How to Make Extra Money in Canada (55 Realistic Ways!)
Learning how to make extra money outside of the 9 to 5 can not only boost your income but also help you reach your financial goals more quickly. And you never know – what might start out as saving for an emergency fund could lead to other things, like entrepreneurship.
Whether you’re looking to save up for a family vacation, pay some much-needed bills or set aside funds for a rainy day, learning how to make extra money isn’t just a pipe dream, it’s something you can do today. The challenge is knowing where to start. To help inspire you, I’ve compiled the following list of 55 side hustles you can try in your free time. Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. Get Paid for Shopping Online
Want to earn a few extra bucks without much effort? Next time you shop online, use a cash-back rewards website like Rakuten or Drop. Rakuten (formerly eBates) will pay you cash back when you access any one of Rakuten’s hundreds of retail partners from their website. Drop rewards you with points that you can convert into gift cards, collectibles, crypto, and more.
And Rakuten and Drop aren’t the only apps that let you earn while you shop – check out our list of the best cash-back websites in Canada.
2. Take Your Craft Hobby to the Next Level
Do you have a knack for knitting or creating leather products? Think about selling some of your creations on Etsy, the hub for all things creative. Many people have found success selling all kinds of goods from jewelry to handmade soaps. It’s free to create an account and you can manage all your purchases from their dashboard, from who purchased your products to whether your products have been delivered.
To get started, you may need an upfront investment in order to get your supplies. If your items are good and you can provide excellent customer service, you can easily recoup your costs. Many people have turned their Etsy shop into a full-time venture, so there’s definitely money to be had.
3. Peer-to-Peer Lending
Did you know? You can lend money to Canadian businesses with Lending Loop, the country’s first peer-to-peer platform for small businesses that are fully regulated. You can help a fellow Canadian small business out by giving them access to affordable funding.
The best part is that you can earn money in the process. Signup is free, but you’ll need $200 to fund your account. If you sign up with this link, you’ll receive a $25 bonus once you lend $1500. You then can purchase notes at a minimum of $25, spread out over as many as you want. You’ll then receive payments monthly in your account, either to reinvest or withdraw.
4. Sell Your Designs
If you like creating things, but don’t have the time to continually be making crafts or other items to sell, product design may be the better way to go. Take t-shirts for example. There are places where you simply upload your t-shirt designs and you’ll get paid every time someone purchases one of your creations.
Drop shipping sites like Zazzle and CafePress let you upload your artwork onto the products of your choice (t-shirts, cell phone cases, etc). They take care of the customer service end, including shipping the item when someone orders it. You then get a percentage of the sale.
5. Sell Your Stuff
Everyone has a pile of stuff in their garage or basement that they rarely use, or may never use again. Instead of collecting dust, why not earn some extra cash for it?
Who knows, some of what you own could be really valuable, and selling a few items here and there can add up. You can list your items on eBay, or advertise through Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace and sell your items locally. This way you don’t have to worry about shipping.
6. Drive for a Rideshare Service
Let’s face it, most cars are a money pit. But not if you’re using your ride to make extra money. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most popular is to drive for a rideshare service like Uber.
Sign up with Uber and get you’ll get paid to drive people around during your spare time. Some drivers have been known to squeeze in rides during their afternoon commute, picking up whom they choose if it happens to be on their way home from work.
As for how much you’ll get, it depends on how many kilometres you’ve driven, demand and which vehicle option you are operating in. But it’s a great way to make money because it fits around your schedule.
7. Food Delivery Driver
If you enjoy driving, food delivery drivers should be high on your list of money-making ideas. Whether you deliver groceries through Instacart or restaurant meals through Skip the Dishes, food delivery is a flexible side hustle. If you’re available to deliver food during peak times, you can make good money and offset your vehicle expenses.
8. Participate in Market Research
Nielsen Homescan is a market research firm that will pay you to tell them what you do when you shop for groceries. Once you sign up for their program and get approved, you’ll get a scanner. Anytime you’re grocery shopping, you just scan your purchases. You’ll then earn points which can be redeemed for merchandise. There’s also a quarterly draw for a $2,500 prepaid Visa card, which is not too shabby. Head over to their application form to see if there’s an opening available.
