This is a question that I frequently get asked. As a lifelong nonprofit professional and a millennial with student loan debt, any discretionary income is a luxury. Beyond being diligent about budgeting and saving, I've had several side businesses throughout the years that helped to fund my travels.
Here are five of my favorite "side hustles" that will get you extra cash to help finance that next trip!
|I wish I could sit on piles of money like this woman! Courtesy of www.travelsworlds.com|
This is an such an overlooked way to get extra cash and requires little time. Companies are always looking to hire good people and the best way to do that is through its own employees. Check with your HR to see how much you can earn by referring a friend or contact to an open position - your friend gets a job and you can snag anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars!
Company doesn't offer anything? Recruit for other companies that do! For example, Vecna pays you $4000 for a good referral whether you work there or not!
Finished a professional development class? Enjoyed a tour? Love your dentist? As a client yourself, likely those businesses and services you've already paid for have referral bonuses. I've racked up a list of my own Deals & Discounts of my satisfied customer experiences here.
2) Participate in Research Studies
I love this one. When I was in college, graduate students and professors were always looking for subjects for their research. Usually, this consists of playing computer games and answering surveys typically paying $20/hour or more. I would do these between classes fairly easily and hey, you are contributing to research! Personally, I don't do anything evasive (like blood tests), but to each their own.
Studies are sometimes very general (such as healthy adults between the ages of 18-45) or very specific (right-handed females who drink an energy drink a day), but can be lucrative. The most recent one I did was for McLean Hospital - $200 for a day of playing games and a free MRI scan.
Beyond online research databases, check your university newspapers, community boards, and even public transportation ads.
3) Launch a Side Business or Freelance
This is my favorite type of side hustling. Outside of your day job, what are you passionate about? Or at least hey, what can you do outside the 9-5? Maybe it's graphic design or pet-sitting. Maybe you promote networking or nightlife events and get people to attend. Try things out and see what works for you!
For me, I always had a knack for resume writing and getting jobs. As part of a new year's resolution, I launched my career consulting website aimed at helping young professionals jobs - go side hustling!
Looking for your dream job? Let's talk!
4) Sell Old and Unnecessary Stuff
This one is pretty typical. I've found that travelers typically have less material possessions that the average person (except for their storage boxes of souvenirs of course!) and selling is the way to go to de-clutter and get extra cash.
Got old textbooks? Send them in with free shipping to Textbook Rush or Chegg. Clutter around the house? Have a garage sale on a sunny day. Got unused giftcards? Exchange them for cash with Gift Card Rescue.
I often enter event raffles as the prizes far exceed the ticket value. $1 for a snowboard? If I win, that snowboard's getting sold!
5) Work as a Brand or Event Ambassador
This is a great way to not only get entry into cool events, but earn a decent cash flow typically anywhere from $12-$25 an hour. I worked the U.S. Open of Surfing years ago manning a keychain-making booth and earned $400 over the 4-day beach festival. In Boston, I managed a talent casting call for a weekend for $230. Not too shabby!
Gigs can be found on sites such as Craigslist or local promotion agencies. What is nice is that if a company likes you, they'll often keep calling you back. Also note that you should never need to front money for membership or access to these events.
Of course, use proper discretion when working side businesses as you should only do whatever you are comfortable with. From some or all combination of these side hustles, you could earn yourself a nice vacation!