Making ends meet financially is one of the challenges facing a lot of people. They work hard at their 9 to 5 jobs, but at the end of the month, they feel stressed out because the income is barely covering their lifestyle. And on top of that, they have dreams of more: a vacation, a new car, improvements to the house, new clothes. The list can go on and on.
Another group has this feeling of wanting more, not because they want more things, but rather because they want to take control of their finances and one day start their own business and be their own boss.
Whether you are looking to pay your bills or make some extra income, you want some ideas for how to earn extra cash. You are looking for purposes to make some side income to help you accomplish your goals.
I have broken this list of side income gigs into four categories.
- No Investment – Little to No Expertise
- Minimal Investment – Little to No Expertise
- No Investment – Expertise Needs
- Investment & Expertise Needed
When I say no investment, I am referring to cash or monetary investment. All of these will take a level of time investment, and this is something that you can factor into your decision as to whether or not the side income opportunity is right for you.
Of the 22, I am going to share with you my favorite. The rest are listed in Alphabetical order for you to review.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Specifically, building a website blog with valuable content that attracts visitors and shares great products and services. When the visitor clicks a link on your website, they are directed to the company’s website. You are given credit for leading the visitor to that site, and if they make a purchase, you get rewarded.
Affiliate Marketing is a Level 2 – Minimal Investment – Little to No Expertise
Following my affiliate marketing Treasure Map system, you can be up and running in 2 to 3 evenings or one weekend worth of effort for less than $100 out of pocket.
Last month, two of my sites, including one launched six months ago, made over $1,000 per month in income with a profit of over $875. Not bad for some weekend’s worth of effort in the past.
Now, if you need to have money for this month’s rent, Affiliate Marketing is probably not for you. I don’t care what the talking heads on Facebook or YouTube tell you when they are trying to sell you their get rich quick system. Yes, every once in a while, a blind squirrel can find a nut, and an affiliate marketer can make an immediate sale, but this is a rare exception.
Reality is that Affiliate Marketing is a platform that can allow you to not only make side income soon but will also be a path that can break you free from your 9 to 5 rut you are currently experiencing.
One of the best parts about this side income opportunity is that any work that you put in via your time investment has the potential to continue to pay you long after your task is completed.
I have another site that I initially built-in 2012 that is still making money every month.
Affiliate Marketing Review: Minimal Investment. Little to no expertise needed. What knowledge that you might need you can find for free without buying a system at first or spending any money.
No Investment – Little to No Expertise
2. Babysitting / Nanny
Child care is one of the best side income opportunities on the list to make money right away with no out of the pocket expense. Babysitting is not necessarily just for babies anymore. On the go families are turning to outside help with the kids more and more. A bonus would be if you can also provide some sort of tutoring on a subject like math or English or are willing and able to assist with meals or laundry or household chores.
Networking with those that you already know is a great way to get started without having to spend any money. And once you have had a couple of successful gigs, then word will spread.
You could also “advertise” with posting on Craigslist, Nextdoor, or community groups on Facebook, but the best and probably safest avenue will be networking. There are also several websites and apps that parents turn to for help. You could register as a provider on a site like https://www.urbansitter.com/, https://www.babysits.com/, or https://www.care.com/.
The great benefit of a babysitting gig or serving as a nanny is that you get paid right away. One of the drawbacks of the time invested is that once you stop working, the income stops.
If you are watching the kids in your residence, make sure that you have checked your local regulations for any licensing requirements. Also, if you are going to be transporting the kids to practices or lessons or from school to home, make sure you review your automobile insurance requirements so that you are covered.
3. Dog walker
Pet parents require assistance and are known to pay more for having their pets taken care of than they do for kids. One thing about walking the dog, it needs to be done every day.
When I use the term dog walking, this is a blanket statement. Sometimes the pet needs exercise and a trip to a park to stretch its legs, and other times the owner just needs someone to pop in a check-in on their furry friend.
These services can apply to cats, birds, and other pets as well.
