27 Non-Traditional Ways To Make Money This Year

ways to make money

Are you looking for ways to make more money? Tried of hearing about all the same options? We’ve got your back! We have compiled a list of non-traditional ways to make money outside your 9-5 job. Whether you’re trying to make ends meet or just looking to increase your savings or investment accounts, the modern world provides endless opportunities for earning money. What’s even better is that these options don’t require a degree or huge capital. You can have a side hustle that even requires a few hours of your time every day.

27 Non-Traditional Ways To Make Money

Working Temp Jobs

If you want a job that does not require a long-term commitment, then temp jobs are perfect for you. You can obtain temp jobs from temp agencies hired by companies to supply their workforce for a limited amount of time.Though temp jobs are not permanent, they still come with several benefits.

Aside from being a source of income, you can also gain new skills or experience from these jobs. You can use it as a stepping stone if you’re trying to switch different careers. Some people, on the other hand, work temp jobs so that they don’t have a gap in their employment history.

Temp jobs can last from several days to several months. Almost all industries offers temp jobs, but the most common ones are in the field of IT, healthcare, professional-managerial jobs, industrial work, and administrative work. There are tons of temp agencies for you to choose from. If you’ve been working for a while, chances are you can ask friends if they know of any reputable temp agencies to use. If that doesn’t work, you can always read through reviews online.

Driving for Lyft or Uber

uber vs lyft
fitzcrittle / Shutterstock.com

Lyft and Uber provide an opportunity for side hustlers to make extra cash with an easy and low commitment. Ridesharing has become extremely popular over the last few years and these two companies are amongst the biggest names.

Anyone that has a car, smartphone and extra time can drive for Lyft or Uber and start earning money. Some are even driving for both to increase their earnings. They open both apps at the same time to book as many rides as possible. Uber pays more, though the difference is not that huge. Lyft and Uber drivers make around $8-$11 per hour.

Factors that affect their earnings include the hours worked as well as the location. City drivers make more money than suburban and rural drivers. You must also take expenses such as gasoline, car maintenance and repair, auto insurance and parking into account.

Become a Pedicab Driver

Pedicabs are three-wheeled vehicles with a forward-positioned driver’s seat and seating space at the back that can accommodate two to four people. They are also known as “bike taxis” and “cycle rickshaws”. You must have seen a couple of them when you’re hanging out at the entertainment districts of college towns or larger cities.

Being a pedicab driver is a great side hustle. Aside from the fact that you can make your own schedule, you can also work-out while on the job. Pedicabbing is also a perfect side gig if you love the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair. It’s also an excellent way of learning a city’s history and geography as well as meeting different kinds of people every day.

Unlike driving for a ride-sharing app, you don’t have to pay for huge maintenance costs such as mechanical repairs, gas or insurance. If you don’t have your own pedicab though, you may have to deal with rental fees and fare cut.

Be a Childcare Provider

Do you have a genuine fondness for children? If so, being a childcare worker is an excellent choice of non-traditional ways to make money. Aside from a natural fondness for children, other traits needed for a childcare provider are kindness, generosity, helpful, caring, patience, friendliness, tact and empathy.

Your job primarily calls you to take care of the children’s basic needs when their parents and other family members are not available. This may include bathing, feeding, monitoring their safety and establishing routines that support enough playtime, rest and activity.

Some childcare providers work full-time, however, part-time works and irregular hours are more common. Entry-level childcare providers can make around $9 per hour. Your pay increases as your experience and skill grow.

Provide Animal Care

Animal caretakers groom, feed, train and exercise animals. They are also responsible for cleaning, disinfecting and repairing the animal’s cages. In addition, their role also includes providing companionship and playing with animals? Do you think you can perform this role well?

If you think you are suited to be an animal caretaker, this can be an excellent side-hustle for you. You can work in a variety of settings – from pet stores, animal shelters to veterinary clinics. Aside from the primary role of providing care to animals, you may also do some administrative tasks such as keeping animal records.

An entry-level animal caregiver can make an average of $10 per hour. Top-level animal caretakers, on the other hand, can make up to $14 per hour.

Have a Garage Sale

Garage sale sign

We tend to collect clutter as time goes by. Having a garage sale is a perfect way of getting rid of these unused things while making money at the same time. Take the time to sort your things and toss the ones that you haven’t been using in the past months on your “yard sale” box. If you want to make the most out of your garage sale though, you need thorough planning. Plan the right time to hold your garage sale.

