Get rich quick schemes abound, and its no wonder. Who doesn’t dream of winning the lottery or creating that killer website or product that turns you from a pauper into a prince overnight. Unfortunately, except for a very rare few, the world doesn’t work that way. For 99.9999% of us the only path to riches will be through hard work and determination. While you are on that path to riches though, you may find it helpful to have a few ways that will allow you to supplement your income, providing money for your favorite toys or to invest into a business idea.
The following 10 ideas are all proven side hustle jobs that can give you those extra hundreds per month that take you from struggling to cruising more comfortably through your life.
- Take Out Car Ads – I don’t mean you should list your car for sale in the classifieds. What I am referring to id actually putting ads ON YOUR CAR. I’m sure you’ve seen cars on the road with ads on them for insurance companies or the latest snack foods. You might have thought that this was some sort of company car, but there are advertiser who will pay to put client ads on your car.Depending on the ad company, the ads, your driving habits, and the area you live in, you could make up to $900 per month by turning your car into a mobile billboard. In some cases, the company will even provide you with the car. How cool is that?Just head over to one of the advertisers (here are two – Autowrapped and Free Car Media, but there are others) and sign up through their driver form. When there is an ad promotion in your area you could be contacted to plaster your car with ads and get paid! Don’t get too excited yet though. In some cases it could take years to get contacted and there is no guarantee you will EVER be contacted. If you are, this is an easy way to add hundreds of dollars a month to your income.
- Become a Direct Sales Superstar – Before all the get rich online hype, there were companies like Amway and Avon who made many people rich as direct salespeople. You probably know about Amway and Avon, but did you know that there are literally hundreds of direct sales companies? Most focus on beauty products and health products, but there are companies that also operate in the travel, technology, and services sectors among others. Of course most people don’t get rich, and Amway admits that the average monthly income of their representatives is just $115.These companies operate by employing people like you and me to sell their products directly to consumers, bypassing normal retail distribution. Sales reps make commissions on all the products they sell, plus commissions on sales that anyone else they recruit as a salesperson makes. There are also volume bonuses, higher commission tiers as you and your reps sell more, and contests to sweeten the pot.Many people have derided the whole direct sales industry calling it a pyramid scheme, but the Federal Trade Commission ruled in 1979 that the Amway business model is legitimate as it does not require sales reps to pay membership fees or purchase large quantities of wholesale goods. While all this may sound like a good deal, and it could be if you are an excellent salesperson or have a large network of friends and acquaintances, the truth is that becoming successful in direct sales is a lot of hard work.
- Become a Barrista at Starbucks – Sure this is a traditional part time job, but Starbucks offers such an impressive array of employee benefits that it bears consideration as a side hustle job. Most of the benefits require you to work 20 hours per week so if you can’t do that, then this might not be the right opportunity for you. Starbucks offers comprehensive health benefits, paid vacation, access to the company’s 401(k) plan, and discounts on purchases of company stock. With a current dividend yield of 1.61% and a dividend that keeps increasing that could end up brewing some serious passive income for you.Starbucks also offers tuition assistance and you get to take home 1 pound of coffee each week for free so you’ll have plenty of caffeine to keep you going with your primary job and your side hustle.
- Freelance Writing, Design and Marketing – The one small benefit of the Great Recession has been an increase in job opportunities for freelances of all kinds. Many companies that once hired full time employees to fill positions are now outsourcing those tasks to qualified freelancers. This saves the company millions in benefits and salaries and puts money in the pockets of freelancers hungry for work.A study by the Human Capital Institute earlier this year shows one third of the American workforce is now comprised of such freelance or contract workers.Freelance pay is typically higher than hourly pay at the same firm, so you can take advantage of this and rake in some extra cash. Just be sure that your freelance work is not creating a conflict of interest with your current employer or you could find your side hustle has become your full time job.If freelancing sounds like something that would be a good fit with your current skills and talents, or you want to transition into the freedom offered by freelancing you can check out this post from Eric Rosenberg over at Personal Profitability. It’s a great guide for beginners looking to get started in world of freelancing and builds on Eric’s own experiences in freelancing.
- Sell Your Unworn Jewelry – As most everyone knows by now, gold prices have been on a tear for at least the past 4 years and they show no signs of slowing any time soon. If you haven’t already rounded up all the gold jewelry in your house, now might be a good time to do so. Just understand that since jewelry quality gold is not 100% pure you won’t be getting the current $1673.60 per ounce that gold is fetching.When selling your old jewelry be aware that you will typically get more from a jeweler versus a scrap gold dealer (you know that kind that advertises on TV and in the newspapers). If your gold is considered scrap or broken though a scrap dealer could be just fine. Current rates for scrap gold range from $31 a gram for 14 carat gold to $54 a gram for 24 carat gold (the most pure). Also, avoid the mail in gold places as there have been too many complaints and besides you should easily be able to find a buyer locally.
- Work at Trade Conventions – If you live in or near a major city you might find a niche working at trade conventions. Many companies hire local people to staff booths at the trade conventions as well as other jobs such as handing out samples or simply attracting attention to the booth. Pay for these jobs is hourly and the best way to find these types of jobs is through staffing services. Bear in mind that event sponsors often use appearance as a determining factor in their hiring decisions, so if this is troubling to you, then you may want to look elsewhere for your side hustle cash.
- Mystery Shopper – Mystery shoppers are paid by research companies to report on their experience in retail establishments. The company will tell you which store or restaurant to go to, what to buy, what to look for and possibly even some questions you will need to ask. You report back on your experienced based on what the research company is looking for and you get paid. The company will also reimburse you for anything you may have been required to buy. Pay typically ranges from $15-25 per assignment and you can also get free meals, movie tickets, gas or whatever else you might be required to purchase as part of the assignment. You can find a list of reputable mystery shopping website at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.
- Rent That Spare Room – If you are a homeowner with extra room in your house you might be able to rent the room to add some extra money to your monthly coffers. Depending on the area in which you live it is possible to rent a room for as much as $1000 per month. Check the classifieds in your area to see what others are charging.Keep in mind though that renting a room in your house isn’t as simple as just kicking back and collecting rent money each month. You will need to operate your rental just as any landlord would, and that means performing credit and background checks on potential tenants, following anti-discrimination laws, maintaining your home in compliance with any federal, state, or local housing regulations, and drawing up a proper lease. Also consider what might happen if you need to evict a tenant in the future. Plus, there is always the issue of having a stranger living in your home.
- Donate Eggs and Sperm – I’ve talked in detail about both sperm donation and egg donation in the past. Both can pay quite well, but there is always the issue of having your DNA out there in some person who you’ve never met. Learn more about each:Egg Donation: Is Donating Eggs for Cash OK?Sperm Donation: Getting Paid for the Gift of Life
- Take Some Bed Rest – How can you make money simply lying around in bed? Become part of the NASA Space Flight Simulation Study, that’s how! They are paying test subjects $5000 to lie in bed for 70 days. These tests are meant to simulate the experiences of astronauts in space and during the 70 days you’ll be in a bed 24 hours a day with your legs slightly elevated in a head down position. You can watch TV, read, use a computer, anything at all that doesn’t require you to get out of bed. In total, you need to spend 97 or 105 days living at the NASA Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU) at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX.
There you have 10 ways to make some extra cash on the side, in some cases a serious amount of cash. These are only 10 out of potentially hundreds of cash earning side jobs and businesses you can do, so what are you waiting for? Cutting your spending can be fun, but making more money is even more fun!