Dog Walking allows you to get paid right away and also can provide you with some flexibility in your schedule so that you only accept gigs during times you have available.
Once you stop the gigs, the money stops, so keep this in mind.
To find the business you can network with word of mouth, register on a site like
https://wagwalking.com/ or visit your local groomers or pet daycare facilities to share your availability.
If you are going to have the pet at your premises or in your vehicle, check your insurance requirements. Auto policies can include pet riders for coverage. Better safe than sorry.
4. Freelance writing
I have this under No Investment – Little to No Expertise category, and this is true to an extent. You need expertise and proficiency with the language you will be writing in and on the subjects that you are going to be writing about, but the concept of Freelance writing covers a wide array.
Companies are looking for writers for several reasons. They may need subject matter experts. They may be looking for someone to do some research or to document their policies and practices. It may be completing a frequently asked questions system on a website or a venture like mine that is looking for content writers on a variety of topics.
Getting started takes no financial investment. You will need access to a computer and an internet connection. You can register on sites ranging from Fiverr.com to Frelancer.com to make yourself available for gigs.
Freelance writing allows you to get paid as soon as the job is completed. Another benefit to this side income opportunity is that it can be location agnostic. You can complete the task in any location in most cases.
Added tip. If there is a particular topic or subject that you are interested in, reach out to the company or website and ask them if they need any assistance. This initial contact allows you to show your skills and also be writing about something you are interested in covering.
5. Handyman / Painting / Lawn Care
Homeowners always need something done around the house. And a majority of it does not need to be completed by a licensed contractor. (check your local rules and licensing regulations)
These small to medium-sized handyman jobs also can be completed without a pressing deadline. The homeowner is willing to have the job done over a while as long as it is done correctly.
Lawn Care is an area where I have seen individuals make a nice side income. One younger student in a neighborhood I used to live in had a battery-powered mower. He sold the fact that he was environmentally friendly as compared to the traditional landscaping companies. He passed out door hangers to the entire community, picked up a few gigs, and within a month had a handful of homes he worked with. I know this because when he moved to another area, all of the homeowners at a community gathering were lamenting about having to find another person or company to handle their lawn.
Some homeowners will provide the equipment of supplies, or you can price it into the job, with an advance to purchase the goods.
Like other gigs, this can provide immediate payment, yet as soon as the work stops, so do the payments. It is also tied to a particular location.
6. Online surveys
Many sites, like Survey Junkie, National Consumer Panel, or SwagBucks provide you with an opportunity to complete surveys and product reviews and get paid to participate.
I almost hesitated to list this as a topic because they are several rabbit holes and scams that you can fall into when searching for online surveys to participate in.
When signing up for a service like this, make sure that they are not asking you for money upfront. If they are, it is probably a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam. I would also advise you to set up a separate Gmail or email account and use it only for survey participation. Privacy, for you, is critical, and you can protect it.
All of that being said, with a computer and an internet connection, you can earn some income on the side. A great resource I have found is: https://www.surveypolice.com/blog/
7. Product Flipping
Product Flipping can range anywhere from picking up items at garage sales and reselling them on eBay or Craigslist to buying things at a below-market price and reselling them for a profit.
One example, used by Gary Vaynerchuk, is visiting garage sales, finding items that are in demand on eBay, buying the items and reselling them for a profit. With a minimal investment, he has shown time and time again that a benefit is possible, and a side income can be earned. He has an entire video series he refers to as “Trash Talk.”
This opportunity requires little to no investment and can be accomplished on weekends or evenings, outside of the 9 to 5 constraints.
8. Uber / Lyft / Meal Delivery
Yes, this requires you to have a newer model car, so it should probably not be in the No Investment section, but it is straightforward to get into. This area of side income is continuing to grow, and despite the disputes between drivers and management for full-time drivers, the opportunity is growing.
Also, in some parts of the country, Amazon is bringing on independent contractors to handle market surges. https://flex.amazon.com/
The last driver that took me to the airport only logs into the systems from 4 am to 7 am each day and then works a 9 to 5. I also recall a driver in Austin that was with Lyft, yet also worked for the Postal Service full time.
