Whether you’re trying to get out of debt, save more for retirement or just boost your monthly income, there has never been a better time to figure out some ways to make extra money on the side.
No longer do you have to settle for a part-time job with a set schedule. Today’s gig economy is all about flexibility.
We’ve researched the following ways to make extra money to confirm that they’re legitimate. Many of these strategies have been put to the test by Team Clark and even money expert Clark Howard himself.
To learn more about these side gigs, click on one of the links in our table of contents or keep scrolling for the full list…
Table of Contents
Quick and Easy Ways to Make Extra Money
- Find Missing Money in Your Name
- Look for Bogus Billing Charges
- Stop Paying for Things You Don’t Need
- Return a Recent Purchase
- Earn Cash Back for Your Shopping
- Swagbucks: Watch Videos, Take Surveys and Surf the Web
- Share Your Opinions and Make $75/Hour or More!
- Become a Food Tester
- Wrap Your Car in Advertising
- Take Advantage of a Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
- Open a New Bank Account for an Easy $200
Make Extra Money Working From Home
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
- Earn $5 (or More) at a Time With Fiverr
- Become a Freelance Writer
- Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
- Resell Items From T.J. Maxx, Ross and Burlington
- Start an Online Shop
Extra Money From Side Hustles With Flexible Schedules
- Become a Contractor or Handyman
- Run Errands or Help Someone With Their To-Do List
- Charge Bird or Lime-S Electric Scooters While You Sleep
- Donate Plasma and Make Up to $400/month
- Rover: Start Your Own Pet Sitting Business
- Start a Babysitting Business
- Start a Photography Business
- Teach or Tutor
- Monetize Your Content
- Drive for Uber or Lyft (Clark Tried It!)
- Food Delivery
- Deliver Groceries for Instacart or Shipt
- Make Deliveries for Amazon Flex
- Become a Secret Shopper
- Rent Out Your Home With Airbnb
- Get a Roommate
- Rent Out Your Car With Turo
- Plan Trips or Become a Local Tour Guide
Quick and Easy Ways to Make Extra Money
1. Find Missing Money in Your Name
Just enter your name and state to find unclaimed property, money and assets. It only takes a few seconds!
Unclaimed money from bank accounts, insurance policies, rental and utility deposits, safe deposit boxes and other places make up the billions of dollars sitting with state governments.
Here are just a few examples of the specific types of unclaimed money out there:
- A check you forgot to cash
- Money left in an inactive bank account
- A rebate check mailed to an old address
Even if you don’t have unclaimed money, you may want to run the search for your family members to see if something comes up! That’s how one member of Team Clark found out he was owed money.
2. Look for Bogus Billing Charges
Set aside some time to look through your monthly statements and make sure you understand every charge. It’s possible that you’re paying for services you aren’t using through your TV provider, internet provider, cell phone service provider and more.
Look for line items with deceptive terms such as “Premium Content” or “Direct Bill Charge” (sometimes referred to as “DBC” on your bill.) If you find a charge that you didn’t agree to, call up your provider and get your money back.
While you’re looking at your bills, consider if you can lower them in any other ways. Perhaps you’re ready to cut the cable cord or you aren’t using quite as much mobile data as you thought you needed. Here are more ways to cut your cell phone bill.
Take the time to contact your providers and reduce any services you can spare for more money back in your pocket every month.
3. Stop Paying for Things You Don’t Need
Along the same lines as lowering your phone bill or eliminating your cable TV bill, consider anything you’re currently paying for that you may not need. Canceling recurring services or monthly memberships is a quick way to add more money to your budget.
Here are a few things you may be overpaying for:
- Insurance: People will sell insurance on anything these days, but you only really need it on your home and car. If you’re paying for insurance on something like your cell phone, cancel it and consider one of these alternatives.
