8 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money
These jobs can beef up your bank account, and you choose the hours you want to work
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Who doesn’t want to make money?
“Surveys are very clear that the majority of boomers would like to work when they leave their big job, but would like to do so in a more flexible way,” says Nancy Collamer, a Next Avenue blogger on work and purpose, author of Second Act Careers and founder of MyLifestyleCareer. “I call it semi-retired because it’s a bridge between working a full-time job and full-out retirement.” These jobs won’t necessarily earn you enough to make a living, but they will put extra money in your pocket. “I’m a fan of things that are scalable,” Collamer said. “You can build them up in terms of your needs — work a lot or a little. It’s up to you.”
So whether you’re someone who is retired and looking to make extra cash or you’re still working full-time but want to boost your income, these flexible jobs might be for you:
1. Specialty Tour Guide
Do you know your city like the back of your hand? Are you able to point to all the best bakeries or brew pubs? Being a tour guide for small groups might be for you. Customized tours of cities and towns are on the rise, with people looking for meaningful experiences — and you could be the person to provide that experience. Check out online sites like Vayable.com and ToursByLocals.com where you can list your speciality — perhaps it's a walking tour of city landmarks, or a tour of the best ice cream your city has to offer.
How much you'll make: $50 to $300 or more per tour. If you go through a website like the ones listed, they'll take a percentage of your fee — somewhere around 15 percent to 20 percent.
If you’re retired and have time during the day, just take a look around. Your neighborhood may be the perfect place to earn some extra cash. Depending upon your community demographics, offering baby-sitting, dog-walking, pet-sitting or even errand-running services could not only bring in extra income but also help you get to know your neighbors.
If you need a little help getting started, companies like Care.com — an online caregiving destination with more than 8 million members — can help you find part-time gigs for all of the above and more. To learn more about pet-sitting, also check out Pet Sitters International, and if you're looking for baby-sitting work, visit Rent-A-Grandma or SitterCity. With sites like these, all you need to do is fill out a profile online and you’ll be able to exchange messages with families that are looking for help.
How much you'll make: $10 to $20 an hour. If you go through a company, you may pay a sign-up fee or commission.
3. Host a Houseguest
"The sharing economy, where individuals provide services that were traditionally provided for by companies, is coming up big time and will continue to boom," says Marc Miller, career coach and founder of Career Pivot. So if you have an extra bedroom or area in or outside your home — think a room over the garage or carriage a house — renting it out or renting out your whole home may be a way to make extra money, particularly if you live in a travel destination.
To get started with a site like AirBnB, all you have to do is set up an account and post photos as well as descriptions about the space and your area. You manage the price you want to charge, the bookings from start to finish, determine the lengths of stay and can even decide not to rent to someone if you don’t want to.
How much you'll make: $100 or more per day, and substantially more if you live in a popular travel location. If you use a company for bookings, it will generally take a percentage (around 3 percent) of the fee.
It used to be that if someone wanted to get somewhere without driving, he or she would hire a taxi. Now, there are many other options like Uber and Lyft, which means those companies need drivers, says Miller. As a driver, you use your own car and once you've passed the background check and met the requirements, you can hit the road and pick up passengers. Drivers are notified of fares via the company's cell phone app and you can decide your hours.
How much you'll make: Drivers typically earn $15 to $20 an hour, with the company taking a 20 percent cut.
If driving people isn't for you, and you own a car but don’t use it that much, you can earn up to $1,000 a month by renting it out. Turo accepts passenger cars registered in the U.S. (except N.Y.) that are model year 1990 or newer and have a fair market value of up to $50,000.
What’s more, owners list their car on the site, set availability, pick a rental price and screen drivers. They also receive $1 million in liability insurance coverage and 24-hour roadside assistance. Just remember to read the fine print and talk to an insurance agent about coverage before signing up.
5. Chore Helper
Your favorite hobbies — like gardening, woodworking or even giving furniture a fresh coat of paint — can lead to extra income.
People don’t always have time to pull weeds or plant flowers, so if you’re someone who enjoys putting his or her hands in the dirt, simple gardening may be a valuable service for you and your neighbors. Painting is another one of those seemingly mundane tasks that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. On sites like Taskrabbit, you can get paid for helping people with chores like painting, yard work, cleaning, and lots of other household tasks.
How much you'll make: $15 to $150 or more per hour depending on the chore and skill level involved.
6. Mock Juror
Are you glued to the television the moment you hear the Law & Order theme song? You may want to consider signing up to be an online mock juror. Sites like eJury and OnlineVerdict give prosecutors the opportunity to “pre-try” cases before they take them to court for an actual jury to hear.
Payment, qualifications and time spent on each case vary per site, so it’s worth reading the fine print before you sign up.
How much you'll make: $20 to $60 per trial.
If you're someone who is interested in rituals and spirituality, being a celebrant/officiant is a job to consider. Typically not religiously affiliated, officiants preside over meaningful occasions such as weddings, divorce ceremonies and pet funerals. To be a celebrant you need to go through a certificate program. A good place to start is the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.
How much you'll make: $100 or more per ceremony.
8. Sell Your Stuff
Do you dread cleaning your closet or hold on to things you never wear? Well, you may think twice once those forgotten frocks turn into dollar signs. Selling gently used clothes and accessories at consignment shops, like Plato’s Closet, is an easy way to quickly make some extra money.
If it’s more than just clothes you’re willing to part with, Craigslist and eBay are still fairly simple ways to make a quick sale. Sellers beware, though. Depending what you’re hocking, the competition can be fierce. The keys to successfully selling your wares are often specific to what you’re offering. A few general pointers to keep in mind:
—Post pictures of the item
—Write a detailed description of what you’re selling
—Set a fair, competitive price
—Be courteous and respond to potential buyers quickly and kindly
How much you'll make: A few dollars to several hundred dollars — it all depends on how much stuff you sell, and the condition it's in.