Everything You Need To Know About Making Extra Money

Here on Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about making extra money and side hustle ideas. After all, side hustling changed my life and it allowed me to pay off $40,000 in student loan debt. My side hustles also eventually turned into my full-time business, which is something I will always be grateful for. I…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

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Side Hustle Ideas - The Ultimate GuideHere on Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about making extra money and side hustle ideas. After all, side hustling changed my life and it allowed me to pay off $40,000 in student loan debt.

My side hustles also eventually turned into my full-time business, which is something I will always be grateful for. I love my business, I earn a good income, I am location independent, and I have a great work-life balance.

Side hustling is one of my favorite topics due to the fact that it positively changed my life as you can tell after reading all of the above.

I believe that side hustles can improve the lives of others as well.

I’m all about cutting back with your expenses, but I believe that earning more money can be extremely helpful. This is because there is no limit to how much money a person can make.

Making extra money is great for many other reasons too. It can help a person pay off debt, save more money, test out a business idea, reach financial freedom, and more.

Below are some of the many side hustle-related questions that I am often asked.

 

How much money can a person make from side hustling?

The amount of money a person can make from side hustling can vary widely. You may only make a few dollars a week or you may find yourself making hundreds or thousands of dollars a week.

It can vary depending on what exactly you are doing to earn side income, the amount of time you are devoting to it, the effort you are putting towards it, and more.

Below are some estimates and ranges of what you can make with some different side hustle ideas:

  • Taking surveys online at home – $1 to $10+ per survey.
  • Blogging – $0 to millions of dollars a year. Yes, there’s a personal finance blogger out there who makes over $10 million a year. Yes, a year! I was earning around $10,000 a month on the side of my day job. Now, I’m earning around $30,000 a month from blogging.
  • Writing articles online for others – $15 to $1000+ per article. Usually, new writers start out at around $15-$25 per article in the online world.
  • Renting a room in your home – $300 to $1,000+ a month. This can vary widely depending on your location, whether you are renting it on a monthly or daily basis (such as with Airbnb), and more.
  • Mystery shopping – $3 to $100+ per mystery shop. Usually, you get whatever you are shopping for free plus a small payment for your time.
  • Mowing lawns – $20 and up per lawn. Of course, this depends on what work is being done, how large the yard is, if it’s regular work, and more.
  • Dog sitting – $25 to $100 per day. This all depends on the area you live in, the amount of work you are doing (walking the dogs, administering medication, scooping poop, etc.), and more.

 

How can a person find time for their side hustle ideas?

Everyone has at least a little bit of time that can be devoted to making extra money. It all just depends on how bad you want it.

If you don’t think you have time, I want you to add up the amount of time you spend watching TV, on social media sites, hours that you can’t even remember what you did, and so on.

Whether you only have a few hours each week for making extra money or if you have a few hours each day, every little bit counts. And, yes, there are side hustles for the smallest amount of time and the biggest amount of time (see them below).

Here are some of the many ways to find time to make extra money:

  • Wake up earlier or stay up later. Yes, this may mean less sleep.
  • Use your lunch hour for side hustling.
  • Take vacation days at your work just for side hustling.
  • Waste less time with TV, social media, and so on.
  • Use any breaks during the day strategically for side hustling.

 

Time Management Side Hustles

How can a person manage a good work-life balance?

Work-life balance is very important when a person is making extra money. Due to the fact that you will be holding down more than one job, you may find that other areas in your life may be impacted in a negative way.

While side hustling, you never want the quality of your work to decrease, for your family to be negatively impacted, and so on.

There are many ways to work side jobs and still lead a great life. You can:

  • Outsource certain tasks that will allow you to make more money.
  • Try to focus on one task at a time if you are not good at multi-tasking.
  • Leave work at work.
  • Eliminate time-sucks (see above).
  • Create a schedule that flows together smoothly.

 

How can a person grow their side hustle?

There are many ways a person could grow their side hustle idea. Whether you eventually want to turn it into a full-time business or if you just want to start making more money, growing it is possible!