- Entertainment: Consider canceling Netflix or Disney+ and opt for a free streaming service for money back in your pocket. Similarly, you may be able to swap Spotify or Apple Music and listen to free music online. Also, be sure to take advantage of your local library for more free entertainment.
- Gym Memberships: Monthly fitness memberships can get expensive fast. You can pay yourself that membership fee instead and opt for a free workout/fitness app. Here are more tips for saving on your gym membership.
Look at your spending over the last few months to figure out how much money you’ll save by canceling services you don’t really need.
4. Return a Recent Purchase
If you’ve recently made any big purchases, consider returning it as a way to quickly put more money into your bank account.
If you’re behind on your monthly budget after buying a new phone, laptop, gaming console, furniture, etc., check the store’s return policy and see if you can get a refund.
This may not be the most fun option on this list, but if you’ve recently spent $200 on something you don’t actually have to have right now, returning it is a quick and easy way to add more cash to your wallet.
5. Earn Cash Back for Your Shopping
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. There are a handful of popular cash back apps that will reward you for buying things that are probably already in your grocery shopping cart.
With the Ibotta app, earning extra cash is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Add offers to your account
- Buy those items at the grocery store
- Upload your receipt
For online purchases, try sites like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and TopCashback that give you cash back for starting your shopping with them. Walmart, Priceline, Amazon, Best Buy and Macy’s are just a few of the participating brands.
Many of the apps and websites we’ve listed also offer sign-up and referral bonuses of up to $10 each. That’s easy money! Be sure to check out our full list of cashback apps.
6. Swagbucks: Watch Videos, Take Surveys and Surf the Web
Swagbucks is a way to earn free gift cards and Team Clark knows for sure that it’s NOT a scam!
Like some of the cash back apps that we previously mentioned, Swagbucks awards users points for online shopping. But it’s different because you can also get rewards for searching the web, watching videos and taking surveys.
You can then redeem those points for cash back from PayPal or gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Swagbucks normally offers a $10 welcome bonus and also rewards you for referring family and friends.
7. Participate in a Focus Group
You can get paid to share your thoughts and opinions — not a bad deal.
A member of Team Clark has made $250 over the course of one month by participating in focus groups that he found through FocusGroup.com.
Once you register online, you’ll get emails with surveys to help you qualify for paid focus groups with Focus Pointe Global. The studies are conducted at the company’s 20 facilities nationwide and online.
Our team member most recently was part of a 36-member panel that viewed TV commercials and answered multiple-choice questions about them.
He received a $75 Visa gift card for an hour’s worth of work, though many studies pay $150 or more.
8. Become a Food Tester
Calling all foodies! Did you know that you can make money by participating in taste tests?
A member of Team Clark has worked with Contract Testing Inc. (CTI) and a couple of other companies that have paid her to eat! She says registration is easy and you can start making money in no time.
“The process is pretty straightforward: You fill out a questionnaire (either online or over the phone since sometimes they call you if they need to fill open slots) and if you qualify for the taste test you simply pick one of the available time slots,” Chelsea says. “You never know which fast food/restaurant you’re going to be tasting until you arrive and begin the taste test.”
After the taste test is over, you collect your payment immediately. Chelsea says she’s received cash and gift cards, usually with a payout of around $40. The most she earned from a single taste test was $75.
Another Team Clark member makes money with Market Force, a mystery shopping site that focuses a lot on restaurants.
9. Wrap Your Car in Advertising
Wrapify turns your commute into cash by paying you to wrap your car in advertising for their clients. Honorary Team Clark member Joel Larsgaard tested it out and says he made $200 after about three months.
Joel drives very little since he bikes to work, so he thinks this side hustle is best for those with longer commutes.
10. Take Advantage of a Credit Card Welcome Bonus
If you have a good credit score, signing up for a new credit card is an easy way to make extra money.
For example, you can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express within the first six months of the card opening.
That bonus is in addition to the 6% cash back you earn in U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms apply.
