Ways to Earn Extra Income Part 1

Ways to Earn Extra Income Part 1Oh extra income…

Whenever I publish any of my extra income posts, I usually receive e-mails like crazy. I mean multiple e-mails every hour, and probably over 20 in one day.

I love all of your questions and many of you have reasons for why you want extra income. Not all of you have a blog but today I’ll be talking about the different ways I make extra money. In future posts, I will be talking about more of a variety as well.

Currently, before taxes and expenses, I am making around $5,000 in EXTRA income per month. I am on track to make around that this month as well. I’m using my extra income mainly to pay down my $38,000 student loan debt as quickly as I can, and after April of this year, I will probably throw most of it towards savings.

I can only dream of where that might go one day. Just last year I was making a couple hundred per month in extra income – and I was ECSTATIC at that time with that. Now my goals keep increasing.

I am big on diversifying how you make your money, whether it be your extra income or your main form of income. This way, if anything does happen, you are more prepared. Also, try not to use your extra income as a way to Keep up with the Joneses! Use it for what you truly what to do with it.

There are many things that you can do to earn extra income. However, there are also many factors to think about:

  1. How much time do you have? Do you have 1 hour each day or 5 hours each day? Maybe you’re only free on the weekends?
  2. How much are you trying to earn? Is your goal $50 a month or $5,000 a month?
  3. Can you do this and also work at the same time? Will your work be sacrificed and therefore you might lose your main source of income?
  4. Do you want to also have fun while making your extra income?


Ways to Earn Extra Income Part 1

Below are some possible ways for you to earn extra income. This will be a multiple series post as of course there are TONS of things that can be done to make extra income. I plan on making more in-depth posts on these individual methods soon, so watch out for those also :) :

Having a Blog

Having a blog is always a great way to make extra money, as long as you have the time for it and put effort into it. They always say that the first year of blogging is the hardest, and if you can make it past that, then you will probably make it. Having a blog is good because it makes it easier for people to see your writing (such as if you want to be a freelance writer) and it makes it easier for people to get in contact with you.

If you are interested in signing up for a blog, you can read my free tutorial here. Anyone can start their own blog in just a matter of minutes. It’s easy to do!

If you do sign up for a blog, click my affiliate link to get your domain and hosting here (you will get a free domain and discounted pricing through my link). And once you have your domain and hosting, also make sure to start an e-mail list. AWeber is great and very easy to use. Not having an e-mail list for so long is something that I definitely regret, but I am glad that I’m finally starting with this so be on the lookout for the signup soon!

Direct advertising, Google Adsense and affiliate links are the main ways that bloggers make their income online.

Here are some posts written by me that relate to having a blog:

  1. How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost
  2. Blogger or WordPress – Tips on How to Move
  3. Tips For Beginner Bloggers Part 1 – The Basics
  4. How To Make Money Blogging


Renting out an extra room

We have four bedrooms in our house and we only use one. So when my sister needed a place to live, we of course invited her to live with us. It’s been working out greatly. She’s been living with us since May of 2012 and pays around $325 per month. She is hardly home so we haven’t really noticed an increase in any of our bills also.

Now, I don’t think we’ll be adding any more roommates. My sister is great (and we all get along very well), but we have definitely had our share of roommate disasters. Someone also lived with us over the summer for a total of two days before we had to kick him out. That was a mistake that I don’t even want to think about again.

A couple of other bloggers rent out their spare bedrooms as well (it honestly isn’t that bad sharing space, I promise!), such as Crystal at Budgeting in The Fun Stuff. She talked about her roommate situation the other day, go check it out!

I do think that if you have room and don’t mind the extra money, then you might want to try renting out your spare rooms. The money for me is easy, so why not?


Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping (click on the link to learn more about it in a post that I wrote) is something that I used to do a great deal of. I don’t do it a whole lot anymore mainly because of time constraints. I always loved doing the food and cosmetics shops though.

Getting free food and makeup? I’M IN! I use Bestmark for mystery shopping and I highly recommend them.


Selling on eBay

I know, I know. I told some of you that I would make a post on selling on eBay. I still need to do that. Anyways, over the summer I sold a lot of things that were in my closet on eBay. I made over $1,000 by selling stuff online.

It doesn’t need to be just eBay, it could be Craigslist (my friend does this and has a lot of success) or specialized websites such as Bag Borrow or Steal (I sold one of my purses to them).


