Budgets are tight for many people right now. With rising unemployment, a tough economy, many of us still in lockdown, not to mention a whole boatload of fear, uncertainty and doubt, many folks find themselves searching for extra ways to earn cash at home. With that in mind, we’ve identified 11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash from Home – easy ways to get your side hustle on. Good luck out there.
What you will learn in this article:
- How to earn meaningful amounts of extra cash with a side hustle or extra job or activity
- Emphasis on things you can do from your home
- Real, practical ideas on how to generate some extra cash
- Ideas on how to get started including links and tips
- What you learn here applies whether you have a job or not
Everyone’s definition of “meaningful amounts of cash” is different. However, for the purposes of this article we’ve set the threshold at an extra “couple of hundred dollars” a month or more (ideally MUCH more…like a couple of extra grand a month).
Nickels make dollars and we are not saying that $5 bucks here and $20 bucks there doesn’t make a difference, because it can, this is just not that article. There are plenty of schemes, approaches, and ideas to generate some extra cash in that range, but again, this ain’t that article.
Additionally, we are not setting the bar too high, because if you are really looking for ways to pick up some extra cash a few hundred bucks a month will matter.
What you won’t learn:
- Passive income…nothing wrong with passive income, but this article doesn’t address that topic (at least not directly)
- Multilevel marketing schemes…F$#&* those…
- How to earn money quick…that doesn’t work (I guess you could sell drugs, but that’d be dumb)
- How to earn money with out working…doesn’t exist
- Gimmicky stuff, cheap tricks, low-end rinky dink stuff (like taking survey, donating bodily fluids, etc)
I’ve built the list of 11 Ways to Earn around practical ideas to earn meaningful amounts of cash, not silly, gimmicky ways and I’ve intentionally avoided methods that require large capital investments or gigantic loans (e.g. owning multiple properties, etc). In theory, you should be able to start earning cash relatively quickly with these methods and without a massive outlay of cash or time.
You will, however, still have to work hard. Ok, let’s get into the our methods.
Earn Extra Cash from Home
For several years now I’ve made it a point to diversify my income streams. At almost any given time I’ve had at least 3 streams of income, sometimes more. For me it’s been:
- My primary day job (and the source of most of my income)
- Adjunct faculty member at a University
- Writing of some sort (freelance, press, and for the last few years, this blog!)
At other points of my life I’ve also had income streams that included:
- Spec homes
- Slumlord (not really, but I have owned multiple rental homes)
- Cryptocurrency trader
- IT consultant to local companies
- Drug dealer (not really…just seeing if you are paying attention)
- EBay/Craiglist seller
- Build and sold custom industrial furniture
I’ve had mixed results with these methods, but all of them have, at some point, generated some additional income and a few have crashed and burned.
In general, it has been good practice to diversify your income streams. In today’s economy this is more important than ever. If you are looking for some extra ways to make meaningful amounts of money, I share some practical ideas to get you started.
Alright, let’s dig into 11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash from Home.
Find an Online / Work from Home Part Time Job
The simplest way to generate additional revenue from home is to find a part time job that lets you work from home. As we have seen, much of the world shifted nearly immediately to a work-from-home model. The tools, technologies and mindsets to support workers working from home has reached a tipping point.
But, since this is about earning extra cash from home, let’s assume you already have a job and need to generate some additional cash. Part time work from home jobs exist and can easily generate meaningful amounts of extra cash.
The types of part time jobs you can do from home vary (and new ones are being created frequently), but here’s a few common ones to consider:
- Call Center Agent – Companies have been letting their front line call center staff work remotely for years. In recent times this evolved into allowing employees to work directly from home. Part time jobs, shift work, odd hours and more are all options. A quick search on Indeed.com shows over 2000 Part Time Work From Home Call Center Jobs!
- Sales – Part time sales agents are a growing sector of business. Particularly in the areas of lead generation and cold calling. If you have a knack for talking to people, consider a part time sales job that lets you work from home.
