With the next financial crisis right around the corner, making an extra $500 per month from home could have a significant positive impact on your financial well-being.
First and foremost, it could help you:
- cover some of your bills
- boost your savings
- pay off student loans
- provide better for your family
- buy yourself a gift
On top of that, it could be the stepping stone to building a full-time income, escaping the 9-5 grind, achieving financial freedom, and earning your living working for yourself.
Thankfully, as technology evolves, making extra cash from home becomes exponentially simpler.
Whether you’re a college student, a busy parent, currently unemployed, or living on retirement income, there are tons of side hustles you can undertake toward making an extra $500 monthly, and in this article, I’ll share with you the 25 most time-tested and legitimate ones.
Let’s take a closer look.
How to make an extra $500 a month from home
1. Get a part-time remote job
The first and most obvious way to earn an extra $500 from home is by getting a fully remote part-time job.
Some of the most popular remote jobs that offer part-time employment include, but aren’t limited to:
- Front-end developer
- Graphic designer
- Content writer
- SEO specialist
- Customer service agent
- Social media manager
- Sales representative
- Data entry
- & more
In the US, most of those jobs pay anywhere between $12 and $18 per hour, so landing one for 1-2 hours per day, 5 days a week, could bring in as much as $700 a month.
2. Fill in paid surveys
Many large companies invest money in running surveys to gather insights about the opinions, behaviors, and needs of their target audience so that they make informed decisions regarding optimizing their products and marketing efforts.
Taking part in such surveys is one of the easiest and most reliable methods of earning extra cash per month in your spare time, even if you have zero expertise or previous experience.
The average hourly pay for filling in surveys is approximately $5 per hour. Therefore, to make $500 per month with surveys, you’ll need to devote 3-4 hours per day, 7 days a week.
A few of the most popular and legitimate survey sites I’ve been personally using for years are:
- Survey Junkie
- Make Survey Money
- Opinion World
- Survey World
- Branded Surveys
- & more
The most common problem of earning money by doing surveys is regularly running out of available invites.
The key to countering that is maximizing the number of surveys you could potentially complete by signing up for multiple survey websites.
3. GPT (Get-Paid-To) sites
GPT websites are sites that pay users small amounts of money for completing short and simple online tasks, such as:
- Installing apps
- Watching ads
- Reading emails
- Taking part in sweepstakes
- Redeeming coupons
- Referring friends
- Searching the web
- & more
Furthermore, most GPT sites aggregate paid surveys from multiple third-party survey providers like the ones I talked about earlier.
According to Swift Salary, the average pay of GPT websites is rather low, ranging from $1 to $5 per hour. That’s because most tasks on GPT sites pay very little money and high-paying ones are very scarce.
The secret to surpassing the average GPT hourly rates is identifying and completing only those tasks that pay the highest rates with the least amount of effort.
For example, if task #1 pays $10 for 30 minutes of work and task #2 pays $5 for 10 minutes of work, you should focus on task #2 because it has a higher hourly rate than task #1.
Some of the most prominent GPT websites are:
- Swagbucks (Worldwide)
- Inbox Dollars (US)
- Inbox Pounds (UK)
- Daily Rewards (CA)
- Prize Rebel
- Super Pay
- & more
4. User testing
User testing involves getting paid for recording your screen and sometimes yourself, while browsing through, evaluating, and providing feedback on the interface, core features, and overall impression of a specific website or application.
User testing is an integral part of the design process, used by tons of brands to uncover issues that could potentially hinder the performance of their website or app, draw conclusions about assumptions and experiments, and understand the behaviors of their target audience.
The average hourly pay for taking part in user tests is quite high compared to surveys and GPT, ranging from $20 to as much as $120 per hour.
A few of the most trustworthy and highest-paying websites that crowdsource user testers for companies are:
- & uTest
Based on my personal experience, user testing is among the money-making approaches that yield the highest returns for your time investment.
