Earlier in July, CBS’s Farnoosh Torabi wrote about “4 Easy Side Gigs for Young Adults” on The Money Watch website. The objective was to demonstrate how to make more money.
In her article, she mentions that it’s often helpful to have supplementary income to get ahead of the financial curve, especially for young workers who are facing weaker purchasing power as a result of salaries not keeping up with inflation and increasing debt levels (i.e. college loans).
The challenge for those that want to engage in side gigs outside their profession and make more money is the question of what to get involved in? The article does not talk about the Joe Schmoe who is happy delivering pizza or babysitting on the side, rather the article refers to the ambitious, goal oriented and hard working professional.
So here are 4 ways Arnoosh recommends as easy side gigs that can help you make more money along with my thoughts (in red):
“Write Grant Proposals
Have a B.A. in English and/or some decent writing experience? Find an inexpensive training program online or at a local college. Once you do, you can take on freelance grant-writing projects for nonprofits. This is work you can do from home at night, on the weekends or whenever’s convenient for you.
Check out a site like Idealist.org to see what types of groups and organizations are looking for grant proposal writers, and to get a feel for what kind of work you’d be doing. A substantial writing project could earn you up to a thousand dollars or more.”
This is not a bad gig to make more money. There is a need for such services and you can definitely plug in the gap, especially locally within your immediate community. You will likely need a strong background in English / writing, so if Engineering was your major, you may want to rethink jumping into this side gig.
On a related note to the side gig, you can use Craigslist to find side gig postings. I have found it to be the best tool for finding part time work on the side.
“Take Psych Tests
This is another way to profit from living near a college or university. Academic researchers are often searching for folks to participate in psych or behavioral studies, in which you’ll spend a few hours answering questions or completing what are usually very simple tasks and activities.
Contact the psych departments at a local school and see if they have any upcoming research studies for which you’re eligible. The cost benefit: up to $100 per study. This may not be something you can feasibly do on a regular basis, but it’s an easy way to make some quick cash once in a while.”
Though the payout is quite decent, you are at the mercy of schools and similar institutions running these studies. To me this is no different from paid surveys, product trials and focus group surveys. While you can make more money doing this, you are not in full control of how much you rake in.
“Teach Aerobics or Yoga
If you’re already an active aerobics participant or yoga adherent, chat with your instructor to see if your health club or facility has any free training programs. If not, look online for some major yoga training centers around the country. Some cost a couple hundred dollars, others more, depending on the level of certification you are seeking.
The beauty of this side gig is that you get to improve your own health while making money! The average full-time salary of a fitness instructor, according to Salary.com, is roughly $46,000 a year. If you were just to work on the weekends or evenings you could probably make $18 to $22 an hour with appropriate certification. (Psst…one growing yoga niche is yoga for kids!)”
Excellent idea to blend your passion with your profession. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life! At least so goes the saying. If your interests and abilities fit this side gig, I think it is a good one to get involved in to make more money. What better way to earn money than by keeping healthy and helping others do the same?
Once you’re trained in CPR, you can market yourself to local schools, YMCAs, community centers, workplaces and organizations to teach CPR classes on nights or weekends. It isn’t difficult to learn or to teach, and there’s always a need for it. The American Heart Association can help you find a CPR training class near you.”
My thoughts here are similar to the Yoga idea above. There will always be a need for this as certified professionals need to get retrained (as do you) periodically. I am sure it also feels good to make more money while contributing to a greater good.
A heavy portion of this blog’s readership is comprised of individuals making good money in successful corporate careers. Often times, these individuals are not looking to trade their spare hours for dollars – not for small dollars at least. Rather, they are seeking ways to free themselves up from busy corporate schedules, work less harder and spend more time with family and friends, all while they make more money.
While I really like all of Farnoosh’s suggestions, none are ways to build passive and residual streams of income. The side gigs discussed above pay based on the hours invested in these activities. There is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, most jobs, careers and side gigs are of this nature. You get paid for the time you put in.
Not everyone wants to build a long term business on the side, often because it involves a lot more work up front without getting paid. If a true side gig to make more money that pays for your time is what you are looking for, then go for any of the above by all means.
In fact there are several other ways which I plan to discuss in the future. However, if you are looking to build a solid, long term business on the side, I recommend considering the internet based business model.
What do you think about what CBS has to say about side gigging to make more money? What are some of the activities you are involved with? Or are contemplating getting involved with?
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