21 Legit Ways to Make Extra Money
Meeting your financial goals can sometimes be tough. This is why more and more people are deciding to start up a side hustle to bring in some extra cash. Yep, I include myself in that “more and more people” category and I’m assuming that, since you’re reading this, you are too! Don’t worry, side hustles don’t have to be difficult or a ton of extra work. If you choose the right one, you can easily be on your way to some extra money in your pocket and a fun way to spend your free time. So, are you ready to find some new and great ways to make extra money? Let’s dive in!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
Why are Side Hustles so Great?
Adding a side hustle, or an additional job on the side, to your life can be incredibly beneficial to you. This is a fantastic way to grow as an individual, boost your finances, and so much more. Some of my favorite benefits of side hustles include:
- Creating your own opportunity to make extra money and meet your financial goals
- Push you outside your comfort zone and allow you to grow as an individual
- Give you space and time to chase your dreams (perhaps of becoming a business owner or get paid to travel)
- Allow you an opportunity to leave your day job for a different career
- Help you better understand and manage your money
- Network with new and different professionals
- And so much more!
Top Ways to Make Extra Money
So, you think starting a side hustle is a great idea now, right? Awesome! However, there are countless side hustle ideas out there. How do you know which ones are actually legit? Don’t worry, today I’m going to help you out on this. Here are my favorite ways to make extra money.
Ways to Make Money Online:
1. Start a Blog
My top and FAVORITE way to make extra money is blogging. I started my blog back in 2017 and never looked back. It has been an amazing experience and a fantastic income. In fact, if I wan’t so passionate about civil engineering, my blog could easily be my only job and support me financially. I started out as a travel blogger (yep, I actually got paid to travel!) and loved it. Over time, my blog has evolved with me, which is such a great benefit!
So, once you have a website up and running, how exactly do you make money blogging? Great question, let’s break it down…
There are several ways to monetize your blog including:
- Sponsored Blog Posts: Companies pay you to write a blog post
- Affiliate Linking: Companies pay you a percentage of a sale when someone buys through your link
- Social Media Ads: If you have a decent amount of followers on one or more of your social media accounts, companies will pay you to create a specific post (and pay really well I might add!)
- Product Creation: Many people use their blog to promote and sell their own products (like I do with my Student Printable Planner)
- Website Ad Placement: Placing an ad on your website and getting paid when someone sees and/or clicks on it
This all might sound a bit overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. Starting a money making blog is actually incredibly straight forward and, with a bit of work, you can truly create a serious income stream into your life.
How do you start a blog?
Like I said, starting a blog is actually really simple. Personally, I started my blog by turning to the experts at It’s a Lovely Life. They offer a FREE five-day “Start a Money Making Blog” course. I followed it step by step and ended up with this great website! Again, this class is free with no strings attached. I highly recommend taking it, even if you aren’t sure about blogging. It will give you a taste of what you’re getting yourself into.
As a side note and for full transparency, I did also enroll in It’s a Lovely Life’s other courses to get the ball rolling a bit faster. Some of them were free (you’ll see them when you get to their website) and some of them I paid for. I considered this as an investment into my blog and it was the best thing I ever did. However, it is absolutely not a requirement. I highly recommend their free classes to start with!
More Information About Blogging:
I’ve written quite a few different blog posts to help others in their own blogging journey. If you’re interested about learning more, check them out!
- The Only Blogging Class You’ll Ever Need to Take
- 17 Surprising Blogging Tips to Skyrocket Your Income!
- 10 Amazing Reasons to Start a Blog in College
2. Start an Etsy Shop
Alright, alright! Enough about blogging, let’s move on to number 2… starting an Etsy shop! Etsy is an online marketplace where you can sell a ton of different items including crafts, printables, furniture, toys, jewelry… anything you can build or create really! The great thing about Etsy is that they help you with all the boring, legal stuff. In fact, in many states, they even take care of sales tax for you! They also help you with marketing, give you amazing tips along the way, and so much more.
3. Work as a Virtual Assistant
Next, working as a virtual assistant can help you bring in some great money. In fact, I know quite a few people who have used this to leave their boring day job (so they can work from home)!
There is a wide range of tasks and hours virtual assistants complete, it definitely depends on your employer. Some might include: proofreading documents, managing social media accounts, acting as a personal assistant, scheduling meetings, managing the books, and researching.
4. Day Trading and Investing
As our technology advances, it has become more and more easy to day trade and invest your money into meaningful causes. The key here is to start small, do your research, and track the market. You can even do this with your phone! If you’re seriously interested in day trading, Andrew Aziz’s book How to Day Trade for a Living is a fantastic place to start. Gives you all the best tips and tricks to really get going!
5. Become an Online Tutor
Next, there are several companies out there looking for tutors to help students in various fields. Utilize your own field of expertise and help out someone in need (and get paid while you’re at it!). The most legit company I can think of is Chegg (I would start there!) but I am sure there are a ton of other great companies you can look into as well.
