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How To Make More Money – Ways To Earn Extra Income

make more moneyDo you want to know how to make more money?  I get this question from readers all of the time.  If you are a reader of Debt Roundup, then you know that I tell everyone that the real way to change you financial situation is to make more money.  You can only cut expenses by so much.  Trust me, I have cut my expenses in every which way.  If you truly want your financial situation to change, then you need to learn how to make more money.  Cutting expenses and bringing in more income is the key here.

How to Make More Money

I figured that I would create a post that shows different ways that you can make more money.  Instead of just listing some ways, I am going to explain them in some detail.  This way it will show you how you can make extra income along with some of the ways that I have made more money.  I am NOT going to tell you to get a second job.  While that is a good way to make extra money, most people are not looking for that.  Most people that I talk to want to make extra income in their spare time or on the weekends.  I will say that if you need extra income quickly and consistently, then think about a second job.  OK, enough about second jobs.

Sell Items Online

You hear about this method to make more money often.  The reason why you do is because it is effective.  You can sell almost anything online.  The key is to tell things that people want.  Most people start out by selling their unwanted items online.  You can sell stuff for free via Craigslist, but you can also get a few free listings on eBay.  Your audience will grow if you sell on eBay, but it can have some fees attached.  Big and items not easily shipped should be listed on Craigslist.  This would be the easiest to get rid of them.

Once you get rid of your unwanted items, then you should think about selling other items.  I did this for years.  I started out by selling my used gear online.  I then branched out to having items drop-shipped to people.  I built an electronics business that sold over $1 million worth of new electronics online.  I started small and ended big.  It was lucrative, but it does take time to build up and succeed.  Others have made money by selling used cell phones, among other things.  If you can find it, then you probably can find someone to pay for it.

Do Odd Jobs

Have you ever looked on Craigslist to see what people need help with?  There are thousands of listings where people need the help of others in order to get something done.  Many people will pay you to help them move, cut their grass, do yard work, paint a room, and many other things.  I have helped out quite a few people in the past using Craigslist.  You can earn some good money and do it in your spare time and on the weekends.  The money won’t be consistent, but it is extra income.  You can also find such jobs online via TaskRabbit and with the newspaper classifieds.

Start A Blog/Website

Do you have a passion for a certain subject?  If you can’t tell mine, then I don’t know what to tell you.  I have a passion for finance and business.  Starting this blog was a natural fit for me because I have run blogs in the past and I have a history of money issues that I have worked through.

I wrote a detailed article on how to start and run a successful blog, which will show you the steps on how to get a domain and how to install blogging software.  I give you all of the steps. What I don’t give you is the motivation to make the website successful.  That has to come from you.

You can make money from a blog or website.  It does take a lot of time and energy, but it can be lucrative.  This is no get rich quick scheme.  You will not make money on the first day, the first month, or maybe even the first year, but you can make money doing so.  I make a good sized extra income from this blog, but I have worked very hard to achieve this.  Before you try this route, please make sure you pick a topic that you are passionate about.  You need to have passion for your website/blog and that is the only way to succeed.

I recommend that if you want to start a blog, then you run it on top of doing some other things to make more money.  Making money from blogging does not always happen and it is not quick.  This can be used to diversify your extra income.


I have been a freelancer for years.  There are a lot of people freelancing.  The reason why this is a popular way to make more money is because it is flexible.  When you freelance, you are selling your knowledge and skills.  There are many people and companies looking for individuals to do things for them.  Whether it be writing an article, building a website, testing items, designing a logo, and many other great things, there are thousands of opportunities for people to sell their skills.

The best way to start out freelancing is to first identify a skill that you can sell to others.  Are you good at design?  Can you write well?  Do you have artistic skills?  Are you good at coding?  If you have a job now, then you most likely have a skill that someone is willing to pay you for.  Most people have a marketable skill, but they just have to know how to market it.

