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10 Ways to Earn Some Extra Cash

by:
Randolph Taylor

In 1997, The Notorious B.I.G. topped the Billboard charts singing, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” That’s easy to say when you’re making millions! For the rest of us, more money simply means more freedom—or the opportunity to finally pay off some of our debts. But how are you supposed to earn extra money, especially if you’re already working a full-time job? Here are ten ways you can master the art of the side hustle.

1. Host a Guest

Have an available room, a guest house, or best of all, a spare apartment? Thousands of people across the country are earning money renting out space to locals and globetrotters alike who feel hotels are so 2010. Sites like Airbnb Canada make it easy to get started, get listed, and get earning.

2. Host an Experience

Not crazy about having strangers share your space with you? Host an experience instead! Airbnb Canada also lets you create unique group experiences around your city, and you earn money by bringing others along. Some of the current experiences listed online include everything from a “Historical Victoria Walking Tour” at $40 a head to a “Kayak Nature Trip Near Toronto” for $33 per person. What experience could you offer?

3. Walk or Dog-sit

Love dogs? Get paid to walk them or just hang out with them! Apps like Rover.com or GoFetch (which was created by two Vancouver natives) now allow dog owners to connect with walkers and sitters within their city of choice. You’ll need to pass a background check, the same as Uber, and then set your own schedule. You can pick up on-demand gigs, or become someone’s regular pooch partner. (Aw, cute.)

4. Sell Online

Got old kids clothes and toys in the attic? What about fishing gear you no longer use in the garage? Why not sell those items online for money? Of course, eventually you’ll run out of sellable items, but plenty of people will make buys at flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales with the sole intent to flip them for more money online. Plus, if you have a talent of your own—like knitting doggie sweaters or designing jewelry, for instance—set up an online shop with one of Canada’s popular e-commerce sites, like Etsy.

5. Mystery Shop

If you’ve always wanted to go undercover, this could be your chance! Mystery shopping is a real thing, and it can earn you free meals and more, on top of some pocket money. “Not only have I gotten to eat for free, I have been fully or partially reimbursed for massages, eyeglasses, groceries, cellphones, and more,” says Cathy Stucker, author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual. A word of caution: beware of mystery shopping scammers.

6. Freelance Blog

But I’m not a writer, you might be thinking. Don’t worry, there are plenty of sites out there that simply want your knowledge and ideas more than your writing or grammatical prowess. These gigs can pay $50-$100 per post, and you can craft your story while catching up on your latest Netflix obsession—so, what have you got to lose?

7. Translate

Fluent in another language? You can make approximately $25 per hour performing written translation. Over 85 percent of Canadians speak English, but only 30 percent speak French. Since both are considered mother tongues and have official federal status throughout Canada, those who can perform English-to-French translations are often in high demand. Of course, if you speak another language there might be less competition, but also fewer opportunities.

8. Take Online Surveys

Opinionated? Then you may love taking online surveys. You’re not going to get rich doing it, but it gives you the chance to sound-off and make a little money. Most surveys only take 5-35 minutes to complete, so you can do them in your spare time or on your lunch break. Legitimate sites like MySurvey are free to join, and you earn points for each survey, which can be redeemed for products, gift cards, or PayPal credit (the longer the survey, the more points you get).

9. Become a Driver

Have you considered driving for Uber or another ridesharing app? If you’re a licensed, registered, and insured driver, and your vehicle meets a few requirements, then you can be earning money in no time. You can also make yourself active or inactive whenever you want, night or day. Plus, you can go active for an hour or two, or pull a full 8-hour shift—however much you earn is completely up to you!

10. Sell Your Skills

Handy around the house, good with a paintbrush, or got a green thumb? Toronto-based apps like AskforTask or Jiffy let you connect with people needing help in any of the following areas:

  • Cleaning
  • Handywork
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Painting
  • Lawn Maintenance 

Today, everyone’s looking to make some extra cash. If these ideas aren’t right for you, then get creative—everyone has a talent or a skill they can put to use to help supplement their income, pay off those credit cards, and become part of Canada’s new gig economy!

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