There are millions of ways to make money – especially extra money. If you have the drive and the passion to earn money, you CAN do it. But sometimes we struggle to figure out what to do that will actually earn us anything. We simply hit a mental wall and our money-making ideas remain out of reach.
So, instead of staying roadblocked, here is a list of ways to start side hustling, earning your way out of debt, or using extra money to invest.
No matter what your skill set is, or how much time you have, you should be able to find something on this list that you can do this week to make some extra money. Even (and perhaps especially) if you're a college student looking to make more money, a lot of these tasks are perfect for you.
Check it out:
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and will earn me a commission. These are all things that I have experience with and I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of any commission it may earn me.
Online Side Hustling Ideas
For most people, an online side hustle is the easiest way to get started; you can find free WiFi a lot of places and the startup costs are minimal.
1. Sell on eBay – eBay is a great place to sell stuff and earn money, especially if you have something collectible. One of my favorite ways to side hustle on eBay is to go to estate sales and find items that you can purchase for cheap, then resell online. Just make sure that you keep the fees in consideration.
2. Sell on Amazon.com – Do you have old books, CDs, or DVDs? Then you should consider selling them on Amazon. It's incredibly easy to list your items to sell, and you'd be surprised how much you can get for old stuff sometimes. If you're a college student looking to sell your old textbooks, you should compare the Amazon prices to your bookstore buyback prices. Amazon is often a better place to sell.
3. Sell on Fiverr.com – Fiverr is a micro-selling site where you can sell all kinds of random projects, from design work to simply recording yourself on video talking about a brand. We just wrote an article about how you can earn $10,000 by starting a Fiverr gig. It's possible!
4. Just Search The Internet – Do you search the Internet? Want to get paid for it? Swagbucks is a site that rewards you for doing various online tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and using their search engine. When using their search engine, you get reward points after several searches, usually in the amount of 10-15 points. You can start cashing out rewards at the 500 points mark.
If you sign up for Swagbucks through THIS LINK you can earn a $5 bonus!
If you don't want to do anything out of the norm, check out Neilson Digital. You simply download the app and do what you normally do. The app runs in the background and you are entered to win rewards. Simple, easy way to get money for nothing! Download the app here.
Mobile Expression is a similar app for iPad. You can earn rewards for installing it and leaving it on your device for at least 90 days.
5. Fill Out Online Surveys – If you have some time to spare online, you could spend it filling out online surveys. There are sites that will pay you to do so and it's very easy. All you have to do is register, and these companies will contact you when they have a survey that fits your profile. Typically these are online market research surveys for big brands.
Some of the most popular online survey sites include:
- Swagbucks Surveys – Swagbucks now has a dedicated survey section, and you can get $5 just for signing up.
- MyPoints – Earn a $5 giftcard for signing up, verifying your email, and for every 5 surveys you complete.
- Pinecone 18-24 – If you're 18-24, you can earn $3 per survey with Pinecone.
- Pinecone – Earn about $3 for each survey you complete.
- Survey Junkie – Earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts and opinions.
- Survey Spot – Earn cash and rewards for filling out surveys and sharing your opinion.
- Opinion Outpost – Earn cash for filling out surveys.
- QuickThoughts App – If you're on your phone and want an easy app to fill out surveys, this is the way to go!
6. Online Coaching or Consulting – Beyond blogging, you can also become a coach or consultant for others, especially if you have some skills that people are looking for. Maybe you're a social media maven, or you have great online business skills. Selling your time and hopping on a Skype call or Google hangout is a great hustle.
A good platform to get started with this is Clarity.fm. You can get paid by the minute for your consulting calls.
7. Online Freelancing – There is a lot of freelance work online. You can sign up for sites like UpWork, or you can even become your own online freelancer like I did. I've made over $10,000 on the side by online freelancing, and I share my story, as well as resources to help you get started, here: How To Start Freelance Blogging and Earn $1,000s on the Side.
One of the more popular ways to make money freelancing right now is by doing SEO consulting. If you're a little savvy and analytical, you can make $75/hr or more. Check out this free SEO Consulting Course to get started.
8. Sell Crafts on Etsy.com – Are you creative? Maybe selling your own creative products is the way to go. You could open a shop on Etsy and sell your crafts to others who are looking for unique products. You could sell paper goods like cards and invitations, or even home decor products themed around the holidays.
9. eBook Publishing – Have a story you want to tell? Maybe you should write an eBook and sell them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Michael Piper has made a living selling eBooks about financial topics online, and we recently wrote 14 Ways To Get Paid For Writing Online.
10. Sell Stock Photos – Perhaps taking pictures is your forte. If you are a great photographer, you could possibly sell your photos online. Sites like iStockPhoto are always looking for contributors, who get paid a royalty every time their photo is purchased. This could be a great way to turn your art into some extra cash.
