Who can’t use some extra money each month? Whether you already work full time or you are loving on your little ones as a stay-at-home parent, you can make money in your spare time and earn at least $500 a month even if you don’t have any special skills or college degrees.
When my kids were little, I wanted to be with them instead of having them in daycare all day, but my husband was working in a field that did not pay very well and just beginning his career. We needed some extra cash each month to make ends meet, so I decided to find some ways to earn as much as I could on the side without having to show up to a workplace every day.
My son is now 19, but even 15 or more years ago, I could find plenty of ways to make extra cash, and half of the things I am listing here didn’t even exist back then. The only limits to how much you can earn today are how much time and effort you can or want to put into making money.
These are just some of the side jobs that can earn you at least $500 this month.
1. Sell your extra stuff.
All through my kids younger years, I spent time culling items from around our house that we were no longer using and selling them online. Some of the items I sold were books, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, and clothing. I had an eBay account (still do) and I also sold on some sites specific to particular items, like Half.com.
Now, there are many more sites to sell through, including Swappa (one of my favorite) Decluttr, LetGo, and local Facebook groups. Craigslist is another great place to sell, but just be careful when meeting people alone or letting them come to your house.
Eventually, you will probably run out of your own stuff to sell, but this doesn’t have to be the end of your income stream. Once word gets around about your selling skills, you may have people who want you to sell their stuff for them, which you can do for a commission of 20 to 30 percent. You can also get stuff to sell by going to yard sales and thrift shops or even by buying up clearance items at your local stores and reselling it for a profit. Some people even take free stuff offered on Craigslist and turn around and sell it for a profit.
2. Rent out an extra room.
Another way to participate in the sharing economy is to rent extra space in your house, like an extra bedroom, on AirBnB or another site like it. While it might seem strange to have people in your house or apartment that you don’t know, you could potentially pay your entire mortgage or monthly rent just by doing this. If you have enough cash flow or good credit, you can even buy a house with a separate apartment or a rental property to do this.
3. Use Ebates when you shop online.
Unless you shop online a lot, you probably won’t make $500 a month using Ebates. You can get a $10 gift card just for signing up, though, and why not get something back for stuff you are going to buy anyway? Once you sign up and add the extension, it will automatically ask you if you want to activate cash back when you visit the site.
4. Online data entry or transcription work and other work from home jobs.
If you have even basic typing skills, you can find work doing online data entry or transcription and earn $16-24 an hour in your spare time from the comfort of your couch. Job sites like Indeed or Monster will have listings for legitimate work from home opportunities in these areas. For more direct customer contact, you can work as a customer service rep from home and earn up to $21 per hour fielding calls only when you want to and have available time.
5. Drive with Lyft.
Ridesharing has become big business, so your car can make you big bucks if you want to spend some of your free time driving people around your area. You get to set your own hours and choose who and where you want to pick up based on your comfort level and ratings posted online. You have to be at least 21 with a clean driving record to drive with Lyft.
6. Rent out your car or truck.
If you have a car around that you’re not driving or if there are hours you know you don’t need to drive your car, you can make money renting it out through Turo, and they provide the insurance in case anything would happen while someone else was driving it. Similarly, you can rent out your pickup truck by the hour to people who need it to haul things on FluidMarket, where some truck owners have earned $12,000 a year for letting other people use their truck.
7. Babysit through SitterCity.
If you enjoy spending time with kids, you can earn $50-100 a night for babysitting even if you don’t really know anyone with kids. Just sign up with SitterCity. A lot of times young children will take naps during the day and at night they will probably go to bed long before parents get home, which means you will have free time to relax or get other work done.
8. Tutor kids online.
Several companies now match up tutors with kids who need help in a variety of subjects, and even just learning English if they live in another country. VIPKID pays English speakers $16-24 an hour to teach ESL to kids abroad, and there are many sites that pay tutors $20 an hour, some of which are listed here.
9. Rent your clothing, purses, and accessories.
Style Lend is a site that allows you to rent out clothing pieces to others and make your wardrobe pay for itself in some cases. Many of the items offered are expensive designer pieces, but the potential is there to make back what you paid for the piece many times over if enough people want to borrow it.
10. Do tasks through sites like TaskRabbit, Fiverr or Amazon Mechanical Turk.
These sites ask people to do small tasks and sometimes only pay a few cents, but focusing on the bigger-paying jobs can be a nice side income that allows you to choose exactly what you do at any given moment. While Fiverr pays $5 for every task they have listed (minus a few cents for Paypal fees), people can and do offer tasks in groups that allow them to earn more than $5 in many cases. For instance, you can offer to write 100 words for $5, but someone could hire you to write 1000 words, which would pay $50.
11. Rent yourself out as a friend.
RentAFriend.com allows you to rent yourself out as a companion (platonic only, of course) to accompany someone to a play, movie, dinner, party or other social events, or just go and hang out to keep them company. Not only do you get paid, you get to experience whatever events you are hired for, for free. Some people doing this full-time claim to make $2,000 a week.
12. Pet-sit in your home.
If you enjoy animals and don’t mind taking care of them, you can sign up with DoggieVacay or Rover to pet-sit in your home and make $30 or more per animal per night. A friend of mine who is disabled and can’t work does this to earn extra income and is very successful at it. She says to always do a meet-and-greet before taking in a dog to make sure it is friendly and not aggressive. Being detail-oriented about feeding and walking schedules and any medications the dog takes will help ensure that you will get repeat jobs.
13. Sign up for a new bank account or rewards credit card.
Some banks, like Chase and CapitalOne, offer substantial rewards of several hundred dollars for opening a checking account online or at a branch and making certain transactions, like setting up direct deposit or making a certain number of purchases.
While most rewards credit cards don’t offer big bonuses for opening accounts, certain ones like Chase Sapphire Preferred, a travel rewards card, do offer bonuses like 60,000 points (worth $650 on travel) for signing up and using the card for a certain amount of purchases in the first few months.
The opportunities listed here are only a few of the more lucrative ones available to people who want to make extra money in their spare time. Whether you want to make ends meet, save for kids’ college or retirement, or just go on a nice vacation without breaking the budget, you can make an extra $500 this month in the time you might otherwise be watching TV on the couch or doing other time-wasting activities.