However, the primary downside of becoming involved in user testing is frequently going without a single test invitation for several days or even weeks.
Just like with paid surveys, one of the best ways to counter that is by signing up for as many user testing providers as possible.
5. Micro jobs
Micro jobs are a type of temporary work that involves getting paid for completing simple tasks assigned by companies or individuals who may lack the resources to perform them themselves.
Some of the most on-demand micro jobs include, but aren’t limited to:
- data entry
- transcribing audio
- translating text
- processing images and videos
- verifying data
- evaluating search results
- & more
The average amount of money you can earn doing micro jobs is about $10 per hour. However, although very rare, you could stumble upon micro assignments that pay as much as $100 for a couple of hours of your time.
A few of the best sites you can use to land micro jobs are:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)
- & Appen
6. Focus groups
Focus groups are kinda like surveys but instead of submitting answers to online questionnaires, you take part in online interviews, live group discussions, telephone conversations, and more.
Typical focus groups revolve around giving feedback regarding specific products or services, last about 60 minutes, and pay $50 to $100 per hour. However, depending on your demographics, you might occasionally receive invites to focus groups that last longer and pay a lot more money.
Some of the highest-quality focus group platforms are:
- & FocusGroup
Keep in mind that focus groups have limited available openings which fill in pretty quickly, so failing to respond to research invitations as fast as possible will significantly decrease your chances of finding an open seat.
7. Cashback apps
Another method of earning an extra $500 per month online is by doing your shopping through cashback apps.
Cashback apps are like coupons, but instead of applying discounts before making a purchase, they offer partial rebates on items bought from eligible retail stores, such as:
- grocery shops
- gas stations
- clothing stores
Cashback apps grant rebates either for shopping online through their portal or for making transactions using a credit card you’ve linked to them.
The typical cashback rates paid by cashback apps range anywhere between 1 and 20%, depending mostly on the types of products purchased.
For example, in general, groceries tend to yield lower cashback rates than fuel.
A few of the most legit apps to leverage toward receiving cashbacks on your shopping are:
8. Sell stuff online
One of the best ways to start bringing in some extra cash as fast as possible from home is by selling stuff online.
The process is rather simple.
First, find stuff you no longer need or use.
Then, list them on online marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook, Gazelle, Poshmark, etc.
Lastly, ship orders to the corresponding buyers.
Items you could potentially sell online include:
- & more
If you own very little or no stuff to sell online, you can always leverage retail arbitrage.
9. Retail arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is the process of buying products at discounted prices through thrift stores, garage sales, and retailers, and then reselling them online for a profit.
I was first got introduced to the concept of retail arbitrage by Gary Vee.
A couple of years back, Gary began purchasing cheap items like mugs, stuffed animals, toys, and collectibles from garage sales and then reselling them on eBay for ten times the money he paid, earning over $2k with no more than a couple of hours of work.
The best method of doing retail arbitrage is by using Amazon FBA.
Amazon FBA is a service provided by Amazon that enables sellers to delegate all order fulfillment processes such as storing, picking, packing, shipping, customer service, returns, etc., to Amazon.
Here’s how Amazon FBA works:
- You send your products to Amazon’s warehouses
- When your products get ordered, Amazon packs, ships, and delivers them on your behalf
- Amazon deposits the money paid for your products in your bank account
Retail arbitrage is a pretty solid way of earning an extra $500 per month from home, which could potentially turn into a source of full-time income.
10. Rent out extra space
Does your house have rooms or spaces (basement, garage, attic, etc.) you rarely use?
If so, you can build an extra source of income by renting them out to other people either for living or storage purposes.
A few sites you can use to list your vacant spaces for rent are:
- Airbnb (accommodation)
- Neighbor (storage)
- StoreAtMyHouse (storage)
- Craigslist (general)
If your rental spaces that are meant for housing are of decent quality and close to the city center or a tourist area, you might be able to rent them out for over $500 a month.