In most areas, Friday nights and Saturday mornings are the best time. In addition, organizing your stuff can make a huge difference in your sales. You can’t just toss your things on the table and expect people to dig any treasures they can find. Organize them according to categories, such as toys, clothes, accessories, kitchenware, etc.

Attract a wider market by advertising your garage sale. You can use a traditional yard sign, or you can even create an event on social media. If you use thoughtful planning and exert effort, you can make between $500 – $1000 on your garage sale.

Sell Used Stuff Online

While having a garage sale is an excellent way of decluttering your stuff and make money in return, others don’t have the space needed to hold a yard sale. The advent of technology has given birth to online shopping. If you don’t have the space to sell your stuff, then the internet provides a perfect platform. There are several platforms that you can use to sell used stuff. Some of the most popular ones are Amazon, eBay, Bonanza, eBid, Craigslist, and Etsy.

If you want a wider audience and willing to ship your items, Amazon and eBay are perfect choices. If you’re looking to market your stuff to local buyers, you can use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Aside from choosing the right platform, it’s also important that you present your items well. They should be in prime condition if you want to sell them at the best price. In addition, taking good photos and writing a good copy can help attract more interested buyers.

Don’t forget to be professional at all times too. Be courteous, use appropriate language and respond to queries as soon as you can. These can all contribute to a positive buying experience. Positive reviews can go a long way in an online selling community.

Participate in a Market Research

Many businesses hire market research companies to probe their customers in order to gain insights and feedback about their products and services. These market research companies then find suitable participants that meet the parameters needed. Participants are then paid in merchandise, gift cards or cash in exchange for their time and feedback.

Participating in market research is one of the best non-traditional ways to make money. If you want to give this a go, here are some of the best market research companies that you may try:

  • RespondentEarn an average of $140 an hour participating in consumer research studies online and in person.
  • User InterviewsYou can earn an average of $50 an hour.
  • FieldworkCompensation starts at $75 for focus group participation.
  • Survey SquadYou can earn $50-250 in cash, check, or Visa gift cards.

Become a Host for Travelers

Do you have a spare room, apartment or house? If so, you can tap into these available resources and earn cash. Open up your space to travelers by becoming an Airbnb host.

Listing your property on Airbnb won’t cost you anything. You can sign up for free and make a listing. Once the reservation has been booked, Airbnb will only charge you a small fee.

It can be scary opening up your space to strangers, but hosting on Airbnb gives you security and peace of mind. The platform requires all guests to confirm their identity by providing relevant information. Aside from that, you can also require your guests to go through ID verification.

For added security, you can even ask for recommendations from previous hosts. Airbnb hosts make an average of $924 a month. However, your earnings potential depends on how often you can rent out your space and how much you charge for it.

If you want to get several bookings, you have to spend time and money furnishing and maintaining your space.

Use Credit Cards Strategically

credit card hand

Average Americans own multiple credit cards and most of these cardholders carry an outstanding balance month to month. They have to constantly deal with interest charges and fees.

Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of losing your hard-earned cash, you can make your credit card work for you.
  • Make money with cash-back credit cards. Look for a credit card that pays you to shop. Some card gives you 1-5% cash-back rewards for certain purchases.
  • Invest your cash back – Regardless of how much money you make from your cash-back reward, you can invest it and make it grow into a sizable amount over time.
  • Shop online and earn points or cash back. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions in every shopping portal to fully understand how it works.

Link your credit card on Acorns and start earning points. Acorns allows credit cardholders to invest their spare change from everyday purchases. All purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar while the difference is automatically put into an investment. It’s a smart way of transforming your spare change into income. If you’re wondering is Acorns worth it? Check out that link to see our thoughts.

Play Video Games

If you find yourself spending too much time on the couch playing video games, why not turn this interest into an opportunity to make money?

Is it really possible to make money playing video games? The answer is a definite yes. You have to understand though that you won’t make a fortune on this side hustle. There may even be a risk of getting scammed or the possibility of losing a bit of fun and excitement out of the game. That said, nothing sounds as fun as making money while playing video games.

Offer Hardware and Software Troubleshooting Service

Modern technology has given birth to many career opportunities. Amongst these are an opportunity to make money in computer programming, troubleshooting, and networking. Despite the advancement of technology, a lot of people lack knowledge and expertise on how to troubleshoot and fix their computer problems. If you’re tech-savvy, you can definitely make money by offering your troubleshooting service. Your rate depends on your expertise and experience. If you have not built a credential yet, you can charge $20-$25 per hour. However, you can increase this rate to $50-$75 per hour if you have certification. A college degree in computer science may be a prerequisite for some companies to hire their technicians, but this does not mean that you can’t have this side hustle if you don’t hold a degree. You can start fixing computers from home, as long as you have the knowledge and experience in cleaning, replacing or repairing software and hardware.

