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Extra Money: 10 Part Business Ideas you Must Start Today

When you’re on the path of frugality, you’ve basically got two options when it comes to padding your bank account: you can either trim expe...

When you’re on the path of frugality, you’ve basically got two options when it comes to padding your bank account: you can either trim expenses to save more money, or you can try to earn more money. 

Doing both will, of course, greatly increase the chance you’ll achieve your long-term financial goals, whether that’s to pay back your student loans or save up for your dream vacation.

Coming up with a side business is a great way to earn extra money. I’ve started several businesses in the past, from a successful blog to a professional organizing business, and can tell you first hand that not only is becoming an entrepreneur incredibly rewarding, but it can also be very lucrative.

The biggest question, however, is what kind of business should you start? There are literally thousands of options out there. Some are relatively easy to get into. Others require significant time, and small business capital, to get off the ground. I’ve listed some ideas below to help get your creative juices flowing.
Dog Walking can be Fun and Financially Rewarding 

Public Speaking or Teaching
When I had my professional organizing business, I often gave classes at a local rec center. I taught people how to set up organizing systems in their homes, how to declutter and downsize their home, and how to set up filing systems they’d actually use. And I got paid well to do it.

The courses I taught were two hours. And let me tell you, creating them was a lot of work. But once I had my outline created, and came up with several activities for the group to do, I didn’t have to do anything else for each new course. I just taught the same material again.

You can teach a class about anything – knitting, how to do your taxes, how to plan a wedding – just think of a skill or hobby you’re already doing. Chances are, someone else wants to learn how to do it. Public libraries, adult education (which usually takes place in local high schools), and rec centers are good places to start.

Tutoring is not only a great way to earn some money on the side, but it’s also a hugely satisfying job. Students of all ages need tutors for math, science, reading, foreign languages, and other subjects. If you’re skilled in a certain area, then why not help others succeed in school?

To get started tutoring, put up flyers at local schools and libraries, as well as on Craigslist. You might also want to sign up with to become an online tutor. Once you tutor a few families, the best way to get additional business is through referrals.

Sell your creativity
Do you love drawing or designing t-shirts? Why not turn your creations into a great income? Sites like CafePress and Zazzle take all the hard work out of it; they do the printing and shipping…all you have to do is submit the design.

What can you make and sell? T-shirts, mugs, bags, shoes, stamps, hoodies, binders, skateboards, and more. It’s super cool and can get really addicting!

Freelance writing
You can earn great money as a freelance writer, especially if you get into commercial copywriting (i.e. writing for businesses and corporations). Blogging is also a great way to earn money as a writer, especially if you align yourself with an established blog. Keep in mind that competition is fierce right now; many people turned to freelancing when the recession hit to earn some extra money on the side. 

So you’re going to have to fight your way into this market. The good news, however, is that quality writing never goes out of style, and there’s far more bad writers out there than great ones. So if you’re good and you’re persistent, you’re going to find work.

According to, the catering business is a $70 billion industry. Yes, more people are cooking at home to save money, but there are still plenty of busy families and professionals out there who simply don’t have time to cook healthy, delicious meals. If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, you could earn some great money catering on the side.

If you don’t want to offer a full line of meals, why not focus on one thing? For instance, there are plenty of shops on Etsy that sell homemade gourmet cookies (e.g. Earl Gray Sandwich cookies, Cupcakes in a Jar, or gourmet caramels). I’ve been thinking about selling homemade gourmet jam (i.e. home canning recipes) during the summer months. I’ve read of other people who have started a gourmet cocktail catering business, where they come to parties and make gourmet cocktails. Fun!

There are plenty of ways to get into the catering business without starting a full-scale restaurant. Specialize. For example, you could even learn how to start a candy or chocolate making business.

Day care
When my good friend had her first child, she found herself house-bound, taking care of her newborn. She planned on not working once her daughter was born and becoming a stay at home mom, but she was surprised at how much she missed earning an income and contributing to the household finances. So, since she has a friend who commutes 5 days a week into work, she started watching her friend’s daughter as well. 

It’s a win-win for everyone: my friend earns good, regular income caring for an additional child, and her friend saves money because she’s paying less than a commercial day care center. If you’re interested in starting a home child care service, even a small one, keep in mind that your state might have strict regulations.

Editing and proofreading
It’s hard for writers, professionals or otherwise, to proofread their own work. So many people hire editors and proofreaders to look over a piece before it goes to print. You can advertise as a proofreader on Craigslist and Elance, or on the job board at FreelanceFolder. You can also flyer college campuses, since professors and academics are always looking for good proofreaders.

Create a website
Starting a website can be a great way to build some side income in a fairly passive manner. Start a blog if you have interesting, unique, and informative stuff to tell your readers. You can then make money on advertising or having people pay for educational products or tools you produce. 

Or create a website that brings together buyers and sellers of a niche product from which you can charge a subscription or transaction fee. The key is to think outside the box and come up with an idea that can provide a unique solution for people. And even if you want to produce a website that is similar to ones already out there, do it bigger and better and find a way to differentiate yourself!

Dog walking or pet sitting
Starting a neighborhood dog walking or pet sitting business is a great way to add some extra cash to your pocket. After all, people aren’t afraid to spend money on their pets, even in a down economy. According to the American Pet Products Association, over 46 million households in the U.S. own a pet. 

And in spite of the recession, household spending on pets keeps going up. In 2008, right when the recession started, we spent $43.2 billion on our pets. In 2010, we spent $48.35 billion. In 2011, pet owners are expected to top $50 billion.

Landscaping and Yardwork
Do you love being outside, planting flowers and pulling weeds? Many people find this a chore but others (myself included) love doingyardwork and planting. If this is you, then you could think about starting a landscaping and yardwork business on the side. You could offer to design beds, plant flowers and shrubs, cut grass, pull weeds, and rake leaves. - Online Sources

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