Some of the things you could do to grow your side hustle idea are below. Of course, different things can be applied to different industries and types of side hustles.

  • Place ads for your side hustle in your local community, such as by handing out business cards, posting flyers on billboards, and more.
  • Attend networking events in your area.
  • Start a website so that potential customers can search for your service/product.
  • Reach out directly to those who may be interested in your service/product.
  • Ask past customers to spread the word about your side hustle.

 

What side jobs can a person have?

There are an endless amount of side hustle ideas. You could work online, offline, for yourself, for someone else, sell a product, sell a service, and so on.

Here are some of the many job ideas plus links to other blog posts of mine that may help you out.

  • Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.
  • Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I made over $150,000 last year by blogging and will make more than that in 2015. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
  • Sell your stuff. There are many things you can do to make money by selling items. We all have extra things laying around that can be sold, or you can even search for items that can be bought and resold for a profit.
  • Rent an extra room in your home. If you have extra space in your home, then you may want to rent it out. Read A Complete Guide To Renting A Room For Extra Money.
  • Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include VIP VoiceAmerican Consumer OpinionSurvey JunkieProOpinionPinecone ResearchOpinion Outpost, Survey SpotPrize Rebel, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
  • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is something I don’t use as much, but I do occasionally earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough points, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today!
  • Try Digital Voice. Another one you may be interested in related to Swagbucks is Nielsen Digital Voice. Digital Voice is a part of Nielsen, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. All you have to do is surf the web and you may be able to start earning money.
  • Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5 for free just for signing up!
  • Test websites. One company I recommend for virtual assistant work is UserTesting. This website pays you to test websites and they pay fairly well.
  • Side Hustle Series – Read this if you are interested in hearing about the many side hustle ideas that my readers have shared.
  • 10 Things I’ve Done To Make Extra Money – If you are interested in finding a side hustle idea for yourself, you may be interested in one of the things I’ve done in the past to earn side income.
  • Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month – Here are different ways to make an extra $1,000 a month.
  • 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money – This blog post has many, many different side hustle ideas for you to try.
  • 10 Ways To Make Money Online From The Comfort of Your Home – If you prefer to work from home like I do, then this is the side hustle post for you.

 

What other tips should a person know about making extra money?

Side hustling is something that I believe many can be successful at. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Below are some of my tips that I believe will help side hustling go a little more smoothly.

  • Have your side hustle be something you enjoy and/or are passionate about so that you can enjoy the time you are spending making extra money.
  • Find a side job that is flexible with your current schedule. A side hustle with a flexible schedule is amazing because then you won’t feel as stuck each and every day.
  • Take it slow if you need to. You don’t need to jump in and start working 60 hour weeks right away if you don’t feel that it’s right.
  • Don’t let your side job interfere with your current job. You probably don’t want to lose your current job, so don’t let your quality of work slip.
  • Pay taxes and get any legal help that you need. Yes, you still need to pay taxes on side income!

What side hustle ideas are you interested in trying out? What do you think of side hustling?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Thanks Michelle. It’s nice to see some numbers attached to the various side hustles out there.

    The other thing is some hustles can put cash in your pocket pretty quickly (mowing lawns) but others take a while to build (blogging) so it’s probably a good idea to work on multiple options.

    Along with the extra money, you can acquire some great new skills, too.

    1. Yes! You can definitely learn new skills.

    2. Frank

      I totally agree about the long term vs. short term dilemma. I want to start blogging but don’t know much about how to get a sustainable audience. In the shorter term I’ve just been looking into stuff like http://www.cogentnews.com/1/top-3-fastest-growing-to-make-money-online/ which seems good for a quick side income.

  2. I am actually interested in trying out taking and answering surveys. I hope I could get enough extra income from this side hustle to cover some expenses this season. And, I think it’s fun to do. Thanks Michelle.

  3. Thanks, Michelle, this is a really nice list of ideas. I’m definitely going to bookmark this page. Also, I just signed up to mystery shop — so exciting! πŸ™‚

  4. Always good to have a plan B. Give up TV or Facebook for an hour a night to free up time to pursue a hustle. Coaching others is something I’m focused on now.

