Almost everyone could use a few hundred dollars more per month to pay bills, save for vacation or to stash away for a special purchase. If you already have a job, most income increase options will require time beyond your regular work hours. However, there are a variety of enjoyable options to achieve a little extra cash and which require little upfront investment.
1. Be a pet sitter or walk the dog.
If you are a pet lover, this is a fun and easy way to earn $35-50 a day. Pet owners going on vacation often need responsible adults to watch their cats, dogs and other family pets. Kennels charge $25-35 a day to board animals plus extra costs for playtime, food, giving meds, walking the pet and more. The growing trend is to leave animals in their familiar surroundings at home and a have a paid pet care provider visit the animal once or twice a day to provide personalized service and attention. This also allows the home to appear inhabited while owners are away. Pet sitting and dog walking jobs can be found on internet job sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, or you can market your services in nearby neighborhoods.
2. Become a part-time nanny.
If you enjoy children and have experience with them, there are many opportunities to spend a few hours helping a busy parent. Even work-at-home parents often need extra help to watch the kids early morning or after school. A typical morning nanny job may involve working three days a week from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. with responsibilities to get the kids up for school, make breakfast, help make lunches and ensure they get to the bus stop on time. Night nannies and after-school supervisors are also frequently sought after.
3. Sell household goods on eBay.
Most people don’t even realize they are sitting on a small treasure chest of unused or unneeded household goods. Gather things you no longer need, such as books, records, DVDs, clothing, kitchen items, old toys and games. Take digital photos with your phone and list the items for sale in eBay. Small volume sellers can list for free. Boxes and packing supplies can often be found for free or low cost on Craigslist.
After you develop a system, offer to sell items for relatives and friends for a percentage of the final cost. If you have a little up-front cash, scour thrift stores and yard sales for items you can turnover for a quick profit. It’s often very easy to obtain a return four to six times greater than you paid for the item.
4. Sell artwork and craft items on Etsy.
If your hobbies tend toward arts and crafts, list your items for sale on Etsy, a site similar to eBay but which focuses primarily on handmade and vintage items. This popular site is like selling at a neighborhood craft fair, but the neighborhood here is the whole world. If you love to knit, embroider, crochet, quilt, make clothes or small toys, Etsy is a great outlet with low listing fees.
5. Drive for Uber and Lyft or become a courier.
If you have a newer vehicle and a good driving record, this is a great way to earn a few bucks on your own schedule. Uber and Lyft are always looking for drivers, especially for the busier evening and weekend runs. If you prefer not to carry passengers, there are dozens of job opportunities to deliver food, merchandise, groceries, medical supplies, newspapers and more. Search job websites using the term “driver” and you will discover that they are in high demand.
6. Tutor a student or an adult.
You don’t need special teaching credentials to help someone else learn. Parents frequently seek tutors to help a child with math, science, music, reading, writing and other subjects. If you speak a foreign language, you will find opportunities to help an adult learn English as a second language. Seniors may need someone to teach them basic computer skills to send e-mail or use the internet. If you play an instrument, consider music instruction for aspiring musicians of all ages. You can tutor a few hours a week or more depending on how many students you want to take on. Schedules can be as flexible as needed. Tutoring can often be done online making this even more convenient for all involved.
7. Use your skills to start a freelance business.
If you have skills in writing, illustrating, graphic or website design, cooking, computer programming, personal training or other areas, then put those talents to work. Create a simple website, write an introductory letter and print up business cards on the home computer. Before long you are ready to go into business doing something you really enjoy. You can charge by the hour or the project. Find job opportunities on Craigslist and employment websites or market your services via websites such as Fiverr. Eventually your part-time effort may develop into an enjoyable full-time vocation.
8. Take paid online surveys.
If you love sharing your opinion and, even better, getting paid for it, this is a perfect side gig. Sites such as Survey Junkie and Vindale Research will pay you via Paypal or with e-gift cards for completing surveys in your areas of interest. A website called Inbox Dollars will pay you to watch videos, play games and read e-mail in addition to taking surveys, and you’ll get a $5 bonus just for signing up. Activities can be completed anytime, so you just work them around your schedule.
9. Conduct Marriages.
While state laws may vary as to who can perform a marriage ceremony, almost all allow an ordained minister to do so. You can become a legally ordained non-denominational minister online in a matter of minutes and at very little cost. This often allows a favorite family member to conduct a ceremony, but there is no reason to limit this to family. Market your services as a marriage officiant via Craigslist and offer low cost, simple ceremonies. You can conduct the ceremony in your home or at a location of the happy couple’s choosing. Make your service convenient and friendly and you will quickly attract customers. You can easily make $75-100 for a simple ceremony and more if a rehearsal is involved. This is a job where everyone walks away happy.
10. Ask for a raise at work.
This is the one option that will probably not add to your work hours as the previous items will do. Before you go into the boss’s office to pop the question, outline a plan in your mind. Have a valid reason to ask. If it has been a long time since your last pay bump or you just completed a particularly involved task with good success, point that out. If you have been putting in extra hours to get the job done or receiving great reviews from customers, now may be the time to cash in on those efforts. The worst that can happen is the boss will say no. At least it will put the boss on notice you are looking for more which may help you ultimately achieve that raise sooner than later.
The ability to increase income is limited only by your time availability and creativity. Visit a well-known job website and do a random search on topics mentioned in this article. You may be surprised at the variety of interesting opportunities out there.