31 Ways Real People Make Extra Income
Earning income doesn't have to stop at your salary. There's no better way to learn how to make more money than from people who have actually done it — so read these true-life examples cited by Reddit users.
"I dog walk . . . I make $300 a month for a one-hour walk five days a week off of one dog. You can charge more, but I would not charge more than $20 a walk . . . I walk three dogs."
Dumpster-Dive on College Campuses
- "When I was in my early 20s, I was living in San Diego. At the end of every semester, I would Dumpster-dive at the local dorms on move-out day. I would load my truck up with stuff from UCSD, SDSU, and USD and then throw a massive garage sale. I made a killing every single time."
- "I had a friend who would make $3,000 to $5,000 a year by Dumpster-diving outside of the math and engineering buildings on campus. People who wrote textbooks would send them to the department heads to be reviewed and hopefully purchased for the next school year. If teachers didn't like them, they would throw those books out, and most likely a different school would be using those exact textbooks so he'd sell them on Amazon for a fee that would benefit both him and the student."
Resell Thrift Store Items
"I go to thrift stores and yard sales to pick up anything I think I can flip on eBay for a profit.
A couple examples: I bought a scanner for $20 at a thrift store that looked high-tech, and it turned out to be a photo negative scanner that retailed for about $2,500. I flipped it on eBay for $600. Another good one was when I found most of a sterling silver dining set mixed in a huge bin of cutlery. It took me a while, but I looked at every piece in there and bought all the sterling pieces for around $5 total. In today's bullion market, I picked up about $250 worth of silver.
. . . When I was doing this in full force, I made around $10,000 a year extra. It does take a lot of work with packaging, sending things off, answering questions, and providing customer service when something isn't right. Sometimes you have to take a hit on an item — eBay feedback is decently important for small sellers like me. The effort you put in is what you get out."
"I tutor kids. I charge $20 to $50 per hour depending on the client, content, and other factors."
"Look at Craigslist odd jobs section. You can help people move and do yard work, etc., with no schedule necessary and make some money on the side."
"Babysitting. Easiest money I've ever made. If you're lucky, the kids will be napping half the time, and you'll get to just sit on your [butt] . . . I'm babysitting right now and I'm getting paid to browse Reddit."
Take Free Items Off Craigslist, Then Sell Them
"Me and my buddy used to browse the 'want to buy' sections and find them in the free section and sell it to them at a really cheap price. The best thing about it is, a lot of time we just met them at the 'free site' and sold it directly from there, so there was no need for us to actually haul anything away."
"I do photography and people pay me $50 to 100 per hour to take their pictures . . . The investment is high, but if you get good enough and get demand, you can make that money back in a few shoots. I am doing a wedding in two weeks that will be seven hours — $700 in an afternoon for a college kid is pretty good."
"I mow lawns. I only mow for the neighborhood I live in, so I can walk to every job, so I don't have to buy a trailer. In a good week, I'll make $400 from charging $25 per lawn. It's not year-round income though."
Donate Blood Plasma
"Donating blood plasma can net $250 to 350 a month if you go twice a week (or whatever the limit is). Typically takes three hours total per week."
Take Surveys and Watch Ads
"Check out our friends at /r/beermoney. You can earn anywhere from a $40 to $300 a month. Basically they have found the best websites to use for filling out surveys and watching ads, and then you give your response to it. Or the easier way is that they have found websites that will monitor your bandwidth usage and give you money based on that. It's worth a shot to look at it if you're on a computer a lot!"
Set Up a Wiki
"Whenever a video game is announced that I have an interest in, I will register a domain to make a wiki for the site.
"I will actually make the site, but last year I was able to sell skyrimwiki.com for $1,000. My success story is dredmorwiki.com: pretty much the de facto information site for Dungeons of Dredmor. I only make about $50 per month from advertising from that site, though.
"Setting up a wiki is pretty easy, and users actually generate the content themselves, so there's not too much maintenance involved.
"The trick is right place, right time. There's a lot of luck involved, but it's a fun hobby."
Host Foreign Exchange Students
"I host foreign exchange students, and it pays $500 a month."
"Buy some spray paint and number stencils from Home Depot and paint people's addresses on their curbs. I did that before I went to college, door to door, and just told people I was saving up money for school. I could make around $50 per hour, charging $10 per house. Paid for my whole first year of college and then some."
Amazon Mechanical Turk
"Amazon's M Turk . . . I have made $810 since starting mid-October. A few hours here and there, and I can have an extra $50 in my pocket each week. I also provide respite care for individuals with autism. I go bowling, go karting, to the gym, and out to eat. I am reimbursed for all the expenses, given mileage and $15 an hour."
Edit Audio Podcasts
"Approximately once a week I bring my gear to do the recording and then go back and edit [and] mix it. At first, I was a volunteer to put it on my résumé, but now I'm getting paid $100 per podcast. It's not super lucrative as I'm putting in about five to six [hours] total per podcast, but it's a great income buffer."
Facebook and Twitter Admin
"I'm an Admin for a couple of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. [I make around] an extra $500 a month."
Sell Lego Parts
"It's not me but a friend of mine. Anyway, he's really into Legos. What he does is buy Lego kits on clearance and hit the bins in Lego stores, Goodwill, etc. Then he breaks the kits down and sells them on eBay. He makes about $800 bucks a month after taking out the expenses of purchasing the kits and listing fees.
. . . Find something you're into and knowledgeable about, like golf clubs or Legos or whatever. Then collect items and turn them over on eBay."
Make Furniture From Scraps
"I build custom furniture out of pallets and other scraps I find laying around. I sell them on Etsy.
. . . I'll build things like an "Adirondack" chair out of a pallet and sell it for $100 or $150 each. It takes me about under two hours to build something like that. All the material is found and free, I do occasionally have to buy a saw blade or screws, so there is a little overhead. I build stuff on the weekend, so if you average it out, I guess I'm making around $200 a week. There are weeks when I don't sell anything and others when I ship five chairs or tables or whatever I make out of pallets."
"I'm making around $1,000 to $2,000 a month on the side as a student by making simple websites. I use CMS systems like WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, Magento to set them up and buy premium templates as designs for my clients. Any of those CMSs are easy to learn. Setting up websites with client content takes me less than a day. I only advertise on free classified ad sites and get at least one client a week, which I charge around $300 to $600 for a complete website or online shop and sometimes even up to $1,000 with extra services. If they ask for hosting, support, and SEO, it can even be pushed to a recurring [fee] a month on contract from a single client. Recently I have also done some WordPress training for clients, which fetched me $40 an hour."
Be a Caddie
"I caddie. Been out 11 times in the past two months and made $1,300."
Surveys and Labs
"If you live near a large university, they may have a behavioral lab that pays. They're typically one hour or less surveys. Wharton's, in Philly, paid me $10 for a max of one hour (usually 30 minutes) of filling out professors' research surveys. Sometimes you played games and had a chance to win more money. I walked out in under 30 minutes with $20 cash once."
Build an App
"I developed an app that makes $150 a month with low maintenance. It took about a year to get there, but the income is steady, and I learned a lot.
Build an app that does one thing very well, and it will be successful over time."
Be an Umpire
"I umpire softball/baseball games for USSSA. There's also Little League, ASA, and others. I make $30 for an hour-and-10-minute game. Ten games in a weekend, and that's $300. You can also maybe pick some games up after work. It's not so bad if you don't mind a little yapping in your ear."
"I'm an engineer and I delivered pizzas for the restaurant down the road. Used to make an extra $250 a week working two nights. Disclaimer: I'm very good at pizza delivery. Most guys only made about $75 per night."
"Drop Shipping. You make a website that specializes in something (for me, it was camping supplies and slot machines) and list all those items for sale. What you're doing is basically acting as a middle man between the wholesaler and consumer (essentially retail but not really since you don't purchase in bulk). When they buy the item from you, all you do is go on the wholesaler site that you get your [things] from and order that same product using the money they gave you to pay for it. Since they paid a marked-up price, you just keep the difference.
. . . I did this during high school and college to make extra cash. Whenever I sold a slot machine, I would usually pocket like 50 bucks. I remember one day I sold five slot machines and, like, six camping tents. I made like $500 in one day and only had to enter the shipping info for 11 customers. You can usually bank $1,000 to $4,000 per month doing that small scale. The big guys who do this full-time usually have 10 to 50 sites."
"I do tech support for people that can't get the Internet on various hotels' wireless systems. I make about $450 every two weeks 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Most of the time I'm not taking calls either and I can do it from home, so it's not that bad."
"Draw caricatures at events. In the United States, the normal rate for a caricature artist is $100 to $150 per hour with a two hour minimum."
Make YouTube Videos
"Make YouTube videos. I have three videos, and each rake in 100 to 300 views a day, which gives me a good $10 to $15 a month, thanks to Google AdSense."
Be an Extra
"I do extra work on TV shows and movies that are filming around town. It's long days, but you can make an easy $200 in a day."
"I make and decorate cakes in my spare time, and it's not too hard if you have any artistic skills at all. A lot of craft stores do Wilton classes, and you can reasonably charge $25 to $40 for a standard cake (supplies usually run about $7 to $8). Learn to work with fondant, and you can charge a lot more."