5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash this Summer

Whether you’re saving to satisfy your summer wanderlust or pinching pennies in an unpaid summer internship, I feel like everyone’s piggy bank is hungry for more.

Here are a few easy ways to feed the pig this summer:

1. Budget #likeaboss.

So this isn’t exactly earning money, but do you really know where your paycheck is going every month?  All those happy hours and lattes add up faster than you realize. Using a tool like Mint can help track current spending and suggest budgets based on your spending trends. Every Dollar is another free tool you can use if you want to start your budgeting with what you value and want to spend your money on rather than what you have been spending your money on.  

Getting control of your money is the first step to being able to earn more. After all, earning extra cash won’t help if you’re spending it faster than you bring it in.

2. Clear the clutter.

It’s time to clean out your closets and go through your home for anything that’s just collecting dust and taking up space. Got clothes to get rid of? Take them to places like Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet and they’ll pay you for some of what you don’t want. You can also put a variety of  items up for sale on Craigslist, Ebay, or your local Free & For Sale Facebook group. The app Letgo allows you to post pictures of whatever you’re getting rid of and set your price or negotiate.  After all, one boss’s trash can be another’s treasure.

3. Mystery shop ‘til you drop.

Mystery shopping allows a discreet customer to evaluate customer service and product quality for a company without the employees knowing you’re conducting an evaluation. Mystery shoppers provide companies with information about the “typical” customer experience. If you like free food, then this may be the perfect side gig for you. Mystery shopping usually just reimburses for the cost of a meal, but with some companies, you can even earn a few extra bucks on top of that. This isn’t a way to get-rich-quick by any means, but if you’ve put yourself on a tight budget, it’s a great way to still enjoy meals out.  Some shops will even allow you to bring your gal pals along. Keep in mind, mystery shopping can require very detailed reports after the fact and if you don’t follow the exact instructions for the shop, you won’t get paid.

To sign up as a mystery shopper, check out this list of companies backed by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of North America. The best companies for mystery shopping vary by location and the types of jobs you are interested in conducting. Remember, no legit mystery shopping company will ever ask you to pay to join, so beware of scams.  

4. Find your side hustle.

Getting a part time gig isn’t necessarily the most preferred way to rake in some extra dough, but it’s certainly the most guaranteed way to earn some extra income. Check out your city’s Parks and Recreation division for a generally wide array of jobs that could be available just for the summertime. There are often jobs available that only require a few extra hours a week. You could be a scorekeeper or referee at youth sporting events.

With some extra training, you could even become a lifeguard or swim lesson instructor.  Lifeguarding classes are about 25 hours long, but can result in many more working hours. Swim lesson instructor courses vary by where you’ll be teaching at and may not even require a formal training.

Like kids or pets? Try your hand at babysitting or pet-sitting. Through Care.com you can be connected with people in need of childcare, petcare, or even household care.

Like driving? Drive yourself into a bigger budget by driving with Uber or Lyft. Uber claims that drivers working for them will make an average of $19.04 per hour. While Lyft cites that drivers can make up to $35 per hour. If you don’t have a car, Lyft can help you rent one at a reduced rate or for free based upon on how many rides you give every week.

Trying a side gig on for size can help you see if you’re interested in a particular career field. Don’t be afraid of tackling something new where you may be lacking experience. You never know what passions you may discover! After all, the only way to figure something like this out is to choose to do something.

5. Become a task ninja.

TaskRabbit and Fiverr are sites that allow you to get paid to complete basic tasks for other people.  TaskRabbit allows people to post what they need help with and the you can hunt for the contract gig that’s right for you. Fiverr allows you to sell any service for $5 or more depending on the task.  If you’ve got some time to kill, but don’t want to commit to the regular grind of a job, these can be your best option.


Did you find this information useful? If so, SHARE it with your friends to help them cash in this summer as well! And if you have any additional ways you make cash over the summer, tell us about them in the comments below!


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