Who doesn't want to make some extra cash on the side in order to enjoy more financial freedom and flexibility? However, you have to be careful when you look for extra revenue streams. Many of the strategies you'll run into are scams.
But not all of them are. Luckily for you, here are eight legitimate ways you can make extra money:
1. Become a driver.
What if you could make money right from the driver's seat of your very own car? Well, you can, and it doesn't involve painting your car yellow like a taxi. Thanks to services like Lyft and Uber, you can actually sign up to be a driver and earn some extra money whenever you have the free time.
Lyft claims that its drivers can make as much as $35 per hour. One recent report says that Uber drivers can make around $90,000 per year, but notes that about 60 percent of this amount goes toward paying things like insurance, fuel and vehicle maintenance. When it all evens out, drivers typically make somewhere between $8 to $15 per hour in most parts of the country.
2. Invest in penny stocks.
Want to invest in the stock market, but don't have enough money to go after major blue chip stocks like Apple and Disney? Well, you can still enjoy the excitement and challenges of investing by learning the ropes of penny stock investing.
Penny stock investing involves common stocks that are valued at less than $1. While they come with a lot of risk, they're also able to yield high returns when you know what you're looking for. It's certainly a nice way to dip your feet into investing.
3. Put your home on Airbnb.
Do you have a nice home or apartment? Is it in a desirable area? Depending on where you live and the demand for housing accommodations for travelers and visitors, you may be able to make some serious money by listing your home on Airbnb for the weekends.
It varies, but you can easily make a few hundred or even thousands of dollars in a weekend. It does take some work — and will force you to get creative with where you stay while your home is occupied — but this is a strategy worth thinking about.
4. Write for publications.
Are you a good writer? Do you have some spare time? Many online publications and websites will actually pay amateur writers to create content for them. Blog posts can land you anywhere from $10 to over $150 per piece.
While there's certainly a learning curve when it comes to getting pieces accepted by different publishers, you can make some extra money each month by working hard and following directions.
5. Use Fiverr to monetize your talents.
Have you ever heard of the website Fiverr? It's an easy-to-use online marketplace that connects buyers with professionals who are selling services. For example, you have a talent. So, you create a profile. You then list your services and attach a fee to them (with low-level offerings typically starting around $5).
People then browse the site and pay for your services if they need them. While you may not earn a ton of money on any one service, you can certainly build a viable business when sales begin to scale.
6. Launch and monetize a blog.
One of the most popular ways to earn money online is by launching a blog and monetizing it by using any number of strategies. While it'll take time to develop a blog with a strong readership, the investment you make on the front end can be returned with healthy profits on the back end.
While selling ad space on a blog is one of the more popular blog monetization methods, there are actually other options. You can launch a membership program, sell consulting services, get involved with affiliate programs or use your site to write paid reviews. Eventually, you may even be able to sell your blog and earn a healthy lump sum.
7. Turn a hobby into an income.
Do you have a special talent or hobby that others appreciate? Things like woodworking, painting, construction, cooking and playing music all count. Imagine if you could take on one or two projects, shows or events per month.
You could probably net a few hundred dollars by doing something you already enjoy. If your hobby involves creating a physical product — such as woodworking or painting — you may even be able to launch an online storefront by using sites like Etsy, eBay or Craigslist.
8. Sign up for focus groups.
Did you know that companies will pay you to participate in focus groups? There are a number of organizations out there that will let you sign up to be on the lists. Then, when a study comes along that matches up with your criteria, you can opt in. It's not uncommon for a focus group to pay anywhere from $50 to $500 for sessions that last just two or three hours.
This tip may not be as profitable as the others – since you can't necessarily control which groups you'll be selected for – but it can still provide some extra spending money. That's not bad for just offering your opinion.
Just because you work a 9-to-5 job, that doesn't mean you can't pick up some extra income earning opportunities. However, you will have to get creative with the way you do it. The extra income you receive could be used to pay bills, rent, mortgage or even bar tabs.