How Can I Make An Extra $500 A Month?

How Can I Make An Extra $500 A Month?

Need some money for a nice night out? A present? A little help with the rent? Ultimately, whatever you need extra money for is your business. I’ll assume if you typed How can I make an extra $500 a month?, or How can I make extra money online? into Google, you need it for something. I’m just here to help you get there. So, pour a cup of tea, and let’s see what we can come up with.

So? Can I Make An Extra $500 A Month Online?

Yes, with a little work you can make a decent side income online. Even if you don’t live in the US. I want to give you a peak into how I do it every month.

The internet is flooded with useless BuzzFeed style junk articles. Clickbait titles like “1001 Real Tested Actual Ways To Become A Millionaire Tomorrow!” scream out at you from the Google results page. Unfortunately, these sites are more suited to pushing late night TV style schlock than giving you useful, honest information.

I’m hoping to change that. In this article I’m going to share some of the ways that I use every month to make some extra income. That is basically the point of this site after all!

Note: These are all sites I have personally used, and none of these listings are sponsored. I do not receive any payment, samples or free product from anyone featured on this blog (sadly). I do however earn a very (very) small affiliate credit when you sign up using my links.

A Few Things You Won’t Find In This Article:

  1. I’m not going to tell you to sell everything you own. (You’ll quickly run out of stuff.)
  2. I’m not going to tell you to get a side gig as a ramen delivery driver. (Even if you’re still in high school, this is rarely worth the effort or abuse on your vehicle.)
  3. I’m not going to tell you to rent out your apartment for 3 weeks a month. (Though if you’ve sold everything in it, I guess it’s less of a worry.)
  4. I’m not going to tell you to search your couch for extra change. (Hopefully you’re smart enough to come up with that one on your own!)
  5. I’m not going to tell you to just ask for a raise at work. (Really? It’s that easy? Just say “raise” to my boss and my money problems are over?)

Not to say that those ideas won’t make you any money. If you have extra junk, selling it on eBay is a great short term money maker. If you’re out of town anyway, (and don’t mind strangers digging through all of your stuff) why not give AirBnB a shot? Have a full time job and think you deserve a raise? Obviously you should mention this to your boss.

Honestly though, don’t drive for Uber or UberEats or whatever. After you take gas, insurance, and wear and tear on your car into account, it works out to only $2 or $3 an hour. There are far easier ways (right on this list) to earn that kind of money. Even SwagBucks pays better than that!

Help! I Don’t Live In America

Let’s get this one out of the way first. You don’t live in the USA, so it’s going to be impossible. Guess what? I don’t live in the US either. It makes the opportunities a little harder to come by, but there are certainly still opportunities out there.

The US seems to lead the way in online beer money. A lot of sites are US only. We’re just going to skip those. There are also a lot of sites out there that will accept workers from all over the world. But (isn’t there always a but?) a lot of the better jobs are still US only. Sites like MTurk, while open to various other countries, are still hugely US focussed. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.

There are some sites that I tend to think of as the commonwealth sites. These are sites, outside the US, that focus primarily on the UK, Canada, Australia, and often India and a few western EU countries. We’ll touch on these, though I’m going to try to focus on global sites.

Help! I DO Live In America.

Don’t worry, you won’t be left out. Americans certainly have way more opportunities than the rest of us, and there are very few sites that exclude you. If anything you’ll just get even more out of the sites listed below.

First, A Sample Month

How Can I Make An Extra $500 A Month Online? Sample Month

Before we get into detailed site descriptions, I wanted to provide you with a sample month. This is proof that it is possible. These are some of my own personal entry level earnings for the month of February. In total this represents only about 32 hours of work.

These are also all easy application sites. I made this money without Appen, Lionbridge, Rev, MTurk or any of the other common big earners that require exams and time commitments.

Now of course, your earnings will depend heavily on where you are, what languages you speak, and which sites you prioritize. It will also vary month by month. For example, the above has $342.62 coming from ClickWorker, which is a pretty good month for that site.

However, when there are no jobs on ClickWorker, I can usually put extra time into Neevo or MicroWorkers. If there’s little work anywhere, I can always put that time into surveys or GPT.