9. Short-Term Rental Property (Airbnb)
You can convert your principal residence (or vacation home) into a short-term rental. You don’t even need to rent your entire house. If you have extra space in your home, why not rent out your spare bedroom?
All you need to do is sign up for an account at Airbnb to get started. You don’t necessarily need to have a long-term tenant, just host tourists when they come into your area for a vacation. To prepare, make sure the space you’re renting out is presentable (maybe update your decor), and provide amenities such as towels and toiletries. Some Airbnb hosts go so far as to point out local tourist attractions. If you live in a touristy area, you may even be able to bump up the price per night during peak travel seasons.
10. Participate in the Gig Economy
Are you a whiz with spreadsheets? Can you create social media graphics with ease? You may want to check out Fiverr, a treasure trove of odd jobs people pay $5 (or more) for. All you need to do is to post a job, set your price and watch the requests come in. To earn even more money, set your prices higher. A Fiverr seller can create different pricing tiers for the same service, where you can charge more for premium work.
If it sounds interesting, check out the site and see what services people are offering up for sale. See where your talents can shine and set up your first service or product to sell!
11. Earn Extra Money With a Blog
While you won’t earn money fast with blogging, it has the potential to make a lot of money. If you keep testing and taking risks, you could earn some nice, passive income. Again, this could take months or even years to do, so you’ll need to be patient as you’re learning the ropes.
There are many ways you can earn money with a blog. Some use it to showcase their writing chops to land freelance writing clients (see number 20 on the list) while others make money through affiliate marketing – make recommendations for products and services on a blog post and get paid for doing so.
Starting a blog is really simple. Register your domain name and signup with a web hosting service so you can start creating your site. Namecheap is one of the best places to get a domain name for a low price, and the hosting company Siteground is well known for their customer service, and reasonable prices – plans start at $4 a month.
12. Earn Cash for Losing Weight
You read that right, you can get paid to lose weight. Think of it as a win-win, where you get healthy and wealthy at the same time. Wondering how it works? Websites like Healthy Wage and DietBet will award you prize money to reach your weight loss goals.
You begin by creating a weight loss goal and then signing up for an account. Once you do so, you’ll be able to join in games or groups and make a wager on the prize you want. You’ll need to have weekly weigh-ins and your team or contestants and when you reach your goal, you win a prize! If you want to enlist your co-workers, Healthy Wage gives you the option to create a corporate challenge.
13. Taking Paid Surveys
One of the most popular ways to make money online is by completing surveys through a survey site like Survey Junkie. These companies are paid by large brands to gather customer feedback and conduct market research, and they are all too happy to pay for your opinion.
To get started, sign up for free and submit some basic personal information, such as your age, gender and location. You’ll then be offered surveys that fit your demographic. Most surveys only a few minutes and you’ll earn points for each one completed. Once you have enough points, you can then redeem them for gift cards or cash via Paypal.
Completing surveys on sites like Survey Junkie won’t pay a lot, so the best way to maximize your earnings is to join several survey sites. The beauty of side hustles like this one is that you can answer surveys while you are doing other things, like sitting in a waiting room or watching TV at home on the couch.
14. Open a Bank Account
Looking for somewhere to store all of the extra money you’re making? Most banks will pay you a bonus to open an account with them. If you do a search, you may be able to earn a few hundred dollars just by doing so.
Most of the big banks have these offers at different times during the year, and at the time of this writing Tangerine, a leading online bank is offering new customers up to $400 in welcome bonuses!. You’ll also earn 3.25% interest in a Tangerine Savings account for the first five months.
15. Start Investing
While it doesn’t fall under the category of side hustle, investing is one of the best ways to earn passive income. Simply move money into an investment account and watch it grow. In theory. The reality is you’re paying a lot of fees, which eats into your savings. With a typical investment account, you’re paying fees to your financial advisor, the financial institution the advisor works for, as well as their head office.
If you can find a company that can cut out the middleman, you’re going to save more money. That extra that could have gone into fees can now be funnelled back into your investment account. A robo-advisor like Wealthsimple can help you optimize your portfolio to maximize your earnings.
