When my husband and I got married, we knew we had some financial goals we wanted to meet pretty quickly.
Together we had six figures of debt, and we knew we wanted to pay that off as soon as possible. Thinking about making these student loan payments twenty years from now sounded miserable, so we settled on a payoff timeline of about seven years.
We also had some big purchases we knew we wanted to save for. We also had plans to give up our apartment and buy an RV so we could travel the country in it.
We also knew we wanted to buy a home when we got back to Wisconsin, so we wanted to start preparing for that early.
So I guess you could say we’ve got an expensive few years ahead of us.
The best way for us to aggressively pay down our debt and save for our financial goals at the same time has been to increase our income.
$1,000 in extra income per month can go a long way!
In this post, I’m sharing how you can make an extra $1,000 a month to start tackling your financial goals.
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.
Why is it good to make extra money?
How many times have you read a personal finance book or blog post that said you should stop buying lattes or start clipping coupons to reach your financial goals?
Yeah, it might not be terrible advice, and those things can help you to save a few dollars here and there. But are you really going to pay off your student loans or buy your dream house by saving a few dollars here and there? Probably not.
Rather than ruthlessly cutting small things from our budget, my husband and I have found the best way to reach our financial goals is to make more money.
After all, we really wanted to be able to aggressively pay off debt while also enjoying live music and eating out since those are our favorite things to spend money on.
Making an extra $1,000 a month can make a huge difference in helping you to reach your goals.
With $1,000 extra income per month, you could pay off your student loans in just a few years rather than the 10-20 years it’s scheduled to take.
With $1,000 extra income per month, you could save the downpayment for your dream home in just a few years.
With $1,000 extra income per month, you could take an amazing vacation every year and still have enough to save aggressively for retirement.
I’m telling you, making extra money is the secret you’ve been looking for!
What are the best ways to make extra income?
When you first think about it, $1,000 sounds like a lot of money. And don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely more than spare change.
But when you do the math to figure out exactly what you have to do to hit that number, it’s actually not as hard as you’d think!
An extra $1,000 could be:
- 25 hours per week at $10 per hour
- 10 hours per week at $25 per hour
- $250 from four freelance clients each
- 10 online courses sold for $100 each
- 8 musical lessons taught for $125 each
START A BLOG
I can honestly say that starting a blog was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only is it something that I genuinely enjoy doing, but it is also an amazing way to bring in additional income every month.
There are plenty of different ways to make money blogging depending on what interests you. You could make money through affiliate marketing, sidebar ads, working with companies on sponsored blog posts, or selling your own digital products like eBooks and online courses.
You can start your own blog or niche site on just about anything. I’ve seen successful blogs in just about every niche you could think of. As long as someone out there is interested in it, you’ve got a potential audience.
And for what it’s worth, I was able to launch my tiny personal finance blog into a six-figure freelance writing business.
BECOME A FREELANCER
When you work as a freelancer, you’re an independent contractor providing a particular service to another person or company.
If you’ve got a specific skill set to be a freelance writer, graphic designer, or social media manager, you can find work as a freelancer online.
In 2018, in addition to running my blog, I started picking up freelance writing clients. In just a little over a year, I was able to take my freelance writing income from just a few hundred dollars here and there to $10,000 per month.
My favorite resource to get started with freelance writing is the online course Earn More Writing. In this course, six-figure freelance writer Holly Johnson teaches you how to get started with freelance writing and make serious money online.
START A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
We’re living in an increasingly visual world, so it’s not surprising that video continues to become a bigger and bigger deal every year.
And while it might seem like it’s too late to start a YouTube channel (hasn’t it all been done already??), there’s definitely still room for anyone who has something unique to bring to the table.
Certain niches tend to really go hand in hand with video, but honestly, people have been successful on video in just about every niche!
If YouTube sounds right for you, I recommend finding an online course on video and editing. With so much competition out there, people really expect high-quality videos.
Start sharing your creations with the world, and before you know it, you’ll start bringing in extra money.
BECOME A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
One of the awesome things about the rise of online businesses is that it’s created an entirely new career — Virtual assistants.
A virtual assistant (aka a VA) is an independent contractor that provides administrative services for online clients.
Plenty of online business owners hire VAs to help them in all areas of their business. Some do really basic administrative tasks like responding to emails, while others might have a more narrow specialty, like running someone’s Pinterest account or doing all of their social media scheduling.
You can find VA jobs on just about any job board these days. You can also join Facebook groups for business owners and find anyone looking for VA services.
START A SERVICE-BASED BUSINESS
Plenty of people make extra cash by offering services to people in their community. If you have a talent, chances are other people are willing to pay you for it.
