Earning More Saving

5 Side Jobs That Can Earn You an Extra $500 a Month

Written by Beth Trach

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.

  1. Uber

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.

  1. Swagbucks

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.

  1. MyPoints

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.

  1. InboxDollars

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!

  1. Leapforce

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.

About the author

Beth Trach

Elizabeth Trach is a writer and editor living in Newburyport, MA. She also sings in a band, grows almost all her own food, and occasionally even cooks it. You can catch up on all her adventures in frugal living and extreme gardening at Port Potager.


  • Have you ever read the reviews on InboxDollars and Leapforce? They have acquired so many negs that one should carefully read them before applying. Maybe your readers would be better off trying their hands at blogging, as you do.

  • I added my granddaughter to a couple of my credit cards as an authorized user while she was in college. She has now graduated & I want to remove her as an authorized user. Will removing her affect her credit and/or credit score? Thank you so much!

  • This is all you pros could come up with for “side jobs”. For all the wonderful credit information you provide, this is a joke. Uber? Would you consider putting some work into this subject and trying again to provide much better information. This could be a very important subject to many thousands of people.

  • I live in NC, and tried driving with Uber for a while, day, night, airport, downtown on weekend nights till 5:AM., Nothing added up, day or night the most of the rides were $3 to $5 before gas!, Long distances trips $12. at the most., So, after driving all night or day, and less gas exp. my big earning average for the day, READY? $35.00 and this is before maintenance and repair. Just scary what Uber want to do with you and your property.

    • I’ve been driving for Uber in St. Louis, in my spare time since December. Typical Friday night/Saturday earnings are $250-300. I’ve had a couple of rides that were over $100, as they were going a long distance and round trip. Guess it depends on where you live, but I love it.

    • My friend showed me his pay tracker thing and on Saturday night her made over $500. He keeps up with the plane arrivals at PTI.

  • I been having the credit couch An I paied my money for the program I can not pull it off my phone as they said I could can’t down load it tried calling Mike all the crap they told me todo I have done An nothen I mean nothen !!!! Has helped me lower nor took place with this program!!!!!!!!!

    • I never signed up for the Credit program but I can honestly tell you and anyone else reading this that the information they provide in the program is excellent. When followed it will bring anyone back to full acceptance as a credit worthy person. The keyword is FOLLOWED and that means personal effort must be made to do the things this program teaches you.

      That said we all understand any program alone is not the entire solution to keeping great credit once you achieve it. The only way to insure keeping great credit is for YOU to keep your credit clean, pay bills on time, only charge what you can easily repay and never go crazy charging up the credit cards you receive. Credit is something you earned but earning credit and earning money to pay for your credit are two distinctly different things.

      Unfortunately aside from telling a person what should be done to keep credit clean there is no program that will do everything for them. If there were I would be investing heavily in the company selling that program because the returns would be huge.

      When people fail to control their spending eventually they will have a reaction to their over indulgence. Like drinking to much alcohol the spending high will wear off and the lows of debt biting at their income will eventually set in. Then like a bad hangover everything else in their lives goes down the toilet of financial disrespect right along with the person.

      We as people have to learn the insight to know that we alone must take charge of our lives completely if we expect any kind of somewhat care free life ahead. Even then life will never be completely care free but when our financial lives are in order every thing else we strive to achieve becomes much more reachable.

      When a good life and future is in our sights we no longer have the despair experienced by those who ignored their financial health and the future looks pretty good compared to what may have been their old life of ruin in the gutter of debt. Nothing will be completely care free but it can be close enough to know every thing we reach for is attainable once our finances are in order and we are willing to do the other things needed to get us to our goals. This is what brings real satisfaction to life.

      So is this sounds like you or someone you know please pass this basic knowledge on to them. There is nothing hard about keeping your credit clean, exert your ability to use self control, make a habit of it and you will be fine along with your future.

  • Thank you for sharing these money making tips. You hit it right on the head about, the necessity to seek other avenue to earn extra money. It’s good to know that persons’ as yourself who is willing to share such expertise.

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