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Ways Anyone Can Make an Extra $500 Per Month

Money in pocket




I am convinced that any one who isn’t severely disabled can make an extra $500 a month. Today, I’m going to break down all the common excuses I hear for why people think they can’t earn extra money and give some examples anyone can do to earn extra cash.

Ways Anyone Can Make Extra Money


Excuse: No one will hire me.

If you have any sort of skill, you can use it to make extra money, but you can’t expect people will come to you if they have no idea you are able to provide a needed service. In order to get hired, you need to show you are trustworthy and legitimate. I would make up some flyers or business cards and start visiting.  Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and it might take some time to build up your brand.

Businesses are perfect places to pitch your wares, especially if you use them and they know you. As a small business owner, I have had trouble finding these services, even from all sorts of people who claimed they wanted a job. Reliability is everything.

  • Cleaning Service– I have had a good cleaning service for a while in one of my offices, but the satellite office was a nightmare. We went through half a dozen cleaning services and all of them were terrible. One even lost our office key! Pitch your service. Do an awesome job, and you will succeed and probably get referrals. I had a friend who cleaned commercial buildings at night while she was in college. Her business grew so much that she had to hire employees!
  • Landscaping/Mowing-You’d think it would be easy to mow a yard, but I’ve also had terrible trouble with reliability. The last service we hired would only mow at 10:00 AM on Wednesdays, even though we asked them to come before or after business hours. Do you know how hard it is to conduct an eye exam with a mower right outside the window? I ended up firing them and hiring my husband. If you can do a good job and be unobtrusive, there are tons of commercial mowing  jobs available.
  • Catering-This  is the perfect time to pitch catering. Businesses are planning holiday parties, and the boss probably doesn’t want to cook. Pot luck might seem chintzy. Maybe take a sample of your best hors d’oeuvres when you stop by to see if anyone needs your services.
  • Window or Power Washing– Commercial cleaners rarely do windows, and our office building is always getting cobwebs around the front lights. If you can rent or have equipment to do this, you can make a good side income from washing windows or power washing buildings. Of course, this would probably not work in Manhattan, but if you live in an area with lots of one story buildings, there is great potential.

Jobs for Moms

Excuse: I can’t do any of these things because I am a stay at home mom.

I get that being a Mom is a full time job in itself, even if it doesn’t pay very well.  However, moms don’t need to be left out. There are still lots of ways to make extra money.

  • Babysit– Do you know how expensive day care is? Probably, because you chose to stay home. Infant care is the worst. When I got pregnant, I had no idea what I was going to do for child care. We don’t have family members close by, and at the time, there were no day cares that took kids under 1 year old. Luckily, I found a new mom who wanted to watch my daughter in her home. It was a lifesaver.

Look for pregnant working women you know or might have a connection to and ask about their child care plans. No one wants to leave their baby at a day care if they have a good reliable person who will watch their kid from home. Yes, it’s hard to take care of extra kids, buy you are already exhausted, what is one or two more? I bet if you do a good job, you’ll have to fight off referrals.

  • Direct Sales-I am a terrible salesperson, but if you like to network, this could be a way to make some money. My associate doctor’s wife is a great example. When he was in optometry school, she was stuck at home with a newborn. They only had one car, so she also had no transportation. She met a lady who sold Mary Kay, and after investigating that program, she signed on, and has done extremely well. After about a year, she got a free car to drive, and now pulls in several thousand dollars a month.
  • Cake Decorating-If you are talented in the baking area, this can be a great way to earn extra money. One of the teachers Jim used to work with made amazing wedding and specialty birthday cakes. A basic tiered birthday cake could fetch $100, while there really isn’t a limit on wedding cakes. Just beware of Bridezillas!

Excuse: I already work full time, and I am exhausted.

I hear you there as well. If you work 40+ hours a week, the last thing you might want to do is take on another job. Saving money will get you so far, but if you really have a goal like getting out of debt or saving up a down payment for a house, earning extra income will get you there much faster. Are you willing to sacrifice in the short term to meet your long term goals?