    1. Awesome! What are you coaching others on?

  5. I also make extra money by selling things I no longer have a use for. This helps both with making extra money and with decluttering the house! I’ve even sold broken electronics and other things on eBay. One persons junk is another’s treasure I guess!

  6. GREAT list of very doable hustles. Thanks for putting it all in one comprehensive article.

    blessings,
    The How to Guru {Shan Walker}

  7. I LOVE my side hustles! They’ve given me freedom over more of my day, and the extra cash is fantastic!

    I’ve run niche websites, written books, and freelance writing. Out of the side hustles I’ve tried, I’d say the freelance writing biz is by far the fastest one to set up and bring money in quickly, even if you have no experience and no connections! The prices you mention per article are 100% attainable too – I know that from personal experience. πŸ™‚

    Great post!

  8. Great ideas! I don’t have time for a side hustle anymore, but I wish I did. I would really like to buy and flip real estate if I ever found the time to do so.

  9. Great article! I’m surprised you haven’t started making money with Yazing.com, you can make good money recommending deals and coupons to others. Basically helping them save money, which clearly you are brilliant at! Plus you can earn full cash back on the purchase you make!

  10. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    I’m working to earn $10,000 in side income before next year’s FinCon. And the biggest challenge has definitely been time. I’ve been blogging, freelance writer, and social media consulting. Because I still have a full-time job, I’m trying to focus on higher paying gigs.

  11. I think if you’re committed to making extra money (i.e. you need to), then you have to prioritize that above having free time / entertainment. I babysat twice last weekend, blogged, and studied. I would have loved to be hanging out with friends or family, but right now, the best thing for me to do is prioritize making more money and preparing for the CFP exam so that’s where I put my time.

    1. I don’t know how you do it all. You seem so busy!

  12. Great post! My side hustle is doing ok, but if I were able to get more traffic to my blog, I’m sure it would do better. Any advice on how to drive traffic to your site? I know that you recommend Pinterest, but I’m not sure how to leverage that to my benefit!

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I definitely recommend Pinterest. Create eye-catching images and pin other bloggers’ images as well πŸ™‚

  13. Side hustles are definitely useful as there is no limit how much you can earn. For years, my only side hustle was selling my own stuff online that I no longer needed. It was fine and paid many of my bills. I think it is amazing how you can earn full-time income from blogging, and it is a huge motivation to new bloggers.

  14. Hey Michelle,

    Great article! I love how you always break everything down and share other things you’ve written that we might have missed out on. I’ve side hustled many ways over the years. I’ve designed blogs for others, created invitations for weddings, parties, and engagements. I’ve created save the dates and graduation invites. I wasn’t particularly fond of the blog design aspect, so I shut that aspect down a while back.

    I’ve also created my own inspiration prints and my Etsy shop has brought in a little extra income for years now. The easiest thing for me though is blogging and writing. I type and read fast so it usually takes me very little time to get an article out compared to all of the html coding and tricks I have to do with blog design.

    It is definitely possible for anyone to make an extra income, you just have to be patient and explore things until you find the right fit. I’m thankful for online side hustling because it diversifies things for me.

    1. Thanks Latoya! πŸ™‚ Your side hustles sound like fun!

  15. Bryan

    This is a great article. I often struggle with despising my side hustle, but you are reminding me to find one I am passionate about. That makes all the difference.

  16. Andy H

    Great roundup post on side hustles. I think the biggest point to emphasize is to take action. Even if it’s baby steps. Those will add up in the long run to more exposure, more traffic and more income. You know what doesn’t bring income (directly)? Researching and reading ad nauseam.

    1. Yes, even just baby steps are better than nothing πŸ™‚

  17. I started selling my stuff on eBay and that was okay for earning a some money on the side, then I started becoming a retailer on Amazon and gained a lot of experience there.

    Now I’m considering freelance writing to add another income stream. Sometimes my mind becomes overwhelm with how I can juggle it all. But I don’t feel daunted, I’m excited. Thanks for the freelancing tips!

