When money is tight, an extra $1,000 a month could be life-changing. Although an additional $12,000 a year might not sound like a ton of money, for a single-income home, or for a family with a hefty car payment or medical bills, it could make all the difference.
Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 a Month
If additional income could help you reach your financial goals or prevent you from falling deeper into debt, then it’s time you looked into a side-hustle. Thankfully, you don’t have to get stuck in a part-time job you hate to make it happen – even stay-at-home parents can find it an attainable goal. You just need to be a little creative. Here are 10 ways you can start making an extra $1,000 a month immediately.
1. Pet Walking/Sitting
If you live in a big city or a residential neighborhood with a lot of pets, there are likely opportunities available for pet sitting or dog walking. While some jobs might be longer-term, such as checking in on a person’s cat several times a day while they’re away for the weekend, others may simply involve a short 15-minute daily walk with a dog.
Although the fees you charge may be small, they can add up. For example, if you could get six clients for $10 per day at five days a week, that’s $1,200 every month for just a few hours’ work.
To advertise your services, try office buildings where people work in industries known for long hours. People working 10- to 15-hour days in fields such as financial services or medicine are almost guaranteed to need a dog walker if they own a pooch. Also, post your info on any community bulletin boards in your area, and don’t forget to give Craigslist a shot. Just make certain you don’t advertise in areas that are too far away – do you really want to make a long commute for a $10 dog-walking session?
No certification is needed to be a dog walker – just a love of animals. As long as you make sure the pooches are happy and well taken care of, you should have no problem getting repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals. Remember to keep business cards in your pocket whenever you’re out walking – you never know who may see you at work and realize they need your services.
Nannying is the ultimate way to make money if you’re good with kids and have references who can speak to your experience with infants or children. Even if you have kids of your own, you can still make babysitting work – perhaps your child could enjoy playtime with another while you earn money.
The average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $972 per month, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). While rates in rural areas are generally much lower than those in major metropolitan areas, most parents budget an average of $250 per week.
While no certification is required, parents may feel more comfortable with a nanny who is CPR or first aid certified. CPR certification courses are offered across the country by the American Red Cross and cost $110. Also, if your duties require you to drive the child (you may need to in case of an emergency, regardless) then a valid drivers license is also a necessity.
With nannying, you can make your own schedule as long as it works with the parents’ expectations. While some people want a full-time nanny five days per week, others may only want school pick-up and after-school care one or two days per week.
When you advertise your services, make sure you are very clear about your availability. The best places to post your information include websites like Care.com and Craigslist, and on local bulletin boards at churches, schools and restaurants.
3. Web/Graphic Design
If you’re artistic and good with computers, graphic design or web design can be the perfect pathway to increased income. Even if you’re currently working full-time as a web or graphic designer, you can pick up an extra client or two on the side and easily knock out a $1,000 project or $1,000 in billable hours every month.
Today, there are countless places to advertise your skills. Websites such as Elance, Freelancer, Upwork, and 99 designs all offer a vibrant marketplace for freelancers looking to bid and land jobs from anywhere in the world. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with staying local, and many web and graphic designers may want to use their skills to give back to the community. Posting your abilities on community bulletin boards, advertising to your Facebook friends, and using Craigslist to advertise your services are all viable options.
You may be surprised how quickly your projects can add up. Even if you only land two small business owners, you could charge $500 each for a simple web design – an affordable price for the industry – and you’ve got your $1,000 made with just a few hours’ work. Since websites constantly need a facelift and logos need re-designing every few years, you should have a clear pathway to repeat customers if your work is solid and prompt.
4. Freelance Writing
Instead of starting your own blog and hoping that you bring in tons of traffic in the first month, start writing for other blogs and websites. Many outlets are constantly looking for contributors and staff writers, because they know that the more quality content they push out, the more traffic they can bring back to their site.
When you initially start your search, you may find many outlets looking to offer $5 or $10 per piece, but you can set your sights much higher. It’s not uncommon to find outlets willing to offer $25 to $100 per piece for quality content, especially if you have experience. Keep in mind that the larger the media outlet, the bigger the budget. In some cases, previous experience as a journalist or writer may be necessary. Although you may not be required to submit a professional resume, you may be asked to send links to previously published work with your byline.