When you start to look at credit cards with annual fees — particularly travel cards — you may be able to pay for an entire vacation with sign-up bonuses worth $500 to $1,000.
Clark says rewards credit cards only make sense for people who avoid interest charges by always paying their balance in full every month. Read his philosophy before you apply for a new card.
11. Open a New Bank Account
Don’t want a new credit card? You may be able to earn a couple hundred bucks by signing up for a new bank account.
Team Clark member Theo Thimou has researched this topic and found that you can earn $200 or more by opening up a checking or savings account with traditional banks like Chase, Citi, HSBC, and Truist (formerly SunTrust).
Not all bank bonuses require such large deposits, but most of them do make you take extra steps like setting up direct deposit, using your debit card a certain number of times and maintaining a minimum monthly balance to avoid a fee.
You should only take advantage of one of these offers if you know that you can jump through all of the hoops to get the bonus.
It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of the promotional offer that you got in the mail as proof in case the bank doesn’t automatically award the bonus after you’ve met the terms.
Make Extra Money Working From Home
12. Amazon Mechanical Turk
If you want to work from home on your own schedule, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is an online platform where businesses post various micro-jobs that workers can complete for a small cash reward.
MTurk refers to the micro-jobs as Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). The time commitment and the pay rate for each HIT can vary significantly — most don’t require any special skills.
Here are a few examples of the tasks that workers can complete on MTurk:
- Surveys for academic research
- Identify objects in a photo or video
- Transcribe audio recordings
- Research data details
A member of Team Clark challenged himself to complete 30 jobs in 30 days through MTurk. Although some tasks paid only pennies, he was able to work fast enough to earn an average of $7.30 an hour.
He spent most of his time completing surveys and found the best HITs are posted during regular business hours.
If you enjoy typing to make extra money from home, also look into becoming a transcriptionist or captioner for Rev.com. Team Clark member Dallas used to caption videos on Rev and managed to earn just under $3,000. You can read our full review here.
13. Earn $5 (or More) at a Time With Fiverr
Become a seller on Fiverr.com and join the growing community of freelancers who offer professional services like graphic design, resume writing, data entry, voice over and more.
You can work as little or as much as you want and set your price at $5 per gig or higher — up to $10,000.
Fiverr’s website says that once a seller completes an order, the money is transferred to their account right away. Listing services is free and sellers keep 80% of each transaction.
14. Become a Freelance Writer
If writing is one of your key strengths, there are always plenty of writing and editing jobs that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Job titles include content writer, copy supervisor, technical writer, food blogger and financial writer.
We reached out to the job experts at FlexJobs and they told us the pay range can vary widely, with more technical or expert-level writing positions paying the most.
Some writing jobs pay per hour and others pay per article. Here are some examples from FlexJobs:
- Digital Copywriter: $25 to $35 per hour
- Copywriter, Editor: $15 to $18 per hour
- Writer: $50 to $100 per article
- Copywriter: Up to $30 per hour
- Technical Writer: $26 to $33 per hour
- Content Strategist: $55 to $65 per hour
FlexJobs is a subscription site that filters out all of the scams. Since it requires a membership fee, it’s best only for those who are serious about finding a work-from-home job.
15. Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
Have a lot of clutter around the house? If a yard sale isn’t really your thing, eBay and Craigslist are two places to list used items for sale, including furniture, clothing, electronics and toys.
Sell Just About Anything
Sell Your Old Electronics
Sell Your Old Clothes
If you have a lot of items to unload, Katy Wolk-Stanley of The Non-Consumer Advocate shared with Clark.com how she uses Craigslist as part of her winning strategy to make the most money at her yard sales.
Before you list anything for sale, check out this article on all the ways to sell your old stuff for the most money.
16. Resell Items From T.J. Maxx, Ross and Burlington
Glen Zubia, pictured above, told Clark.com that he paid off $50,000 in debt by becoming a reseller.
