6 summer gig ideas to make extra money

By Shelly Gigante
Shelly Gigante specializes in personal finance issues. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications and news websites.
Posted on Jun 19, 2018

Whether you’re a college graduate with student loans to repay, a house hunter who needs a down payment, or a traveler who’s looking to cover the tab for your next big trip, there are plenty of ways to turn the longer hours of sunlight this summer into more money in your wallet.

Part-time gigs and side hustles abound for those who are willing to work. And the best part is, you may be able to do most of them with minimal upfront investment.

According to a 2017 survey by GoDaddy.com, provided to MassMutual, side hustles appeal the most to millennials (who tend to have higher debt levels due to student loans and new mortgages) and baby boomers (who are looking to supplement their retirement income.) Half of millennials, the survey found, have side gigs in addition to their regular jobs to bring in extra money, compared with 25 percent of baby boomers. The average monthly income from these gigs? About $250.

Sell your stuff

Online selling is the most popular side job cited in the survey, which is not surprising given the growing number of digital platforms that make it easy to conduct business online.

Using online marketplace websites like eBay, Craigslist, and now Amazon , you can potentially unload your unused electronics, clothes, sports gear, or household items for whatever price the market will bear. Those who have an eye for quality and know what’s trending can also curate items that are in demand and attempt to resell them at a higher price.

Digital gigs

You can also possibly make extra cash from home by taking online surveys through consumer sites likeSurveyJunkie or Opinion Outpost, which reward participation with cash or gift cards.

If you own a computer, you can perform data entry work remotely. The Work At Home Wife blog lists a number of data entry jobs on its website.

And if you’re organized and computer savvy, you might be able to become a virtual assistant. According to Frugal Rules, entry-level virtual assistants earn from $15 to $20 per hour, while more experienced virtual assistants can earn upward of $30 per hour.1

Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the digital platform requires you to make a sizable upfront payment, it’s likely a scam.

Tutor

Depending on your education, location, and experience, you may be able to charge anywhere from $17 to $45 per hour for tutoring, according to Knowledge Roundtable.2

In higher-cost markets, like New York and Los Angeles, the most-skilled tutors can earn double that amount — up to $80 per hour — teaching math, music, or science.

Post an ad in your local community newspaper and start building a client base. Or try an online tutoring platform. VIPKID, for example, pays $14 to $22 per hour for tutors with at least a bachelor’s degree who can teach English remotely to children in China.

Drive

There’s no shortage of people who need rides to the airport, business meetings, or evening events. If you own your own car and have a smartphone, you can be their driver. Ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft give you the digital tools to make money in your free time.

According to a 2017 "Money" magazine analysis , the average Uber driver made $364 per month, while Lyft drivers averaged $377 monthly.

Rent your rooms

If your kids have moved out or you’ve got more space than you need, you might also consider renting spare rooms (or your whole house while you’re on vacation) to travelers through online rental markets such asAirbnb,VRBO, or HomeAway. Airbnb claims on its website that you can earn nearly $1,300 per month renting a private room.

You’ll make the most, of course, if you live in a desirable location — by the beach, in a city, or near a national park. If you don’t want travelers living with you, you can also rent your entire house out for a week while you’re away. Or you could barter. You can trade a week or two at your house for vacation time at another property on sites likeHomeExchange or Love Home Swap, either at the same time or on different dates, which eliminates or drastically reduces the cost of housing on your next getaway. That can potentially save you thousands.

Put your talent to work

If you’re handy with a paintbrush, able to build websites, or willing to mow lawns, you can also bring in extra money on nights and weekends.

Not your thing? Try pet sitting. Or, if you have the experience, hold yoga classes in the park or give surf lessons as time allows. You are limited only by your imagination, skills, and spare time.

Summertime side gigs may not make you rich, but they can provide the extra savings you need to reach your financial goals. You just need to know where to look.

More from MassMutual…

Buying a house: What millennial homebuyers want

Summer sports camps: Athletic costs and curveballs

Need financial advice? Contact us

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Frugal Rules, “51 Ways To Make Extra Money This Summer,” April 4, 2018.

Knowledge Roundtable, “How Much To Charge For Tutoring,” February, 2015.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual and its subsidiaries, employees, and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of MassMutual.