5 Ways to Make an Extra $500 a Month in Your Spare Time

Unemployment and scarce job opportunities are becoming continuous economic problems in the United States since the pandemic struck.

As of December 4, the latest Bureau and Labor Statistics report on unemployment show that 10.7 million Americans are unemployed. That estimate follows federal guidelines and it may well be a lot higher.

The latest round of stimulus checks from the government now hitting bank accounts amount to $600 per taxpayer. That’s a good amount but hardly a game changer and only a one-time payment from the government.

What if you could make your own stimulus month after month? Here are a few repeatable side hustles to help you make $500 a month extra, or more.

When it comes to side hustles, be realistic. It isn’t about get-rich-quick schemes. It’s about making money relatively quick relative to your talents and available resources.

Write e-books

The explosion of online commerce started, famously, with books. Now anybody can write a book and publish it as an e-book using software from Amazon.

Think about topics that people care about deeply, such as hobbies. Do you know a lot about astronomy? Fishing? Business development?

There’s an audience for your e-book if you work at finding them. But the first step is writing. One way to build a book painlessly is to blog about your topic for a few years. Then, look at the most visited pages and combine them into a long-form book.

You might need to write several e-books to find out what sells, but then you can update and expand on that topic knowing your audience wants more.

Affiliate marketing

While you’re planning your publishing career, go ahead and sell affiliate ads on your blog.

Ever visited a cooking website and found yourself deluged with ads for cookware and food delivery services. If you click on any of these ads, the blogger gets a piece of the sale. That’s affiliate marketing.

Think narrow. The more specialized your blogging subject and more niche the products, the easier it is for advertisers to flock to your site for affiliate sales opportunities.

Teach online

The pandemic has driven a lot of work online, including teaching. Online tutors and classes are becoming the norm for thousands of charter school, home school and even traditional students who need a hand.

You can set up a profile at sites such as Outschool or Varsity Tutors and sell you time by the hour for online tutoring to individuals and small groups of students. Get enough regulars and you’re on your way to a new career teaching.

Don’t worry about qualifications. People want instruction on thing as varied as drawing, collecting Pokemon cards and the like. Just dive and find out what students are requesting.

Etsy crafting

For people who are talented in facilitating handmade crafts, you can make money at home with Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace where people can sell various hand-crafted goods in a professional manner.

Are you talented at creating hand-knitted or crocheted items? Can you make handmade jewelry that looks professional enough to buy?

Just create an online Etsy account and pay 20 cents to create an ad. Etsy takes a 5% commission for every item you sell.

You can also sell custom t-shirt designs and some vintage items. After creating an Etsy listing, you should advertise on social media often and network with people who can help you sell to large online audiences.

Car wrap advertising

Have you ever seen a car in traffic that looked like its paint job was designed to look like a billboard ad? Then you were exposed to a car-wrapping campaign.

Local lawyers, radio stations, supermarkets, laundromats, entertainment venues, and more frequently use car wrap advertisements to gain more attention for events.

After you apply for a car wrapping ad, a third-party facilitating company will match you to a local campaign. You must have your own car, a great driving record, and insurance.

Then, you will be given a car wrap and all you have to do is drive multiple hours in high population areas.

Most car wrap advertising campaigns are available in cities and there are not a lot of them. To maximize profits, you should make a schedule of local events and map out areas of high population density to drive around.

You can also use your car to make deliveries while also satisfying your car wrap advertising responsibilities.