If you’re willing to put forth a little bit of effort, there are plenty of creative ways to make money on the side. Get rich quick schemes are a bad idea. And the lottery, believe it or not, is a painfully unreliable way to earn your mega-millions. In this post, I’ll list some better, more realistic options for you to consider, many of which can be done right from the comfort of your home.
For those of us who work a 9-5, it can be challenging to find the motivation to do more work after we get home each evening–but making extra money on the side doesn’t have to be grueling. If you can dedicate just an hour or two each evening (replace your TV time or your Instagram time), you can make some pretty great supplementary income.
There are decent options out there. It’s a matter of finding the side-hustle that suits you best.
Do you sit in a cubicle all day? Maybe a job working with your hands will be a nice way of breaking up the monotony. Or maybe you work a physically taxing job, and it sounds pretty nice to come home and sit in front of a computer for a few hours.
Either way, in this article, I’m going to share 27 proven and creative ways to make money on the side. And by the end, you’ll have a handful of great, viable options, no matter your situation.
By the way, if you are thinking about playing the lottery any time soon, here are some fun stats just to remind you that nothing good in life comes easy.
Some things that are more likely to happen to you than winning the lottery:
- Winning an Olympic gold medal (68 times more likely)
- Becoming an astronaut (4 times more likely)
- Winning an Oscar (4,000 times more likely)
- Being struck by lightning (5 times more likely)
- Being crushed by a meteor (64 times more likely)
- Dying from being left-handed and using a right-handed product incorrectly (10 times more likely)
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up.
Here are some creative ways to make money on the side.
Do tasks for people on TaskRabbit
Do you feel fulfilled after completing random household tasks such as mounting TVs or moving furniture? TaskRabbit could be a great way for you to earn some extra income.
The service connects people who need help with tasks with people looking to make some extra money. Everything from planting flowers to painting bedrooms is listed on the site’s homepage, so your side-hustle really could be as easy as doing someone’s chores or assembling a desk. (Takl is another great option).
Sell on eBay
If you consider yourself a picker, eBay might be a super reliable and creative way to make some money on the side. eBay is the best platform for selling unwanted items or flipping products you find at discounted prices.
Amazon might work well for you, too. I know people who have done really well selling books on Amazon. At the end of the day, your product will determine what selling platform makes the most sense. Personally, I prefer eBay because the barrier to entry is so low (it’s so simple to create an account and begin selling).
Sell arts or crafts on Etsy
If you’re the crafty type, Etsy is the perfect place to start a side-hustle quickly. It doesn’t require you to buy a domain, set up hosting, download e-commerce plugins, etc. So getting started is simple.
Etsy takes 5% of your sales, but you’re paying for the convenience. Whether you’re selling art prints, handcrafted leather goods, jewelry, or slippers for cats, I recommend getting started on Etsy first.
When your side-hustle starts gaining traction, then you can buy a domain and start a site with Weebly, Shopify, or WordPress. Not sure which to choose? It depends on your web skills. Weebly and Shopify will be your quickest and easiest setup (drag-and-drop).
WordPress, on the other hand, is better if you’re wanting more control of your site. The use of plugins and themes make WordPress infinitely customizable. But like I said, begin with Etsy. It’s a perfect starting place.
Babysitting with Sittercity.com
If you love kids, Sittercity.com is a great and creative way to make money. It makes it easy for sitters to get paired with families in need. They have even implemented features such as references, ratings, and reviews to ensure both parties feel comfortable.
Sittercity can be an especially great tool if you’re looking for babysitting opportunities but are new to a neighborhood or don’t know many people in town.
In a lot of well-to-do neighborhoods, every single home has a house cleaner. With how busy our schedules are these days, even middle and lower-middle-class households are hiring out basics household chores such as cleaning.
If you find cleaning therapeutic (or even if you just don’t mind it), this could be a great opportunity. If you want, you can even take it a step further and brand yourself as a cleaning company, start a simple Squarespace page, and you’ll have people calling you in no time.
The key to succeeding at a side-hustle like this: do great work. Word of mouth will get you more business than you can handle.
Drive for Uber or Lyft
At this point, you’d be hardpressed to find someone who isn’t familiar with ridesharing. Driving for Uber or Lyft can be a great way to earn some extra money, especially if you live in a highly-populated area.
You’d be surprised how many people try driving for Uber even though they hate driving. If you find yourself getting easily frustrated when traffic backs up, do yourself a favor and pick another side-hustle. There are too many (26) other creative ways to make money on this list.
