Do you want to earn $100, $1000 — or even more — on the side? You can start earning extra income today with the help of this list of ideas I’ve put together. Spend an hour or two each day working on items that are practical for you, and you can build alternative income sources to help you improve your financial situation While many of the items on this list are passive income ideas, not all of them are. Some items require you to actively work for success.
While compiling this list, I did my best to avoid scams, and stick with practical ideas that work. I have tried many (but not all) of these ideas. Some of these helped me earned a few dollars here and there, but there are some that helped me earn extra money on the side every single day — and some are still providing me with revenue! Note that not all ideas will fit your skills and abilities. What works for you depends on your abilities and your current financial situation.
Passive income involves ideas or methods that, once you set in motion, require minimal maintenance work. The following money making ideas are mostly passive, and are proven to work.
One of the easiest ways to increase your passive income is to shift your savings to a bank that pays a higher yield on your savings — for example, Discover Bank and EverBank pay almost 1% for your money. Although it doesn’t sound like much (especially in this low interest environment), little things do add up and eventually interest rates will rise.
For a slightly higher yield, build a CD ladder. Break your money into smaller chunks and buy a series of 1-year high yield certificates of deposit. To learn more about this, take a look at How to Create a CD Ladder.
Lending Club is a platform where you can lend your money to other people. You’re the bank. Each note is only $25, so you can invest $1,000 and lend money to 40 people. There are many grades of loan (from safest to riskiest) and investors earn, on average, between 5% and 7% annualized returns. For more information, check out Investing and Making Money with Lending Club Peer-to-Peer Lending and my real money Lending Club Portfolio.
If you’re looking for current income, investing in the dividend paying stocks (or dividend funds) is a good way to earn money regularly. Pay particular attention to the S&P Dividend Aristocrats; these are companies that have long histories of increasing their dividend payouts each year.
You buy stuff every day: Why not make the most of your purchases? Take a look at these credit cards that pay 5% cash back on your purchases. When you make your day-to-day purchases, use a rewards card and get money back. My family receives several hundred dollars a year from using these cards.
When you shop online, go through Ebates. This web site provides you with extra cash back (on top of your credit card cash back) when you buy through them. Install the browser toolbar for even better results.
You probably do a couple of web searches each day. If you do all your web searches through Swagbucks.com (instead of Google or Bing), you can collect points called SwagBucks. Trade your SwagBucks for a variety of prizes, including gift cards for Amazon.com, Walmart, PayPal, and more.
This is mostly passive once you have it all set up, but it does take a lot of work at the beginning. Real estate investing also requires occasional maintenance. Currently, we invest in a couple of rental properties and earn about $500 profit from each per month. You can read more about my rental properties at MoneySmartLife.com: How and Why I Became a Landlord.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can gain exposure to real estate investing through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs invest in real estate and mortgage, and pay out 90% of the taxable income to shareholders annually.
In addition to the passive income ideas listed above and other broad income generation ideas such as starting a business, getting a second job, and learning how to invest, here are specific money making ideas you can try. Most of these items require ongoing work to maintain the income.
If you like this article, be sure to check out my Extra Income Guide.