You know that scene in
when Carrie admits to Aidan that she just used a credit card to buy tomatoes? Well, most of have been there at some point or another. And whether you're currently pretty happy with your financial situation, or you're Sex and the City leaning on your parents for some help with the rent (no judgment), it's always nice to have a little extra cash.
Maybe you want to be able to splurge on that necklace you’ve been dreaming about for months, or you want to
have your apartment deep-cleaned, but doing so would push you just over your budget. Why not take on an easy side hustle to make some extra money?
Ahead, we’ve compiled a few ideas for things you can do to make an extra buck — or $100 — this month. Find the one that’s right for you, and make room in your piggy bank.
Yes, this gig may require you to take your clothes off, but if you're comfortable with that, it can be both liberating and meditative. It's also a job that doesn’t require much of you. I was an art model for years, and found that it was an especially nice complement to a creative job, because it gave me lots of time to stand perfectly still and contemplate my craft. Of course, you can use the time to focus on whatever you want, from what to make for dinner, to what was said in an earlier meeting at your day job. Art classes also often take place in the evenings, so they’re especially easy to pair with your 9-to-5.
Moonlighting as a mascot may sound like kind of a blast, or a total nightmare, depending on your personality. Either way, at least it’s anonymous, so no one has to know it’s you under there if you don’t want them to. The
advantages of this job are, as a costumed character (say, someplace like Times Square), you generally work for yourself, keep what you earn, and set your own hours. But if you'd rather not be your own boss, there are always restaurants, concerts, and sporting events looking for people to take these gigs, too. It's a solid way to pick up occasional extra work without a heavy commitment. Plus, a story that starts with “One time, I dressed up as a cow at a soccer match…” is sure to be a hit at parties.
You’d be surprised how often this comes up. Have you ever noticed how protective people are about their pets? Pet owners
really don’t like leaving their beloved animals in the care of strangers if they can avoid it. Plus, not only is there actual money in this for you, but a lot of times this job comes with a temporary apartment. (After all, Marnie won’t be comfortable in just any home.) Once you make it known that pet-sitting is something you're available for, word will get around, and soon all of your friends and neighbors will have you on speed dial.
When you hear the phrase “
in this study,” or “ this study shows,” it usually means there were actual participants who went somewhere or did something, and were paid for their time. You could be one of those participants. When I first moved to NYC, in fact, I had friends who legit paid their rent this way (though it's probably better not to plan on that). Whether it’s testing out a new medication or having your sleep patterns analyzed, someone has to do it — why not you? Scheduling-wise, you have complete control. You only take on a job when you have time, and if it’s the right fit. Check out sites like this one and this one to learn about trials seeking participants.
It’s pretty easy to become a "tasker" with TaskRabbit, the web platform that matches people who need miscellaneous work done with local people who can do it. You register, go to an orientation session in your city, and once you’ve been screened and approved, you can start working. As the company makes clear
on its site, the No. 1 reason to become a tasker is because it’s incredibly flexible, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a side hustle. Other selling points are that you set your own rates, and you only take the jobs you want to take. And unlike the daily grind you might be used to, taskers are always doing something different. Some have even figured out how to flip it into a crazy lucrative full-time gig!
There are a ton of places online now where you can sell your goods to make money, but with
169 million active buyers, eBay, the OG online marketplace, still wins in terms of sheer breadth and access to shoppers across the spectrum. On first look, filling out all of the categories for your item (Material! Country of origin! Used, sorta-used, brand-new-ish!) can be intimidating, but eBay automatically populates or suggests answers to some of those section, including price, which will give you a better understanding of the going rate and demand for things similar to the item you want to sell. You're not locked into that price, though; you can be as aggressive as a seller as you'd like. (Just remember to factor in the cost of any fees, such as eBay's cut, the price of shipping if you decide to cover it, and any transaction fees if you collect your payment through a third-party site like PayPal.) Don't be afraid to search for items that you doubt will sell! I recently sold my old, gold iPhone 5s for more than $100, and I've seen hideous glad-rags go for enough money to buy a nice dinner out. Everyone needs a Halloween costume at some point.
Two things people hate coming back to after vacation: a dirty home and dead plants.
If you have a green thumb, or simply know how to fill up a bottle with water and spritz/pour some water on a few leaves, you might be a real saving grace. This isn't the kind of gig that requires an hourly rate. But if a friend's happy to give you $10 or $20 to keep their mini-botanic garden thriving while they're gone, why not take the bait? Be sure to take notes on how and how often their plants should be tended to, and then have at it.
Have a long track record keeping kids safe and entertained? Try babysitting on the side to earn some extra money.
You could set up a few informal gigs among relatives, friends, and friends-of-friends, but if you want to go the more structured route, try signing up through a site like Sittercity. The company vets people who offer their services with background checks, references, and skill checks (for example, first-aid training), so it definitely favors more experienced kid watchers. But you can also poke around to see what the going rate is in your area to make sure you're getting top dollar.