- Amazon.com is a category in and of itself! With over 90,000 employees (and a strained workforce that’s busier than ever right now) Amazon continues to hire. Jobs exist in a variety of categories including call center, HR, IT, Sales and more. Unfortunately, most are full time, but they include a variety of shifts. Visit their virtual work center here.
- Data Entry – entry level data entry jobs that allow workers to be at home, work part time, and shift work can easily be found. A simple search on Google Jobs reveal thousands of open positions. If you are looking to pick up some extra cash from home, this could be a great way to go if you are seeking something that’s not overly challenging or that doesn’t much more than basic computer productivity skills.
We could go on, but the single quickest way to generate the most amount of income is likely to pick up an extra part time job that allows you to work from home. It may mean long hours (on top of your current job) and probably some weird hours, but it will get the cash flowing and sometimes that’s what’s most important.
Become an online instructor
One surefire way to generate some extra cash from home is to teach classes. This is a method I’ve been employing since the early 2000’s where I made the jump from teaching part time in-classroom college classes to 100% online.
As an online adjunct faculty member I teach anywhere from 4 to 8 classes a year which earns me $10,000 to $20,000 in extra cash every year. This is on top of my day job (which is a travel job, mind you) and I can do it from home or hotel. Typically, adjunct faculty members must have at a minimum a Master’s Degree, although some junior colleges have relaxed this requirement. You can get started on your adjunct journey by visiting Higher Ed Jobs or by searching open positions on the careers page for each school.
Teaching classes isn’t limited to the college domain either. Digital Nomads have been self funding their lifestyles for many years by teaching English as a Second Language classes. Check out the website TeachAway.com for more information.
If you are feeling particularly industrious you can create your own classes and sell them. This is often done as part of a blog monetization strategy (e.g. selling an SEO class, or knitting class, etc). For example, the Blogging Like you Mean It site offers a variety of classes including affiliate marketing. And Digital Nomad Wannabe has some great examples of the kinds of classes you can build and sell (or take). There’s a decent amount of work here to make this happen, but it can pay big dividends if it takes off.
Start a blog
This blog generates thousands of dollars a month for me in extra cash flow. Sure, it’s a lot of work, and it’s not easy, but if done right, a blog can become a meaningful money maker for folks looking to generate some extra cash. Most bloggers will not make enough to quit their job and blog full time (although some have done that!) but it can generate some extra cash. Blogging also has the side effect of scratching your creative itch which can be therapeutic in and of itself.
Startup blog costs can be relatively low…in the hundreds per year, while profits can typically climb above $500/mo in a few months if you do it right (and much more if you really do it right). Doing it right is easier said than done. There are a lot of bloggers who fail because they don’t invest the time and effort in the right things. They don’t pick a good niche, they don’t learn SEO and they fail to understand how to monetize a blog. But, it can be done and CAN BE VERY PROFITABLE.
There are entire blogs dedicated to starting a blog so rather than regurgitate that here, I am sharing a few links worth checking out:
- Nomadic Matt’s How to Become a Travel Blogger
- Digital Nomad Wannabe – how to become a blogger
- Blogging Basics 101
Become a freelance writer
Not all writers blog. In fact, many don’t. For many years before starting this blog I simply wrote and submitted articles to various online magazines, journals and blogs. It was not uncommon to earn several hundred dollars an article, many times far more.
Becoming a freelance writer is easy. Becoming a successful freelance writer – one that makes money – is a bit more difficult. First, you need to be able to write. Seems obvious..
You don’t have to be a great writer, just good enough and have a good editor.
Second, you need to find your writing niche. Is it technical? Editorial? Travel? Finance? Newsy? Pick something you know a little bit about and that you will enjoy writing about.
Third, create a portfolio. Ideally, a small website or LinkedIn page, or something that talks about who you are as a writer, what you’ve published, etc.
Fourth, find publications that accept entries from Freelance writers. Learn the rules of submission. Read the tone and type of articles they publish. Validate whether your ideas or specific topics have been covered already and start writing.
