Ask the Readers: Do You Have Side Income?

By Ashley Jacobs on 16 July 2013 (Updated 23 July 2013) 86 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Justin, Eric, and Linda for winning this week's contest!

One common tip for achieving financial security is to make sure you have other sources of income outside your primary job. Some people do side gigs on their off hours, while others find ways to generate passive income to help them earn money without too much work.

Do you have side income? Do you feel secure in your finances with the extra money coming in? What do you do with your earnings?

Tell us whether you have side income and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, July 22nd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 22nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
    • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I don't have a side income right now. Years ago I used to do freelance translation.

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Peg Mooers

Of course, doesn't everyone?

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Martha

Yes--a tiny bit, but I sure like it!

Guest's picture

Yes, I'm beginning my own personal finance blog! It hasn't really made much so far (~$5 a month), but I'm trying to build it up for the long term.

You can check it out here: http://www.MoneyAhoy.com

Guest's picture

No worries Derek you will get there you have a great blog going. The money will come though.

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KF

I take a couple consulting gigs every year to supplement my income. I don't necessarily need the money, but it gives me more freedom to do the things I love. Most of the money goes towards vacations.

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Heather

I recently started a side job working at Target a few nights a week. I picked Target because it's a company I love and I purchase all my groceries, cleaning supplies etc there so the employee discount will go to good use. The location is convenient and the cashiering job is low-stress. The extra income is a nice way to work towards my goal of paying off my car quickly while still feeling secure in my finances. The employee discount saves me money on groceries etc and I even get a 20% discount on my cell phone bill for being a Target employee!

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Nicola

For side income I work as the nursery coordinator for our church. It brings in a little bit of extra money, that we use for vacations and Christmas money. It's a great side job as I can take my own kids. njfoley at sbcglobal dot net

Guest's picture

I do have side income (I teach college courses online), however, it still doesn't feel like enough due to my debt right now!

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Stefanie L

I sell Avon on the side - it brings in some extra cash without taking up a lot of time outside of my full-time job.

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shannon

so many side jobs.... ebay, craigslist, selling crafts....

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Bethany

I constantly wish I did, but right now I don't.

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Elena

I don't have a side income

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Caity

My side income is a relatively small percentage of my monthly total, but I enjoy freelancing and it's fun to see it add up!

Guest's picture

I sure do have side income! It really helps make ends meet, so I can afford the extra shopping trip or latte here and there. I vlog on YouTube which generates a few extra bucks in AdSense revenue a month. I also use affiliate links on both of my blogs so I can earn a commission if any of my readers wish to buy a product I mention. Lastly, I occasionally write sponsored posts where I'm paid a flat rate to write about a product or service.

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Beatriz

I don't think my comment went through--I've made some side income by writing poetry and book reviews--a total of $1232 from paying markets and winning contests so far, and several hundreds dollars' worth of subscriptions and books as part of the prizes.

Guest's picture

I don't have any side income, but I absolutely need to think about getting some to pay off some of my debt!

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Eric

I have side income from a blog, freelance writing, freelance web development, and running flash mobs. It keeps me busy!

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Kay

No, but I estimate that I save at least $100 a month by using coupons (grocery store, restaurants, haircuts, etc) so my savings is like a second income.

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Kristen

Yes, when we bought a new house we kept our old one and rent it out. I also very occasionally play the piano or organ for special events for a small fee. I'm not doing it currently but have also given piano lessons. Oh, & I have written a grant application on the side as well. The rental home is really the only steady side income though.

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Diane

Sadly, I have to say no. I did once have a side income grooming dogs in the evening, but I didn't make that much money and it is time consuming for the money made. I don't currently have anything extra going.

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Margaret Davis

I try to make a little side income by selling used books, occasional sewing projects for friends, etc.

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StayceeRae

I substitute teach as a side hustle ;)

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Josh

For years I was a freelance web and software developer in addition to my regular job (as a web and software developer lol). For me it's one of those things that I just never stop doing, so I may as well get paid for it!

These days, my current employment situation requires that I suspend my freelance operations, but my skills do still let me explore personal side projects, like phone apps, that I can publish to bring in mild additional income. Hopefully that will continue to grow!

Thanks for the opportunity, hope I win :)

Guest's picture

With expenses going up and our income pretty much stagnating I've been trying to generate side income for a while but can not get anything going.

Guest's picture

I have been making side income for years. I started before the recession with some online freelance work and have continued it. You can only save so much money, but your earning potential doesn't necessarily have a cap.

