Making MoneySide Hustles

Creative Ways To Make Money

With the current state of the economy, it is almost impossible to have enough money to spare if you work just one job. In fact, you may not even have any extra income to channel towards your investments, or towards retirement if you have just one source of income. In light of this, smart people find creative ways to make money while retaining their current job.

Thankfully, there are so many options for anyone willing to put their back to work. Many of these options make it easy to earn extra income without requiring a degree, special training, or equipment. You could even juggle more than one at a time without burning out.

Here, we look at some of the best suggestions you could pick up. These suggestions offer a low barrier to entry, zero or minimal costs, and you can choose as few or as many as you like. The discussion shows you the most important things to note about each idea, how to get started, and the estimated income you could make through that path.

Read on to find the tested and trusted creative ways to make money that we’ve come across: 

Top Creative Ways to Make Money

Here is a list of the most interesting ways we found you could make money in today’s world:

Play with Pups

Walk dogs to make money

If you’re an animal lover and enjoy being outside, this is the perfect creative gig for you to earn money. Websites like Rover and Petsitter.com let you sign up to walk dogs or board them when their owners go out of town. Rover is essentially a social media platform that connects dog walkers interested in making money to pet owners in their area.

You’ll create a profile, answer questions about your experience with animals (they like it if you have a dog or pet of your own), and provide your availability. Walking dogs can earn you some serious dough if you put in enough time, but offering boarding (at your home or theirs) will get you there even faster. Thus, how much money you make will depend on how much you are willing to put into the endeavor. Owners will reach out to ask you to walk, sit, or board their dog, and you can accept and decline requests as you please. 

Pet sitting is a side hustle that helps you earn money from what could easily have been a hobby.

Donate Plasma

Get paid to donate plasma

This one is bound to make a few people squeamish, but it’s an easy way to make some extra money while also helping other people in a really valuable way, too. It doesn’t get much better than that.

If you’ve ever donated blood before, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. However, there are two notable differences: donating plasma takes about an hour and a half, and you can expect to get paid between $20 and $50 for each donation. That is a lot of money, more than even what some passive income earners make.

Blood plasma is used in products that help individuals with blood-related diseases and clotting disorders, so you can feel good about this creative way to make money. Individual companies might have different requirements, but generally, you can donate if you’re between 18 and 69 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds.

Depending on your size and the rules of your specific center, the number of donations you can make each month will vary, but you can make up to $300 each month in this category alone.  

This is one of the money-making ideas that will leave you feeling good about yourself at the end of the day. The extra money you get from the process also comes in handy in many situations.

Take Polls and Surveys

Take surveys to make money

Another smart way to earn passive income and make money online is to fill online surveys and polls. Since the technology boom, dozens of sites have popped up that are willing to pay consumers for their thoughts about their goods and services. A good number of these businesses are even willing to pay good money just to get into the minds of random individuals on the internet. Hence, if you are looking for creative ways to earn some extra money online, you should consider filling online polls and surveys.

There are a lot of survey companies online, but which ones are worth your time? Some stand out when it comes to ease of access, legitimate earnings, and customer support. They’re good for different things, so you can try each one and see what best fits your needs or choose based on their areas of expertise. Here is a couple: 

  • M3 Global Research (great for individuals with health concerns like psoriasis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes).
  • MyPoints (great for general and easy to answer polls and surveys).
  • Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars (great for people who want a variety of options: points for downloading and using coupons, playing games, watching videos, and taking surveys).
  • Survey Junkie (great for straightforward surveys and relatively quick accumulation). 

The great thing about survey and poll sites is that you can create your own schedule and carry out the activities at your convenience. For example, you can take online surveys while playing games, watching TV, or cooking dinner. Online polls are also quite easy to start. You will mostly just need a stable internet connection and an internet-enabled device. It may take a while to cash out on some of them, but it’ll add up with minimal effort if you do it right. 

Sell Things Online/Run an Online Store

Sell things online

From the clothes taking up space in your closet and old books to items you found on Craigslist, you can make a lot of money selling stuff online. If you’re creative enough, you can make jewelry, craft unique gifts, or stitch pillows out of nostalgic fabric items.

