7 More Ways to Make Extra Money This Year

7 More Ways to Make Extra Money this Year

If you want to earn more money this year, consider turning your skills and talents into a side job – maybe even full-time work. Whether you’ve got brains, brawn, time or artistry, there are plenty of opportunities. Making extra money requires effort to achieve, but many people are doing it on a daily basis. You just need some skills and a drive to succeed.  Without overwhelming you with tons of ways to earn more, here are seven ways to make money that don’t cost much (here are 6 which are free to start) to start up and focus on personal interest more than a degree or formal training.  Get 2016 off right with some extra money in your pocket!

Personal Concierge/Chauffer

concierge chaufferChances are you know families that are perpetually busy. One child has soccer practice at the same time another has ballet; mom works nights and dad just can’t do it all. And think of all the single parents with fulltime jobs. They would love someone to make sure the kids eat breakfast and catch the bus, pick up the dry cleaning, walk the dog and do the grocery shopping. Create a service that caters to these stressed out folks, or set your sites on a wealthier clientele who need estate management.

What you could earn: Decide whether you want a monthly retainer or a per-project price that works around the hours you want to keep. Generally, fees range from $20-$100 per hour depending on duties and time commitment. Start-up fees may include buying a laptop or tablet and a printer, and perhaps a larger vehicle.

To consider:  There’s no getting around the fact that your profit margin will vary by income level; scale your services accordingly. You may also need to look into the additional costs of becoming bonded and getting additional car insurance.

Personal Chef

personal chefRemember those meal-making stations where people gathered weekly to prepare freezer meals? While some are still around, they require time that many people don’t have. Instead, meal delivery services like Plated are big, and you can compete with them on a local level. If you are a talented cook, there are many people willing to eat what you make. You can specialize in freezer meals for busy families, catering cocktail parties, dinners tailored to food restrictions, or holiday meals using a family’s favorite recipe.

What you could earn: $20 to $50 per hour, plus the cost of food and gas.

To consider: It’s vital to figure out a food budget and plan your grocery shopping carefully to avoid multiple trips.  Some states require safe food handling certificates. While it isn’t necessary to go to culinary school, it can be a plus. Learn more at the Personal Chef Directory website.

Personal Organizer

home organizerIf you’re a super-organized person who believes everything in its place and a place for everything, this could be the perfect job for you. People who are downsizing, busy or just disorganized can benefit from a personal organizer. You can do it all or specialize in filing paperwork, whipping disastrous closets into shape or decluttering kitchen cabinets.

What you could earn: $25-$185 per hour, depending on the scope of the job.

To consider: Decide whether you’ll repurpose someone’s old jars and shoe boxes or focus on custom storage. For your sanity, steer clear of compulsive hoarders. Visit the National Organization of Professional Organizers website for more information on starting your own business.

Junk Removal Service

junk removalIf you have a truck, strength and stamina, you can make money hauling away people’s junk for cash. Heavy lifting-for-hire is always in demand – removing boxes of junk from an attic, old furniture, broken appliances and even old vehicles. You can earn even more by recycling the client’s scrap metal.

What you could earn: $100-$400 per load.

To consider: There’s likely to be a lot of competition, so distinguish your business in some way. Two guys I know in New Jersey wear tuxedos as they work. This job also tends to be seasonal, so you might want to combine it with a personal organizing service (#3).  Finally, research the permitting and hazardous waste disposal laws in your area.


publicistPublicists are charged with getting a company’s name headlines, social media shares and TV appearances. For them it’s free advertising; to you, it can be a steady income stream. While many PR people have a media background, many small businesses and nonprofits can’t afford the average fee of $125 per hour and $1,000 monthly retainer. Offer to do it for about half those prices. Ultimately, this job is all about cultivating trusting relationships with journalists and bloggers, then pitching them story ideas with sincerity and enthusiasm.

What you could earn: $200-$500 a month for a retainer, or $50-$100 to publicize a single event.

To consider: Learn to write a good press release, be comfortable using social media, and understand that this job may involve travel, nights and weekends.  Crisis management is best left to the pros.

Photo Digitizer

photo digitizerTaking a picture these days is as easy as whipping out your phone and uploading to the Cloud; but plenty of older people may have preserved decades of memories on film. Mail order companies and big stores like Walgreens offer digitizing, but some jobs (and people) require a more personal touch. Offer to scan old photos and upload them to a DVD, memory stick or external hard drive.This makes an especially good gift for a new grandchild, a milestone birthday or a retirement party; advertise accordingly.

What you could earn: $60-80 per hour for simple paper photo scanning. You can also charge extra for color-correcting, digitizing slides or converting negatives. Visit the National Organization of Personal Photo Organizers website in you’re interested in becoming certified.

To consider:  Decide what size photos you are willing to scan. Make sure the customer is comfortable using or accessing the storage medium.  Partner with funeral homes, service organizations, frame shops and even potential competitors.

Dog Waste Removal

dog waste removerThere are few things nastier than kids (and guests) stepping in a steaming pile and tracking it into the house. Offer to pick up dog poop once or twice a week for homeowners or businesses.  Even more lucrative: contract with a homeowners’ association and sweep an entire neighborhood on a schedule.  Work independently or join a franchise such as DoodyCalls.

What you could earn: $10-$15 per call. This can add up quickly if you build up a clientele.

To consider:  Obviously this is a job for people who don’t mind certain odors – and flies. The work tends to be seasonal, so consider cleaning cat litter boxes or fish tanks as well.

Do Your Homework

You may fill a critical need in your community and corner the market, or you may find yourself in a crowded field. Always investigate the competition and what makes them successful. Call around and get rates so you have a solid idea of what to charge as you create a business plan. Finally, check with your city, county or state to see whether you need certifications, additional insurance, bonding or licensing.


What do you think about these methods to earn extra money in 2016?  Would you try any of them or have you?  Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Author Bio: This post was written for Debt Roundup by Marie Hickman, who writes about savings, frugal living and couponing for Valpak.com.

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says January 9

Hi Gray, being a personal chef to friends and family is really a good idea! I think I gotta use my cooking skills to earn extra money this year. Nice idea, Gray!

Veronika Boog says January 14

My hubby owns private Electronic Junk Removal Service and working on weekends, after he gets it to storage he resembles that junk and sell it over e-bay and amazon, I help him with selling. It is great extra money, I recommend this job to everybody.

Max says January 16

Nice ideas. These would be great for someone who’s retired and looking to make some extra money in their free time.

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