Make an extra $1,000 a month with these five business ideas and get closer to financial independence in 2017
I talk a lot about saving and budgeting on my personal finance blog, PeerFinance101. I like to think I’ve heard every budget trick there is to squeeze a few more dollars out of even the tightest plan.
But most of the time, just saving and budgeting isn’t going to be enough. Reaching financial independence, I mean not having to worry about money and achieving your dreams, means making more money.
The average American household makes $60,448 after taxes or about $5,000 a month according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) but spends $4,670 a month. You aren’t going to become a millionaire saving $300 a month.
I’ve dedicated this blog to making extra money and turning a side hustle into financial independence. I’ve turned my websites into a $5,000 a month income stream and love the feeling of control I have over my own finances.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It took me just under a year to start making $1,000 a month on my work from home projects but that extra thousand a month is a big step.
Making an extra $1,000 a month is like giving yourself a 20% pay raise!
When was the last time you got a 20% raise at work?
It is possible to start making an extra $1,000 a month on a side hustle. Start now and you can do it by the end of the year.
How to Make Extra Money Each Month: The Basics
Few businesses start making money instantly. You might be able to go out and mow someone’s lawn for a quick $20 but that’s never going to be the kind of money you need to make for financial independence.
There are some ways to make extra money each month that pay off faster than others but you’re going to have to make a decision, go for the quick payoff or go for the big score further down the road.
I’ll outline fast ways to make $1,000 a month as well as ways to make more money in the next sections. The idea is that you may be able to make quick cash on a few ideas but it’s harder to increase the amount you make. Jobs like mowing lawns and reselling things you find on Craigslist are only going to make so much and it will never be a passive source of income.
Real financial independence means building passive income sources, ways that make money without you having to constantly work on them.
Put together a mix of quick money ideas and longer-term strategies to get you started and help reach your goals.
Making an Extra $1,000 a Month: The Fast Way
These first few ideas to make an extra $1,000 a month will start putting money in your pocket quickly but will be limited to how much you can make. You will always need to be running the business and it will be tough growing your income stream on your own limits for time.
But they do work and you shouldn’t write them off without giving them a try. These quick money ideas can be great stepping stones to longer-term strategies and the extra money each month makes it easier to wait while you build your passive income business.
The most popular article on the blog is a guide to making money on Craigslist and different business ideas around reselling used items. I loved talking to Craigslist resellers for researching the post and was surprised at how much you can actually make using the website. Besides a quick way to make an extra $1,000 a month, a few people I talked to have made it their full-time job.
- Focus on buying and selling in one product category like furniture, appliances or electronics. This will help you get a better idea of value and you’ll be able to negotiate easier for the best deals.
- Cut down on travel costs by planning all your buying and selling together. Arrange to pick up or sell five or ten items and plan your route to save on gas.
- Learn how to negotiate and don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if you can’t get a good price.
The downside to a Craigslist side hustle is all the travel and you are usually making less than $50 on each trade. That means you’ll need to always be selling to make that extra $1,000 a month and making more will be difficult.
Most Work from Home people I know started as freelancers to make extra money after work and build their own businesses. Freelancing is basically just being an independent worker, doing the same job another person is hired to do but doing it without an employer.
You can freelance just about anything but again there will be a tradeoff in how much you make. Easy jobs like proofreading are quick ways to make extra cash but don’t pay much while other jobs will take longer to find clients. Check out this article on getting started freelancing and remember these tips:
- Mix in a couple of the quick money ideas while building your experience in freelancing jobs that pay more.
- Understand how much your time is worth and don’t be afraid to charge more. It’s much better to walk away from an offer than to accept a job that pays less than you’re worth.
- Start a simple website to show off your skills and find clients. You can create a professional-looking website in less than an hour and less than a few bucks a month.
While these ideas to make extra money can help you earn an extra $1,000 a month, you’ll always have to be looking for new clients and doing the work. Your goal should be to start a business that eventually turns into passive income, money that you can collect each month without any work.
Making an Extra $1,000 a Month: The Smart Way
Even if you start out with some of the quick ways to make extra money, you’ll eventually want to try a few ideas that can build passive income. These will take longer to make any money but will create assets you own and that pay you every month. It won’t take long and you’ll be making well over $1,000 a month without having to do any additional work.
One of the newest and most exciting ways to make extra money is through Amazon FBA. The program gives you the opportunity to set up your own retail brand and sell products through the largest ecommerce site in the world. Check out this Amazon FBA review and take advantage of the revolution in online selling.
- A little initial research is all it takes to find products you can sell.
- You outsource the production, usually a low-cost producer in Asia, and have them ship everything to an Amazon warehouse.
- Use Amazon marketing to rank your products and get them in front of customers
- Amazon ships all your sales and processes payments, sending you a check each month
A lot of people are still skeptical that you can actually make money blogging. Don’t think of it as a blog but as owning a piece of online real estate. Your website is just a digital property that has value and can make you a lot of money. I built my websites to a $37,000 annual income in just two years and it continues to grow each year.
- Check out this guide to starting a blog including how to pick your topic and how to make money.
- Sign up for web hosting for as little as $3.49 per month
- Learn how to treat your blog like a business, understanding how to get it ranked on Google and the different ways to make money
Give your blog at least a year to start making real money. Most bloggers give up within six months and miss out on the opportunity to create real passive income.
There are several ways to make money blogging. In fact, I’ve highlighted nine of the best ways bloggers make money in a new book. I laid out the book with the easiest and fastest ways to make money first to help with those first few months and start seeing your effort pay off. As you read through, each strategy is an opportunity to make more money on your blog. Each chapter is a detailed guide to getting started in each money-making strategy.
One of my favorite ways to make extra money is through self-publishing books. It’s actually a mix of fast money and increasing passive income. You can be making money on a book within a few months and can easily build to an extra $1,000 a month within a year.
In less than two years, I’ve made over $20,000 on self-publishing and am averaging almost $1,500 a month lately.
The best part about self-publishing is that you can combine it with blogging to make writing your books even easier. You are going to be writing content for your website anyway, why not turn them into books that make money every month?
- Start with a topic in which you have experience and check out some of the books available on Amazon.
- Outline a table of contents with things people want to know about the topic and anything not available in other books.
- Plan on writing a chapter a week or every couple of weeks for your blog. You’ll be able to put all the chapters together and reformat into a book within a few months. You can revise your blog articles with a link to the book on Amazon for instant marketing.
It’s obvious that I prefer the passive income ideas to making extra money. Would you rather work for your money each month or just have a business that sends you a check without having to do anything? Duh!
The fact is that the passive income ideas to making money don’t pay off immediately so it helps to start with a few of the quick money ideas. Building your side hustle strategy to making an extra $1,000 a month with the quick ideas will make it easier to wait on the longer-term ideas to start paying off. Try out a couple of ideas to make extra money or let me know about your favorite side hustle.