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15 Alternative Ways to Earn Extra Money While Working a Full Time Job

personal shopperI have a full time job, but I making minimum wage, and that’s not enough to cover my bills.

It’s a common story with so many people. They have a traditional full time 9 to 5 job where they work 40 hours a week, yet when it comes to their day to day expenses, they still struggle.

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And for many of us, getting another job, in this economy, is simply not an option. So you are kind of stuck with your low paying job.

Thankfully though, there are some ways you can bring in some extra cash while working your current full time job. Depending on how much you make at your current job, some of these options may even allow you to earn more money than what you make now. But even on the low-end of it you’ll be able to earn a little extra cash to help with your finances.

A) Things You Can Do Without Leaving Home

With a reliable computer and high-speed connection, you can work from home doing different type of tasks.

Here are some options…

1) Participate in Research Studies

Marketing departments and poll agencies organize online surveys to test services and products in order to help the companies behind them improve or create new and better products using the data gathered via these surveys.

Of course, for your time and efforts, you will be rewarded. Some pay with gift cards, some with cash, and some with other prizes.

Give them some of your time (usually only 10-15 minutes per survey) and be rewarded.

You won’t make much, but if you sign up with a dozen or so legitimate survey panels, you could be earning an extra $100-$200 a month.

Recommended sites:
  1. MySurvey
  2. SurveySavvy
  3. Nielsen Digital Voice Research Panel
2) Earn Credits with Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine

Sign up for the Bing Rewards program, stay signed-in and, every time you use Bing for a search, you’ll earn credits that you’ll be able to redeem for gift cards and other rewards.

It works as a frequent flyer program, accumulating credit while you do nothing but navigating the Internet through Bing. The best of trips!

3) Shop Online and Get Cash Back

Sign up for a free cash back site like eBates.

Then, whenever you want to shop online, simply login to your eBates dashboard, find the store you were going to shop from in their list of participating stores (which covers hundreds and thousands of stores), click on the link from your dashboard and visit the store’s website and purchase your stuff.

Go to eBates, find stores, search for good deals or coupons, and shop.

Want more money?

If you like getting paid for surveys, and are going to join only one site, I would recommend you choose Ipsos-iSay. Ipsos is the most fun and well-paying panel. Give it a try to see how you like it. It is free anyway!

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The store will pay a commission to eBates for sending them a customer, and in turn eBates will share some of that commission with you, essentially giving you cash back for shopping through them.

Of course, eBates isn’t the only game in town; there are many other cash back sites as well. And if you shop online, you’d be crazy not to use one of these cash back sites.

for every purchase and Fat Wallet will share part of it with you. Easy money!

4) Become a Freelancer

There are many freelance opportunities on agencies like Upwork and Freelancer.com.

Some are specific for writers and translators, other target all sorts of Internet professionals. For instance, if you’re a good writer, you can write articles or content for websites and blogs, and if you have programming skills, you can find very well-paid work from companies and individuals.

Browse the jobs in every agency and you’ll find something that suits you.

Some of the best freelancing sites include:
  1. UpWork
  2. Freelancer.com
  3. Problogger’s Job Board
5) Start a Blog about Your Favorite Hobby/topic

By now, everyone and their mother have heard of blogging and how it can be used to make a living. And that is true, you can actually make a living as blogger, I do, and do so many others.

Of course, like any other business, it takes hard work and dedication to become successful. It’s not as easy as just picking a subject and writing about it nonstop.

You have to actually promote it.

Thankfully, with social media being the way it is today, there are no shortage of ways to get your new blog in front of thousands of people. And if what you write is interesting, people will start coming to your blog. It won’t happen overnight, it will be slow, but it will happen.

And when that happens (you start to receive decent traffic to your blog) you can think about monetizing your site. You could place ads, you could promote products as an affiliate, sell your own eBooks and guides.

And if you don’t want to spend any money to get stared, that’s fine too; you can start a blog for free on platforms like tumbler. In fact, many famous blogs were started on blogging platforms like tumbler.

Once you start to receive some traffic, you can buy your own domain name (for less than $10 a year) and a hosting account (for about $60 a year) so you can host your blog on

There are tons of successful mom bloggers that started just like that. Check out the Mom Bloggers Club for help, inspirations, and ideas.

Recommended sites to get your free blog:
  1. tumbler
  2. WordPress.com
  3. Blogspot (Blogger)
6) Become an at Home Customer Service Representative

Get a headset and be ready to take orders or answer customer questions!

Customers call a 1-800 number; you answer from your computer and type whatever is needed.

You can even work for some of the biggest brands such as Amazon.com.

A great discussion board for learning and finding out about new work at home opportunities is the WAHM Forums (Work at home moms forum), where you can ask questions, chat with other people who work from home, find out if the company you heard about is legit or a scam, etc.

Recommended companies to work for:
  1. Amazon.com
  2. Alorica at Home
  3. ATT
  4. Needle
7) Search Engine Evaluator

This is a fairly easy gig. All you need is your computer and internet connections.

Your job will be to test and rate search engines and how they function.

