Realistic Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 per Month

Did you know that 45% of working Americans report having a side hustle?

According to USA TODAY, the average man earned about $8,948 per year from his side hustle, while the average woman earned about $6,085 from hers. That comes out to about $746 per month for men and $507 for women.

Creating additional sources of income is one of the best financial safety nets for anyone. Taking small steps to create financial safety nets will give you more choices during unexpected hardship.

And here is good news!

Since technology grew so fast, making extra money at home became easier than ever before.

Here is some example of realistic ways to make money from home:

You can’t become millionaires overnight, so set realistic goals like make “$1000 a month.” When you first think about making an extra $1,000 a month besides your job, it sounds like a lot of money.

And yes, it’s not easy.

But if you figure out what you have to do to hit the number, then it’s not impossible.

An extra $1,000 could be:

  • 4 freelance services sold for $250 each
  • 8 fitness lessons taught for $125 each
  • 10 online courses sold for $100 each
  • 20 products sold for $50 each
  • 10 hours per week at $25 an hour

Scale down your plans/tasks and make it easy for you to achieve big goals!

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DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.

Sell Graphic Design

If you have a bit of creativity, there are plenty of ways to make money as a graphic designer even though you don’t have a degree.

You just need to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. Most online classes for graphic design are much cheaper than a college degree. (as low as $15 you can start learning graphic design) If you’re not interested in going to school or taking online classes, here are steps to teach yourself graphic design.

In addition, cloud-based graphic design software became cheaper and easier to use these days. My favorite graphic design tool is Canva. (it has so many professional-looking templates!) It’s free to sign up.

Sell Web Design

Many web designers and web developers are working from home.

Like graphic design, you don’t necessarily need a degree to work as a web designer or web developer. You just need to learn how to code on your own. Most of the online classes for web design are much cheaper than a college degree. (as low as $17 you can start learning web design)

In addition, there are many free open-source toolkits for developing websites with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Become Freelance Software Developer

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Software Developer in the United States is $86,523 year. (As of 2020) That’s pretty good! However, only 3% of college grads study computer and information science. What does it mean? You don’t necessarily need a degree to become a software developer! Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a software developer without a CS degree.

Freelance Writing

If you love to write, there are countless opportunities to start freelancing on the side from home. Some blogs accept guest posts and paid between $30 to $200 depending on how many words you use. You can also sign up for a freelance marketplace like Upwork, Scripted, or Quietly to sell your writing skills.

Selling on eBay

Your closet or garage is maybe full of perfectly good things that you just don’t use anymore. Instead of letting them sit there, why not sell them for some extra cash?

Here are interesting things sold on eBay: boomboxes, calculators, luxury brand’s empty boxes, toilet paper tissue rolls, game consoles, etc.

Sell used clothes on Poshmark

Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace where people in the United States can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes, and accessories. Poshmark shoppers tend to like trendy and designer brands. $10-$30 seemed to be the right spot in terms of selling prices.

These are brands that sell well on Poshmark: Lululemon, Madewell, Free People, Kate Spade, Nike, Off-White, Levi’s, and Eloquii.

Related Post: 18 Essentials to Make Your Online Selling Easier

Sell Digital Products & Downloads

According to Statista, digital products & downloads are the fastest growing market on the internet.

These are some examples of digital products:

  • eBook
  • graphics,
  • Stock Photography
  • Printable
  • Pinterest Templates
  • Instagram Templates

You wouldn’t have to deal with inventory or shipping with digital products. Once you live digital products online, customers will download them directly from the website. You can sell digital products on the eCommerce platform or your own website. Most eCommerce platforms include research tools, marketing tools, analytic tools, and accounting tools, but you need to pay monthly subscription fees.

Get into Direct Sales

Direct sales, known as Multilevel Marketing or MLM is a legitimate work from home job. If you’re good at selling things, this could be a great income source. Moreover, sellers get free or discounted products from the company. I used to join Stella & Dot MLM program. I am a big fan of their products, so I enjoyed selling them as well as the seller’s discounts.

Virtual Assistant

Believe it or not, some people make a living with a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients. I hire a virtual assistant on Fiverr for writing a description of items. It’s was very convenient!

There is no standard rate for a part-time or a full-time virtual assistant. It’s really up to individuals.

Social Media Manager

Social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use to increase their sales.

A social media manager is a person who manages social media account like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as creates content. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Social Media Manager is $50,473 in the United States.

If you have interested in becoming a social media manager, sign up for freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. (and get hired!)

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Digital content such as blogs, eBooks, or email newsletters became popular more and more.