11. Rent out your belongings
In addition to renting out unused space in your house, you can also make money by lending other stuff you own, such as:
- Car or truck (Turo, Getaround, FluidTruck)
- Power tools (Facebook, Craigslist, etc.)
- Bike, snowboard, surfboard (Spinlister)
- Clothing (RentMyWardrobe)
- Parking spot (SpotHero)
- Camera gear (KitSplit)
- Anything else (FatLlama)
I personally wouldn’t feel that comfortable renting my belongings to strangers, but I know people who have no problem and actually make a decent amount of money doing so.
12. Sell handmade crafts
The worldwide demand for high-quality handmade goods has never been higher.
According to Yahoo Finance, the global value of the handicrafts market reached $680 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to surpass $1.2 trillion by 2027.
Therefore, if you’re into handmade crafts, you can get your hands on a piece of that pie by selling them online.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine started creating and selling custom lapel pins with royalty-free imagery on eBay and Etsy alongside his full-time job.
The whole process of creating, listing, and shipping the pins took him about 2-3 hours per day. Two months later, that side hustle was bringing in approximately $500 a month. By month 6, it had grown to $900 per month.
About half a decade ago, another friend of mine developed a passion for making natural soaps.
He purchased soap equipment and ingredients, made around 1000 soaps in various colors, scents, shapes, and sizes, and listed all of them on Etsy.
His soaps made such a killing that he made enough money to launch his own handmade soap brick-and-mortar business in less than a year.
Some of the best-selling handmade items include, but aren’t limited to:
- Beauty products
- Scented candles
- Home decorations
- Knitted goods
- & more
13. Virtual assistant
Another approach to earning $500, or even more, while working from home is offering virtual assistant services.
According to Indeed, the average hourly wage for a virtual assistant in the United States is $20.50 per hour. That’s equivalent to earning $820 per month for just 2 hours of daily work.
The duties of a virtual assistant range from answering emails, editing content, and managing social media accounts to data entry, customer service, and designing banners.
A few of the most in-demand virtual assistant services include, but aren’t limited to:
- customer service
- administrative support
- search engine optimization (SEO)
- email management
- graphic design
- digital marketing
- & more
In general, becoming a virtual assistant is an extremely flexible and scalable endeavor that could potentially grow into a source of full-time income.
The best way to land virtual assistant gigs is by browsing through job boards and freelancing portals, such as:
- & more
14. Online tutoring
Do you have in-depth experience regarding a specific school subject?
If so, you could start monetizing your knowledge by offering private tutoring services online.
The demand for remote tutors has never been higher. According to Yahoo Finance, the online tutoring market was valued at $88 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to over $400 billion by 2027.
The average hourly rate for an online tutor is $18.30, ranging from $10 on the low end to $38.90 on the high end. However, tutors teaching advanced topics like calculus and economics or preparing people for tests like GRE and LSAT tend to charge as much as $100 per hour and maybe even more.
Some of the subjects with the highest demand for online tutoring include:
- & computing
Getting started as an online tutor is pretty straightforward.
First, decide on the subject you’ll be teaching. Then, set the pricing of your tutoring sessions.
Lastly, start pursuing tutoring gigs by promoting your services on Craigslist, social media, and online tutoring portals, such as:
- Chegg Study
You may even start letting parents in your social circle know that you’d be willing to tutor their kids if they ever need some extra help on your subject matter.
After leaving a few students satisfied, word will probably get out, and new clients will start approaching you by themselves, without much additional promotional effort on your part.
15. Pet sitting
How would you feel if I told you that you can earn $15 per hour for hanging out with pets at your own home?
Pretty excited, right?
Well, you can actually do exactly that by offering pet-sitting services.
Being a pet sitter is one of the most fun ways to earn an extra $500 a month from home. It’s also very flexible as it allows you to set your own working schedule.
Your primary duties as a pet sitter include feeding, watering, grooming, walking, cleaning, and playing with the pet for as long as agreed with its owner.