That’s the 5th step…start writing. And keep writing. Freelance writing is about hustling and writing. And hustling. There are dollars to be made here. With a reasonable investment of time (20 hrs a month), little to no monetary investment (other than maybe a decent computer) and a lot of gumption you can kick start your freelance writing career and potentially earn some extra cash along the way.
One final pro tip: If you are a brand new writer with little to no history of writing you can build a portfolio of writing on places like Medium and LinkedIn which allows you to publish whatever you want…for free. And that “free” works both ways. You won’t get paid, nor do you have to pay to submit your article (although, it is worth noting you can make money on Medium). Use these platforms to develop your writing style and voice while building out a writing portfolio.
Here’s a few ideas on where to consider submitting your articles for publication:
- WHERE TO SUBMIT WRITING 2019: 50 AWESOME WEBSITES FOR WRITING SUBMISSIONS
- 30 Websites that Will Pay You to Write
Become a Proofreader
If you can’t write, you might be able to edit. And if the writing has dried up or you’ve caught yourself a bad case of writer’s block, proofreading can be an excellent way to generate some extra cash. The good news is that this is a service in high demand. The folks at Hear Me Folks suggest that good proofreaders can earn between $30k – $40k a year.
There are many websites proofreaders can use to find work. Fiverr and UpWork (both of which are discussed below) are good if you are just getting started and want to build some work history. Two places for more experienced (and thus more pay…) proofreading gigs are:
Sell your services on Fiverr (or UpWork, etc)
Sites like Fiverr and UpWork connect independent freelancers with businesses and people in need of affordable services. From content writing, to proofreading, editing, technical work, design, graphics, logo design and more, you can sell your unique skills and earn some extra cash along the way.
These platforms are competitive and often (especially when you are getting started) it’s a race to the bottom for pricing, but, if you can build up your portfolio, deliver a great product, and provide excellent customer service you can be reasonably successful.
Here’s a few ideas on how to be successful on these platforms:
- 15 Ways To Make Money On Fiverr
- 3 Ways to Make Money With Fiverr
- New Freelancers: How to Make Money on Upwork
Start an Amazon FBA Business
The Fulfillment by Amazon Business, aka Amazon FBA Business, is a potentially lucrative way to bring your products to massive amounts of consumers without having to build your own website/storefront. Make A Website Hub notes, “Essentially, entrepreneurs, like you, can act like a major corporation, but without the headaches of actually being one. You spend your time searching for profitable products and Amazon handles the rest on your behalf.“
This business is not for the faint of heart. Amazon doesn’t mess around. They are not interested in low quality or sketchy companies. There’s a fair amount of rules to abide by, but the juice is worth the squeeze, as they say, if you can make it work.
The trickiest parts to running your own Amazon FBA business including finding a niche you can be competitive in and establishing your suppliers (or where you are going to purchase your products). The downside for cash strapped individuals is that you will have to make some sort of up front investment here in purchasing your inventory. Depending on your niche it could be substantial (e.g. computers…btw…a terrible niche to sell on Amazon) or something much smaller or unique.
That said, a successful FBA business could earn you 3k+ or more…lots more. My wife’s eBay business / eCommerce business (discussed in the next section) has moved completely to Amazon’s FBA model and generates several thousand a month with very low effort on her part (disclosure: she already has the inventory).
- Get started with an Amazon FBA business (not an affiliate link)
- How To Start An Amazon FBA Business As A Side Income
- Guide to Starting a ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ Business
Re-sell items on eBay, Craigslist, LetGo, etc
My lovely wife built a massive business selling hats over the internet. At it’s peak it was easily pulling in a gross income of 20k a month. And it was a part time job (during the Christmas season it was a full time job, family included). Her business not only started on eBay, but continued to thrive on eBay even as she built out her own eCommerce site.
These stories are not uncommon. Success on eBay is not as hard as other platforms if you can source good products, sell competitively and provide good customer service. eBay isn’t what it once was, but there’s still room for the little guy and it can be a decent way to make some extra cash each month. And it’s not just eBay. Craiglist and LetGo, as well as Facebook Marketplace, are great platforms to sell your products to global AND local buyers.