Freelance Writing

In the Fall of 2012, I found myself staff writing for many websites and blogs. I have recently cut this down a bit and now only write for 3 blogs because it was a lot to handle. However, if you have time, go for it!

I now write for two personal finance blogs and for one hotel in the Caribbean. Read my post So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?


Becoming a Virtual Assistant

This is something that I recently started doing. It doesn’t comprise a LARGE percentage of my extra income, but it is there. I like to be diversified just in case anything does happen to one of my other extra income streams (yes I realize that I am not fully diversified because a lot of my extra income is earned online – just in different ways).

There are many things that you can do as a virtual assistant. You can manage the social media of a business, website, etc. (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and everything else), handle the newsletter, work on the website, proofread and edit, do market research, handle emails, and so on. The list is really endless.

Read my posts What Does a Virtual Assistant Do and How To Become a Virtual Assistant.

If you are interested in learning about even more ways, please check out my post 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money.

Are you making extra income? How so? Please share!

Also, why are you wanting extra income?


  1. John S @ Frugal Rules says

    Thanks for sharing Michelle! How much time would you say you devote to being a VA on average? I've thought about doing it myself as well as hiring out to have someone do something for me. I am making some side income from advertising on the blog, and am really looking to get in to some Freelance writing myself.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to hear more in depth about freelance writing or staff writing and how you made those connections to do so. Did you approach the websites/companies or did they come to you? I would love to get into this!

  3. Rachel says

    Could you possibly write a post more specifically about HOW and WHERE to find these staff writing opportunities? I'm a writer for a living and do freelance writing too, but most of it is unpaid. :\ I find it so hard to find legit, reliable freelance writing gigs! Thanks
    My recent post When Women are Monsters

    • says

      Haha everyone is asking this! I was approached and also advertised my services on a personal finance community/website called Yakezie :)

      I do plan on going more in-depth on this in a post that is 100% dedicated to freelance writing. It will be going live next week most likely.

  4. says

    Great job! We make extra income in cimilar ways that you do. Our blog has recently been making a considerable amount of money. We each have staff writing gigs (mine at Get Rich Slowly and Greg's is at another pf blog) that pay rather well. I wish I had more time to do other things to make more money…but with the two kids almost every hour of my day is taken up!

  5. says

    Great post! I'm earning side income to speed up my debt repayment, and to diversify my income streams. Right now I'd say that I'm maxed for side income, at least time wise, I wouldn't take another freelance writing job even if it was offered, because my blog is taking up so much of my extra time lately. I'm actually getting my fiancé to help me with some virtual assistant tasks so that I can spend more time writing. For now I'm just focusing on maximizing my dollars earned for the amount of time I'm putting in.
    My recent post Lump Sum Payment or Structured Settlement? ($1000 Giveaway!)

  6. SavvyFinancialLatina says

    I would love to earn more side income :) I am working on transitioning my blog to self host. And hopefully will find ways to make money online.
    What hosting service do you use by the way? Was the transition to self host easy? Did you do it yourself?

  7. missamanda101 says

    My PT job is fun, but it's taking up entirely too much of my time, so not a lot of money. After working 40 hours a week – in the same building – it's hard to come back in the evenings and on weekends for minimum wage. I've toyed with the idea of finding a different PT job, to gain different skills and work with different people, but scheduling is always an issue.

    Looking forward to Part 2 of this post to see if it sparks any ideas :)
    My recent post Introducing IWIWIW

  8. says

    Honestly, I'd love to be able to do so many "side" gigs that I make enough to pay my bills so I don't have to get some crappy minimum wage job. I mean if I could earn enough through freelance writing and blogging to make as much as I'd make at a minimum wage job…I'd never have to work a crappy job again. That would be amazing.
    My recent post A not-that-nice confession.

