10 Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time

March 8, 2013

timeAre you looking for a way to make extra money in your spare time, without getting tied down to a part-time job? There are plenty of opportunities to earn some extra cash, and all you need to do is to tap into your personal talents. Here are some ideas . . . .

1. Find some micro-jobs.

There are dozens of online work sites that offer micro-jobs. These are usually single-purpose jobs that you do essentially on a contract basis from your own home. Companies such as Mechanical Turk, Mobileworks and Fiverr are among dozens of online sites that have such projects available.

There are all kinds of small jobs that you can sign up to do, including administrative tasks, local delivery and taking photos for out of area employers. The pay is small, but you can generally work on your own schedule and handle only those tasks that you are most familiar with.

2. Put your musical talents to work.

There are two ways you can do this one. The first is that you can teach your musical skill to adults or children. If you can play an instrument fairly well you’re likely qualified to teach at least at the novice level.

The second, if you are more accomplished, is to rent your services out as a session player. Bands and orchestras sometime need guitar players, drummers, and keyboard players, as well as wind and various horn players, and will pay on a per session basis. Your involvement could be either temporary or ongoing.

3. Do some easy repair work.

Even if you’re not a certified handyman you can probably pick up some extra money performing simple repairs for people who know next to nothing about home repair work. You could perform such tasks as changing doorknobs, fixing holes in the wall, or even doing some painting work.

4. Provide income tax preparation.

You can start this by working with H&R Block, or one of the other large tax-preparation services. You can take a tax preparation course that usually will last several weeks, and then work for them during the tax season. You’ll earn money while you’re doing this, but once you have worked for one or two tax seasons, you may be able to work for a small CPA firm at a higher rate of pay. If you become an Enrolled Agent, you can start your own tax-preparation service.

5. Serve as a call center for businesses.

Many small business people, particularly contractors, spend most of the workday out on the road or on jobs so they are not available to take phone calls – especially those from prospective new customers. You can offer your services to small businesses as a home-based call center. You’ll be available to handle calls that they are not able to. Even in this day and age of voicemail, customers still prefer speaking with a live person, and having someone to take these calls can improve business revenue.

By having your phone number listed as the primary contact for the business in their advertising and on their website, you can take incoming calls, screen them out, and send the important ones to the business owner. You can do this either for flat fee or on a per call basis.

6. Try landscaping.

It has become very common for households with two incomes to hire people to do all kinds of chores around the house. One of the big ones to get hired out is landscaping. You can probably find plenty of work right in your own neighborhood cutting lawns, trimming shrubbery and raking leaves.

7. Provide graphic design.

Are you a whiz at graphic design? A lot of people are not, and that creates a huge potential market. You can probably find plenty of work selling your services at below market rates to individuals and small businesses. Once you get a business flow going, complete with repeat customers, you can begin raising your fees to more standard rates.

8. Do auto repairs.

The last few years have taken a serious toll on the finances of millions of households. When money is tight, the first thing to go is maintenance, and that includes car maintenance. People often go weeks or months without having a car repaired as a way to save money.

Traditional mechanic shops are expensive, so you may find a niche performing basic repairs at less than shop prices. Sometimes all you need to be able to do is change oil, rotate tires, swap spark plugs and worn belts and hoses, and you will have built-in niche.

9. Become a computer application specialist.

Are there one or two computer applications that you are especially good at? It could be PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop, or any number of other common computer applications. Just because you are good at these programs doesn’t mean everyone else is too. Start offering your services through free or very low-cost advertising, and see what you can do to fill the needs of individuals and small businesses. Sometimes all you have to do is get started and the business starts rolling in by word-of-mouth.

10. Try pet sitting or dog walking.

If you are an animal lover, and you live in a large neighborhood with a lot of pet owners, this could be a natural fit for you. People often need someone just looking in on their pets during the workday and to sometimes take them for a walk. You can often get gigs just by word-of-mouth in your own neighborhood. Once you become known, you may find yourself having to turn away the business.

For more tips on how to make money, check out these articles about you and your career.

Have you ever tried any of these? Can you think of other ideas that would be good for making extra money? Leave a comment!


Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.


Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids and can be followed on Twitter at @OutOfYourRut.

All posts by


6 Responses to 10 Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time

  • KC

    Those sites are good to earn extra. I used to do some gigs on Fiverr, a fun site. These are all good ideas. If you got the talent like troubleshooting your you’re good with graphics, you can earn form it.

    • Kevin

      It’s not a lot of money, but it’s definately a way to make some money in your spare time. It might mean giving up TV time, but what the heck?

  • Alan

    Hi Ben,

    Some of these ideas I have considered in the past but with me being in school again for my masters, I just don’t have the time. Once my classes end, permanently, and if our situation hasn’t gotten any better, I definitely may take another look into some of these.

    • Kevin

      Hi Alan–you’re making a good point. You will need time to make a go of any of these, and there are times in life where the extra hours just aren’t there.

      Still, it’s good to have some ideas waiting in the wings for when your schedule opens up. Bookmark this page!


  • The Psychology of Money
  • How to Make Your Side Business a Success | Money Smart Life