"I Make About $500 A Month": People Are Sharing The Surprisingly Lucrative Ways They Earn Extra Cash And Supplement Their Income

Being alive right now is stupid expensive, which means lots of us are on the lookout for ways to spend less and save more. But you can only cut back so much. Sometimes, you have to find a way to make more money, whether it's through getting a raise, switching jobs, or taking on a side gig.

character checking the ATM and cringing when it shows his balance is $2

Recently, u/bigdope-smallgirl asked people on Reddit to share the weirdest way they've ever made money, and the answers were honestly really surprising (and surprisingly lucrative). Here's what they had to say:

1."I host trivia. It’s a few nights a week for two and a half hours a night. It’s $50 each night plus the different venues hook you up with deals on food and drinks. Like, one place you get a free meal, which you can use for these giant pizzas that are normally $25. Or at another place, I get free drinks. It’s pretty chill, and I make about $500 a month. It helps."

it's the biggest night of trivia of the year

2."I bake fruitcakes from scratch, using pecans instead of walnuts, and cream sherry in lieu of harsher liquors. I use 1/2 pound loaf pans so no one is stuck with a lot of leftovers. Baking begins in September through October, so the cakes have time to soak up the sherry. Business is pretty good. I can do a few hundred dollars or more easily, and still have folks clamoring for more."


3."Once a month, on a Friday night, I host a parents' night out and babysit overnight. I still have a swing set, a tree swing, and such so kids come to my home. I charge around $50 a child and I serve dinner and dessert, we play outside until dusk, come in and get cleaned up/put pjs on, and then watch a movie. Depending on weather and age of kids, we may use our blowup movie screen and projector and watch the movie outside along with popcorn and juice boxes. Afterwards, it’s brushing teeth and getting settled down in sleeping bags. We set up camp in the family room, and kids fall asleep quickly. I’m up by 8 a.m. making breakfast to feed the little people, and parents pick up around 9:15. I usually watch 8 to 10 kids, and it’s an easy $500. Kids LOVE the night, and I have more demand than space available."


4."One thing I did was a mock jury I found on Craigslist. Went to a law firm where they catered food, drinks, and snacks. We got to listen to a case and deliberate like an actual jury would, and the whole thing was recorded. Got paid $200 plus travel fees for about three and a half hours worth of work."

men in a jury box listening intently

5."I worked as a victim for a military training drill. It was $100 per day, paid in cash. If you did all three days of this exercise, you got an extra $25. They are coming back to my area in two months."


6."I met a dude once who sold feeder roaches to Petco, PetSmart, etc. He was making, like, $200k off his garage."


7."I sell plant cuttings and seedlings! Spring time I just sell my extra peppers and tomatoes, and then have some well-loved houseplants that need a haircut every so often. I just root the cuttings in water and eventually pot and sell. It's not a ton of cash or anything, but it's a nice way for my hobby to pay for itself over time. Also, I've been growing pomegranates from seed because where I live, they are an uncommon houseplant. The local garden center sold small trees for $129+! I had no problem growing the little guys for a few months and selling for $20; whereas, the seed packs were $5 for a bunch."

woman taking cuttings from a house plant

8."I have a flea market booth. The most lucrative part about it is freeze dried candy I buy from a local business. I buy in bulk and have 100% markup and still sell a crapload of candy! It helps that the local mall has pretty much the same stuff for three times the price. People want to try it but don't want to pay those prices, so they get excited when they see mine and buy three for the price of one mall candy. It's silly, but I'm happy with it."


9."I watch for class action lawsuits and join when I qualify. I’ve made a few hundred the past couple of years, but my main motivation is how tickled my husband gets when a random check arrives. Am always looking for ways to impress him, LOL."


10."I legally grow hemp and sell CBD products at local farmers markets. Was a big starting investment, and I'll be red for a little while still, but it's starting to pick up and turn a profit."

man working at a farmers market

11."I 'teach English' online, basically just chat with people. One of them is a kid where we do a 50/50 reading and watching Pokémon or Godzilla. So I get paid minimum wage to watch Pokémon and old Godzilla movies."


12."My partner and I did valet for college football games. We got paid hourly (I think at the time it was $11 per hour), but the tips at the end of the night made it worth it."