  9. says

    Good post Michelle. Since I started my blog to voice my financial opinion, I wasn't thinking about making money. Now that I am increasing the stats, I think I am going to start pushing into side income. I have made a little each month from it, but it is time to put it into overdrive. I am doing it in order to invest for my retirement.
    My recent post 5 Pricing Tricks to Be Wary Of

  10. Budget & the Beach says

    I can make up to $600 for being a personal assistant to my friend. (No more than 10 hours per week) and I can make more off taskrabbit if I'm motivated. But I'd really like to be able to make more passive income because running my own business takes a lot of my time, plus writing and doing my own blog. Thanks for the other tips!
    My recent post I’m on a Money Diet

  11. says

    I'm investigating all kinds of ways to make extra money for this year as it's a huge financial focus for my goals. Staff writing and VA-type tasks are what I'm targeting now. I'm also a huge fan of sponsored posts/links in old posts and hope to have more in the coming months!
    My recent post January 2013 Goals

  12. EverdayLivingPNW says

    Hmmm I have toyed with the idea of mystery shopping for a while now. I think it actually may be something I enjoy, may give it a go. I have done surveys online and made about $70 bucks that way. The more you do the more money you get but you have to start of slow. It is very slow and boring and I eventually stopped. However, I am in a demographic that is not as desired as some, ie single mothers. Some here may be able to make some money through it.
    My recent post Forward From The Heart’s “Let’s Be Friends” Link-up

  13. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says

    I get most of my extra income via real estate (used to rent 2 rooms in my flat then I moved out and rented the third as well) and online income, on the blog or writing for travel and expat websites. I like to be diversified, as nothing is certain from one month to another.
    My recent post $1000 giveaway! What are structured settlements?

  14. says

    Great post, 5 grand in extra income is a lot. I would like to know how much time is devoted to making this and if there is a lot of pressure associated with the extra effort to make it.
    My recent post Millionaires

    • says

      There is definitely a lot of time devoted to it. I wake up about an hour early each day and devote this to my extra income, devote almost my whole lunch time, and then work on it after work.

      However, no, there is not a ton of pressure.

      • says

        I was wondering this same question as Rich– about how much time do you put into your blog? Here is another similar question: About how many entries do you try to write each week? I put minimal time into my blog and only write about one entry per week; I am definitely not making any income from it.
        Portia recently posted..Reverse Culture Shock- What No One Tells YouMy Profile

  15. Canadianbudgetbinder says

    Thanks for sharing all this information Michelle, I enjoyed this post. One question though. Where does one go to look for staff writing jobs or virtual assisting jobs? Do you put a HIRE ME on your site or is there a place where people advertise "help wanted" or is it word of mouth? Likely all of the above but what do you suggest for someone looking as to where they should start. I would be interested in pursuing this further. Thanks Michelle.
    My recent post CBB December 2012 Net Worth Update-A Look Back Over The Year!

  16. Newlyweds ona Budget says

    can you break it down by percentage? like maybe a pie chart that shows how much of your online income is generated by ads, staff writing, etc? it seems that a lot comes from advertisements, but i hardly ever notice ads on your site! you rock, btw

  17. edwardra3 says

    If you include rent payments to us as a side income, then when we move into our new house, we will be getting about $7000 per year. But I don't count it as income because it is used to pay OUR rent. It's only a matter of paperwork that the money sits in our checking account for 24 hours instead of going directly to the landlord.
    My recent post 3 Ways to Save Money When Moving

  18. says

    Interesting….20 emails that day, and multiple per hour. Goes to show just how much PF bloggers and readers REALLY want extra income. The reality that there are cash flow opportunities outside of one's official "job" is simply intoxicating for many, and I can understand why!
    My recent post 10 Wealth Creation Habits

    • says

      Yes it seems like everyone definitely wants extra income! I should be clear though, it is not easy work. I spend a lot of time and hours each day on my extra income. I think that's something that a lot of readers don't think about.

  19. says

    I started an office cleaning business with a vacuum cleaner and some window cleaner and disinfectant. I now make a 6 figure income. I've a free newsletter at my website for anyone interested in doing the same.

  20. says

    I want to get through the first year of blogging and see what happens with that. I am just starting to see some money coming in and I think there is a lot of potential. Right now, I have a sweet deal because I own a business and am paying people to work for me, while still taking a salary and that has allowed me to work part time as an eye doctor and do more writing at home. All side income would go toward paying off our debt or saved for travel. I have several ideas for the future that might or might not happen, most involving health care type stuff like consulting with new practice owners or getting them set up to bill insurance correctly. People pay big money for consultants, and lot of them are horrible. We also have rental properties, so I guess I am getting pretty diverse. I don't want the 40 hours a week in an office any more.
    My recent post Would You Take a Lump Sum for A Structured Settlement?-$1000 Giveaway

  21. Lindsey says

    I make extra income running my own business selling vintage housewares. It actually started out as a hobby that paid for itself and now it helps pay down debt as well.
    My recent post Still spending

  22. mycanuckbuck says

    Hadn't even thought of advertising my services on Yakezie – great idea. I'll have to look into it!
    My recent post 4 Life Investments That You Can Be Saving On

  23. doordebt says

    Wow, I just wrote a post about side hustles too! I make extra money as a brand ambassador, petsitter, sometimes writer and artist assistant. I would love to make more money blogging, but just got into it and want to focus on content, passion and readership first :) Thanks for the awesome tips!