6. Teach English Online
In addition to becoming a tutor, you can also help teach English (or another language for that matter) online. Again, Chegg is a great, legit company to start your job search, but I am sure there are some others that are great too (I’m just not as familiar with them).
7. Write an EBook
Next, writing an EBook is a fantastic way to make money! The great thing about this is, once it is finished, you can put it on the market and you are done! From then on, you’re making a passive income!
You can sell an EBook in numerous ways. First, you can create your own website to sell it (creating a blog to promote your EBook would be a great way to get your name out there). Next, you could sell it on Etsy, Amazon, or a similar website… or you could work with a company to publish and distribute it. Finally, you could get fancy and actually write a paperback book and submit it to different publishers!
Check out THIS GREAT BOOK to get started! It tells you the secrets of writing a phenomenal EBook in 21 days flat. I’ve heard some surprising success stories from it, so a great way to get started!
Easy Evening and Weekend Jobs
Next, let’s take a look at some easy jobs to help you get out of the house…
8. Become a Petsitter or Dog Walker
Many of my friends petsit or dog walk on the weekends and they make an absolute killing in money. In fact, many of them get paid more than they do at their real job (maybe they should switch careers to dog walking…)! The companies they use are Wag! and Rover, check them out!
Babysitting is a classic side hustle many of us are incredibly familiar with. However, I would like to point out there are a TON of nanny jobs out there that get SALARY PAY PER CHILD. I’m not joking. You can make so much money watching kids, it’s ridiculous. So, if you love kids, definitely check this side hustle out!
10. Become a Driver
Next, this list would not be complete without mentioning becoming an Uber or Lyft Driver. If you’re not comfortable driving people around, you could also become an Uber Eats driver. I’ve never done any of these jobs, and don’t know anyone who has (I know… shocking! Everyone seems to be doing it these days!) but I’ve heard you can make some serious cash with it.
Housekeeping is a side hustle not a lot of people talk about. However, it can bring in some great money (especially if you work in nicer neighborhoods). The larger companies I’ve heard of (but have no experience with, so do your research) include: Tidy, Maidsapp, and Handy (for more maintenance things…).
12. Plasma Donation
Plasma donation is similar to donating blood, but a slightly longer process. When you donate plasma, medical researchers can use it to help advance our medical knowledge as a community and create better practices for the future. Most clinics allow you to donate twice a week, and pay you more as the month goes on (to help promote more donations). On average, the process takes about an hour to an hour and a half and you can get paid from anywhere between $40 to $100 per donation.
Unfortunately there is a sad negative stigma around plasma donation (because many low-income or homeless individuals used to rely on this as an income). Please don’t listen to the rumors. My husband (and many of his classmates and colleagues in medical graduate school) have done it for years to help out the medical community (and get paid for it… I might add). The clinic they donated at required proof of residence and if your blood work came back with any harmful substances, you weren’t allowed to return. Not once did he ever have any issues. He would donate once to twice a week and just study during his appointment. One of his friends actually won free NFL tickets during an appointment!
You can read more about donating plasma HERE but you will need to find a local clinic to donate at.
13. Pickup a Seasonal Job
There are a handful of incredibly fun seasonal jobs you might find to help boost your income during certain times of the year. These are usually local jobs that post listings in the paper or on local job search sites. Here are some of my favorite seasonal job ideas that either I have done, or someone I know has done:
- Become a mover for a furniture or moving company (summer)
- Weekend or evening lifeguarding (could be year round, summer if outdoor)
- Help farmers harvest different crops (spring, summer, fall)
- Gardening for local botanical gardens (spring, summer)
- Assist in taxes (spring)
- Seasonal park ranger (usually summer)
- Snow removal from roads or sidewalks (winter)
- Various holiday related jobs, such as sorting mail, organizing toy donations, help run holiday events, Christmas tree farms, etc (November, December)
14. Local Part-Time Jobs
You could also pick up a local part-time job to work year-round. This has a lot of potential (and can have added benefits) but you will need to look at local listings to see if there is anything that would work best for you. Some ideas to get you started include:
- Cleaning work at your own gym (get paid and a free membership)
- Setting routes at your local rock gym (again, get paid and a free membership! I know a ton of people who do this.)
- Grocery store work (get paid and a discount)
- Work for your landlord (get paid and reduced rent)
- Assisting at a non-profit or organization with a good cause (get paid and feel good about it)
15. Become a Landlord
Adding a roommate to your household or creating an apartment on your property can bring in perhaps the largest amount of money for the least amount of work. Of course, you would have to find a great tenant and stay up with your local laws and taxes, but it would be worth it!
I have a friend who was able to purchase a home her first year of college. Thanks to her roommates, by the time she graduated she had paid it completely off and nearly doubled her investment. She now lives in a giant house she paid for with cash… pretty sweet deal!
