Remember my previous post about earning some extra cash to pay down your bills? I shared some easy-peasy part-time jobs that you can pick up in your spare time — some of them even from your own home — to boost your income.
Well, it turns out that there are even more great jobs out there, and people were excited to share them with me once they found out that I did part-time work myself. Why so secretive, people? It seems like everyone wants to keep their side gigs under wraps for some reason. Maybe it’s that old “never let ‘em see you sweat” idea that has us going through life like we’re treading water: keeping it all smooth and smiley above water while all the while churning like mad below the surface to stay afloat.
If the idea of picking up a side gig has you feeling slightly ashamed of yourself, buck up, buckaroo! Lots of people — 7.8 million, to be exact — need more than one job to get by in this economy, and if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves to get ahead, you should be proud of yourself.
Whether you want that side job to pay down your credit card debt or to help you save up for a big purchase in cash, go out there and get it! Here are five more side careers to consider to help you build your savings the old-fashioned way — by earning it.
Uber is going through some growing pains lately, but it can still be a great way to earn money in your spare time if you own a four-door car and like — or can at least tolerate — meeting new people. All you need to sign up is proof of ownership of your vehicle, plus a driver’s license and registration. Once you sign up online and get the app, you’re ready to pick up rides. You can set your own schedule with ease — just turn off the app and go home where you’re done for the day (or night).
Pro Tip: Try driving until you meet your daily monetary goal instead of a minimum number of hours to watch your savings grow at lightning speed.
Swagbucks is one of the most fun part-time jobs you’ll ever have. You can sit in your PJs on the couch and earn points by playing games, watching videos (latest SNL sketches, anyone?) and even just by searching the web. Each of these tiny tasks comes with a Swagbucks point value, and once you rack up enough points you can trade them in for cash or gift cards to your favorite stores. You can also get cash back for shopping at Swagbucks retail partners — Amazon is a biggie.
Pro Tip: Designate one of your discretionary budget line items as a Swagbucks-only item. For example if you can buy all your clothes with Swagbucks instead of cash, you’ll skim a bunch off your budget.
MyPoints is a program with similar features as Swagbucks, but it’s aimed at people who love to shop. You can complete online tasks like playing games and answering opinion polls to earn points, but the big draw is that you’ll earn points by printing out and redeeming coupons to your favorite retailers. All these points can then be redeemed for cash, gift cards or used to book travel rewards. You can also donate them to charity if you prefer.
Pro Tip: Spending money to make money can be a trap if you’re not careful, so make sure to print coupons only for things you would buy anyway — not to fund a shopping spree for stuff you don’t actually need.
Looking for more easy money for surfing the internet? InboxDollars has you covered. By completing surveys for advertisers about your habits, you can earn cash. You can also sign up to receive extra emails for money, share your thoughts about TV ads and more. There’s even a section called “Easy Cash” to help get your account off to a solid start. If nothing else, you can check out their coupon section to save some money on your next grocery run.
Pro Tip: Keep your laptop open to answer surveys during the commercial breaks on TV. You can painlessly add 45 minutes of work to your day without lifting a finger during prime time!
If you find that you really like working on a computer, Leapforce might be a natural next step for you. They hire internet-savvy folks to do searches and help evaluate the results. This work helps engineers fine-tune search engines to make them better for everyone. This is more in-depth work than some of the quick searches mentioned above, but if you can pass the entrance exam and have high-speed internet, you can earn an hourly wage as an independent contractor.
Pro Tip: Make sure you understand the pros and cons of self-employment, as independent contractors need to pay estimated taxes and a self-employment tax.
No matter what extra job you choose to do, make sure you keep track of your extra income so you don’t fritter it away on something silly. If you’re worried about the tax implications of picking up a second job, picking a side gig that pays in gift cards might be your best bet. Otherwise, track your income and set aside the amount you’ll need to cover your federal and state taxes, since you won’t have any money withheld for these jobs. I like to overestimate what I might owe so I don’t come up short — nothing wrong with having a little extra in the bank after you’re done with your taxes!
Is picking up a side gig right for you? If you’re not sure, start small. Open your computer and pick up an easy survey or other online job first, and see where it takes you. The more you earn to add to your savings, the better you’ll feel — and that confidence boost is likely to spur you on to even more side jobs in the future.