How to Make Extra Money – Legitimate Ways to Boost Your Income

To become wealthy, you must learn how to make extra money. These tips can help you increase your income and build financial freedom.
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We could all use a little extra cash. But between working your full-time job, family time, and all your other commitments, who has time to work a traditional part-time job? Luckily, there are plenty of off-the-wall ways to make money that you can fit into your schedule.

Here are some of the weirdest ways to fatten your wallet.

Perhaps one of them will be the perfect second revenue stream for you:

How to Make Extra Money

Many people only think about earning money in terms of their day job – be it a salary or an hourly wage. For most people, this is probably the majority of their income. But there are many ways to earn extra money outside of your day job.

The best way to supercharge your income is to combine these strategies, increase your income from your day job, and find additional ways to make extra money through part-time jobs, consulting, investments, and other opportunities.

Here are some ways to increase your income from your day job and outside your day job.

Increase Your Income from Your Day Job

Depending on your type of employment, earning more money from your day job may be as simple as working overtime or obtaining additional education or certifications to get a raise. It could be as simple as asking for a raise during your next performance review. Sometimes the best way to get a raise is to find a new job.

Unfortunately, earning more money from your day job is not always possible. Some jobs, especially those in the government or public sector, are locked into raises based on the cost of living or other factors. If you can’t easily earn more money from your day job, there are other ways to earn more money.

Earn Extra Money from a Business or Side Job

There are many ways to earn money through a small business or part-time or seasonal jobs. You can make money from your hobbies, start a candy vending machine business, do freelance consulting or writing, do seasonal yard work, hang Christmas lights on houses, write a book or an eBook, or do other odds and ends. A good friend of mine works in corporate taxes, but takes on extra work during the tax season filing personal taxes. A few hours a week at a high hourly rate adds up quickly!

I started a successful and profitable blog, which later turned into my full-time job. I have friends who started online stores. I know several people who have started dropshipping businesses, which is where you sell things through your own website, and another company fulfills the orders.

The possibilities are limited only to your creativity or abilities. The key here is the willingness to work outside your day job and dedicate time and energy to get started. It can take time and effort to build a successful side hustle. But the sacrifice is worth it.

Taking Paid Surveys

Have you ever wished someone would pay you for your opinion?

With a little time to kill and access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can cash in on your valuable opinion, all while watching Netflix on the couch.

Some of the best survey sites include:

These sites pay you to answer surveys, watch ads, and sometimes play games, in exchange for points redeemable for cash or gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon.

Making money couldn’t be easier.

Rideshare driving

Ridesharing is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative side hustles out there. Download an app and hop in a Lyft yourself, and you’ll see just how easy it is to hail a ride.

As a driver for these types of companies, you book riders in your area through an app, complete your assignment, and get paid for your services.

Simple as that. And if you aren’t too keen on transporting strangers, you can drive for companies like GrubHub, Uber Eats, or Postmates to deliver food or groceries. Or deliver packages with Amazon Flex.

Say you don’t want to deliver anything but have a vehicle sitting idly in your garage. If that’s the case, you can rent your car out with services like HyreCar.

There is money to be made behind the wheel, whatever your preferences.

Rent Out Your Space

Whether it’s a vacation home you only make it to a few times a year or a guesthouse or spare bedroom you don’t mind sharing, short-term rentals have never been more popular.

Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and FlipKey are a few of the most popular rental sites. You set the prices and standards and can accept or decline guests within the app or website of your chosen platform.  Renting out your space is a great way to make more than a few bucks here and there, and you can remove your property if you decide you no longer wish to rent the space out.

It’s an excellent way to pad your income on your terms.

Selling your hair

For example, women (or men!) with very long hair can generally earn anywhere from $300 to $900 dollars per cut for selling their hair. Untreated hair is worth more; generally, the price increases with length. Buyandsellhair is a (slightly creepy) website where you can post an ad to find a buyer for your hair.

Sell your plasma

Selling plasma and other bodily fluids is another tried-and-true way to get “free” money. While the amount you earn from plasma donation varies from center to center, you can generally anticipate earning around $30-$50 per donation. You may donate your plasma up to twice per week.

This is an easy way to make money. All you have to do is show up and then sit there while they do all of the work. Some donation centers will offer special “coupons” that will give you $5 or $10 more for one visit.

Harvesting scrap metal

Many recyclable metals, such as copper, have been at or near record high prices over the last few years. If you have some old metal items lying around, you may be able to turn them into cash. We can only recommend recycling items you own, however. An increasingly disturbing trend is stealing electrical wiring from homes, often those in foreclosure. Unfortunately, it is incredibly dangerous and can be fatal.

Selling your space

If you live in a major metropolitan area where parking is a premium or near an event location, such as a concert hall or sporting arena, consider renting your parking space. A bonus is that parking your car in a less convenient spot means you’re less likely to use it for every errand, saving you gas.

If you own a home close to one of these major areas, you can let people park in your front yard and driveway. Selling spots for $20 can easily net your $100 just by letting some cars sit in front of your house for a couple of hours.

If you own your home, you may consider taking in a boarder. The extra cash can help you with the mortgage payment, and it’s nice to have company. Be sure to draw up a lease, just in case the company becomes a crowd.

Earning money through freelancing – one job at a time

Upwork is an online marketplace that unites freelancers and other contractors with business owners and others who need a specific task accomplished. The jobs can be as small as an individual photo editing job or something as large as designing and building a mobile phone app, a website, or other large tasks. Some examples of available work include photo editing/graphics design, web development, Virtual Assistants (VA), freelance writing, and more.