Ladies, people will pay you to be their bridesmaid! Believe it or not, there are plenty of brides who may have had a falling out with one of their bridesmaids or bridesmaids who have simply abandoned their duties. Think of a bridesmaid for hire as a quasi-wedding planner as well, someone who helps the bride makes sure the day goes smoothly.
If you want to be a professional bridesmaid, you’ll need to be prepared to fake an identity. Some brides want to ensure absolute anonymity, so making up a story about who you are and your relationship with the bride is important. And if you can pull it off, you could be looking at close to a thousand dollars on average for your efforts. If you’re available during peak wedding season, just imagine how much you can earn.
17. Tutor English (or Any Specialized Subject)
There is no shortage of parents looking for extra help for their children, especially those who are second language English learners, need some test prep, or want a head start during the summer holidays. You can start tutoring anytime by posting flyers around the neighbourhood to gauge interest or working part-time for a tutoring company to get some experience. If you’re a teacher, then use that knowledge to your advantage.
If none of the above interests you, you can try tutoring virtually. You may even think you need to master a foreign language to be able to tutor someone, but it’s not the case. At SayABC, you can teach English to ESL kids right from the comfort of your own home. There are some requirements you need to fulfill as well as go through an interview process. However, once approved, you could be earning around $19 an hour and make decent money after just a few hours.
18. Sell Your Photos
Even if you’re an amateur photographer, you can still make money off your skills. There are many stock photo sites that will happily help you sell your photos. All you need to do is create an account and upload as many photos as you like. Some sites will have an approval process as to what types of photos they want. To help them sell well, make sure to tag them correctly and only submit your best stuff.
19. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
Did you know that you can get paid to walk? If you love pets, this could be the perfect side gig for you. There are plenty of folks who live in small apartments who need to take their dogs out but simply don’t have the time. Or those who work long hours and need someone to give their pets love and attention. Make money while you walk dogs or pet sit and you’ll get to play with some cute dogs while getting exercise.
All it takes is you putting up flyers (or even an ad on Kijiji) advertising your services. As your reputation builds, you can even offer dog-sitting services for those who are headed on vacation or a weekend getaway. For this, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of space and treats for Fido.
20. Freelance Writer/Editor
If you love to write, why not get paid for it? The barrier to entry is surprisingly low and with some effort, you can make great money in your spare time. All clients care about is whether you can write well, that’s it. There’s no need for fancy English degrees, though having a specialized degree can be helpful depending on the types of jobs you’re after. For example, if you work in personal finance, you can make a steady income as a finance writer.
To start out as a freelance writer, you’ll need to have a portfolio of work to show to editors. If you have written work, that’s great. Otherwise, there are plenty of blogs that will let you post blogs (much like this one) and give you credit for it. There are some free online portfolio sites like Contently that will let you create a profile and post links to articles you’ve written.
There are also freelancing websites like Upwork that have thousands of people who will hire people to write or edit for them for all kinds of industries. If you can get your foot in the door and earn a great reputation on the platform, you can easily have work coming to you.
21. Become a Virtual Assistant
Small businesses are often looking for help for their businesses. If you’re computer savvy, becoming a virtual assistant or VA is a no-brainer. People hire virtual assistants to perform tasks like data entry, scheduling social media posts, answering emails and even creating graphics. The more specialized skills you have, the more you can charge per hour. For example, someone looking to hire out for a simple data entry task won’t pay as much as someone who wants a programmer to redesign parts of their blog.
The $10K VA course can teach you how to find virtual assistant jobs and make money. Then to get started, you can sign up for freelancer websites such as FreeeUP and Upwork. You’ll need to create a profile, including a portfolio of past work and your skills. You can then bid on jobs as an independent contractor. If you do a good job, your client will rate you. The more favourable ratings you get, the higher the chances you’ll get picked for jobs.
22. Start an At-Home Daycare
Childcare is an age old way to make money on the side. Sure, you can babysit the neighbour’s kids, but you can maximize your working hours by watching several children at once. If you live in a neighbourhood with plenty of kids, you can easily offer to help parents out whenever they crave a night out or want to go on date nights. You may need to make sure your home has plenty of space (and entertainment), but if you’re good with kids, this could be a great option.
You’ll need to keep in mind that if you’re watching groups of kids or are advertising yourself as a daycare, you may need to get a certification. If that’s too much, then babysitting is always a good option. Those parents will be so grateful.
