How to earn extra income? This is a question that many of us are asking these days as we try to make ends meet and reach our financial goals.
Whether you are just looking to put some quick cash in your pocket or want to create a business that will finally allow you to quit the 9-5 forever, our goal is to give you a quick overview of some of the most popular options for generating additional income and provide you with a guide to getting started.
Some are easier than you might think!
This page aims to provide you with different ideas on how to earn extra income that fit your skills and availability, and we will be updating it regularly.
We will be organizing the different ideas into active and passive income options to help you decide the best fit for your current situation and long-term outlook.
All income is not created equal.
Understanding the way income is earned could have a big impact on which job you decide to pursue depending on your current needs and long-term outlook. Before we discuss different ideas on how to earn extra income, let’s quickly discuss the differences between active and passive income.
Active income is money you earn by performing a service for someone else. This includes your hourly wages, salary, tips, etc. that you directly earn in exchange for you spending your time working on a job. For example, a restaurant employer will pay you a certain amount for every hour you work waiting tables, or Uber will give you your share of the proceeds for every ride you give.
However, once you stop working, the money stops coming in.
While trading your time for money might be the quickest option on how to earn extra income, it could leave you with little availability to focus on things that are really important like your health and family.
Passive income, on the other hand, often requires some out-of-the-box thinking and a little bit of effort to set up, but typically pays for itself in the long run with little to no effort to keep the money coming. For example, a musician who composes a song and lists it for sale on the Apple iTunes Store will get paid a portion of the proceeds each time someone buys the song. The musician did the work one time to create the song, but will keep getting paid forever, each time someone downloads it.
Long term, this income generation model is the better choice as it frees up your free time to spend with family and friends or creating additional income streams. However, it often involves a bit more work and creative thing to get started. Luckily the internet has made generating additional income streams much easier for most people than it was in the past.
I work a full-time job with a variable schedule. When the pandemic hit and my loved one experienced a loss in income, this difficulty left me with many financial concerns and prompted me to search for possible solutions.
If you are able to land a part time job, that would be the most consistent source of income; however, this option will be less flexible with your time. I knew this option would not work well with my day job’s crazy schedule. I decided to take on a flexible side hustle and learned how to make extra income by working at my own pace and on my own free time.
Both of these options could work well for you depending on your availability and interest in the work.
The most obvious answer for how to earn extra income is to get a part-time job stocking grocery store shelves, waiting tables at a restaurant, or at a retail store like The Home Depot where I got my start.
While this approach might be the easiest and quickest way to develop a second income stream, doing so will require you to give up more of your time after you finish working at your day job.
The extra money every month is nice, but is working two scheduled jobs back-to-back sustainable long term?
I don’t think so.
There are only so many hours in the day, and we all need a little down time in order to recharge our batteries, do things that we like to do, and avoid burnout. That being said, the next section will discuss how to earn extra income with jobs that grant more flexibility in how and when you perform the work.
Does your shift at your main job end at different times?
If your shift varies, it can be difficult to schedule the start time for a traditional part time job afterwards.
Or do you want to work extra hours but don’t want to completely give up all of your nights and weekends?
Well these ideas on how to earn extra income allow you to work as much as you want on your own schedule. You will be an independent contractor offering your services at the time of your choosing. If you ever find yourself with some free time that you’d like to put to good use, one of these jobs might be a good option on how to earn extra income:
Fiverr is an online marketplace that allows you to offer your digital services to the world. Whether you have talent working with spreadsheets, graphic design, or writing articles, you can quickly post an offering about the services you provide, allowing potential customers to find you. Best of all, you set your own rates and delivery schedule.
Similar to Fiverr, Upwork is a platform for freelancers to offer their services for hire in fields of design, web, and marketing. Application process is straightforward and allows you to set up and start selling your services quickly.
Uber is the biggest ridesharing company in the world, and chances are you’ve “taken an Uber” to avoid driving at least once or twice. As more and more people delay buying new cars, the ridesharing business will grow and so will the opportunity to make money with increasing demand for rides.