There are several options to explore if you are interested in running an online business. First, you can choose to open your online store on an online marketplace. Some popular ones include Amazon, Etsy, Poshmark, and the likes. For example, Poshmark is great for selling clothes, and you can sell handmade items just about anywhere – Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Facebook’s marketplace, and more. 

If you’re good with sandpaper and a paintbrush, you can snag free or cheap furniture off of websites like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook’s marketplace, or from tag sales or friends that are upgrading. Spruce up your finds and flip them to make a profit! You can sell them in the same places or try local secondhand furniture stores. 

You could also decide to open your own online shop instead of using any of the existing ones. There are several pros to running an online business. One of such is creating your own schedule and being your own boss. Additionally, there is no end to what you can sell online. If you have your own online store, you could even offer services and make money online.

On the other hand, you should also be aware of some downsides. Running a business online can be like a full-time job. Even though it may appear, on the surface, like you would be making free money, it demands a lot of effort on your part.

Become a Mystery Shopper

become a mystery shopper

Mystery Shopping is becoming a huge deal these days. A mystery shopper is paid to shop in mostly service-based establishments and provide feedback. Mystery hoppers operate covertly and may be required to give feedback regarding customer service, the state of the business, and even whether alternatives were offered. Companies are willing to pay money to mystery shoppers who then go “undercover” and provide valuable insight that would help these companies strategize on the best ways to advertise.

If you have a good memory or you’re good at covertly taking notes, you can take advantage of these skills by mystery shopping. Companies like Market Force and Best Mark will let you sign up for free, choose your projects, go undercover, and report your experience. You’ll get a detailed list of things you should be looking out for or marking down to send back later. 

Mystery shops that require that you take a stealthy picture or two will often pay more. Don’t worry; you won’t be taking pictures of any other customers or employees. Mystery shops at fast-food restaurants are a win-win; you’ll earn a fee for going and gathering information, and they’ll typically also reimburse you for your meal, so you’ll get some extra cash and free breakfast or dinner when it’s all said and done. 

Other Creative Ways to Make Extra Money

The creative ideas listed above are some of the easiest ways to earn, but they’re not the only ones. Everyone’s different, and you might be looking for fun ways to make more money that takes less effort or can be added to your routine on top of the other ones you’ve chosen to try out in your free time. Luckily, we’ve got some ideas: 

  • Sell photos online to stock photo agencies or stock photo sites like Shutterstock.
  • Rent out your spare room or empty apartment through Airbnb. 
  • Teach classes online with platforms like Udemy. You can even create an online course and have people sign up and pay you to teach the courses.
  • Work as a freelance writer, proofreader, or graphic designer on Upwork.
  • Start selling your cleaning, painting, or building services on sites like Task Rabbit or Fiverr.
  • Offer babysitting services on Care.com.
  • Drive for Uber or Lyft with your own car.
  • Deliver food for Uber Eats, GrubHub, or Door Dasher. 
  • Mystery shop at breweries with Secret Hopper.
  • Consider data entry jobs or even transcription jobs through sites like Clickworker, Upwork, and Smart Crowd.
  • Create your own blog and write reviews about products and services. You can also start reviewing unsigned artists. 
  • Self-publish your book or short stories through Amazon’s KDP program. 
  • Rent out your fancy clothes to borrowers on Style Lend. 
  • Make money being a buddy on Rentafriend.com.
  • Participate in paid sleep studies. 

Which Creative Method is Best For You?

Knowing your skills and interests right off the bat makes it easy to determine what path to take. Some people, however, need some guidance to pick out the best way to start earning money on the side. With so many different options to choose from, it can feel impossible to get started. So here is a non-exhaustive set of steps to take if you are looking for creative ways to make money online.

Our first tip: don’t get stuck caught up with analysis paralysis. Leaving all of your options open can make the process confusing and discouraging. Instead, make or print out a list of all of your different options, and start by crossing off the ones that don’t appeal to you or don’t fit your skills. The process of elimination can be incredibly valuable here, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed as your list shrinks down to a reasonable size. 