23. Clean or Organize Homes
Many people need extra help getting things done around the house, especially those with extremely busy schedules. Many families would love for someone to do everything from light housework, to doing the laundry and even small repairs. While you may need to provide your own cleaning supplies, many homes will be happy to let you use their vacuum cleaner. You can either charge by the hour or by home.
If you’re not into cleaning, you can get paid to help people organize their homes. Many just want someone to help them declutter and even provide systems on how to keep their homes organized. You can get paid to give suggestions on storage options, decluttering and even helping someone go through the purging process. Most organizers charge anywhere from $25 to $50 an hour.
24. Earn Rewards for Playing Games
Swagbucks is a great site where you can earn points whenever you watch videos via their site or play the games they have featured. The points you earn will vary and you may be able to get bonuses during different days of the week. The games they have available are pretty fun, such as Angry Birds, Tetris and Wheel of Fortune. Once you earn enough points, you can then redeem them for gift cards.
25. Offer Transcription Services
Yes, you can earn money right from your own home by transcribing for businesses or the court. If you have fast typing skills, it can be easy to get started. However, that’s not the only skill you need to have. You’ll need the ability to listen to audio files, understand legal jargon (if you want to be a legal transcriptionist) and have knowledge in certain programs.
If you’re interested but unsure of the types of skills and how to get your first gig, Transcribe Anywhere is a totally affordable course that’ll help you understand the in and outs of the business. You’ll learn what equipment you’ll need and how to market yourself. You even get tons of practise drills so you can hone in on your schools. It is a bit of an investment, but considering the average salary of a legal transcriptionist is $60,000, you should be able to make it back.
26. Rent Out Your Car
If you’re going on long vacations or don’t drive your car that often, you should consider renting it out. Turo is a service that lists your car on their website and renters can choose which dates they want to rent. You then arrange a pickup, hand over the keys and earn some cash. If you want to rent out your car, create a profile on the site, take some attractive photos and list your availability.
27. Rent Out Your RV
If you have an RV, you can also rent that out as well. Outdoorsy is a mobile app that helps you list your RV for rent. You make sure to create an attractive listing, including some nice photos to entice renters and then set a price per night. Your RV is covered for up to $1 million liability insurance policy and renters need to verify that they have a good driving record.
28. Sell Lesson Plans
If you’re a teacher, chances are you’ve created a lot of teaching resources over the years. You can sell those for a pretty penny. Teachers Pay Teachers is a great online marketplace where teachers are specifically looking for premade lesson plans, printables and worksheets. If you’re artistically inclined, create posters that teachers can stick up in their classrooms. Creating an account is easy and you can get started the right way. The income potential of this side hustle is high, just make sure to list which provincial curriculum is for and instructions on how to use them.
29. Put Your Sewing Skills to Work
If you have a sewing machine and know how to you it, you can help others mend or tailor their old clothes. A lot of people need their pants hemmed, which you can easily do for a few dollars. Charge a little less than what tailors do and you’ll be able to drum up business quickly. If you can do more complicated sewing tasks, you can even target brides and bridesmaids to help them tailor their dresses.
30. Hone in on Your Graphic Design Skills
Knowing your way around graphic design programs can mean a pretty lucrative side hustle you can do in your spare time. Many website owners are looking for designers to help create printables, ebooks and simple social media graphics for their websites. Many have even niched down, creating images for Pinterest or only designing ebook covers. Figure out what you’re really good at and start targeting those who need it.
31. Publish a Book
You don’t need to submit a book proposal anymore and wait years to get published. Anyone can write a book and self-publish in places like Amazon with minimal costs. All you need is to have an idea (ideally one that people are interested in), a great book cover, an editor, some time, and you can publish a book in as little as a month. The cool thing is, once your book is published, you don’t have to do much else to earn money. Some authors have even turned their writing side hustles into full-time businesses by publishing multiple books.
32. Sell Private Label Products
Speaking of Amazon, it’s not just for selling books. If you have an idea for a unique product that has demand, you can sell on Amazon and save yourself the hassle of shipping by using “Fulfillment By Amazon”. My Wife Quit Her Job has a complete guide on how to go all the way from finding a product to marketing it.
