5 Fun and Easy Ways to Make Extra Money

Would you like to make some extra money?  Of course, we all would.  The problem is that we’re always so busy with our day jobs, families, and other responsibilities that it can be difficult to find time for increasing our income. The good news is that there are many side gigs that don’t require much time at all.  Here are 5 fun and flexible ways to make extra money.

holding money


If you’re good with kids and/or pets you can make a nice side income as a babysitter.  Rates vary depending on where you live (in my neighborhood a good babysitter gets around $12 – $15 an hour).  You can start by asking friends and family for references, and as you gain experience more business will come to you through word of mouth.

Another way to find parents in need of a babysitter is SitterCity.  You can add your profile and advertise your babysitting or petsitting services for free.  Parents have to pay a fee in order to view your complete profile and contact informtaion.  My wife and I have used the service twice and could not have been more satisfied. I even wrote a SitterCity review to share my experience with other parents.

Dog Walker

Dog owners with busy schedules need someone reliable to help look after their beloved pet when they can’t do it themselves.  As a dog walker you might be called on for something as simple  as taking the dog for a mid-morning stroll through the park while the owner is at work.  Or you could be asked to take the dog into your home while the owner goes on vacation.  The more you are willing to do the more you can charge for your services.


It could be the third grader across the street who is struggling in math, the guy around the corner who wants to learn a second language, or the girl next door studying for her medical board exam.  Lots of people need a little extra help and if you have the knowledge or expertise in a particular field, you can earn a nice side income as a tutor.

You don’t need a Ph. D. on the subject to serve as a tutor.  As long as you have a strong grasp of the content and an ability to teach you can help someone learn and make extra money at the same time.  The more advanced and specialized the topic the more you’ll be able to charge.

Paid Surveys

Before a company unveils a new product or makes changes to an existing one, they hire marketing research firms to gather consumer opinions and feedback.  This is a vital step in the product development process because it can identify problems and help the manufacturer avoid costly mistakes.  As a consumer, you can get paid to participate in online surveys, focus groups, taste testings, and product trials.  I’ve done this on and off for years whenever I can fit it into my schedule.  The most I ever made was for a one hour focus group where I was paid $60 to taste French fries.

That one was obviously in person but there are many companies, such as Pinecone Research, that will pay you to fill out surveys online.  You may also get to test out some products at home and then fill out a follow up survey.  You won’t get rich taking online surveys as the typical payout is only a few dollars, but it can be a fun way to earn some extra spending cash.

Mystery Shopping

Restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, and other companies are always interested in honest feedback about their services.  But they can’t just walk in and observe their employees themselves.  They need to see how their employees act when they don’t realize anyone is watching.   That’s where a mystery shoppers comes in handy.

A mystery shopper is paid to make purchases or eat meals and then complete  a questionairre describing their experience.  The results are then sent to the company’s home office and the individual store that was “shopped” is graded.  They can then use this information to identify problem areas and opportunities to improve.

As a mystery shopper you get paid a small stipend for your trouble, and you may also get to keep some of the products you were asked to purchase.  You may also get to enjoy a free meal once the mystery shopping company reimburses you.

About the Author

By , on Feb 18, 2013
is the owner of WealthyTurtle.com, a personal finance blog that focuses on increasing income and building wealth one step at a time.

Leave Your Comment (6 Comments)

  1. Jerry Stumpf says:


    Great ideas for adding a small amount to the bottom line.

    As with interest on a credit card, a small amount each month tends to build up. The same is true for a small amount of extra income which tends to add up to pay down debt.

    Nine years ago we became debt-free. My wife and I coach couples to learn how to communicate better and finances are a huge dirt ball in the middle of the living room floor which needs to be cleaned up or it creates a lot of marital stress.

    I will be going to your site after I hit send on this comment. I like where you re coming from by helping folks in a practical way.

    Jerry @ http://www.JerryStumpf.com

  2. Mike Collins says:

    @bucksprout, my wife did something similar years ago. All she had to do was pick up the kids at school and watch them for about an hour until the mother got home from work.

    @Pam, for a college student, having some extra money in your pocket can make a huge difference

  3. Pam says:

    Good ideas. I especially liked tutoring when I was attending college. It was a great way to make extra money and fit it in with my school schedule. Having extra pocket money, even from working a couple of extra hours a week really can make a difference.

  4. Bucksprout says:

    I lived in Buenos Aires for 6 months and dog walking was huge. I would see people walk 8 dogs at a time! Babysitting is also a great way to make money. My friend babysits for a couple, her job is to pick up the kids and drop them off at home. She gets $20 each each day for 20 mins of work.

  5. Mike Collins says:

    Great job Gina! Finding time to make extra money can be a challenge but you’ve done well using methods that let you keep your schedule flexible.

  6. Gina says:

    I’m going full-steam ahead on debt payoff right now, hopefully just 5 months till we’re debt free! I started babysitting back in September and have been bringing in an extra $300/month. Last month, I started mystery shopping in my area and am aiming for $200/month doing that. It’s hard to add into a busy schedule, but it’s temporary to get this big goal achieved.

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