11. Blogging – Blogging is a great side hustle because you can do it at your own pace anywhere you want. It's not a quick and easy way to make money, but there are a lot of ways to make money side hustling while blogging. You can sell advertising, become an affiliate for other people's products, sell your own online product, and more. It does take time to build up an audience to be able to make a decent amount of money, but once you have a large following, you could earn over $15,000 per month or more (we do).
If you want to start a blog, check out our free guide on How To Start A Personal Website Or Blog. We used Bluehost to start because you get a free domain name and cheap hosting at just $3.95 per month.
12. Do Micro-Tasks on Mechanical Turk – Another micro-task site is Amazon's Mechanical Turk. The gigs on this site pay incredibly low amounts – less than a nickel typically. However, they take seconds, and you can earn around $6 per hour if you keep at it.
13. Do User Testing – Sites like UserTesting.com are always looking for users to rate and give feedback about websites. Website owners post gigs to the site, and you simply login and give feedback and usability ratings on different websites and online apps. You can earn up to $10 for each test you participate in.
14. Create A Course Online – Do you have something you can teach? You can teach something online at sites like Udemy.com. There are courses online for just about anything, and you can charge whatever pricing you feel is right for your instruction.
15. Become a Virtual Assistant – Do you enjoy writing, social media, and blogging, but don't want to start your own blog? You can find virtual assistant jobs where you help other people run their sites and social media accounts. Depending on the amount of time you have, this side hustle could even become a full time gig.
Offline Side Hustling Ideas
Sometimes, working offline when you side hustle is a more lucrative prospect – especially depending on your skill set.
16. Tutor – Are you a college student who has already taken several classes in your major? You could help tutor others in those same classes and earn upwards of $20-$50 per session. It's a great way to side hustle in school, while keeping your own knowledge sharp.
17. Be A Task Rabbit – TaskRabbit.com is a place where you can sign up and run small tasks for others. It can include anything from picking up the groceries to cleaning or helping people move. Typical tasks take a few hours, but there are a lot of tasks available in most large cities.
18. Catering – Do you want to side hustle just on Friday and Saturday nights? Well, you should team up with a catering company, as they often need servers and wait staff just for the events they host on the weekend. Many companies are “call-in”, which means you can work when you choose to.
19. Cleaning Service – If you like to clean, you could help clean houses. These can be ongoing side hustles, like a weekly or bi-weekly service, or one time deals (such as for when people move). You could even join forces with some friends and tackle larger projects.
20. Baby-Sitting – Baby-sitting is another great side hustle that can earn you upwards of $100 per night! Many people start baby sitting in high school, but there's no reason that college students and other young adults can't keep in the game, especially if you have neighbors or relatives with young children.
21. Computer Repair – Are you tech savvy? Maybe you can help your friends and neighbors with computer repair, from updating and installing the latest operating system to helping them get a virus off their computer. If you have the know-how, people will pay.
22. Recycle – Recycling can be a great way to earn some extra money. I'm not talking about becoming a bum at the park rummaging for cans (although you can do that) – I'm talking about encouraging your friends and neighbors to leave their cans and bottles aside for you. If you want to take it up a notch, look for recycling metal and scrap to get even more money.
23. Resume Help – Are you working at a company right now and see a lot of resumes? Do you hire people? Perhaps you can help others with their resumes and cover letters (for a fee, of course). If you want an example of what you can do, check out our Professional Resume Templates For College Students.
24. Dog Walking – Do you have friends or neighbors with dogs? Do they work in the day? Maybe you can offer your services to them as a dog walker. Not only is this a great side hustle that can earn you a little extra cash, but it also gets you exercising every day.
25. Estate Sales – Instead of just selling stuff on eBay, you can also host estate sales. I used to host estate sales online and offline, and it can earn you a nice amount of money if you have customers with a full house of stuff. To be successful, though, you're going to need to get some friends involved to help.
26. Handyman Work – Do you have a knack for home repair? Then you could side hustle as a handyman on nights and weekends to earn a little bit of extra money. Just be up front about your skills set – repairing fences, doing small plumbing jobs, whatever it happens to be.
27. Housesitting – One of the easiest side hustles to do: simply sit and sleep in someone's house while they are out of town. This is a great side hustle, but too bad it's usually not a consistent revenue stream for most.
28. Hauling Service – Do you have a truck? You could sell your services helping other people haul stuff to the dump, or even picking up large items at places like Home Depot. Don't have a truck? You could work at a hauling company and do the manual labor for others.
29. Modeling – This is the side hustle for the good looking people of the world. You can go to school or work, and still take modeling jobs at night and on the weekends. For many models, there isn't always a steady stream of work, but if you have success at a few gigs, this could become very lucrative.
30. Movie or TV Extra – Depending on where you live, you could become an extra on a TV show or movie. Many studios are always looking for a steady stream of extras, and you can get paid a couple hundred dollars for just standing or walking around in the back of a movie set.
