Looking for some quick money making ideas? Here’s a big list of quick one-offs, easy money makers, long term returns, investments, side gigs, and suggestions for the truly desperate.
You can also download our free ‘How to Be Good with Money’ worksheet here to get started!
Quick One Offs
1. Have a garage sale
Pack up everything sitting in the back of the cupboard, the shed, or junk that’s taking up way too much space (like that treadmill & exercycle). Anything you don’t use or haven’t used in the last year – put a price tag on it.
This is a nice easy option if you live in a well populated area. Make sure to advertise your garage sale by sticking up signs around your neighbourhood at least a week before.
2. Take it to the pawn shop
Pawn shops love electronics, home appliances, jewellery, and the latest gadgets. If you’ve got one or two lying around the house gathering dust, and don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling online – take it to your local pawn shop! Just remember that they need to make money on it too, so they usually pay a third of it’s sale price.
3. Sell your stuff on TradeMe, ebay, or Facebook
Want a better price for your goods? Then try selling it online. Take detailed photos and describe the condition of it well. If size, weight, or materials are important to know – then list them. Set shipping costs. When people know what the whole cost is upfront, they’re more likely to hit ‘buy now’.
You might not sell it first time round, but keep relisting ’til you do. Try Trademe and Facebook marketplace.
4. List your make-up back-ups, double-ups, and untrieds for sale
You’ve probably got enough palettes and lipsticks to last you a lifetime. (Or nail polish, in my case.) And if you’re not using them, they’re just collecting dust. You’d be surprised at how much you can actually get for discontinued/hard to find items!
I go through my stash every few months to cull out the products I no longer fancy. Make sure you read the T’s & C’s though as some platforms, like eBay, don’t allow you to sell used products.
5. Claim your tax back
This is a nice easy way to get cash back once a year! And no, you don’t need a ‘tax back’ agency to collect your money for you.
Easy Money Makers
6. Overtime at work
If you’re up for spending another hour or two at work each day, that could be an extra 5-10 hours work! Cha-ching! Ask your boss or manager to see if overtime is something you can do.
Even if you’re on salary, it’s worth it to ask if you can increase your hours or take on extra responsibilities.
7. Software testing
This industry is BOOMING right now & those companies will pay you to break their software so they can fix any bugs you find and release a polished product to the public.
Use google to find these opportunities, or directly ask software companies if they’re looking for any software testers.
8. Be an Uber driver
If I liked being in confined spaces with people, I’d do this every day after work and on the weekend. It’s ridiculously easy money. All you need is a car and a license.
It’s so easy you can even do it on your lunch break.
9. Join user experience testing groups
A lot of companies are wanting to change their business model to be more customer-focused. This means they want to test their website, advertisements, rebrands… anything & everything where the customer’s response matters.
Do a quick google search for user testing or user experience opportunities in your area. They usually pay you well for an hour or so of work. I did one recently where they paid $100 for an hour and a half of my time. The session was scheduled for 11am, so I just took a long lunch break and returned to work when I was finished (and $100 richer).
10. Recycle batteries, metal, and glass
I had no idea how much some places would pay for metal scraps and recyclables! My fiance, Dan, introduced me to this money grab. He got rid of a bunch of old batteries the other day and came home $300 richer. We’ve taken in scrap metal and left with enough to buy a top-shelf single malt.
Setup bins for your recycling at home & book in a day every month or so to take your goodies in for cash.
11. Apply for a new job
It’s the quickest way to get a payrise! It’s no longer the social norm to stay in the same job your entire working career. It doesn’t hurt to look around, and it only takes a few minutes every other day to have a quick squiz at what’s out there.
Update your CV and draft a cover letter. And because you’re not stressing to find the first job, you’re in control. You get to pick. Don’t want to deal with recruitment agencies? Then don’t! Apply for the jobs that truly feel like they’re something you’d like to do.
12. Ask for payrise
In New Zealand employers usually review your pay annually. Be prepared for that meeting – collect the important projects, tasks, and results to show how valuable you are to the team. Also have a think about what strengths you bring to the business. Are you innovative? Do you have empathy for the client/customer? Do you manage stressful situations well?
Write a little list so you can whip these off the top of your head when they ask you why you think you deserve a payrise. (Because keeping up with increasing living costs isn’t enough, apparently.)
Your manager or boss might ask you what you’d like to be paid. So make sure you’ve got a figure in mind. I usually ask for $5,000-$10,000 higher than my current rate, but your industry might be different. This gives your employer a baseline to work from.
13. Let a room on Airbnb
If you’ve got a spare room, granny flat, sleep-out, or unit you can rent out – do it! Airbnb makes it easy for people to find your little slice of paradise and PAY you to stay there. There are people out there who don’t have to work anymore because they let/rent out their spare rooms.
Depending on the condition of the room and the utilities included, you could charge around $60-$120 a NIGHT.
Long Term Returns & Investments
14. Start a savings account
Having a savings account is like a stepping stone before getting a term deposit.
Look around for the best interest rates & low-to-no fees. If you like to indulge in retail therapy like myself, then get an account where you can view the balance online BUT can’t withdraw or make payments from it.
Setup regular payments from your everyday account to go in to your savings on paydays. Aim for around 10% of your take home pay. 20% if you can.
