It’s always nice to make some extra income on the side. However, it’s even better when you can make a living without incurring any student loan debt. According to EducationData.org, 45.3 million borrowers have student loan debt, and the average student debt is $37,693.
So, if you’re looking for ways to make money without a degree or a way to supplement your current income, we’ve got 30 money-making ideas!
Make Money In Person
1. Sell Your Stuff
The easiest way to start making money is by selling your unused stuff. Then, instead of letting your items collect dust and take up some space in your home, you make some extra money while cleaning up your house.
You can either hold a garage sale, yard sale, or a pawn store to exchange your items for cash. Additionally, with the help of the internet, people can make money fast selling their stuff online, such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
2. Farmers Market
Another way to make extra money is by participating in a Farmers Market. If you have a green thumb, you can build a vegetable garden and sell your products to the local community.
Depending on your available space, you can scale this mini business to grow various vegetables to give your neighbors more options. As the saying goes, “You reap what you harvest.”
If you have a love of animals, especially pets, how about getting paid to hang out with “man’s best friend.” Websites such as Rover allow pet sitters to advertise their services to fellow pet lovers.
As a result, pet owners can save money hiring a pet sitter compared to a big-name pet hotel. But, while they are saving money, you are making money.
4. House Sitting
What if I told you that you could get paid to stay in someone’s house? And, I’m not talking about “MTV’s Real World” or “Big Brother.”
Homeowners who will be away from their homes for an extended period are willing to hire house sitters as a form of security. Instead of letting their house sit vacant and potential targets for burglars, having someone watching their place gives them peace of mind.
House sitters can take it one step further and schedule vacations around this “job.” Why pay for hotel accommodations when you’re getting paid to stay? Additionally, some homeowners offer free accommodations, such as food in the fridge. Crazy, right?
5. Mystery Shopper
Ever wanted to be a spy growing up? Well, here’s your chance to be a mystery shopper. You can get paid to spend money!
Companies hire mystery shoppers to pose as customers to inspect the upkeep of a store and the service of the employees. Then, the company will make the appropriate changes depending on your feedback.
Don’t worry. Typically, these companies will reimburse you for expenses. However, be sure to read the fine print before assuming they will compensate you for the Tesla you just purchased.
6. Ride-Sharing Driver
Ride-sharing is a great way to make money with your car. With the help of Uber and Lyft, drivers can find people needing a ride to their destination.
These ride-sharing services help riders save on car maintenance expenses, parking fees, and insurance. So, they are more than happy to pay for your assistance.
Furthermore, if you can find a good area, you can perform multiple trips in a relatively short amount of time. This practice gives a new meaning to “Driving for dollars.”
You can leverage your skills by teaching others interested in learning. You don’t need a college degree to help students with their academics, such as math and history.
You’ll need to show some proof that you’re qualified for the job. In other words, getting a D in algebra disqualifies you from being a math tutor.
However, you don’t have to be good in academics to be a tutor. You can also be a tutor in the arts, such as a guitar or piano teacher.
In addition, there are online tutoring jobs, which help those in other countries who are looking for people who can teach English online.
So, as long as you have a teachable skill and the patience to teach, you might have a future as a tutor.
Have your friends compliment you on your Instagram photos? Do you have a good idea, and do you know how to edit pictures to look flawless? Then, consider a career as a photographer. You can convert this hobby into a money-making business.
Buying the right equipment can quickly get expensive. However, if you book enough appointments, your photography business can take the cost. In addition, families always want pictures for seasonal pictures or special occasions, such as New Year’s, graduations, and weddings. So, start working on your portfolio to book your next gig.
Modeling is another way to make money. And, you don’t necessarily have to step down the catwalk in Paris to be called a model. Companies are looking for people to promote their business. So, depending on your look, you could help promote a particular brand.
Making Money Online
10. Create an Etsy Shop
Continuing with the theme of selling things online, if you’re crafty, you can create an Etsy shop and sell your handmade products to make money online. These products can vary from custom-made jewelry, bags, printables, art, and so much more.
