Marching out of debt requires a lot of energy, there’s no doubt about it. As we discuss here on And Then We Saved, working towards a debt-free lifestyle is not just about reducing your spending. It’s about creating additional income for yourself by getting resourceful… or let’s just go there – downright scrappy. The key is to find ways to monetize the activities that you naturally enjoy doing. Take the “free” out of your free time by sharing your passions to help benefit others and earn extra cash.
15 Side Gigs to Make More Money…
1. Take care of pets
Try dog walking, pet sitting, or even pet boarding, meaning you host pets at home. Dog walkers can make anywhere from $10 to $30 per 30 minute walk. The rate is typically negotiable and depends on a variety of factors, like whether or not you utilize a dog park. Dogwalker.com can help you find dog walking opportunities, and Care.com offers resources for pet sitting and related efforts. DogVacay is a prime website for dog boarding–participants set their own rates, and many make up to $200 a week.
2. Lend a hand
No one can be two places at once. Many corporate professionals need help with the tasks that they can’t accomplish from the office; such as running errands, making small deliveries, or grocery shopping. Sites like TaskRabbit help people to find personal assistant work in their neighborhood or community. Apply and get going.
If you enjoy children, I can’t stress this gig enough. Get silly! Some childlike enthusiasm never hurt anyone, especially when we’re stressed out with adult troubles like finances. Interacting with happy children can help put things in perspective. We have enough, and that’s a lot to be thankful for. If you don’t know of anyone personally to approach about babysitting, sites like Care.com, SitterCity.com, or babysittingjobs.com can get you in touch with families in your area.
4. Water plants in your neighborhood
We’re not all cut out for landscaping, this is true. However, we’re quickly approaching summer and those lovely yards you pass by every day need TLC to maintain their allure. People work late and travel often. Create a flyer for assistance with watering and put it on your neighbors’ doorsteps. My favorite kinds of side gigs are the convenient ones. Not to mention, there’s something truly therapeutic about spending time in the garden.
5. List your apartment on Airbnb
Do you live in a destination city? Do you have an inviting and comfortable living space? Do you enjoy meeting new people? If so, you’ll probably have great results by listing your extra bedroom on Airbnb.com. Hosting travelers in one’s home is definitely more of a European concept, but us Americans are coming around! It’s lucrative and social.
Read about Design Love Fest blogger Bri Emery’s AirBnB experience in Barcelona to see what you can offer guests. After that, watch the company’s video about hosting. If you live in a one-bedroom, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. In Paris I stayed in an apartment where the hosts opened up their bedroom to guests and slept on the pull-out sofa while it was rented. Get resourceful. Make money.
6. Online Tutoring
Once a smarty pants, always a smart pants. Put that gifted learning curriculum from your high school days back to good use. Finds clients using tutor.com, an online service that connects tutors with students. The pay ranges typically from $10 to $14 an hour, with monthly bonuses for positive reviews from clients. As long as you have a degree or in the midst of earning one, you are eligible The process isn’t just sign-up-and-start, though–there’s an online application, followed by an exam, a tryout session, a background check, and another exam. The upside: You only have to test in the area you’ll be teaching, from math and science to writing and job-interview prep.
Nurture your creativity by instructing painting classes or by giving guitar lessons. Relieve stress and socialize by teaching fitness classes. Sharing is caring, people. There are fitness teacher certifications offered through gyms all the time, read the flyers in the locker room to get involved.
8. Carpool for cash
Companies like Lyft help make our carbon footprint look a little bit better. Download the app and sign up to be a driver to earn extra cash.
If you are inclined in the culinary department, share with your friends and family that you want to start baking. Next time they need some Salted-Caramel Squares for a baby shower, they’ll go to you instead of the bakery 15 minutes down the road. All it takes is a few memorable bites and you have yourself a burgeoning side business.
10. Buy concert tickets for resale
When you know the show is bound to sell out, buy four tickets instead of two. Come time for the tunes, people (not us at And Then We Saved) are willing to pay up to three times face value for the sake of the experience. Use Craigslist to get the tickets off your hands, or if you’re a little more easy going – just scalp them at the venue.
11. Help cater the occasional weekend event
A lot of people make the claim that once they leave the food service industry, they’re not going back. The late hours and the inebriated customers leave much to be desired, yes, but catering presents a different angle to a very lucrative field. Get in with a catering company and sign up for as much or as little work as you want. It’s a tolerable alternative to waiting tables with the same opportunity to make fast cash.
12. Write about it
If you are super knowledgable and passionate about a topic, odds are you can write about it. Most freelance bloggers do not have a Journalism degree, they have life experience. Trust in your abilities to communicate with others and start writing. Pitch pieces to newspapers, magazines, or blogs that pay. Remember to agree on monetary compensation prior to completing any work.
13. Advertise on your personal website
Ok so maybe you are writing on your own blog, but are you advertising? Promote products on behalf of others using space on your personal website. Try Clickbank, Amazon Associates, and Red Lemon Club, or any other place with affiliate programs to start earning now.
14. Refurbish furniture
This side gig is not for the faint of heart. It involves scouring yard sales, hauling furniture, sanding, painting, and polishing. However, if you’re a design nut by nature – the payoff can be big. Price tags are dependent upon the piece of furniture, but people are always looking for original home accents. Facebook publicity is often most promising for this kind of venture, because you can add new pictures often and spread the word about sales and events easily.
You don’t have to be a camera wizard to take a good shot. The technicalities can be learned. Why not study under the guidance of a professional while making money at the same time? If you have the eye and the instinct for photography, you could be an asset to an event photographer. Ads are posted all over Craigslist under “gigs” (crew/event/creative) for second shooters, meaning a photographer’s shadow. Hold the extra lenses and shoot from slightly different angles to make the boss’s life easier. Watch your hobby evolve into something greater.
Whatever side gig you decide to pursue, do not underestimate the power of publicity! Print out business cards, create a Facebook page, have people write reviews on your behalf on websites like LinkedIn. Continue to seek out exposure for ultimate gig gains.
What side gig makes you happy AND help you earn you extra cash?
Pro-chance and fancy free, lifestyle blogger Lauren Mikus lives gratefully in the burgeoning city of Denver. Soon, her website, The Serendipper will launch!