The best idea is to diversify your sources. That way, when one site is slow you can make it up on another. Your goal should be to put at least an hour or two into something that makes extra money each and every day.

Track Your Time!

I can’t overstate how important this is. You can find a ton of people online, bragging about how much they made on SwagBucks, or filling out surveys. They rarely share how long it took though. As well meaning as they are, this isn’t super helpful information.

You were able to cash out $50 on SwagBucks in only a week? That’s awesome! That’s $50 you didn’t have before. But, did it take you 18 hours to do it? That means you’re working for $2.78 an hour. Suddenly it doesn’t sound so great.

$50 is $50, but what if you had spent those 18 hours working at $5 an hour? You’d be putting $90 in your bank account instead! Remember, you want to work smart, not hard.

If you’d like a copy of the monthly tracker I use, here’s a PDF version (if you want to print it out and go old-school), as well as an Excel file that will auto-calculate some totals for you. Both are free to download and modify as you like. They aren’t fancy, but sometimes simple is better.

Next you’ll need some type of timer to track the actual time spent on each job. There are a ton of options out there. Whether you use an app, website, the timer on your phone or just a piece of paper doesn’t matter. Personally I use Clockify. The free account is pretty basic, but it lets you assign job names like SwagBucks or ClickWorker, so it’s easy to transfer the totals to a spreadsheet at the end of each month.

Alright, let’s get to it! If you’d simply like a list of the sites I use, check out the Recommended Resources page. If you’d rather get a little more detail, keep reading below.

Survey sites will help you earn an extra $500 a month.

Online Surveys

  • Level: Very Easy.
  • Time Commitment: Medium. Budget about 20 minutes per survey.
  • Pay Per Hour: Low. $3 – $5 per hour.
  • The Good:
    • Everyone can do it.
    • No skills required.
    • Very mobile friendly.
  • The Bad:
    • Low pay.
    • Frequent redirects and disqualifications.
    • It can take quite a bit of time just to get accepted to a survey.
  • Some Tips:
    • Save the surveys for when you’re watching TV, riding the bus, waiting in the doctors office, etc.
    • Bookmark them on your phone and/or download the survey apps so you can do them on the go.
    • Don’t randomly make up demographic info. Inconsistencies can get you banned.

My Thoughts On Surveys

This is the starting point. Level one. Everyone has seen or heard of these types of sites. They’re probably the easiest (if not the most lucrative) way to make some extra money online.

Wherever you are in the world, you can likely find a survey site that will work for you. They are easy to sign up for, but they often require a good deal of time. Surveys will range from 3 minutes to over an hour. In my experience the average is about 12 to 25 minutes.

The pay, unfortunately, is often not great. 20 minute survey? Expect about $0.50 from a lot of sites. Trying to sign up for some of the premium survey sites definitely pays off.

Depending on your demographic, you’ll also experience a lot of disqualifications. These can be frustrating, but just keep plugging away and you’ll get some surveys eventually. You can check out my article on survey safety for some tips, and to find out why making fake profiles to help your demographics might not be the best idea.

The last thing to mention is that there are unfortunately a lot of scammy sites out there. Avoid anything that sounds like a late night TV advert. Is someone claiming they made $1000 a week from surveys? That’s a lie. They might have made $1000 a week from selling gullible people their generic ebook though.

Top Sites:

  • Prolific – This is my gold standard. Mostly academic surveys that pay quite well, with no disqualifications.
  • Qmee – Nice interface, lots of opportunities. Will redirect you a lot though, so the time estimates they post are basically useless.
  • PaidViewPoint – You’ll answer a lot of profiling questions, but you get paid for them and there are no disqualifications.
Get Paid To or GPT sites are a great way to earn extra income by signing up for offers or watching ads.