  18. That’s crazy. I hope it starts earning him money!

  19. Very detailed post. You hit the nail on the coffin when you “it’s all about how bad you want it”. I hear people complain all the time that they are broke, but they never do anything to try to fix the situation. Side hustling will not automatically come to you. You have to want it.

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s all about how bad you want it. While some may not want to hear it, it’s the truth.

  20. It’s incredible how the internet has opened opportunities for legit, value-added hustles! And…and, they can be pursued while having fun!

  21. I love side hustles! My wife did some craft shows for some bows that she made and got a few hundred in profits. I re-sell on eBay and absolutely love it. I wish I had started when I was younger. We paid for our new doors all with eBay profits!

  22. Esteban

    Very informative. I’ve been trying to side hustle for 5 months now… It’s definitely not easy but been making a little more every month!
    Hopefully I can reach your salary sometime soon πŸ™‚

  23. Hannah

    If you’re working full time, and in a decent financial position, I encourage people to try to monetize a hobby instead of just trying to make extra money. That way its more fun, and there’s an off chance that you’ll make a cool new career. My brother in law makes hunting videos now. He doesn’t make a ton, but he loves it!

  24. I’m always encouraging people I know to get a side hustle to make more money. Most of them have hangups about finding the time to do it. They aren’t big fans of giving up TV time or sleeping time to do it. Sigh!

    1. Yes! Sadly, it’s a lot about how badly you want it. Some just don’t want it that bad πŸ™‚

  25. Melissa

    I love that there are endless side hustle options – Pretty much no matter who you are or what skills you have, you can find a way to bring in some extra cash. My side hustles are awesome, totally worth the sleep I have to sacrifice on occasion!

  26. Great post Michelle,
    Side hustling is indeed very good and it has helped so many people to live the kind of life they dream about especially on the Internet.

    All the different side hustling ideas you shared here are very good and a lot of people are already into them.

    For me, the best among all is blogging and freelance writing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  27. Brilliant and useful article as always!
    I always love how you put the numbers in your blog posts as well – it’s inspiring! πŸ™‚

  28. I use side hustling to make me more productive. Instead of wandering around on the internet or perusing Facebook all day, I use that time to blog or make money with websites like Swagbucks.

  29. How do you manage to such interesting articles? You mention so many points in your article and all are very helpful. In last decade, internet brought the revolution and allowed people to earn money through innovative ideas.

  30. Thanks fro sharing this post is full of tips and informations that are useful!!!

  31. Great practical tips. I have just started a part-time job to suppllement our income. The real challenge is finding the balance between work and taking care of my family.

  32. Very interesting ideas. I have tried so many things in the past to earn side income. But, some how I felt they are not suitable for me. At last, I have chosen to blog and I am doing it happily. the crux is “Do what makes you feel good”.

  33. Side hustles are good because where is there job security today?

  34. Hey Michelle,
    I really the way you describe all these side hustle ideas.. Also, this post is very valuable for those who want to earn from home.

    Thanks for this valuable piece of information! keep up the awesome work…

    -Rajinder

  35. I’ve been trying to side hustle for 6 months now. It’s definitely not easy but been making a little more every month! Thanks.

  36. Concerned parent

    Hello,
    I’ve been reading your blog posts for a little bit now, and you do have some helpful information. I do have one criticism though, that I hope you will take to heart. When clicking on some links that you offer for earning an extra income (such as: Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader -January 15, 2016 BY Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA-February 19, 2016 BY Michelle Schroeder-Gardner) you ought to tell your audience that these are not exactly free guides. After clicking on the links, it is apparent that neither one of these is actually, free. I thought I would point this out, because you sound like a very nice person, but you are clearly misleading people on the internet. Your blog is full of affiliate links, and I think it’s fine to make money off of others, as long as it’s done honestly-especially since I think you’ve probably got quite a few young impressionable readers.

    1. Hello!

      I’m confused, that is a free article, and the course that I say is free in there is free (I just went to it, clicked on it, and it was indeed free). Can you show me what you’re talking about so that I can clear any confusion for you?