Even if you work a full-time job, there may come a point when you realize that earning a little extra money could go a long way toward improving your financial situation.
In fact, according to a recent study, nearly half of all working Americans have an extra job or “side hustle” to make extra money. More than a third of them are making more than $1,000 per month from their side jobs.
This leads to a very important question: what is the best way to earn extra money without abandoning your current job?
With millions of Americans working more than one job, you won’t be alone if you decide to travel down this path.
The key to success is to find an enjoyable way to make extra money, all without jeopardizing your primary source of income.
If you’re ready to get started, here are several ideas to consider:
1. Become a freelancer.
The gig economy continues to grow, with many companies interested in hiring freelance workers instead of full- or part-time employees.
You can offer a variety of skills as a freelancer, including but not limited to: writing, marketing, interior design, web design, administrative support and technical services.
One perk when you work as a freelancer is that you have the opportunity to control your own schedule.
2. Cut grass (and provide other landscaping services).
Working outdoors may not be for everyone. Some people don’t like to cut grass, pull weeds, trim trees or clean up their mulch beds.
By offering lawn care and other landscape services, you can generate a side income.
While this may be seasonal in some parts of the country, there is potential to earn a few hundred (or thousand) extra dollars per month.
3. Sell what you don’t use.
Do you have old items that you plan to throw out? Before you haul them to the curb, take a look at online marketplaces to see if someone else could use them, and might be willing to pay you to take them off your hands. There are a variety of these online swap sites, both local and national, so you can decide if you’re willing to ship items or ask for local pickup only.
Believe it or not, you might find that there’s a buyer for almost every item imaginable. This is even more so the case when it’s priced to sell.
You can start with items you have around the house. Just think, you could make money on that old, heavy sleeper sofa and have the buyers haul it away at that.
Once you’ve exhausted this strategy, you can then find items at flea markets and thrift stores that can be resold for a profit.
4. Drive for a ride-sharing service.
As a driver for a ride sharing service, you could earn money for doing nothing more than driving people from one location to another. Adding to this, you have full control over your schedule.
How much you earn depends on many factors, including the hours you put in and where you live. Don’t be surprised if you can earn from $8 to $11 an hour after expenses and the app’s cut.
5. Start a blog.
If you like writing and sharing your thoughts with the world, starting a blog is a way to potentially earn some extra money.
There’s no guarantee of income, but as you grow your following there are several ways to earn money.
Since you can start a blog for free, this is a great way to start earning a side income while exercising your creativity.
Find something you’re passionate about, create a blog and write as often as possible. This is all it takes to get started.
6. Babysit children and/or pets.
Most people know someone who needs a little bit (or a lot) of help with their children and/or pets.
Why not offer to babysit? Even if you don’t have any connections, there are services that can help you find work.
Babysitting and pet sitting rates vary based on location and responsibility, but you have the potential to earn somewhere in the $16/hour range.
Every Little Bit Helps
Even if you struggle with the idea of working a full-time job and generating side income, it couldn’t hurt to be open to opportunities. You might even find a way to earn money from doing something you enjoy.
As you learn more about available opportunities, you may stumble across something that piques your interest and fits into your schedule.
The additional income can be used for anything from building an emergency fund to paying off debt. Or you may want to fund a special trip. Whatever you do with the extra money, a side hustle could provide more financial flexibility, and that alone may make it worth dipping your toe into the gig economy.