Making Extra Money on the Side: A Short Guide

Making money often seems like a tall order when you’re down on your luck, whether you’re laid off, underemployed, or similar. But we’re here to tell you that it’s not as hard as you might think. There is opportunity around every corner and your talents, whatever they may be, are worth a great deal. Here, Business Owners’ IdeaCafe offers an easy-to-follow guide on making extra money on the side or just replacing any income you may have lost due to recent unemployment:

Your current talents may be in-demand 

You likely have several talents that are marketable and can make you money. People often underestimate what their skills are worth. For instance, simple skills like typing, social media savvy, and a hobby like traveling (and the associated know-how) are marketable and can make you a significant income.

If you can’t quite figure out your marketable talents, you can always take a free aptitude test online for an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.  The Balance offers a comprehensive list of trustworthy assessors. For the best results, make sure you choose something that you’re both good at and enjoy doing.

You can pick up skills or hone existing ones quickly

If you don’t have any money-making skills at the moment, you can always build them up. It’s not necessarily time-consuming, if you’re wondering. GOBankingRates lists 94 money-making skills that you can master in under a year. Thanks to the internet and online learning, you may be able to learn said skills for next to nothing – although formal paid learning is always an option.

Possible side gigs

There are countless side gigs available for you to pursue. Factor in your skills and talents when picking something. Below are three options that are especially enjoyable, convenient, and in demand: 

1. Freelance interior designer

If you have a keen eye for detail, organization and problem-solving skills, and love to build beautiful things, then you may be able to find work freelancing as an interior designer. You can enhance your credentials and earning power by obtaining an interior-design certification. These certifications show potential clients that you have mastered a specific interior design skill or area. Try this resource to find a reputable, professional certification.

2. Coach or tutor

If you love to impart knowledge and have already mastered a skill or two in your time, then you could be an excellent coach or tutor. Coaching or tutoring can be a lucrative gig, too, especially if you tutor multiple people at once. Furthermore, there are many reasons it’s rewarding – it’s low-stress, enjoyable, and something you could do from home.  

3. Driver or delivery person

If you own a vehicle and like to drive, you could make easy money as a driver for a taxi service like Uber, Lyft, and Easy Taxi. The work can be fun, and you get to meet many new people. Becoming a delivery person for a service business – like a restaurant or a flower shop – is always a simple way to make a reliable amount of money each month.

How to find a side gig

You will have to hustle and invest some time and energy to find something. You should, ideally, try finding work through multiple avenues. Some examples are networking, asking friends and family, looking at online job sites, cold calling companies, checking freelancing sites, visiting local businesses in person, checking company pages, and advertising your own services online (through a website, social media, and other mediums). 

Starting your own business is always an option

Starting your own business is always a good way to make money – and it gives you a great deal of freedom besides. You will need a business idea, seed money, and a business plan to launch your startup. Of course, starting a business is risky, so prepare yourself mentally.

Forming an LLC for business purposes can mitigate the risks. An LLC offers several benefits like limited liability, tax advantages, flexibility, and less paperwork. Every state has its own regulations around LLC formation. Check the rules in your state before moving forward. If you’d rather not do the legwork and you’d rather not pay a (typically expensive) lawyer, you could use a formation service instead.


Making money isn’t hard. You just need to evaluate your existing skills, look at your past experiences, figure out what makes you happy (whether that’s interior design or teaching), and match everything up with something that’s well-paid at the moment. To future-proof your earnings, choose a niche that’s only going to be more in demand with time.

Image via Unsplash


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