An Etsy shop can even become passive with the help of “print on demand.” For example, can you think of an awesome quote to put on a T-shirt? Sell your bodacious shirt for $15, but hire out the inventory and printing services with a third party for a fee, such as $7. That’s a profit of $8 on autopilot!
11. Create an Online Course
Selling online courses is a super savvy way to earn passive income online. For example, alongside having an Etsy shop that sells crafty homemade items, you can create an online course that teaches people how to make the crafts themselves.
There are hundreds of people willing to pay a couple of hundreds of dollars to learn a new skill. For instance, a couple of online courses are “How to invest in real estate with no money,” “How to sew a bag from scratch,” and “How to create a successful blog.”
The beautiful thing about this method is that you only need to spend your energy starting it up, such as creating content, editing, promoting it, etc. Then, after you have your course set up, you can collect money from interested students wanting to learn.
If you’re unfamiliar with blogging, it isn’t a “Dear Diary” platform that some may think. However, several bloggers have quit their day job and earn a living online. Furthermore, blog owners can sell their blog for tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars—still listening?
So, how do you make money blogging? One of the common ways is through ads. Depending on the ad network, they can anywhere from $5 to $100 per thousand visitors to your site.
Another way blogging can make money is through affiliate marketing. With the right kind of content, you can make recommendations to readers on products and services. If your readers are willing to sign up with your suggestions, then you will receive a commission for your help. Therefore, you don’t need a lot of traffic to make money. You only need the right traffic.
13. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a complement to blogging and a great way to earn money online. However, you don’t necessarily need to own a blog to do email marketing. Instead, website owners and businesses hire email marketers to sell products, drive traffic to their website, and bring people to their brick-and-mortar location.
Usually, you’ll need some “freebie” or lead magnet to offer people in exchange for their email. These “freebies” are traditionally in the form of a free quick start guide or a free trial period.
Think of the last time you entered a contest to win Amazon gift cards. Providing your email was the minimum requirement.
14. Social Media Marketer
Do you know how to use social media? But I know how to use it. Good, because not everyone does. With various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, and Clubhouse, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all.
Similar to email marketing, business owners wanting to improve their brand awareness are looking to hire social media marketers to drive traffic to their business. Additionally, if you are a social media influencer, brands are willing to collaborate with you to promote their product and pay you for your time.
Where to get started? Check out Fiverr to promote your services. When starting, you’ll probably charge a low rate. However, over time while producing quality results, you can leverage that increase in your rates to make even more money.
15. Take Online Surveys
Do you have an opinion or like to share your feedback? You can make money by taking surveys online. These survey sites include Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Survey Junkie. Google even has its mini reward survey each time you visit or walk by a location.
16. Programmer/Web Developer
With the increase in technology, software and online development are always in demand. Therefore, there are benefits to graduating with a computer science degree. However, a lot of the skills can be self-taught nowadays.
If you want to get into any software or web development, there are open source projects available that you can participate in. These mini projects can evolve into something bigger and be added to your resume.
17. Virtual Assistant
The term assistant is a general term that means someone who helps in a particular work. In this digital age, you can become a virtual assistant that can do the same thing but remotely assist people worldwide.
So, what does a virtual assistant do? Anything! For example, some virtual assistant jobs can be checking someone’s email, managing social media accounts, or handling phone calls.
You’re freeing your employers time to be able to focus on other parts of their business.
18. Freelance Writer
Significant media publications, such as the New York Times and blog owners, are always looking for quality freelance writers. Depending on their track record, writers can charge around $0.10 to $0.25 per word. And, writers who focus on search engine optimization (SEO) typically write about 1500 to 3000 words an article.
If freelance writing is not your thing, how about transcribing. Transcribers convert speeches or recordings into text. For example, transcribers produce captions on movies. Another example is transcribing podcast recordings.
