Successful People Share Their ‘Easy Money’ Secrets
If it were easy, everyone would do it. How many times have we heard this old phrase? Maybe you’re finding yourself with too much week left at the end of the pay-check. Again. Maybe you find yourself constantly watching the clock at your regular nine to five gig, dreaming of the day you’ve got enough money to say goodbye to the grind. Regardless, most of us would all agree, having a little extra cash at the end of the day is never a bad thing.
We went to the Reddit community to ask the question, “What is your way of making ‘easy money’?” While some people’s idea of easy is definitely a bit more involved than others, there are plenty of great ideas here for gigs and side hustles to help put a little extra dough in your pocket.
25. The Illegitimate Painting Business
A friend and I once ran an illegitimate painting business for a couple months. We were both unemployed and posted on craigslist that we specialized in rushed jobs – like if someone needed something painted that day. A landlord who owned a bunch of cruddy rental units and trailers around town called us to slap some paint up on a unit he was trying to turn around real quick and paid us $400 each. He apparently liked the work we did, didn’t care that we only accepted cash and were running the business out of a Ford Focus, so he started calling us about once a week. I ended up getting a real job, so we shut it down.
24. The Subcontracting Caterer
My buddy runs a “catering” company. He gets orders for various types of cuisine from folks for funerals, biz meets, events, weddings, etc. He then heads to restaurants and gets their bids on fulfilling these foods, adds his overhead and puts their food into his containers.
I don’t know how legal or ethical that is at all, but he got himself a little car, nice enough apartment and does vacations with his girl all from this.
23. Drone Photo Specialist
I started off going to the local thrift shops and flipping anything good saved up and got a decent drone (3DR Solo). Now I subcontract myself to local farms with a multi-spec camera for crop analysis and local real estate firms for aerial shots. I make more working for 3-6 hours on my weekend than a whole week at my full-time job.
22. Paid To See Concerts
Reviewing gigs and albums. The pay is pretty rubbish to start with, but you get the free album or gig tickets anyway. When I first started it was maybe $20-30 for a 250-word album review, now I make from $100 per review, plus I get tickets to great shows. Platinum reserve for gigs like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Coldplay. It takes me less than an hour to write the review after, so it’s incredibly easy money, plus FUN. Always get a spare ticket too.
When I was in high school/college, I tutored math. There are lots of moms who would pay good money for you to help their little brats with math homework, study for the SAT, etc. One summer I made around $3500 working around 10-15 hours a week.
20. Trash To Treasures
I started selling on eBay many years ago. It started with selling a bundle of knitting needles that I found in a trash can. Now I constantly go to estate sales and auctions and I rent a commercial space to store the wares. Before anyone asks, I have a business license from the state and city and I pay taxes like any business. Tomorrow is Saturday so it is estate sale day here. It takes a lot of skill to do this though. You need to know what to look for. Before smartphones, you really had to have a good eye for stuff. Today you just need a sense of what is worth looking up so you don’t waste a lot of time.
19. Watching Doggies
Dog sitting, especially if you do it at the client’s house. Animals are easy to take care of. If you live far you can stay at the person’s house for a change of scenery, and it’s really easy to get a huge client base if you do good work and charge a fair rate (I used about a $10-$15 base daily price, plus $5-$10 per animal depending on how high maintenance they were). People LOVE having people they know to take care of their animals because it’s a lot cheaper and less risky than a kennel service, plus they get some theft deterrent by having you go to their house frequently. I did it all through high school and some of middle school. The last year I did it I made something like $3,000 in cash. For high school, it was like having my own gold mine.
18. Get People In Shape
Working as a personal trainer. I train people outside working hours in public parks with outdoor fitness equipment. Once I had a few clients I bought a small stash of kettlebells and sandbags which gives me near infinite workout possibilities. I had a good understanding of fitness principles and principles of human movement and weight lifting from working out myself with good coaches, but you can find good coaches free online and teach yourself enough. Study your personal training certifications asap but you can get started if you are confident in your experience.
It literally requires no financial input to get started. Start working for 30 bucks an hour. Try and get two people at once and drop it to 20 each. As you accumulate more equipment you can run bigger groups. Within a year or two you could easily have a group of 10 people a few days a week. Making 150 before breakfast is a good thing.