13."I crochet and sell dolls."

three crocheted ballerina dolls

14."I pet sit for people in my building, mostly doctors. Three doctors and some elderly couples. It's GREAT for my dogs to play and have dogs over, LOL. I even take them to the park and on walks. I know some people charge $80 a night (that's what my pet sitter charges me), but they give me $40. Plus, they bring me a little knickknack from wherever they travel to."


15."I sell photos of my feet. 🤣"


16."Not that weird, but I model for art classes. I have a full-time job, but I usually do classes a month and get paid in cash, which is nice."

man in an art class holding up his drawing

17."I don’t think it is weird, and it is a niche, so not a normal thing, but I make probably equivalent to an extra part-time job's worth of money monthly on average, sometimes more. I have a full-time 'real' job, but on the side, I sell items I find in the alley. Really nice stuff. I have a Poshmark inventory of over 450 items, have sold well over 1,000 items, and I’ve got at least 150–200 not even listed. Basically a huge closet. No one would ever guess where this stuff came from. I only list items in basically new or perfect condition. And only if I can list it for $20+ to start. I’ve got zero overhead. Other than sweat and time equity, it’s 100% profit."


18."I had an Etsy shop reselling vintage and antique cast iron cookware that I would find in rusty condition and restore to be collected or used again. Just recently shut the shop down due to time constraints, but it was a great little side gig at the time, and I enjoyed it."


19."I DJ weddings and provide light shows for bands coming through town. It started off just as a hobby, and it spread through word of mouth. People pay so much money for DJs and bands for weddings that it makes my charge of $100 an hour look really cheap."

wedding dj looking over the event plans

20."Rev! You transcribe the audio that you hear, and it can be anything from police body cam to talks about blueberry fields. You can make decent money if you grind it. You DO get graded. If you get too many bad marks, you get 'demoted' to a base level. Premium folks get the pick of the litter when it comes to files. I easily make a couple hundred bucks a month doing it. You do need good, noise-canceling headphones. You have to follow their guidelines for transcribing, labeling speakers correctly, etc."


21."I watch local Facebook groups and find odd jobs there quite a bit. People are always looking for random help. Last weekend, I made $25 by going to a lady's house and clipping her cat's toenails!"


22."Back in college, I put together furniture — 80% of the time for older folks who ordered flat pack furniture and couldn’t put it together themselves. I enjoyed the puzzle of putting together IKEA furniture, and I usually had an interesting conversation or two with the older generation."

woman knocking over halfway assembled furniture with a hammer

23."Not super odd, but I sharpen knives and tools to supplement my income. Startup costs are pretty low, and if you go to a farmers market in a wealthier part of town, you can usually get a decent amount of business. Kitchen and pocket knives are usually the standard, but if you can sharpen tools like lawn mower blades, shears, chisels, etc., you can get a decent amount of consistent return business. Anywhere from a couple hundred to about $1k a month depending on how much I am working at it."


24."I sell clothing, mostly on eBay. I source items from various places very cheaply and manage to usually sell for a decent profit margin. I've been at it for about five years. Lots of ups and downs during that time, but I sell on average 10–15 items of clothing a day and growing every month."


25."I live in Kansas City metro, and soccer is kind of big here. I referee on weekends during fall and spring. The pay varies if you are a referee or assistant referee. It also varies with ages. At the end, it always comes down to about $30/hour."

woman refereeing a soccer game

26."I had a plumbing backup and needed someone with a snake to clear the line. I looked on Craigslist, and everyone was charging $99 for the snaking. This one guy advertised for $69. I called him, he came, and he had my line clear in 20 minutes. We got to talking. He and his family had just come in from Ohio a couple of weeks before because their 8-year-old daughter needed medical treatment that was only available in Tampa. Before he left Ohio, he had bought a used electrical plumbing snake for $400. Upon arrival, he was instantly busy with snake jobs because his price was the lowest on all of Craigslist. According to him, he was making about $400 per day, and he was working it seven days a week. Good money in it once the initial investment is made, but of course, it is not a glamorous job."


27.And finally, "There’s a huge group fitness instructor shortage, and some studios or gyms will train you in spin or Pilates in hopes that you’ll bring in money. I paid for my yoga teacher training, but I’ve made back the money five-fold in a year, and I work at a studio that pays like shit. However, it’s exhausting on your body. I teach maybe 10 hours a week, not even including desk time and cleanup time on top of my 9–5 full-time job. It’s a good chunk of change to basically get paid to exercise, though."


What's the most unusual way you've ever made money? Tell me all about it in the comments.