31. Mystery Shopping – Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that “Sandwich Artists” are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
32. Pet Sitting – If you love pets, taking care of your friends' and neighbors' pets while they are out of town can be a great way to earn some extra cash. It can be fun to make a new furry friend and get paid for it at the same time.
33. Join A Research Study or Focus Group – Have you walked through a college campus and seen the flyer for research studies and focus groups? Companies are always looking for people's opinions about products and services, and for sitting in one of these groups for a few hours, you could earn upwards of $100.
34. Moving Service – If you have time on the weekends, and are okay lifting heavy boxes and furniture, you could join up with a moving service and get paid to help people move. It's not easy work, but most people tip the movers as well.
35. Gardening Service – A lot of entrepreneurs got their start mowing lawns, and it's still a great side hustle today. If you live in an area where people need gardeners, knock on doors and offer your gardening services. It's a great way to earn some extra cash.
36. Painting Service – Painting services are another common side hustle for college students. If you have time on weekends and during the summer, you can paint houses or join a painting company. It's not easy, but it can pay well in the right neighborhoods.
37. Pool Cleaning Service – Pool cleaning is another one that can be easy money, as long as you know how to do it. Matt Giovanisci started cleaning pools, and then turned it into a great side hustle at SwimUniversity.com.
38. Become Someone's Friend – Join a service like Rentafriend.com, where you can get paid to become someone's friend for a period of time. This is strictly platonic stuff here, so don't get any ideas!
39. Shoveling Snow – In the winter in many parts of the country, this can be a lucrative side hustle.
40. Donate Sperm – Hey, it's a side hustle for some guys, especially younger ones. Don't judge.
41. Donate Plasma – One of the more interesting ways to make money: go to your local blood bank and they will pay you a small fee for your blood plasma.
42. Participate in Medical Studies – One of our favorite unique ways to make money, this can earn you several hundred dollars or more for being a guinea pig. A recent study that a friend participated in was to get her knees numbed over night – a different numbing drug in each knee. She then had to tell the doctor which one wore off first the next morning. Odd, but it paid over $1,000 for one night.
These ideas are a little different than the typical hustle – they are more based on entrepreneurship and asset leveraging to make even more money for you. These can lead to passive income over time if done well.
43. Rent Your House on AirBNB – If you travel a lot, you have the potential to rent out your house while you're away on AirBNB. Paula Pant at AffordAnything.com shares how she is averaging over $500 per month renting out an apartment.
44. Become an Uber or Lyft Driver – Another set-your-own-schedule business is driving people around. All you need is a car and some spare time. Just sign up with Uber or Lyft and start driving people around. You'll make what you put into it. Harry at The Ride Share Guy has a lot of great resources about getting started, including a course about starting to RideShare for Profit.
You could also drive for UberEats and deliver food.
45. Become a PostMate – Similar to Uber or Lyft, except you're delivering food instead of people. PostMates is an on-demand delivery service where you get paid around $20 per hour to deliver food. In fact, right now you are guaranteed to earn $1,000 per 60 deliveries in New York or San Francisco. That's not bad.
46. Agent Anything – Agent Anything is outsourcing geared to students. People post projects on the site and you can make offers for how much you're willing to pay to help. Most gigs on the site earn anywhere from $20 to $100, but some earn more. However, they are usually pretty quick and easy jobs.
47. Renting Out A Room – If you have a spare room in your house, you could make some extra money by renting it out. You have to advertise, screen tenants, and collect rent, but the small amount of time involved could be lucrative.
48. Renting Out Your Garage or Driveway – If you have extra space in your driveway (or side yard), you could rent that space out as well to people looking to store property, like boats or RVs. In many areas, there are HOAs that prevent people from parking this type of equipment, and you could help solve that problem for them while earning a little extra cash.
Hustle At Work
Sometimes, side hustling isn't about starting something else, but it's really about making better use of the job you currently have.
49. Volunteer for Overtime – If you are working at a job, this might not be a true side hustle, but it is a way to earn some extra money fast. In many companies, you can volunteer to work longer and earn extra pay. If you don't have an idea on what side hustle to do right now, this could be an option.
50. Employee Referral Program – Again, not a true side hustle, but a great way to earn extra money. Many companies offer referral programs where you can earn anywhere from $25 to $1,000 per employee you refer. That could go a long way.
51. Tuition Reimbursement Program – Many companies also offer tuition reimbursement programs to help pay for school. Maybe your short term hustle is to better your education. Why not have your company pay for it while you're at it?
52. Get A Part Time Job – Finally, if you don't want to work for yourself, go spend your time hustling for someone else at a part time job. While not ideal for some, it can be a great way to earn some extra money in your spare time.
Have you tried any of these side hustles? What's worked for you and what hasn't? What did you use the extra money for?