If you’re finding it difficult to put money into your savings account
on a regular basis, it might be time to consider supplementing your income with a side job.
A side job is any kind of work you do outside of your full-time employment to earn extra money. Depending on how much free time you have and where your interests lie, you could potentially make some serious cash with a side gig.
If another job is something you’re considering, it’s important to find one that’s a good fit. You don’t want to spread yourself so thin that it interferes with your full-time job, and you want to leave enough downtime in your schedule so you won’t end up getting burnt out. Luckily, there are many different types of jobs out there to choose from.
When people think of a side job they commonly think of retail and food service positions, like those found at supermarkets, coffee shops or restaurants. One of the main reasons for this is because these types of establishments often offer flexible part-time hours and evening shifts, which can be ideal for those who are already holding down a full-time job.
But, there are plenty of unconventional side jobs out there as well, some of which don’t even require you to leave your house! Here are some ideas for making extra money that you may not have considered:
- Freelancing – If you have a specialized set of skills, you might considering renting out your services. Many companies hire independent contractors to do work such as writing, graphic design, and photography. Websites like Upwork, Guru, and PeoplePerHour can be helpful in locating freelancing jobs that suit you.
- Pet Services – If you’re an animal lover, you might consider pet sitting or dog walking as a side job. Many busy dog owners are on the lookout for someone who can take their canines for a daily stroll. Then there are pet owners who want someone to check on and care for their pets while they’re at work or on vacation. You can search for pet-related jobs in your area on sites like Rover and Care.com.
- Taking Surveys – Many businesses count on the consumer data provided to them by survey companies to make product and marketing decisions, and many are willing to pay for those surveys. But, it’s important to do your homework before signing up for a survey-taking job, as there are many scams out there. A good rule of thumb is to stick with well-known survey websites, and never pay a “membership fee” to take a survey with the promise of payment later. SurveyPolice.com can be a helpful resource in finding and vetting paid survey websites. While you’re not likely to get rich from taking online surveys, it can potentially help to generate some extra cash for your savings account!
- Mystery Shopping – A “mystery shopper” is someone who is hired to pose as a customer and provide feedback to the company on the customer service and overall experience. Being an undercover customer can be fun, and can also help you bring in some extra money. But as is the case with paid surveys, some mystery shopping jobs can be scams. When looking for a legitimate secret shopper job, you should avoid any that require you to pay money upfront. Some well-known mystery shopping companies include Best Mark, Market Force, and IntelliShop, so you may want to start your search there.
- Participating in Focus Groups – Just as some companies pay consumers to take surveys and shop undercover, other businesses are willing to pay for feedback through in-person or online focus groups. In a focus group, you’ll usually participate in a discussion, ask and answer questions and provide opinions. Focus groups generally pay more than surveys, but when finding one to participate in you need to beware of scams. Sites like FocusGroup.com, which is run by the market research firm, Focus Pointe Global, can be a good place to start your search. The site FindFocusGroups.com is another site that gives you the ability to search focus group jobs by city or state, including those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
If you’re serious about boosting your savings with a second job, these ideas will hopefully help you to find the side gig that’s right for you. Before starting a side job though, it’s a good idea to check with your full-time employer. Some employment contracts explicitly forbid employees to hold down a second job, while others have guidelines or policies regarding outside employment. If you have any questions or concerns about moving forward with a side job, your employer’s HR department should be a good place to seek answers. Good luck with your side hustle, and here’s to hoping it helps you reach your savings goals