17. Painted Faces
Face Painting. Easy? Not exactly, it takes plenty of practice and a disposition toward artsy stuff helps. Also a tolerance for kids. But for $70/hr it’s the best side job I can imagine having. You work with kids and are loved for even crappy work (though I like to think I’ve progressed past that stage, I was charging like $30/hr then). People are always excited that you’re there. If you can afford to put down like $100 for supplies and some effort, you can make the money back almost immediately.
Running Twitter accounts for small bloggers, I basically just tweet links with “what do you think”. $25 an hour lol.
15. Playing Sick
I work for two local hospitals and a medical school as a standard patient. Basically, it’s acting. I’m emailed a case file of a character to play, my symptoms, some background, and a script of things to say in response to the questions they’ll likely ask. I show up, change into a hospital gown, and sit in an exam room for med students to practice talking to patients and doing routine exams. Then they leave and I grade them on their performance.
It’s a really nice gig. I’m usually just there for 3-4 hours on days I don’t have class. I get free coffee and sodas and the staff usually provides us with free breakfast or lunch. Plus the pay is amazing–$20 an hour for simple cases, more for cases that involve more advanced acting, preparation, or emotional investment. My main case is playing a teenage girl with strep throat or an STD, but next week I’m on for a trauma simulation and get to have gory special effects makeup. Plus I’m getting paid double at $40/hour for my trouble since my call is at 5 am.
14. Hauling Scrap
Hauling scrap metal. My neighbors are all farmers with hundreds of acres of woods that have been used as dumps in the past. They let me take any metal or trash I want off their land. I can go out there with a chainsaw, skid loader, and truck and trailer and in about 2 hours collect $300ish worth of scrap metal. Then I just haul it 15 minutes down the road to the scrap yard.
13. Playing Poker
Play poker online. Deposit 25 bucks, play a couple of days, withdraw my money. Repeat this whenever I have time. I usually make between 50 to 100 in those couple of days. The time it takes me makes it out to pay out as a minimum wage job but at least I have fun.
12. Flipping Car Parts
I used to go down to the local junkyard and buy up starters, calipers and fuel pumps, however many I could afford. I’d go home and list them all on Craigslist for twice what I paid and usually sell out in a week or two. Pretty reliable way to double a few hundred bucks in short order but there is definitely a threshold.
10. Marrying For A Living
I overheard someone at a restaurant telling the story of how in college they managed to get ordained as a minister so they could marry drunk students at frat parties for $100 a pop. I was… impressed.
9. Going Sailing
Sailing disabled people. A friend and I found it in a newspaper. We get paid $15 to take people of varying disabilities (I’ve had people with just mental disorders, to complete vegetables) out on little sailboats for about an hour and a half. Most of the time they were just paraplegics who actually knew how to sail, so my friend and I would just sit on the chase boat and talk about movies. The only downside was that working with the people in a complete vegetable state would always make me a little sad, but I got over that once I just started listening to podcasts. I think they actually enjoyed them too.
8. Love The Game
I referee youth basketball. I make $30 a game and it only takes about an hour of my time.
7. Hunting For Coins
Coin roll hunting — the concept is simple. Buy 10-25 dollars worth of pennies then look for a rare one or one with errors. So far I have gotten a 1972 double die ($70), 2 1998 wide AMs ($15 each) and over 80 wheat pennies ($0.35 each, with states ones up to $5) and still haven’t gone over $150 worth of pennies.
6. Supply And Demand
Purchase ten 24 packs of water and 5 large bags of ice for around $80. Go outside to a sporting or another type of event anytime the temperature is above 80. Sell a single bottle for $1.00 or 2 bottles for $3. Should make roughly $100 – $150 profit every time.
5. Bike Flipping
Craigslist flipping bikes.So many people throw stuff out. If you can wrench on bikes and get yourself some shop space, you can get the free ones and buy up used ones. If you do it in a tourist town you can rent them too.
I went to school for engineering. Now I make 57k annually (not bad at all, just a reference point). My buddy who does bikes last year pulled in 65k. Granted I will probably be up to 70k way before he is, but 65k annually isn’t half bad for winters mostly off, where he can go out and do other jobs.
4. Get Paid For Your Opinions
Focus groups. I find most of them on Craigslist, under the ETC section in Jobs. I’ve made anywhere from $25-$500/month by just giving my opinions on potential advertising promos.
Babysitting. Most of the time the kids are asleep before I get there, or go to bed shortly after. Then I am paid to watch TV or do whatever else I like while eating someone else’s food.
1. Share Music
Teaching young kids how to play music.
If you play an instrument start immediately. I initially started just to supplement my minimum wage jobs and now I can barely justify doing anything else.