Kill your debt faster: How to make extra money while working a full-time job

by on Dec 10 2012 - 40 Comments

The following is a guest post from Pauline Paquin, a French girl who has recently started to blog over at Reach Financial Independence. Born and raised in Paris, Pauline blogs about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence, and how you can follow your dreams and reach your goals. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence.

A few days ago, DC mentioned a blog called Deliver Away Debt. Jeff, the author, talks about how he took a pizza delivery job in order to pay off his debt faster. It is not easy to find time for a side hustle when you have a full-time job already. But those little bits of extra income here and there will allow you to kill your debt much faster than your regular paychecks. Here are a few ideas of jobs that should not affect your day job obligations.

Take a night shift

If you are working a strict schedule and leave work relatively early, you can follow Jeff’s model and work at a part-time night job. Pizza delivery is one of many. You can be an office cleaner, a bartender, or a night clerk in a hotel. Usually the minimum shift will be approximately four hours. If you worked as a barista and made $10 per hour, you would have $200 more per week that you can throw at your debt. Try to find a workplace close to home or your day job in order to limit your commute.

Work weekends

We all need a break on weekends, but if your goal is to kill that debt as fast as possible you can look into working on the weekends. Temporary work, like catering at weddings or working at business fairs, can help you get the best of both worlds. These events happen a few times a year and allow you to work on specific dates only. They offer more flexibility than a regular night shift and usually pay slightly higher. The jobs can be physically demanding, and you may have to stand for several hours. One of the benefits is that you should get paid on the same day or by the end of the event.

What I like about these jobs is that they do not require much thinking, which can be a nice change of pace if you work an office job during the week. You can get there, do your job, and leave and get on with your life. Getting another stressful job on top of your day job can lead to a quick burnout, so be picky about what weekend work you take on.

Teach

The hourly rate is great for tutors and instructors, although you have to factor in the time it takes you to get to the class and back. I used to tutor kids after work for an hour and made about $30 an hour, four days a week. It took a bit of preparation beforehand, but once I had researched it for the first student, I could bring the same material to different kids.

Every trimester, your community center is probably looking for yoga instructors, pottery teachers, language professors, etc. Offer to hold a two hour class to make best use of your time.

Freelance

If you have web design, translation or marketing skills, you should easily be able to find freelance work that will work around your day job schedule. Elance and Taskrabbit are good places to start looking for work. Find a project that you like and offer to take it on. Your rate should take into account all the time needed to complete the task to the best of your ability. On completion, you will be rated by the customer and having a good rating boosts your chances of finding additional work.

Sell Stuff

Going through your attic and closet, there is probably a ton of stuff that you could get rid of. Do not stop there. If you are crafty enough, you can sell your homemade items on Etsy. Making crafts requires a small upfront investment, but if you enjoy crafting it can be a fun side income. Garage sales and consignment shops are also great places to look for cheap items that you can resell at a profit.

Do you have a special skill?

Use it! Start by defining what your skill is.

  • If you bake delicious cakes, offer to cater for birthday parties. At each party, you will have fifteen kids and as many moms who could become your next client.

  • If you can fix a computer, put an add on Craigslist at an attractive rate, and grow from there.

  • I taught the piano to teenagers. Most of the kids were referred to me and I was always fully booked.

  • A friend is a hairdresser and offers haircut to groups of friends at night. Five friends gather at one’s home and she cuts everyone’s hair while the girls have a snacks and cocktails.

Rent a room

Do you have an extra room at home? You can look for a tenant, or rent it temporarily to tourists and exchange students. Yes, it can be annoying to have people at home, but the time involved in additional cleaning and changing the sheets once in a while is not much, giving you a high hourly rate. By renting a room for $500 a month you could pay $6,000 towards debt, and much more if you are in a desirable location.

Editors Note: These are all great tips for bringing in additional side income. I personally blog and do some spreadsheet consulting on the side to make side income. While it can be difficult working your full-time job and then coming home and doing more work, it can be rewarding. Making additional debt payments or padding your savings makes it worth it. I would highly recommend at least looking into what you can do to make some money in addition to your full-time income.

What do you do to kill debt faster?
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Photo by Tulane Public Relations
 

40 comments
StudentDebtSurvivor
StudentDebtSurvivor

The BF and I have thought about renting our extra bedroom. So far we've had more reasons not to, then ambition to rent it given how small our place is and how much we like our privacy. But the idea of an extra $800-$1000 a month sounds pretty nice.

IanThe30SomeStudent
IanThe30SomeStudent

After next semester (I graduate!) I will have my nights free again and plan on going back to the old restaurant and picking up some shifts. The cool thing about only doing it twice a week or so is that it doesn't get as old as it would if you do it everyday.

JustinatTheFrugalPath
JustinatTheFrugalPath

Waiting on tables is a great way to make some side money. It fits in most people's work schedule, doesn't require a lot of training and the money is good. It can be a difficult job though.

FreeAgentRogers
FreeAgentRogers

A very easy way to make extra money is to take on an office cleaning job, learn the business, then acquire accounts for yourself. I started that way and ended up retired doing it.

Beachbudget
Beachbudget

I'm still debating about the renting a couch for air b n b, but I like a lot of the other methods. And I've tried a couple that didn't work for me, like retail. But that's the beauty of life...you can experiment! 

