Are you looking to bring in some extra dough this year? Don’t want to lose your dough during a recession?
Check out my guide to unconventional side hustles for making extra cash from the comfort of your own home.
3 years ago, I quit my job to travel the world, and it turned out to be a pretty sweet deal. What started as a side gig became a successful travel blog.
But before I left my job to travel, I was barely making ends meet. I had to learn how to make extra money online while working a day job so I could afford to chase my dreams.
While I’ve shared a bunch of examples of travel-friendly jobs, some of you are looking for other ways to make extra money from home. Maybe you already have a day job, or you’re a college student, or a stay-at-home parent, or a recent retiree. Or maybe you’re just afraid of losing your current job soon and want to work from home.
Well, I’ve got a list of unique ways to make extra cash on the side, and you won’t believe some of the stuff people are doing to bring in the dough!
Creative Side Hustles To Make Extra Money This Year
Rent out your car
Car rental side hustle idea
The gig economy is always coming up with creative ways for regular folks to make some extra cash. If you own a car, you can make some easy money by renting it out through an app called Turo.com. And don’t worry, every car gets a $1 million insurance policy, plus they pre-screen drivers, so your car will be in good hands. How much money can you make? It depends on the car, where it’s located, and how much you decide to charge. This guy makes over $1,000 per month per car (he has a fleet now).
Become a virtual bookkeeper
Do bookkeeping for others online.
Every small business needs a bookkeeper to keep track of income and expenses, so the business owner can focus on running the business. And you don’t need to be a professional accountant to become a bookkeeper! Competent bookkeepers can handle multiple clients and make a good side income while working from home, since most financial information can be tracked online these days. With just three to four clients, a part-time (10 hours per week) bookkeeper can make an extra $10,000 a year. Bonus points if you’re good with numbers!
Dress up like Jesus?!
This guy records videos of himself dressed as Jesus, praising whatever you want him to. Your company. Your song. Anything! And he’s making bank, charging at least $10 with over 10,000 sales so far. I’m not saying you should copy him, just get creative! Fiverr is a website where people will pay you to do the weirdest things.
Recharge electric scooters
Renting electric scooters has become big business in cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, Paris, and Nashville. Companies like Bird and Lime hire regular people to pick them up and recharge them overnight in their homes, and then drop them off on the street the next morning. The reward for finding and charging each scooter is between $5 and $20, and it’s like a fun GPS scavenger hunt, competing against other “bird hunters” or “lime juicers.” If you have a truck or van and can grab 10 scooters each night, that’s an extra $50 to $100+ per day!
Cookin’ Up Some Cash
Are you a master chef, or at least decent at whipping up some grub? Well, you could make some extra dough by teaching others how to cook! You could teach kids, retiree types, or even clueless husbands (like me) how to make a tasty and healthy meal. Just ask Jan Pinnington, who started teaching her kids how to cook back in 2012. Before she knew it, other parents were paying her to teach their kids too. She saw an opportunity, moved her classes to a local community center, and boom! Successful business.
Sell your Cooking classes for tourists on GetYourGuide!
Get Paid to be a Grammar Nerd
This one’s for all you grammar fanatics out there! Proofreading involves going over someone else’s writing and fixing all the punctuation, formatting, and other errors. You could even proofread court transcripts and help court reporters earn more cash by focusing on their strong suit (typing fast during legal proceedings) and hiring others to proofread. Just ask Caitlin Pyle, who made $43k a year as a freelance proofreader working 20-30 hours a week. Plus, you can work as much or as little as you want.
Tutor Your Way to Extra Money
Who would’ve thought there are so many people out there looking for professional tutors? Foreign students trying to improve their English, high school kids prepping for college exams like the SAT or ACT, or even the traditional homework tutor. And get this – some businessmen in Hong Kong and the Middle East are willing to pay up to $25 an hour for someone to chat with them in English to improve their skills. All you need is a wifi connection and Skype, and boom – you can tutor students from anywhere in the world.