16. Become an AirBNB Host
Hosting for AirBNB is another great way to bring in an income! If done right, you can actually make more money doing this than renting long term. However, it is a bit more work. You will have to clean the space between each guest, maintain your AirBNB account, etc.
You can host an AirBNB in several ways:
- Rent out one of your rooms in your home
- Rent out an attached apartment on your property
- Rent out an entire house you own (and live in an apartment or second home)
I would like to add that I know several people who have done option 3 (from above) and now own multiple different vacation homes around the United States. They now simply hire a company to do the turnovers and make a TON of money during the days they don’t visit their own vacation homes. Umm…. YES PLEASE. These people learned their tricks from Rick Wong’s book The Entrepreneurial AirBNB Hosting Guide. I’m currently reading it and can’t put it down.
17. Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
Do you happen to have a ton of unwanted stuff laying around? Sell your lightly used clothes, electronics, books, etc. to bring in some good cash! There are several great apps to sell your clothes on and Craigslist is great for furniture and larger items.
18. Become a Flea Market Flipper
Speaking of selling your belongings, many people have gotten so comfortable with this process that they are now flea market flippers! What is this, you might be asking? A flea market flipper is someone who purchases antiques or used items, spruces them up, and sells them for a profit. People usually do this with furniture. If your items are easy to ship, you can easily sell them on Etsy. If not, you could sell locally to individuals or local stores.
Want some great inspirational ideas? Just head over to Pinterest and search “Flea Market Flips.”
19. Monetize Your Hobby/Start a Business
Do you happen to have a hobby you think you could make money from? That is exactly how I started my blog! My hobby was traveling and making vintage journals. I created my blog to monetize the travel aspect, then my Etsy shop to sell my journals. It just blew up from there!
Simple Money-Making Habits:
I would also like to add some simple money-making habits you can easily integrate into your current life to make (or save) some cash. Remember: a little can add up to a lot over time!
20. Revamp and Overhaul Your Budget
Reserve an afternoon to really take a hard look at your current budget. I have created an Ultimate Guide to Budgeting to help you get started. During this time, you can cut unused or unwanted subscription services, really hone in on where you’re spending the most each month, and better understand your finances. This will help you save a ton of money over time (which is just like making money, right?!).
Be sure to download my freebie to help you get started on your monthly budget:
21. Use Money-Making Rebate Apps While Shopping
My final tip is to use rebate apps (like Ibotta… I LOVE THIS APP!) after you shop. They are so easy to use, all you do is take a picture of your receipt and they credit your account based on which deals, promotions, and rebates they currently have in their system. I can usually get at least $20 a month using my app. It is great and only takes seconds!
Additional Money-Making Ideas for College Students
If you’re a college student, you know all too well just how difficult finances can be. Here are my favorite (additional) ways to make money as a student:
- On-Campus Research: Many professors and graduate students need help in their research labs. They will usually post these positions on the campus job boards. This is a fantastic way to truly beef up your resume and make some money!
- Scholarships/Grants: When you apply for scholarships and grants, you will be making the most hourly pay you will ever make in your life. Think about it, you spend 2 hours and win $2,000 scholarship, that’s $1,000 an hour! Learn my top secrets to winning scholarships HERE to ensure you do!
- Become a Resident Assistant: You can make some great money by bypassing rent altogether as a Resident Assistant. Some schools have some really great programs, be sure to check them out!
- Land a Summer Internship: In many career fields, you can find some great summer internships that PAY REALLY WELL!
- Part-Time Work on Campus: Yeah, part-time campus jobs can sometimes be a drag. However, some come with awesome perks! For example, my friend who works at the registrars office gets to sign up for classes before anyone else…
Bonus: Top Books on Side Hustles and Making Money
You can really find some fantastic books out there to really help you grow your business, meet your financial goals, and help you on your path to making money on the side. Here are some of my favorites:
This bestselling productivity book is a great way to get started in researching how to really optimize your money by working less! In his book, Ferriss outlines how he successfully doubled his own income in half the effort by efficiency and smart decisions. Be sure to check it out!
This book is a great hobby-to-business starter book. In it, Guillebeau creates a 27 day plan for you to truly turn your hobby to a profitable business! He also has another bestselling book called The $100 Startup which is REALLY GOOD!
This is a great book that will help you really turn your AirBNB into a successful business by helping you continuously book out your listing! A must-read to all AirBNB pursuits!
Finally, this list would not be complete without the classic and continuously famous Total Money Makeover. This is a book that really helps you change your mindset about money and teaches you techniques on getting out of debt fast. A must read.
If you’re looking for more money-related blog posts, check out these other fantastic reads:
- An Ultimate Guide to Saving Money in College
- How to Budget Your Money and Reach Your Financial Goals in One Month
- Achieve any Goal this Year with this Brilliant Short-Term Goals Guide
- Find your Dream Career in these 10 Easy Steps
That about wraps it up! I hope you were able to find your next amazing side hustle adventure. Each of these options will bring in some major money, so whichever you chose, I’m sure it will be amazing! Have fun!