SavvyScot1
SavvyScot1

A combination of passive income from blogging and investments with working hard and spending carefully :)

CanadianBudgetB
CanadianBudgetB

We've rented a room in the past and we had some good roomates but others were just awful. They have the mindset that I'm renting so I can  trash my room and do what I want. After we renovated our home we didn't want a slob and one girl I kid you not we had to climb over her clothes to get to a floor vent for a contractor who came in. The other bloke was smoking pot and lighting incence in our home and he was a University student that came from a well rounded family. Who does that in someone's home? So it's a great way to make money but if you care more about the money you invested into your home then think about it twice.  We've sold tonnes of items especially if we haven't used them in 6 months. We are not collectors so out with the old and in with the new or use the money to pay down debt. Great post. Mr.CBB

TacklingOurDebt
TacklingOurDebt

Great post Pauline! Back when I worked full-time I also worked part-time as a Travel Agent and I loved it. I worked most Saturdays because that was when the office was the busiest.

Eyesonthedollar
Eyesonthedollar

I could link this up with my post today. It's harder if you have a kiddo at home. I wasn't about to take a weekend job, but I did add more hours during the work week and sold a ton of stuff to pay debt. I actually considered taking a teaching job at the community college as a biology or medical terminology instructor ,but then I got my other job that ended up paying more anyway. Not much is off the table when you really want to pay off some debt!

KyleJames1
KyleJames1

Great tips. I make about $750 a year selling stuff on ebay. Most of it is gently used toys and clothing from the kids. Easy money, especially when you have a good selling system in place.

Joanna@OurFreakingBudget
Joanna@OurFreakingBudget

Thanks for the great tips! I love this post because it promotes good ol' fashioned hard work. There's too much get-rich-quick mentality for making money these days. And extra work sucks while I'm doing it, but the payoff is always super rewarding. Time and again I've asked myself why I take on freelance work???? But then the paycheck comes, and ta-da, it's all worth it!

rs02011988
rs02011988

I really like children, so I joined care.com and found occasional babysitting jobs on the nights and weekends. It's nice because I can say "no" if I am busy. I don't have any debt, but the money goes towards savings and investing. I make about $400-$500 a month, which is awesome :)

DebtRoundUp
DebtRoundUp

Nice job Pauline.  These are great tips.  I did a lot of Freelancing when I was paying off my debt.  It worked well and there are many different areas to freelance in.

Money_Angels
Money_Angels

Great round up of ideas. I get paid time and and half for over time and an extra bonus if I hit a certain number of hours. Since there's loads of work on at the minute, its fairly easy to rack up the hours. I also do some graphic design on the side occasionally which is nice bonus money every once and a while 

Holly at ClubThrifty
Holly at ClubThrifty

These are all great ideas!  I have always had some sort of side job.  It makes a big difference.

MonsterPiggyBank
MonsterPiggyBank

I have tried any number of different activities in an attempt to earn income on the side. I tried FX trading, sports arbitrage, blogging, app development and even just one or two things on freelancer. Unfortunately I have only have limited success with all of the above and I sometimes wonder if it is worth the amount of effort i put in.

FrugalRules
FrugalRules

Great tips Pauline!  I personally did what I could to pick up extra shifts at work while also looking for side jobs that I could do in a quick turnaround.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @StudentDebtSurvivor It is awesome to basically receive money for doing nothing. You are getting paid to sacrifice your privacy, yes, but you are still on your grounds since this is your home so the tenant should adapt. 

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @IanThe30SomeStudent Yes, it is nice to have some free nights for yourself as well as the additional income. I imagine you can always pick up an extra shift once in a while.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @Beachbudget I am a big fan of renting my house because it is little effort for the money, but I have almost always lived with people and understand it is hard if you are not used to it. In Paris rooms can rent for $80 per night, I'd rather have guests and wash my sheets than work an 8 hour shift at a coffee shop.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @SavvyScot1 If you really want to kill debt fast I wouldn't recommend blogging, although a few months in it is worth the effort.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @CanadianBudgetB I have had lots of crazy flatmates too, even a stalker! But easily saved $500 per month in housing for the past 10 years... Now I am looking at short term rentals to tourists at least after 2-3 days they are gone, no 6 months tenancy!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

 @CanadianBudgetB I plan on renting out our basement studio, but as of right now the income/cash flow is most important.  We haven't renovated yet.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @TacklingOurDebt Thank you Sicorra. Weekend work is great if your schedule is hectic during the week, you don't want to lose your main job because you leave to early for your part-time one.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @Eyesonthedollar I am turning people into elephant killers too!  It is harder will children, although you can find jobs from home, Sicorra has a great post listing many opportunities.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @KyleJames1 true. I lose lots of times listing on Ebay when I haven't done it for a while. It gets much easier after a couple of ads.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @Joanna@OurFreakingBudget Thank you Joanna! It does suck to be working when your friends are out or you just feel like a bubble bath, but there is nothing like the reward!

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @DebtRoundUp Thanks Grayson. I think many people are shy or don't know where to start from, but freelancing is perfect to work around a busy schedule and you can freelance in virtually anything.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

@Money_Angels It is much easier to pick up an extra shift at work than finding a side job, even better with time and a half income!

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @MonsterPiggyBank I would focus on something I really love and not mind putting effort into, or something that should be lucrative. App development demands a lot of time, but web design is good money for the effort for example. I don't even want to estimate my hourly blogging income but I like it!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

There is always an opportunity cost when it comes to these things, and it's important to constantly re-evaluate how your time is best used.

RFIndependence
RFIndependence

 @FrugalRules Extra shifts when possible are great since there is no commute time or change of clothes, wouldn't have been possible in my job since it was a package salary.

FreeAgentRogers
FreeAgentRogers

 @RFIndependence Yes, I'm working on a lawn mowing business guide to go along with my book on how to make money with an office cleaning business.

Money_Angels
Money_Angels

 @RFIndependence  Totally. My wife was doing some Netball umpiring on the side last year and she got hit pretty badly on tax for a time. She's finished it now, but it casued trouble with her tax code when she got a new job.