With most of the services, you can get paid within a week of completing the work.
Minimal Investment – Little to No Expertise
9. Handmade Products
Do you have a crafting skill or hobby that you can turn into some extra income? Woodworking, clothing, glasswork, jewelry. The list can go on and on.
Your investment would be the raw materials that are required for your products.
Items can be sold at local farmers’ markets (may have an expense involved to lease the space) or on consignment in local shops in your area.
eBay and Etsy are two other places to sell your products.
Make sure you check your local and state requirements for certain products, especially in the area of soaps or perfumes and lotions. I know of two ladies in the area that have collected a side income for many years, one selling soap, and the other has a fantastic sea scrub for hands. Perfect for beach life.
10. Multi-Level Marketing Systems
Please, Be Careful. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you have to buy too many products or spend too much upfront, then it probably is going to be challenging to succeed. I have a friend in another state that has turned her part-time side income venture with Pure Romance. Another friend has been full time with Shaklee for years.
These systems and programs are challenging to dabble in. If you want a return on your investment, you have to put in the time and effort, and the demands are rarely categorized as a “side hustle.”
Like so many of the opportunities that I am listing, you have to be in it to win it.
That being said, many individuals have worked with reputable companies that have stood the test of time to offer products to their friends, neighbors, and communities. And because of this, I have to include this on the list.
You have a cell phone. It has a microphone. It connects to the internet. You can post your thoughts and expertise. It can become a podcast. You can monetize the podcast with sponsors and advertisements.
Can this happen overnight? Probably not. Can it be done part-time? Yes, it can, and it can build over time.
Minimal expense. It can be driven by passion. It is not going to help you pay the rent right away.
12. Real Estate Agent
I have seen some very successful agents start as part-time agents. I have also seen some that are a disgrace to the industry and should never be allowed anywhere near a client again.
The barrier to entering the Real Estate industry is shallow as compared to many other ventures. Potential agents are required to take a real estate exam prep course and pass a test.
Once licensed, they are allowed to collect commissions. Excellent part-time agents handoff prospective clients to a full-time agent or team. This ensures that the buyer, seller, or investor is provided with quality service during the hours that the part-time agent is not available. The part-time agent and full-time agent then split the commission. For the part-time agent, it provides a side income.
In several states, the best way to take the required classes is online, with little disruption to your schedule and a better instructional experience.
Real Estate is not going to pay this month’s rent or the next two or three months for that matter, but it is a way to supplement your income longer term and be your own boss.
13. Vending Machine Business
Requires some investment, but provides a way to collect income every month with a schedule that you can control as you set your route and deliveries
According to the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), there are over 5 million vending machines in the U.S. alone. https://www.thestreet.com/how-to/how-to-start-a-vending-machine-business-14970952
Minimal Investment – Expertise Needs
14. Cutting Hair
Being bald myself, I am going to be short when it comes to this topic.
There are a number of individuals that have a talent for hair care. You might be one of them that can schedule appointments in your spare time. Instant pay with little overhead. Some salons charge a monthly fee, but others take a split on the income earned. This model may work for you and your venture.
In Florida, some hairstylists used to work in salons that now work part-time on a mobile basis, taking their talents to the clients and cutting hair in the customer’s home. This is perfect for our areas with an older population.
This is another area where you will need to check your local and state licensing requirements.
Several items that consumers purchase online do not come from the company that they purchased the product. It was “drop shipped” from a third party company. This allows the seller to have little to no inventory and focus on the sales and marketing aspects of their venture.
I had an online watch company for several years. I think at one time, the most number of watches that I had in my stock was 5, yet the store offered over 3000 products, all drop shipped.
This would be a more time-intensive side income venture than some of the others that I have listed. I say this and remind you that I found my path back to affiliate marketing.