Blog Your Way to the Bank
Okay, I might be a little biased on this one since I’ve been making a living off my blog for the past 10 years. But seriously, if you want to share your knowledge and maybe even entertain some people, starting a blog is the way to go (plus, you can make some extra cash). Whether your passion is travel, food, fashion, home improvement, hiking, or fitness, a blog allows you to turn your hobby into an online business. And there are several ways to make money from a blog, like selling advertising space, promoting affiliate products and earning commissions, selling your own products and courses, or even using your blog as a launchpad for book deals and speaking gigs. Just be aware that starting a blog is easy, but turning it into a successful business takes time.
Write an Ebook and Make Some Benjamins
Before I quit my job to travel the world, I made a small online business selling ebooks. It’s basically just packaging your knowledge into a useful handbook and selling it online in a digital format, like a PDF or on the Amazon Marketplace. But writing the ebook is just the beginning – you also have to learn how to promote it using advertising, content marketing, blogging, social media, etc.
Get Paid to Write Stuff
Do you enjoy writing? Then you might be able to make some extra cash as a freelance writer or copywriter. You’ll be crafting text for others, and if you’re good, you can earn a decent income on the side. I’ve written for online publications like the Travel Channel and Weather.com in the past. Freelance writing can pay anywhere from $0.10 to $1 per word, or $50 to $1000 per article. Just be sure to know how to craft a proper pitch, and check out this huge list of companies that hire freelance writers.
Transcribe and Caption Videos for Cash
If you haven’t noticed, online video has exploded in recent years. YouTube and Facebook both have their own huge video platforms, and video creators know that transcribing their audio into text and adding captions can help get their uploads noticed. If you’re a fast typist, you can make extra money transcribing what people are saying in these videos through a few companies that specialize in this service. The pay is around $10 per hour.
Sell Your Teaching Plans to Other Teachers
Are you a grade school or high school teacher? If so, thank you for your service! You might already be aware of TeachersPayTeachers.com, a site that lets you sell your amazing lesson plans to other teachers around the country. It was created by a New York City public school teacher who saw that his class performed best when he mixed in unique lesson plans and ideas from other teachers with his own. The site offers full curriculums, assignments, and videos for sale to fellow teachers, tutors, and homeschoolers.
Sell your Digital Products on the biggest Marketplace, Etsy.
Become a Virtual Assistant and Work from Anywhere
As the world becomes more connected online, more tasks can be accomplished without face-to-face meetings. This has created a demand for “virtual assistants”, or online personal assistants who help business owners with tasks they can’t do themselves. This can include data entry, social media management, formatting, editing, online research, email management, graphic design, booking travel, and more. Virtual assistants can earn between $15 and $35 per hour.
Teach Your Expertise Online
If you’re an expert on something, chances are there’s an audience out there willing to pay for your knowledge. We’ve already talked about turning your skills into an ebook, but there’s another way to teach certain topics: by creating an online course. I’m a big fan of courses and tutorials, and I’ve learned so much about online business and photography through them. Even though there’s a lot of free information on the internet these days, having someone organize it into an easy-to-follow format (with video!) is often worth the investment.
Translate Languages and Get Paid
Do you speak another language fluently? Then you might be able to make some extra money by translating websites, books, presentations, and more from your computer. My friend Alexandra makes up to six figures as a freelance translator, translating English to Spanish and allowing her to travel while she works. You’ll need to build up some experience first, though.
Start Your Own YouTube Channel
Do you have any favorite YouTubers that you like to watch? Millions of people tune into YouTube every day to be entertained or learn something new. And there’s a lot of money to be made. Now, making money on YouTube isn’t a “get rich quick” thing, it takes time and practice. I have my own YouTube channel about adventure travel. If you’re passionate about a certain topic (like video games, travel, cooking, science, parenting, sports, etc.) and can put together creative videos, you might have a chance to earn money on YouTube. Some ways to make extra money on YouTube include displaying advertising, promoting affiliate products, getting brand sponsorships, and receiving Patreon donations.
Become A Social Media Influencer
Do you have a large following on social media? It may be time to monetize your platform! Companies are willing to pay influencers to be the face of their brand, promoting products or destinations. While it may start with freebies, it can eventually lead to thousands of dollars per post on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and blogs.
There are plenty of opportunities to earn extra income on social media, like the Amazon Influencers Program, ShopStyle Collective, and Izea Creators.
