Taking on a second job is increasingly common in today’s society. One in three employees with a full-time job in 2015 held a second job, mostly to bring in more cash. A second job can bring in much-needed extra cash, provides additional job stability even in uncertain times and means plenty to do during an average workweek.
The US military does provide wages and benefits, but with the rising cost of living and with families sometimes finding their expenses increasing, many military families turn to additional work to raise extra income. In addition, military spouses and family members sometimes have their own reasons for seeking extra work. They may like the idea of extra spending money or they may want to build their resume, even when stationed overseas.
Traditional work may present some challenges for military families. If you’re overseas, for example, you may find it challenging to find local, full-time work. Military families may also move often, which can impact career choices.
The good news is that there are several ways you can earn extra money right now as a military family:
1) Become a freelancer.
Freelancing is an increasingly popular field. There were 54 million people in America freelancing in 2015. That’s about 34% of the workforce, an increase of 700,000 freelancers compared to the year before. While some freelanced full-time, others worked full-time jobs and made extra money on the side.
If you’re great with photo editing, design or any creative task, there are businesses and individuals willing to hire you. You can even work as a freelance researcher, transcriber, composer or photographer. Craigslist, FlexJobs and other sites advertise these positions. You can also place ads in local business magazines or online, promoting your services.
2) Become a YouTuber.
If you can create fun videos people will want to share and see, you can become a YouTuber. If your video gets enough views, you will earn money each month. To earn money this way, you will need to get a lot of viewers and subscribers. To do that, you will need to create videos people will want to watch and you will need to promote them through social media. You will also need to upload often (at least once a week or more) to keep viewers coming back. Once you start getting more subscribers, you can even post ads on your page or earn money by posting sponsored videos.
3) Rent your home.
If you’re stationed overseas, but own your own home in the US, you can rent it to bring in extra money. Alternatively, rent your home on a temporary basis through Airbnb.
4) Get in the movies.
Movie and television productions need a lot of local help, and they are willing to pay money for that assistance. Look in trade journals for the industry, since these publications often advertise for extras. You can also sign up with a talent agency or check local listings on sites advertising work for extras.
Another unique idea is to allow television and movie crews to use your home for filming. It’s a fun way to get your house into film and TV. You can contact location scout managing companies or list your property on a site such as Film Locations Wanted to get started.
5) Become a freelance writer.
Freelance writers can earn money for every word they write. You can find freelance writing work by contacting web design companies or by checking the submission guidelines for your favorite websites and magazines.
6) Sign up to run errands.
Many people and companies outsource errands and you can take advantage of that to make extra money. As plus, you can earn money this way from anywhere, and can work as little or as much as you wish. TaskRabbit, Mechanical Turk, Fiverr and even Craigslist all list simple tasks you can complete quickly for a few dollars.
7) Become a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants compose emails, make appointments, manage schedules and perform other basic personal assistant duties. However, they can work from anywhere. You can sign up to be a virtual assistant at any company offering virtual assistant services. You can also advertise your services online or in a trade or business journal.
8) Make items to sell.
If you’re crafty or good at working with your hands, you can sell items on Etsy, eBay, Craigslist, Shopify or your own website. If you want to produce larger quantities (or you’re not that crafty), you can work with a fulfillment and distribution company. You can send them a prototype of what you want to make (or pay someone to make a prototype) and the company will arrange manufacturing and even shipping of the final product.
9) Be a tutor.
Chances are, there are many things you know how to do that someone would pay money to learn. For example, if you performed well on the SATs, or are good at math, you can get a job as a tutor for high school students. If you’re overseas, there is a huge demand for English tutors. Whether you can fix a car, cook on a BBQ, play guitar, sing or sew, there is a demand for a teacher like you.
You can tutor locally, by advertising your availability. You can also sign up for online tutoring services where students can search for help. You can even teach entirely online, using chat, text or Skype to conduct your classes.
10) Build a website or blog.
If you create a blog or website about a topic that appeals to lots of readers and gain a following, you can make money a few ways:
- Making the site subscription-based, so viewers pay money each month to access some of it
- Selling advertising on your site
- Selling products on your site or blog
- Posting affiliate links from amazon or other companies
- Selling advertising space
- Hosting webinars or seminars about your topic and asking people to pay to view this content
- Asking for donations from viewers
Take a look at some of your favorite blogs and websites. Take note of how the owners monetized these online platforms, and how many different revenue streams they use. You can even have multiple sites or blogs to increase the amount of money coming in.
11) Run someone’s social media accounts.
Today, most professionals and even everyday people have multiple social media accounts. However, running an online platform or brand takes a lot of work. Many doctors, lawyers and other professionals hire someone to run their online presence for them. You can be paid for this work if you sign up with a company offering social media management services. You can also contact professionals directly if you notice they have not updated their social media accounts for some time. Offer your services for a fee.
12) Take on part-time work.
