Whether you’re a student, unemployed or in need of some extra cash for whatever reason, there are always some tricks you can employ to earn yourself some extra money. For the most part, all you need are some basic skills and spare time on your hands.
1. Freelance work
It’s never been easier to work online, and the demand for high quality article writers, expert consultants and graphics artists is only increasing. If you’ve got a skill or specialist knowledge, why not sell it? Register at Elance, Upwork or Fiverr find online work and build up your freelance portfolio.
2. Pet boarding services
If you like animals and have a pet-friendly home, you can set up your own pet boarding business for dog and cat owners who go on holiday but don’t want to leave their furry friends at an impersonal kennel. Pet sitting isn’t for everyone – people will only choose your business if you can guarantee their pet will be safe, exercised, regularly accompanied and lovingly tended to.
3. Tutor or teach an online course
Do you have any special qualifications or particular skills? Help out students with their homework, or give lessons in a musical instrument. Providing you have some basic understanding of teaching then this could be an excellent job for you. There are many tutor websites where you can advertise your lessons. Alternatively you can teach online classes on sites like Skillshare or Edutopia.
4. Freeroll Poker
When you’ve not got a lot of money to spare, gambling might seem a tad risky. Fortunately there has been an emergence of freeroll poker rooms in recent years. Winnings will be paid to you in real cash, yet you can sign up for free and receive a complimentary sum of money to play with. If you’re half-decent at poker, this can be a risk-free way of earning money. Only play on verified poker sites that are legal in your state.
5. Donate plasma
For the physically healthy, donating plasma and hair can be a good way to earn extra cash. Plasma is the colourless fluid part of blood in which corpuscles of fat globules are suspended. You can donate plasma up to two times a week, and the process is considered by most to be pain-free.
6. Sell stuff
Take to eBay or Craigslist and get rid of any mechanical tools, computer parts, clothes or books you don’t use any more. If you can’t think of any personal possessions you’d like to sell – then get creative! Sea shells, stones and leaves are often purchased in bulk as art supplies – collecting boxes of these might earn you some extra cash. Alternatively, consider which sweets, snacks and drinks are unique to your country. Chances are there’s a nostalgic expat somewhere in the world interested in buying those exact things and needs someone to ship them, which is your opportunity to make some profit.
7. Lend your body to science
Signing up for medical tests means trying out new drugs, vaccines or treatments. Without sugar-coating it, you will effectively be a medical guinea pig. The process is actually not as scary as is it sounds, as medical manufacturers will not run trials on humans unless they are almost 100% sure the medicine is safe. Of course, there is always the risk of allergic reactions or illness occurring – but on the upside you will receive free physical tests every step of the way. If you’re healthy and brave, this can earn you a lot of money. Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with, and don’t try a new drug unless a doctor has explained to you exactly how it works.
8. Mystery shopping
Market researchers, watchdog organisations and companies often want or need to check the quality of a service. This might include checking the helpfulness of customer service, or ensuring an employee is adhering to correct regulations. Mystery or ‘secret’ shoppers are therefore paid to pretend to be customers and then give feedback as to their experience.
9. Create things
The rise of Etsy has seen a number of artsy individuals take to making hand-made products as a side-business. If you’re skilled at making jewellry, paintings, ceramics, wood craft or clothes then consider the profit that can be made on sites such as Etsy – particularly if you are able to make custom-made or fan-based products. At Zazzle, you can even create virtual online designs of products, which means not having to invest in materials. When someone orders the product, Zazzle will create it, and you get paid.
10. Online surveys
Basically, you’re getting paid to give your opinion. Register at survey sites and fill out forms about your consumer habits or opinions regarding a product or service. Your surveys will help market researchers draw conclusions about consumer behaviour and enable brands to improve their service and products. Some surveys can be time-consuming and not pay much, but some sites will reward you for doing multiple surveys, so it can pay to stick with it. Aside from money, survey takers commonly receive gift vouchers for online stores. You can check out a list of survey sites here.
11. Yard sale
If individually listing items on Ebay takes too much time, consider putting together a yard sale. Not only might it result in some good sales – you’ll manage to cleanse your house and garage of junk.
12. Pawn shops
A pawnbroker will give you a loan in place of your valuable possessions. You can either repay the loan within the agreed timeframe, and have your possession returned, or keep the money and allow the pawnbroker to assume ownership of the item and put it up for sale.
13. Rent a room or parking spot
If you have a room or parking spot that goes unused, consider renting it out. You might not want the commitment of a long-term flatmate, but renting out a room for just a few days is still a good means of making money. Depending on where you live, couchsurfers and backpackers might be looking for cheap and temporary accommodation just like that you can offer.
14. Run errands
Make some extra cash by offering to run errands for people who are either too busy, elderly or sick to do it themselves. If you have a van, you can help transport items and furniture for people moving house.
15. Temp job
If you’re unable to commit to a full-time or even part-time job right now, register instead as a temp for cleaning or catering jobs. Let an agency know your availability for work and they will contact you when an appropriate shift arises. This usually happens when a regular worker calls in sick or if there is news of a conference event in need of waiters, for example.
16. Start a blog
The more popular your blog, the more likely companies will pay you to review their product or service. Putting adverts on your site can also result in payment. Learn how to best utilize affiliate marketing here.
17. Sign up as an extra
Certain sites will let you sign up as an extra for free. You will fill in a profile with information about yourself – such as your appearance, age and availability. If your hometown is a popular filming location, this can be a good opportunity for you to get paid to feature in a TV show or movie.
18. Sign up for competitions
Spare some minutes of your day for entering online competitions. Sometimes the prize isn’t always financial, or a prize gift card can only be used in one particular store, but a free iPhone or Caribbean cruise probably won’t go unwelcomed…
Show off your talent and skills in entertainment on the streets or on the subway. If you’re any good, you could earn a considerable deal of cash in one single day. In the best possible scenario, Simon Cowell happens might happen to stroll by at the right time, and you blow his mind away…
20. Sell your story
You’re probably familiar with those sensationalized headlines often sprawled across tabloid magazines. The people who share their shocking, terrifying, bizarre or downright disgusting stories get paid to do so. If you or someone you know has a story to share, get in touch with tabloid publishers and find out what they can offer you to cover the story. Depending on how controversial your tale, you could get paid a decent amount.
Sophie Joyce is a freelance writer. She writes about history, politics and culture.