Other Ways to Make Money

  • Pet sitting
  • Music lessons
  • Teaching at community college
  • Substitute teaching
  • Grant writing
  • Hauling people’s junk to the dump
  • Cleaning out belongings after an elderly person goes into a nursing home
  • Handyman work
  • Detailing cars
  • Photography
  • Coaching or refereeing athletic teams
  • Bookkeeping
  • Assembling furniture
  • Teaching Exercise Classes
  • Seasonal Retail Jobs

Also remember to charge what you are worth, make sure you have signed contracts, and collect money owed to you. If you can do one or more of these things, you can easily make an extra $500 per month once you build your reputation and have reliable clients.

Here is another list of great extra income ideas. What are you waiting for?

What other ways can you think of to earn extra income?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/posterize

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Thanks for the great tips! I remember before I asked my friend if I can join their catering service work, we had a very low income here compares to your country but at least I earned a little amount for that extra work.

  2. More often than not when it comes to making some extra money, a lot boils down to a bit of creativity and willingness to try various things. That and using any skills or hobbies one might have however exotic. Forexample, I know my mum has been making a pretty sum with some sewing and alterations work….you’ll be amazed at just how many people need simple alterations to their clothes and the best part, marketing is totally through word of mouth 🙂

    • It is really hard to find anyone who does alterations. I think I paid a pretty penny when I got married and had my wedding dress altered.

  3. Great list Kim. I completely agree that anyone and everyone can earn extra cash. The problem is for a lot of people that these things take effort! Unfortunately guys, that’s life!!!

    • I find amazing amounts of time from just cutting out TV and making daily plans. If I know I need to get XYZ done today and make a plan for that, I usually get it done. When you say you’ll get to it without setting aside time, it never gets done.

  4. Blogging has really opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there for making some extra cash. Every week I read a ton of blogs where regular people are making +$1,000 in Adsense or affiliate income from their websites. Others have more conventional side hustles in freelance writing, etc. I personally hired someone for $200 to write articles for me. It’s amazing how far a little bit of ambition can go if you’re willing to put yourself out there to find some money making opportunities.

    • Blogging certainly opened my eyes as well, not just for the online potential, but by seeing all the ways others have earned extra money.

  5. I’d like to toss “computer tutoring” in there, if you have any experience with computers. There are SO many people would would love a few hours of one-on-one time to get them started in areas like Windows, Facebook, email, digital photos, etc.

    Getting close to those ski passes yet? 🙂

  6. If I ever wanted to quit writing for some reason (and didn’t want to get a regular job), I would just do daycare in my home. Daycare is so expensive up here and these ladies are bringing in all sorts of cash!

  7. There are definitely a lot of options out there. I agree that anyone can make some extra money, but I also think it’s important to recognize that it probably won’t come immediately. You have to be willing to try a few different things first before finding one that really works for you.

  8. Lots of great ideas here! Hopefully this will get the wheels turning for anyone looking to pick up a brand-new side hustle.

  9. There are definitely many ways to make a side income each month. I don’t think it’s “easy” per se and can take a lot of work to get those initial customers, but I agree that it’s doable. I think identifying things you can do that people already pay for is a good start. I can work well with financial data and can set up spreadsheets that are useful for small business owners. They either need to pay someone to do it or have to add it to their list of things they have to do each day/week/month. They could pay me instead.

  10. You’ve got some solid options there Kim! I think so much of it comes back to looking for opportunity and taking the initiative. I think that if you’re willing to put in the time and effort that you could make money with many of these over the long term. Your landscape story is crazy – why would they only do it at 10:00 am on Wednesdays? It doesn’t seem very conducive to wanting to have more business.

  11. Great list Kim. I agree if there is a will there is a way. And I like these all better than part time jobs, because I found (when I worked at the container store) not having an flexibility or control over my schedule really made me miserable. But with all the side jobs now I can take or leave them, like task rabbit, or work harder some months when I have time, but back off when I’m busy.

  12. I love the idea of having your own daycare when you’re a stay at home mom. You’re at home anyway, so why not make some extra money babysitting? If/when I have kids I’d absolutely consider watching someone’s kids at the same time.

  13. Love this list Kim! When I worked at The Home Depot there was a family business that would come in once a week and clean the floors with this machine thingee. I always thought it was the best gig and I ended up talking to them one day and they make GREAT money going around town only cleaning cement floors. They only work half days and make serious cash.

  14. I think “charging what your worth” makes everything a little trickier. Sure I can babysit or work retail, but I’m not gonna do it for $10/hour. Same for my freelance writing, I’m not about to spend hours applying for jobs on elance and putting together a 500 word post for $5.