GPT Sites – Get Paid To

  • Level: Very Easy.
  • Time Commitment: Up to you. There are lots of earning options.
  • Pay Per Hour: Very low to high. $1 – $4 per hour, though some offers can be up to $30 or $40 each.
  • The Good:
    • Most people can do it.
    • No skills required.
    • Some passive options available.
  • The Bad:
    • Can be low pay.
    • Require you to sign up for things / give up your privacy.
    • Some offers don’t credit properly, meaning you’ll have to depend on customer support.
  • Some Tips:
    • Though these sites offer surveys, they are even lower paying than most survey sites.
    • Keep a browser, or mobile app, open and playing videos for passive earnings.
    • Read the fine print on all the offers.

My Thoughts On GPT

The best money on these sites is signing up for offers. You’ll be offered $5 or $10 to sign up for free trials, download and play some games, or sign up for subscription products. This is where the name comes from. Get Paid To… watch, sign up for or download something.

There are a variety of opportunities, and you can even earn a small amount of passive income by leaving the videos (ads) playing in the background. The pay is low, but it requires no effort.

You can fill out the surveys, but I would exhaust your regular survey sites first. Those will almost always pay better. Peanut Labs and other GPT offer wall surveys are some of the lowest paying around.

Here, more than anywhere else, you need to keep track of time spent. These sites want to keep your attention for as long as possible, so they can profile you for data brokers. Make sure you’re getting compensated adequately for your time.

Also, make sure you real all the fine print on the offers you’re doing. $40 just to sign up for a $10 a month subscription service is a great deal…unless the fine print requires you to stay subscribed for a minimum of 6 months. In that case, you just spent $60 to earn $40.

This isn’t bad if you would have signed up anyway, that’s quite a discount. However, you need to remember, it’s not a deal if it’s not something you need.

Top Sites:

  • SwagBucks – Tons to do and pays out worldwide. Make sure to install the SwagButton for extra opportunities.
  • InstaGC – Like SwagBucks, but without any mobile apps. Website is very mobile friendly though.
  • CinchBucks – InstaGC, but with a slightly nicer website. Skip the surveys here though, I’ve found they often don’t credit properly.
Click work or Pay To Click will have you doing all kinds of easy tasks.

Click Work or Pay To Click Sites

  • Level: Medium.
  • Time Commitment: As much (or little) as you want.
  • Pay Per Hour: Medium to high. $5 – $20 an hour.
  • The Good:
    • Can be quite high paying.
    • Work whenever you feel like it.
    • Fairly low skilled tasks.
  • The Bad:
    • Amount of available work varies greatly.
    • Some jobs are very tedious.
    • Pay is often only once every 2 weeks or even once a month.
  • Some Tips:
    • Complete any qualifications you can, this will open up more work.
    • Check back frequently. Good jobs fill up quickly.
    • Sign up for multiple sites so that you can always find some work.

My Thoughts On Click Work

This can be your bread and butter. Click work is far better paying than either surveys or GPT. You should be checking these sites at least once a day. More often is even better.

These sites operate like third party job boards, so jobs get posted throughout the day. Good ones will tend to fill up fast. Often, jobs will be completed in a couple of hours. This means if you miss them, you’re out of luck.

You’ll be doing a whole range of different things. Checking search results, drawing bounding boxes around parts of an image, transcribing audio, verifying quick replies, and a whole lot more. A lot of the jobs revolve around verifying the accuracy of AI programs.

Keep in mind, a lot of sites will verify your work. They’ll often do this by stuffing random test questions into the job. Get too many wrong and you’ll be locked out of that job. Make sure you’re paying attention and not just clicking randomly.

If you can get into MTurk in your country (openings seem to vary depending on what work is available), it can be worth the effort. It’s basically the gold standard of click work. However, you need at least 1000 accepted hits before you see any real money. It can be a tedious grind to get that high.

Top Sites:

  • ClickWorker – This is consistently my best earner. There isn’t always work available, but I check it regularly and try to stay with high paying jobs until they’re out of hits.
  • Neevo/DefinedCrowd – One of the best interfaces I’ve come across. Not quite as high paying as ClickWorker, but much nicer job experience. Also far lower chance of being kicked from a job.

Don’t forget to check out the Recommended Resources page for more ideas.

