By in Make Money, Tips | 12 comments

Make Extra Money in the Evening

Many of us have full time jobs, which is great, but there are some potential problems with that. Perhaps your full time job doesn’t quite pay all the bills each month. Or, have you ever considered what might happen if you got laid off? I know it’s terrible to think about, but it happens every day, so you need to be prepared. One of the best ways to prepare for the unknown is to diversify your income. In other words, don’t just depend on your one job for survival (and if you’re married, certainly don’t depend on both of your incomes to keep your heads above water). For the couples with kids, these are nice part time gigs for the primary care giver.

Look for another income source for more security both now and in the future.

You Mean Another Job?

Some people are absolutely wiped out after 40 or 50 hours of work per week and just couldn’t imagine working an extra job in the evenings or on the weekends. But, your extra income source doesn’t necessarily have to be another job, it can be a home business.

Let’s explore a few ideas for both part time jobs and home based businesses. Then you can decide what’s best for you.

Make more money ideas

The Online Store

Consider an online store with high margin products. The margin is the percent you keep after paying for costs. Use Ebay or your own website to sell your product.  For example, sell a $50 product and keep $25, and you have a 50% margin. This way you don’t have to spend every waking moment packing and shipping products out of your garage. The ideal product will most likely cost your customer a couple hundred bucks and you’ll only have to ship out 20-50 per week. If you earn just $50 on each item and you’re selling 50 per week, that means that you’ll be earning $2,500 each week, or $10,000 per month! Obviously, you need to find a product that meets these criteria and then set up your store.

Wired offers some great resources for starting an online store while outsourcing the shipping through “drop shipping”. That means you collect the order and a third party takes care of storing the inventory and sending it out.

I’d be remiss if I suggested this is easy money. You face competition and it takes a bit of time to get up and running. Expect, as in any business, that there will be a learning curve and you will need to do some research. Expect 6 months to a year of set up  and marketing activity before you see a significant return. After the initial set up is done, and a marketing plan is implemented, there’s an opportunity for a decent payoff for a part time gig.

Earn extra cash refinishing furniture

Earn extra cash refinishing furniture


If you’re looking for some extra bucks and you don’t mind working on the weekends, then waitressing could be your gig. Now, if you’ve never had experience waitressing, I wouldn’t suggest this because you’re going to have to start at the bottom of the totem pole. However, if you have a few years of experience, then you can most likely start at a high-quality restaurant, which means high priced meals and big tips. Score a job at a place like this and you could easily earn $25+ per hour, which is definitely worth it in my book. Shift work can be great if you live near the restaurant. Work for a few hours and then have a nice break. That’s a chance to hang out with friends and family, catch up on sleep, or run errands.

Although many look at food service as a job for college students or as a stepping stone, as the economy improves, the opportunities for decent tips grows. I don’t know about you, but I normally tip up to 20 percent for decent service. At a moderate priced restaurant in a busy area, you can earn a nice part time income. And in our area, new restaurants are popping up all over the place and consumers are spending.

Refinish Furniture

This task takes a little bit of skill, but with a little bit of practice anyone can do it. And, the profit margins on this work are unbelievable. Here’s what you do. Peruse various garage sales and keep your eye out for old furniture. For the most part, most people don’t want to buy this stuff because it just looks outdated, so you can get it for a steal. Then, by refinishing it with a darker color (such is the style today) and make it look more modern, you have a good quality vintage piece of furniture! An easier approach is to sand an old piece down and spray paint it a bright color. The dresser above is my favorite color!

To recover a seat cushion, all you need is some fabric and a staple gun. An inspiring show on HGTV, Flea Market Flip with Lara Spencer, is filled with tips. Contestants illustrate the amazing profit margins on buying old junk, refurbishing, and selling the newly designed item at a flea market on eBay, or on Craigslist. If you have an artistic flair and extra time, this is a great money maker.

What are your top side hustle money making articles?

image credits; google images_ asiasociety_and_apartment therapy


  1. I have a lot of antique furniture, I have restored that I could sell if I wanted some extra money. Maybe I will when I downsize again.


    June 21, 2013

  2. Good tips for making some extra cash. I often will go to thrift stores looking for items I know are collectible. Stuff like old toys, or electronics. I then sell them for extra cash on craigslist. It’s not a crazy amount of money as I don’t do it often, but can make a decent profit margin this way.


    June 21, 2013

  3. I love making extra money. I actually see it more as a hobby than a job. I love the idea of refinishing furniture but I don’t think I’d be any good at it.

  4. @Krantc-It’s fun to refinish furniture, and there is a nice market for antiques as wel.
    @Potatoe-Every little bit adds up!


    June 23, 2013

  5. @Tushar, Interesting perspective, looking at it as a hobby. You are obviously quite successful in your “hobby”. 🙂


    June 23, 2013

  6. Its was difficult to do the side money hustling when I was already working 50-60hrs per week. Now though I find myself looking for more things to do to earn more money and to keep me busy. I’m no good at finding and buying furniture to sell but cars, shoes and SEO are my top side hustles.

  7. Thomas, How did you learn SEO? It seems like an important skill for website publishers.


    June 24, 2013

  8. Tutoring – in just about anyhing! Each of us have knowledge and skills where we’re well above average. Hone them, then find a way to market your teaching skills. Everyone is looking to learn something new. Computer applications, bookkeeping, teaching English to non-native speakers. Home Repair. Juat about any school/college course where you’re well above average. The list is endless!


    June 24, 2013

  9. Great tips Barb! Anybody can have a side gig. Just takes some initiative and creativity. It’s not always easy to do the extra work, but it pays off in the end.

    I’ve also been doing an ongoing series called “Money Making Ideas” to showcase various ways to make money on the side.

    Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)

    June 24, 2013

  10. @Kevin, Tutoring is definitely an option. You can advertise on Craigslist or a local billboard for contacts.
    @Jason, I’ll have to check out your series.


    June 24, 2013

  11. I wouldn’t mind spending a few hours after work to earn extra income. There are a lot of opportunities online that you can take advantage of. Online selling or rendering your services can be a good idea.

    KC @ genxfinance

    June 27, 2013

  12. Thanks for sharing those tips.

    I have 2 teenage boys who have been pretty successful making money by house sitting.


    June 27, 2013


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