Make More Money: 4 Easy Side Gigs for Young Adults

Last Updated Jul 29, 2010 12:01 PM EDT


Side gigs, side hustles, part-time jobs: Call them what you like. To be ahead of the financial curve in your 20s, it's often extremely helpful to have supplementary income. Starting salaries for young workers have sat idle for decades, while the cost of living and debt levels have soared. What's a goal-oriented, hard-working young professional to do (besides babysit, petsit and tutor)?
Here are 4 simple ideas for money on the side.
Write Grant Proposals
Have a B.A. in English and/or some decent writing experience? Find an inexpensive training program online or at a local college. Once you do, you can take on freelance grant-writing projects for nonprofits. This is work you can do from home at night, on the weekends or whenever's convenient for you. Check out a site like Idealist.org to see what types of groups and organizations are looking for grant proposal writers, and to get a feel for what kind of work you'd be doing. A substantial writing project could earn you up to a thousand dollars or more.
Take Psych Tests
This is another way to profit from living near a college or university. Academic researchers are often searching for folks to participate in psych or behavioral studies, in which you'll spend a few hours answering questions or completing what are usually very simple tasks and activities. Contact the psych departments at a local school and see if they have any upcoming research studies for which you're eligible. The cost benefit: up to $100 per study. This may not be something you can feasibly do on a regular basis, but it's an easy way to make some quick cash once in a while.
Teach Aerobics or Yoga
If you're already an active aerobics participant or yoga adherent, chat with your instructor to see if your health club or facility has any free training programs. If not, look online for some major yoga training centers around the country. Some cost a couple hundred dollars, others more, depending on the level of certification you are seeking. The beauty of this side gig is that you get to improve your own health while making money! The average full-time salary of a fitness instructor, according to Salary.com, is roughly $46,000 a year. If you were just to work on the weekends or evenings you could probably make $18 to $22 an hour with appropriate certification. (Psst...one growing yoga niche is yoga for kids!)
Teach CPR
Once you're trained in CPR, you can market yourself to local schools, YMCAs, community centers, workplaces and organizations to teach CPR classes on nights or weekends. It isn't difficult to learn or to teach, and there's always a need for it. The American Heart Association can help you find a CPR training class near you.
Photo courtesy: Axel Buhrmann's photostream on Flickr
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    Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter at @farnoosh.

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