Convenience stores and some retail stores (such as Wal-Mart) can be a great way to bring in extra money part-time. Many of these businesses like to hire military family members and service personnel, because they appreciate the hard work and discipline these workers bring to the job. You may be able to enjoy flexible hours and even evening shifts.
13) Take on seasonal work.
Seasonal work is attractive because it lets you earn money without a long-term work commitment. For example, you can work as a seasonal worker around the holiday season, wrapping gifts at shopping centers or taking part in holiday displays. You’ll earn money for the holiday purchases you need to make.
14) Run a stand at a farmer’s market or fair.
At a local farmer’s market, fair, flea market or other local gathering you can set up a stand to sell anything you’ve made yourself. Whether it’s crafts or your famous cookie recipe, you can easily set up a booth with a small investment. You just need to pay for your table and be available to sell on specific days.
15) Deliver pizza.
If you’re on active duty and have a military ID, many pizza locations would love to hire you. Your ID can make it easier for the company to get pizza delivered to posts.
16) Become a temp.
Temporary workers are usually hired through temp agencies. Signing up with one of these agencies means you’ll be sent to any businesses in need of workers for a few hours, days or weeks. It can be a way to boost your resume without taking on a long-term job.
17) Make use of military benefits.
Depending on your salary, you may be able to pocket some of your military benefits and added pay. While not exactly work, it certainly helps when it’s time to pay the bills. For example, if you travel and get per diem pay, you can plan and budget before you travel to save on costs, so you can enjoy the difference when you get home. If you’re on active duty, you can sign up for hazardous duty for extra pay each month. You can also pack your own lunch to save on Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), or rent a more modest place to live so you get extra from your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
Make sure you understand your pay and benefits and make maximum use of them. Living modestly and budgeting carefully can mean you get hundreds of extra dollars per month, because you won’t use up all your benefits. You can also seek out additional training and opportunities to get higher paying work in the military to earn more.
18) Re-sell web domains.
Most web hosting sites, such as GoDaddy, have sections where you can re-sell web domains. Known as flipping domains, this process involves purchasing domains and re-selling them at a higher price. If a website becomes popular, you may be able to buy a domain with a similar name and re-sell it to the same company for a bit more. You can also park a domain. That is, you can buy a domain, populate it with traffic and sell it to someone looking to make some extra money, too.
19) Become an affiliate seller.
An affiliate seller is someone who sells or advertises on behalf of someone else for a percentage of sales. For example, the Amazon Associates Program lets you earn money by advertising Amazon products. You can place ads for Amazon items on your blog, social media accounts, website and other online platforms. Each time someone follows one of your links and makes a purchase, you earn money.
20) Sell e-books.
It’s very easy to write e-books and sell them online. You can do this through the Kindle program (or any other self-publisher) and sell through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any online bookseller. Each time a copy of your book sells, you’ll earn some money.
You can write novels or non-fiction books about any subject of interest to you. As long as your e-books remain online, you can earn money, even years after you’ve written them. If you don’t want to take the time to write your own books, you can hire a ghostwriter on Craigslist or ODesk and pay them a flat fee for writing and formatting the book for you. Then, you can sell the book for profit.
21) Sell things you no longer need.
Maybe you’ve an attic or garage filled with extra things you never look at. If so, all of it can be worth money. Sell unwanted exercise equipment, sports equipment, clothes and books in a yard sale or on eBay. If you have books, you can also sell them on sites like Cash4books.
22) Be a local service provider.
Check listings on Craigslist and the local papers. Many businesses and individuals are looking for someone to help them with one task for another. For example, a neighbor may be willing to pay for transportation to medical appointments every week, or someone may need help with their garden every weekend. Chances are, there’s a variety of one-time and ongoing service needs in your own community.
23) Make money with your car.
Sign up to be a driver with Lyft or Uber, and you can make extra cash whenever you’re available to drive someone to a destination. You can also sell advertising space on your car to make money monthly. Just contact local PR and marketing companies or contact businesses directly to see if they’re interested in advertising on your vehicle.
Job Hunting Tips for Military Families
If you’re looking for extra cash, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you’re on active duty, talk to your supervisor first. Before you consider or accept any other work, you need to be aware of any rules that could apply to you regarding off-duty employment. You may have a limit on the amount of extra hours you can work, for example.
- Make a plan. Set a goal for how much money you need to make each month. Then, consider how much time you can allocate to earning more. This will help you focus on those activities that help you meet your goals without taking up all your free time.
- Budget. Earning extra money isn’t much of a help if you spend all of it. Create a budget each month so you can see exactly what you’ve coming in and how much you’re spending on each expense. Find ways to trim back on your costs and you’ll see your extra earnings go much further.
Whether you’re on active duty or are the spouse of someone who is in the military, bringing in extra money is a great way to ensure you enjoy the lifestyle you want – no matter where you happen to be.