Similarly, Lyft is a mobile app that connects drivers with riders, allowing you to take home a portion of the proceeds for each ride you complete. Whether you’re using Lyft, Uber, or both for finding clients, this is often one of the easiest ways to start a side income (provided you have a car).
If helping Uber move people is not your thing, how about delivering food? UberEats connects you to clients who have ordered take-out food and need it delivered. Your job is to drive to the restaurant, pick up the food, and deliver it to the client. This is a similar setup to the ride share option, except there’s no need to allow anyone else in your car.
Postmates is a company that offers delivery service of food and other items, similar to UberEats. However, Postmates delivers more than just dinner.
Groceries? Party supplies? A new cell phone charger?
Yep. Postmates delivers.
The application process is a breeze, allowing you to get started delivering quickly.
>> Learn More: Work for Postmates
We are fortunate to live in a time where many different companies are developing platforms that make it easy for anyone to sell products online.
No longer do we have to hold a yard sale or set up shop at the swap meet to sell stuff we don’t want anymore.
The internet has made it easier than ever before to find buyers and complete transactions.
As opposed to the previously mentioned options which require you to sell your time for money, the following options are more passive ideas on how to earn extra income. They require some effort for the initial setup, but continue to pay you over time with little effort needed to keep the income stream alive.
These options are categorized as “semi-passive” because after products are sold, you need to fulfill the order by either mailing the product or setting up a meeting where you deliver the goods and complete the transaction. Here are our top picks for semi-passive ideas on how to earn extra income:
The king of online auction sales, eBay is one of the pioneers of e-commerce and often the first place people think of whenever they want to sell stuff online. If you have items just lying around that are gathering dust, listing them for sale on eBay is one of the easiest ways how to earn extra income.
Simply create an account and set up your page with PayPal so the proceeds from your buyers will go straight to your bank account. List an item “auction” style, or simply list an item with no time frame. When an item is sold, ship it to the customer’s address provided and you get paid shortly after.
>> Learn More: Make Money on eBay
Craigslist is a free online classifieds hub. Just like eBay, create a simple account, and you are ready to create an ad for whatever item you would like to sell. Set your location preference so your buyers will be within local range.
Once you have established communication with someone interested in your item, arrange to meet in a safe, public place to exchange the goods and payment.
Offer Up is a mobile app that allows you to list items for sale on its platform by quickly uploading 5-6 pictures of the item and adding a few descriptive sentences. Simply download the app, and create an account.
A prospective buyer will reach out to you via their built-in messenger and try to negotiate a fair price. Once the price is satisfied from both parties, buyer can either pay directly using their app, or you can also meet them and exchange the item for cash.
Everyone knows Facebook as a place to connect with friends and family.
But did you know that you can also use it as a platform to sell products?
This service uses your existing Facebook account. List an item, upload photos with a brief description, and it will be sent to everyone within the Facebook group. If they are interested, someone will message you and make arrangements to meet with you to complete the sale.
These options are categorized as “completely passive” because after products are sold, you do not need to fulfill the order. You pay someone else a small fee to put the items in a box and mail them out, allowing you to generate a completely passive income. Here are our top picks:
It’s true; Jeff Bezos is not the only person getting rich through Amazon.
Using a program called “Amazon FBA” (Fulfilled by Amazon), anyone can set up an account, send inventory to an Amazon warehouse, and sell their products on Amazon.com. The beauty of this model is that whenever an item is sold, Amazon puts the item in a box and sends it to your customer for a small cut of the proceeds. Other than the initial setup and maintaining your inventory levels, this is truly one of the best passive income models around today.
Create your own online store through Shopify. Customers order products through your store, and then a third party fulfills the orders. This is similar to Amazon FBA, except you own your own store and have more control over the look and feel of it. Working with Amazon has its advantages though as Amazon has a built-in customer base, whereas you will have to develop your source of traffic for your own website. None-the-less, this option allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work as much or as little as you like.
Long term, both Shopify and Amazon FBA are great options for how to earn extra income as they allow for greater flexibility for how and when you work.