Once you figure out what you do well, then you need to find someone who needs what you have to sell.  The best way to do that is by jumping on one of the many freelancing sites.  I recommend Elance, Odesk, and Freelancer.  These sites have thousands of listings in different areas.  Look to find your applicable area and see what others are selling.  If you see a fit, then create a profile and start marketing your skills.  You can also look to Fiverr to see if you can offer services.  This is another great way to get started.

Once you get started, then you might want to think about creating a website to sell your skills to others.  After you get a few jobs under your belt, then you can put them together as a portfolio on your own website.  Put that website on cards, as your email signature, and mention it to people during conversations.  Spread the word and then keep hustling to get more jobs.

Rent Out Your Assets

Do you own a home or a car?  Did you know that you can make some money from these assets?  Some people know that taking on a roommate or renting out a room can be a good way to make some extra cash.  Now, there are more formal ways to do this.  AirBnb is a huge person-to-person sharing marketplace.  You can list your home, condo, or townhouse for other people to rent.  Most people do this when they are traveling.  You can score some good deals, but you can also make some money.  If you have a nice home in a popular area, then this could be for you.

What about renting out your car?  The car sharing economy has blown up in the past few years.  Now, you can easily rent out your car to others and make some money.  RelayRides is a sharing marketplace that allows car owners to list their vehicles in order for others to rent.  You get to pick you price and terms and RelayRides then offers to protect you with a great insurance policy.  On average, their members make $250 per month by renting out their vehicles.  Not bad, especially if you don’t use your car everyday.

Mystery Shopping

I am listing this here because you can make money doing it. I did it for years.  You don’t make that much, but you can get free stuff and you and earn some money on the side.  You have to follow the rules depending on which company you will work for, but it is not hard.  I don’t mystery shop anymore because I don’t have the time, but it did give me some extra cash.  You won’t get rich from this and you won’t be able to quit your job.  Visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association to find a reputable company to work for.

The point of this post is to show you that there are ways to make more money.  If you have always wanted to know how to make more money, then the first step is to just look around you.  When you want to make more money, you have to understand that it will take time. It will also take time away from you.  There are no get rich quick schemes that are going to help you.  If you want to make more money on the side, then you need to hustle for it.  Earning more is all about working hard and continuously looking for more opportunities.  I have been earning extra income ever since I was out of high school. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, because it allows me to have a different financial future.

Do you earn extra money?  What is your favorite way to earn extra income?

Photo courtesy of artist in doing nothing

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About Grayson Bell

I am an average Joe, who built up over $50,000 worth of credit card debt and had to learn how to break it back down. It took 4 years of learning budgets, secrets, and many other personal finance tricks in order to cut the debt to $0. Now, I push to teach others not only how to get out of debt, but how to use credit wisely and how to start growing their wealth. You can view my other site, Sprout Wealth for ways to grow your money. I am also a freelance personal finance writer who provides staff writing and ghost writing services.


  1. Good stuff Grayson. I haven’t made much money from my blog yet but I’ve got some things in the works for 2014 that I’m excited about. I’d also like to throw my hat into the freelancing ring. I 100% agree with you that the biggest key to really changing your financial life is often to make more money, provided it’s coupled with smart habits when you actually get the money.

  2. Freelancing is the thing for me this year. Very little overhead or assets tied up in it, and immediate payoff!
    FI Pilgrim recently posted..How To Waste Time And Ruin Your Kitchen CabinetsMy Profile

  3. Good insight here Grayson. I could not agree more on the cutting of expenses. That is great to do, but will only take you so far. My preferred method of making extra money is through freelancing. It’s how my wife originally started our business and if you know what you’re doing then you can make a nice chunk of change with it and are willing to put in the time to do it.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Retirement Planning Tip for the Self-Employed: Don’t Make My MistakeMy Profile

  4. I do all of these except for mystery shopping and odd jobs. I think starting a blog/website is the most rewarding and highest potential for a big payday, but I think for the vast majority of people it’s more work than they are looking to do in their spare time. I think a second job would be ideal for most people, though I do think creating some sort of business is by far the better choice if you have the right mindset.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..15 Ways to Improve your Finances in the New Year – Part 1My Profile