Take on some freelance work
Do you have a skill that could easily translate to a freelance side-hustle? If so, this one is a no-brainer. Maybe you’re a designer, web developer, writer, etc. There’s likely a freelance market you can tap into.
Sites like Upwork and Freelancer can help you get started. It may take a month or more to start landing clients, so if you’re strapped for cash and new to freelancing, you might be better off choosing something else on this list. However, if you have lots of contacts in a specific industry, you might be able to make a few calls and get started today.
Another great perk to freelancing is that you can set your own rates. It’s important to know what you’re worth, so make sure you do some research, test the waters, and see what your clients are willing to pay. If you do it right and stick to it, freelancing can be an incredibly lucrative side-hustle.
Decorate homes during the Christmas season
I first heard about this through a friend who made over $8,000 last November. He asked his church to make an announcement letting the congregation (of 4,000+ members) know that he was offering decorating services this holiday season.
The congregation is known for having wealthy members, and it only took a few weeks before his calendar was booked full.
With this side-hustle, you’ll want to have an hourly rate, and the family may give you a budget to go out and purchase their decorations for them before actually decorating them home/yard. There’s also a chance the client will already own their decorations, in which case you might just be hanging lights, putting up a tree, and hanging stockings.
I’m a big fan of this one because pretty much everyone has some experience decorating for the holidays. If you’re someone who loves it, why not get paid to do it a few extra times every season.
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Open a new (better) savings account
A not-so-obvious creative way to make money is found in your choice of bank. Where is your emergency fund stored? If it’s not in a high-yield savings account, you’re saying no to easy money. Most big banks offer an APY (annual percentage yield) or .05% or worse, meaning you’re not even coming close to keeping up with inflation, and every year your money sits there it’s losing value.
Online banks typically offer much higher rates. I personally use Ally and receive 2.10%. Best of all, there’s no monthly maintenance fees or minimum opening deposit.
Feel free to shop around. Check out some money market accounts too. But keep in mind, savings accounts are not meant to be withdrawn from on a regular basis (unless you want to acquire fees). In other words, the money you put into one of these accounts is less liquid than a checking account. It’s why they are able to offer high APYs.
I recommend putting your emergency fund into one of these accounts and forgetting it exists (until your next emergency). You’ll be happy to see it slowly grow and maybe even come close to keeping up with inflation.
Sell produce at your local farmers market
If you keep a garden for your family, why not expand it so you have a surplus this season? Farmers markets are a great place to sell fruits and vegetables, and many venders will begin building relationships with their clients, who will visit them week after week during the summer.
If you love gardening, this can be a great creative way to make money on the side while you keep your day job.
Wash and detail cars
People pay good money to have their cars pampered. And speaking from experience, I can never quite clean my own car the way a professional can. If you enjoy washing your car every Saturday and have the skills to really make it shine, detailing vehicles can be a great way to make some extra money.
Sell on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
The same way that Amazon and eBay both fill a certain niche, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace occupy their own space. These platforms are great if you need to unload something quickly, and it’s impractical to ship.
Couches, desks, bicycles, and even cars and motorcycles sell really well on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Know what your items are worth and then be willing to barter. If you have the right stuff, these are great platforms for earning some quick cash.
Online surveys won’t make you rich, but you can do them in your underwear so I think they deserve a spot on the list.
Survey Junkie is a great place to start. It’s straightforward and easy to use, so you’ll be able to quickly start earning some cash. A few other options to check out include Swagbucks, Vindale Research, and InboxDollars.
If you can put in some time, online surveys will make you an easy buck without ever having to leave your couch.
Volunteer for overtime at work
An obvious option, but one we often forget: why not put in some overtime at the job you already have? Not all jobs allow you to work extra hours, and if you’re on salary this won’t apply to you. But for hourly employees, it never hurts to ask.
You might even get paid time-and-a-half.
If you’re a pet lover, this might be the ultimate side-hustle for you. The best part? You get to cuddle some cute furry things without the whole till-death-do-us-part thing.
Just spread the word to all your pet owner friends that you love animals, and you’re always open to pet sitting. Just make sure to mention that you’re hoping to do this as a side-hustle. Otherwise, they might think that you love cats so much that you’d watch one for free. Kinda ruins the point.
Maybe the easiest creative way to make money on the list, house sitting requires little to no actual work. Unfortunately, the opportunities are few and far between. If you find a wealthy friend who leaves town a bunch and trusts you with their stuff, never betray them.
