Although money may not be your primary focus in life, you need to have a certain amount of income to care for yourself and a family.
Housing, food, clothing, entertainment, schooling, and other expenses all add up quickly. In many cases, the income you earn from your full-time job won’t be enough to meet all of your family’s needs.
In other cases, this income can meet your most basic needs, but it doesn’t provide you with the extra money you need to save for retirement or pay for a vacation. For many families, this leads to ongoing stress.
When money feels tight, you may start considering other ways to make more money.
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re quickly approaching your retirement years, these 20 money-making ideas could help you bring in extra income and improve your quality of life.
1. Start a Side Business
One solution that could increase your income and earn some extra cash is to start your own business.
It’s important to remember that it can take time for a new business to become successful, so you shouldn’t expect to see a dramatic increase in your income overnight.
Consider these ideas for starting a successful business that you can work on in your spare time.
- Write an ebook
- Establish a catering business
- Sell your skills
- Become an event planner
- Teach a language
- Open a brick-and-mortar
- Become a salesperson
After some time, your side business might replace your full-time job, allowing you to be your own boss as a business owner.
Keep reading, I’ve included more tips on starting your own business in some of the money-making ideas that follow.
2. Ask For A Raise
If your current job isn’t providing you with the income you need to achieve your financial goals, negotiating for a raise is another way to make extra money.
In some cases, an employer may be willing to raise your salary simply because you made the request, especially if you’re a valuable employee who has been with the company for a long time.
Prepare for your negotiation by requesting a meeting with your supervisor, being sensitive to scheduling it during a time of year and day that is not overly busy or stressful for your boss. If possible, coordinate a meeting soon after you’ve accomplished something significant for the team or after a successful performance review.
Gather facts and data that support your request for a raise, and prepare to show how you’re an asset to the company. Research the standard pay rate for your position, experience, and skills so that you can present a reasonable salary adjustment amount.
Consider asking for a raise higher than your bottom line so there’s room to negotiate.
If your employer doesn’t give you the raise you requested, consider looking for another position in your field with better pay. You may also be able to increase your pay by applying for a promotion within the same company.
3. Invest In Real Estate
Although this strategy requires a long-term commitment and some knowledge on the market, investing in real estate can be a great way to add to your net worth.
You may choose to invest in a rental property that provides you with income on a monthly basis, or you may opt for a property that you can remodel and sell for a profit.
Some investors also choose to purchase real estate that they believe will increase in value on its own over time.
Flipping houses is a common way to make money in real estate. It involves buying a home at a low price, fixing it up, and selling it for a higher price.
Buying your own home is also an investment in real estate as its value can appreciate over time, especially if you make improvements to the interior and exterior of your house.
You can also buy a real estate investment trust (REIT), which allows you to invest in real estate stock without buying the real estate itself.
4. Invest In the Stock Market
Investing in stocks is a money-making strategy that can be highly lucrative if used properly and understood correctly.
However, it’s also important to recognize this type of investment to make money can come with risks. If you make the wrong choices or try to move too quickly, you can lose a significant amount of money in stocks.
For this reason, if you choose to invest in the stock market, you should know what you’re investing in, research stocks, or consider working with a qualified investment advisor who can help you minimize risks and maximize profits.
5. Live On a Budget
Many families are spending more than the necessary amount each month simply because they aren’t on an appropriate budget. Take inventory of all of your expenses and eliminate any “extra” expenses that you don’t need.
You can also save money by possibly lowering the cost of some bills that you have or eliminating any subscription bills you don’t use.
For example, you may find that your cell phone bill is much higher than it needs to be or that you’re paying too much for car insurance. Or, you could cancel that Netflix subscription you never use.
Whatever it is, use the extra money to save for your future or to improve your family’s quality of life.
Track your spending for a week or two so you get an idea of what you spend money on and what you can eliminate.
6. Consult A Financial Advisor
Improving your financial situation can be challenging, especially if you aren’t sure where you should start.
A financial advisor can help you examine your income, expenses, and investments carefully so that you can identify the best ways to improve your situation and begin earning and saving more money.
Your financial advisor will also be able to help you decide whether it is worth the time and effort to employ more ambitious money-making strategies, such as investing in real estate or starting your own business on the side.
7. Create Online Courses
You may not realize it, but you’re an expert in something and can teach others what you know. Creating an online course is an excellent way to make money through passive income.
Passive income allows you to put in a one-time effort and make money off of that effort over and over again. When you create an online course, you may spend 40 to 60 hours getting it ready, but once you offer it to the public, you can sell limitless copies of the course for your one-time effort.
Think about your life experiences, talents, education, training, insights, and job skills. What topics do people come to you for advice on? What are you knowledgeable about? What experiences have you had that others can benefit from?
For example, I have used my experience as a best-selling author to create an online course on how to write a book and become a published author.
