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The odds are low that you’ll earn more by working at most ordinary jobs — there are only so many hours in a week you can work. But — there may be a solution to reach your financial goals faster. Passive income, for example, is a good way to make money while you sleep. The money you make from passive income isn’t tied to how many hours you work or how hard you try.

It’s a tough economic time. The pandemic brought to light just how financially insecure most people are. If some supplemental cash could help you fund an emergency fund,  grow your retirement faster, help you get out of debt or reach a savings goal, having a passive income stream could be the answer.

Depending on how creative you are and how hard you’re willing to hustle, you could set up multiple streams of passive income and watch your bank account light up.

In this article

11 supplemental income ideas

While some supplemental ideas are more time-consuming than others, all are possible as a side gig or extra way to make money. Most require minimal skills or materials, making it possible to try more than one supplemental income idea out.

11 supplemental income methods explained

Take a closer look at how to make some side cash using one (or some) of the supplemental income ideas mentioned.

Sell your photos

Stock photography is popular today as more websites need high-quality images. If you have a photo collection from your travels or enjoy nature photography, you can sign up with websites such as Shutterstock and 500px Prime to sell them.

Once you sign up and upload your images, all you have to do is wait for customers to purchase the use of your images. You can earn as much as $120 on Shutterstock each time your image is used. 500px Prime customers pay $250 for a standard license, minus a 30% commission.

Rental Income

If you can qualify for a mortgage and have enough for a down payment, you can buy an investment property to rent. Depending on your budget, you may want to buy a duplex or larger to live in one and rent the others. The rent you collect (minus maintenance costs and taxes) may be the best way to earn passive income while you sleep.

There are several ways to get started. Talking with a real estate agent may be a good first step to get an idea of what the property values and rentals go for in your area. While you do your research, make sure you work on your credit score to improve your chances of getting a mortgage and save enough money for a down payment and any repairs and upgrades you may need to do before renting your property out.

Online tutoring and coaching

You may not need special certification or knowledge to tutor or coach others. Thanks to a demand for online tutoring and easy access to the Internet and webcam, you can set up a business tutoring or teaching others. Some ideas include:

  • School-grade student homework help
  • Teaching English or other languages
  • Business English for professionals

Ziprecruiter reports that the average hourly wage of someone working as an online tutor or coach is $21.11 per hour. If you work 10 hours per week, you can make over $800 per month. Some tutoring websites include Chegg, Khan Academy and Italki.

Rideshare programs

If you have a newer-model vehicle, a smartphone and some free time, you can get paid to drive others. Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft make it simple to work a side hustle when you’ve got spare time — sign up, watch for peak times when you can make more money and pick up a ride.

You don’t even have to worry about knowing the area well — the rideshare app will provide you with detailed driving directions. The average driver makes about $8 to $11 per hour, but if you live in a high-demand city and work peak hours, you may be able to make an average of $20 per hour.

Food delivery services

Similar to rideshare programs, you can deliver food and groceries through platforms including, Uber Eats and DoorDash. Delivery services require a bit more work than driving — you’ll still need a car and a smartphone.

But you’ll also be parking, purchasing food and supplies on behalf of clients and delivering them to their locations. Delivery workers report on Glassdoor they make $12 to $16 per hour, but the figure doesn’t include tips. To maximize what you earn, you’ll need to be careful about where you park to avoid parking tickets or work in tandem with someone else who can stay in the car while you run in and out.

Affiliate marketing

If you have a website, blog or social media account with a good following, you can leverage the trust you’ve built with your fans to make some money. Affiliate marketing entails promoting and selling products and services to your audience. The product doesn’t have to be yours — instead, you get a commission if one of your readers purchases it.

Depending on how much the item you’re selling costs and the size of your audience, you can make some great passive income. Neil Patel, one of the largest digital marketing bloggers, says you can make between $10,000 and $400,000 per year recommending products to your audience.

Advertise on your car

This type of supplemental income may be the most passive of the list. You don’t need any special skills or effort to get going. All you need is a car and a commute in an area an advertiser is interested in.

Also known as a car wrap, you can sign up for one and get paid between $100 and $400 per month for the campaign. Carvertise and Wrapify are a couple of reputable websites with a selection of campaigns-for-hire.

Peer-to-peer lending

If you have a savings account with a small sum of cash, you’re probably disappointed at the meager interest you’re earning on your savings right now. Stashing your cash in a certificate of deposit in the hopes of locking in a slightly better interest rate isn’t the best solution either — if you withdraw the money before your term is up, you may be subject to penalties.

Peer-to-peer lending is a good way to make money on your money. You can sign up for the service on websites such as Lending Club. They’ll do all the due diligence for you to make sure your reward is greater than your risk. And you can earn an average of 5% on the money you lend, although your returns could be higher.

Take surveys for money

If you like to relax in front of the television after a long hard day at work and surf the internet while you’re at it, taking surveys can add some cash to your pocket. There are tons of websites promoting surveys that pay you as much as $35. But realistically, you might earn $17 to $20 per week, depending on how much time you want to invest.  It’s not exactly financial freedom but it could take the pressure off of a tight budget.

Check out the following websites:

Rent your car out

Have a nice car you don’t use as much? It’s a common issue since the pandemic hit. Many people have been transitioned to remote work from home and find they rarely drive anymore. Luckily, you can rent your car out and make good money.

Turo is the pioneer when it comes to renting your car out. Best of all, the website provides you with a free “carculator” which can tell you how much you can earn renting your car out. A 2018 Honda Accord can earn you an average of $539 per month if you rent it just 12 days per month.

Become a mystery shopper

Mystery shoppers get paid to shop. If this caught your attention, read on. Websites such as Secret Shopper, Market Force and Pinnacle hire people to pretend shop at a store to report back how the experience was. In many cases, you’ll earn a flat-rate for the job plus the cost of the items you purchased. Other mystery shopper gigs don’t pay you a fee but let you keep the items they reimburse or pay you to buy.

One shopper wrote about how they earned $14,000 per year. Netting over $1,000 per month may require more time than you have available for this to be supplemental income, but if you can earn the more realistic average of $10 to $20 per hour and be happy with the extra cash, why not give it a try?

Running a successful side gig

If you have ever invested in the stock market, you’ve probably heard about diversifying your portfolio. It’s a technical way of saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The same concept holds true for side gigs — having more than one supplemental income has its benefits:

  • Multiple income streams increase your chances of consistent earnings
  • You can make money off of more than one skill or hobby
  • If one side hustle is seasonal or slows down, a different one can take its place

To really succeed with multiple streams of income, tackle one project at a time. Commitment is key. Do your research and understand what you’re signing up for. It may take some effort at first, but at some point, the effort will hopefully hit critical mass and start earning you money automatically (or at least with less effort). Once it does, move on to the next project while monitoring your current one to make sure it’s on track.