Crypto Faucets Are A Great Way To Earn A Little Extra And Explore Cryptocurrency With No Risk

Crypto Faucets

  • Level: Very Easy.
  • Time Commitment: As much (or little) as you want.
  • Pay Per Hour: Very low. $0.30 – $0.50 an hour.
  • The Good:
    • Available worldwide.
    • Can be passive.
    • No risks involved.
  • The Bad:
    • Pay is very very low.
    • Pay depends on market conditions.
    • Need to hit minimums before cash out.
  • Some Tips:
    • Leave an auto faucet or two running in a background tab all day long.
    • Put in extra effort when altcoin prices are down.
    • Stick to sites that don’t seem too spammy and aren’t filled with pop-ups.

My Thoughts On Altcoin Faucets

I’m simply throwing this in here, briefly, since it does show up in my sample month posted up above. If you would like more in-depth info, check out my Crypto Faucet Starter Guide article, and my FaucetHub Guide.

Altcoins are a fun thing to play around with, though I certainly don’t recommend investing your life savings. Let’s look at it another way though; Let’s say you used bitcoin faucets in 2016, until you had $10 worth of BitCoin. At that point you got bored and just let your wallets sit there.

A year later, in 2017, you would have $27. That’s a 64% increase, entirely passively. A year after that, it would have grown to $166! Now, in 2019, that would have dropped to $125, but that’s still pretty good for zero effort.

Nothing in the market is ever guaranteed, but it is likely that we’re nearing the bottom of a cycle. The value of altcoins is projected to rise over the next year, with BitCoin hitting new record highs before the split next spring.

When prices are lower (like now) it is exactly the time to start hitting faucets. As prices start to rise, the faucets will pay out less and less coins, until the next peak.

If you’ve been on the fence about giving it a shot, now’s the time to try it out. It costs nothing, and might pay off decently in a year or two.

Top Sites:

  • MoonBitcoin – The CoinPot faucets are some of the best out there. Check out the Recommended Resources page for a full list.
  • FireFaucet – This one will run in the background. Just open the tab, solve a captcha and let it earn for you.
  • BitHunt – Another auto faucet. Set it to claim coins once a minute and leave it running.
Print On Demand Sites Can Be A Great Way To Earn Passive Income

Print On Demand

  • Level: Medium.
  • Time Commitment: As much (or little) as you want.
  • Pay Per Hour: Medium to high. This is essentially passive income.
  • The Good:
    • Once you upload designs, this can become entirely passive.
    • Can be done worldwide.
    • Zero cost to have your own shop.
  • The Bad:
    • The market is flooded with low quality and copyright infringing designs.
    • Without promotion, sales can be quite slow.
    • Payment is dependent on your creative skills.
  • Some Tips:
    • A lot of popular sites are about 80% copyright infringement. Adding to this flood of garbage is not only illegal, but is a hard category to compete in.
    • Try to find a popular niche to focus on.
    • Using sites like shutterstock is fine, but try to personalize your designs to help them stand out.

My Thoughts On Print On Demand

I feel like POD can be almost as spammy as survey advertising. YouTube and blogs are filled with clickbait titles like “I make $1000 a week on RedBubble!!! Subscribe and you can too!!!1!”. This has two unfortunate consequences:

  1. It sets expectations way too high. You aren’t going to make $1000 in your first week of POD. In fact, there is a very high chance you might not make $1000 in your first year.
  2. Like eBook publishing, the market has been flooded with low effort rip offs. This makes everyone’s designs harder to see, and puts some people off using some websites entirely.

This is something that certainly can be quite lucrative, but requires more work than some people would have you believe.

First, you need good designs. You can’t simply steal some clipart of Bart Simpson and expect to make money. Copyright infringing content is absolutely out there, but it also results in account bans and payment issues. It’s best to avoid altogether.

You can certainly use sites like shutterstock to buy royalty free images. Make sure to put some effort into customizing them though. You don’t want to upload the same shirt as someone else. Also, pay close attention to the licenses. Some sites make you pay extra for POD usage.

The second thing to keep in mind, is that these sites are flooded with designs. To really turn this into a regular source of income will require some additional work. This could be building a social media following, or even using paid advertisements. However you do it, promotion will help significantly with sales.