A few of the most well-known apps that match pet sitters with people who need pet-sitting services in nearby areas, include:
- & more
16. Lose weight (what?)
You’re probably as stumped and skeptical as I was when I first found out, but earning money for losing weight is an actual thing.
Since losing weight involves a lot of work and motivation, some companies have launched apps that provide an extra incentive in the form of monetary payment to those who reach their weight loss goals.
A few of those apps are:
- & more
The primary downside of making money online using such apps is that it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get paid enough to build a $500 monthly income.
For example, according to HealthyWage’s calculator, the amount of money it’ll pay you for losing 30 pounds within 9 months ranges between $50 and $600. That’s equivalent to $66 per month at best.
Nevertheless, leveraging such apps toward earning some extra beer money all the while losing weight and improving your health, is a pretty sweet deal.
17. Sell digital templates
Another method of earning $500 a month from home is creating and selling digital templates online.
Templates are reusable pre-formatted sample documents or files that can be easily edited to fit the unique needs of any given project. Their purpose is to serve as a blueprint so that you won’t have to spend time and effort building something from scratch.
An example of a template is a pre-structured word document for resumes.
Some of the most sought-after digital templates include:
- social media posts
- advertising banners
- YouTube thumbnails
- email newsletters
- product mockups
- PowerPoint presentations
- video intros
- & more
A few of the best online marketplaces to list and sell the templates you’ve created are:
- Envato Market
- Template Monster
- Creative Fabrica
- & Etsy
Since a template you create once can be sold unlimited times over the years without any additional work on your part, selling templates has the potential to eventually become a source of passive full-time income.
18. Publish an eBook
Publishing an eBook is yet another proven way used by thousands of people to create a side income from home.
This Statista report reveals that the value of the global eBook market in 2021 was estimated at $16 billion and is projected to surpass $18 billion in 2024.
Compared to traditional publishing which involves signing contracts with third-party publishers who pocket up to 90% of your book’s profits, self-publishing your books online is light-years simpler, more affordable, and more profitable.
However, it’s worth noting that the self-publishing eBook industry is pretty saturated so breaking into it as a beginner with no significant following and zero authority can still be incredibly challenging.
That’s exactly why I’d advise you against attempting to become a self-published author unless:
- the idea of writing content appeals to you
- you are extensively passionate and knowledgeable about a specific subject
- you can conduct in-depth research and compile essential info into a resource that would actually deliver value to those who buy and read it
If you venture into the self-publishing industry just to make some quick cash, I can almost guarantee that you’ll end up failing.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of what the process of making money online with eBooks looks like:
- Zero in on a subject
- Do your research
- Create an outline
- Put together your content
- Come up with a catchy title
- Edit your content
- Design a striking cover
- Set your eBook’s price
- Gather positive reviews
- Promote online
A few of the most well-established platforms you can leverage toward publishing an eBook are:
- Amazon KDP
- Barnes & Noble Press
- & Lulu
According to ZonGuru, self-published writers on Amazon KDP make around $150 per month on the lower end to more than $20,000 per month on the higher end.
19. Sell digital media
Whether you’re an avid photographer, a music producer, a graphic designer, a videographer, or a painter, you can start monetizing the media you produce in many ways.
First of all, you can sell them on stock marketplaces like:
- Shutterstock (photos & images)
- Epidemic Sound (music & SFX)
- Storyblocks (video footage & templates)
- DeviantArt’s Printshop (artwork)
- Envato Elements (doodles, illustrations, fonts, etc.)
- ThemeForest (website templates)
Secondly, you may sell usage licenses of your work to companies and individuals that may want to use them on their projects. For instance, if you specialize in food photography, you could sell usage licenses of your pictures to food blogs and food magazines.
Lastly, you can build a personal portfolio website to showcase your work and attract clients willing to pay you either by the hour or on a per-project basis for delivering custom pieces of digital media tailored to their specific needs.
One of the simplest ways to make $500 a month from home as fast as possible is by offering skills you already have as a freelancer.
