Any ideas on ways to earn money on the side?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2012
Any ideas on ways to earn money on the side?
Fri, 06-08-2012 - 9:39am

Like just about everybody not in the 1% nowadays, we've become somewhat underwater with our bills and miscellaneous expenses and my wife and I have been trying to figure out some ways to earn some extra money on the side without having to actually work a second job which, for the most part, is pretty impractical given that we have 3 kids and I work for CPS which is almost somewhat of a double job IMHO. I have some talents that I think that I could parlay into a side job but am somewhat unsure how to get started. For one, I enjoy writing. I'm working a book though it has been somewhat of a slow process but I also enjoy blogging about things political (here and elsewhere) and people seem to enjoy my writing. I would like to find some way to get paid for it, though. I had a perch on for awhile but I earned virtually nothing and, frankly, felt that the content rules were too restrictive. I have found that most newspapers hiring for columnists for real writing gigs seem to prefer people with journalism degrees. 
I'm also pretty well acquainted with computers but mostly the basic stuff. I can troubleshoot a lot of software problems and can crack open a computer do some minor installation work.  My wife enjoys crocheting and has gotten some positive feedback about that.  

Anybody have any ideas about side work? Is there anybody out there doing stuff "on the side" that is working out for them and if so, how did you get started? Any ideas and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2001
Sun, 06-10-2012 - 1:34pm

SJ has already given some good suggestions, especially the ones about helping elderly.  I more than qualify for advice from the elder's side.  I'll be 74 Thursday.  We have someone who mows our grass, trims the shrubs etc., but that is hard work to do on the side.  There is something else that they do that is almost priceless, although necessary.  They replace light bulbs, do little handy man things, reach for things that I can no longer reach safely.  This they do for free, although I'm more than willing to pay them for it.  Who needs a certified electrician to change a light bulb?   Sometimes, I just don't feel like going grocery shopping, but someone has to do it.  A service to write checks for the elderly to sign could be done in a way that makes the client happy that the work is done except for a signature.  One might need a bond for that; I've been bonded, but I have no idea what that might cost.  My DH can no longer sign his name, therefore, writing checks would be out of the question, if something happened to me.  I really do worry about that.  I have everything that I can debited to our checking account, but that doesn't include the mowing people, and some others who only have to work occasionally.

I taught myself how to groom dogs, and made good money at the time.  A niece of ours made pocketbooks at home; I loved her design and wish that she hadn't stopped sewing them.