Top Sites:

  • TeePublic – This is one of my favourites. It pays out some of the highest percentages.
  • RedBubble – By far the most customizable interface. Doesn’t pay as well as TeePublic.
Transcription, teaching english, and translating are all great opportunities for extra income

Taking It To The Next Level

So far we’ve been talking about ways to earn a little extra money. These have all been side hustles you can do very part time. They shouldn’t interfere with having a day job. However, if you want to step it up from beer money into a 20 to 30 hour a week job, there are certainly options out there.

The sites listed below are what I would consider real jobs. You can do them part time, most will let you work as little or as much as you want, but they involve applications, interviews, tests, etc. Some of them require minimum availabilities, or time commitments. Some of them require working with teams of other people, which means being online at specific times of day.

Of course with increased requirements and responsibilities, comes increased benefits. With a lot of the jobs below you can start earning $15 to $20 an hour after you’ve been hired.

Popular Work Online Jobs

  • Teach english online – If you have a degree, and are a native speaker, you can teach english online. The most popular sites, like VIPKid, pay quite well. Keep in mind that you’ll be teaching Chinese children, so you must be available for their time zone. This might mean your classes are scheduled for 9pm or 10pm.
  • Be a Search Engine Evaluator – Companies like Appen and Lionbridge hire staff to verify search engine results, and other AI tasks. Think of it like professional click work. The entrance exams are lengthy (4+ hours) and very hard. If you get accepted, the work can be quite reliable and pays above minimum wage.
  • Transcribe audio – If you have a typing speed of 80+ words a minute, and a good set of headphones, you might want to give transcription a try. The entrance tests can be difficult and frustrating, but the work is steady and pay is usually at or just above minimum wage. Check out Rev for one of the nicer user interfaces.
  • Become a tester – If you’re tech savy, or have some programming skills, you can become a website or app tester. You’ll need a good attention to detail, and a high level of tech expertise, but the jobs themselves can be quite fun. Sites like Testlio are always hiring. You’ll need the right (latest) hardware and software environment to qualify for jobs though.
Need Even More Ideas How To Make An Extra $500 A Month Online?

Some Bonus Ideas

None of the above ideas catch your fancy? Or maybe you’re already using them all and want even more earning opportunities? Well here you go!

Similar to the above work online options, I would consider each of these a little more labour intensive than your average beer money jobs. Of course, as with most things in life, you get out what you put in.

Each of these options has the potential to earn you a decent amount of money, and a lot of it will be relatively passive once you’re up and running. Most of them rely on writing, creating or promoting something. If you have any marketing, copywriting or design experience, they should be right up your alley.

Don’t worry though, even without experience, these are all things you can start doing right away. They’ll likely become more lucrative as you learn and grow your skills, but there are few entry requirements to worry about.

Each of these topics could warrant a post of it’s own (and likely will at some point). For now, here are a few brief descriptions and some helpful links to get you started.

Start Affiliate Marketing

  • The Good:
    • Little to no startup costs.
    • Can be done from anywhere.
    • Can be an amazing source of passive income.
  • The Bad:
    • Can be competitive, depending on niche.
    • You’ll benefit from at least some skill in promoting, or else some investment in advertising.
    • Might take time to build up a steady income.

What is affiliate marketing? Basically you’re advertising and selling someone else’s product. This means you don’t have to worry about design, production, inventory, or any of the other expenses of producing something.

This would be a great fit if you’ve got a substantial social media following, or are willing to build one. Just find a hobby you’re already interested in, and figure out ways to promote those products to others.

I would recommend heading over to Affilorama and signing up for an account. Don’t worry, it’s free! It has lots of helpful ideas on how to get started. Beginners will definitely benefit, but even seasoned affiliates might find something new.

On the site you’ll find some free tutorials and articles, a forum (super helpful), and some free analytics and marketing tools. Of course they also have premium paid options as well. The ones I have used have all been worth it, but whether you feel you need them or not is up to you.