Manage Social Media Accounts

how to create passive income on social media

Social media has not only given us the ability to connect with people across the globe. It has also given business owners the opportunity to promote and establish their brand to a wider audience. For this reason, creating a dynamic and strong social media strategy is important for business growth.

But not everyone has the skill, knowledge, and experience to do this. A lot of business owners don’t have the time and expertise in managing their social media accounts effectively. As a social media manager, this is where you can come in. Your role is to use the power of social media platforms and promote businesses by establishing a strong social media presence, attracting more followers and creating more engagement.

With thousands of aspiring social media managers, how can you stand out and attract more clients? It goes beyond being well-versed on all social media platforms.

If you want to become successful in this side hustle, you must focus on one or a few platforms. It’s easier to brand yourself and market as an expert if you specialize in a certain social media platform. It doesn’t hurt to grow your personal social media accounts as well. Having a huge following will attract more clients. You can use your own social media account for your portfolio if you don’t have much experience yet. Find more ways on how to leverage social media and earn money.

Be a Content Writer

Many professional writers get paid writing for someone. Content writing is the perfect gig. Not only will you get a competitive rate, you also get to choose when and where you want to work. Additionally, you can pick interesting clients to work with.

Being a content writer is a rewarding experience. As you write different types of content, you enrich your learnings and knowledge as well. Of course, getting paid to write is another sweet bonus. If you’re confident that you can provide articles that would interest and compel the readers, you can focus on this type of side hustle and earn money online.

To get you started, here’s are three sites where you can get paid to write articles:

  • Wow, Women on Writing – Create inspirational and informative content about women and get paid of up to $150 for a 3,000-word article.
  • Strong WhispersWith a wide variety of content about environment, lifestyle and other social issues, you won’t have any problem choosing your topic. You can get paid $50-$150 per published article.
  • Link-AbleThis platform is perfect for well-seasoned writers who can produce higher-quality articles. You can make $100 – $750 for every published work.

Sell Baked Goods

Who doesn’t love sweet treats? If you love baking, satisfy people’s sweet cravings and organize a bake sale.

You can pretty much sell any baked goodies such as cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Cakes and pies are excellent choices too. Look for a location that gets a good amount of foot traffic. It could either be outside the gym during a school sports events or a designated area for fundraising activities.

Aside from choosing a good location, you can also attract more customers when your packaging is good. Aside from organizing a bake sale, you can also promote your baked goodies online. Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to establish an online presence for your brand and attract more customers.

Before you get started, make sure to look into all laws and regulations related to selling food items, including licensing and registering for vendor permits.

Offer a Tutorial Service

The popularity and demand for online tutoring has exploded in the past years. There is no shortage of students looking for online tutor either. Since there are no physical limitations, being an online tutor offers the convenience of working anywhere and anytime you want.

One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming an online tutor is that you need a degree in education in order to become one. While it’s an advantage, it’s not really a must. Anyone with a high school diploma or a GED can apply for tutoring jobs.

Depending on your skills and experience, you can teach kids, college students or adults. How does online tutoring work? Online tutors assist students in certain subjects through phone, Skype or webcam. Most session works one-on-one with students, however, there are some occasions where a tutor provides lessons to a group of students.

You can earn around $30 per hour however you can charge up to $60 if you’re tutoring advanced subjects such as calculus or SAT Prep. A lot of legitimate websites offer online tutor jobs. Some of the most popular ones are VIPKid, Tutor.com, Homework Tutoring, Aim-for-A Tutoring, My Tutor 24 and Revolution Prep.

Sell Your Hair

Are you getting tired of your long hair? Don’t just let it go to waste after you had a short bob. You can sell your hair and make some extra cash.

There’s always a high demand for healthy hair. Hair extensions and wigs are made out of human hair. If you have healthy, thick, long hair, it’s your opportunity to make money out of your assets. You need to make a plan though before you can chop off your hair. The longer the hair, the more money you can sell it for. Grow it out to at least 10 inches and keep it healthy.

Another tip: Don’t cut your hair until you have found a buyer. Fresh cut hair ranks high on the price value. Finding a buyer is not that hard. You can either sell it through a third-party website such as BuyandSellHair.com, OnlineHairAffair.com and HairSellOn.com. Take note that they charge a one-time listing fee though.

