The rise of digitalization has opened a world of opportunities if you want to earn extra cash. These days, it seems like all you need to set up your own small business is a laptop and an internet connection. Let’s explore some side hustle ideas that you can pursue from the comfort of your own home along with some other ways you can earn extra income with a bit of elbow grease and creativity.

This article explores three ways with over 15 tactics to make extra money:

  1. Jobs you can do online from home
  2. Side jobs you can do outside the house
  3. Tips on maximizing your job earnings

Ways to make extra money online from home

More and more people are figuring out ways to earn extra cash working from home. If you play your cards right, you can be one of these home-based moonlighters. It just requires a bit of thought to determine what job suits your skill set and availability.

1. Sell Your Creative Work

Do you have a knack for creativity? Whether it’s art, graphic design, jewelry, clothing, or home decor, you can sell your masterpieces online for some extra bucks! Etsy.com is a great place to start as this website caters to individuals looking to buy and sell homey crafts.

2. Become a Freelance Writer

If you excel at writing, editing, or proofreading (and you’re speedy!) consider being a freelance writer. Many companies and individuals outsource the written content they need for blog posts, articles, websites or any other purpose. If this is of interest to you, you can start by looking for freelance writing work with basic job websites such as Indeed.com and Upwork.com. The beauty of freelance writing is you could be in an entirely different country than your employer and still work!

These days, blogging is more than just a hobby. If you are dedicated, consistent, and passionate about your subject matter, a blog can actually earn money for you. You can write for other people’s or businesses blogs or you can set up your own. To start a blog, you’ll need a domain name and your own website. GoDaddy.com is your one-stop shop for domain names, while Wordpress and Squarespace are awesome resources for easily building and customizing your very own website or blog.

3. Write an eBook

If writing is a passion of yours, why not go a step further than blogging and freelancing and write an ebook? Amazon has made it easy for aspiring and established writers to get their work published through ebooks. Traditionally, publishing a book required support from a publisher and a significant financial investment. With Kindle eBook, you can publish a book within 48 hours. However, in order to make a profit, you will need to market yourself well. You can do that online too through blogging and social media. Besides an entrepreneurial spirit and some minor marketing ingenuity, a bit of writing ability wouldn’t go astray either. Luckily, anyone can be a competent writer with determination and practice!

4. Be an Amazon Mechanical Turk

Do you have experience processing images and videos, data verification and clean-up, information gathering, and data processing? If so, you could be eligible to work as a mechanical turk for Amazon. You can learn more about mechanical turks and what they do here.

5. Become a Virtual Assistant

Busy individuals hire virtual assistants to do a range of tasks for them, all of which can be completed online from the comfort of your home. Examples of the kind of work virtual assistant do include replying to emails, data entry, and writing letters or proposals. Problogger.com and Upwork.com have good opportunities for virtual assistants.

6. Be an Online Interpreter or Translator

If you’re fluent in another language, you can make good money interpreting or translating online. With more and more companies going global, interpreting and translating information has become crucial. In fact, individuals working in this business are expected to make more and more money in the upcoming years. Look for jobs on Indeed.com as a starting point if this side hustle is relevant to you!

7. Teach English Online

A company called Vipkid has made it easier than ever for children to learn English. You can become a teacher with Vipkid so long as you have a bachelor’s degree and a year of teaching experience under your belt. For more information, visit Vipkid’s website. This side hustle requires a bit of patience and expertise!

8. Be an Airbnb Host

Do you have a spare room in your home that you don’t use? Alternatively, do you travel frequently? If you have a room that you don’t use, consider renting it or your entire home through Airbnb. Check out the renting process here

9. Rent Out Your Place

Like Airbnb, you can simply rent out a room in your home or rent out the whole space. Rent is a stable, reliable source of income for those who own real estate. If you rent, you can also get permission from your landlord to sublet.

10. Be a Tutor

If you’re an expert in a subject, consider tutoring on the side. Graduate and PhD students have been tutoring for extra money for decades! The best place to start is reaching out to high school, college or university students within your inner circle. If you don’t have much luck finding work within your social circle, try applying to become a tutor with Tutor.com.

11. Become a Thrift Store Flipper

If you have a passion and knack for thrift shopping, consider selling what you thrift on the world wide web. If you know how to fix up what you’ve bought thrift shopping, that’s even better! You can sell your thrift items on eBay.com and Etsy.com.

