First of all, this was a really fun article to write. I ended up participated in some random and colourful jobs. Including, vocally reviewing websites, acting as an “investigator” at a bar and even mystery shopping a bank. All of these random “jobs” were done in an attempt to answer a commonly asked question, “how can I earn extra income?”
Yet again, thanks again for dropping by! If you enjoy this article, please consider sharing it with someone that it may help. You can also find more about The Friendly Financial Coach and our push to increase financial education – here.
Also, this is the first of a two-part series. Next week I’ll be creating a list of companies that offer secondary income earning possibilities.
The Beginning of your Second Income
I quickly discovered that there is an abundance of ways to earn a second income and that the techniques used are unique to everyone. Your interests, hobbies, knowledge, and more can be leveraged to earn extra income. Of course, returns can be made from investments, but we’re going to focus on other accessible income earning methods.
In reality, it is doubtful that you can make a living off of these side jobs. They typically lack consistency and often pay less than minimum wage for the total time spent doing them, although exceptions exist. With that being said, they can be great option to supplement your income and can be used to help protect a person that is threatened by reduced income.
One way that side jobs can be used is to fund an entertainment budget. This way, your regular income is used for mandatory expenses and these side jobs are just used for fun. Also, many mystery shops will cover certain entertainment expenses, such as at; restaurants, events and even bars. This can allow you to still go out, but not have to pay for it.
A quick note about scams…there’s plenty of related scams that want to separate you from your money. It’s very important to always be cautious. Remember, you should never have to pay to access a job, and always be very careful about disclosing your personal information. Please, do your research on a company before you commit.
One of the most popular scams is when you receive a cheque that overpays you. The “company” then asks that you return the overpaid amount. The deposited cheque will eventually bounce and you’re fully responsible for all losses.
Importantly, all effort has been done to verify the legibility of the companies discussed in this article, but it’s important that you research all companies first and feel comfortable with them. Sadly, we are not liable for any negative consequences that arise from this article.
Be Your Own Boss
Essentially, you’re starting a business on the side to earn a second income. I find that the most rewarding side job is to monetize a hobby, interest, or just something that makes you happy. All of us have something special to offer, so why not share that with a community?
Do you enjoy creating art? Maybe you enjoy coaching people to find fulfilling employment? While some skills are more marketable than others, there are many ways to leverage what you feel passionate about.
A popular way of earning income is by buying and selling items at a profit. For example, you may be passionate about collecting antique cookware or vinyl records, and have the knowledge to make a profit in their sale. Many resale markets exist, and many don’t even require you to leave your home.
This category is my favourite way to earn a second income because you’re likely doing something that you enjoy that may lead your life in a new direction. Very exciting!
Third Party Companies
There are an abundance of companies available that connect you to clients in exchange for a percentage all sales. The big ones are Uber and AirBnB but many others exist. Turo, Pawshake, DogVacay, Rev, Rover and Upwork are just some of the other options.
Job agencies can also provide you with flexible day jobs that can pay $12 to $20 an hour or about $100 a shift. Often, the agencies will even email or text you available jobs that you can accept at your convenience. For example, Bagg offers single-day server and event positions. This can be a great way to earn some income on the weekends with no deep commitments.
Many people have claimed to have earned a reasonable supplementary income from these sources, but caution must be taken. For example, some regions require Uber drivers to have extra insurance and AirBnB requires a homeowner’s approval. Also, close attention must be made to hidden costs like non-insured damage, asset depreciation, logistics, taxes (more discussed later) and more.
There are a lot of people out there that want to get your opinion about products and they can decently pay you for your time. Focus groups, website reviewing, mystery shopping and more are all ways to earn extra income.
The big one is focus groups. They will often pay you $50-150 for a couple hours of your time. I believe that you’re only allowed to do one focus group every six months, but many companies seem to glaze over this detail. Some multi-day focus groups will even compensate you with hundreds of dollars.
User testing apps and websites are another area that can be leveraged for extra income. I personally tested Usertesting.com and was required to narrate how I would navigate a website. They state that they pay $10 for each 20 minute review that you perform.
Survey are another small way to earn extra income. There are a bunch of options and they usally pay you about $10 for about 1.5 hours of work. For example, Webperspectives will give you a $10 gift certificate to for about 1.5hrs of work.
The Dreaded Taxes
Vey importantly, income taxes must be paid on your new second income. Most of these jobs pay you in cash, but guess what? It’s still taxable. Keeping track of your income will help you when you need to file taxes at the end of the year.
Also, If you earn over $30,000 over four consecutive quarters – not a calendar year – than you need to collect HST/GST. Many Uber drivers are surprised and have to pay these taxes out of pocket.
A little bit of tax planning can save you a lot of stress and money when the taxman comes a knocking.
Your Second Income
You second income can be really exciting and help you get more from life. The flexibility and lack of obligations for these positions is great for an occasional second income. Also, knowing sources of extra income options can really help in times of financial difficulty. Just remember to always do your research before committing yourself.
I hope that you enjoyed, as mentioned please share this article with anyone that you think would benefit from the information.
Also, next week we’ll be continuing the second income theme by listing a list of secondary income sources.