With the rising costs of living in the U.S. and growing anticipation for inflation to take its toll on the economy, many people are looking for ways to give their income the boost they need to navigate uncertainty for the future.
The problem? Finding additional opportunities to make income when you already work a full-time job can seem impossible.
If you have full-time employment but wish to make extra money in your free time with a part-time job opportunity or side gig, here are 17 ways to make money on the side with a full-time job!
1. Offer Web Design Services
Technical skills are always in demand and can earn you considerable extra income if you’re able to stand out from the competition available on popular freelance platforms.
If you have a solid track record as a programmer and graphic designer (and some pieces that you can display in your portfolio), you may want to use your spare time to offer web design services to businesses that need support crafting an attractive, functional website.
Freelance web designers can often make anywhere from $31 to $42 an hour (around six figures), and you can find jobs on Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Toptal.
2. Create a YouTube Channel
Some people dream of becoming an online sensation, and in the age of social media, it’s not an unachievable dream.
Whether you have great advice to offer someone, some fun, and silly video ideas, or stellar filmmaking skills, consider starting your own YouTube channel and monetizing it with ads.
Once you build a sizable audience on YouTube, you can turn to other monetization methods like finding sponsors or directing viewers to your own products elsewhere on the web to make extra money.
3. Teach English Over the Internet
COVID-19 increased the demand for online learning, with tutors acting like virtual assistants to help students learn more about subjects they’re struggling with and manage their work more effectively.
If you have an educational background, consider leveraging it to teach others English. Platforms like Cambly, VIPKIDS, and PalFish offer opportunities for tutors with a wide range of skills and experience to make extra income.
4. Start a Blog
These days, almost everyone has a blog. Blogs allow you to share your passions and interests in the world while generating income along the way.
Blogging can be a little trickier than most may think (you’ll want to look deeper into social media marketing like Facebook Ads as well as SEO content strategy), but it’s absolutely possible with the right work ethic.
All you have to get started is use a platform like WordPress to pay for your domain name and hosting, use existing themes and plugins or shop around, and start generating content that will attract an audience.
Then, you can sell ad space, join an affiliate marketing program, create digital goods, or other different ways that other bloggers bring in revenue.
5. Sell Used Items on eBay or Craigslist
Flippers can make a great deal of extra income with the right products.
Most flippers will look for vintage goods and other popular products at estate sales and thrift shops while others will take items and fix them up to turn a profit when they resell them for extra cash.
Regardless of what you can find, take a look around locally and online (and consider what you may even have that you don’t want anymore).
Then, determine what a fair price for it would be and sell it on online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist for extra bucks.
6. Pet Sit
Much like parents don’t always have time to keep an eye on their children during work, many pet owners may not enjoy the thought of their animals being alone in a crate all day, which is why they’ll look for a pet sitter.
This is where you come in! If you have plenty of space in your home and love animals, consider pet sitting for others on a platform like Rover to get started.
7. Become a Rideshare Driver
The rideshare industry has seen its fair share of controversy over the past couple of years, but the truth is that the gig economy allows you to pick up a gig whenever you need it.
One of the most popular gigs is becoming a rideshare driver. Apps like Uber and Lyft give you the opportunity to pick up passengers and take them to whatever destination they choose (they also have more stringent COVID-19 policies to keep drivers and passengers protected).
If you have a vehicle that’s in great condition and some extra time on your hands, become a rideshare driver in the ridesharing economy.
8. Make Something and Sell It
There are plenty of opportunities for creative types to make money in today’s world. However, ideas that are too vague aren’t helpful for those who want to make things and sell them.
If you’re someone who enjoys crafting, you can create goods like soaps, candles, or even furniture and sell them on your website or an existing platform like Etsy (although it’s important to keep in mind they will take a portion of your extra cash).
If you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with selling physical goods, you can sell digital goods like e-books, online courses, and printables on social media or your own website instead.
Whatever you’re passionate about making, there’s a market out there for it.
9. Become a Tutor
English is arguably one of the easiest subjects to tutor online as you can do it professionally or conversationally with those looking to learn the language. However, you aren’t limited to this subject alone.
Whether you’re looking to teach science, history, or another subject that you have a degree in, you can use a platform like Chegg or Tutor.com to list your services and connect with interested pupils.
You could even expand and offer advice about student loan debt and other aspects of education.
10. Become a Mystery Shopper
Mystery shoppers are tasked with going to local stores and learning more about the prices of certain products and the quality of customer service.
Mystery shopping isn’t one of the most lucrative side hustle ideas, but you can make more by diversifying the platforms you sign up with (or leveraging your experience to work your way into a virtual assistant position).
If this piques your interest and you want to use your phone for something besides scrolling through Facebook and other social media sites, you can find odd jobs on platforms like MarketForce, Best Mark, and Intelli-shop to generate some extra cash.
11. Walk Dogs
Walking dogs is much less demanding than pet sitting, and you can work your schedule around the times when it’s most convenient for you, i.e., when you’re not at your day job.
The platform we recommended previously, Rover, is great for dog walking (among other services) and you can find more dog-walking gigs on platforms like Wag! as well to help you start your small business.
12. Offer Freelance Writing Services
You can make money freelance writing? Absolutely! Whether it’s blogs or more marketing-focused pieces, there’s a niche of freelance work out there for you.
If you’re just starting, you may want to sign up with content mills like Textbroker and iWriter. If you have more experience as a freelance writer, you can make good money on Upwork or ProBlogger. (This is also a skill you could use as a virtual assistant or social media manager.)
Just keep in mind that you’re going to be classified as an independent contractor if you’re freelance writing and will need to pay close attention to your personal finances. You can improve your financial literacy and prepare for the future with a resource like Digital Honey.
13. Take Online Surveys
Surveys are a great way to make some extra money or e-money like gift cards in your free time, especially if you can make your way into more exclusive survey opportunities.
Beyond that, many survey platforms offer additional earning opportunities like watching videos, playing games, or signing up for exclusive offers for more easy money (looking to find unclaimed money anyone?).
Where do you get started? A few notable websites to join include InboxDollars, Survey Junkie, and American Consumer Opinion.
14. Rent your Spare Room on Airbnb
If you have a spare room in your home and live in an area with plenty to do, you can spruce up your space and offer it to anyone who may need a place to stay while they explore the area around them.
You can’t always guarantee that you’re going to book guests during a certain time, but it’s better than leaving the space empty and losing out on its earning potential.
15. Participate in Marketing Focus Groups
Marketing focus groups typically pay more than surveys as they’re more intensive. That being said, you can usually find these focus groups on survey platforms if you express your interest.
A couple of great platforms to help you get started include American Consumer Opinion Panel and UserTesting (which allows you to provide feedback on websites for around $10 a test).
16. Invest in Real Estate
Investing in real estate requires a larger buy-in, but it also allows you to develop a passive income that can be quite substantial so you don’t have to operate as a business owner alongside your full-time job.
If you’re only looking to invest a little, try a platform like Fundrise, where you can invest in REITs for as little as $500. If you have more to invest, you may want to take a closer look at apartment syndication models, which will offer you consistent income without having to manage properties.
17. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping has become a popular business model in recent years. Why? Unlike running a traditional e-commerce store, all you have to do is set up your digital storefront, connect with a manufacturer that will handle the fulfillment process, and send your orders to them.
All you have to do to get started on your new work-from-home job as a dropshipper is to use a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, choose your niche, and start marketing your new store.
Whether you have a lot of time to dedicate to a side-hustle or you need passive income ideas to generate income without actively working, consider the 17 great side hustle ideas listed in the guide above!