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Andrea Williams

No, not right now.

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Betty D.

No real side income yet, as in a PT job. My coupons and sales have to do for now.

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Christie

Yep, several different things. I do Swagbucks online and earn a few giftcards, clean a HUGE house during the summer sometimes, every little bit helps! :D

Guest's picture

I have side hustles, but sadly no income from them yet!

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Catherine

Seasonal retail.

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Q

Yeah, I do mechanical turk for a bit of extra money. I'd rather get a legit job, it would pay more, but until I find one...

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DeeDee

I dog sit for a friend when she wants to go away, she has 3 dogs. I get my dog fix without owning a dog and the expenses that go along with it and she pays me.

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Jill

I do a lot of overtime at my job, which pays better than any side gig I can think of. I have, in the past, had a couple of part time jobs in addition to my primary work, and sold books online.

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Therese

I don't have a regular side income, but I occasionally give blood for control use in experiments where I work. Sometimes I also do sewing alterations.

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Jessica Fleek

I have a part-time gig at a wine bar one night a week. It is a really fun gig with fun people. Double the fun because I get to make great tips and get HUGE discounts!

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michelle

Yes! I freelance write.

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Diana Foster

Yes, I use coupons, send off for company freebies, sell on Ebay, and enter sweepstakes for extra income. Maybe I can win this drawing to score $20 spending money! :)

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Kelly

I do have side income. I am a teacher and I sell items on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Jess

I'm a freelance writer and proofreader. Not doing a ton of freelance work right now, but in the past, it has really helped pay for unexpected expenses.

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Jen

Yes, I work two jobs. One is full-time Monday through Friday, the other is on Sundays. I use the extra cash to pay down my student loans that much faster.

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Diane

I have side income from a freelance copy editing business and after 5 years without a raise at my primary job, I'm very grateful for the extra income.

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LAR Koslow

No, but I could sure use some.

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Monica

Yes, blogging is a side income.

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KelR1

My only "side income" is small online stuff like Swagbucks, MyPoints, Gifthulk, etc. Doing searches and surveys for occasional payments or gift cards. I usually use it for whatever I need at the time.

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Happy Love

My side income is clipping coupons, answering surveys, and occasionally winning a $20 Amazon giftcard. :)

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Tamara

Not currently but I am always looking

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Thomas Murphy

I do not have side income.

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Guest

Nope

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Joan Varner

I earn a little from taking surveys at home. It also helps when I get to test products at home because of the time you get to keep whatever you tested which saves me money because I bought less.

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Mimi

I have 2 sources of side income - I am a Scentsy consultant and I pet sit occasionally for select people. I am working on a side project doing pet photography as well, but still in the business planning stage with that.

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Olivia

The noktah side income I have is working overtime for my fulltime job. Usually an additional 15 hours a week and I'll have a few hundred more in my bank account by the end of the month. It's tiring but the extra money sure comes in handy. :D

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Richard Foster

I used to have a side income doing yard work. I'm too old for that now.

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Laura

A lot of side income that adds up to a full-time (plus) job! Writing, social media manager, blogging, virtual assistant, etc.

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Trang

Yes, I have some--it's great!

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Jenn

I do have side income but it's sporadic, just whenever a gig seems to find me. I finally got into a job where I was getting paid a solid salary but it's still not enough to be fully comfortable and aggressive with my debt and savings which are big goals I have. I'm circling my wagons to start freelancing more regularly, again!

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Shelly

Yes, I do some survey sites, Swagbucks , sell children's clothing on Kidzola.com and Ebay and from time to time I do some typing assignments on Mechanical Turk. It sounds like a lot, but I've got it down to a science now. So now I'm trying to get back into the blogosphere and earn some money blogging. I'm doing all of these things because I'm a stay at home mom of five kids,who used to have an in home childcare business(I miss it),but I had to stop because my husband didn't like the business being in our home. I did that business off and on for 13 years, and it was great income for our family, so now I'm trying to keep some extra spending money (and savings for myself)around for the family.

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Jessica

I absolutely do have a side income I sell things on ebay and then I earn money by doing writing gigs here and there. It has really helped me as I am a Grad Student whose is on a limited income.

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Mary Lang

Our side income is a small eBay business where we sell used clothing. We make large purchases at a local thrift store and turn a nice profit each month. Right now the extra income just goes towards dinners out, traveling, etc. But in the next year, we're going to be much better with saving and growing the business.

