Personal Finance

25 Ways to Earn Extra Cash in 2020

Expertise: Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Investing Basics
40 Articles Written
Couple walking in front door of vacation rental with suitcases

Ever wonder how to save up for the initial down payment for an investment property, especially if you are not a high-income earner?

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When we talk about personal finance, you can only cut expenses so far before you need to increase your income to get ahead. Increasing the gap between your income and your expenses—and saving and investing the difference—will help accelerate your path to financial independence.

Whether employed full-time in an office setting, working from home, or currently unemployed, a side gig may be the perfect way to earn that extra income. This type of work can even help reduce the burn rate on your savings or allow you the freedom and flexibility to be at home to care for a loved one or pursue a passion project.

What’s better, in today’s world, you do not necessarily have to go back to school and earn an extra degree in order to increase your income.

Boost Your Income With a Side Hustle (or Two!)

A few years ago, I was laid off around the holidays. While I looked for another job (so I could have the W-2 income to continue saving for future rental property purchases), I leaned hard on the “gig economy” to reduce the burn rate on our rental cash flow and savings.

Some gigs I loved, like Rover (here, poochie!). Others I dreaded, like Lyft (please don’t make me drive anyone!). Some gigs I continue to work today—with my daughter in tow, in order to teach her what it means to work hard and bolster her college savings.

Below is a list of apps, ideas, and work-from-home jobs to help you increase your income. These ideas do not require a specific degree and potentially no (or very little) money to start. This list is by no means exhaustive. So if you have an idea, please add it in the comments (nothing like some crowd-sourced LOVE!).

male ride share driving in front seat of car female passenger in back with cell phone in hand

The Gig Economy

This first group is comprised of what I call gig economy apps. You are trading time to perform a service; however, perhaps you can pair the service with something you are already doing to leverage your time better.

Examples include pairing Lyft or Uber with your daily commute into work or TaskRabbit shopping when you are running errands. For us, we do Rover when we are at home. (We are already taking care of one dog… Why not add one more?!).

  • Uber and Lyft are well known rideshare platforms. You will need a well-maintained car, valid driver's license, clean background check, and insurance. The cool things is you can drive for both platforms at once.
  • Rover is a pet care app that allows for walks, daily home visits, and in-house boarding. You will need transportation and a clean background check.
  • Wag! is similar to Rover. At the time of this writing, it only offers daily home visits and walking services. You will need transportation and a clean background check.
  • WeGoLook is an interesting platform where you list your qualifications and take a mini-test. The platform will match your skills to on-site visits someone needs. You need transportation and a clean background check. For me, I found myself taking accident pictures of cars, verifying an address existed, and taking various measurements requested. If you have a trade skill, you can earn more. I also have used this service to verify a home I want to buy exists.
  • TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are skillshare platforms, where you can offer your services by the hour. This can range from doing housework to more skilled labor. You will need a clean background check and may need transportation.
  • Fiverr and Upwork are freelance skillshare platforms that encompass higher-skilled work. Fiverr, you get paid by the gig. Upwork is great for more long-term, project-based work.

Related: The Notorious 9-5 Job: Should You Kick It to the Curb or Reinvent It?

Rent It Out

You can also create income with your “extra” items that are not in use. This is a great way to leverage your time, as you don’t have to trade time for dollars.

Here are a few platform examples:

    • Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental platform
    • Spinlister is a peer-to-peer bike, surf, and snow rental platform
    • Airbnb and VRBO are great for renting extra rooms in a home (or the whole home!)
    • RedWeek is a great place to rent out that timeshare you (or your parents) bought

vacation-rental-amenities

Level It Up

Certification-based work is a new category of work-from-home jobs thanks to the internet. You can take online courses (for free or a low cost) to earn a certification in the respective Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms. These are highly sought after skills and the only things you need are an internet connection and the drive to learn a new skill.

    • SalesForce
    • Salesloft
    • Hubspot
    • ActiveCampaign
    • Google Analytics
    • And the list goes on and on!

Related: More Money in Less Time: How to Start a Profitable Side Hustle

Real Estate Focused

Then, there are more real estate-specific gigs. I love this area, as you can double down in real estate if this is your true passion:

    • Mobile notaries can earn $75 to $150 per mortgage closing. In most states, this requires a simple online course, background check, and an upfront investment for your stamp and book.
    • Investor relations admin/manager can be a work-from-home position, where you provide all the background administrative and customer service support for an investment group.
    • Wholesaler
    • Fix & flipper
    • BRRRR investor

Conclusion

Cutting your expenses to save for a real estate investment will only get you so far. You have to create a gap between your income and your expenses. The simplest way to increase your income is by providing value in the form of time, hustle, or money.