Work As A Freelance Writer

  • The Good:
    • No experience necessary.
    • Work anytime, anywhere.
    • Some articles can lead to ongoing income.
  • The Bad:
    • Jobs can be competitive.
    • Can take a lot of submissions before you land a job.
    • Income isn’t steady. It depends on the jobs you can land.

If you like writing, this can be a great source of income. You could write blogs, reviews, copy for marketing, really just about anything. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere, at any time. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and the ability to hand things in before deadlines.

The toughest thing, assuming you already know how to write coherent sentences, is landing jobs. There are lots of job boards out there like Fiverr and Upwork. The only problem with these sites is that you might spend hours and hours bidding on jobs, and still end up with nothing to show for it.

The other drawback to these sites, especially Fiverr, is that the pay is often quite low. Think $4 an hour or so. It will take you quite a while to build up enough reputation points to be able to charge a reasonable hourly rate.

One way around these problems is to sign up for a premium job board. A site like Writing Jobs Online will link you to higher paying jobs. Think of it as a professionally curated Fiverr. You’ll waste a lot less time, which means your earnings per hour will increase. They’ll feed you jobs paying $30 up to $120 an hour. It will cost you a small amount of money, but the payoff could be well worth it in the long run.

Write eBooks

  • The Good:
    • Write about whatever you want.
    • As a digital product, there’s no need for stock or shipping.
    • Sell right away on major markets like Amazon and Kobo.
  • The Bad:
    • Not as easy as it used to be.
    • Needs promotion to generate sales.
    • Not a good source of short term income.

This used to be a common bit of advice. Back around 2010, “Just write a short ebook and sell it on Amazon!” was one of the latest get rich quick schemes. If you found a good niche, you could bash out a quick 50 to 100 pages of mildly useful information, and wait for the money to roll in.

While it’s still possible to make money on ebooks, it takes a little more effort now. You’ll need a good promotion strategy. However, if you’re willing to put in the work, this is a great source of continuing income.

The best idea is to pair this with a blog, or your own personal writing site. Make writing your side hustle, and ebooks can become one part of that. As I’ve mentioned many times, it’s best to diversify. Have a blog, a personal writing profile site, pick up jobs on Writing Jobs Online, and publish your own ebooks.

First, you’ll need to come up with a suitable topic. I’ll assume you can manage that part on your own. For the technical side of things I’d recommend checking out Sqribble. It will make the actual creation of your books easy!

You can choose a template (or make your own) and it’ll handle the formatting, page numbers, table of contents, and everything else. It even has some tools to automate some of the writing for you. If you’re looking for a quick way to bang out your ebooks, it’s worth a try.

Start Your Own Blog

  • The Good:
    • Write about your hobbies.
    • No skills needed.
    • Make your own schedule.
  • The Bad:
    • No guaranteed payments.
    • You have to pay for hosting up front.
    • You need to find a niche that isn’t over-saturated.

This is a natural fit if you want to make writing your side hustle. Everyone could benefit from a blog, even if it’s just as a promotional platform for your writing.

You could also use it to contribute to a community around one of your favourite hobbies. You’re essentially getting paid for something you like talking about anyway!

The above advice for other writing side hustles applies equally here. I would recommend checking out Affilorama to find out ways you can monetize your favourite hobby. Make sure to check out Sqribble and write an ebook or two. They’re great, either as free giveaways on your site, or ways of earning income from you blog.

Before you start writing, you’re going to need hosting. There are tons of options out there, but I can tell you that I’ve been really happy with SiteGround so far. They have special WordPress hosting accounts which are cheap and make it super easy to get up and running. For a starting blog it’s hard to go wrong.

Plus it’s not part of the Endurance International Group, or EIG, webhosting empire. I would strongly recommend steering clear of any of these sub-brands. You’ll save yourself lots of headaches and customer service issues.

Get Out There And Get Earning!

So there you have it. Quite a few ways you can combine, in your free time, to earn an extra $500 a month in beer money. This is how I do it, and it should work just as well for you too!

Some of them can become full time side hustles, some of them you can do while you’re waiting for the bus. However you choose to use them, each one will be able to contribute something to your financial security.