Very few people would turn down extra money. Paying down debt, maxing out your 401(k), starting your cash vacation fund, or splurging on a date night–I'm sure you could put some extra cash to use.
Below I will give you some ideas to generate a side income at home! I have personally tried a few of these and the others have come highly recommended.
I hear all the time how costly babysitters can be. In fact, for many families, it is cheaper for one parent to stay at home with the kids than for both to work and pay for childcare. This, of course, is taking into account childcare costs, the cheaper cost of cooking at home rather than ordering delivery at one's day job, saving on tutoring, etc. and the numbers are different for everyone.
If you are a stay at home parent or have a somewhat flexible schedule, babysitting could be a hefty income stream. Needless to say, watching someone else's kids is not for the faint of heart!
If interested, you can ask around in your personal circle of friends, to research the going rate in your area. Take into consideration the cost, reputation, flexibility, and amenities that local sitters offer. Use this information to develop your own policy and cost.
If you aren't excited about the research, legal work, and prospecting that starting your own side-gig my require, you may be interested in programs like Care.com, sittercity.com, and others. Most of these companies will have a good reputation due to their strict vetting procedures. This means your clients will know you are up for the task. These companies also do most of your marketing for you. All you will have to do is set up an account, upload a picture, set your rates (depending on the organization) and wait for people to punch in your zip-code!
#2 Pet Sit
Similar to my last suggestion, you can start out on your own or go through a service like Rover.com
My wife and I have used Rover.com a few times before consumers and we had a great experience! We enjoyed it because it was way cheaper than traditional boarding and we were able to set up a meet-and-greet with several boarders. That way, we and the boarder could decide if we were a good fit.
Pet sitting and boarding tends to be less demanding than babysitting. Yes, my Dalmatian mix sheds a lot more than a 3 year old, but, at least our boarders could kennel him when they went shopping!
With Rover and similar sites, the sitter can decide how many animals they are willing to watch, when they are free, how large the animals can be, etc. The sitter also gets to dictate their rate! This is something my wife and I will be starting as soon as we fence our backyard. Getting paid to play with dogs?! What's not to love?
Take it from our go-to Rover pet sitter:
"We like working thru rover as they make things very easy by providing a platform and easy setup. We have only had to contact support twice and they were excellent to work with. It allows [my wife] to work from home/stay at home and raise our children while also giving [our dog] playmates. Its become a great family business. It definitely helps the budget and finances. The only downside is its a 1099 so no taxes are taken out. They do charge fees per booking but are pretty minimal. We believe it is worth our time as it is helping us tackle debt while still enjoying family time. We like meeting and having fun with new dogs and people so it works out great! "
#3 Complete online surveys - NOT!
"Make money while watching T.V.!"
I have always enjoyed keeping busy. I have also always enjoyed watching a variety of T.V. shows like The Andy Griffith Show, Stargate SG-1, and Psych. The problem is, if I am planted on the couch, I am not being productive.
Online surveys seemed to solve this issue. They do not require a lot of attention and they can be done almost anywhere on one's phone. However, although there are a lot of blogs out there promoting them (because said blogs care only about the referral money and not about the people they are addressing) I found that most of these survey companies were either inefficient or down-right mendacious.
Most surveys pay in points. When I did the math, I realized that if I worked on surveys for 3 hours, I would gain enough points for about $1. And I could not get paid until I reached $20. So, 60 hours of work for $20–not so productive after-all.
If you are truly interested in surveys, I would recommend Amazon Mechanical Turk. There are plenty of surveys there and if you look hard enough, you can find surveys for $0.25 each to $10 each. Keep in mind, however, that you may get half way into a survey and then be notified that you do not qualify. Guess how much you will make then: nada.
More on Mechanical Turk later.
#4 Become an Independent agent
Back when I was saving up for my wife's engagement ring and wedding band, I began working for Appen Butler Hill. Now, due to a bunch of non-disclosure agreements, I cannot give specifics on the projects I worked on but, I will do my best.
Appen offers many work-from-home opportunities from translation and transcription to search engine and social media evaluation. The first project I worked on paid me $14 per hour. I watched videos on a popular social media platform and then gave my opinion about each video; this was in 2016. I had to work 2 hours per day, 5 days per week but could work up to 7 days per week. I did not have to complete these 2 hours at once! I could do 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, and just use it to fill time. And yes, I did work in front of the T.V. The schedule was pretty flexible but one of the days I worked had to be Saturday or Sunday. The company and I were in different time zones and there was a review period that had to be completed daily so I did have some time restrictions which is why I stopped working on the project.
