This Is How to Make Extra Money When You Already Work a Full-Time Job

A man in his late 20s is sitting at home on the sofa in his pajamas searching the web on his digital tablet.
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You just got off work.

It was a long day.

Emails. Meetings. Paperwork. Presentations. Co-workers. Coffee. More coffee.

When you work a full-time job, it’s hard to get motivated to do much after a long day. All you want to do is flip your shoes off at the door and kick your feet up on the nearest couch. Netflix doesn’t even have to be on. Let’s just be quiet for a minute.

So when finances start getting tight and bills need to be paid — or maybe you just want some extra money to invest or use toward a much-needed vacation — the mention of a part-time job or side gig probably makes your eyes roll.

No, no, you don’t have the time or energy for that.

But what if a side gig doesn’t have to be so demanding? What if you could sit on the couch and earn some extra money? Or, better yet, make extra money while you’re at work or even while you’re sleeping?

We’ve rounded up a few ways you 9-to-5 folks can make some cash on the side. Nope, it’s not necessarily going to be a ton of money, but at least you’ll be able to stick to that 8 p.m. bedtime.

1. Get Paid $225/Month While Watching Movie Previews

If we told you that you could get paid while watching videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.

It’s too good to be true, right?

But we’re serious. By signing up for a free account with InboxDollars, you could add up to $225 a month to your pocket. They’ll send you short surveys every day, which you can fill out while you watch someone bake brownies or catch up on the latest Kardashian drama.

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight, wasting time on your phone.

Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

Signing up takes about one minute, and you’ll immediately receive a $5 bonus to get you started.

2. Rent Your Extra Space (or Couch, If You’re Not Sitting on It)

Have a spare room? Might as well list it on Airbnb and make some money.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events in your area.
  2. Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  3. Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

3. Make a Commitment to the Gym

OK, yes, we’re talking about being lazy after work and doing nothing. But do you know what could make you feel better about life? Working out.

We get it. Forcing yourself to go to the gym before or after work is a challenge. Bring money into the picture, and, well, it might get easier.

HealthyWage is an online program that allows you to place a bet on your weight loss. For example, Angie Richards bet she could lose 40 pounds in six months. She lost 52 and won $1,200.

Unfortunately, the program doesn’t come with a magical diet or sweatless workout routine; you’ll have to figure that part out on your own. But see if that extra cash might motivate you.

For an estimate of how much you could win, go to the HealthyWage Prize Calculator.

4. Extend Your Commute and Give Some Rides

My cohort, Dana Sitar, recently told the story of Paul Pruce. After losing his job, he opted to drive for Lyft and banks about $750 a week.

In some cities, that’s rent.

Signing up to drive for Lyft is super easy; it’s all online. You work when you want, keep a portion of the ride fees and bank 100% of the tips.

If you’re curious to see what you’d make, Lyft has an earnings calculator. Type in how many hours you’d want to work and your city. In my town, I could earn $300 a week for 15 hours of weekend work.

Right now, Lyft is offering a $300 sign-on bonus to new drivers when you use code EXTRA300.

Here’s what you need to qualify:

  • You must be approved to drive within 30 days of your application start date.
  • Once you’re in, just complete 100 rides within your first 30 days of being a Lyft driver.

And just like that, the bonus cash is yours. Easy, right?

5. Spend Time With Some Good Dogs

If you work a high-stress job, dog-walking or dog-sitting could be the perfect way to decompress during your lunch break or at the end of the day.

You don’t even have to post flyers around your neighborhood. With apps like Rover or DogVacay, you can find pet-owners in your area who need a hand.

You’ll get to set your own rates and your availability. If someone’s too far away? Skip. If you find the cutest dog you’ve ever seen? Sign up!

6. Write Your Heart Out

If you have a knack for writing, you could consider entering the freelancing world, taking projects here and there.

But sometimes even that kind of commitment is a lot to promise after a day of work. Try something more fun: like entering a writing contest.

There are a ton of different contests out there that accept everything from poetry and fiction to fantasy and nonfiction.

Many of these contests are free and come with cash prizes — thousands of dollars in some cases.

We’ve found some of the best writing contests at Write Jobs

7. Partake in Detective Work to Spice Up Your Evening

Ever heard of mystery shopping?

This is a tool companies might use to secretly check in on how their businesses are running. For example, mystery-shopping company BestMark will pay you to go out and test-drive cars, which means you’ll have to listen to the sales pitch and report back on your experience.

Or there’s Secret Hopper, which says it’ll pay you to grab a drink at your local brewery and rate your experience.

8. Earn $5 By Doing a Potentially Really, Really Random Thing

We don’t love the word “thing,” but in this case, it fits.

Have you heard of Fiverr? It’s an online platform that’ll pay you $5 to complete a task. These tasks — or random things — range from providing unique gift ideas to forming telepathic messages to writing a message on your chest while playing a kazoo.

OK, so sometimes it’s more serious, like drawing a quick logo or writing up a paragraph of content.

Either way, you’ll probably find something you can do. Hey, it’s $5.

9. Capitalize on Your Favorite Creative Hobby

There’s really nothing better than coming home after work and doing what you love, whether it’s painting, woodworking, cross-stitching or jewelry-making.

At a certain point, though, your abode might become overrun with extra crafts — because you can only hang so many of your works on the walls. Why not sell the ones you’re not attached to?

Consider signing up to sell on Etsy, a creative marketplace with millions of buyers. You’ll have to pay 20 cents to list an item, then hand over a 3.5% transaction fee and a 3%-plus-25-cent payment-processing fee. But that’s only a small amount when you get to advertise to all those eyeballs.

10. Commit to Starting Your Own Business

Let’s count this as a bit of a bonus — a suggestion for those of you who have a ton of energy after work and love committing to big projects.

Why not just start your own freelance business?

Don’t throw yourself to the wolves. Rather, take a free introductory course.

We wrote about three online classes that’ll help you get started, including Learn to be a Bookkeeper. Once you get established, you’ll be able to dictate when, how often and where you work — just like Daniel Honan, who said he grossed about $50,000 in his first year after the program.

So what do you say, full-timers? Earning money on the side of a full-time job doesn’t have to add an extra exhausting layer to your life.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.