Editors are likely to be looking for work that’s free of typos, that has consistency and flow, and that is informative and likely to drive traffic. If you could write 20 articles per month at $50 per article, you could reach your $1,000 target – that’s just five articles per week, which should be easy to do if they are short and don’t involve much research.
There are numerous ways to get your name out there. Check out the Problogger job board as well as sites like as Elance, Freelancer, and Upwork.
5. Professional Organizer
If you’re obsessed with getting and staying organized, then why not turn your organizational skills into cash? No more rearranging your friends’ closest for free – instead, start making some money on the side as a professional organizer.
If you’re a generally organized person, you may not appreciate how much help people really do need with everything from arranging shoes in their closets to properly filing important paperwork. Although certifications for professional organizing are available, they aren’t required to call yourself a “professional” organizer.
One of the more popular certifications from the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) costs $625 up front and $100 per year thereafter for renewal. Applicants must have a high school diploma, sit for the Certified Professional Organizer examination, and document a total of 1,500 hours of paid work experience in the three years prior to the exam.
Whether you get certified or not, make certain you’re comfortable organizing all manner of rooms before you advertise your services – you should be as comfortable organizing a bathroom or home office as you are a garage or attic. If you can pick up four clients per month at $250, you can secure $1,000 per month just by working one day a week.
6. Teach Swim Lessons
Whether you live in Florida or South Dakota, there are opportunities to teach swimming lessons to children and adults. Swimming lessons are something that many parents see as non-negotiable for their child, as the knowledge can easily save a life.
If you’re a good swimmer and enjoy being in pools, lakes, and oceans, look to get certified as a swim instructor. Even if you aren’t near a body of water, swimming classes are taught at many gyms, recreation centers, schools, retirement homes, and camps.
Certification is required, and offered by the American Red Cross. Prices range from $175 to more than $300 for certification as a lifeguard, and classes must be taken in person over the course of several days or weeks. Before you get certified, look into where you might want to teach – the Red Cross also offers courses in “Swimming and Water Safety” and “Aquatic Instructor Training,” which may also be required.
Even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, teaching swim lessons may be something you can squeeze into your schedule if your children are older – just bring them with you to the pool and make money teaching while you’re there. If you don’t know of any pools in your area that may be hiring swimming instructors, advertise your services at local schools, retirement homes, or on Craigslist.
7. Computer Repair
If you’re tech savvy and handy with computers, chances are you’ve been asked many times over the years to fix friends and loved ones’ computers. If you’re kind-hearted, you probably didn’t charge for your services, but if you’re looking to earn extra income, it’s time you turned your skill into a lucrative business.
Many people would argue that finding a good computer repairperson is like finding a good mechanic, so if you’re personable and knowledgeable, you may be surprised how much money you can bring in. Before you get started, take a careful assessment of your skill level. For example, are you comfortable cracking open someone’s laptop and fixing the display, or would you rather serve as “tech support,” trouble-shooting problems that can be fixed with a few clicks of the mouse?
Make certain you know how to advertise your services, as you don’t want to get stuck with problems you don’t have the tools to fix. If you have years of experience working with computers or in computer repair, you may find that you already have a client base in your Rolodex. If, however, you’re new to the industry, you might want to consider certification from an organization like CompTIA A+ ($194 for IT professionals) or become certified in a particular technology, like “Cisco Certified,” or “Apple Certified Technical Coordinator,” which can cost upwards of $3,000.
If you’re good at what you do, you may find that $1,000 per month is easy to achieve thanks to word-of-mouth. To advertise your services, take a look at Freelancer, Upwork, and Craigslist.
All of the above are practical and realistic ways almost anyone can bring in an extra $1,000 a month, whether you’re a trained professional or a novice, a full-time employee or a stay-at-home parent. Offering services is a wonderful way to connect with people from all over the globe, or to give back to your community in measurable ways, all while earning good money that can go toward your retirement fund, house savings, or your child’s 529 plan. Time is only money if you’re proactive and you make it happen. Get started today.
What other ideas do you have for gaining an extra $1,000 a month?
(photo credit: galawebdesign)