  24. says

    Girl, you are amazing. I can't believe you make that much a month! Seriously, that's double my income.

    I really want to do this myself. I'm really unhappy at my current job and would love to transition out by doing this. Maybe doing several different things and blogging. Obviously it can be done because you are doing it!

    I ahve no idea how to get it going or get it to your level, but I have hope now!
    My recent post Career Aspirations and Decisions

  25. Betty C says

    I'm just starting to look into some type of income other than my job. So far I haven't see much along the line of what you are doing. I think a lot depends on location. Maybe I'm just not living in the right city.

  26. says

    I just wrote this really long comment and then it got deleted! :( ANyway, What I was saying is that mystery shopping sounds cool but I’ve never tried it (I’ll have to read your post) and I would be more afraid of spending more money by accident.

    I have a blog and make some adsense revenue but not much. My blog started as a horse blog and then turned into an adventure and random thought blog. I’m trying to find my niche. As of right now it doesn’t matter because no one reads it anyway. The day I log in and there’s a real comment I’ll be a proud blogger!

    But really, online money making is hard. I sell things on ebay and do well. I’ll buy clothes and then wear them a few times and then resell but you’ll never make the original money back unless you’re actually really good at it, so I only buy things that I use and I only sell things that I’ve grown out of.

  27. Cat says

    This is great! I could see how you get a lot of repies for making extra money posts, because we all want to do it. I've never tried mystery shopping before but it seems like fun, I would be afraid I would spend more money than I made, but then again I should probably read your blog posts about the ins and outs of it all.
    My recent post My Trip To the Dominican Republic Is Official!!!!

  28. rajith says

    Nice! I definitely think I need to look more into freelance writing, but I've been doing a bit of it for one website and it can definitely be time consuming that's for sure.

  29. says

    I just wanted to thank you so much for your entire blog! You are incredibly inspiring and very helpful on my journey to blogging and creating an income from home. I am a stay at home mom and trying to generate more income for our family. You have been a God send and I really thank you for being so open about how you do what you do! Keep at it and helping others as you’ve helped me!

  30. says

    Online surveys are also a legit way to make money. I initially thought that you could only make a few bucks here and there taking surveys, but a lot of people make thousands (per month) doing this.

    I’ve done a few mystery shops too and found that that stuff actually works. Getting paid $25 to get a tour of a gym is not a bad deal.

    I find it is good to sign up with several mystery shop websites and pick shops that coincide with what I need to get done. For example while I was moving from one apt to another I had a chance to do 6 mystery apt shops at $25 each. I did not get approved for the shops in time so I ended up visiting those same apts without getting paid.

    If I would have waited a day or two I could have made about $150 for doing something that I was going to do anyway.

    Same goes for oil changes and tanning etc.

    I once did a phone shop where I had to make three phone calls to new home communities. Each call was about 10 minutes and I got paid $6 per call. Very good way to make money.
    Dale P recently posted..Is Swagbucks a Scam?My Profile

  31. juanita says

    Thanks for all the information Michelle. Did try to rent a room to 2 different people so plan on blogging about that nightmare and what I would do differently if I decided to do it again. This is really all knew to me so I’m trying to get as much information as possible from it. I don’t intend to make money from blogging but just trying to get out medical information to the public.
    One thing I’ve learned as a case manager is the importance of not living in the moment but planning for the future if you are self-employed. An example: took care of a 60 y/o f caregiver and housekeeper, she did very well and always had a nice car, jewels and clothes she paid for in cash. Always got paid under the table. She became ill with cancer and had no insurance or had never paid into social security and when she died had no money for her burial. Her family benefited from her jewelry and clothes. It would be wise to pay into the govt for your social security and medicare.


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