He says that people just starting out as resellers should focus on what they know. Glen buys a lot of things, but his interest in sneakers has helped him spot the best deals when he’s shopping.
If you’re interested in becoming a reseller, check out Glen’s YouTube channel where he shares lots of tips and tricks.
17. Start an Online Shop
In addition to selling (or reselling) clothes and electronics, you can also sell your own creations online to earn extra money from home.
If you have any artistic skill or hobby, there are people out there who would love to purchase the finished product. Whether you paint, sew, knit, carve, and stain wood, make wreaths, jewelry, greeting cards, print custom T-shirts, or something else entirely, you can start a small business by selling your creations.
To find the right buyers, you can start an online shop from home. Etsy is perhaps one of the most popular online shop websites where individuals and small businesses can sell their products. In addition to Etsy, you may also find buyers on Facebook Marketplace or even at local events open to vendors.
Even if you don’t already know how to create something, you can teach yourself just about any skill for free online. A few years ago, I taught myself to crochet by following free video tutorials on YouTube. While I haven’t tried to sell any creations, I’m a member of several groups online where people earn extra money by setting up at local fairs and/or starting an Etsy shop.
Extra Money From Side Hustles With Flexible Schedules
18. Become a Contractor or Handyman
Depending on your specific skillset, you may be able to start a side hustle as a handyman in your neighborhood. Whether you can fix problems around the house or have a background in construction, you may be able to find work in your area.
I recommend offering your services online in local groups as well as on apps for hiring contractors. Resources like Thumbtack, Angi, HomeAdvisor and TaskRabbit are great places to advertise your services. Plus, you can set your own rates per project and choose which jobs you want to accept as a handyman.
19. Run Errands or Help Someone With Their To-Do List
Even if you don’t have the skill set to do major home improvement or construction jobs, you may still be able to make money off the apps listed above.
You can use apps like TaskRabbit to advertise a variety of services including cleaning, hanging pictures, running errands, assembling furniture, and more.
Check out the full list of TaskRabbit services to find inspiration. Then, you can click “Become a Tasker” to get started. Taskers get to be their own boss. They work as independent contractors and use the TaskRabbit platform to obtain clients.
20. Charge Bird or Lime-S Electric Scooters
Here’s how it works:
- Drive around in your car and collect low-battery scooters
- Bring them home to charge overnight
- Release them the next day and get paid for your work
To become a Bird Charger or a Lime-S Juicer, download their apps as a rider first.
21. Donate Plasma
Another way to make cash on the side is by donating plasma that’s used to create life-saving medicines around the world.
Joel says he gave plasma roughly 15 times during his college years to earn extra money — a process that took about 90 minutes each visit.
Here’s how Octapharma Plasma, a U.S.-based company with more than 80 centers nationwide, explains plasma donation:
“Donating plasma is similar to giving blood. A trained staff member called a phlebotomist puts a sterile needle in your arm vein to draw blood. The blood is then cycled through special, sterile equipment that separates plasma from the other parts of your blood. Your plasma is then collected in a container, while the other parts are safely returned to your body. This process is called plasmapheresis.”
How much money do you get for donating plasma? CSL Plasma says donors can make up to $400 a month.
Octapharma Plasma says on its website that donor fees may vary month-to-month and by location. Plasma donation centers frequently advertise special promotions for new donors.
22. Rover: Start Your Own Pet-Sitting Business
If you love dogs and cats, pet sitting is a side job where animal lovers can make an extra $1,000 or more every month.
For those who don’t already have clients, the online service Rover can help you build your business. Two members of Team Clark have experience with Rover, which connects sitters with clients who need pet sitting and dog walking services.
Sitters can set their own rates, but Rover takes a 20% cut. One of our team members has charged $66 a night for two dogs.
When you’re just starting out, you’ll want to charge clients a little bit less than the other sitters. You’ll be able to increase your earnings potential over time as you get more 5-star reviews.