Sell photos on Shutterstock
Shutterstock is a global marketplace for artists and creators to sell royalty-free images, footage, vectors, and illustrations. If you’re a hobbyist photographer or designer who plans on taking photos and designing whether someone is paying you for it or not, this can be a great way to earn some extra money.
Photograph events, proposals, weddings, etc.
In the same vein, if you have skills in photography, there are plenty of ways to capitalize on it, including events, proposals, weddings, and more. People are willing to pay top dollar for good photographers. However, the caveat here is that you need to be good.
Photography is a tough thing to fake because the final product tells all. But if you’re talented, this is one of the most lucrative side-hustles on the list.
Creative way to make money number 19 is for those of us still editing photos using filters. Mowing lawns. Since most lawn care businesses charge per yard, the faster you finish the job the more you can earn. In some towns, it’s not unheard of to charge $60 – $80 for cutting grass. Finish in three hours and do two yards every Saturday, and you’ve got a great side-hustle.
This one’s obviously regional. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I can attest to there being a guy in every town plowing driveways with his tractor and making a good side income doing it.
You will rely on the snow gods to provide, but during a harsh winter, this can be a great side-hustle for anyone willing to pick up a shovel or drive their tractor around in subzero temperatures.
Participate in marketing research
Market research is when a company pays you to give your opinion about something with the intention of using that info to make decisions about products or services.
Check out FocusGroup.com to get started. There are plenty of options out there. If you love giving your opinion, why not also get paid to do it?
Deliver with Postmates
Drivers with Postmates are responsible for picking up orders and dropping them off at the purchaser’s home. If you enjoy driving, but the idea of having strangers in your car freaks out a little, Postmates or UberEats might be just the thing for you.
Sell services on Fiverr
Fiverr will take just about any weird skill you can muster up. From relationship advice to graphic design to voice over recordings, if you have a skill, I’m willing to bet there’s someone in the world scouring Fiverr to hire someone with such a talent.
The downside? If they’re on Fiverr, chances are it’s because they don’t want to pay premium prices.
Nevertheless, Fiverr is a great tool for making some extra money on the side, especially if you’re new to an industry and want to give it a shot. I’ve used Fiverr to hire voiceover artists for marketing videos in the past and have always been pleased with the experience. It’s definitely worth exploring, whether you’re hiring or selling a service. Give Fiverr a shot.
See if stores owe you money with Earny
Earny searches your inbox receipts, finds recent purchases, and identifies any recent price drops online. Then, it goes and claims that money for you. It’s surprising how often we miss out on opportunities like this because we simply don’t know to ask.
Earny could be a great saver for you, especially if you do a lot of online shopping.
Cashback from online shopping with Ebates
Ebates. I love Ebates.
Ebates is an affiliate marketing site that earns money by sending you (the customer) to sites to make purchases. In turn, Ebates kicks some of that money back to you, the consumer. You both make some money, and every couple of months you’ll get a check in the mail, just for using an Ebates link when you made a purchase you would have made anyway.
My wife works as an administrative assistant, and she uses Ebates to purchase office items all the time. Every three or four months, we get a big fat check worth $200-$250. You have to spend quite a bit of money to make $200, but remember, this is free money. Even if you make $10 a month, you just paid for Netflix. Joking, you weren’t paying for Netflix anyway, were you?
Get rid of unused subscriptions with Trim
Out next creative way to make money is found in a company called Trim. Trim will find and cancel unwanted subscriptions and even negotiate your cable or internet bill for you.
One of the easiest options on this list, Trim is a great way to save money. Pair it with a side-hustle and you’ll have so much cash you’ll have to start giving it away.
Do you have tutoring or teaching experience? Tutoring online can be a great way to earn some extra money on the side. Wyzant is a site that pairs tutors with students.
There’s an element of marketing that has to take place because you’ll need to attract students to your profile in order to win their business. But if you have some experience with education, Wyzant might be a perfect side-hustle for you.
There are a whole lot of creative ways to make money. This list is by no means exhaustive. But it’s going to take some time and some effort. Your chances of winning the lottery are slim, so if you’re ready to start saving, to start paying down debt, or to start investing, a side-hustle may be your best bet.
Just remember: income is only half the battle. You’ll want to make sure your budget is optimized and that you’re spending is in check. We recommend using Personal Capital to keep an eye on your overall financial health and Mint for your day-to-day budgeting needs.
The fact that you’re reading this is great. It’s the first step. Now get out there and get started.