51 Legit Ways to Make Extra Money This Summer
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.
Do you want to make extra money this summer but don’t know where to start or think you can’t earn extra cash? Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to make extra money over the summer, even if you feel like you don’t have special skills. You simply need a clear goal and to think outside the box.
There are several reasons why you might want to make extra money, such as:
- Paying off debt
- Saving for a down payment on a new house
- Earning extra money for retirement savings
- Making extra money for travel
Before we jump into this list of ways to make extra money this summer, let me say one thing. If you believe you don’t have the skills or ability to earn extra income, please don’t believe that lie.
While some things require advanced skills, many high-paying summer jobs don’t.
In fact, you can monetize virtually anything – you just have to want it and think creatively to find opportunities.
Awesome Ways to Make Extra Money This Summer
There are a lot of ways to make extra money over the summer. Our favorite is to deliver meals, groceries, and alcohol with Postmates.
Drivers can earn $20+ per hour, and you can create your own schedule. The app also pays drivers each week. However, you may not want to deliver items to people, or you may want other money-making ideas.
Thankfully, there are countless ways to make money on the side this summer. We’ve grouped the ways into four different sections below to help you identify which ones might be best for you.
Ways to Make Extra Money Online
1. Get paid to buy groceries – Rebate sites are a popular way to save and make money. You won’t make a lot of money with these, but they’re a terrific way to add cash to your budget.
Ibotta is one such option. They offer rebates to thousands of retailers, including grocery stores, they give out random bonuses for using their app, and you earn cash back for referring your friends.
Additionally, Ibotta pays a $10 bonus when you sign up to use their service.
2. Invest in real estate – Many people like the idea of investing in real estate. Unfortunately, it’s often cost-prohibitive if you don’t have the funds to buy a property or the skill to manage it.
Crowdfunded real estate investing has changed all that, allowing you to invest in commercial or residential properties online.
Fundrise is a great option to invest in real estate, and you only need $500 to start investing in one of their real estate eREITs.
RealtyMogul is another good option to invest in real estate. You need to have $1,000 to start but has lower fees than Fundrise.
Investing in real estate is one of the best residual income ideas to pursue, and is a legitimate alternative to investing in the stock market.
3. Taking surveys – You won’t become rich with surveys, but they’re a nice way to make extra money over the summer to pad your budget. Below are a few of the best paid survey sites to start making extra money every month:
- Survey Junkie – Survey Junkie is our favorite survey site since they pay you cash straight to PayPal, or let you redeem rewards for Amazon gift cards. Check out our Survey Junkie review to learn more about how you can make money with this top survey site.
- Pinecone Research – They pay $3 per survey and you can choose Amazon Gift Cards or virtual Mastercards. However, if you’ve joined Pinecone in the last 30 days, your first redemption must be by bank transfer to verify your rewards account. They also pay to do product testing. Read our Pinecone Research review to learn how to make more on the platform.
- Opinion Outpost – This is one of the top survey sites in the space, and they have quarterly $10,000 prize drawings.
- QuickThoughts – Download the mobile app and get paid up to $3 per survey. You can choose iTunes Gift Cards or other rewards.
Surveys won’t replace your income, but they can be a great way to make money on the side in your downtime.
4. Watch videos and play games – I know you may think this is a scam, but you really can make money watching ads or playing games online.
InboxDollars pays you to watch videos or play games and gives you a $5 bonus to start.
5. Sign up for free trials – Do you like testing new products? Vindale Research pays you to sign up for free trials and test those products. Vindale Research also pays you to answer surveys.
Unlike other survey and free trial sites, Vindale pays solely in cash. You don’t need to redeem points, and there are no options for gift cards, just cold hard cash.
You can start redeeming cash (via transfer to PayPal) with just a $50 balance. This minimum requirement is higher than other sites, but the platform also pays more for each survey in most cases.
The site gives new users a $1 bonus when they open an account.
6. Get paid to shop – Why not receive a little cash back for the shopping you do online? You can use a site like Rakuten to get cash back for shopping you’re already doing.
They’re free to use, which you can’t beat, and you get a free $5 just for signing up.
7. Surf the web – If you’re like me, you’re on the internet all the time. Why not make a little extra money this summer while on it?
With Swagbucks, you can earn points, called SB points, which you can redeem for money.
Like Rakuten above, Swagbucks gives you a $5 bonus to start, and you can earn things like Amazon gift cards for completing different actions on their browser.
Surfing the web is only one way to make money with Swagbucks. You can get paid to play games online, using their shopping portal, and testing new products, just to name a few options.
8. Sell unused electronics – If you’re like us, you likely have a lot of old electronics lying around the house. We’ve made several hundred dollars selling old items on Craigslist.
You can also use BuyBackWorld as a way to sell old electronics and make cash. BuyBackWorld provides the shipping label, and you mail them your old electronics.
