How To Make An Extra $500 A Month – 26 Great Ideas To Start This Year

Do you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month? If you’re like many people, learning how to earn an extra $500 a month can make a significant difference in your life. It can make the difference between a paycheck-to-paycheck life and having money to spare. Or, perhaps it’s extra money you…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: February 2, 2024

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.

Do you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month?

If you’re like many people, learning how to earn an extra $500 a month can make a significant difference in your life. It can make the difference between a paycheck-to-paycheck life and having money to spare. Or, perhaps it’s extra money you can save for something big, such as a down payment on a house or a vacation.

Whatever your reason for wanting to learn how to make an extra $500 a month, there are actually quite a few ways to do it.

I know how life changing it can be to make extra money. I was able to quickly pay off my student loans, stop living paycheck to paycheck, quit my day job to pursue my side business full-time, and more.

In short, making extra money completely changed my life, and I’m so very happy that I gave it a shot.

While it can be hard and time consuming to use your free time to make extra money, it could be worth it for you.

Today, I will be talking about various ways to make an extra $500 a month, or even more.

Related content on how to make an extra $500 a month:

How to make an extra $500 a month.


1. Build a blog of your own to make $500 extra each month

When I first started my blog, I didn’t realize that I could make money with it. I still remember the day when I made my first $100 from my blog, and it was a great feeling!

I now earn much more than that, and it’s still something I very much love doing.

Blogging allows me to travel full-time, work from home, be my own boss, and more.

You might not realize that blogging is very affordable and easy to start, and you can learn how to start a blog with my free How To Start a Blog Course.

Here’s a quick snippet of what you’ll learn in my free blogging course:

  • Day 1: Why you should start a blog
  • Day 2: How to decide what topic to blog about
  • Day 3: How to create your blog with an easy tutorial
  • Day 4: How to make money with your new blog
  • Day 5: My tips for making passive income from blogging
  • Day 6: How to increase your traffic and followers
  • Day 7: Other blogging tips that I highly recommend


2. Complete paid online surveys from your home

If you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month, you can’t do it with surveys alone. But, you can pair this side hustle with others on this list, and you’ll be on your way to $500.

Back when I was paying off my student loans, I would answer as many surveys as I could each week, either before work, during my lunch break, or after work. It was nice because I was able to answer them on my own time.

Survey companies pay you to answer surveys and test products, and sometimes you even get products for free to evaluate them.

It’s best to sign up for as many survey companies as you can to receive the most survey opportunities and make the most money. 

Here are some of the paid online survey companies I recommend:

  1. American Consumer Opinion
  2. Survey Junkie
  3. Swagbucks
  4. InboxDollars
  5. Branded Surveys
  6. OneOpinion
  7. Pinecone Research
  8. Prize Rebel
  9. MySoapBox
  10. Opinion Outpost
  11. Springboard America

Please read Paid Online Survey Sites to learn more about taking online surveys for money.


3. Join a focus group to make $100 an hour

Focus groups provide market research like online surveys, but you can earn a lot more money as they are more specific.

I recently completed a focus group that paid $450 for 75 minutes of my time. It was an easy, pleasant experience.

While $450 is a little more than usual, typical focus groups pay anywhere from around $50 to over $100 per hour.

There are many consumer research companies that pay people like you and me to share their opinions. Companies then use the feedback to improve their products and services.

You may be giving feedback on a product or platform such as Pinterest, Spotify, Google, Home Depot, Trip Advisor, and more.

User Interviews is a company I highly recommend if you want to get matched with focus groups.

You simply click here to sign up for User Interviews.

If you want to learn more about how to make an extra $500 a month with User Interviews, check out my User Interviews review here.

How To Make An Extra $500 A Month. Here's how you can make extra money, even $500 extra each month.

4. Sell printables on Etsy

This is a side hustle that many people are starting to do because printables are such a popular product to buy on Etsy right now.

Creating printables on Etsy can be a great side hustle because you just need to create one digital printable per product, which you can then sell an unlimited number of times. It becomes a fairly passive way to make money and you can do this all from home.

Printables are digital products that customers can download and print at home. Examples include grocery shopping checklists, gift tags, candy bar wrappers, printable quotes for wall art, and patterns.

I recommend reading How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy to learn more.


5. Sell templates online

Selling Canva templates online is a great side hustle if you want to use your creativity and not worry about shipping physical products. Everything is done online and you can sell your product an unlimited amount of times.

You may be creating templates for planners, eBooks, workbooks, presentations, and more.

You can learn more at How I Make $2,000+ Monthly Selling Canva Templates.