15. Sign up for a term deposit
Term deposits are one of those ‘sensible adult’ things you’ve thought you always needed to do in the future. Do it now and you’ll reap the rewards in a couple of years time. In my early 20’s I thought 3 years was a ridiculously long time to not be able to touch my money. But now at 27, I realise how fast that 3 years will zoom by. And, I know how happy 30-year-old me will be in 3 years time! (Because she might have kids or a house to pay for!)
You usually need at least $1,000 to start one of these bad boys. And that $1,000 is locked away for a number of years (usually 3 or 5). The longer you lock it in, the higher the return.
16. Invest in shares
On my 16th birthday, mum asked me if I wanted shares or money for my present. I replied “pfft why would I want boring shares for my birthday?”. But 11 years later… I wish I’d picked the shares. Shares can be scary because they are a long term investment, AND they lose value at times. So it can be tempting to sell the lot as to not lose any more money! But this is the nature of shares, they naturally have their ups and downs.
I use an app called Sharesies to manage my investments. I didn’t even have to learn anything about shares. They make it super easy for newbies to get into the share market. Sharesies is basically Shares for Newbies, and I love it.
They post helpful articles and explain the whole process of buying & selling shares in plain English. Their app also shows you trends & teaches you about what kind of investor you are.
It only costs a few bucks to join, and you get your first month free when you sign up.
17. Become a lender for crowdfunding
I took out a loan with Harmoney earlier last year to start up my business. I went with peer-to-peer lending because in order to get a business loan from a bank, I needed assets. But I didn’t have any assets. I paid that loan off (early) a couple of weeks ago (yay for being better with money!) and got an email from Harmoney suggesting that I look at being a lender.
The barrier to entry is nice and low for beginners like you and me, with $25 being the minimum you can lend. It looks to be a good way for earning a regular return. You can even setup automatic investing & lending so you don’t have to do a thing, but sit back and watch the money trickle in.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this just yet though. Because my goal at the moment is to be 100% debt free, and I don’t like the thought of aiding someone into debt. A few people have told me that I’d be helping them, just as my peers helped me fund my business – but… the jury’s still out on that one.
The Side Gig
18. Virtual assistant
This is a new role that a lot of people around the world are doing now. The best part is they get to do it from the comfort of their home in their favourite PJ pants. The virtual assistant role is popular because there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there, and as they grow they need staff to help them keep the business humming.
So they usually hire a virtual assistant to take care of the time consuming tasks like emails, customer service, updating website info, swapping images, scheduling emails – and so much more. Think about what you’re good at and what kind of work you’d be happy to do from home.
19. Get paid for your skills
20. Set up stall at market
If you have lots of stuff to sell in relatively good condition, why not give your local market a go? The entry fee is usually around $10. If you have a side gig and have stock, look for local markets that fit your niche.
Don’t do what I did and try to sell goal planners at a veggie/junk market – because people at a veggie/junk market aren’t looking to spend $50 on a goal planner! (duh)
21. Find part time / work from home job
If your current job situation still leaves you relatively free in the evenings and weekends, why not look at picking up some part time work? Some businesses are happy to hire someone for a few hours a week to handle their work overload. Even better if it’s work you can do from home!
22. Sell digital prints on Society 6
Are you arty or creative? Get your designs print ready and list them for sale on Society 6. They do the selling, printing & distribution. All you have to do is upload your best work. Easy money!
23. Sell handmade goods on Etsy
If you’re the creative type who’s good at making things with your hands, or if you’ve designed a finished product (like my goal planner) – then why not sell it on Etsy? There are millions of shoppers on Etsy ready to buy! It’s relatively easy to get setup, the biggest hurdle is getting found. So make sure you study up on Etsy SEO.
24. Sell digital downloads on Etsy
If you’re creative but don’t make PHYSICAL items, then good news: you can sell digital downloads on Etsy too. These can be posters, prints, planners, printables, crafty things, whatever you like. Just make sure to make it obvious in your listing that it’s a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. Shoppers can miss this and can get upset when they’ve been waiting weeks for it to come in the mail.
25. Sell POD (print on demand) products
This is another industry booming at the moment. You can sell your own designs on t-shirts, mugs, cushions, totes, posters, prints – ANYTHING – and the company you’re signed up to will create it and ship it straight to your customer. Easy aye?
There are a lot of POD businesses now, a few are RedBubble, Gearbubble and TshirtGang. These types of business also often link up to eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Etsy etc., which makes it easy to start selling online.
26. Affiliate links on your blog
If you’re already a blogger, you probably already know about how affiliate links can work for you. If you don’t have a blog yet, think about what advice & info you can offer to the world. E.g. if you’re passionate about interior design, you could have a blog that focussed on tiny sustainable living. Within that blog you can link related products from Amazon that your readers can buy.
If You’re Truly Desperate…
27. University studies & trials
Local universities are often running trials and experiments. And they need subjects to run their tests on. They often pay well, just make sure you’re aware of any potential complications and what kind of commitment is needed. I’ve seen some trials say they need you for 3 weeks straight, others once a month.
28. Do your neighbour’s chores
You can offer to mow their lawns, wash their cars, clean their windows, tidy their house, walk their dogs, mind their kids, weed their garden… whatever you can think of that they might need help with. I’d charge a low rate of between $10-$15 an hour, as I’m not a professional and they’re letting me do it to help me out.
29. Look through your couch, car, and pant pockets
Of course this solution is only good if you’re needing a few dollars. But I have found $20 & $50 notes in my jackets a few times…