If you have metals, do an internet search for ‘metal scrap yard near me‘ to find local options to sell items and make money.
9. Read emails – Reading sponsored emails is a legit way to make money fast. With InboxPays, you get paid to read sponsored emails. You can also get paid to take surveys, clipping coupons, and testing products.
Unfortunately, you need to reach $50 to cash out via PayPal. However, InboxPays does offer $5 when you sign up and provides several ways to make money.
While you may be limited in earning potential with InboxPays, you want to consider sites like Swagbucks for more opportunities.
10. Virtual assistant – A virtual assistant (VA) is one of the best ways to make extra money this summer, not to mention year-round. VAs help people with a variety of tasks, including:
- Social media management
- Email management
- Data entry work from home
- Scheduling meetings
- Customer service
- Blog management
Beginner VAs can earn anywhere from $15 – $20 per hour, while experienced ones can earn $30+ per hour, making it one of the best online summer jobs available.
My friend Kayla started as a part-time VA and now runs her freelance VA business full-time. She earns over $10,000 per month working from home as a VA.
This means that being a VA has the potential to be one of the best high paying jobs for stay-at-home moms, college students, or anyone wanting to work from home.
You can also read our guide on how to become a virtual assistant to learn helpful tips to learn where to start with this opportunity.
11. Be in a focus group – Companies like to receive market research directly from consumers. You can check Craigslist, call local colleges, or use VIP Voice to take part in focus groups.
VIP Voice is traditionally known for taking surveys, but they also partner with companies to perform focus groups. These more involved focus groups typically pay at least $100!
12. Start a blog – Blogging is a great way to make extra money from home. I’ve more than replaced the income I earned at my former day job through blogging.
You can sign up for cheap hosting, such as $2.95 per month through Bluehost, and be up and running in a few minutes. They also provide you a free domain name and install your new site with one click.
Have you always wanted to start a blog but don’t know where to begin? Check out our guide on how to start a blog, where I break down all the steps to get up and running.
Ways to Make Money with Your Skill
13. Tutor – Are you proficient in a certain skill or subject, have a college degree, or are you in your last year of college?
If so, you can make up to $20 per hour with VIPKid and tutor overseas students. VIPKid provides the course materials and manages most of the administrative tasks so you can focus on teaching students.
EF Education First is another excellent platform to teach students overseas, using an experiential-based teaching approach. EF Education First pays up to $28 per 40-minute session.
14. Editor – Writing is a great way to make extra money during the summer, but don’t stop at writing. That writing needs to be proofread and edited.
Proofreading can be a great way to make extra money–all you need is a laptop, and you can work from wherever you like.
Proofread Anywhere offers a free course with the tools and tips you need to get started as a professional proofreader. Many proofreaders make $20+ per hour, and you don’t need a specialized degree.
15. Create a course – There is a lot of demand for online courses. Creating the materials for an online course does take some upfront work, but once it’s complete, it generates passive income, which is one of the best sources of extra money.
You can create an online course in a variety of niches, from graphic design to coding and other non-technical fields.
Teachable is an excellent platform to host and market your course. The Teachable platform automates everything, so once someone buys your course, they take care of all the work.
16. Take pictures – Do you have a good eye for detail and like to take pictures of various landscapes? Why not use that creativity to make extra money this summer by covering different events for your local friends.
You can also work with sites like DepositPhotos to sell your pictures and earn cash. A good friend of ours started her own photography business and has done quite well with it.
People pay decent money for good pictures, making this a great way to earn extra money.
17. Self-publish a book – My wife wrote a short book as a gift to my mom for Christmas several years ago. Out of curiosity, we put it on Amazon, and now we see money come in each month from sales.
You can self-publish through sites like Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly CreateSpace), which make the whole process simple from start to finish.
18. Sign up for Fiverr – Fiverr is a good way to make a little extra cash doing things like animation, design, or writing.
While $5 doesn’t sound like much, the real money is in the add-ons you can provide to clients.
19. Teach something – Do you know how to play an instrument? Do you have some other skills you’re good at? Then why not sell your time by teaching others how to do the same thing?
20. Be a handyman – Are you good with your hands? If so, this can be a great way to make extra money this summer by helping those who aren’t (like me).
TaskRabbit is a great resource to find potential gigs. You can find jobs in your area that range from basic requests to more advanced ones. With a few tools and know-how, you can make good money in your free time.
21. Coach – This might require more time than being a referee, but summer and fall are huge seasons for sports. If you enjoy a particular sport, why not monetize that interest?
22. Sell products – Do you have products you sell online? If you do, you can sell wholesale items online through an e-commerce site and make extra money from home.
Shopify is a good choice to run an e-commerce site. They help you set up a virtual storefront and manage the administrative tasks of running it.