For example, if you have marketing expertise you could start offering it to people or companies willing to pay for it on a per-gig basis.
Based on research conducted by Joblist, US-based freelancers reported earning an average of $93 per hour. That’s equivalent to earning $500 a month for just 5.5 hours of total work.
Some of the most in-demand freelance skills nowadays, include, but aren’t limited to:
- Web design & development
- Graphic design
- Digital marketing & SEO
- Video production & editing
- Proofreading & editing
- & more
If you don’t have any skills that can be monetized in the freelance market, you can always develop new ones. Do some research, self-reflect, and once you’ve zeroed in on a specific skill set, make sure to sign up for a relevant course to shorten your learning curve, expedite your progress, and master it as fast as possible.
Once you’ve learned the basics of your chosen skill, start reaching out to potential clients looking to outsource their needs to freelancers via social media, paid ads, word of mouth, your personal website, or even digital freelance portals, such as:
- & more
Back in 2021, I took a course on web design and landed a client through Fiverr who’s still paying me $500 a month to design websites for them for just 1 hour a day.
Blogging is the process of regularly publishing content in the form of articles (aka blog posts) around one or more specific subjects.
For example, on dearboss-iquit.com, I blog about making money online and career development.
Blog posts come in many shapes and sizes, such as:
- How-to guides (How to Start a Blog)
- Entertaining (Job Quitting Stories)
- Product reviews (Wealthy Affiliate Review)
- Roundups (Best Affiliate Marketing Courses)
- Informative (Affiliate Marketing Statistics)
- & more
The primary purpose of blogging is to build an audience that you can then monetize via:
- Display ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Selling your own services and/or products
- & etc
Blogging is one of the oldest and most foolproof methods for creating a source of income online.
According to Indeed, the average earnings of bloggers in the US are approximately $20 per hour. This adds up to $500 per month for 1-2 hours of daily work 5 days a week.
Keep in mind that blogging is not like working a regular job that pays you a fixed amount of money in exchange for your time. Instead, it involves putting in some upfront effort to slowly build up your revenue over time. Generally, it could take anywhere between 3 months to a whole year for a blogger to reach the $500/month milestone.
The good news is that the income you build with blogging is mostly passive and can potentially be scaled to full-time or even beyond.
Nowadays, launching a blog is simpler and more affordable than ever and requires having neither coding knowledge nor technical know-how whatsoever.
If making money by casually writing content around topics that interest you sounds like something you’d enjoy, starting a blog is probably the side hustle that’ll suit you the best.
Print-on-demand is an order fulfillment method that involves having a third-party supplier print custom designs on white-label products (t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc.) on a per-order basis, and then ship the finished product directly to whoever ordered it.
This money-making approach is perfect for artists, designers, and illustrators looking to build an income off of their creative work. Nevertheless, you can get involved in print-on-demand even if you have zero design skills by hiring a freelancer to create designs on your behalf or buying designs that can be used commercially from sites like:
- Creative Fabrica
The primary advantage of print-on-demand is that your sole job is providing custom designs to be printed on the white-label products of your choice. All other order fulfillment procedures, like printing, packing, shipping, customer service, and even marketing are being handled by your third-party suppliers.
According to a report published by Grand View Research, the global print-on-demand market size was valued at $4.90 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $39.40 billion by 2030.
While the amount of money you can earn via print-on-demand depends on so many factors that it’s impossible to accurately predict, there are tons of people like Ryan Hogue and Michael Essek whose POD endeavors bring in up to $15.000 a month.
If you’re interested in getting started with print-on-demand, I suggest that you watch the following in-depth tutorial.
23. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products or services created and distributed by third-party online merchants in exchange for getting paid a commission for each customer sale you refer.
Here’s an overview of how making money with affiliate marketing works.
Step 1: You join a merchant’s affiliate program.
Step 2: The merchant gives you a unique affiliate link that points to their e-shop.
