January 5, 2020

5 side hustles (I actually did) to make extra money

It happens to the best of us. Something comes up, we realize we're short on money and we find ourselves saying "I wish I could make the money for that real quick". Well, you can make some extra money! That's what side hustles are for! Over the years I've had several side hustles going on to make me some extra money here and there. Some of them are good for a few extra bucks, others can amount to a full paycheck.

Side hustles and part time gigs

I'm not talking about part time jobs. These are all either work from home or day jobs. I have had several side gigs over the years, everything from selling pictures or video I took to being a secret shopper. Most of these don't make enough money to warrant the effort they require, which is the difference between a side hustle and a hobby.

Oh sure, I've tried all the apps and rebate sites to save money when I'm shopping, but I'm not including those here for one reason: you need to spend money first. For instance I get a deposit from Ibotta almost monthly. However, I have to buy groceries to get that rebate. Which is obviously different than just earning the money. This list is only for ways I've actually made money...not refunds.

That link for Ibotta is my referral link...if they ask for a code use: F5XFUW

Side jobs that make real cash!


I have sold stuff on Ebay for years! It started about 13 years ago when a local dollar store (independant, not one of the chains) got a shipment of face serum in. I decided to try one. I liked the results and it came in a pretty tin that kind of looked high end, so I looked it up. Turns out it was a discontinued product from some doctor. It had an almost cult like following and I bought and sold as much as that little store had! 

I got as little as $12 a bottle, and as much as $80! This product literally started my love affair with Ebay. Since then I've bought cheap and sold on Ebay many times with success. Especially if you're willing it ship overseas, since many items common to the US aren't available outside or are highly marked up. (like Disney branded items) Now I mostly just sell stuff I get for free on Ebay, like makeup samples and coupon codes.

Related reading: 7 Things I sold on Ebay instead of throwing them out.

Movie extra

I have been working as a movie extra off and on since the 90's. If you have any interest in learning more about movie magic then it's a great experience. Movie extras are those people in the background that are in restaurants, on streets, in parties etc.  

My first movie was Dogma and my most recent one was a Seth Rogen film that I'm not allowed to talk about yet. In between those, I worked on Concussion (the nightclub scenes, and Will Smith gave us a quick concert between takes!) Love The Coopers, the One Dollar series, a Budweiser commercial and a few others.

Extra work is nothing more than miming the same action for hours on end. It doesn't take strong acting skills but you do need to be able to follow direction. The upside is that they feed you really well and it usually pays at least $10 an hour with an 8 hour minimum. Although, I once got paid $125 to go to the set and have a photo taken with 2 other extras. It took less than 2 hours and the photo was placed in a trophy case on the set of the movie.

Sometime you can get bumped up to a speaking role which means you get paid more money. Usually a 1 day gig, though sometimes they will need you a few days to film a longer scene.

They do make you sign a contract that you absolutely cannot leak any info before the movie is released. Once you're signed up with the local agents though, they will sometimes call you in for commercials or print ads. There is no 'typical' extra look, although they will have specific castings sometimes. 

They cast for biker types when they were filming Outsiders and Escape At Dannemora and it seems like they are always casting young professional types for commercials. Sometimes the castings call for families, siblings or a parent & child so the family is more believable. Pretty much anyone can be an extra!

Related reading: Acting for cash, Make extra money as a movie extra!


A few years back I decided that since I spend so much time typing and was pretty good at it, I should try transcribing. I found a company called REV and I went through their online training to learn to use their program. After that I would just log in, pop on my headphones and listen to a recording while typing out what was said. It's not difficult and pays just under $1 a minute of recorded audio that you transcribe. The faster and more accurate you type, the more money you can earn in a short time.

Truthfully you can take longer to do the work, but you get paid based on the length of the recording. So they pay is the same for a 10 minute recording whether it takes you 10 minutes or if it takes you 30 minutes to type it out. Accuracy is very important and they do check your work. I haven't done it in about a year, but they used to pay every Monday by Paypal.

5 part time jobs for homemakers


I know you've seen this one before...right? You answer surveys and get money or gift cards. Yeah well, I'm gonna tell you the truth. Sometimes it works perfectly and you answer some questions then get your points and can change them in right away for cash or gift cards. Other times you answer 15 minutes of a survey and suddenly it says "I'm sorry but you do not qualify for this survey" and it kicks you out with no points. 

Many of us are convinced that some of these surveys are looking for specific answers not the truth, you just never know until you answer 'wrong'. We chat about it in FB groups created just for Swagbucks users.

You can also use SB to earn points on purchases online and in stores. You upload receipts or use their app to shop. Again, sometimes it works flawlessly and other times your sending in your proof of purchase and they're telling you that you did it wrong or had an ad blocker on when you're sure you didn't.

Yes, I have earned hundreds of dollars in gift cards and cash through Swagbucks in just a few months. I've also bought a few things that I never got credit for. It's definitely a 'keep track of everything they owe you' situation. You'll want to contact them as soon as you notice a credit didn't appear. 

Also, if you're going to sign up be sure you use the exact same info on your signup as you do when you answer surveys. Type the wrong thing a few times and they will block you from surveys permanently. All that being said...it is super easy to fill out surveys and get paid when it works right! 

Pro tip: Join the Facebook groups for SB users! I was in 2 of them for a long time and people will post about easy surveys that have high point payouts, glitches that are giving more points then you expect, limited time offers that you don't want to miss and other things that work (or don't work!) for them.

Click here to sign up for Swagbucks.


This one is obvious, right? If you popped into this post you probably found it on Pinterest and quite frankly this is a sort of my "whatever I'm musing about today" blog. I know it doesn't look like much. However, I get about 150K views monthly on my Chicken blog and another 60K on my gardening/natural health blog. The cat blog is just starting and is hovering in the 3K range right now, but it's a work in progress. 

So, how much can you earn from blogging? My best month so far was just under $15,000! I know plenty of bloggers that make 10K and up every single month and a few that make much, much more! The problem with blogging is, the big money is a long game. You can start making money in as little as 2-3 months though if you write good quality articles every week and promote on social media.

Now please don't fall for the big lies in blogging...as they are often repeated! You do NOT have to be on Wordpress to make money. I'm not! I'm on Google's Blogger platform, though one of my friends is literally kicking butt with her blog over on Squarespace. 

I know hundreds of bloggers who blog for a living that are not on WP! Anyone who is telling you that you have to be on WP to make money, is probably pushing an affiliate link to their host site. 😉

If you're not sure that blogging is for you, you should definitely sign up on Blogger or another free platform that allows you to place ads, and give it a try. You can always migrate over to WP if you decide you want to down the road and it's not costing you anything but a domain name to start out!

There were a few other things I've tried over the years like making and selling crafts at craft shows but I tried to stick to the no special skills needed side hustles for this post.

Have you ever had a side job? Let me know in the comments down below!


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