16. Info Products
Are you knowledgeable about a subject or way of doing things? People might pay you for that knowledge if you packaged it the right way. I am not talking about writing a book but presenting the information in an electronic format that you sell to others.
This can range from a series of audio presentations to a collection of articles and videos that are only available to those that have purchased your product or signed up for membership.
There are some drawbacks to starting with Information Productions as your side income. No one knows you or your expertise, so you will have to develop a following first or spend a considerable amount on advertising.
The following can be built with readers of your Affiliate Marketing Blog over time and then offering your product once you establish a reputation of knowledge.
17. Personal Trainer
Have a passion for fitness or yoga or strength training. Then offering your services as an instructor or coach may be an avenue to collect some extra income.
Some people are intimidated by gyms and the whole idea of trying to get into shape. They don’t know where to start, and if they do get started, they need someone to help them along the way.
You might be the one perfectly suited to assist them and get paid at the same time.
Again, check your local and state guidelines and also don’t show up at a gym and try to instruct clients. Several gyms have policies against this practice, primarily to protect any instructors that they have on staff. If you networked a bit, you could find some individuals that are looking for fitness instructors to come to their residence to assist them with their routines. And with the right schedule, you could work this around your own 9-5.
Not everyone has an eye for photography or the equipment. Yet some do and could start to apply their skills toward making some income. Like freelance writing gigs, not every photographer has to be an expert on every type of photography. You might specialize in Real Estate photography or work with a web site developing B-Roll shots for use in videos or on the website.
Some sites are looking for stock photography that they can use, and working with you would give them an avenue to accomplish this.
This side income gig also is ideal for those that travel for work or are mobile in their office (RVers). You have an opportunity to take photos of places that others only dream of going, and websites and companies are looking to pay to use those photos.
I was genuinely impressed during the recent COVID-19 pandemic with the number of people that know how to sew and stepped up to the plate to make masks for themselves and their neighbors and the community. Good job.
We have a lady in town to work part-time with a local dry cleaner. She is semi-retired and also has two other people working with her part-time doing nothing but sewing and alterations for this one shop. And she does all of the work at home. The dry cleaners deliver the work to her and pick it up when it is done.
I am probably missing some potential gigs in this section, but this will give you some ideas to get started.
Investment & Expertise Needed
20. Build an app
If you have some programming expertise, there are many essential day to day activities and industries that could benefit from an App. The app doesn’t need to be complicated, but enough to help out business and consumers.
I know of two individuals that are now members of the local chamber of commerce that worked together remotely for over a year on an app for restaurants. They did this on the side as they were both employed. This man and women team lived in different parts of town and had mixed experiences with working with restaurants. The gentleman ordered takeout almost every day, and the lady was responsible for ordering catering in her full-time jobs. They took their expertise and combined to create an app for restaurants that also offered catering services. Fast forward two years after they first started the app, and they both work full time on the app and the business it created.
21. Buy a Blog
Want to get into Affiliate Marketing to have an online presence, but don’t want to spend time on the initial startup and have some money to spend? If the answers are yes, then you might consider buying an up and running blog that already has a proven track record. Doing so would jump-start your income and get you into an online footprint that would be providing an income on day one.
22. Day Trading
This applies to stocks, options, derivatives, or for some, cryptocurrency. While this may not fall into the category of a side income gig, it is worth including on the list.
One of the real estate agents that I used to coach lived on the west coast. He had other ventures besides real Estate, including a coin-operated car wash. During the time that I was working with him, he would get up first thing in the morning on the west coast, before the U.S. markets opened and schedule his trades for the day. Like clockwork, he would set the alarm during the day to check and update his holdings and repeat a couple of hours later.
He was not glued to a screen every day, but having a system and discipline allowed him to make extra income, including in the bitcoin market.
As a bonus,
23. Be a Pirate… as the saying goes, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate, then always be a pirate.”
So there you have it. As promised, a list of 22 side income gigs. These opportunities include some that you can get started on making money right away.
I would love to hear if you have tried any of these or if there are any other ventures that you have tried. Leave a comment below and let me know.