How to Earn Your Way Out of Financial Difficulty

Odd jobs and side income can help you out of financial difficulty

Photo by andjohan, used with Creative Commons License

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Ian's post has some interesting ideas for earning some side cash. How do YOU earn a little extra here and there? Share with us in the comments.]

Being frugal, using innovative savings methods and budgeting like a ninja are excellent ways to build a lifestyle that is sustainable and happy, but there is another way you can become financial free and never have to worry about money matters again: make more money.

Earning more is the single best way to establish your financial freedom and it’s a lot easier than you might think too! It doesn’t always have to be a hard slog, working 20 hours a day and burning yourself out either. In fact, I firmly believe that anyone can add $300-500 a month to their bottom line with just a couple of hours a day.

Here are just a few money making ideas I’ve had recently that anybody could come up with (trust me, I’m not special!):

  1. Get yourself a freelance gig.
  2. One of the quickest ways to get started making a bit of money on the side is to freelance. I know that I could head to Elance right now and win a writing gig paying a couple of hundred dollars. Why? Because most people applying for the writing jobs can’t even count English as their first language. You instantly have the edge on them. Writing is easy and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. For even bigger pay days, use your experience on these types of freelance site to go after the higher paying copywriter jobs – the ones where the client is looking for sales, conversions and engagement. These gigs pay big!

  3. Start a niche website.
  4. Wait, woah? Start a website? If you’re not blog savvy then fear not, because makes it easy to set up a site in less than 2 minutes (I’ve timed myself!). Use the Google keyword tool to search for a bunch of different things you’re interested in and find one with a low-ish search volume (up to 1000 a month). Here’s one I found earlier: steam floor cleaners. This is a product search and if you created some unique blog content on (which is available at time of writing) you could sign up for the Amazon Associates program and make money from any sales of steam floor cleaners you refer. I’ve actually got a niche site in this market and it consistently makes $200 a month. I do NOTHING to it whatsoever.

  5. Sell photos.
  6. Are you a budding photographer? If so, you can easily take your beautiful snaps and put them up for sale on a marketplace like or GettyImages. These are both huge resources used by journalists and bloggers alike who pay good money for the privilege of using your images on their site. If you’re good at video or illustration, you can sell them on the site as well.

  7. Become a local handy guy/gal.
  8. If you’re good at gardening, offer that as a service to your neighbours. People will pay you good money to not have to do the things they don’t like. This can be applied to all things home repair too. If you’re a tech geek, there is big money to be made fixing peoples desktop PC’s, laptops and gadgets. Get a few leaflets together and spread them around your neighbourhood. Maybe even offer the first job half price or free to get them to see the value of what you’re offering.

  9. Sell your old stuff.
  10. This wouldn’t be a make money list if I didn’t tell you to sell your old junk on eBay. The truth is, you can make good money by selling the things you really don’t want or need. Look at the items that could be considered collectibles as these tend to go for bigger money. My nerd of a brother sold a really old, plastic Darth Vader lightsaber to an even bigger nerd in Germany who paid over $200 for it! There is good money to be made on eBay, even though millions of people are doing it.

There are dozens of ways to make money these days and you’re only really limited by your imagination. All of these ideas only take a few hours a week but if you could dedicate just two hours a day to trying a few of them out, I know you’ll vastly improve your earnings and your finances will truly thank you for it.

If you’ve got any suggestions for money making ideas that worked for you, leave a comment below. I love making money and want to know as many methods as possible!

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About Ian Nuttall

Ian is a finance blogger over at DebtConsUK who writes about all things personal finance. He also loves to make money and help people to make more as well. He's just joined Twitter, so follow him there if you want to read more.


I like option number 2 I think it is the best option out of all of them because it allows you to build a portfolio of product and services that can build you a solid part time or full time income.

Ian Nuttall
Ian Nuttall

Hey Carrie, totally agree about spending habits.  Perhaps that's a topic for another post?  People spend a fortune on iStockPhoto so it could be a goldmine - I often buy photos and never even use them! :D

Carrie Smith
Carrie Smith

It's true! You can definitely make a bigger dent in your debt or financial problem by earning more money. Of course you can't earn your way out of bad spending habits, but once you change your habits and money mindset, earning more money is key. There's some great tips here. I never thought about photography or illustration to make some side money.