Although it was not an exciting side-gig, doing that 5 days/week for only 2 hours would bring in over $3,600 extra each year. If one did it 7 days per week (since the work is not taxing and the schedule is lax) it would bring in over $5,000 annually. That's a good chunk of change in my book!
I did another project with them later that paid only $11/hour but was even more flexible since I could complete it on my phone. Again, I can't give details, but in my experience, Appen Butler Hill was a good company to work for. The one downside is that they do not pay you for the few hours of training needed and it took me about a month for my application to be approved. But then again, this post isn't about quick cash. It's about putting in the work to reach your goals!
#5 Work for Amazon Mechanical Turk
I mentioned Amazon Mechanical Turk briefly already. One won't get rich using this resource but it is useful. Mechanical Turk is the bridge between computer systems and human capabilities. Companies use this resource for data entry, gathering public opinion, audio transcription, translation, and more. Computer systems are far more advanced than they were only 10 years ago but, they are not perfect. For instance, if a computer sees a blurry picture of a receipt, it may not be able to understand what the numbers are. We as humans on the other hand can understand that the little fuzzy squiggle looks just like the much clearer squiggle in another part of the picture. We can deduct (by looking at the whole picture) that the squiggle is the number 3.
This is a very basic example but the point is, Mechanical Turk pays people to do what computers can't understand, and much more.
The pay varies drastically depending on the project but you can complete many of these tasks while watching a movie before bed, waiting for the bus, or when you have nothing better to do. Most of the projects are very short. If you pick the right projects, you could earn $2 or $3 (sometimes less, sometimes much more) while you watch the latest Netflix release. $2 per day, 365 days per year is an extra $730 per year!
Helpful hint: Check out HWTF (HITsWorthTurkingFor) for a live list of the juicer projects!
#6 Sell professional services
Are you good at graphic design? Can you play the piano? Can you read aloud?
Fiverr.com (pronounced 5-er) is a platform where you can sell your services. You get to set your price, description, package options (up to 3 options per product) and you get to communicate with your customers directly!
Did you notice my logo? I found the artist on Fiverr. I looked for people who had great reviews and were producing logos that were similar to my idea. I could not be happier with my experience. My flyers as well as my website SEO were all outsourced through Fiverr.
Fiverr got its name because, back in the day, each "gig" on Fiverr cost only $5. Thankfully (for buyers and for sellers) that is no longer the case. I did not pay $5 for my logo and of course, my artist is worth more than that. I did not pay $5 for my SEO. But the product that was delivered was worth much more than I paid.
When you are a seller, a cut of your profits will inevitably go directly to Fiverr. From my research it seems the fees are related to the service you are offering, but I have not heard many sellers complaining.
For more specific professional services like virtual assistance, web developers, and accountants, check out Upwork. It seems to target businesses rather than individuals.
#7 Join a Network Marketing business
Mary Kay, Beachbody, Team National, Avon, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, and Rodan and Fields are all very respected Network Marketing companies.
There is sometimes a bad stigma around Network Marketing companies because of the many Pyramid schemes that have followed a similar structure. The big differences however are that legitimate companies pay their coaches, distributors, etc. based on product sales rather than recruiting.
There are a variety of laws in place to protect consumers now. One of which is that in order to join the legal multilevel marketing businesses, there cannot be an outrageously high upfront investment required. There also has to be a material buy-back policy and a forgiveness period incase you join and then change your mind.
The list of respectable companies above is incomplete. They are, however, the companies with which I am most familiar. If you are interested in a review about similar companies, let me know in the comment section below and I will dig into these and a few more!
#8 Sell your products on Etsy
Almost everyone has heard of Etsy by now. If you are a crafty person, this may be the answer for you. You can set up your own store and sell your hand-made products! I know several people who do this and make good money. It is very involved but you get out what you put in. Who knows, maybe your virtual store can evolve to a physical boutique some day! Or, you may find that the virtual format is best for you. Either way, I'm sure it would be quite the adventure.
What did you think? Leave a comment below!
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