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Last updated Jun. 21, 2024 by Peter Jakes

12 Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time

In today’s fast-paced world, many people look for additional ways to diversify their income streams. Whether you want to make some extra cash for a specific goal, pay off debt, or develop a backup revenue source, there are countless opportunities to capitalize on your spare time. Here’s a comprehensive list of 12 effective ways to earn money in your free time:

1. Freelancing

One of the most flexible ways to earn money on the side is through freelancing. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer allow individuals to offer services ranging from graphic design and writing to programming and digital marketing. The key to success lies in identifying a skill you excel in and marketing it effectively on these platforms.

2. Online Surveys

Brands and companies are always looking for consumer opinions to improve their products and services. Websites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and Vindale Research offer money in exchange for completing surveys. While this won’t make you rich, it’s an easy way to earn some extra money during your downtime.

3. Sell Crafts and Handmade Goods

If you are crafty, consider selling your handmade creations. Websites like Etsy provide a platform for creators to sell their products to a global audience. Whether you knit, paint, create jewelry, or make home decor, there’s likely a market for your goods.

4. Ride-Sharing or Food Delivery

Platforms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and UberEats allow people to utilize their vehicles to make money. This gig offers flexibility, allowing you to work when it suits you. Additionally, special bonuses and peak-hour pay can significantly boost earnings.

5. Stock Photography

If you have a knack for photography, consider selling your photos on stock photography websites. Companies like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images pay for high-quality images. Each downloaded photo can be a source of passive income over time.

6. Tutoring

Online tutoring platforms like, Chegg, and Wyzant connect students with tutors in a variety of subjects. If you have expertise in a particular field—be it math, science, or languages—tutoring can be a rewarding way to make money while helping others achieve their academic goals.

7. Virtual Assistant

Offering administrative support as a virtual assistant can be a lucrative side gig. Businesses, entrepreneurs, and busy professionals often require help with scheduling, email management, and other administrative tasks. Websites like Time Etc and Belay connect virtual assistants with clients needing their services.

8. Rent Out Space

If you have extra space in your home or property, consider renting it out. Platforms like Airbnb allow you to rent out your room or property to travelers, earning you money with relatively little effort. This option can be particularly lucrative if you live in a popular tourist destination.

9. Online or Print Marketplaces

Selling items you no longer need or use is a great way to declutter and make some extra cash. Websites like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist provide platforms for selling a wide range of items. Similarly, second-hand apps like Poshmark are ideal for selling clothing and accessories.

10. Blogging and Content Creation

If you have a passion for writing, blogging can be a great way to generate income. Platforms like WordPress and Blogger make it easy to start a blog. You can monetize your blog through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and ads. Similarly, YouTube content creation can bring in revenue through ads and sponsorships.

11. Investing

While investing requires some upfront capital and knowledge, it can be a fruitful way to grow your wealth over time. Platforms like Robinhood, E*TRADE, and Acorns make it easy for beginners to start investing in stocks, ETFs, and other financial products. However, always remember to invest wisely and consider seeking advice from financial professionals.

12. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Animal lovers can turn their passion into profit by offering pet sitting or dog walking services. Websites like Rover and Wag! connect pet owners with caregivers. This gig not only allows you to spend time with animals but also gives you a flexible way to earn money.

✓ Short Answer

Looking to earn extra income in your spare time? Consider freelancing, selling crafts, tutoring, or investing. Ride-sharing, online surveys, and pet sitting are other flexible options. Utilize platforms like Upwork, Etsy, Airbnb, and Rover to get started quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How much can I realistically earn with these side gigs?

The amount you can earn varies widely depending on the gig, your skill set, and the time you can devote. Freelancers can earn anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a month, while online surveys might bring in a few extra dollars per day.

2. Do I need any special skills or qualifications?

Some gigs require specific skills or qualifications, like tutoring or virtual assisting. Others, such as selling crafts or ride-sharing, don’t require formal qualifications but do require skill or resources you may already have.

3. Is it safe to use these online platforms?

Most well-known platforms invest heavily in security measures to protect their users, but it’s always a good idea to read reviews and understand the risks. Ensure you follow safety guidelines, especially when meeting clients or customers.

4. How do I get started?

Getting started is easier than ever thanks to numerous online platforms. Register on the platform that suits your chosen gig, complete your profile, and start applying or listing your services or products. Make sure to research best practices to maximize your chances of success.

5. Can I do more than one side gig at a time?

Absolutely! Many people juggle multiple side gigs to maximize their earnings. Just be mindful of your time management to avoid burnout.

6. Are there any upfront costs?

Some gigs, like investing, may require upfront capital. Others might require materials, equipment, or a small registration fee. However, many options like freelancing or online surveys have minimal to no upfront costs.

7. How do I handle taxes on my side income?

You will likely need to report your side income come tax time. Consulting a tax professional can help you understand your obligations, including how to track your earnings and expenses.

8. How do you stand out in competitive gigs?

Focus on building a strong portfolio, gathering positive reviews, and offering excellent customer service. Specializing in a niche area can also help you stand out.

9. Are these gigs suitable for teens or students?

Many of these opportunities can be suitable for teens or students, particularly online surveys, tutoring, and freelancing. Always check the age requirements on each platform.

10. Can retirees also engage in these side gigs?

Definitely. Retirees often look for flexible opportunities for supplemental income. Many of these gigs, like tutoring, pet sitting, or investing, can be particularly well-suited to older adults.

Final Thoughts

Venturing into side gigs can be both satisfying and lucrative if approached thoughtfully. By exploring these 12 options, you have multiple avenues to diversify your income and make productive use of your spare time. Whether you’re aiming to achieve a financial goal or simply want to explore new interests, these side opportunities cater to a variety of skills and interests.

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