Dog boarding services are typically in high demand on weekends and holidays when people are traveling.
23. Start a Babysitting Business
If you have experience with child care, babysitting can be another great way to earn extra cash. This flexible job is excellent for everyone ranging from students looking for summer work to retirees with years of childcare experience.
This is another side hustle that you can advertise in your community and online where people in your area may see and share that you’re available. You can also sign up on websites like Care.com to help advertise your services. Like other great side hustles, you can easily set your own hourly rate and choose which jobs to accept/reject as a babysitter or child caregiver.
24. Start a Photography Business
I know several people who have created a successful side hustle with photography and use it as a great way to earn extra cash. This option might require some upfront costs for a nice camera and editing software, but the equipment can easily pay for itself in a few sessions once you get established.
If you don’t have any experience in photography, I recommend starting with a few free online classes (Udemy offers several highly-rated photography courses). I see a lot of successful local photographers offering family portraits, engagement photos, senior pictures, event photography and more. With this type of photography, you can set your own rates and offer edited photos for a price that makes sense for you based on your skill and experience.
In addition to taking photographs of/for people, you can also take photographs of whatever you’re passionate about and then sell the final product. As I mentioned earlier, you can start an online Etsy shop or sell your photography at local craft fairs. You can also sell stock photography online with websites like Alamy, Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, 500px and more.
25. Teach or Tutor
Teaching or tutoring can also be a great side hustle. If you want to work directly with kids in your area, you can check with local schools and community programs to see if any opportunities are available. You can also easily find work online as a remote tutor. I checked out Indeed and FlexJobs at the time of writing and found tons of part-time opportunities ranging from general academic tutors, peer tutors in math, SAT-ACT tutors, Praxis exam tutors and more!
If you have a lot of experience in any one particular area, you can look to colleges, universities and even online forums to see if people pursuing the same field need additional help. If you have a skill or hobby that others would be interested in learning, you can host classes in your community. For example, my mom recently started hosting paint parties where a group of people sign up to paint seasonal door hangers. Alternatively, you can create an entire course on any skill (like an introduction to creative writing, using a particular software, or pickling vegetables) and record it! Then, you can sell the same course over and over again online.
Additionally, if you’re a native English speaker, you can most likely teach the language to non-native speakers. This is an easy way to earn extra cash! Some of the major websites require that you have a degree in order to teach English as a second language; however, you can easily start your own small business or use a website that doesn’t require a degree. I’ve personally used Preply in the past, but there are tons of options. You may also be able to find remote ESL opportunities on job posting sites like Indeed.
26. Monetize Your Content
If you have an online following (or you’re interested in building one), you can easily monetize your content for extra cash.
Content creation is one of the most popular side hustles for younger generations right now. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok have made it easier than ever to create and share high-quality content for just about anyone. Fortunately, there’s also money to be made from content creation through advertisements and sponsored posts, affiliate marketing and more.
In addition to creating your own original content, you can also find remote work as a content creator for nearly any topic. While many content creation jobs on Indeed are full-time positions, there are several contract and part-time opportunities as well. FlexJobs also had a few part-time content creator job postings at the time of writing.
27. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Clark signed up as a driver for both services a few years ago to try them out. He didn’t make a lot of money, although your earnings potential can vary, but he says it’s an opportunity to supplement an existing income or for the unemployed to bring income in.
Both companies frequently offer guarantees for new drivers, like earning several hundred dollars for the first 100 or so trips.
28. Food Delivery
If you don’t like the idea of having other people in your car, takeout delivery apps are hiring like crazy!
GrubHub is one of the major players in the food delivery space. The company says its drivers earn a competitive wage, keep 100% of their tips and the hours are flexible.
Vehicle requirements for food delivery services are usually more lenient than Uber or Lyft and allow drivers to use older cars.
29. Deliver Groceries for Instacart or Shipt
The competing services both let shoppers set their own schedules and pay weekly.