Recommended Search Engine Evaluator job sites:
  1. Appen
  2. Leapforce
8) Do Easy Tasks for Amazon Turk

Amazon Turk, also known as mTurk is a website owned by the giant Amazon.com corporation. This is a site where companies who need small and repetitive tasks that can not be done by machines and software, hire people to do these mundane tasks.

These are tasks like, separating identical pictures from a folder of images, searching for a term on Google and reporting back what you see, writing a short paragraph explaining a topic… basically very easy and quick tasks that can only be done with human intelligence and do not warrant hiring a full time employee.

The pay is minimal, very minimal in my opinion. We are talking about a few cents per tasks. But to be fair, there are also tasks that pay more, like $10, $50, $100 or more, but those are rare. Also, you have to keep in mind that those lower paying tasks only take a few seconds to complete.

Mturk isn’t for everyone. So if you get bored with repetitive tasks quickly, this may not be for you. But if you are fine with that, it could be a good, be it a little boring, way of earning a few extra dollars in your free time.

B) Things You Can Do in or Close to Your Neighborhood

If you don’t mind leaving your home to do some additional work beside your 9 to 5 job to earn some cash, but don’t really want to stray too far, here are some available options.

9) Babysit

While you can also babysit in your home, most parents will hire you only if you’re ready to spend time in their home.

How do I find baby sitting gigs?

Thanks to the startup boom, thee are now websites where baby sitters are matched with local families who need someone to sit their kid. You will have to pass a background check to accepted to their programs, but once you are in, you have a pretty good shot of finding families near by that need your service, especially if you live in big cities (these programs are still new so they have more traction in major cities for now).

Recommended companies to find baby sitting gigs:
  1. Sitter City
  2. Care.com
10) Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shopping is like online surveys but done out there in the field. Basically, you get assigned to stores, restaurants, or any other kind of business establishments. Your job will be to visit those places, interact with the employees, and report back your experience.

Why would companies pay you to spy on their employees and shops?

To gain insight on how their employees and stores are doing. They then use this knowledge to improve things.

Legitimate secret shopping companies will of course pay you for your work. They will also cover your expenses (Food, gas products you buy, etc). Some may also let you keep what you bought with their money.

Sadly though, mystery shopping is a field with a lot of scams. So you have to be very careful who you work with.  Check out at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for instructions about what you can do and can’t in this job and how to sort out reputable agencies from the fishy ones.

It’s important to work with reliable agencies because you’ll be required to pay upfront for expenses with your own money and will only be reimbursed later along with your fee.

Recommended mystery shopping agencies:
  1. Best Mark
  2. Experience Exchange
  3. Market Force
  4. Sinclair Customer Metrics
  5. IntelliShop
11) Become a Promoter

You can do any type of promotional work, offering samples or brochures in the local mall, at exhibitions, car-dealers, open-houses, and so on.

Often, it’s about a one time occasion; other times, it will be a few days promotion.

You can earn between $15 and $25 an hour.

GC Marketing Services is about the only company I have found that hires people to do promotional marketing.

The downside is that they don’t always have gigs available in every market. You sign up with them for free and they will let you know where there is a gig available in your area.

Recommend company to work with:
  1. GC Marketing Services
12) Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

If you are a dog lover like me, you will actually enjoy walking dogs. And the enjoyment is further increased by the fact that you get paid for doing something you enjoy.

How do you find dog walking/pets sitting gigs beside letting your family and friends know?

By using sites that match pet sitters with pet owners.

Recommended sites:
  1. Wag Walking
  2. FetchPetCare
  3. DogVacay
13) Buy Deliver Groceries Other Stuff

You can help busy or disabled people by buying and delivering groceries for them.

If you enjoy shopping, this will be a dream gig, getting paid to shop for people!

As for how much you can make, it really depends on different factors like clients, locality, etc. But from the research I have done, it seems like $25 an hour isn’t unheard of, with $10-$15 an hour being the norm.

Recommended sites:
  1. Instacart
  2. PostMates

C) Things You Can Do Anywhere in Your City or Town

And here are a few options for those of us who don’t mind going wherever the money is.

14) Driver for Uber

If you like meeting new people and driving, a smart move will be to sign up as an Uber driver.

The on-demand car service will give you a cell phone with an app and you’ll receive the data of available clients.

You can work anytime and the time you want. The app will record your fares and pay accordingly.

This is actually an ideal job for the busy Holiday season.

15) Weekend Home Assistant

Care.com’s Weekend Child Care Jobs is a great place to look for families hiring home assistants to work during the weekends as nannies, elderly caregivers, and other.

This type of job is ideal for those who have free weekends with no family obligations of their own.

Final Words

The list of jobs you can do in your spare time doesn’t end here. You’ll find many more once you think about your skills. Which of them you can put to use for a few hours a week?
Do you know a foreign language? You can tutor.

Are you great at make-up or hairdressing? Estheticians make money at weddings, with brides, honor maids, and guests!

Are you a great cook? Offer your services in the neighborhood or on your web site.

Just think and you’ll find what’s right for you!

Enjoy what you’re doing and make money every second of your spare time!

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