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7 Tips for Making Extra Money While you Freelance

For over a year, my main career focus has been freelance writing. I wish that I could say that the day I started writing was the day I started making a living as a writer, but unfortunately I can’t.

For as much as I have enjoyed my time as a freelance writer, there were times where I needed to figure out other ways to pay my bills. It was helpful to learn how to live cheaply, but I needed to learn how else I could make money while dedicating the majority of my work week to writing.

I realized I had to get creative. Over the past year I have primarily lived in two places, New Zealand and Indiana. However, many of the ways I discovered to make money can be done almost anywhere.

So if you are a digital nomad looking to make some extra cash or are worried about how you will pay your bills if you quit your job to freelance, then some of the tips below will help you.

Become a Substitute Teacher.

The first thing I did when I got back from New Zealand was get my substitute teaching license. Subbing is a great way to get out the house and make some extra cash.

As long as you sub for students who are between the ages of 12 and 18, you should not have any problems doing work while you are at school. Any younger and you will become more of a babysitter than a classroom monitor.

Becoming a sub is pretty easy. Each state has it own requirements for becoming a substitute teacher. For example, in Indiana the requirements are that you hold a high school diploma, are 18 year of age or older, and pass the screening process established by the particular school corporations in your area. To find the list of requirements for your state visit its government website.

The amount of money you make will vary based on the school district and the type of school you chose to work at. I personally sub at a private school, which pays less than the public schools. However, the students are well behaved, so I have plenty of time to focus on my writing.

Donate Plasma for Money

It’s a little bit of an oxymoron, but donating plasma has become a popular way for people who are struggling financially to make ends meet. In fact, my sister was able to pay her utility bills throughout college by doing this.

Hopefully, you are at the point where you have enough money in your bank account, so that you aren’t worried about where your next meal will come from. Either way, selling plasma can still be a quick and easy approach to making a few extra hundred bucks every month.

There are plasma service centers located all across the country, so no matter where you are in America you should not have an issue finding a place to donate.

Once you donate plasma, receiving your payment is quick and easy. Plasma service centers such as BioLife even have prepaid debit cards that they use to load your payments onto.

Join a Ridesharing Company

Say what you want about companies like Uber and Lyft, but there really isn’t a better way for digital nomads with decent vehicles to make some extra cash.

For example, have you had a slow week freelancing? No problem, just turn on your app and look for riders. On the other hand, if you have several weeks where you are overwhelmed with digital work, then you have no need to turn the app on. It is there when you need it. No commitment.

I have plenty of friends who worked for ridesharing companies directly after college, when they were only able to find part-time jobs in their chosen fields. They didn’t get rich, but they certainly were able to pay their bills while living somewhat comfortably.


I know that for many of you babysitting was one of your first jobs, but my fiancé is somewhat of a digital nomad as well. She remotely manages social media for a few companies. To make some extra money, she picks up one or two night-time nannying jobs a week.

This works out great for her. She usually gets a free meal. Then, once the kids are in bed, she does a few hours of her social media work and waits for their parents to get home. Essentially, she is getting paid for doing two jobs at once.

A great place to start finding babysitting jobs is to reach out to people you already know have kids. However, websites such as are great online resources that help you find work as a nannying.

Reach Out to Older Successful Business Professionals

After I got set up as a substitute teacher, I began to reach out to local business professionals I knew who might need some extra help. I was able to find a couple of older professionals who were willing to pay me cash to write emails for them, update their Salesforce, and help them with social media.

This was a huge help in the beginning. I had a little bit of regular work that I could do on my own time, and I got paid quickly.

Plus, it really helped my self-esteem to have a weekly meeting or two in someone’s office, as opposed to just working from my kitchen table everyday.

Manual Labor Jobs that Pay Cash

No matter where you are, there are people looking for occasional help at labor intensive positions. Usually, this work pays cash.

In both New Zealand and Indiana, I have been able to make some extra money by helping people landscape. This can be physically strenuous, but it is also a great workout that pays pretty well.

If you do not know anyone personally who needs help with manual labor, then you can always check out your local craigslist. There are several categories on there that are related to labor.

There are obviously several types of manual labor jobs that do not require much experience, so feel free to give any of them a try.

Surveys and Other Online Work

The internet is littered with online jobs and surveys that advertise quick and easy ways to make money. It is important to know that none of these jobs will overflow your pockets with cash, but some are valuable ways to make an easy few dollars here and there.

To this day I use a site called Appiness to make a quick $5 for writing an honest review of an app. It’s not a lot, but it usually takes me five minutes and it’s enough to buy a sandwich from Subway.

There is a list of 100 such websites here. After looking over the list I am sure that you will be able to find at least a few websites that are worth your time and effort. 

It doesn’t matter which of these tips you use, just that you are trying some of them. As long as you are doing everything you can to live your dream of becoming a successful digital nomad, then there is no doubt in my mind that you will eventually succeed.

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    1. Great advice, Shay. I have never used this service myself, but I have several friends who worked for food and accommodation while traveling.Thanks for the insight!

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