6. Become a bookkeeper and work from home

By becoming a virtual bookkeeper, you could make more than $500 a month.

You don’t have to be an accountant or have previous experience. But, there are skills that you’ll have to learn, and after that it can be a great career choice.

You can learn how to make an extra $500 a month as a bookkeeper in Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper. You’ll learn:

  • The tasks that a bookkeeper does
  • How much new bookkeepers can possibly earn
  • How to become a bookkeeper, even with no previous experience

You can also sign up here for this free series that will teach you more about creating your own work-from-home bookkeeping business.


7. Create an online store

Nearly everyone shops online these days, and there’s an online store for pretty much anything and everything.

And, running an online store is something you can learn to do if you want to know how to make an extra $500 a month.

I interviewed Jenn of E-commerce and Prosper, who explains how to create an online store of your own. Jenn created her online store and started earning an average of $19,000 per month.

You can read our interview at How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.


8. Sell items on Amazon

This might surprise you, but Amazon has many people who sell items and earn money from home, and many of them make a good amount of money doing so.

In my blog post, How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA, you will learn:

  • How to sell on Amazon
  • How to decide what to buy and sell on Amazon
  • How much money a person can expect to earn by selling on Amazon

If you want to learn more about starting an Amazon business, I recommend signing up for this free training that will teach you how to sell products on Amazon and make $100 to $500 per day.


9. Proofread content

If you enjoy finding errors in written content and want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month, then proofreading might be right for you.

Proofreading can be a side gig or a full-time work-from-home career for you.

As a proofreader, you may be proofreading articles, blog posts, advertisements, books, student papers, emails, and more.

Proofreading skills are the most important thing you need for this job. You’ll also need an internet connection, and then you can proofread from your computer, laptop, or tablet.

To learn more about proofreading, please read How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere. In this article, you will learn:

  • What exactly a proofreader does
  • How much a new proofreader can earn
  • How to become a proofreader

I recommend signing up for the FREE 76-minute workshop, where you can learn more about becoming a proofreader. You can sign up for free here.


10. Write romance novels

You probably didn’t expect to see this idea on a list of how to make an extra $500 a month, but I know more and more people who are making money by writing romance novels!

You can learn more about this interesting business idea at How to Make Money Self-Publishing Short Romance Novels on Amazon. You’ll learn:

  • How much money you can make by writing a romance novel
  • How to start writing romance novels
  • How to grow your audience and get more readers
  • How to sell your romance novels on Amazon


11. Sell stuff that you already own or that you find

If you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month, one of the easiest ways is to find something in your home to sell.

Nearly everyone has something they can sell. You can start selling stuff today if you want to start making extra money fast.

You can sell clothing, an old cell phone, books, gift cards that you won’t use, CDs, DVDs, and more.

Now, for selling your stuff, you can sell in all kinds of places, such as:

  • Facebook buy/sell groups – There are selling groups on Facebook so that you can sell items to someone in the same area as you.
  • Thrift stores – Thrift stores may pay on consignment, cash on the spot, or store credit. Taking your stuff to a thrift store will probably be the fastest way to sell things as they will be able to pay you cash right away for whatever they can sell.
  • eBay – eBay allows you to have more people see your item for sale, which may mean making more money from the item.
  • Craigslist – Craigslist allows you to easily sell items in your area.
  • Garage sale – This can be an easy way to sell many things at once, plus you can do it all from your home. A downside is that the amount you can earn per item is significantly lower.


12. Start a home bakery

If you enjoy baking and want to find out how to make an extra $500 a month, then this could be a great option for you!

You could bake cakes, cookies, dog treats, and other baked goods.

I have two great articles on this topic that I recommend reading:


13. Find gigs on Craigslist

If you’re looking for a one-time job, then searching your local Craigslist is a great way to learn how to make an extra $500 a month.

With one-time Craigslist jobs, you usually get paid right after you complete your gig, which means that you’ll get paid the same day.

To find Craigslist gigs in your town, just go to Craigslist and look for the “gigs” section.

Here are some jobs I found through a quick search:

  • Transport and install a microwave 
  • Help unloading a moving truck
  • Get paid to rent out your driveway
  • Dog sitter
  • House cleaner
  • Help with painting a home

Related read: How I Earned $655 From Random Craigslist Jobs In One Month


14. Rent out a room in your home for extra money

Finding a roommate, whether that be full-time or occasionally renting out an extra room on Airbnb, can be a good way to make extra money each month. 

There are many places where you can advertise your rental. You can put a sign on your front lawn, advertise in a newspaper, or place an ad online on a website like Craigslist.

