9 Odd and Interesting Ways To Make Extra Income

Last year, I published the blog post 4 Interesting Ways To Make Side Income Including Sleeping and Selling Your Poop. As you can probably guess, that blog post was very interesting to write. I decided to do some more research to see what other weird ways are out there to make extra income. There are…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: November 28, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

9 Odd and Interesting Ways To Make Extra IncomeLast year, I published the blog post 4 Interesting Ways To Make Side Income Including Sleeping and Selling Your Poop. As you can probably guess, that blog post was very interesting to write. I decided to do some more research to see what other weird ways are out there to make extra income.

There are many different ways to make a side income. You can make money at a part-time job, a full-time job, online, offline, and so on.

I believe that making extra income will completely change a person’s life for the better. By making extra income you can stop living paycheck to paycheck, you can pay off debt, and more.

In fact, because of extra income I was able to pay off $38,000 in student loans within 7 months, I was able to leave my day job to pursue my passion, travel full-time, and more!

Below are nine odd and/or interesting ways to make extra income.

1. Sell your life.

Of course, I have to talk about the most interesting way to make extra income first. If you don’t know who Ian Usher is, let me tell you all about him. In 2008, he put his life up for sale on eBay.

He sold everything as a package, which included his car, job, home, and friends. Someone actually paid for it too!

Another interesting take on this is from Mike Merrill. He offered 100,000 shares of himself to investors at a price of $1 a share. Each investor has a voting share and gets to decide how he lives his life.

Related articles:

2. Deliver RVs to dealerships.

RVs are huge, and the majority of the time they can’t be transported by semi-trucks because of their large size. Due to that, someone has to drive them from the manufacturer to the RV dealership.

We recently met a couple who do this for a living, and they both loved what they did. They were able to travel a lot, earn a living, and got to see new RVs all the time.

To make extra income doing this, you can try contacting transport companies in your area, RV manufacturers, RV dealerships, and more.

3. Participate in medical research studies.

As I mentioned in 4 Interesting Ways To Make Side Income Including Sleeping and Selling Your Poop, you may be able to participate in medical research studies that include sleeping and selling your poop. There are many other medical research studies to participate in as well!

Medical studies exist to allow you to help with the research and study of diseases, medicine, treatment, and more. Depending on what is being studied, studies ask for certain types people for the different tasks needed to be performed.

To find paid medical research studies, I recommend checking out your local Craigslist listings, contacting universities in your area, and seeing if there are any medical testing companies in your area. Most cities have these options, and you just have to look for them.

When my husband was younger he actually participated in a few medical research studies to help us earn more money. He was usually paid around $1,000 for a week’s worth of time.

Related: How To Sell Your Poop

4. Donate your eggs or sperm.

There are some things that you may be able to sell for a good deal of money, and this includes selling your eggs or sperm.

For eggs, women can earn anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on their characteristics. Egg donors are typically under the age of 30 and healthy. African American women and Asian American women usually earn the most money as there is a larger need for their eggs. This is not super easy money, though. There are a number of doctor’s visits, and extracting the eggs requires a medical procedure.

For sperm, the average donation pays anywhere from $50 to $100. It can be quite easy to donate, and some men donate as much as 2-3 times each week.

5. Cuddle with strangers to make extra income.

There are many cuddling companies that currently exist. You can sell cuddles to strangers, and some people even make a few hundred dollars a day by cuddling with others.

Check this out if you don’t believe me – Jackie Samuel, ‘Professional Cuddler’ Charges £35 Per Hour Of Snuggling.

6. Sell breast milk.

Only recently did I realize that some women make extra money doing this. If you are breastfeeding, you may be able to sell your breast milk and make extra income. Breast milk often goes for $1 to $2.50 per ounce, and sometimes it sells for as much as $4 per ounce.

There are many people who are looking to buy breast milk – not just mothers. Athletes, and those looking to boost their immune systems, are buyers as well.

Recommended reading: CNN’s With breast milk online, it’s buyer beware.

7. Clean up poop.

One of my dad’s very first jobs as a teenager was cleaning up dog and bird poop at retail stores that didn’t like customers to see the mess.

You may be able to make extra income completing this task too, as it’s not something many people are waiting in line to do. But, it does need to be done!

8. Join a focus group.

There are many companies willing to pay for your opinions on their products. They want to know what you think of the product, how much you think it should sell for, who their target market is, and more.

Focus groups usually pay by check, free items, gift cards, or by PayPal. You might be able to earn $100 or more for one day in a focus group by just giving your opinions.

Something related to joining a focus group is taking surveys. Survey companies I recommend include Survey Junkie, American Consumer Opinion, Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, Pinecone Research, 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 in order to receive the most surveys and make the most money.