Freelance work is an excellent way to make some extra money on the side. In fact, a lot of people find that they end up making more money as a freelancer than they do with their full-time job. If you have any skills or hobbies that can make you money on the weekend, you can easily earn thousands of extra dollars in your free time.

Selling your time

We’ve all heard about internet sites that pay you to take surveys. But there are many more options available if you have the time. One of the most well-known is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. This site offers fairly trivial tasks that machines would have trouble accomplishing. Each task earns you pennies, but you can withdraw your pay once you’ve earned $10. Some other websites that will pay you for your time:

  • Ejury needs people to sit on virtual/mock juries so that lawyers can prepare for the real deal. If you’re a fast reader, you can zip through the documents and present your mock verdict for a cool $5-$10.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk offers data entry, editing, and image processing tasks in exchange for anywhere from $0.01 to $30.00 per task. This is a perfect online job for students or people a lot of downtime from their primary jobs.
  • Clixsense is not for the faint of heart, but it can earn you money in exchange for nothing but your time. This site pays you to look at advertisements for 30 seconds at a pop. The amount you earn is very low (from $0.001 per view to $0.02 per view), but if you’ve got the time and the ability to handle the boredom, this could be a great way to earn some extra cash.

Selling your wares

If you’re a crafty individual and you haven’t yet heard of Etsy, now is the time to start selling your crafts online. The quirkier, the better, since the Etsy marketplace seems to skew towards the types of crafts you can’t find anywhere else. Etsy is one of the best places to sell your homemade goods. You can sell just about anything on Etsy, and there aren’t many related fees. One of the best parts of Etsy is that if you need to take a break from your second job, all you have to do is close down your Etsy shop until you’re ready to start back.

If you’re a great amateur photographer, consider selling your photos to stock photography sites like Pond5, which also allows you to sell music, videos, and sound effects. You earn 50% of each sale’s price— from $2 to $5. This could be a great way to make a hobby pay some extra cash on the side.

Selling items to the masses

If you live just down the street from a major stadium, cash in on the huge number of fans who troop past your door by selling the sorts of things people always need: bottles of water, cans of soda, snacks, or even umbrellas.

Even if you don’t have a perfectly situated home, consider selling these items to motorists in the next traffic jam or to festival- or concert-goers in the parking lot of major events. Just be sure to check the laws of your state beforehand.

Selling on Craigslist

Craigslist is a great forum for buying and selling various items, and if you need some quick cash, then Craigslist could be a good way to clear some closet space and pad your wallet. Here are some tips for selling items on Craigslist, and another set of tips for selling your car on Craigslist.

If you don’t have any experience with Craigslist, you should know that you can sell ANYTHING on Craigslist. It’s one of the best places to eliminate your old junk and put extra money in your bank account.

You can even advertise your skills and services for freelance on Craigslist. Selling your old junk helps kill two birds with one stone. Not only are you getting rid of your old stuff, but you’re making money while you do it. Plus, using the site will be a lot less work than having a yard sale several Saturdays in a phone.

Invest for Cash Flow

Cash flow is one of the most underrated aspects of a strong financial plan. Cash flow is defined as how much free cash you have each month after you account for your income and expenses.

You can determine your cash flow with a cash flow chart to help you visualize your earnings.

Why is cash flow so important?

Because it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everything that comes in goes right back out. Many people earning a six-figure income have very little to show for it except a stack of bills and a few nice toys. What you do with your money is much more important than how much you earn. Because of this, investing for cash flow should be part of every good financial plan.

Examples of investing for cash flow include investing in dividend stocks, rental income, operating a small business, buying a franchise, investing in peer-to-peer lending, and similar investments that make regular cash payments.

Related Post:  How We Manage Our Money on a Daily Basis

Earn Money from Alternative Income Sources

Alternative income is loosely defined as income that doesn’t come from your day job.

Last year I made over $4,000 without working.

My main sources of alternative income were earned interest from savings accounts, dividend earnings from stocks and mutual funds, bank account sign-up bonuses, credit card sign-up bonuses, and other sources of free money.

These are all little things that anyone can do if they are willing to save and invest, or have decent credit and half an hour to set up an account online. Even though most online bank accounts have lower interest rates than a few years ago, I hope to improve on my $4,000 earnings from last year.

There are other forms of alternative income as well. Rental income, royalties, and patents are just a few sources of income outside a traditional day job.

Bottom Line

These are only a few of the thousands of ways to earn extra money on the side. More than likely you can’t simply walk into your boss’ office and demand a raise, but there are a few simple ways to earn a couple of hundred bucks every month. Regardless of how much you earn with these tips, every dollar helps, and everything will start to add up.

One of the best ways to earn some side money is to use more than one of these tips. It’s easy to double up on these tips. For example, while you’re waiting to give blood every month, why don’t you work on some of the virtual jury assignments? You can make $50 in less than an hour, and if you continue to do that weekly, you’ll find an extra $400 every month.

No matter what your situation, there are creative ways for you to make money.

The key to financial health is spending less than you earn. But sometimes the better solution is to earn more than you spend. If you want to earn more money, go out and do it.


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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Richard Morgan says

    Compared to all other sources of making extra money, I would personally prefer to go with freelance writing as it is a fairly simple way of adding some extra cash to your monthly income. I have yet to come across any other such method that is as hassle free as freelance writing.

  2. Ryan says

    Beg, borrow, steal, earn, invest, inherit… I think there are dozens of ways. I guess I should have clearly stated something regarding salaries. 😉

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