    • I think you need to decide what your hourly rate is worth and only do jobs that will pay that much. If you are spending time you could be doing something else babysitting for $20, maybe not worth it. If you’d be home with your own kid anyway, it makes more sense. I see lots of people give their services away, and I’ve certainly been guilty of that in the past, but people will value your service more if it’s fairly priced.

  15. You kind of hinted at it in some of your options, but “Tutoring” for different classes can be a great way to make some extra cash. If you know Spanish, you can tutor people taking a Spanish class. If you are good at math, then tutor math students There are a lot of college kids that are motivated to learn, so it should be easy to pick up clients.

  16. Tutoring! Especially at the university level, you can charge big bucks.

  17. Great list, Kim! People sometimes become too narrowly focused when they are looking for ways to earn additional money. You have to get creative and think outside the box. And you have to be courageous and ask for the business, knowing you will receive a few rejections. Like you said, if you can prove you are reliable (which is sadly something that can be difficult to find) you can create a booming business that could even eventually turn into something bigger than you ever imagined.

  18. My wife used to work as a preschool teacher and we thought about opening a day care. Day care is pretty expensive in our area and the parents/students love my wife. I think if she were to open a child care center, it could be successful. One big problem is that we are renters and I’m not sure that would be allowed. Babysitting would be fine, but not opening a whole day care center. Commercial leases are also extremely expensive.

    • There are also lots of rules if you have over a certain amount of children based on ages, but one or two would probably not tip any laws the wrong way.

  19. I’m all about people making extra money! Most people have extra time that they can designate towards making extra money. Of course everything that I do now is included under my business, but before all of it was my extra income 🙂

  20. I definitely agree with the daycare bit. When my mom does move in with us when we have kids, that’s something I would encourage her to do for extra cash if she felt comfortable enough doing. Adding one or two kids more to take care of, at least if they’re not all infants, can be done. Might be tiring but the payouts can be big, especially if you live in an area where daycare is already pricey.

    • I think there is a huge need everywhere for quality day care. Even if you just watch kids for a couple of hours after school until the parent are off work, that fills a huge need.

  21. This is a great list of ideas.

  22. I see people talk about wanting to earn more money, but just make excuses. It irritates me.

  23. Theres always some ways to make money. Its important to remember that. You just have to be creative and work for it.

  24. Personally, I would ask if there was any overtime going at work first. There always seems to be part time jobs in the local paper as well as paper rounds. It all depends how far you need to go to earn the extra money. I’ve seen people roam the ditches at the side of roads here in Southern Ontario looking for beer bottles and cans, because you can claim the deposits back on them.
    You could try online studies or study groups or drugs trials, of which I have seen a number of drugs trials needing candidates to take vitamins or omega-3 pills. There’s extra money out there, you’ve just got to find it.

  25. These are some great hustles. I used to clean buildings and made a lot of money to to work only half hour a night

  26. It’s great to see what people can come up with if they think outside of the box! One hidden talent I recently discovered is sewing felt Christmas ornaments. My church has a holiday craft fair where I can sell them. It doesn’t make a ton of money per hour, but the benefit is that it’s something I can do while I’m at home with my son or relaxing in front of the TV.

    Another thing I do is take books off of peoples’ hands when they’re cleaning out. I check to see if I can sell them to a used store and make a few bucks that way. Then, I donate the rest. People are grateful to have them off of their hands — I go and pick them up at their home.

  27. Amazing list of opportunities.
    Just makes me realise that the only thing that is stopping me from making a little extra cash on the side is me!
    I just need to motivate myself.

    I’m trying to work out how to retire early, and making a little bit of cash on the side will allow me to retire a lot earlier!
    At the moment I’m exploring developing some niche websites to generate some income.

  28. Here in the USA we are lucky enough to have states that allow us to cook foods at home and sell in our state of residency; as long as the food does not have protein or cheese or “spoilage” ingredients that have to be refrigerated. We don’t need license or permit. That’s what I can do to earn up to 20,000 a yr. It is the cottage law. I can sell everywhere but restaurants, retail, etc businesses. I am gearing toward healthy veggie breads, mixes, dried herbs I grow and stuff like that. Also I will clean ceiling fans and stoves a few months before our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. So its a start I hope. Now I will have to figure out what to charge lol 😉

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