Six Money Making Side Gigs that are Worth Your Time
A lot of bloggers have super long lists that include everything from pet sitting to taking online surveys for pennies. I’m not doing that here…
I am only writing about side gigs that I know about personally…
Who has time to work for pennies at a time or take thirty minute surveys for ice cream vouchers? Psshht…
If you decide to do those it should be for fun. And, they can be fun. That just isn’t what we are talking about here because I don’t think they really belong in a ” money making side gig” post.
If you are retired, just wanting to save for a trip or decide to stop clocking in alltogether, diversifying your income streams will help if another dries up suddenly.
It might be tough to think about squeezing in anything new but you can branch out until you find your sweet spot. None of these requires a long commitment.
While this article will feature some affiliate links, (see my disclosure here), I NEVER and mean NEVER will b.s. you about jobs I have done to make some extra cash. I’ll tell you what really works and what was a waste of time.
Let’s be real here, who couldn’t use some extra cash? Especially if you are say…trying to start a new business and have high hopes of quitting your day job. That doesn’t happen overnight so some extra cushion will help you make the leap faster.
Five years ago, I decided to quit clocking in, but I didn’t want to live in a tent either. So I started trying new ventures…a lot of them. Some people rolled their eyes and waited to say “I told you so”. They are still waiting…
But, it did take time to find a groove. Hopefully you will find something here that saves you some time. If you are like me than you don’t want to wait forever…life is too short for that.
Decide How Much Your Time Is Worth
First, decide for yourself how much your time is worth. Some “side gigs” will earn a little extra cash but take away from the time you have to work on building a business or more lucrative ventures.
The old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one basket has been around for a long time for good reason and a money making side gig is another basket, friend.
The best side jobs (once set up) should provide a constant stream of mostly passive income. You just have to find your calling, or “niche”. Make sure it’s something that you will enjoy.
Do you have to LOVE it? No. But just make sure it is something that you enjoy and will make a chunk of change without running you ragged. Burnout is real and you shouldn’t set yourself up for it.
Money Making Side Gigs List:
This is my absolute favorite and the one thing that I have done that is reliable in terms of making money. It won’t work for everyone, as not everyone has extra real estate just sitting around. But, I didn’t either. Not really. Here is how it went down…
I live in a 135-year-old home in Colorado. It has been built onto slowly over the last century and in turn has been elongated to cover most of my “city” lot.
It’s fairly large for us and when my oldest daughter moved out I found that the front of the house went mostly unused.
It became “storage” and we were heating a third of the house that we no longer used simply because it was there. Colorado winters are cold and this was a huge waste of heat which made me angry every time I paid the utility bill.
So, I came up with a plan to rent it out. I decided that I could spare the bedroom, bathroom and front parlor. The old dame’s last facelift was in the 1980’s so she needed some updates like a bathroom remodel, paint, furnishings and a garden to perk her up.
I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on this experiment but I put together a $2500 budget and took care of the most important features.
With the help of my very handy husband, estate sales, and YouTube I pulled it off and it looks great!
From the beginning I knew that I didn’t want to combine the spaces as I have a young daughter and I didn’t want to entertain or hang out with strangers.
So, I separated the rental from the rest of the house via a locking door. The lock off apartment was born and the house now pays for itself plus a little extra.
Guests enter the premises from the front and we use the back door.
I put a gate between the front garden and backyard so the spaces are completely separate. It has worked out wonderfully and it consistently pulls in over $30,000 dollars every year.
You don’t have to have this exact type of situation going for you to make it work. If you have any extra space at all, it could be lucrative. Be imaginative!
Or, if you live in an area that attracts tourists, you could utilize your knowledge to do tours or design experiences, there are tons of possibilities.
Did you know that with AirBnb you can offer tours and experiences as well as vacation rentals? I am always booked over 87% of the time that I list available dates.
Follow the links and check out both AirBnb’s hosting program’s for more info.
My take on this one: WORTH MY TIME AND EFFORTS
2. Work at Home Call Center Agents:
These are exactly what they sound like. Call center agent positions that you can do from the comfort of your own home. These companies work with corporations like Apple, Orkin, AT&T and Getaroom.com.
You will deal with problems, take orders or make reservations for callers. It is not difficult work and you can make a decent amount of money.
Usually there are a minimum number of hours that you have to work each week, in my experience 15 hours was the norm, as well as a sale or “conversion” quota.
There are tons of companies out there and you can find the ones that are hiring in your state at ratracerebellion.com. There are a couple of caveats that I should mention before applying to any of these. And, please read the websites warnings about scam artists…unfortunately there are some creeps out there.
- Do not pay any fees to take training classes. This is a business model and side income for companies like Arise. They have very few positions open and you could end up wasting weeks of your time. The only select a few applicants from each class for the open positions. I do not recommend this company.
- You have be able to learn new programs quickly and have an absolutely quiet space to work (the customers calling have to think you are sitting in a cube somewhere).
- Make sure that your training will be paid (some companies make sure you complete training as well as a minimum number of hours worked before you will see that training pay).
- The “programs” can end at any time.
