This is a guest post from Maleah and Russell Barbour, the owners of Unconventional Prosperity. They actively seek out ways to make extra money through side gigs and create wealth from passive income.
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
My wife and I have dedicated a lot of time over the last 5 years to making more money and establishing sources of passive income. In this article, we want to share our favorite ways to make some extra money. We have personally used all these things over the last few years and some of them have even become full-time income sources for us!
We started our journey in 2013 to make extra money with the goal of just adding an extra $100 to our income every month. We quickly achieved $500 extra every month. We firmly believe that anyone can do this if they dedicate a few hours a week to increasing their income.
Depending on how much time you have for extra income generation, the potential income that you can generate from these ideas is limitless! We just had our first $15,000+ month from online income sources, and we are hoping to continue growing our online income sources over the next year or two.
Let’s get started with our top three ways that you can use to make at least an extra $100 every day. None of these ideas alone will make you rich. But, if you consistently work on them and add new more passive forms of income, you will be surprised at how your side income increases.
Some of the ideas (like blogging) will take more time, but they will likely be more passive sources of income when they are established. We have tried to include a mixture of ways that you can make money today as well as ways that take time but have higher income potential.
1. We completed paid surveys for some extra money
One of the best ways we have found to make money quickly is to complete paid surveys online.
Potential Earnings: $5 – $10 per day for a couple of hours of work.
Getting paid by completing survey questions online was one of the first ways we made extra money. The general idea is that companies will pay you good money to have consumers answer some questions about products they like, their spending habits and their opinions on potential future products. Market research is a billion-dollar industry, and companies are willing to pay you for your time answering questions that help them with improving their service or products.
Unfortunately, many paid survey sites are passed over as ‘scams’ because of a few dodgy sites. A bad experience with a fraudulent site will put you off from trying any other survey opportunities. I have been burned in the past by trying to complete a survey only to be told ‘sorry you do not qualify for this survey’ after spending 20 minutes working through the tedious questions.
The trick to making money from survey sites is to find the legitimate ones that pay you a decent rate and will pay you on-time. We have tried many paid survey sites over the years and our favorite one is called Survey Junkie.
Survey Junkie has a stellar reputation in the industry and our experience completing their surveys has been fantastic. The company has been in business for years and many people have written about their positive experience with them (check out this Forbes article that features them). Survey Junkie is also registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and they currently have no negative feedback on the site.
My wife and I started completing the surveys a few years ago, and we really liked how transparent they were regarding how much each survey would pay on completion and how long they estimated it would take us to answer all the questions.
Most of the surveys will payout $1 – $2 for 10 – 20 minutes of work. Yes, this is below minimum wage, but you can fill out these surveys while sitting on your couch watching TV in the background.
You don’t need any special skills or knowledge just sign-up for Survey Junkie and get started making some extra money by answering questions. They pay you every week via PayPal or ACH once you have a balance over $10. This is easy to achieve because you can easily make $20+ every day if you are dedicated to completing the highest paying surveys. Don’t worry, you will reach the $10 payment threshold very quickly!
We really love Survey Junkie because they offer a professional user interface, fast surveys, quick payment methods and they don’t require a lot of personal information during the sign-up process. The only negative aspects of the site – is that only U.S, Canadian and Australian residents can participate. Also, we would love to see a higher rate of pay from the surveys, but this is a common complaint about all paid survey sites.
Survey Junkie is one of the most popular survey sites (over 100,000+ users) and we highly recommend that you sign-up for a free account if you want to make some extra money online. I still complete the odd survey here and there while listening to a podcast or an audiobook to relax.
2. We started blogging to make money online
Potential earnings: $5,000 – $20,000+ per month is possible if you can put in the work. Blog income can be quite passive after you have put in the upfront work.
Completing paid surveys is one way to make money – but it requires constant work to earn money. Blogging is one way that you can start making recurring money online that keeps going even if you take a vacation.
We make money from two blogs, but it does take a lot of work. Blogging can be quite lucrative (we made $15,000 last month on our blogs) but it is not a way to get rich quickly. Blogging takes consistent time and effort to make it work.
We mainly make money on our blogs by selling other people’s products. When our visitors click through a special link and purchase something, we are given credit for that sale. The company that they purchased from then sends us a commission (typically 10% – 50% of the sale). The first company to offer this type of affiliate program was Amazon. These days many of the big companies offer affiliate programs for bloggers and website owners.
The cool thing about blogging is that you get to build a business that you can run from anywhere and with very low startup costs! You can blog about anything that you are passionate about. Many popular blogging topics include fashion, home décor, beauty, personal finance and travel. Blogging takes many hours of work and sometimes years to see any significant income, but it can be a very satisfying and lucrative business. Many bloggers make over $10,000 per month from affiliate marketing, advertising or product sales.
An easy and affordable way to get started is by using Bluehost. If you use my link, you can get a free domain name (for 1 year) and your cost will be less than $4/month. You do not need to pay a web designer to get started.
If you have an interest in starting your own blog, check out my free tutorial here: How to start your own blog.
Side note from Debbie: I’ve been able to earn $8,000-$10,000 per month from my blog over the last 5 months.
3. Rental Income
Potential earnings: $500+ per month per room depending on where you are living.
One of the best investment decisions that we made to improve our financial situation was to purchase a rental property. In 2014 we bought a 4-bedroom townhouse in Bozeman, Montana. We were able to live in one of the rooms and rent out the other three bedrooms to other people. By doing this we were able to have other people pay down our mortgage for us and even make a profit!
We were able to charge $750 a month for each of the bedrooms that we rented out. The extra $2,000+ every month was very helpful in building our savings and paying down debt. Renting out spare rooms in your house is probably the most passive way to make significant amounts of extra money quickly.
There is a price to pay for the easy money though. We found this out the hard way.
We found our potential tenants on Craigslist, but we soon realized that the people looking for individual rooms usually had some problems. Often, they had no friends that were willing to rent an apartment with them. Mental health conditions were the most common problems with our tenants and this led to some ‘interesting’ encounters. It certainly felt like we were sacrificing our privacy and sometimes our sanity for the extra income.
We initially set the rent quite high for the area we lived in. We tried to offer great value for the price by offering fully furnished rooms and supplying things like breakfast, coffee, towels etc. We took care of all expenses like utilities and even installed the fastest internet service in the town. This ensured that our tenants were more than happy to pay top dollar for a room.
We ran this business for a few years, and then we sold the house for $100,000 profit. If you can tolerate tenants living with you, then this might be a great way that you can earn some extra money.
You might be surprised at how much extra money you can make. We have been shocked at how quickly our side income has grown into a full-time income! We started with the more active ways to earn money (e.g. completing paid surveys) and these helped us to grow our more passive income sources like blogging. We hope that these three ways to make extra money will help you do the same and help you achieve your goals in life.