For example, the photographer my husband and I hired for our wedding actually does that as a side gig, and she has a different job she works as her full-time job.
She’s at the point where she’s definitely making more than $1,000 per month, but you’ve gotta start somewhere!
A service-based business could also be something as simple as mowing people’s lawns in the summer or shoveling their driveways in the winter.
Plenty of people offering service-based businesses start off just to make some extra money and then end up going full-time later on.
TEACH ENGLISH ONLINE
Another easy way to make $1,000 per month is by teaching English online. You can do this by using a site like VIPKID.
VIPKID is an online education service that connects kids in China with English teachers. And no, you don’t have to be an actual English teacher to join.
On VIPKID, you can make up to $22 per hour teaching short half-hour lessons to kids. The best part is that you can make your own schedule, meaning you can make an extra $1,000 per hour in your spare time between other commitments.
START AN ETSY SHOP
If you’re crafty, Etsy can be a great way to make some extra money every month. Etsy is an online marketplace where you can sell anything that is handmade or vintage.
You can sell hand-made items on Etsy, like jewelry or knitted items. You can also sell digital items. Plenty of people sell printables and spreadsheets of all kinds.
I had an Etsy shop as a part of my business model for a number of years, and it was a great way to make a little extra money every month.
JOIN THE GIG ECONOMY
One of the best things about technology today is that there is no shortage of apps you can download and immediately start making money.
These apps exist in what is called the gig economy, where you make money by picking up gigs.
One way to make money with apps is by driving for Uber or Lyft, where you make money by driving people around in your own car. You’re basically a freelance taxi, and you can pick up a few rides whenever you’ve got time.
You can also make money online by delivering things. Apps like DoorDash and GrubHub allow you to sign up to deliver food. Other apps, such as Instacart pay you to go grocery shopping for other people and deliver their groceries to their homes.
There are also gig apps that don’t require driving anyone or delivering anything. Sites like Rover, for example, allow you to make money by pet sitting or walking people’s dogs. Sounds like a fun way to make money to me!
TEACH OTHERS A SKILL
You might be noticing a trend with this list, but the gist of it is that you can find a way to monetize just about any skill.
Depending on the skill, you might be able to teach lessons in your community.
For example, let’s say you’re skilled at a particular musical instrument. Chances are there are people in town who are interested in taking lessons.
If you’re teaching people locally, you can start sharing your services on social media. You could also offer a few lessons for free and ask those people to spread the word about your services.
RENT OUT A ROOM ON AIRBNB
If you have an extra room in your house or a house or apartment you’re not always using, you could make extra money by renting it out on Airbnb.
This can be a great way to make a bit of extra money without too much of a time commitment.
Even if you don’t live in an area with a ton of tourism, there are almost certainly people coming into town for events, businesses, or to visit friends and family.
I know it can sound super sketchy to let a stranger come stay in your home with you, but you can screen the people who stay with you. Plus, someone coming to visit the city is probably going to be spending most of their time out, so you won’t run into them too much.
I’ve even read about people who rent out their apartments during their city’s tourist season and then just crash with their parents anytime someone books the place.
GET A SECOND JOB
So many people are constantly on the lookout for the next big side hustle that they forget all about the original side hustle: getting a second job.
Often, these are the side jobs where you can actually earn the most money the most quickly.
You might think that sounds crazy, but hear me out!
I started my blog in 2014. It started as a hobby, but it didn’t take long for me to learn that people actually make money from their blogs. As soon as I learned that, I wanted in.
I worked on my blog for an entire year before I made a single dollar. That first year was spent building a framework I could make money from home with later.
It was another year or so before I was making $1,000 per month.
Now don’t get me wrong — Plenty of people make a lot more money with their blogs a lot more quickly. But to do that, you have to devote a lot of time to it. As in, you skip all those happy hours and weekend plans with friends because you’re always working.
Contrast that with my husband, who took a side job as a bartender for a couple of nights per week while we were working to save money.
When he started that job, he was immediately able to start earning $1,000 per month (or more). There was no period of “building a framework.”
While it took me a couple of years to get to earning $1,000 per month on my blog, it took him no time at all.
So if what you’re really looking for is just an extra $1,000 per month, getting a second job might be the quickest way to make it happen.
An extra $1,000 of income a month can have such a big impact on your life. It doesn’t take that many hours per week to get there, and yet it can actually be life-changing.
I can tell you that when I was going through my divorce and at my lowest financially, that extra monthly income is what got me through it.
Whether you want the extra month to pay off debt, save for a financial goal, or just live a little bigger, all of the tips on this list can help you to get there.