Also, take note of your particular strengths and weaknesses. If you love dogs but you’re deathly allergic, you know you can cross Rover right off of your list, regardless of how much a pet owner offers you. If you’re interested in donating plasma but are terrified of needles or blood, you can also cross that option off. 

Furthermore, take advantage of the things you have. For example, if you have a lot of new or gently used clothing or furniture or you’re great at searching free pages for things to flip, leave the idea of selling things online open on your list. Similarly, if you have a closet full of yarn or art supplies and you love creating things, you know you can use your creativity to sell items online, so leave that one open, too. 

Once you’ve decided what you don’t want to do, you can take a look at what’s left. Try to organize your remaining options in an order that makes the most sense to you. You can highlight in different colors, use post-it flags or stars. Whatever organizational method you choose, this step will make it easier to come back to your viable options and skip over all the rest. 

Separate your creative ways to make money into different categories, like things you can do simultaneously, “must explore” options, and backup options. Having your list broken down into categories will make it easier to prioritize. Now, all that’s left to do is get out there and start earning!

With the current state of the economy, it is almost impossible to have enough money to spare if you work just one job. In fact, you may not even have any extra income to channel towards your investments, or towards retirement if you have just one source of income. In light of this, smart people find creative ways to make money while retaining their current job.

Thankfully, there are so many options for anyone willing to put their back to work. Many of these options make it easy to earn extra income without requiring a degree, special training, or equipment. You could even juggle more than one at a time without burning out.

Here, we look at some of the best suggestions you could pick up. These suggestions offer a low barrier to entry, zero or minimal costs, and you can choose as few or as many as you like. The discussion shows you the most important things to note about each idea, how to get started, and the estimated income you could make through that path.

Read on to find the tested and trusted creative ways to make money that we’ve come across: 

Top Creative Ways to Make Money

Here is a list of the most interesting ways we found you could make money in today’s world:

Play with Pups

Walk dogs to make money

You’ll create a profile, answer questions about your experience with animals (they like it if you have a dog or pet of your own), and provide your availability. Walking dogs can earn you some serious dough if you put in enough time, but offering boarding (at your home or theirs) will get you there even faster. Owners will reach out to ask you to walk, sit, or board their dog, and you can accept and decline requests as you please. 

Get paid to donate plasma

This one is bound to make a few people squeamish, but it’s an easy way to make some extra money while also helping other people in a really valuable way, too. It doesn’t get much better than that. If you’ve ever donated blood before, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect, but there are two notable differences: donating plasma takes about an hour and a half and you can expect to get paid between $20 and $50 for each donation. 

Blood plasma is used in products that help individuals with blood-related diseases and clotting disorders, so you can feel good about this creative way to make money. Individual companies might have different requirements, but generally, you can donate if you’re between 18 and 69 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds. Depending on your size and the rules of your specific center, the number of donations you can make each month will vary, but you can make up to $300 each month in this category alone.  

Take Polls and Surveys

Take surveys to make money

Since the technology boom, dozens of sites have popped up that are willing to pay consumers for their thoughts. There are plenty to choose from, but which ones are worth your time? Some of them stand out among the crowd when it comes to ease of access, legitimate earnings, and customer support. They’re good for different things, so you can try each one and see what best fits your needs or choose based on their areas of expertise: 

  • M3 Global Research (great for individuals with health concerns like psoriasis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes)
  • MyPoints (great for general and easy to answer polls and surveys)
  • Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars (great for people who want a variety of options: points for downloading and using coupons, playing games, watching videos, and taking surveys)
  • Survey Junkie (great for straightforward surveys and relatively quick accumulation) 

The great thing about survey and poll sites is that you can do most of the tasks while you’re getting other things done. You can let videos play, play games, or answer easy surveys while you’re watching TV, on the phone, or cooking dinner. It may take a while to cash out on some of them, but it’ll add up with minimal effort if you do it right. 

