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How to make extra cash in your free time

So, how do you turn your idle time into cash-generating opportunities?

"There are several ways to make money in your free time," says Dawn-Marie Joseph, founder of Estate Planning & Preservation. Here are five options to consider:

Complete paid surveys

In today's digital world, data is one of the most valuable commodities available — and companies are willing to pay to get it. One way companies get the data they need is through surveys.

One "simple way to make money in your free time is to take part in online surveys," says Joseph. "There are several surveys that will pay you to complete them."

How to get started:

Sign up with one or more survey providers, like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie and Branded Research. When you sign up, you'll typically fill out a survey about yourself and your household. From there, the company you choose to work with will notify you when new paid surveys are available. Simply take the available surveys and make money for doing so.

Become an online tutor

Tutors play an important role in the educational system. Whether a student is in grade school or college, many simply wouldn't excel without a tutor's assistance. If you have deep knowledge of a subject, consider using your knowledge to make money while potentially making a lifelong difference in the lives of the students you work with.

How to get started:

It's relatively simple to become an online tutor. Websites like, TutorMe, and Preply all pay subject matter experts for tutoring services. Once you sign up, the provider you choose will ask you questions about your areas of expertise and test your knowledge. If you pass the test, you'll be ready to make money as an online tutor.

Sell your photography

Do you love taking pictures of your surroundings? Have you been told by friends and family that you have an eye for photography? Why not make extra cash doing what you love?

There are plenty of websites that act as image brokers. You can list your images on these websites and earn royalties each time someone buys them. For example, Getty Images pays royalties ranging from 25% to 45%.

How to get started:

There are several image brokers online to choose from. Sign up for a few of the most reputable options you find and start uploading your photography. Then, you simply wait for sales to start as you take more pictures and repeat the process.

Sell your unwanted items

If you've dug through your garage, attic or closet recently, you may have found a few things of value that you don't use anymore. Those things are opportunities to earn money in your free time.

How to get started:

To get started, follow these steps:

  • Find items you own but don't use anymore.

  • Clean the items if needed.

  • Search online marketplaces like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace to find out how much money your items are selling for in today's market.

  • Place the items on a solid color backdrop (like a sheet) and take pictures from all angles.

  • List the items for a fair price on the online marketplace of your choice. If you use more than one marketplace, be sure to delete listings on all of them once the item sells.

  • Ship the item when it sells.

Turn your hobby into cash

"If you have some free time on your hands and want to make some extra cash, it might be worth turning your hobby into a side hustle," says Julie Beckham, AVP of financial education and development and strategy officer at Rockland Trust Bank. "With proper preparation, advice, and research, your newest hobby has the potential to become a source of income before you know it."

"You can also utilize your craft-making skills and create an online store on Etsy," Joseph says. "From there, you can sell your crafts to make extra cash."

How to get started:

Start by creating a few pieces of art. For example, if you burn images into wood, create a few and take pictures of them. Then, sign up for an Etsy shop and list your art for sale. You'll earn money when your art sells. If your hobby produces more of a service than a product, look for marketplaces that cater to your hobby and list your services to attract potential customers.

The bottom line

There are several ways to earn extra cash in your free time. Consider trying one of the options above. If those don't work for you, don't worry; it's not an all-inclusive list. Brainstorm other ways you can turn your idle time into cash now.


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