9. Become a mystery shopper.

A few years ago, I mystery shopped a lot to make extra income. I made anywhere from $150 to $200 a month mystery shopping and received free meals, makeup, and more.

I only used Bestmark for mystery shopping, so I know that they are a 100% legitimate company. There are other legitimate mystery shopping companies that exist, but you do want to do your research.

Related: Mystery Shopping – Make Extra Money

What other ways are there to make extra income?


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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. Hi Michelle,

    I’ve been an avid reader of yours for a few months now, but this is my first time leaving a comment.

    I had to leave a comment as these are so way ‘out of the box’ ideas that I’ve heard in a long time!

    Cuddling strangers and cleaning up poop made me smile – I’ve never heard of them before, they definitely beat selling stuff on eBay for sure!

    OKay, now back to work.

    Thanks, Claire

  2. I did medical research studies when I was younger! They’re pretty easy to find in most cities and they’re a legitimate way to make extra money. I don’t do them now, having a family, but if you’re strapped for cash or just have extra time on your hands – they’re very worth it!

    This was about 10 years ago, but I often did studies where I would stay for 3 weekends and maybe about $1500. I took my laptop and did some work online, they also had large TVs and recliners. You know what drug they’re testing beforehand, and they studies typically pay more for longer stays or for an actual prescription drug (vs.say cough syrup.)

    1. Yes, I agree! I don’t think they’re for me, but my husband has taken part in medical studies in the past and earned a good amount of money.

    2. Sacha

      Any particular medical research companies?

    3. Sacha

      Do you know of any particular medical research companies?

  3. Someone opened a “cuddling” business in my hometown a few years ago. It’s kinda weird if you ask me, but at least they’re doing something =)

  4. Mind totally blown that someone would sell shares of their life so they can have someone else dictate how they live…talking about the opposite goal of financial independence? I wonder do they have any say over how he spends his money? Oh, my inquisitive mind has me off to research these fellows…

    1. Yeah, I don’t think I would be happy doing that at all. To each their own!

  5. Ha good list Holly, and some funny ones on the list. You’ll have to check out my post tomorrow…:)

  6. I mean Michelle! I saw Holly comment above, oops.

  7. Lindsey

    Can’t say I’ve done any of these ways to earn some extra cash. But I’ve always been interested in donating plasma

  8. Eric Bowlin

    Very interesting. There were at least 3 or 4 that I’ve never heard of or thought of. I actually stopped to research a couple…

    Do you have any affiliate agreements for some of these?… get paid “per sample collected?”…. just kidding.

    1. Hahaha! I’m only an affiliate for #8 and #9 πŸ™‚

  9. Apathy Ends

    Donated plasma all through college! It was awesome – paid to sit there and read.

    1. Nice! How much did you make?

  10. Haha! I can’t say that I’m considering too many of these. I donated plasma a few times years ago. I’ve always thought mystery shopping sounds cool, but I live in a really rural area, so I doubt there are many opportunities around here.

    1. There were mystery shops in the small town we lived in Colorado. Not a ton, but you may find something πŸ™‚

  11. Amanda

    While this was a very informative and creative list, I couldn’t help laughing at some of these suggestions. I had heard of the cuddling option before so I think that’s hilarious. The selling your life one, I would never, EVER do. How scary is that to know that the one thing you own and control you are willing to sell away. I’m sure there are legal restrictions when someone does this, but I would be so worried that whoever “bought my life” would want me to do illegal or adult stuff that I would never want to do.

    Way to help me start thinking outside of the box though! I like the idea of transporting RV’s. If I ever make the leap to full time blogging I may do just that!

    Amanda

    1. Haha, yes, some of these are pretty funny!

  12. The most interesting that I found out of all the jobs is Deliver RVs to dealerships πŸ™‚

    Any good resource that I can refer to know more about it?

    1. I honestly am not 100% positive, but you may be able to call RV dealerships and see what the process is.

  13. This is awesome Michelle. The cuddling one is definitely something I haven’t heard of! I am going to try Mystery Shopping, but that is probably as adventurous as I’ll get. πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    1. Haha, don’t worry. I’m not too adventurous when it comes to this list as well.

  14. Monica@wellideclare

    Wow! Just wow! I am obviously not adventurous! The cuddling one makes me sad. πŸ™ We definitely need more love in the world if you need to pay someone to be cuddled. If only unwanted body fat was in demand.. Sigh.
    This list is going to be rolling around in my head today.

  15. Okay, I have to admit that I like this post purely for the dramatics of it!! It’s so weird what people will do for money lol!