Step 3: You promote your affiliate link via one or more digital marketing channels such as a website, forums, social media, paid ads, etc.
Step 4: Every time someone clicks on your unique affiliate link and makes a purchase on the merchant’s e-shop, the merchant will pay you a commission.
Affiliate marketing is currently being implemented by more than 80% of brands around the world, including some of the most well-established ones, such as:
- & more
Therefore, almost any product or service you can think of, even those you’re currently using yourself, can be promoted in exchange for affiliate commissions.
According to statistics, the affiliate marketing industry is growing at an average rate of 10% per year and is expected to surpass $30 billion by 2025. This places affiliate marketing among the fastest-growing money-making models out there.
This Glassdoor report reveals that the average earnings of full-time affiliate marketers range between $5000 and $8500 per month.
I started affiliate marketing back in 2019 on a part-time basis hoping to build a secondary income source of $300 – $500 per month from home. About a year later, my affiliate endeavors were bringing in up to $2000 a month.
If affiliate marketing sounds like something that might interest you, I suggest that you check out my free affiliate marketing crash course.
24. Streaming video games
Video game streaming is the process of broadcasting yourself playing video games in real-time, on one or more online live streaming platforms, such as:
- YouTube Gaming
- Facebook Live
This report published by Future Market Insights, reveals that the video game streaming market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $7.2 billion by 2032.
At the time of writing, the most popular platform for streaming and making money off of video gaming is Twitch.
A Twitch channel can be monetized in a variety of ways, such as:
- Paid subscriptions
- Twitch Bits
- Video ads
- Selling merch
- & more
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the average Twitch streamer makes anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000 per month for streaming 8-9 hours per day. This equates to earning $500 a month for 1-2 hours of daily streaming.
All you need to get started with video game streaming is:
- Gaming device (computer, console, etc.)
- Microphone or headset
- Internet connection
- Game of your choice
The top video games for streaming in terms of viewership, popularity, and earnings potential are:
- League of Legends
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Apex Legends
- Dota 2
No matter which video game you pick, chances are you’ll be competing against hundreds or even thousands of other streamers. Therefore, to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, you’ll need to bring something unique to the table that sets you apart from everyone else.
25. Real estate crowdfunding
While there are tons of ways to make an extra $500 a month in real estate, one of the simplest and most affordable ones is real estate crowdfunding.
Real estate crowdfunding is the process of buying real estate properties by raising capital from small monetary investments of multiple individual investors.
This approach enables you to become a shareholder and passively earn a portion of the profits generated from the property’s rental income or sale without actually having to buy the entire property yourself.
According to Polaris Market Research, the global real estate crowdfunding market was valued at $10.78 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to more than $250 billion by 2030.
One of the primary benefits of real estate crowdfunding for beginners is the extremely low barriers to entry. In some cases, you can become a property shareholder for as little as $10.
In addition, real estate crowdfunding reduces the risk of losses by enabling you to easily diversify the properties in which your funds are invested.
A few of the most reliable real estate crowdfunding sites are:
Those were the 25 best ways to earn an extra $500 online while working from home.
The simplest ones to get started with which also yield the fastest results are the first seven:
- Get a part-time remote job
- Fill in paid surveys
- GPT (Get-Paid-To) sites
- User testing
- Micro jobs
- Focus groups
- & Cashback apps
The time and effort required to reach your financial goals by leveraging the remaining ones increases as you move down the list. However, so is the income potential.
For example, while making more than $500 per month by filling in surveys is nearly impossible, affiliate marketing could potentially turn into a 6-figure income source.
I suggest that you start experimenting with the methods that appeal to you the most, monitor your results, and pivot accordingly as you move along.
Interested in earning more than $500 a month? If so, make sure to check out the 17 Best Ways to Make $5000 Online From Home.
If you have questions or require further help, leave a comment right below or contact me right here, and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.
May you reach your financial goals,
Harry, Founder & Creative Director at dearboss-iquit.com