Thanks to drop shipping, you don’t even need to hold the products yourself. When a customer buys a product, you buy it from the wholesaler, and Shopify ships it to the customer for you.
If you don’t mind having some of your inventory in your house, you might also consider combining drop shipping with selling your products at craft fairs in your area.
Sellfy is a second option to help you set up an e-commerce site. Setting up your store with Sellfy only takes about 5 minutes. They also have lots of features to help you completely customize your online storefront. You can even set up recurring subscriptions.
Sellfy can help you do behind the scenes management and market your products too. You can connect to over a thousand tools including YouTube and Vimeo, enabling you reach a larger audience.
Try out Sellfy by subscribing to their 14 day free trial. After two weeks, choose from three different pricing levels, depending on your sales volume. If your sales exceed their highest tier you can get a pricing offer as a higher volume seller.
Ways to Make cash fast Around Town
23. Buy groceries – Do you enjoy grocery shopping, or have a flexible schedule? You can even make money shopping for groceries for individuals with Instacart Shopper.
You can either buy groceries in-store for individuals or do the shopping plus deliver groceries. Delivery drivers can earn $20+ per hour with tips.
Read our Instacart Shopper review to learn more about this opportunity.
24. Deliver food – Deliver meals as an Uber Eats driver or deliver pizzas. You’d be surprised at what you can earn in tips as a delivery driver.
DoorDash is a good alternative to Uber Eats. You only need to be 18 to deliver for DoorDash in many locations. Many DoorDash cities also pay out bonuses to new drivers.
Uber Eats and DoorDash are just two of the delivery app jobs you can use to make money on the side, so don’t limit yourself to those two.
My youngest brother delivered pizzas for several years and made a killing doing it. If you have a car and don’t mind the odd hours, this is one of the best paying summer jobs you can pursue.
25. Rent your house – Do you travel much or own a second property? If you do, consider listing your house or apartment on Airbnb to make fast cash.
You can also use it to create a new stream of income year-round.
26. Yard work – People hate to do yard work so you can take advantage of their laziness. Mow yards, pull weeds, or aerate lawns, and you can make some nice cash.
You can even combine these services with tasks like snow removal during the winter for year-round side income.
27. Lifeguard – This is a fun way to make extra money during the summer. You can make at least $10 per hour if you’re CPR-certified.
Beaches, apartment complex pools, and summer camps are always looking for lifeguards, so there’s no shortage of opportunities.
28. Be a caddie – Golf is an expensive hobby. However, if you love golf and don’t mind walking around with bags, you can earn at least $50 to $100 for a few hours of work.
You might also find other perks like free rounds of golf or credits to the pro shop.
29. Walk dogs – Dogs need to walk, too! Ask pet owners in your neighborhood or advertise on Craigslist, and this can be a great way to make extra money this summer.
You can also use Rover.com to set up a profile so prospective customers can see your references. The site claims you can earn up to $1,000 per month with this opportunity, making it one of the top summer jobs that pay well.
30. Housesitting – How many people do you know that are going on vacation this summer? If you have the availability, this is money in the bank. Pay for housesitting in our city is $25+ per day, making this easy money.
You can use HouseSitter.com to create a profile so customers can see your references and experience.
31. Scoop dog poop – No, not very glamorous but still a way to make extra money throughout the year. You can find clients by advertising on Facebook or local stores.
It’s also important that you research the proper disposal procedures, so you’re not fined for illegal waste disposal.
32. Clean houses – Unless you’re like me and clean the house to clear your mind, most people don’t enjoy cleaning their houses.
This is a great way to make extra money, especially if people are moving and want to tidy up their homes.
33. Wash windows – We have a friend who has a side business washing windows and he does quite well at it. He started by washing windows for a fellow business owner and expanded from there.
You will need a few supplies to start, but this can be a lucrative side hustle if you have the right connections. To get started, advertise locally or ask some friends or family members if you can wash their windows.
If I had to guess, most of them would say yes.
34. Pet sit – Kennels are often expensive and not always the best for pets. If you like to spend time with animals, caring for pets is a good way to make extra money while their owners are on vacation.
You might even be able to combine this with housesitting to earn even more.
*Related: Looking for other ways to make money? Check out our DoorDash vs. Postmates guide to see which is better for drivers.*
Like dog walking above, Rover.com is a quick way to find potential customers. Once you get a few clients, ask them to leave reviews so you can begin to build some referral business.
35. Wash cars – When was the last time you paid to wash your car? As you know, it can be pretty costly. However, with just a few supplies, you can wash cars around your neighborhood.
You can even advertise on Craigslist or Facebook to find extra customers.
36. Deliver newspapers – You may think most people get their news online, but that’s not always the case. People still pay to have the newspaper delivered to their homes each day.
We have a friend who has delivered papers for years to bring in extra income. If you don’t mind working early mornings, this can be a great way to make extra money.