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Jonathan

Yep I run a couple of websites as a source of second income. I'm passionate about writing and it's great to have some control over what you do. Love it! :)

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Patrick

No official side income from regular, active work, but between investment dividends, savings account interest and sporadically taking surveys online, I make enough for a few nice meals out, or splurge a little now and then. I know it's an excuse, but if my day job had more predictable hours, I would like to get a second hourly job.

Guest's picture

I'm working on generating a side income... but so far, no luck.

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Lynda

i do not but i would really love to!

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Wynnona

I teach as adjunct faculty at a local University that caters to adults. I can do it whenever I want and it allows me to make a quick $1000 over 5 weeks. It's something I enjoy and I typically do it to pay for extras like...my wedding, vacations, and resolving any debt. I've been doing it for 7 years and because of my experience I've moved up the pay scale.

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Guest

Yes. My husband and I own a couple of rental properties. In addition to my 9-5 job, I've done direct sales, online teaching, and typed and edited academic papers and newsletters. The extra income has made it possible for us to build an emergency fund and cover the cost of an annual family vacation for ourselves and our two daughters and their families. We look forward to that time each year -- quite a motivator to keep doing the side jobs!

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Brian S.

I teach college courses on weeknights. It helps us buy a few indulgences splurge on a night out once in a while.

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Raina

I have seasonal side income. In the winter time, I work mock casino gigs at company Christmas parties. In the past I've dealt blackjack, roulette, and craps, although craps is preferred since it pays the most. I don't need the extra income, but it's fun to work the parties and get paid to do it at the same time (and it ends up 100% covering Christmas).

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Kristine

I earn some side income by turning my hobbies into money-making ventures!

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Jason

I don't have side income but I need some now that the government is being furloughed.

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prathee chandar

Nope. I don't have one. But I started thinking about it.

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kristina

none at all

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MELISSA HANSSON

I don't have a second job, but I do try to make money in little ways, like selling things I don't need or taking part in surveys and market research.

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amanda sakovitz

I dont have a side income right now.

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Liisa

No, I wish I did now! We are in intensive paying-off-debt mode, and in a new town. I used to work a ton and then clean a lady's house on the side, saving that money for vacations, etc. but now my hubby is the bread-winner and my health is poor so I only work a little. I miss having that extra disposable income, but we are more intentional now and definitely make the "fun" decisions very thoughtfully together!

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Laura Jacobsonl

No, we do not have a side income...would be wonderful to have though!

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Alissa A

I pick up gift certificates and small jobs here and there, but hard to manage with my current job.

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Stephen

My side income includes: Being a Sidecar driver, rental income from tenants, and forex trading on the side.

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Andys

I definetly think having a diversified income stream is key in today's economy. You cannot rely on a life time job and even more it is likely your cost of living will increase faster than your salary would. So the more you can make, the better!

Two things I do

1. Blogging for income. If you are passionate about a topic, have some tech savvy and are willing to invest the time you can build a pretty decent blogging income. As I discussed here about my potential blog income (http://www.savingtoinvest.com/2008/11/how-much-money-do-bloggers-make.html) it can add up to some serious dough if you do it write.

2. Freelancing where you can have a flexible work schedule but need to focus on building a good reputation so you can charge higher rates (see this article I wrote - http://www.savingtoinvest.com/2010/10/how-to-make-money-by-as-a-freelanc... )

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I do some small side business things that don't bring in a consistent income, b/c I don't pursue them as businesses, just hobbies. I make personalized beaded jewelry and also do bead parties to teach other people how to make jewelry. I also dog-sit and sell things on ebay and craigslist for some extra cash, too.

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Tabathia B

No I don't have any side income, we are a one income family.

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Abby B.

I have a little bit of side income coming in and I love it. We use it as play money.

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I have a little blog - a few paid posts here and there but mostly I receive items for review (which saves me $$) and host giveaways :) www.madebyrenee.blogspot.com

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Hannah

Yes I have a side income, not as much as I'd like though! I do mystery shopping and merchandising, but it's been really sporadic lately

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Rain Drop Muse

I sell handmade jewelry online. It helps me feel secure in case my day job lays me off I have something I could build on while looking for more work. It's nice to have that extra money to buy xmas gifts or to help pay some bills.

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Justin

I don't have a consistent side income. However I'm always looking for ways to use my skills and knowledge base to make some extra money where I can. I'd love to start my own business but just haven't found the right opportunity yet.

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Linda

I have an office job and when I have downtime at work, I transcribe for two transcription companies. It's nice to have the extra income but I never feel financially secure since my day job is pretty low paying.