During some of the toughest economic times the country has experienced since the Great Depression, Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet on a monthly basis. To keep up with the expenses, debt payments and bills, there are a variety of ways to earn a few hundred extra dollars on a monthly basis. Below are some odd and not so odd jobs, one of which is sure to match your skill set and interests!
Mow Lawns – Although one typically thinks of mowing lawns as a summer job for students, there is no reason adults can’t pull up their sleeves and get dirty. Depending on the size of the lawn, mowing lawns can be an extremely lucrative way to make side money with little up-front investment required. Lawn mowers are normally provided by the home owner; all you need to do is show up and mow. With many single family homes out there, you are sure to find a homeowner in need.
Babysit – Babysitting is another way to earn extra money, although no one ever claimed this was an easy job. Today, babysitting has become a more regulated industry and tried and true babysitters acquire babysitting licenses to appear more credible. Babysitters can make anywhere from $8 to $20 per hour depending on location, experience, number of children, and any other additional requirements of the parents. Additionally, the great thing about babysitting is that parents love to talk. If you do your job well, your services are guaranteed to be in high demand and you can start your journey at Sitter City.
Wait Tables or Bartend – These are the ideal side jobs for nights and weekends. Although the hourly rate is not impressive, waiters/waitresses and bartenders can make huge tips over the weekend when people are eager to unwind and forget about their work week. As the employment market becomes increasingly tight however, waiters and bartenders are required to have some type of previous experience in the industry, particularly to work at higher end establishments.
Freelance – If you are good at something, there is always a need for freelance services including copy-writing, graphic design, proofreading, editing, blog writing and so on. As a freelancer, you can work full time and earn money on the side. There are even websites such as GoFreelance.com at which freelancers can register and highlight their specific interests.
Deliver Pizzas– This is a sure fire way to rake in some extra cash; if you have a car and an acceptable driving record, this job should not be difficult to snag. For the most part, pizza delivery drivers make minimum wage plus tips. Although your car is likely to experience a decent amount of wear and tear, you will hopefully have the opportunity to taste some incredible pizza pies. This can be a dangerous job in certain areas, so make sure you understand the risks.
Clean Houses – House cleaning can be a great side job with flexible hours. It does require one to pull up their sleeves and get dirty. Depending on the homeowner and the specific arrangement, you might be expected to provide the cleaning supplies. Payment per home will fluctuate considerably depending on the size of the home and location.
Tutor Students – If you excel in working with students and have knowledge in a particular subject/topic, tutoring is an ideal way to earn some extra money. The tutor can normally ask for extra money to perform services at the student’s home. The tutor also has the freedom to decide how large or small he/she wants their client base to be and similar to babysitting, students talk. If you are good at your job, word will spread like wildfire.
Pet/House Sit – Although people love their animals, it is difficult to be with them at all times. There are many times that families or couples take vacations and do not want to leave their pet(s) at a shelter or with friends/family. This is when a pet sitter is needed. Being paid to watch someone’s animal can often times be a nice arrangement depending on the pet owner’s home and the neediness of the animal you are watching.
Sell Your Stuff on eBay or at Consignment – eBay is an ideal place to sell old or unwanted items. As the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” If you have some relatively unique items that are easy to ship, eBay is a great place to make some extra money. Consignment shops are also a great way to get rid of old or unwanted clothes. Policies vary depending on the consignment shop; however, it is normal to receive up to 50% of the proceeds from the sale of your clothing.
Sell Your Baked Goods or Cater – If you feel you are talented enough at baking and/or cooking, the market is always in need. Start small by supplying food or baked goods for intimate parties, events or office meetings, and if your services are well received and demand increases, continue to grow. In this case, what begins as a side job could become a lucrative career.
The above suggestions have hopefully provided you with some diverse ideas. Now it’s all up to you and how desperately your pocketbook or wallet is in need of some extra monthly cash. If you have a job you’ve worked that should be added to this list, we’d like to expand it as often as possible.
Published or updated February 16, 2013.