Topics are limitless. Think of your employment, travel, playing a musical instrument, coding, writing, negotiating, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, hobbies, repair, crafts, and so on.
Creating an online course could give you the extra cash you’re looking for. Sell your courses on your own website or take advantage of learning platforms such as Skillshare or Teachable.
8. Use Affiliate Marketing on Your Own Website
Another way to make money online is to create your own website and add links to other products or services. As an affiliate, a company will pay you a commission for any sales, leads, downloads, or clicks that result in someone clicking on the affiliate links on your site.
The first step is to create a website or blog on a topic you’re interested in, such as business, technology, education, entertainment, finance, and so on. You can also create an email campaign strategy to send direct interest to your audience.
Next, search for companies that fall into your niche and participate in affiliate marketing. Once you partner with them, which is generally free, they will provide you with affiliate links to add to your site or the campaign you create.
An essential aspect of making money online with affiliate marketing is to create quality articles and other content that readers will want to visit your site for or take direct action on, and then focus on offering value with your affiliate links rather than selling.
9. Watch Videos
You can also start making money online by watching videos in your spare time. This can be a fun way to earn a little extra cash or gift cards that you can use to add to your household income.
Dozens of websites pay people to watch videos from their smartphones, computers, or tablets.
Look for online rewards sites with a high rating with the Better Business Bureau or on rating sites such as Trustpilot. A few to look into include InboxDollars, MyPoints, and Swagbucks.
These sites partner with companies that pay you to watch video ads for their products or services. Many also offer additional ways to make extra money online, such as playing games, taking surveys, online shopping, searching the web, or signing up for services.
10. Use Survey Sites to Earn Money Online
Similar to getting paid for watching videos, you can also make money online by taking surveys in your free time. Many companies and organizations are interested in how they can improve their services or reach their target audience and will pay you to provide your opinion or other helpful information.
When you work with trusted survey sites, you may earn extra income that typically adds up to a few dollars to a few hundred dollars a month. The amount you earn taking surveys will depend on the spare time you have and the sites you participate in.
Although taking online surveys is not one of the higher-earning ways to make money, it can be an enjoyable way to add to your bank account while you have a few minutes waiting in line, relaxing, or commuting to work.
Be sure to look for reliable survey sites. You will generally fill out an information form so the site will know your interests and demographics, and you can begin taking surveys for free. As you complete online surveys, you will earn points that you can redeem for cash or gift cards.
11. Deliver Food, Groceries, and Goods
In our current gig economy, there are increasingly more ways to make money by offering your services, such as delivering food or other purchases. Some people earn good money by signing up as a delivery driver through apps like Uber Eats, Amazon Flex, or DoorDash.
These apps allow you to set up your own schedule and work when you want to. As a delivery person, you might deliver food from a restaurant, drop off an order from a grocery store, or take packages to people’s doorsteps.
The benefits of being a delivery driver to earn extra money include flexible hours, the ability to earn extra cash through tips and bonuses, and quick deposits into your bank account.
This creative way to earn cash requires a low commitment as well, so you can start or stop anytime you want.
12. Set Up an Online Store
Selling your products or services online is another great money-making idea because it exposes you to a worldwide audience.
If you already have a product or skill that you market, you can easily create an eCommerce store, add a shopping cart capability, and start getting the word out about your site on social media, email, ads, and word of mouth.
If you’re starting from scratch, brainstorm ideas of what you can sell based on what you’re interested in, what items are popular, or where there is a need that has not been met. Determine how to manufacture it, ship it, and if there are any regulations or restrictions you need to be aware of.
Consider creating passive income product ideas, such as online courses, books, ebooks, music, or stock photography.
You might also sell products that are already made by connecting with an overseas or domestic supplier or people within your community that create crafts, clothing, seasonal decor, artwork, or other products.
13. Contribute Regularly to Your Savings Account
While this may be an indirect way to make extra money, building a savings account has many advantages to contributing to your finances.
First, it helps you discipline yourself to live within a budget and avoid overspending. Each time you get paid, put a predetermined percentage of your earnings into your savings account. Financial advisors often recommend saving 20% of your paycheck, using 50% for necessary items, and 30% for discretionary items.
Saving money will also help you stay out of debt, avoiding the interest you would otherwise pay on loans and credit cards. If an emergency arises or you fall short in your earnings, you can pull from your savings instead of putting expenses on a high-interest credit card.
Making and meeting savings goals can open up more opportunities for you as well. You can save for a vacation, a down payment on your own home, a better car, or items that will improve your quality of life.
14. Tutor People Online
If you enjoy teaching others and would like to work from home, consider online tutoring. Online tutoring generally requires at least a high school diploma and often a bachelor’s degree or higher, but it’s possible to tutor people online without these credentials.
Subjects you can offer your tutoring services range from elementary school math to college-level calculus. You might be an online chess coach, teach someone to play the guitar or help a student develop test-taking skills. You could also teach a foreign language, art, or accounting or tutor a law, journalism, or anthropology student.