Other side hustles outside of home

While most of the following roles do leverage technology, you are required to leave the house to pursue them. Fortunately, your outgoingness will be rewarded in the form of dollar bills. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking. 

1. Become a rideshare driver (Uber & Lyft)

If you have a car, you can work for Uber as a driver (depending on your province). Uber drivers have the flexibility to work whatever hours they want. Keep in mind that Uber drivers have certain requirements to work, and you can check them out here, or read Canada Drives' guide on becoming an Uber driver.

2. Deliver Food

Similarly to an Uber driver, you can deliver meals to hungry customers through food apps such as Uber Eats, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes. An added bonus to this gig is: you’re not required to own a car; some apps use bicycle drivers too. 

You can also work for Instacart which is similar, but involves delivery of groceries instead of meals. Check out how you can become a driver here

3. Babysit or Pet Sit

It might seem juvenile, but babysitting or petsitting is a great way to generate some extra cash. Dog walking is a great side gig if you’re an animal lover. Established neighbourhood dogwalkers make good money. Simply create a profile using Care.com or Rover.com (only for pets). Alternatively, you can market yourself and your small business on social media!

3. Get a Part-Time Job

Go the traditional route. Retail, restaurant, and manual labour industries tend to offer shifts in the evenings, weekends, and holidays. If you’re looking for some hard cash, a part-time job in your area may be your best bet. Try to find something close by so you don’t have to spend hours upon hours commuting!

Setting up Your Side Hustle - a Word About Taxes

Unfortunately, the more money you make, the more taxes you must pay. With a job, taxes are fairly easy because you get documentation from your employer to complete your taxes. However, if you’re self-employed, it’s your responsibility to track your personal finances and figure out precisely how much tax you owe. 

Below are three simple steps to tracking and reporting self-employed income on your tax return. 

  1. Track Income: You can easily track the money you make by using Google Docs or Microsoft Office. Every time you make money, simply write down the amount you earned along with the date. It’s good to have some supporting documentation, such as an invoice. However, the CRA readily accepts bank transactions as proof of income.
  2. Track Expenses: If you incur expenses, you’re allowed to deduct the expenses against your income. For example, if you become a freelance writer and need to get a Microsoft Word subscription to write, you can deduct the Microsoft Word subscription fee against the freelance income you earn. Track your expenses the same way you would track income. However, since you get receipts when you make a purchase, be sure to keep a copy of those in case you get audited.
  3. Report Your Net Income on Your Tax Return: At the end of the year, take your total income and subtract your expenses, this is your net income. You report your net income on lines 135 to 143 or lines 162 to 170 on your tax return under self-employment income. You will also need to fill out a T2125 as a part of your tax return.

For more information, visit this Government of Canada resource.

Maximize Your Current Job Earnings

Not everyone has time for a side hustle. Some people have full-time jobs, families, and no time to even think about taking on a second job. If that’s the case, you might want to consider optimizing your day job. It might be time to ask for a raise or a promotion, or maybe a few hours of overtime per week will earn you the extra cash you desire. 

1. Get a promotion

Getting a promotion and a raise will take a bit of thought, and advice on this topic varies and depends on your industry. But generally, a good place to start is by exploring any promotion options and understanding what you can work towards.

Let your employer know that you are interested in making advancements within the company. If you signal your intentions, you never know what opportunities may present themselves.

2. Get a raise

For a raise, if you’ve been with your employer for a long time, it’s not an unreasonable thing to ask for. A “long time” usually means around one year, but do some research on your industry to determine when it’s acceptable to ask for a raise. If you have a performance review or one-on-one meeting with your boss coming up, that might be a good time to discuss a raise. 

Alternatively, you can schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss the value you deliver to the company. Be prepared to make a strong case for yourself. Remind leadership of your contributions, achievements, and long-term commitment to the business. Before the meeting, do some research on reasonable raises for your profession. Your employer may ask how much of a raise you want, it’s important to be prepared for that question if it comes up.

3. Work overtime

As for overtime, check with your employer to see what opportunities they have. Working overtime shows dedication and commitment. Aside from earning some extra cash, your overtime could ultimately get you the promotion or raise you wanted. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!


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