A proofreader makes sure that written content is free from grammatical errors. Bloggers, brands, small businesses, and authors need proofreaders. According to the median salary for a proofreader is $52,202 per year. Some freelance proofreaders make anywhere from $25-$50 per hour.

Free online proofreader like Grammarly works really nice, but some people still need help from people. If you have interested in becoming a proofreader, sign up for freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

Start a Blog

In general, if you’re a new blogger then you’ll need 6 months to make a few dollars a month, 12 months to make a part-time income, and 24 months to make a full-time income.

Despite that monetizing your blog content is difficult, blogging is still a popular online business. Why? Because blogging is one of the best online business under $100. It’s a low-cost business to start but can potentially generate unlimited passive income.

This blog, Happier Freelancing costs about $32 a year. It’s $2.66 a month! I use the easiest and most affordable managed WordPress hosting called EasyWP. (so far so good!)

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Affiliate Marketing

If you have your own website, then affiliate marketing can be a good idea to make money!

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other’s products or services. When the user made a purchase through your affiliate link, you earn a commission from sales generated through those links. Percentages of the commission are varied by affiliate companies.

Sell Gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr is an online marketplace that offers a wide variety of freelance services starting from $5. Small businesses will hire freelancers on Fiverr for graphic design, digital marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music & audio, programming & tech support, data entry, cooking & fitness lessons, and more! It’s free to join as Fiverr seller, there is no subscription required or fees to list your services. You keep 80% of each transaction.


Dropshipping is a supply chain management method where the retailer or seller doesn’t keep goods in stock. Once an order is placed by the customer, the information will be sent to the manufacturer and ship the goods directly to the customer. You don’t have the inventory and you don’t need to ship it. You just set the retail price and promote the products, wait until it sells. The difference between the wholesale and retail price is your profit.


Reselling business is quite simple. You buy products, add markups, and sell to others. In the markup, you need to include business expenses like the cost of products and shipping supply fees. One of the strategies to stay profitable in the reseller business is to buy low and sell high.

Here are some places to find deep discounts:

  • Thrift store
  • Trade Shows like ASD
  • Goodwill
  • Outlet mall
  • Garage sale
  • Free market
  • Walmart
  • Ross Dress for Less
  • DD’s Discounts
  • Tuesday Morning
  • Dillard’s Clearance Center
  • Dollar Tree
  • Big Lots
  • Five Below
  • Macy’s Backstage
  • Marshalls
  • TJ Maxx
  • HomeGoods


Make money with money! There are different types of investment products including stocks, bonds, ETFs, CDs, and so on. All investment product has different risks and returns. In finance, risk refers to the degree of potential financial loss inherent in an investment decision. If you want to invest, you’ll first need a brokerage account. There are many brokerages to choose from, but I use Fidelity. (because it’s cheaper transaction fees)

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Tips: If you don’t feel like investing is a great way to make money, try a high yield savings account. I know the interest rate of the high-yield savings account is keep decreasing these days. But cash is strong. A high-yield savings account offers protection of your principal, the safety of federal insurance, and a yield that’s higher than a regular savings account. Your savings won’t grow like investing stock market, but your principal will be guaranteed. (plus, yield)

Gig Work

Weekend part-time jobs can be a great supplement to income. Here are some examples of flexible schedule weekend part-time jobs:

Get Paid to Shop

When you buy online, don’t forget to use a cashback website like Mr.Rebates and Rakuten.

Instead of going directly to an online shop, you access a retailer’s online store through a link from a cashback website. You still receive your item directly from the retailer, but you also get some money from the cashback website!

I get $200 cashback from Mr. Rebates, $323 cashback from Rakuten so far.

Taking Paid Surveys at Home

This can’t make $1000 a month, but it can buy you a fancy coffee.

Online survey websites like Survey Junkie will pay you for your opinion. The average survey will pay between $0.50 and $1, and you can redeem it for PayPal or e-Gift Cards. Many of the surveys take less than 5 minutes to complete. It’s not fast cash, but it’s free to sign up.

Earn Money for Taking Pictures of Your Receipts

It’s like grocery rebate app on your phone, so not a lot of money.

Ibotta is by far the best way to earn cashback from your grocery spending. It will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts. Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus after redeeming your first 10 offers within 14 days.

Wrapping Up

I think these 21 ideas are realistic ways to make an extra $1,000 a month from home. Do you have any additional ideas? I will keep adding new ideas to this page! Please bookmark this page, check once in a while when you need some fresh ideas.

Last updated on December 8, 2020

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