Budgeting is often viewed as a necessary evil, and a lot of people try to make due with a reasonable salary as best as they can. In a lot of cases, saving up for some luxuries simply isn’t a realistic option, as there just isn’t enough money to go around.
A good way to boost your budget a little bit, if you’ve already got a full-time job, is to find an additional source of income. This should be something that doesn’t require too much of your time, as you still want to have some free time left for yourself in the day, but still pays decently well.
Since people have different skills and sensibilities, we will be looking at a number of effective ways to earn some extra cash.
1. You can take online surveys
The gist of this fairly straightforward money-making method is that you log onto a website, complete a survey and get paid a certain amount of money for it. Some websites will have fairly regular surveys for the users to complete, earning you anywhere from $1 to $5 for shorter survey that can be completed quickly, while some can get you up to $10.
There is also the odd opportunity like reviewing a website or evaluating a book, both of which which can land you up to $30 and $60 respectively.
Getting paid to take surveys online is an easy and safe way to earn a little extra cash, as long as you focus your attention on the better websites like the ones mentioned here, but it won’t make you a millionaire anytime soon.
The good thing about them though is that you can bite off as much as you want to chew, and you can combine paid surveys with other options listed in this article without losing too much of your own free time.
2. You can write and publish a cheap romance novel
While great classical minds like Cicero lamented about the state of the world in which children don’t listen to their parents and everyone is writing a book, the truth is that it’s evidently been like that for centuries now, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this fact.
You’d think that there is a lot of competition out there, but despite the sea of cheap thrillers, fantasy and romance novels out there, people seem to want more and more.
If you have even the slightest bit of writing talent, or at least have a decent idea and aren’t completely illiterate, there are user-friendly platforms likeSmashwords that can help get your novels out there. The drawbacks here are that the process is time consuming and requires at least some creativity, but it can be a long-term project that you slowly complete over the course of a few months, writing whenever you find the time during the day.
With time, you’ll get better, and if you can put that into your book, you are looking at a decent amount of additional income.
3. You can hold online English classes on Skype
With the advent of platforms like Skype, it has become very easy to connect with people from around the globe, and even teach classes face-to-face with someone from another continent. Since English is a language spoken in most countries across the world, there is a big demand for English language teachers, especially in Japan.
There is a $10 yearly fee, it’s simple to sign up for it and the money is decent – $5 for a 25 minute class and $10 for a 50 minute class – but it does require a decent amount of work and good people skills.
There also may not be a position available at all times, so you can end up waiting a while for a job opportunity to present itself.
4. You can provide a unique niche service on Fiverr
Fiverr is a great platform where people can offer all sorts of services for a nominal fee, starting from $5. The best thing about it is that you have free reign to choose any type of service you would like to provide – from proofreading and songwriting to drawing cartoon version of people, web development and animation.
But, as to be expected, there is a lot of competition.
This is why you need to find a unique niche to cater to, something specialized for which you can quickly become the go to person. Everyone has some interesting talent, a skill set developed over the years or even a hobby that can be monetized, so Fiverr can be a good opportunity to supplement your income.
5. You can sell your old textbooks
Higher education is an important thing to have, but going to university will set you back quite a bit in student loans. Textbooks can be costly as well, and over time, you will be left with a whole bunch of textbooks that you no longer need.
You can make some of that money back by selling your used textbooks online. Selling your old textbooks on Amazon is pretty simple, and you can get a good deal for them, as long as they are in good condition and the ISBN number matches that found on the website.
6. You can dabble in stock photography
There are tons and tons of content being uploaded online every day, and a lot of it features at least one image. Everything from blog posts to homepage backgrounds may feature a quality image, so there is plenty of work to be had as far as stock photos go.
Most stock photo sites offer about 50-60% of each sale to the artist, and if an image proves popular, it can earn you a nice sum. Of course, you need to invest in good equipment to set up a small studio and need to have some talent and experience, so it is not something that everyone can just pick up as an additional source of income.
It may also be a while before you see some real profit, and you will have to put in the work. However, if you have already dabbled in amateur photography as a hobby, have some decent equipment and enjoy snapping photos, then you can take the extra step and make some money from it.
7. You can try to find a gig as a movie extra
If you have a bit of free time on your hands, say on weekends or in the afternoon after your day job, and you’ve dreamed of being part of a movie production, you can try to find a gig as an extra. Unless you are a member of the Screen Actors Guild, you won’t make too much in this line of work, but a few days of shooting a month can provide you with that little extra cash that you need to get your finances in order.
Now, before you get your hopes up and start planning your Oscar speech, I should mention that this line of work is not for everyone.
A typical shoot can stretch on for hours on end, and you will be expected to stand around and repeat the same movements over and over again. You are basically adding a number of full workdays, physically demanding ones at that, to your schedule, and the work is not exactly stable – you can go a long time without an offer or get a couple of options during the same week.
It’s a bit of a gamble, and it is demanding, but it is also a decent side job overall, especially if you live in a bigger city where a lot of films and TV shows are shot.
8. You can create a blog and start putting out content
Even if you don’t think that you’d have much to say to the world, there is probably some specialized area that you are skilled in or have spent a good deal of your time learning about. Just as long as you can give some interesting insights, good advice and provide a bit of entertainment to a niche audience, you can create a fairly successful blog.
Like some other job opportunities on this list, creating a blog requires you to invest some money – although you don’t really need all that much – and a decent amount of time. It’s also not exactly a quick and easy way to get some cash.
You should see it as more of a long-term project that starts out as a fun hobby, and can gradually become a stable stream of extra income. The best thing about it is that it can be your little passion project that takes a couple of hours of your free time, which leaves you enough time to focus on other, more immediate, methods of earning money.
Supplementing your income with a less time-consuming and relatively simple side job will allow you to save up some money, get out of debt quicker or afford a few luxuries. These are just some interesting ways to earn a few extra bucks, while still having a bit of free time left.
You won’t burn yourself out doing any of these, and can tap into them as little or as much as you want, but they can make a noticeable difference over time.
This post originally appeared on Lifehack