In the current state of the world, it is nearly impossible to survive on a minimum wage salary. Even if you work 40 hours a week, you will likely land somewhere below the poverty line if you depend solely on your minimum wage job.
Although disheartening, there are many ways you can supplement your income and keep extra cash flowing in each month, providing you with more financial stability while working for minimum wage. Here are 17 ways to make extra income while working a minimum-wage job.
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Monetize Your Social Media Content
If you enjoy posting regularly on your social media profile and are interested in growing your following, you should consider whether you could profit from your social media presence.
Although the top Tik Tok and Instagram earners can rake in millions, even low-level influencers can make a decent supplemental income. According to CNBC, you need a minimum of 5,000 Instagram followers and 308 sponsored posts a year to generate $100,000.
There is money to be made in social media influencing, and if you are already dedicating time to managing your social media accounts, consider whether you could be profiting off of these efforts.
Start A YouTube Channel
You might be surprised how much you could make by creating a successful Youtube channel. Make up, DIY, cooking and gaming are just a few channel ideas. If you have a particular talent or interest, take it to Youtube and see if you can grow your following and earn money while doing the things you love.
Who knows, maybe eventually you will be able to ditch your minimum wage job altogether and dedicate your full time to producing Youtube content.
Pet-Sitting Or Dog Walk
Are you a dog person? Pet sitting and/or dog walking can be an enjoyable way to make extra income. If you work nights, dog walking for neighbors during the workday could be a particularly good way to make extra money while working a minimum-wage job.
Apps like Wag and Rover are great if you want information on how to get started. They connect dog sitters with pet owners looking for help with their dogs.
House sitting is an excellent and largely passive way to earn some extra income. You will only need to check in on your neighbor’s plants, or maybe their cat, a few times a week, and you can make a few extra bucks while doing it.
Posting on NextDoor is a good way to get the word out that you are looking to house sit, and once you have established a few regular clients, you can easily start to bring in some supplemental income each month.
Babysit In Your Community
Babysitting is a more hands-on but more lucrative side hustle that produces some extra cash. To find clients, try posting on Next Door or making fliers and passing them out to your neighbors. If you get along well with kids, this could be an enjoyable way to bring in extra cash.
According to a recent online study, the average hourly rate for a babysitter nationally is $20.57 for one child and $23.25 for two kids. Perhaps you will come across a nanny gig that will pay more than minimum wage and find a way to significantly increase your annual income.
Do Odd Jobs For Your Neighbors
Other chores, like raking, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or taking out the trash, can be other ways to help out your neighbors and earn extra income throughout the year. Many of these jobs are seasonal, but by dedicating a couple of weekends to raking leaves in the fall, you can easily make a couple of hundred dollars per season.
Alternatively, apps like Task Rabbit will connect you with people looking to pay you in exchange for a helping hand. Moving furniture, deliveries and handiwork are common Task Rabbit jobs that could help you bring in extra cash each month. Taskers choose their own hours and typically earn from $22 to $62 per delivery project.
Entering the gig economy can be a flexible and profitable way to add to your income stream. Driving for Lyft or Uber, for example, allows you to create your own schedule and work as little or as much as you want to.
You will have to have a valid driver’s license, access to your own vehicle, and pass a basic background check. Each app has different requirements, but after a brief initial application period, you will be set to start working on your own schedule.
You could also consider delivering for apps like Instacart or Doordash. Delivery apps are most lucrative during the dinner rush, whereas Instacart has more opportunities to earn throughout the day. Depending on your schedule, you can choose the app that aligns best with your other job.
Rent Out Your Car Or Motorcycle
If you own a vehicle, another way to make a few extra bucks is to rent out your car or motorcycle. According to the car-sharing app Turo’s website, the average annual income of renting out one car is $10,516. If you have the flexibility to go carless, even just for a week or two each month, this could be a great option for you.
