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How To Make Extra Money From Home With A Side Job

Posted November 28th, 2011 in Making Money by Jeremy Waller

In managing your finances there are 2 sides of the equation – income and expenses. We often focus solely on the expense side. In the personal finance world, it seems that all you ever hear are things like deferred gratification and living within your means.

But, it can be discouraging cutting expense after expense to try and make ends meet or to try to get ahead.

When your means aren’t much it’s difficult to live within them.

But there is a whole other side to the equation – the income side. Instead of trying to cut $500 of spending, why don’t you just make $500 more each month?

That’s easier said that done right? You can’t just pull $6,000 per year out of thin air. Or can you?

In reality, there may be more opportunities than you think.

I’m talking about a second job, a side gig, starting a small business on the side – whatever you want to call it.

There is a world of opportunity. You only need to grasp a small piece of it and you can drastically improve your financial situation.

If that piques your interest at all then there are 4 things you need consider – 4 steps to make extra money from home with a side job.

Assess Your Interests

What are you interested in? You will naturally have an easier time spending time doing something that you’re interested in.

Take a formal inventory of everything that you find interesting. Do you enjoy gardening, photography, design, music, computers or woodworking? Each one of those (and hundreds of others) have the potential for a good job on the side.

The best businesses are one ones that you love doing. I mean, how great would it be if you could get paid for doing the thing you love?

Most likely, you have an interest that has income potential.

Assess Your Talents And Skills

Going a step beyond your interests, what are your talents? These will most likely line up with some of your interests.

If you have something in which you are both interested and talented, then there is serious potential there for a side gig.

There’s a guy that I grew up with that was an extremely talented musician. He taught guitar lessons on the side to bring in some extra income while he was in school.

Don’t forget to include skills you have acquired at your current or previous job.

I know someone who was an accountant for a number of years who started doing bookkeeping for small businesses on the side. She ended up doing so well with her side job that she was able to leave her job and start her own accounting firm.

Assess Your Tools

What tools do you have? Do you have a lawn mower? Maybe there’s an opportunity to mow some lawns in your neighborhood.

I’m sure you have pots and pans in your kitchen cabinets. Start a catering business.

Have a toolbox full of tools in your garage? I’m sure there’s someone on your street that has something that needs fixed.

I know of a guy several years ago that started a tool rental business out of his garage. At first it was just a good excuse to buy more tools, but ended up bringing in a nice little income on the side that eventually grew into a full-fledged business.

Assess The Market

Look for opportunities around you. There are always needs that either aren’t being met or are being met poorly. If that weren’t true, no one would ever be able to start a business.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Everything that can be invented has been invented,” that has famously been misattributed to Charles Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Patent office in 1899.

Don’t live with that mindset.

There is always opportunity. You just have to look and listen carefully.

My Own Personal Example

Years ago I was in to graphic design. (Fun fact: graphic design was my original major in college, but the lack of a job market in the area caused me to change majors.)

Over the years, I’ve continued to play with it in my spare time, not really thinking anything of it.

At the end of October I put together a logo for a friend for a new site he was working on. A few other people saw it and wanted to know if I would do some work for them as well.

Side-Gig PayPal Screenshot

That’s an extra $350 this month from working this little side job a few hours here and there.

I am interested in graphic design, marketing and corporate branding. I’m talented enough that people love the work I’ve done for them. I have the tools (software) to do the work. There was a need in the market.

This isn’t just a post of full of fluff. These concepts really do work.

Have you ever done any work on the side? If not, is there something that’s holding you back?

p.s. As requested in the comments you can find a sample of my work here.

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20 Responses so far.

  1. Today the internet has indeed provided ways and means by which struggling middle class people can find out honest and ethical means of making extra income sitting in the comfort of their homes.

    But people need to be lucky like you:)

  2. Aloysa says:

    I think almost all financial bloggers are running their blogs as side business. All of the above applies very well to blogging. 🙂 I amimpressed with your side gig income. Way to go!

    • Jeremy says:

      Blogging is another way to make some income on the side. But after doing this for 5 years I’ve learned that you have to be in it for more than the money. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing about you’ll burn out quickly.

  3. Monica says:

    That’s a good idea, rather than people stressing out about how much debt they are in, something should be done about it. I think it’s a good idea to even get just a weekend job atleast this way you will be able to make a difference with your debt. I have known people where there debt levels are sky high and as they did nothing about it, eventually they had IVA advice in order to pay off their debt.

  4. I started a side business from a side business lol. I used the knowledge I learned from starting my blog to do a little SEO work on the side. So far it’s bringing in about 1 client a month which is turning into some good gas money lol

  5. Jackie says:

    I’ve started tons of side businesses over the years, and I agree. Why not make some extra income? Plus, it’s fun!

    P.S. Do you have examples of the logos you’ve put together? I may be interested in one for another site. Shoot me an email 🙂

  6. Yes blogging is my side business. And I seriously think of going to you for my logo design.

    You have made some very good points.

  7. I’ve done writing and SEO work on the side. It took me a little while for me to build up the side work to earn real money, but it’s really starting to pay off after months of trying now. I think just about anyone can do it if they’re really determined to make it happen.

  8. That’s really awesome! I love writing my blog and it’s something I’ve been doing for a while. Only recently did I start getting into the advertising side of it. But it’s helped with the costs of running a blog!

  9. I blog on the side and it works great for me!

  10. Dan says:

    I just started out my online freelancing career, apart from my 8-5 job. The bidding system in most freelance sites, however, is very frustrating as some employers haggle over price to save money. Charge too much and you won’t get hired. Charge too little and you’ll get burned out quickly.

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