Many people could use some extra income these days. Unfortunately, enthusiasm tends to wane when talk shifts to getting a second job. It’s a hassle to seek out and apply for the jobs, and it’s even more of a pain to come home from your main job, wolf down dinner and then head out the door for another shift of work. Even if you don’t have to work nights, you’ll likely have to give up your weekends and that’s not fun, either. Even freelancing in your current occupation can seem like a “job,” particularly if you don’t love what you do to start with.
Fortunately, there are ways to generate extra income without getting a second job. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work at all (they don’t just give money away, after all), but it is possible to make extra money without having to deliver pizza at night. Here are some ideas.
If you have a hobby you love, find a way to monetize it. If you are passionate about something it won’t seem like a dreaded job. Chances are you’re pursuing the activity anyway because you enjoy it, so why not make some money off of it?
You can sell the stuff you no longer need on eBay or have a yard sale. If you run out of your own stuff to sell, sell other people’s stuff. Scan trash piles for things in good condition that you can resell or buy items cheap at yard sales, fix them up, and sell them for a profit.
There are quite a few opportunities to make money from drug studies. Most people wrongly assume that these studies are only looking for people that have the medical conditions that the drugs are supposed to treat, but this isn’t the case. In fact, the studies that pay the most are for healthy individuals (Phase 1 studies) where the medical companies need people to take new medication being tested to document any side effects.
Investing is a great way to generate passive income. Once you build a decent portfolio, it will make money without much work on your part, either in the form of gains or dividends. Even CD’s and savings accounts can generate extra income in the form of interest. Those who have saved aggressively often achieve “financial independence” where they reach a point where they no longer have to work because the income coming from their investments is enough to sustain them.
Grants or Scholarships
If you need money for school, look into scholarships and grants. These may require you to do some research or complete a project to receive the money, but many have no strings. Even if you’re not in school, you may be able to find a grant to support you while you work on an invention, novel, artwork, or other endeavor.
Own Part of a Business
Maybe you don’t want to own and run a business of your own, but if you can find a solid business that is looking for investors, this can be a way to make some extra money. Typically you invest in the business and then you receive a portion of the profits in return. If you know someone who is a great chef and opening her own restaurant, for example, you might want to back her efforts in exchange for some of her profits. Just make sure you can afford to lose the money you invest in case the business tanks, and make sure you get a good lawyer to draw up the contracts. This isn’t the sort of thing you want to do over the kitchen table, even if you’re great friends with the business owner. Make it legal.
You can either enter contests of chance that rely on your name being drawn to win, or you can enter contests that are skill based, like art or cooking contests. Either way it can be a way to get some extra cash or other useful items.
Rewards Sites and Surveys
If you have some spare time, you can make some extra cash doing online surveys and focus groups. There are also “Get Paid To” (GPT) sites that pay you for things like clicking on links, shopping through their links, watching videos, or doing other tasks such as wrapping your car with advertisements. Some reward sites are great and some get paid to opportunities are scams, so you have to be careful. If you proceed carefully, you can make some side money doing this.
Become a Landlord
If you can afford to buy a second house, duplex, or apartment building, you can make money as a landlord. While you do have to deal with maintenance issues and tenant complaints, being a landlord can bring in a substantial second income. Just make sure you protect yourself legally.
Royalties or Passive Income
Many things generate passive income in the form of royalty payments. Books, songs, and artwork are the ones people usually think of, but passive income comes from anything that you do once, but which continues to generate money. Maybe you took some great photos and now you sell them online so that others can use them in their projects. Maybe you designed some clip art or web graphics and you sell those. A blog with advertising can generate passive income years after you wrote the post. Think of something that you can do once and then sell so you can generate that passive income.
Do Something Else You Enjoy
Maybe you don’t have a hobby you love and you hate your day job, but chances are there’s something out there that excites you. Maybe you’d be a great blogger or author of e-books. Maybe you’d love to tutor or help kids with SAT prep. There are lots of things you can do from home part-time, you just have to find something that you want to do. If you love it, it won’t seem like a job.
You don’t have to spend your days traveling to several jobs if you need to make some extra money. There are many things you can do that don’t require a second “real” job. Think creatively about your hobbies, passions and investments and then find ways to make those earn money for you.
(Photo courtesy of AMagill)