When listing your hair online, make sure that you include high-quality photos that provides a good description of your hair. You can also sell it directly to a wig company. You may get paid less than listing it online, but it’s an easier and quicker option to sell your hair. You can make $300 up to $1000, depending on the length, thickness, color, and texture of your hair.

Participate in a Clinical Trial

If you’re looking for a quick way of making money, then paid clinical trial might be the solution. Participating in a clinical trial has many benefits, aside from making money.

First, subjects are required to undergo a physical examination. If you’re not doing your check-ups regularly, then this is the perfect opportunity to know your health status.

If you’re participating in a drug trial, you will be asked to undergo more extensive examinations such as MRI, EKG, EEG or complete blood analysis. These tests are quite expensive and whatever findings could be invaluable for your health.

Additionally, clinical trials may save your life. A lot of cancer patients have signed up in the hopes that these studies could delay or even cure cancer. Use reputable sources such as ClinicalTrials.gov, National Cancer Institute and Pharma.org to find clinical trials.

How much money can you potentially make? You can earn as little as $100 or as much as $8000 depending on what trial is involved.

Collect Old Metal Scrap

There are tons of opportunities to make money and sometimes you just have to be creative. One of the most resourceful non-traditional ways to make money is selling old metal scrap. By turning trash into cash, you found yourself a good source of passive income.

How can you make money out of collecting old metal scraps? Here are some of the most effective ways to get money from scrap metals:

  • Collect aluminum cans – Collect cans that you use at home or you can even ask other family members and friends not to throw their canned beverages. You can sell aluminum cans for 34 cents to 45 cents per pound.
  • Recycle old appliances – You can sell the scrap metals from old appliances for 10 cents and 15 cents per pound.
  • Repair and restore old appliances – Resell them for a profit.

There are several ways of finding metal scrap to sell. Craigslist has many listings of people who want to get rid of their old appliances. You can also check with your employer for old scrap metals or aluminum cans.


Do you imagine yourself sitting in a beautiful balcony, holding a hot cup of tea and overlooking a fantastic view of the mountain? And to top it off, are you getting paid while enjoying this luxury?

House-sitting jobs may sound like a fairytale and the chance of house-sitting a mansion may be slim, but this gig is real. A lot of people are taking this opportunity to stay at someone’s house for months for free.

House-sitters take care of the house while the owners are away. In return for free accommodation and house-sitting salary, you must clean the house and make sure that it’s safe.

In some instances, you  would even need to take care of the pets as well. If you are adaptable, reliable, and responsible, then you’re pretty much qualified to house-sit. House Sitters America, Mind My House, Housecarers.com, Luxury House Sitting and Nomador are just some of the online platforms where you can find house-sitting gigs.

House-sitting jobs may not pay you much, but it’s how you view this opportunity on a different perspective. Staying at a nice place for free is definitely worth the trouble, especially if it comes with a picturesque view.

Open an Online Store

costco scams shopping cart

If you’re tired of the rat race of your 9 to 5 job, starting your own business online is a perfect way to be your own boss.

It’s now easier than ever to set up an online business, thanks to many free software and services available on the internet. Most of these software are already written for you so all you need to do is just set your store up and customize it.

Opening an online store presents so many money-making opportunities. It’s a source of passive income, you can take and process orders even when you’re asleep. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with or carry inventory. With dropshipping, you can pass your customer’s information to the distributor. They will take the responsibility of delivering the goods to your customers.

If you’re more traditional, then you can definitely sell physical goods. It may require more work and time, but the profit margin is higher than dropshipping. If you possess a special skill or talent, you can use your online store to sell your own goods. Informational goods such as eBooks and online courses are hot ticket items.

Of course, having an online store presents an opportunity for affiliate marketing. You get a commission when your customer made a purchase through your link. It doesn’t require much time and effort, however it carries the lowest profit percentage.

Become a Translator

There are several ways that you can make money out of your language skills. One of which is becoming a translator.

A translator converts text from one language to another. To be able to do this, you must be adept in both the original and translation language. Your conversion should follow the original text without distorting any original facts and ideas. Obviously, you must have knowledge of two or more languages if you want to become a translator.

Additional skills and traits needed to excel in this side hustle would be computer skills, confidence, and commitment. You must also get some sort of certification or accreditation to be recognized as a professional translator. You can find tons of translation jobs from online platforms such as Upwork, Guru, People Per Hour, Translators Town and Rev.