The good news is, it has never been easier to generate extra income on the side—or build an entire career—working from home. In fact, what I’ve listed above are just a few ways to increase your income—I didn’t even touch on how to leverage Amazon, Craigslist, or eBay!

How will you choose to carve out your path to financial independence?

Share in the comment section below.

Whitney is a real estate investor and personal finance trainer whose vision is to launch 10,000 families on the path toward financial independence. After purchasing her first rental in 2002, and hi...
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    John Collins
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi Whitney, Thanks for your article, I've been doing a lot of reading on real estate in recent months, not quiet taken any action yet as I read so many conflicting or different strategies. Right now renting out a room for AIR Bnb Gives me a sense of one foot in, and I love to be able to design a space and sell the experience (I Used to be an interior designer). I'm looking for all the help I can get with as little reading as possible, hoping to climb on the back of some giants and your portfolio is so impressive. QUESTIONS: What is BRRRRR? How can I get started with as little time as possible, paying off a lot of debt due to a medical set back but I should be done by the end of the year, I'm starting my research ahead and renting out well set up space gives me a feeling a may be a natural in real estate. Look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks for the wonderful article.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi John! Good for you for taking steps! BRRRR is a real estate investment strategy that where you find an undervalued property to BUY, you REHAB it to push the value on the property, RENT it to a tenant who will pay down the mortgage for you and cashflow it, then you REFINANCE it to pull as much of your own capital out as possible, then you take that capital and REPEAT the process. David Greene has a great book on this strategy called...BRRRR. And I've executed it many times as a long-distance investor. Feel free to PM me with Q's!
    Jeff Pathman
    Replied 8 months ago
    Whitney, great article and I wasn't aware of Spinlister or Redweek, this is why I continue to read BiggerPockets, I learn something all the time! I'd also like to add that Waze Carpool can help make a couple extra bucks on people's morning commute. Have you used that? Cheers to a nice, informative article!
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thank you, Jeff. And thank you for sharing about Waze Carpool! That one is new to me :)
    Mike Southerland Investor from Guthrie, Oklahoma
    Replied 8 months ago
    I've found that Postmates is a more enjoyable avenue than Uber or Lyft. You deliver "stuff" (mainly food) from various establishments. Seems to pay better than ride sharing also. I've found that people often tip like they would at a restaurant, maybe 20%. That can add up fast for a larger order. Here's a link to sign up, though I will disclose that I may get a bonus if you use this link. https://pmfleet.app.link/jA1wLLk3i3
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for sharing, Mike. I've heard of people using their bike to deliver Postmates too... Get paid to workout!
    Withny Vincent Property Manager from West Palm Beach, FL
    Replied 8 months ago
    I've started a house cleaning and janitorial service. Getting basic materials and equipment will set you back a bit. I'm about $700 in but I've got 3 service contracts right now. We clean residential homes, vacation rentals (turnovers), and commercial offices and buildings.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    A great way to add value, Withny. I can see where window cleaning, yard services, power washing, etc. would fall in that services category as well.
    Jim Genis Investor from Olathe, KS
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi @Whitney, thanks for the summary! Can you tell us more about the Investor relations admin/manager? I search Google and it just shows me regular job postings. Have you done this? If not, do you know someone who does so I can learn more?
    Patrick Hannon
    Replied 8 months ago
    This is a good "grown up" list of side hustles. A lot of other lists I've seen might as well be for little kids, like mowing lawns and opening lemonade stands. I would add selling items on Amazon and eBay to the list. It's about as part time and non-committal as you can get while working a full time day job, but with serious profit potential. Source items from auctions, clearance sales, and even online, then resell on Amazon and eBay for a profit. Takes some time to research up front, but gets easier as you know what to look for.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thank you for sharing, Patrick!
    Kathrynne Belaska
    Replied 8 months ago
    I work in the catering industry. It has it's perks (flexible schedule & eating delicious food), but it also has it's drawbacks. Very seasonal work with some very slow months. I'm the Queen of the Side Hustle! Craigslist is my best friend. In these 1st few weeks of the new year, I have worked a bridal expo, been a brand ambassador promoting tequila at a liquor store, participated in a mock jury trial, helped someone clean & pack for a move, did a focus group on beverages & right now, I have a device in my car for a week that records voice & video of my emotions while driving. I'll be paid $200 when I turn the device back in on Monday. I am also meeting with a recruiter to do census work which pays $27.50/hour & is flexible. It's Friday morning. I'll spend some time today hustling to try & find work for the weekend! Maybe someone needs a babysitter for Saturday night?