Sell Things Online

Sell things online

From the clothes taking up space in your closet and old books to items you found on Craigslist, you can make a lot of money selling goods online. If you’re creative enough, you can make jewelry, craft unique gifts, or stitch pillows out of nostalgic fabric items sent to you from your customers. Poshmark is great for selling clothes, and you can sell handmade items just about anywhere – Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Facebook’s marketplace, and more. 

If you’re good with sandpaper and a paintbrush, you can snag free or cheap furniture off of websites like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook’s marketplace, or from tag sales or friends that are upgrading. Spruce up your finds and flip them to make a profit! You can sell them in all the same places or try local secondhand furniture stores. 

Become a Mystery Shopper

become a mystery shopper

If you have a good memory or you’re good at covertly taking notes, you can take advantage of these skills by mystery shopping. Companies like Market Force and Best Mark will let you sign up for free, choose your projects, go undercover, and report your experience. You’ll get a detailed list of things that you should be looking out for or marking down to send back later. 

Mystery shops that require that you take a stealthy picture or two will often pay more. Don’t worry, you won’t be taking pictures of any other customers or employees, they’re mostly just checking to make sure signage is put up or certain items are stocked. Mystery shops at fast-food restaurants are a win-win; you’ll earn a fee for going and gathering information and they’ll typically also reimburse you for your meal, so you’ll get some extra cash and free breakfast or dinner when it’s all said and done. 

Other Creative Ways to Make Money

The ones listed above are some of the easiest ways to earn, but they’re not the only ones. Everyone’s different and you might be looking for options that make more money, take less effort, or can be added to your routine on top of the other ones you’ve chosen to try out. Luckily, we’ve got some ideas: 

  • Sell the photos on your phone to companies like Shutterstock 
  • Rent out your extra room or in-law apartment through Airbnb 
  • Teach classes online with platforms like Udemy  
  • Work as a freelance writer, proofreader, or graphic designer on Upwork 
  • Sell your cleaning, painting, or building services on sites like Task Rabbit or Fiverr
  • Offer babysitting services on Care.com
  • Drive for Uber or Lyft
  • Deliver food for Uber Eats, GrubHub, or Door Dasher 
  • Mystery shop at breweries with Secret Hopper
  • Complete data entry and transcription jobs through sites like Clickworker, Upwork, and Smart Crowd
  • Create your own blog 
  • Self-publish your book or short stories through Amazon’s KDP program 
  • Rent out your fancy clothes to borrowers on Style Lend 
  • Make money being a buddy on Rentafriend.com
  • Participate in paid sleep studies 

Which Creative Method is Best For You?

When you know your skills and interests right off the bat, it’s easy to determine what path to take. But some of us need a little bit of guidance in figuring out what will make us the most money or be the best fit. With so many different options to choose from, it can feel impossible to get started. 

Our first tip: don’t get stuck caught up with analysis paralysis. Leaving all of your options open can make the process confusing and discouraging. Make or print out a list of all of your different options, and start by crossing off the ones that don’t appeal to you or don’t fit your skills. The process of elimination can be incredibly valuable here and you’ll feel less overwhelmed as your list shrinks down to a reasonable size. 

If you love dogs, but you’re deathly allergic, you know you can cross Rover right off of your list. If you’re interested in donating plasma, but you’re terrified of needles or blood, you can cross that option off, too. 

If you have a lot of new or gently used clothing or furniture or you’re great at searching free pages for things to flip, leave the idea of selling things online open on your list. Similarly, if you have a closet full of yarn or art supplies and you love creating things, you know you can use your creativity to sell items online, so leave that one open, too. 

Once you’ve decided what you don’t want to do, you can take a look at what’s left. Try to organize your remaining options in an order that makes the most sense to you. You can highlight in different colors, use post-it flags, or stars. Whatever organizational method you choose, this step will make it easier to come back to your viable options and skip over all the rest. 

Separate your creative ways to make money into different categories, like things you can do at the same time, “must explore” options, and backup options. Having your list broken down into categories will make it easier for you to prioritize. Now, all that’s left to do is get out there and start earning!

Kevin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.

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