Rent Out Extra Space
Similarly, if you have extra space, even if it’s just a garage, you could rent it out for cash and earn a generous amount of passive income. For example, apps like Stache and Neighbor allow you to rent out your garage, driveway, or spare room to a neighbor looking for extra storage.
According to Stache’s website, a two-car garage earns a host $4,000 per year, on average. Your abandoned basement could be making you a generous sum of extra cash, so don’t let your spare space go to waste!
Tutor Students In Your Area Of Expertise
If you have always been a math whiz, know a second language or are great at playing the guitar, there is a good chance there are parents out there willing to pay you to tutor their child. This can be a rewarding way to pass on your knowledge and spend time doing the things you enjoy while making extra income at the same time.
NextDoor, posting on community boards, or passing out fliers at a school near you are some ways to get your name out there and help get your fledgling tutoring business off the ground.
Not only will you be saving lives, but by donating plasma, you can take in a generous amount of extra income each month. The amount you can make varies by location, but generally, you can expect to earn $50 to $75 per donation appointment. By donating plasma on a regular basis, you could be making up to $400 a month.
Donating plasma is different from donating blood because your red remaining blood cells are separated from your plasma and cycled back into your body, meaning you will feel energized and ready to move on with your day at the end of your appointment.
Become A Study Participant
There is a wide range of ways to make money as a study participant. You could enroll in a clinical trial, volunteer in a psychological study, or participate in a focus group. Each individual study ranges in pay, but you can generally expect to earn $50-$300 a day.
Check out if a college near you is looking for volunteers, or sign up online to be matched with researchers searching for study participants.
Sell Handmade Crafts Or Goods Online
Selling your crafts online is another way to make extra income while doing the things you enjoy. If you can knit or sew, open up an Etsy shop and market your products on Instagram to start seeing the fruits of your labor pay off.
You can also sell your artwork, paintings, wood carvings, jewelry, or any other craft product you specialize in. If you don’t specialize in any crafts yet, it is never too late to let your creative side shine and make money while doing it too.
If performing arts are more your style and you don’t have a problem putting yourself out there, head to the streets, put out a donation box, and do your thing. Sing your favorite songs, show off your breakdancing talents or even read poetry. While all donation-based, busking, also known as street performing, gives you the opportunity to practice your art, have fun and earn some extra cash.
Participate In Paid Online Surveys
To start earning money taking online surveys, you simply need to sign up, fill out some basic information and wait until you are matched with surveys that fit your profile. You can take surveys at home on your days off so you can stay on the couch and still make money.
Some survey companies even have mobile apps so you can take surveys and make money no matter where you are- maybe even on a slow day at work.
Watch Viral Videos
That’s right — you can get paid to watch viral videos or even play video games through a company called Inbox dollars. In exchange for answering a survey at the end of the video or game, you will be rewarded with a small sum of money. If you are spending your spare time on your phone anyway, it is worth trying to capitalize on your high screentime.
Sell Your Unused Items
The resale market is hot, and if you have gently worn furniture, clothes, or other items, you may be able to make a profit on your unused items. There are both online and in-person options for selling your stuff. While more convenient, If you bring your clothes to a consignment store, you will generally make less than if you had sold them yourself online on Poshmark or Mercari.
Likewise, if you sell your furniture on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you will spend more time negotiating with potential buyers, but will probably earn more than if you had brought your items to a second-hand store. Regardless of which route you choose, it is probably worth your while to go through your stuff and get rid of the items you no longer need or use.
At one point in time, the minimum wage was also a living wage. Unfortunately, for thousands of workers across the country, this is no longer the case, and it can be nearly impossible to survive on a minimum-wage job alone.
Relying on a minimum wage job can be especially challenging for those who are raising a family, going to school, or hoping to invest in a home. Luckily there are plenty of ways to generate extra income while working a minimum-wage job that can help you live a more comfortable life and become more financially secure.
Article by John Boitnott, Due
About the Author
John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies.