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Nine Ways to Make Money on the Side

Updated on August 22, 2017
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Sadie Holloway writes about enjoying the good life while living on a modest income. She loves finding creative ways to save money.

Here are some fun and creative ways to make extra money on the side. This list includes home-based business ideas, consulting jobs, and freelancing work for people who want to start a side business or just make a bit of extra cash to help make ends meet when things get tight.

Fatten up your savings account with a few of these easy ways to make money on the side.


If you are in the middle of a career change, having an extra source of income on the side can help ease some of your financial concerns in between jobs. It's always good to have a bit of back-up income when you are changing gears and switching careers!

Make some extra dough by making and baking cookie dough!
Make some extra dough by making and baking cookie dough! | Source

1. On-demand baker: Can you whip up five dozen cookies by 8:00 am tomorrow morning? Yes? Then here’s a job for you: making cookies, muffins, and other specialty baked treats for moms and dads who didn’t get the notice that tomorrow is “Cookie Day!” at school! Have fun making a bit of side income by offering to bake batches of treats for people who need them pronto! (Caution: Be sure to look into any health and safety regulations before you start selling food to the public. you may need to get a special license before you can offer food and other edible products to the general public.)

2. Costumed special guest for kids’ parties. This fun and creative way to make extra money was inspired by a party that a friend recently held for her daughter’s fourth birthday. A woman dressed up as a famous Disney character ‘stopped by unannounced' to visit the little girl and her friends. Decked out in a full costume and wig that matched the little girl’s favorite Disney princess, the special guest sat and read stories for the children and made each of them feel like a star. Imagine how much fun it would be to get dressed up and bring smiles to kids’ faces!

Dress up as a princess and get paid to make little girls' Birthday party wishes come true!
Dress up as a princess and get paid to make little girls' Birthday party wishes come true! | Source

3. Night school course instructor. Are you an expert in a particular field? Do you have a passion for a pastime that you think others might enjoy, such as salsa dancing or beadwork? If you do, you could make money by teaching others all that you know. Find out how to apply to teach a night school course at your local high school or community center. If you put together an appealing proposal, you could easily be making cash on in your free time doing what you already love!

4. Online video star. Did you know that there are people who make tons of money by filming themselves while opening packages of kids toys? It's amazing what people will watch on youTube. If you have a special talent and feel comfortable on TV, then creating and posting videos could be a lucrative way to make some side money through ad revenue.

5. Workshop facilitator. If your expertise is more business-oriented, you could design a series of useful workshops that would be valuable to businesses and non-profits. For example, you could facilitate a workshop on how to deal with the media, what to wear to a TV interview, how to be a better public speaker, how to start a business, and so on.


6. Photo organizer/ archivist. There are probably thousands upon thousands, if not millions, of photographs languishing in boxes and old photo albums in homes around the world. These old photos are slowly fading and yellowing as time marches on. What they need is to be scanned and preserved digitally so that the memories they capture live on and get passed down through generations. You can make some money by helping people scan, label, and electronically archive their precious photos. If you're skilled in using photo-editing software, you could also help to restore images that are significantly faded or damaged.

7. Dog walking or pet sitting. This may not necessarily be a creative way to make money on the side. Hired dog walkers and pet sitters have been around for awhile now, but if you like animals than this definitely is a fun way to make money.

Making money on the side is a walk in the (dog) park!

Wouldn't it be fun to make some extra money just by playing with other people's dogs?
Wouldn't it be fun to make some extra money just by playing with other people's dogs? | Source

How much money per month do you want/need to make with a side job?

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8. Mystery shopper. When I was composing this list of creative side jobs, I didn't even think about being a mystery shopper! But when I searched online for videos about how to make money on the side, the video on the right showed up! What a great idea: getting paid to shop! A word of caution is in order here. Before you sign up with a company to work as a mystery shopper, do you homework first. Unfortunately there are some fake companies out there trying to scam people who want to work as mystery shoppers. Check with your local Better Business Bureau and other consumer protection agencies to ensure the company hiring you is legitimate and reputable.

9. Meeting planner. There are so many people working from home or working remotely these days. Did you ever stop to consider how they conduct meetings with clients or with their peers when they need to gather as a group? For people who work from home, having someone to organize all the details for a big meeting at an off-site location would be a huge help. Your job as a meeting planner would be to coordinate room rentals, catering, audio-visuals, computer networks and wi-fi so that every last detail is taken care of and all the participants and facilitators have to do is show up.

This list of fun and creative ways to make money on the side is just a starting point. If you want to get your side business off the ground, do your homework. Read books on how to start and run a small business. Talk to people you know who have found ways to make extra money. There are lots of opportunities out there when you start looking for tips on how to make extra money.

© 2017 Sadie Holloway


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