You can also attract more clients by building your personal website and online presence. A website can help you look more professional, especially if you have added your certifications in there. Include all of your completed projects to build a strong and impressive portfolio.

Work as a Customer Service Representative

Customer service jobs are some of the easiest jobs to land online. First, you don’t need a college degree to get accepted. In addition, you only need around 6 months to a year of experience. It also doesn’t require technical training or special education.

The skills for customer service jobs are pretty much straightforward. Standard requirements for remote customer service jobs are basic computer skills, a quiet work environment, and a high-speed internet connection. You must also know how to multitask and handle challenging conversations professionally.

Working in customer service is a reputable side hustle. Pay is reasonably well at around $10-$15 per hour. You may also get commissions, especially if you’re in a sales position. A lot of companies are hiring remote customer service representatives. Find such job postings from online platforms like Upwork, Remote.co, We Work Remotely, Outsourcely and Fiverr.

Fill Out Online Surveys

Completing surveys is one of the easiest ways of making money online. Though it won’t make you rich, it gives you decent pay. What’s even better is that you can fill out surveys without leaving the comfort of your home. It doesn’t require much analytical skill or thorough thoughts so you can do this side hustle while listening to music or watching TV.

To increase your chance of earning money through online surveys, it is recommended that you sign up for several sites. You get a variety of work when you’re a member of more than one survey panel. Be careful though. There are a lot of sites that aren’t legit and don’t give any payout. These fake sites may often sound too good to be true.

Another tip to avoid being scammed: Never pay any fees to join. Legit survey sites are free and would not ask you to pay for a membership fee. To make sure that you’re not wasting your time and resources, sign up to sites that have already made a reputation. Swagbucks, Prize Rebel, Vindale Research and Pinecone Research are some of the most legitimate online survey sites.

Rent Your Friendship

It may sound bizarre, but renting your friendship is a legit way of making money online. If you want to get paid to be a friend, then this is a perfect non-traditional way to make money for you. RentAFriend.com is a marketplace for people looking to hire a friend. They can browse through a list of friends for hire. As a friend for hire, you are giving your time and effort to be the “friend” of your client.

Your role includes doing social activities such as hanging out or watching a movie. Someone would also hire you as a tourist guide in your hometown. How much money can you make by offering your friendship? Rate starts at $10 per hour however it can go as high as $50 per hour depending on some clients.

If you want a more flexible rate, set your profile to “negotiable”. Your income depends on how often you accept friendship requests. Some make an average of $200 a month, while there are some who go full-time and earn up to $8,000 monthly.

Become a Mystery Shopper

Get paid to shop by being a mystery shopper. If you’re unfamiliar with this side gig, a mystery shopper acts as a normal customer but is employed by a company to try the services and products of a certain shop. A mystery shopper then provides honest and relevant feedback about her experience. A lot of companies hire mystery shoppers to get a full understanding of how their employees and service work. They use this feedback to improve their services.

Qualifications of a mystery shopper may vary according to the company, but generally, you must have good social and communication skills as well as good time management. GBW, Market Force, About Face, Secret Shopper, and Bestmark are amongst the list of companies that hire mystery shoppers.

Working as a mystery shopper sure has its perks. Aside from trying a certain service or product for free, you get paid to do it! Just be wary of many scammers out there who claim to be legit companies. If they are asking you to pay to be a member, turn your back quickly. A legitimate company would never ask for any payment.


Do you have a brilliant idea but don’t have the capital to turn it into a profitable business? Crowdfunding could be the solution to your dilemma. It’s a method of tapping into the collective efforts of customers, family, friends or individual investors to raise capital. Usually done through crowdfunding platforms and social media, this method leverages the network of these collective people for greater exposure and reach. Of course, you can’t just ask people for money without giving them a promising product.

A lot of crowdfunding campaigns fail because the product isn’t appealing enough. Before launching your campaign, try to run it by your friends and family members. They will hopefully give honest feedback if the campaign idea is interesting enough. In addition, create a financial plan. Once your funded campaign becomes successful, make sure that you deliver the rewards you promised to your supporters. Market your campaign to reach a wider audience. Lastly, be gracious no matter how your campaign turns out.

Final Words

As the world changes, the way how people make money will change as well. Nowadays, we are no longer confined to an office. Thanks to technology and social media, you can work anywhere and anytime you want. The list above, of non-traditional ways to make money, presents a lot of opportunities. And they don’t just help you earn extra cash to get by, but they also open a new window to discover new income streams and passions.

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.