There’s a couple of ways you could with this cash making scheme:
- Resell stuff you already own to generate some short term cash
- Buy 2nd hand stuff, fix it up and resell it (sort of like American Pickers, but it doesn’t have to be that involved…or even old stuff. Just something you can get a good price on and either resell or conduct minor repairs and then resell
- Find a supplier and resell new products. This is the approach my wife took and it eventually involved her establishing reseller agreements with major suppliers. This is the big time…but it didn’t start that way. It started much smaller and simply exploded.
Don’t forget the local markets either. Maybe eBay isn’t your thing. As I noted, LetGo, CraigsList and Facebook Marketplace help match local sellers with local buyers. It could be as simple as selling that old boxing bag you have in your garage to someone who will actually use it (I actually did this, btw…for about $100), or more involved. The beauty of these methods for making extra cash is you can go at your own pace.
Make and sell items on Etsy
I have a bit of a creative streak and grew up familiar with woodworking so I tried my hand at building some furniture to sell on Etsy. The furniture was great (really nice, industrial looking stuff) but I just couldn’t get any traction with it on Etsy. My experience may not be yours.
Clearly, I didn’t put enough effort into the entire gamut of what it takes to be successful on Etsy. But, there are many (many!) successful stories of folks making extra cash, even making full time living, by selling their hand made goods on Etsy. Here’s some ideas that will help you do better than I did:
- Top 30 Tips for Selling on Etsy From the Pros
- 7 Steps to a Successful Start on Etsy
- How to Be Successful on Etsy
Become a virtual assistant
With more and more jobs moving online the need for virtual assistant’s has skyrocketed. Where I see this most prevalent is in the field of blogging. Many bloggers supplement their own blog’s income by functioning as a virtual assistant for other bloggers. Tasks often include: creating and pinning pins on Pinterest, creating graphics, editing, blogging, social media management, email list management and more.
VA’s are not limited just to bloggers, mind you. Many companies need part time help “doing the books” or managing a website, booking appointments or the myriad of other tasks that small business owners run into. Many times the owners are not able to hire a full time employee, but a part time employee could be just what they need.
- These 8 Websites Will Help You Find Flexible Work as a Virtual Assistant
- How to Become a Virtual Assistant: A Step by Step Guide to Earning $25+/hr
Become a day trader
If you have a little bit of money laying around, a good understanding of numbers, the aptitude for technical analysis and a dedicated time slot, you could make a decent amount of money. For example, The Balance notes that “…a part-time trader may find that they can make $500 per day on average, trading during only the best two to three hours of the day.”
You will need a good quality computer to pull this off – a slow PC will make your trading experience pretty sucky! Here’s some more tips on how to become a part time day trader:
Summary of the 11 Way to Earn Extra Cash From Home
I’ve summarized the 11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Home for easy consumption here:
- Find an Online / Work from Home Part Time Job
- Become an online instructor
- Sell your services on Fiverr
- Start a blog
- Become a freelance writer
- Start an Amazon FBA Business
- Re-sell items on eBay, Craigslist, LetGo?
- Make and sell items on Etsy
- Become a virtual assistant
- Become a day trader
Thanks, Be Safe, and Always Be Hustling
It’s tough right now. Hard times, as they say. But, what are you gonna do about it? Sulk? Twiddle your thumbs? Or…hustle! My dad taught me an important precept a long time ago when he told me to “do something even if it’s wrong!” He meant to be bold and try things even if you didn’t fully understand it. To keep moving forward. Pushing. Trying. Never giving up.
Right now is exactly the time for that mindset! If you are trying to make some extra cash at home, use the ideas I’ve shared here to kick start your side hustle. Go get ’em.
Still Bored? Try these
Like many of us, you are probably struggling to find your new normal. Perhaps you’ve done that and are simply bored. We’ve got your back. Here’s a ton of recent content that revolves around what’s facing us today, including working from home ideas, what to watch, things to read, and how to avoid boredom. Enjoy.