We’re all for making extra money on the side. But not all side gigs are created equal.
If you’re juggling multiple jobs, there are easier ways to do it than going from your 9-to-5 day job straight to your 5-to-9 part-time gig, then collapsing into bed at night.
By “easier” we mean flexible hours (preferably that you set yourself) and a better-than-minimum-wage paycheck.
After all, you deserve to get the most bang for all those hours you’re putting in.
6 Gigs that Are Probably Better Than What You’re Doing Now
When your full-time job doesn’t pay the bills, or allow you to pay down debt or build up savings, you pretty much have to find ways to earn more money.
But you’re not doomed to flipping burgers. You can be choosy, and you can make real money. We have options for you:
1. Earn Money as a Mystery Shopper
It sounds kind of intriguing, and it totally is. Companies pay mystery shoppers to pose as regular customers and then provide feedback on things such as how clean the store was or how well the employees interacted with you.
In exchange for your feedback, they pay you a fee, and in most cases, they’ll ask you to make a purchase, then reimburse you.
Beware of mystery-shopping scams: Never pay to join a mystery shopping company, and never pay money to a company to see their list of jobs. The legitimate companies will never ask you to do this.
Some of our favorite legitimate mystery shopping companies are Best Mark, Sinclair Customer Metrics, Market Force and Intelli-shop, and they’re all free to join.
2. Watch Movie Previews, Get Paid
What better way to unwind from working your various jobs than watching TV? InboxDollars will pay you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news and dozens of other videos. Plus, you’ll get a bonus $5 just for signing up.
You need to watch all of the shows in a specific playlist to earn your bucks, so be prepared. InboxDollars lets you know how long the playlist runs before you start watching, and playlists range from a few minutes to about a half hour.
The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!
3. Keep More of Your Earnings Doing Deliveries
Need a reliable side gig? Try delivering groceries, takeout and even retail purchases with Postmates.
The amount you can earn varies, but the median earnings per hour during peak times is $19, CEO Bastian Lehmann said at a 2015 TechCrunch event.
Unlike other apps, you’ll take home 100% of your earnings when you make a delivery — no service fees, booking fees or transaction fees.
You can deliver through Postmates by car, bicycle or foot. Just create an account, then you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail within a week (a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to make your purchases). Link the card to the Postmates Fleet app, and you’re off to earning extra money.
Actual amount earned will vary, depending on a number of factors. You’ll see how much you earned after each delivery and exactly how your earnings were calculated.
4. Play the Lottery — for Free
There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.
Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic (Lucktastic is called Lucktastic Match on iOS). Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.
The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.
5. Earn Up to $25/Hour Delivering Food
Cities around the country are filled with two things: incredible restaurants and busy people.
You can help connect them by delivering food through Doordash.
As a “Dasher,” you’ll work as an independent contractor, setting your own hours and working as much or little as you want, meaning how much you can make is up to you.
You’ll earn a $6 fee for each delivery, plus keep 100% of your tips. Depending on the day, you could earn up to $25 an hour. If you drive full time, that’s $1,000 a week!
For a real-life case, Jose Neri, a former Dasher in California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners. They could take about two-and-a-half deliveries an hour, and users would tip between 10% and 15%.
All you need to get started is an insured vehicle or a bicycle and a smartphone. You should be at least 18 years old and have a minimum two years’ driving experience.
If you’re interested in becoming a Dasher, you can learn more here.
6. Make Serious Cash as a Part-Time Bookkeeper
Can you open an Excel spreadsheet? Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? Better than hustling at three part-time jobs that pay a fraction of that?
Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.
You don’t have to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.
The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful too.
Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and you have no commute. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.
Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch.
Molly Moorhead is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.