To learn more about how to make an extra $500 a month renting a room, read What You Need To Know About Renting A Room In Your House.


15. Walk dogs or pet sit to make extra money

Being a dog walker and/or watching pets may allow you to earn money each month.

With this gig, you may be watching pets in your home (this is called pet boarding), or taking care of the pets in their home.

For pet boarding, you may be able to make around $25+ per day per animal. This is a great service to offer, and if you love animals (which you should if you are going to do this), then it could be fun as well!

We have used a number of pet sitters while we travel. It’s not uncommon for us to pay $50 per dog when we had two dogs, and our dogs were always very easy to watch.

Rover is a great company that you can sign up with in order to become a dog walker and pet sitter.


16. Become a secret shopper

I was a secret shopper in the past, and there were often mystery shops that gave me $100 to put towards a nice free dinner. I always looked forward to these, as I was living paycheck to paycheck, and I used these restaurant mystery shops to reward myself every now and then.

There were other mystery shops that paid me actual money, and some paid me in free items.

Companies hire mystery shoppers because they want to get a better idea of what the customer experience is really like. They want to know about the full experience, such as what the customer thinks of the product, how customer service was handled, how the phone was answered, and so on. You’ll be given instructions before each mystery shop so you know exactly what the company is looking for.

Basically, mystery shopping is a way to anonymously test the entire shopping experience.

Now, you probably won’t make $500 a month from mystery shopping alone, but you can reach that goal when you combine it with other side hustles.

You can learn more at How To Become A Mystery Shopper.


17. Find yard or home maintenance jobs

Some of the most dreaded chores for people are yard and home maintenance.

If you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month, you can take over those tasks. You may be able to make money by doing snow removal, mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and so on.

Here are some ideas for finding yard and home maintenance jobs:

  • Create a Craigslist post sharing your services
  • Share your yard maintenance services on your personal Facebook account
  • Go through the Craigslist gigs, as mentioned above
  • Knock on doors in your area and share your services
  • Share a flyer on a local bulletin board in your area


18. Manage Facebook advertising for small businesses

Running Facebook ads for local businesses is an online job that may allow you to earn $1,000 a month or more per client.

Small businesses use Facebook advertising to grow their reach. But, most small business owners don’t know how to effectively run advertising on their own. That’s where you come in. This is a skill that you can learn, and then market to small businesses.

You can learn how to make an extra $500 a month running Facebook ads by signing up here for this free webinar. You’ll learn how to start this business even if you’re brand new, how to find paying clients, and more.


19. Start a freelance writing career

A freelance writer is someone who writes for different clients, such as websites, magazines, advertising companies, books, and more. 

Freelance writers don’t work for one specific person or company, instead they write for many people.

You can make an extra $500 a month and more as a freelance writer, and some freelance writers earn a full-time living once they grow their business.

Learn more at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.


20. Rent out your RV

If you have an RV that is sitting around, then you may be able to make $100 to $300 a day, or more, by renting it out.

RVshare is helping travelers save money by cutting out the middleman through renting RVs directly from owners.

Think of RVshare as Airbnb for RVs.

You can learn how to get started here: How To Make Extra Money By Renting Out Your RV.

21. Rent out your car

Just like you can rent out your RV when you’re not using it, you can rent out your car if you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month.

It’s an affordable alternative to traditional rental car companies for customers, and it’s a good way to make money if you’re already working from home and don’t need your car.

Turo is one of a few different places to rent your car out, and they cover your car with up to a $750,000 insurance policy. You can pick when your car is available and set your rates on Turo.

According to Turo, you can make $10,516 each year by renting out your car.


22. Become a freelancer

Becoming a freelancer is a great way to make an extra $500 a month, and you can even do many of the freelance jobs mentioned in this article on the side of your full-time day job.

Freelancing is when you run your own business and provide services to different clients. I’ve already told you about a few different freelance business ideas: writing, running Facebook ads, proofreading, and bookkeeping. But, there are so many different kinds of freelance job ideas.

More and more companies are hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees. In fact, according to a study done by Upwork (one of the largest freelance job platforms), there are now more than 57 million freelancers in the U.S.

Here are more freelance job ideas you may be interested in learning about:

23. Find a part-time job

There are so many flexible ideas for how to make an extra $500 a month, but there are also old-school part-time jobs. 

You can become a restaurant server, deliver pizza, make coffee as a barista, bartend, work at a bookstore, and more. 

There are nationwide hiring shortages right now, so many part-time jobs are hiring on the spot. There are even some part-time jobs that come with benefits, like working at Starbucks, Costco, or UPS.

