Odd jobs for a little extra cash

By Stew

If my day job were actually a “day” job with a set schedule and regular hours, I would almost certainly have a part-time job to go with it. As it is, my only alternate stream of income is blogging which works well with my varied schedule.

I am always on the lookout for other ways to make a little extra cash, especially if it is a change-of-pace job. For instance, if your full-time job is as a school teacher, you might want to find a part-time job where you do not have to deal with people. If you have a stationary office job, you might want to get outside, if you are a construction worker, you might want a part-time job where you can get off your feet. Here are a few possibilities:

Pedi-cab driver

This is my current favorite – meaning that I would love to do this job. A pedi-cab is a conveyance powered by pedaling. These pedal-power vehicles look like a large tricycle or a Chinese rickshaw with three wheels. We see them all over downtown Denver and the drivers are usually in great shape after carting tourists all over town or to their vehicles after a concert or sporting event. Most drivers work for tips and rent their vehicles from various “pedi-cab” companies.

Sign twirler

Sometimes businesses want to drive extra business during big sales or times of the year when their services are in high demand – like during tax season. Sign twirlers stand out by busy roads trying to draw attention to their signs by twirling, shaking or dancing with their signs. Kind of like an upgrade to the old sandwich board advertising of last century. I think this type of advertising is effective and fun!

Pro sports security

Many times security and parking lot attendants for big sports events are not full-time employees. They are simply people who need a little extra money. The work is not difficult and sometimes comes with a perk like lunch or a few glimpses of the game or concert. I worked a Monday Night Football game as security last year and enjoyed it even though I never really got close enough to see the field.

Mystery shopper

This is Mrs. Stew’s current dream job. Unfortunately, my job keeps me away from homes on nights and weekends – when she could be mystery “shopping”, but eventually she will find something that works. We have many friends who do this for a little extra money or even just free stuff. Look on Craigslist for opportunities or ask around. They are out there.

Airport hospitality

We have a friend who works 10 or 15 hours on weekends at the airport for one of the airlines. Her primary job is to push wheelchairs or help elderly flyers make it to the proper gate on time. It is a rewarding job that comes with an hourly rate of pay and free flights for her family!

Antler sheds

I just ran into a person who spends all her spare time in the winter looking for elk, deer and moose “sheds”. I always thought it would be cool to find discarded antlers in the woods, but I did not realize the value that a nice rack can hold. I always wanted to find them to use as decoration or a conversation piece. The right weight, condition and arrangement can fetch $500 or more.

Donate plasma

This is a rough way to go. I have heard that donating blood plasma is painful, however the donation can certainly save lives and also put a few extra bucks in your wallet. We have a plasma donation center a few blocks from my house . . . still getting up the nerve to go in and check it out.


Good old-fashioned babysitting. It is not for everyone, but I find it amazing how many people are looking for childcare and most prefer that their child be in a home and cared for someone who is a personal friend as opposed to a large daycare. All you need to do is drop a few hints about looking for children to babysit as a way to make some extra cash and possible customers will soon come your way.

There are lots of other ways to make some extra money. Do you have any suggestions?

Article by Stew

Photo by hyunlab

10 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Odd jobs for a little extra cash”

  1. Meoip Says:

    I was a parking lot attendee for a pro soccer team for a few weeks. The boss at my summer got the job for everyone. Depending on game time we would either take a 2 hour break for our parking duties or would end the day early. It was a nice $5.00 raise for everyone. We never got to see a game but it was a good paying job.

  2. Damsel Says:

    Can’t believe that mowing lawns isn’t on your list! My husband is an active duty soldier, and he works part-time for the housing department on post to mow the lawns of some of the houses that are empty. He also mows for other soldiers when they’re out of town or deployed (some of those he does for free as a way to help take care of their family while the soldier is deployed).

  3. Trisha Says:

    Regarding childcare: Babysitting jobs are good because you have freedom to choose how often and what hours you do it. But before you consider setting up a full daycare business, you should consider the facts about that type of childcare. With a daycare business you are at the mercy of your clients’ schedules, which often means working from early morning until evening every day, unless you have someone who can relieve you for a few hours for personal time. Another thing you must consider are the laws of your local government. You are usually limited in the number of children you can take care of who are not related to you. It is hard work, but yet very rewarding work if you are able to do it. There is also the possibility of “eldercare”, but this does not pay as well as “childcare” while still limiting you by the hours with only one person at a time.

  4. Gina Says:

    Good post! You covered every part time job I’ve ever had – babysitter, concert usher and mystery shopper.

    @ Damsel – if Stew is “seeing pedi-cabs all over downtown Denver” he probably lives in CO. They don’t “see” the grass year-round like we do in GA or other southern states. ; )

  5. Stew Says:

    Duh . . .! of course lawn mowing. Good catch!

  6. Abigail Says:


    Your readers should NOT find mystery shopping jobs on Craigslist or job listings. It’s people charging for information that’s free.

    The best compilation of mystery shopping information I’ve ever found is Volition.com. There is a forum for people to laud/complain/read about companies. There is a thread that just posts open jobs (you can search by state abbreviation to pare it down). And there’s even a list of mystery shopping companies telling you what kind of shops they generally field, what states they work, etc.

  7. Stew Says:

    Thanks, Abigail. Good site suggestion.

  8. PAULINE Says:


    I just can’t figure out how you can find the energy to have 2 jobs!
    I mean, after work, i’m too tired to get an other one and my weekends are very important to me. i need these 2 days to relax in order to be productive the next week at work.
    I work from 9:30 am to 7pm or more and i need my 9 hours sleep!
    I wish I could do with less though
    you’re all very impressive !!

  9. Bobbie Says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog. Thank you for your great ideas. We live in Madrid, Spain and what we do for extra cash is rent out our extra bedrooms to other missionaries in route to other countries, or here for a vacation. It’s a win/win… we earn a bit of extra cash and they have a cheap, clean place to stay where breakfast is included and the children have a place to play.

  10. Andrew Says:

    I have to admit, a pedi-cab driver is something I’ve NEVER considered. That is super creative and I guess I just didn’t realize how accessible an option this way. Great stuff!