37. Help people move – Moving is a hassle many want to avoid. If you don’t mind the physical work, this is an excellent way to make extra money on weekends or during the summer.
TaskRabbit is a great resource to find moving-related jobs in your city. You can make money helping people load their moving trucks or by moving items around their home.
38. Sell bottled water – If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, buy several cases of bottled water and sell them outside outdoor events.
However, make sure your city allows you to do this before starting and get the proper permits (if necessary).
Depending on where you live, this may only be a good option during the summer. If you live in a warmer climate, this can also be a fantastic way to make extra money year-round.
39. Work security – I worked security a lot while in college for different events. You typically get to be outside, and it’s a simple way to make some extra money. Plus, you usually get to see the events for free.
40. Paint – Pretty much anyone can paint. You need very little skill or supplies, you get to be outside, and you can make extra money to boot!
Traditional Ways to Make Extra Money Over the Summer
41. Babysitting – Babysitting is one of the most traditional ways to make extra money. The rate you can charge depends on where you live; our city is in the $10+ neighborhood.
This option is one of the best ways to make money on the weekends, or throughout the entire summer.
If you like children, this can be an excellent way to supplement your income. Sitter.com is a great tool to use if you don’t have a big customer base.
Clients can leave reviews of their experience with your services, and you can also find new gigs.
42. Get rid of your crap – Are you swimming in stuff your house? We’ve all been there.
Believe it or not, you can make money on that stuff. CDs, DVDs, and games for old gaming systems are all eligible for sale to Decluttr. This won’t bring in a lot of cash, but it can be a great way to pad your savings account.
43. Get a part-time job – Although this isn’t my favorite idea since I’d rather control my hours, you can always get a part-time job for some extra cash.
You can find part-time work in seasonal places like camps, plant nurseries, or local parks. If you need ideas for your children, there are jobs that hire at 15 that will help them earn money.
Nontraditional Ways to Make Extra Money
44. Sign up for a new credit card – This is one of my personal favorites. If you have a major purchase planned in the near future, you can get cash back for that purchase.
Here are some great cash back cards to consider. Just make sure not to overspend when trying to earn cash back. You don’t want to go into debt while you’re trying to earn extra money.
45. Sell a bodily fluid – Do you need to make cash fast? If so, you can make extra money selling a bodily fluid.
Pretty, no, but do you actually need all that plasma? Read our guide on how to make money donating plasma to know what to expect with this opportunity.
46. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending – Investing in the stock market or real estate isn’t the only way to invest and earn additional income. You can loan money to those who are in need and make extra money for yourself.
You can use a P2P site like LendingClub to loan money to individuals. Returns will vary, but many loans return six to eight percent on average. Not a bad way to earn some extra cash.
47. Rent something you own – If you own your car outright and don’t drive it often, you can rent it out to others with a service like Turo.
However, before you do this, check with your insurance to be sure it permits this kind of arrangement. HyreCar is an option to consider besides Turo.
You can earn up to $1,000 per month renting your car through HyreCar, according to their website.
You can also get creative and rent out other items like camera equipment, your bathroom (yes, that’s a thing), your bike, parking spots, and power tools.
48. Take Selfies – Do you take a lot of selfies? If so, why not try to make some money from them?
The Stylinity app allows you to tag products you like and share them on your social channels to make some extra cash. If a friend makes a purchase, you get a little kickback.
49. Rent your friendship – I don’t know that I’d do this, but if you’re up for helping people pursue platonic friendships, you can sign up for RentAFriend.
Renting your friendship can net you up to $50 per hour plus free meals or movies.
50. Sell produce – Summer is the prime garden season. If your garden is overproducing, and your freezer is full, why not consider selling your produce in your neighborhood or at a farmer’s market to make a little extra money?
While this option is more time-specific, it is a great way to pad your wallet in the summer and early fall months.
51. Sell your old clothes – This is one of the ways we save money on kids’ clothes. Many consignment stores and sales need clothes to sell.
You can sell clothes on thredUP, your local Facebook Marketplace, or even on Craigslist.
If you have clothing items your kids have outgrown or no longer wear, this can be a great way to make a little extra cash.
The best thing about this list is that it only scratches the surface. If you have the time and have identified a need, there are countless ways to make extra money this summer and throughout the entire year.
If you’re struggling to identify summer job ideas, find one of the opportunities on the list that suits you best and starting earning money on the side.
Now, over to you – what are some of your favorite ways to make extra money over the summer? What’s your answer to those who say they do not know how to make extra money?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
Latest posts by John Schmoll (see all)
- Best Place to Open A Roth IRA in 2020 - December 4, 2020
- 7 Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans for 2020 - November 30, 2020
- How to Get Free Cable TV Legally and Not Pay for Cable - November 16, 2020