- You must must (really must) like helping people and be great at dealing with angry customers. Some people can be total arses and many of them are looking for “compensation” for having to call in with even the slightest problem. (Think about your mood while calling a customer service line because your phone/ cable/ favorite doo-da just stopped working).
- Most companies say you can choose your own hours but this is misleading, you can choose hours from what is available each week.
- Most programs increase the calls to conversions percentages as time goes on.
- You will need to file and pay taxes on your own as you are considered an independent contractor.
- You will need an employer’s identification number and will need create an LLC.
- You will need to file periodic reports each year to stay in good standing.
None of this is actually difficult if you like working in customer service. I did it part-time for two years at one point and made about $19.00 – $21.00 per hour on average.
The company I worked for is called Workingsolutions.com and they offered paid training. The work did ebb and flow a great deal and burnout was inevitable. Management changes often so it takes some getting used to and some flexibility. But, you can work on multiple “programs” at once to get more hours and there is no limit to the hours you can work.
Remember, as an independent contractor there is no overtime pay except for holidays. I just worked more when I needed more money. It’s not a career for most people but it’s a good side gig.
My take on this one: WORTH MY EFFORTS UNTIL SOMETHING BETTER CAME ALONG
3. Teach English to Chinese Students Online
In the interest of full disclosure, I have not done this one myself…yet. But a friend of mine does make a pretty good part time wage teaching on VIPKID. The hours can be kind of tricky because of the time difference but she makes it work and earns over $20.00 an hour.
For this one you have to hold at least a bachelors degree (the discipline doesn’t matter). And, you have to have at least some experience teaching, tutoring or homeschooling your own children.
The beauty of this company is that they allow you to login from wherever you are.Vacationing in Mexico? Fine. On a tour of Wine Country…great! Traveling through Europe? No Problem!
My take: The fact that you can make over $20 and hour and travel while doing it seals the deal. THIS ONE IS WORTH IT.
4. Secret Shopping
You can google this and find any company that works with clients in your area or check out the aforementioned website, ratracerebellion.com. I signed up for this but never actually did a shop.
Most of the time they want you to buy an item under a certain amount, say $10.00 and they will reimburse you for your effort. But you don’t usually make much actual cash.
I live in the boonies and don’t like to shop brick and mortar so….
My take on this: NOT WORTH MY TIME (it wasn’t even worth my time to fill out the information). I am only including it in case you like to shop.
5. Amazon Seller
I used to sell books and do pretty well at it before Amazon Prime became so popular. I would buy used books at yard sales and thrift stores and make a decent profit. Not great money but enough to make it fun and keep me in books ( a favorite pastime).
But things changed and with so many sellers automating and Amazons razor thin profit margin, you would have to sell a truck load of books to break even IF you could compete with them. Amazon employs a business model that is hard to beat these days.
However, if you can find a popular product niche Amazon is a great tool for larger sellers. The days of small sellers making it are gone.
eBay may be a better choice but honestly, I haven’t tried it.
Amazon also has a ton of newer rules about products at that the average Joe can sell. I happened upon a bulk buy on brand new but returned Michael Kors bags. I bought them thinking that I could resell them an Amazon for a tidy profit. As it turned out, I needed special permission to sell designer bags or any beauty products…which was hard to pursue.
So, a few years ago I became the proud owner of fourteen designer bags that I spent $1200 on. Merry Christmas to me (and my daughter).
My take on this: NOT WORTH MY TIME BUT IT COULD BE WORTH YOURS IF YOU CAN GET A GOOD DEAL ON A POPULAR PRODUCT.
Retail just doesn’t float my boat at the moment and I want to make money faster. Working for a couple of dollars an hour is not an option for me…not even as a side gig.
6.Start a Blog!
Okay, so this is on every bloggers list of how to make extra money. Of course it is! We love doing this and it really is possible to make money blogging. And, you get to help people and meet a bunch of cool new friends. How much money you make really depends on you.
Can anyone blog? The short answer is yes and no. Helpful huh?
You have to be willing to work really hard for no return in the beginning. It takes time to build a brand and you have to be willing to invest some time and money in order to be able to turn a profit.
If you are BRAND new to the blogging concept you should check out Scriv’s…he a boss blogger and you can learn a bunch from him. Yep, he sells courses but it goes way beyond that. He has built a community of people who band together and get blogging done!
He provides some real value and will get you on your way.
My Take: BLOGGING IS WORTH IT. YOU WILL LEARN A LOT ABOUT MARKETING AND CAN GO AS FAR AS YOU WANT TO.
I hope this helps give you some ideas as to how to make a little side cash while you are building your empire. There are longer lists out there but be wary of someone who is advising you to try to make a living on surveys for small change… I guarantee they aren’t wasting their time on those.
Whether you want to quit your day job, make some money to pay off debt or save for a trip, I applaud you. I quit “clocking in” years ago and never want to go back. If you are serious and want to make the leap, then some extra income schemes can help you make it sooner.
Find something you love to do and stop working. Start living and loving what you spend your time on while still being able to live the lifestyle that you want (and afford shelter lol).
Think about where you want to be next year. I am not saying that any of these will make you a millionaire…but it could get you closer.
Keep at it!
There are people out there making great livings while doing what they love.
If you have been thinking about blogging make sure to read these posts about why you should start a blog before making the leap.