33. Advertise on Your Car
There are many companies that are looking for cars to advertise on. If you don’t mind having something on your car, you can easily earn up to $800 a month just by driving around. Essentially, businesses are renting the space on your car to use like a billboard. You can sign up at places like MarketYourCar.com and submit information such as location, make and model of vehicle. You’ll then be contacted if a suitable campaign comes up.
34. Become a Brand Ambassador
A brand ambassador is someone who does a variety of tasks for a company, such as handing out flyers, free samples, or even wearing a shirt with the brand logo at networking events. Some events even hire ambassadors to mingle among the crowd to ensure the events go well. To find these gigs, you can dig through classified ads or even places like Craigslist. Be sure to vet them to make sure they’re legit.
These days, most brand ambassadors have a large social media presence and thousands of followers on their social media accounts. If you have a large social media account, brands know that they can get their products in front of more eyeballs. Some brand ambassadors are making serious money promoting products this way.
35. Sell at Farmers Markets
Those who are bakers or have excess vegetables may want to consider selling their wares at the local farmer’s market. Many people love to shop local, and if you have lots of fresh veggies to sell, people will come out and support you. If you sell baked goods and they’re really delicious, customers could come back for more every week.
36. Become a Voiceover Artist
Lots of businesses are looking for voiceover artists for anything from radio and TV ads all the way to audiobooks. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can start creating demo tapes of your skills. The more versatile the better. To increase the chances of getting hired, you’ll want to get listed in directories, such as Audible or even highlight specific skills, such as being bilingual.
37. Take Advantage of Your Handyman Skills
You can easily start a side business if you have lots of tools and equipment to make simple repairs for cars and around the home. Many people are always looking for people who provide handyman services to install fixtures, replace shutters and even patch holes on walls. Some would love for you to help them make light repairs such as replacing spark plugs, batteries and even simple oil changes.
38. Teach Yoga or Exercise Classes
Many gyms and yoga studios are always looking for great teachers. Some look for substitutes in case a regular teacher is sick or can’t make it to class. Most classes are on evenings and weekends, so you can easily squeeze in a few lessons throughout the week. The pay is anywhere from $25 to $40 a class, depending on your experience.
39. Start a Home Moving Business
If you have a large vehicle and a bit of muscle, you can start your own business helping others move to their new home or apartment. People who don’t have enough things may not feel they can justify hiring a large home moving company. You can help pack up items, transport them and even move it to storage units if the client so chooses.
40. Work as a Bookkeeper
You don’t need to be a CPA to be a bookkeeper. As long as you know your way around some bookkeeping software, have decent computer skills and have a willingness to help business owners, you could easily earn up to $80 an hour. To get started, you’ll need some bookkeeping software and learn how to use it well. Then target local businesses and reach out remotely as you drum up more work.
41. Evaluate Search Engines
There are companies that hire real humans to test out search engines. As much as we’d like to think complicated algorithms are accurate, they aren’t always the case. Many of them are full of errors. You basically get paid to look at search engine results and judge them based on relevancy and usefulness. You can find jobs through Lionbridge and start once you take a qualifying test and conduct a quick phone interview.
42. Participate in Focus Groups
A focus group is someone who is specifically chosen based on their demographic or interest to gather and answer questions for market research companies. They’re similar to online surveys, except you’ll need to meet in person over a period of time. However, these get paid a lot more, so it may be worth looking into. Focus groups have a wide range of purposes, from trying out medicine to being asked your opinion about an upcoming movie. Pay does depend on the type of focus group and how long you need to be there.
43. Become a Private Chef
If you’re a great cook, there are many people who would love someone to help them prep their meals or even cook for them for events. You can start advertising around your neighbourhood and provide some free samples and proof of your culinary skills. Some people may even ask you to prepare make-ahead meals for the week.
44. Flip Items Bought at Flea Markets
Treasure hunting at flea markets and thrift stores can result in some serious profits if you know what to look for. Many people have found collectibles and sell them off eBay for at least twice the price. Even clothing, electronics and other items (like tools) are worth selling. The key is to figure out what something is worth and you can sell for, then be on the lookout for these items that are marked really cheap at flea markets and thrift shops. People make hundreds to thousands of dollars doing this, so it’s an option worth exploring.