  5. I used to freelance but didn’t have the confidence in my work to continue down that path. I’m working on getting back there this year though. I also pet sit for extra money. I’ve tried selling things, but haven’t had a much luck with it yet.
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted..2014 Goals…OverkillMy Profile

  6. Right now we are earning extra money through rental real estate. I may consider freelance writing in the future. I’m buying more and more into the idea of having multiple revenue streams.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..Some Unforeseen but Realistic Drawbacks to Chasing Your DreamMy Profile

  7. I think the most important tip is to not give up. Now that we’ve been working at freelance/blog income for a solid 6+ months, it’s really starting to pick up. Yay!
    Laurie @thefrugalfafmer recently posted..What to Do When You Wake up to Find Yourself Deep in DebtMy Profile

  8. I do the blog/freelance writing thing…but also do 3-4 mystery shops each month. It doesn’t bring in a ton of cash (averages around $50-$80 a month), but hey, I never complain when the money shows up in my paypal account, or as a check in the mail. :)
    Travis @Debtchronicles recently posted..Before You Start To Pay Off Debt….Do THISMy Profile

  9. These are all great tips! Right now I’m making some extra dough selling things I don’t want on craigslist. We’re moving at the end of the month so I’m trying to get rid of anything we don’t really want first.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..A Craigslist Conundrum: What Would You Do?My Profile

  10. I completely agree with you that you can only cut expenses so much. You really have to work on earning extra income to change your financial situation. My favorite income source is blogging although I do a lot of freelance writing as well. I find blogging to be more fun though.
    Alexa recently posted..How to Quickly Write an eBook for Your BlogMy Profile

  11. I have actually done mystery shopping, and it’s fun. This week I am actually “posing” as a newly engaged woman who needs to start a wedding registry.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted..Music Mondays – Let It Go – Demi LovatoMy Profile

  12. I do mystery shopping for my credit union. I have a few things I can sell online. I want to get that done this year. The blog is also a potential and maybe it will be a way I can make extra income in the future.
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted..Looking Ahead to 2014My Profile

  13. Renting a room on air b n’ b is still the easiest way I’ve ever found to make a lot of extra money. Now that I’m in manhattan though, the law is a bit more restrictive regarding short term rentals.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..Automate to SaveMy Profile

  14. This is definitely a focus for hubby and I think year. Right now our goal is to make 500 this year in side income which is about $42 a month. I guess we’ll see where we get!

  15. Honestly, I am not going to try to much on making a lot of extra money this year. My focus right now is to kick butt at my relatively new job, and then maybe next year I’ll try to pick up on the freelance thing. That being said, I am interested in monetizing my blog eventually, and I do sell things online occasionally… so I guess I am making a little bit extra for savings/debt repayment.
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted..Easing Back Into Routine.My Profile

  16. Love these ideas. I have been a mistery shopper before. I love it, You get a lot of free stuff doing that.
    Tanya recently posted..Online HR Software – December 2013 UpdateMy Profile

  17. Nice post, Grayson.

    I always tell people that their first action when their budget is coming up short should be to find new ways to earn income. Sometimes, you just don’t make enough. Some great ideas here.
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..Zillow Review: How a Website Helped Us Find Our Dream HomeMy Profile

  18. Blogging has def. been a money make for me but it did take almost a year before I saw any profit. I see so many people thinking its a get-rich quick scheme when its not. It really is a lot of work.
    Debt and the Girl recently posted..Blogger Spotlight and other UpdatesMy Profile

  19. I’m really trying to concentrate on freelance stuff more. I’d also like to sell a bunch of crap in my house my my husband is a bit of a hoarder and I worry he’d start suffering from separation anxiety, UGHHHHH. Good thing I love him:)
    Catherine recently posted..Working Towards a Big Financial Goal? Enjoy The Ride.My Profile

  20. The best thing about side income is that with many of the ideas, you can put as much time or as little time as you have/want. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel either. Look at what you know and are good at and find a way to make money from that. I’ve found good luck with writing for medical websites. If I have time, I can knock out several articles a month, but if not, I don’t have to. I wish I’d discovered that years ago!
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Legal Marijuana in Colorado: What’s It Cost To Get Stoned?My Profile

  21. I just started freelance writing this year, and the extra income has provided some nice breathing room in our budget. I don’t think I’m comfortable renting out my home or car though….too many crazy people out there. lol.