Determine your talents, skills, and qualifications, and connect with an online tutoring site or offer your services on freelancing websites where you can set your own rates. Online tutoring is in high demand, and you can use it as a way to make money online or as a part-time job.
15. Monetize Your Social Media Accounts
Chances are you have at least one social media account, and with as few as 500 to 1,000 followers, you can begin to make money online with it.
Earning extra income through your social media accounts generally requires you to be engaged with your followers, meaning you respond to their comments and develop a relationship with them in which they trust your opinions, suggestions, advice, or entertainment you offer.
You can then become a paid influencer in which companies will pay you to post about their products or services that would interest the demographics of your following.
Or, you can use your social media accounts to drive traffic to your website, sell your courses or other digital products, or be an affiliate marketer.
16. Become a Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is also a high-demand field due to the fact that the world is digitally connected. Most companies globally have a website, and many need writers to create content that will help sell their products or services or provide helpful educational material for customers.
Online writing jobs do not usually require a degree. You should, however, have good writing skills. If you need to improve your skills, consider taking an online writing course.
You can find online writing jobs on various freelancing websites, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Check online job sites as well, such as FlexJobs, LinkedIn, and Indeed.
With an internet connection, a computer or laptop, and writing skills, you can earn money as a part-time job or full-time income.
17. Offer Freelance Services From Home
Along with writing, there are other freelance services you can offer from home, with or without internet access.
For instance, if you know a foreign language, you can offer translation services. Let others know by posting on your social media account, mailing flyers, placing an ad, or using a freelance website.
Get paid for services that do not require an internet connection, such as dog walking, lawn mowing, house sitting, home organization, car repair, handyman services, painting, and other ways to make money that require manual labor.
Capitalize on your photography skills and offer to take pictures and video footage of weddings, special events, and family photos. You can also offer your freelance services as a proofreader, graphic designer, financial advisor, editor, web designer, or app developer.
18. Start a Digital Marketing Business
Digital marketing is any advertising that happens online. I’ve mentioned several types of digital marketing already because it’s so prevalent with millions of people online every day. I myself use a digital marketing agency, Brandetize, to promote my international business. They have helped me build my online sales from $1,200 a month to more than $100,000.
Online marketing channels include social media, websites, email, ebooks, videos, affiliate marketing, and influencer marketing, as well as search engine optimization (SEO), newsletters, blog posts, infographics, and whitepapers.
If you’re savvy with online marketing, consider starting your own business. Offer your services to local businesses and startups and branch out to mid-size and large companies as you gain more experience and exposure.
You might start out as a single-channel digital marketing agency, specializing in one type of marketing or offer multiple or full services. Market your agency by creating a website and portfolio, sending out emails, posting on social media, and even cold calling.
19. Earn Advertising Revenue From YouTube Videos
Everyone loves watching videos, and it has become one of the leading forms of communication, entertainment, education, and advertisement. YouTube is the most used video platform across the globe with 2.1 billion users worldwide that consume over 1 billion hours of videos every day.
With the ability to reach a huge audience, earning through your advertising revenue on YouTube videos is another great money-making idea.
Create a YouTube channel about something you’re interested in. You can find an audience for just about any topic, including comedy, technology, cooking, music, gaming, education, sports, news, film, crafting, and much more.
Upload original content regularly by making types of content, such as how-to videos, commentaries, product reviews, interviews, educational content, Q&As, docuseries, reactions, or music videos.
Once you have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, you can apply to monetize your channel through YouTube’s Partner Program. Once approved, you can place ads on your videos and get paid at an average of $3 to $5 per video view.
While it may be time-consuming at first to build your channel, you can start to make money fast once your channel is monetized.
20. Test Websites and Apps
Website designers, app developers, and business owners are interested in seeing how users experience their sites and application, so they’ll pay people to test them and give their feedback.
You don’t have to have tech skills to be a website or app tester. You just have to us and share your opinion about its design, function, and usability—pretty easy right?
The purpose is to help the developer create an app or site that is user-friendly and free of problems so they can make improvements as needed.
You may be asked to simply download an app, provide screen and audio recordings, or have a conference call to give your feedback. Reputable sites, such as UserTesting, Userlytics, and IntelliZoom may pay $2 to $120 per test, depending on the complexity involved.
To be a website or app tester, you may need to pass a test, which could include checking that you have quality audio and you can give clear, specific, and detailed feedback.
Take Action on These Top Ways to Make More Money
Whether you want to make money online or offline, you can increase the amount in your bank accounts in a variety of ways. As you review this list of creative ways to make money, try the ideas that best suit your interests, needs, and lifestyle.
For more tips on making money and proven business strategies, download my Way to Wealth: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Profitable Business.
I’ll share with you what the Law of Three is and why it’s essential to your business, the importance of customer satisfaction, and four strategic marketing principles.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.