Pet Sitting & House Sitting
Do you love spending time with cute dogs and cats? Now you can get paid for it! As a pet sitter, you can take care of other people’s furry friends while they’re away for work. Pet sitting apps like Rover offer an average of $16 per 30 minute visit, which adds up to about $32 an hour. Or, you can try house sitting for people through sites like Trusted House Sitters, where you get to travel to exotic locations in exchange for taking care of their pets.
Amazon Furniture Assembly
Did you know that Amazon hires independent contractors to assemble their furniture? If you’re handy with tools and have some spare time, you could earn $2000-$6000 a month assembling furniture for Amazon. Plus, you can choose your own schedule, working evenings or weekends if you have a day job. Just make sure to get a business license and insurance before getting started.
Become A Local Tour Guide
Do you love your city and want to show it off to others? Local tour guides are in high demand in tourist hotspots around the world. One unique way to do this is by offering free walking tours and collecting tips from happy customers. As a GuRuWalk city guide, you can lead groups on free walks around the city, and if they enjoy it, you get to keep any tips. Or, you can try offering unique travel experiences through GetYourGuide.
Sell your City Tours on GetYourGuide!
Sell Freelance Photography
Do you have a passion for photography? Why not turn it into a profitable career by selling your services as a freelance photographer? You can offer portrait, wedding, or stock photography services, or even sell your photos on stock photography websites. Make sure to build a strong portfolio and market yourself to attract potential clients.
Food delivery side job
If you don’t feel like interacting with people, but still want to make some extra money on the side, food delivery could be the perfect gig for you. With the increasing popularity of restaurant takeout delivery apps like UberEats, Deliveroo and GrubHub, there’s a huge demand for drivers to deliver food to customers. All you need is your own mode of transportation, whether it’s a car, bike, or scooter. You can set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want. Plus, you’ll get to explore different neighborhoods and try out new restaurants as you deliver orders.
Become A Substitute Teacher
If you enjoy teaching and have a passion for education, becoming a substitute teacher could be a great side hustle for you. Many schools across the country are in need of substitute teachers to cover for absent teachers on a short-term or long-term basis. Depending on the school district, you may need to obtain a certification or complete training courses in order to qualify for this role. However, in some cases, a high school diploma may be sufficient. If you’re interested in becoming a substitute teacher, you can contact your local school district or check their website for specific instructions on how to apply. This gig is a great way to flex your teaching skills and make a positive impact on students’ lives, even if it’s just on a temporary basis.
Need a little extra cash on the side?
Look no further than these odd jobs and chores! TaskRabbit connects you to people in need of a helping hand and is willing to pay you for it. From cleaning and moving to home improvements, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. All you have to do is register online, attend an info session in your city and start tasking! You can set your own hours and rate of pay.
Love creating arts and crafts?
Sell your artwork online! You can ship your creations (paintings, custom furniture, knitting patterns, etc.) or email a digital copy to your customers if you’re not able to manage the postage. Etsy gives you access to millions of customers around the world and provides powerful marketing tools to help you grow your following and income.
Want to work for Amazon?
Amazon Flex is a package delivery platform that lets you be your own boss and set your own schedule. You can make between $18-$25 per hour just by delivering packages. Once you’ve registered online, you let them know when you’re available, then you pick up packages and deliver them. It’s easy to monitor your earnings through their app.
Looking for quick and easy ways to make some extra cash?
Donating plasma could be a great option for you!
Not only will you be helping to create medical products that save lives, but you can earn up to $400 a month by donating plasma twice a week. The process only takes about 90 minutes and while there are a few risks involved, such as bruising or scarring, it’s a simple and easy way to make some extra money. If you’re interested, check out popular plasma donation centers like Nu Plasma, BioLife, and CSL Plasma.
Sell Your Unused Gift Cards
Got a stack of unused gift cards collecting dust? Why not sell them for cash on sites like Cardpool or Raise. These sites allow you to sell your gift cards for a small fee, and you can get paid through PayPal or direct deposit.
This is a quick and easy way to earn some extra money if you have gift cards that you’re not using. Just be aware that you may not get the full value of the card, as the site will take a percentage as a service fee.