  22. “Most people that I talk to want to make extra income in their spare time or on the weekends. ” How is that different from getting a second job?
    Leslie Beslie recently posted..A Life Without Goals Can Be SuccessfulMy Profile

    • Hello Leslie,

      Thank you for the comment. It is actually quite different. Most people want to make extra money in their spare time. They tend not to want a scheduled time to work. Say they only have an hour or two in order to work. Most seconds jobs will not be able to provide you with such low hours. Many of the things that I listed allow you to pick and choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. This is the freedom you get when you just have side jobs, instead of a dedicated second job. It is all about flexibility.

      I used to work a second job on the weekends. I had to go in at a specific time and work for a certain amount of time. These things and what people are really looking for are the ability to earn income when they only have some time available. Nothing concrete and nothing set in stone.

      As I stated, second jobs can provide constant income and a set rate. You won’t get that from the things that I listed above.

  23. By selling items online, do you think that it is worth the extra effort just for the little profit that I can get after waiting a while for someone to buy the item?
    David recently posted..China’s Rise in 2014My Profile

    • Is there any reason why you are waiting for a while for someone to buy the item? You aren’t going to be able to enjoy extra money when you sell only one item here or there. Go out and find items that are being sold on eBay and Craigslist. See if you can resell it for a profit. The more you do, the more you make.

  24. I just wanted to comment that I enjoy how you interact with those that comment on your articles. So often I see on other websites writers post something and never really interact with their audience. Keep up the great work Grayson!!

  25. I have been doing mystery shopping for almost a year now, and there are sometimes really good deals out there. For example, the company I found, called SQM, had a deal where you get reimbursed for 50% of a two-way international airline ticket! So, those kinda deals do exist, and they are not myths. I guess even airline companies need to get their customer service evaluated after all. However, most of the stuff I have done were for restaurants (pizza restaurant chains, etc), and they reimbursed like half of my meal costs. That is not bad, especially if you like the place. There are also many other assignments, where you can make some money, but I’ve mostly been doing it as hobby, or for places I already go anyway, which works out well. I have even done a date in a restaurant and didn’t pay anything! The actual evaluation is online, so you can do it quickly. For people who are interested in mystery shopping, I suggest them finding legitimate mystery shopping companies and sign up on their website. Never do anything that asks money upfront. And you are right, there are many ways to make some extra cash if you look around.

    • Mystery shopping can be good, but you do have to get the right company. I typically only take jobs where they give me a stipend and then pay for me to complete the job. Those are harder to find, but they also exist.

  26. This is an interesting topic. I am always looking for ways to supplement my income. I agree, going out and getting a second job might be a quick fix but in the long run you will burn yourself out. My wife and I supplement our income in two ways. First; I have a couple of janitorial jobs where I work for myself. The per hour rate is much better than a part-time job. I average $30/hr for one account and $40/hr for the other. I can work less and make more than I would working part-time for someone else. Second; my wife is a photographer. She also works a regular part-time job so she can’t dedicate a lot of time to marketing her business. But the extra income is helpful and the start up costs are low.

    • Nice work on the janitorial work. While you might get burned out by a second job, you can also get burned out by adding different side jobs. Those side jobs can add up. I have many and they equal another full time job.

  27. I do surveys online to make a few extra bucks. I make around $200 a month or so. It wont make you rich but it is easy. Check out cashcrate it’s the best.

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