20. Video Editor
Media is becoming more visual with the likes of YouTube, Twitch, and online courses. If you know how to trim videos, add transitions, and include epic music, then it’s time to “press play.”
Make Money Through Real Estate
21. Real Estate Agent
If you’re interested in real estate and have excellent marketing skills, becoming a real estate agent is a viable option. Agents receive a commission whenever they sell a property, usually about 5% to 6%. Therefore, an agent can make serious money with the right kind of deal.
However, on the other hand, if you don’t make any sales, you won’t get paid. Even if you spend months promoting a client’s house but the buyer does not sign the final documents, you still won’t get paid.
Real estate, in general, operates around people and the relationship you build with others. Therefore, it’s essential to network with other seasoned agents, especially if you’re starting.
Lastly, although you don’t need a college degree, you must have a license to sell houses. Consider also becoming a Realtor to add more to your credibility.
22. Property Manager
Buy & hold real estate investors are always looking for ways to make their investment as passive as possible. By hiring a property manager to manage tenants and repairs, investors can focus on finding more deals and acquiring more properties.
Managers receive a percentage of the rental income, which ranges from 6% to 10%. So, imagine managing 100 properties and the kind of kind income the properties can generate.
Be sure to verify the requirements of your city for starting a property management company. For example, some places require property managers to hold a real estate license for creating one.
23. Short Term Rental Property
Vacation rentals are a lucrative side hustle that can easily generate passive income. You can list your property on Airbnb or Vrbo for families or people looking to get out.
Families usually budget to spend more on vacation because it’s a seasonal expense. Therefore, property owners can charge rates comparable to hotels.
For this reason, short-term rentals can make money quickly and provide a higher return compared to long-term rentals. However, vacation rental owners will have to spend more investing in higher quality finishes and furnish their property to compete with hotels.
If this strategy interests you and you have a primary residence already, speak to your lender about getting a second home. A down payment for a second home is about 10%, which is lower than 20% to 25% for a non-owner-occupied long-term rental property.
24. House Hacking
If you have room to spare, you can fill it with a roommate to earn extra income. However, you can take it one step further by acquiring a multi-unit, such as a duplex or triplex. Next, you can live in one of the units and rent the others to tenants.
Their rental income could cover your entire mortgage payment, allowing you to live mortgage-free! Additionally, owner-occupied properties only require about a 5% document, which is insanely low compared to a 20% down payment for a non-owner-occupied property.
25. Private Money Lender
Although private lenders don’t necessarily own real estate, they play an integral part in real estate investing. Investors needing capital rely on these types of lenders, especially if banks are not willing to finance a deal.
So, if you have some equity in your home or have the ability to access your 401k without penalty, you can lend your money and charge interest to make a little extra cash. There is a saying, “Someone’s debt is someone else’s passive income.”
Everyone wants a beautiful lawn. Unfortunately, not every homeowner has the time to work in their yard. With more wanting to stay, people are willing to spend money on their outdoor living.
Mowing lawns is also a good money maker. With the right equipment and proper schedule, you can mow dozens of homes in the same area within hours.
Short-term rental owners need housekeepers to clean up their properties each time guests leave. This process is similar to long-term rentals when switching over to new tenants. And, depending on the square footage and your hourly rate, you can really “clean up.”
You don’t need to know how to fix a toilet to be a real estate investor. For this reason, investors and landlords hire handypersons to make needed repairs. So, tighten your tool belt and get to work.
29. Picking Up A Trade
Picking up a trade, such as a plumber or an electrician, is a more focused skill than a handyman. Although you don’t need a college degree, trade schools can learn these skills and become certified. Here is a fun fact: plumbers make good money with an annual salary of over $55,000.
Painting is easy, but some homeowners prefer to hire a professional like many jobs. However, there is more to painting than brushing paint on the wall. You can almost call it an “art.” Depending on the size of the area and the complexity, painters can charge thousands of dollars per job.