  16. Michelle,

    Everything you said is down to Earth and makes sense. Some people actually know this information and choose to be lazy & not act on it. Why would they leave money on the table and then cry later on about money they don’t have and struggling? It’s because they don’t want to do the work and succeed. I love how you broke this down to the lowest common denominator because it inspires people who don’t know how to earn extra money online to take the 1st action step in faith and get moving. Whatever a person does to make money online, they’ll need a blog fior sure for the purpose of branding themselves. πŸ™‚

      1. You’re welcome. And thank you for taking time to respond Michelle. πŸ™‚

  17. Michael

    Here is one I came across – you get paid to be a friend at rentafriend.com. I found this odd when I first saw it.

    When I read your post and saw that you could get hired to cuddle, I guess rentafriend doesn’t seem as bad.

    Honestly, I don’t like either. Friendship has no meaning if you need to pay for it and why would you cuddle with a stranger?

  18. Selling life sounds…interesting. I have tried mystery shopping and that is actually pretty fun πŸ™‚ I don’t think I would be able to cuddle with a complete stranger though…

  19. Cari

    I’ve done several of these over the years, so here is my experience. Medical research – check. I’ve participated in several clinical trials of drugs. The drug companies want healthy individuals to test their new or improved drug on to determine if it has not obvious side effects. One I did had several many one-day checkins, 3-day stays and one 2-week stay and I got almost $5000.

    Mystery shopping – lots of work for little money. First of all you have to find reputable companies and sign up for them. Then you have to either wait for them to contact you or stalk their job boards. Once you get the job, you have to read through all the instructions (some scenarios are complicated and require lots of questions). Then you do the job, then you report on it. Food shops require timing – i.e. how long from the time you ordered to the time you got your food, how long before the server arrived at your table, etc. And many food shops pay a pittance or just reimburse you for the meal. Since you’re on alert the whole time, I found that the meal just wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t enjoy the food or my companion. Retail shops – you have to pay attention, ask questions, time things like how long before you were greeted, and sometimes have to go back and return the item for a separate assignment.

    Focus groups – those are usually fun and you get paid for giving your opinion. They always overbook, so there are times when you show up, they have too many people so you don’t get selected, you get paid and you go home.

    1. Thank you for your input! Which way is your favorite?

    2. Sacha

      Which focus group companies do you recommend?

  20. The first one (sell your life) really caught me off guard. You weren’t kidding when you said 9 interesting ways to make extra money! I’m going to have to read the article about the man who sold shares of himself. I’m interested in seeing how that works. I tell ya, people can come up with some crazy ways to make money.

  21. Alexandra @RealSimpleFinances

    Selling your life on eBay?! That’s crazy. I don’t understand how that would work, but I guess it goes along the lines of that guy who got thousands of dollars in donations on some gofundme style website because he said he wanted to make potato salad…

    I have definitely thought of selling breastmilk, but didn’t. I didn’t realize the going rate was so high!

  22. I’m a huge fan of odd ways to make money. One of my main income streams is pet sitting, which includes overnight stays like house sitting as well as dog walking and poop scooping. Hubby and I bring in $2000-$4000 a month with it. I’ve also made $10 an hour as a Chickfila mascot cow. And we made a few thousand in college by buying and reselling Magic: The Gathering cards on Ebay. Now I want to look into auctioning off my life for a year…sounds awesome.

  23. Manidipa Bhaumik

    Hi Michelle,

    Some interesting and out of the box money making ideas here. Auctioning your life seems crazy. I felt it really awesome when first heard about the idea of earning money for sleeping! Thanks for sharing about these extra income ideas.

  24. There are also quite a few people I’ve heard about who clean up garbage from parking lots/landscapes of strip malls and other large shopping centers at night. It can be a pretty good side gig and some people have even turned it into a full time business. It tends to be a very under-served niche in most areas.

  25. Read your article for odd extra income based on their own skill set. Really something different ways to earn money.

  26. She shops

    Mystery shopping is a great way to make a little extra cash. My husband is a shopper too, and sometimes we are able to do “team shopping.” My husband and I present seminars on how to do this (extra money from that) and when our guests ask “where do we sign up?” I lead them to the mystery shop companies that have a referral program, ask them to use my name, and make a little more money that way. This does not include the free meals, gym memberships, clothes, sporting events, cosmetics, haircuts, spa treatments, weekend hotel stays, craft supplies, movie outings, and coffee machines I’ve received as compensation. I’m surprised more people don’t do this.

    1. Sacha

      Which particular companies do tou recommend for myster shopping?

  27. Hi Michelle,

    These are actually different ideas to make extra income but seems interesting and some are crazy I never read this type of information. Participate in medical research and auctioning your life one of the best ideas to make extra money. Thanks for sharing these extra money tips. I appreciate you for this innovative thinking.

    Arpit

  28. All kinds of $ gUaP $ to be made online. This is why today I love being in the “side hustle millionaire mindset.” πŸ™‚