How much does it pay? Team Clark member, Dallas, tried out Shipt to find out. Dallas earned around $15-$22 hourly, but this can vary based on where you live and when you work. To learn more about being a Shipt shopper, check out our full review here.
Shipt and Instacart shoppers must have a reliable vehicle and a smartphone to start working.
30. Make Deliveries for Amazon Flex
Sticking with the delivery theme, Amazon Flex delivery drivers can make up to $18 to $25 an hour.
Amazon pays by the delivery block and opportunities are available in more than 50 cities to deliver for Amazon.com, Prime Now, AmazonFresh and Amazon Restaurants and more.
You can earn a higher hourly rate by driving a larger vehicle, working during peak times and making tip-eligible deliveries.
31. Become a Secret Shopper
Becoming an on-demand secret shopper is a great way to earn a few extra bucks. It works by downloading an app, selecting your location, and then you’ll be assigned “shifts” by product manufacturers who want secret shoppers to go into stores and confirm that their merchandise is being displayed properly.
There are tons of secret shopper apps available, but it’s also easy to fall for a scam with this side hustle. To get started, here are five highly-rated secret shopper apps worth checking out:
32. Rent Out Your Home with Airbnb
Have you ever thought about becoming an Airbnb host? If you have a home or room where you can host travelers, this is one of the best ways to earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.
According to a tool on Airbnb’s website, an Atlanta homeowner could earn $900 a month by turning a private room into an Airbnb.
With Airbnb, homeowners can list their space and set whatever price they want. Hosts are generally charged a flat 3% per reservation. Homeowners are paid promptly after guests check in.
Paula Pant of AffordAnything.com told us she made $28,000 in one year as an Airbnb host.
33. Get a Roommate
This option is less of a side hustle than Airbnb (though it may be just as much work). If you have the room in your house for someone else to live there, consider getting a roommate.
Welcoming a roommate is a quick way to potentially cut many of your bills in half. If you’re renting, you’ll be able to split the rent and utilities. If you own a home, their rent can cover your mortgage or simply become extra money in your pocket!
34. Rent Out Your Car With Turo
If you’re not comfortable renting out your house on Airbnb, rent out your car with what’s been called the “Airbnb for cars.”
Turo is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace. For owners, it provides the opportunity to list your vehicle for free and earn 65% to 85% of the trip price when it’s rented. Insurance protection is included.
How much money can you make with Turo? It depends on how often your car is rented, but Turo estimates up to $6,500 a year!
35. Plan Trips or Become a Local Tour Guide
If you’re a frequent traveler, you may have all the experience necessary to start a small travel planning business. Whether you’re helping people find the best price on flights, book international hotels or find the best excursions on cruises, trip planning can be a lucrative side hustle.
If you live in a tourist area, people may also be willing to pay you to build a trip itinerary for them as they visit your town. Travelers love personalized recommendations from locals, and with websites like Fiverr, it’s easy to advertise itinerary services to your target audience.
If you do live in a tourist area, working as a local tour guide is another great option. You can personalize your tour in a way that works best for you and share your knowledge of the local area. This can also be a great way to learn about the town or city you’re living in!
Making extra money is just one path to improving your financial picture. You’ll be able to reach your goals faster if you increase your income and reduce your expenses at the same time. Here’s our guide to getting started.
Team Clark’s mission is to help you save more and spend less every day — and we also want you to avoid scams.
When you’re researching any of the ways to make extra cash that we’ve shared, be 100% sure that you’re visiting the company’s official website. We’ve provided links to most of them in this article.
These side hustles won’t make you rich, so anyone promising that you’ll earn $500 a day working from home is a scammer.
If you’re unsure about whether a job opportunity is real or fake, contact Team Clark’s free Consumer Action Center.
Do you know about a legitimate way to make money that we should add to our list? Tell us in our Clark.com Community!