different people are eligible for different surveys. It’s best to cast your net wide.

  6. Good looking out on this information about online surveys, Jeff. I do have 1 more question for you. When a person is starting out making money online from surveys, how much do you think a person could potentially earn from multiple survey sites? Let’s say I’m an affiliate of like 10 different survey sites. All i do is sit for 4-5 hours and do nothing but complete these surveys for 30 days straight. So I can possibly earn about $1,000 monthly doing this? Your thoughts on this?

  7. I think I’mma take your advice and do just that. I’ve been doing a tid bit of research and people are making good money alone from surveys. I mean to pay rent, bills, and still have $ left in their pockets. This sounds very promising. 🙂

    1. Unless you’re extremely familiar with running profitable e-commerce/FB ad campaigns its probably not something I’d get into as a novice.

      You can blow through hundreds if not thousands of dollars in ad spend before figuring out how to do it yourself. This, of course, would cut massively into the already low margins of many popular drop shipping products.

      If it were something I was interested in doing at the moment/was very serious about getting into, I’d recommend getting coaching/1:1 help from someone who is affordable/yet demonstrates profitability in at least one niche.

      Just my two cents 🙂

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