    Kenny Allen New to Real Estate from Westfield, IN
    Replied 8 months ago
    Can provide more information about the device in your car that records voice & video of motions while driving?
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    You go, Kathrynne!
    Jacob Carlson Rental Property Investor from Omaha, NE
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for the article! How about more online related side hustles that can be done from home? I believe YouTube to be a great way to make passive income but does take a lot of hard work making good content and waiting for it to (hopefully) get a following and take off. I’ve not done this myself but am looking into it.. Graham Stephen has a good YouTube video on how to make $100/day in passive income.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great add, Jacob. Many of the ones in the list can be done from home (with the exception of Uber/Lyft). Technology is great for remote work.
    Katrina R.
    Replied 8 months ago
    Jeff, yes I've heard of Spinlister and Redweek, but Rentlistpro is an even better site. Rent ANYTHING you own on one site!
    Gail Dudlicek from Surprise, Arizona
    Replied 8 months ago
    Just as an FYI, notaries in Illinois cannot charge more than $1 for notary service. I know, because I was one when I lived there. This is a great list, and I will be looking into some of these.
    Amber Bennett Realtor from Saint Petersburg, FL
    Replied 8 months ago
    Even as a loan signing agent?(The person at the title company responsible for overseeing the signing or mobile signings)?
    Ryan Collins Flipper/Rehabber from Houston, TX
    Replied 8 months ago
    Nice article - Another side hustle I’m currently doing is providing moving services for small items I can fit in the bed of my truck. It’s actually fairly decent money. I contract with a company called Pickup their based here out of TX but to my knowledge they’re trying to become national. GoShare would be another example of this type of company. In addition to that I also contract on my own (where I see the most money). Aside from having your own truck or delivery vehicle there are some small equipment costs you will need for straps, gloves, etc. but you can make it back from one job. With Pickup I average maybe $35-50/run but I’ve made as much as $100 in one run and you also get tips at the customer’s discretion. Sometimes it’s for only a hour or less worth of driving and moving (it’s typically 2-3 hours though) for bigger money. Doing my own thing I can make anywhere from $50-500+/move depending on distance and time. I laughed at the Uber/Lyft part where you cringed. I tried it before and NEVER again I had some kid puke and leave souvenir chunks all over the side of my car, the window and door panel haha.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great additions, Ryan. A friend of mine years ago started a branch / tree hauling business right after a horrible snow storm we had. All he had to do was rent a truck to haul. He was busy for months and made $800/day... crazy! It's all about solving someone's problem.
    Deborah Neuhoff
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi Whitney, Also interested in finding out more about the Investor Relations Admin. Someone else also asked, so hoping you can provide more info on this opportunity, as not seeing this on searches.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Sure. Feel free to PM me for more details. As investors scale or start working with investor money (think syndication), they need often times need support handling the back end legal/admin and front end customer relations giving them space to work on the business not in it.
    Haven M. Lender from Newburyport, MA
    Replied 8 months ago
    In the SAAS category I work a side hustle in addition to my 9-5 that basically pays me to connect, network, and most importantly add value to other people in the Real Estate world. It's a side gig a friend of mine turned me onto after he started using the software and was shocked at how it changed his financial outlook. While the extra money and product are really good, working a side hustle that is directly related to REI (my ultimate goal) is invaluable to me.
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for sharing, Haven. I'm sure others would love to learn more specifics if you care to post :)
    Andre Richardson Investor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi Whitney! Can you explain in more detail exactly how you would make money from SalesForce, Salesloft, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, & Google Analytics? I am unclear about how you would monetize this type of "Side Hustle". Thx!
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 8 months ago
    If you are trained as a consultant, marketing arms of company pay for these consultants. And the pay is generous most times and you can work from home (not all the time, but it's easier to do).
    Anand Ka Investor from Farmington Hills, Michigan
    Replied 8 months ago
    Whitney! Thanks for the lovely article. I was familiar with just few of these. I make good money on Turo with my old 2006 Honda Accord, listed it 3+ years back. There is absolutely no excuse for people anymore to have no money or being tight on money. There’s a ton of option to have side hustles, which are so easy. I want to get into renting bikes with Spinlister. My main target is to keep increasing Rental condos.. PS - Liked the article so much that I reset my forgotten password to comment 😬
    Whitney Hutten Rental Property Investor from Boulder, CO
    Replied 7 months ago
    I'm flattered, Anand! I'd love to hear how Spinlister goes:)