45. Show Tourists The Local Sights
Many tourists rather have a local show them around than join a big tour company, as it feels more intimate. You can act as a local tour guide, taking visitors to your favourite local places and more popular tourist attractions. Some may want to create personalized tours, while others would like if you to create the itinerary. To get started, sign up for an account at Tours by Locals. Create a profile, set up a tour and a price and watch the requests come in.
46. Detail Cars
Washing cars doesn’t sound that fun, but starting a car detailing business can easily nab you a few hundred dollars a month, all for a few hours of work. To get started, all you need is to invest in some cleaning supplies, a car vacuum. You may want to either rent or purchase a pressure washer to ensure you can go from driveway to driveway to get customers.
47. Fix Computers
Believe it or not, there are still many people that aren’t so great with technology. You can easily help people get rid of nasty viruses, install computer programs or even install extra RAM. You can charge by the job or hourly, depending on what task it is you’re doing.
48. Get Paid For Saving Energy
Yes, you can use less energy to save money on your bills and get paid. If you’re a Toronto Hydro customer, sign up for OhmConnect and you can earn up to $75 right off the bat. You’ll then get notifications when you’re using energy from sustainable resources. If you turn them off and save energy for at least 30 minutes each time, you can earn anywhere from $100 to $300 a year.
49. Create an Online Course
If you have some specialized knowledge or experience with just about any subject, chances are you can make money online by sharing your knowledge through a paid, online course. Not only can you make extra cash, but you can create a form of residual income, which continues long after you put in the upfront work of creating the course.
50. Sell Products Online
I touched on this a few times already, but there is no shortage of products you can sell online. From online courses to crafts to books to t-shirts, physical product sales make a great side hustle. Making money selling isn’t easy though. You might have the best product, but if you can’t market it effectively, you may not make enough money to justify the effort.
51. Manage Social Media Accounts
You don’t need a huge social media following to successfully manage someone else’s social media account. If you are a savvy Facebook or Instagram user, you can earn money online by managing social media accounts for businesses that don’t have the budget for in-house social media or the time or know-how.
52. Start a YouTube Channel
With a small investment in some camera equipment, you can start your own YouTube channel in a niche you are passionate about or have experience with. Here’s where the making money part comes in. If you can generate enough views, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and begin to earn money through video ads YouTube displays on your channel. You can earn extra income through affiliate marketing – by linking to the products you promote in your videos.
53. Personal Trainer
Personal training is big business. The fact is, people everywhere who are pursuing their health and fitness goals are willing to spend money on individual coaching. If you have expertise in the area, consider becoming a personal trainer to earn a few extra dollars. The best part is that you can find clients right where you spend your time, at the local gym.
54. Become a Consultant
If you’ve spent your career becoming an expert in any number of fields, you may be able to leverage that expertise by taking on consulting work as an independent contractor. Management, engineering, personal finance, you name it, individuals and businesses alike will pay you for your expertise.
55. Sell Your Gently Used Clothes
There is no shortage of websites that allow you to sell your gently used clothes for extra income. A lot of people are making money online this way. In just a few minutes, you can take pictures of your clothes and upload them to sites like Poshmark, Tradesy, and ThredUp. You don’t even need your own website to sell, although the apps will take a percentage of your sales as commission.
Are You Ready to Earn Extra Money?
There you have it, 55 ways you can earn money on the side of your day job. We have even more ways to specifically make money online or at home. You can simply pick one and you can generate some serious side hustle money.
However, not all these ways to make money mentioned are suitable for everyone. Before getting started, take some time to consider your schedule, budget and skill set to see which side business idea will give you the most chance of success. Many of the ideas discussed have a low barrier to entry and are more flexible than most part-time jobs. These side hustles you can do on your own schedule. If you have a few you want to try, just pick and get started.
If you need some more inspiration, I recommend that you listen to Philip Taylor on the MapleMoney Show, where he discusses the benefits of having a side hustle or two to earn extra money. Click play to hear PT share a few income ideas that you can start right away. There’s no better time like the present. What are you waiting for?
There’s some great ideas I hadn’t heard of here, like Homescan and Lending Loop! I’ll definitely check them out.