24. Flip things for profit

Flipping items is when you buy them for cheap and sell them to make extra money. Some people flip clothes, shoes, home items, and even cars.

You can find things to flip at garage sales, thrift stores, online, and more. 

I recommend watching the free webinar Turn Your Passion For Visiting Thrift Stores, Yard Sales & Flea Markets Into A Profitable Reselling Business In As Little As 14 Days, to learn how to make money by flipping items.

25. Deliver food

Food delivery services like DoorDash and Instacart are really popular right now because they are so convenient for customers.

If you want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month as a delivery driver, you will first need to meet driver requirements, which include:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a clean driving record and criminal history
  • Have a reliable vehicle 
  • Have car insurance and driver’s license

You can sign-up and work for multiple food delivery services at the same time, which is what many drivers do to make the most amount of money.

You can click here to sign up to be an Instacart Shopper.

26. Earn bank sign-on bonuses

To get new customers to sign up, some banks give cash sign-on bonuses when you open a new account. There may be a minimum deposit requirement, or you may have to maintain a minimum monthly balance.

If you can meet the bank’s requirements, you may be able to earn an extra $100-$500 for simply opening a new bank account.

How can I make an extra $1,000 a month from home?

There are many ways to make an extra $1,000 a month from home such as:

  • Writing online
  • Starting a blog
  • Becoming a virtual bookkeeper
  • Selling printables online
  • Becoming a freelancer
  • Proofreading from home

All of these ways are mentioned in more detail above.

You can also learn more at Ways To Make An Extra $1,000 A Month.

How can I make $500 right now?

Looking around your house and finding things to sell is usually the fastest way to make extra money. You can quickly sell your stuff on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

How can I make $500 extra a week?

An extra $500 a week would be about an extra $2,000 a month.

While this is a lot of money, it may still be possible for you.

Some ways to make this amount of money each month may include starting your own side business, such as freelancing from home, or finding a part-time job.


How can I make $100 a day?

Whether you are looking to make $100 in one day, or if you want to make $100 every single day, there are options for this as well.

I recommend reading How To Make $100 A Day to learn about the many different options available to you.

How can I turn $500 into $1000?

Investing is the best way to turn $500 into $1000 or more. 

If you’re new to investing, I recommend reading How to Start Investing for Beginners With Little Money.

How to make $500 a month in passive income?

Ideas like renting out your RV, renting a room in your house, and making online printables are ideas for how to make an extra $500 a month in passive income. 

You will have to invest some of your time or money to get started, but that’s the case with any kind of passive income stream.


How can I make an extra $500 a month?

By reading the above, I am sure you learned many different ways to make an extra $500 a month. I recommend finding one or some that interests you the most, and seeing how it goes.

Luckily, most of the ways above are fairly easy to start.

How would an extra $500 a month change your life? What do you do to make extra money?

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. It’s a beautiful feeling to know side hustles and affiliate marketing is here to stay. 🙂

  2. Lots of great ideas here. Another to consider is providing a simple parking lot litter cleaning service. The work is done on-foot using a unique hand tool that makes it quick and easy. Almost as easy to do as going for a walk! I started doing this in 1981 as a side gig and grew it into a 6 figure business I still operate today.

  3. John Ravi

    Hi Michelle,

    It was a very helpful article! With holidays just around the corner, I am thinking about ways to earn more money and maximize my income. The ways you described in your post will be very helpful to the readers. I found a lot of ideas very interesting, and I can’t wait to try them myself. I really liked the one about completing surveys and selling templates. I will be sharing this article within my network to help others as well.

  4. Love the idea of bank account bonuses, passive income at it’s finest! Just by opening two accounts this year I made $1200, and it took maybe 90 minutes. You can’t (or probably won’t want to) do it every month, but you can also consider referral bonuses if a bank account, credit card, or other account comes up in conversation.

    I’ve also hear becoming a notary is a way for side income, just to add to the list!

  5. Hello Michelle,

    This is an interesting article.

    I’ve already mastered how to make money blogging and I can’t afford to stop blogging anytime soon.

    I have so many inspiring quotes running through my minds at all times and I think it’s high time I moved to Etsy and start selling printables. I didn’t an idea as simply as that could be monetized passively.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    I appreciate.

    – Emmanuel

  6. Jaswinder Kaur

    Hello Michelle,

    Very interesting article on the topic. I love all the ideas to make $500 monthly as an extra income.
    The first one, blogging, is my favorite and I am blogger, who is earning from blogging for last 7-8 years.
    Thanks for sharing such a great ideas.

  7. With inflation coupled with shrinkflation, it’s a great time to revisit side gigs