Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed. And in many cases, turning a hobby into a money-making hobby can enhance the enjoyment level.
On this page, you’ll find more than 60 different hobbies that make money.
The list is broken down into 11 categories, which are:
- Top 10 Hobbies That Make Money
- Entertainment Hobbies — Watch, Play and Earn
- Visual Arts Hobbies —Photography, Video and Design
- Teaching Hobbies — Share Your Knowledge
- Performance and Media Hobbies — Put Yourself in the Spotlight
- Style Hobbies — Help People, Places and Events Look Fabulous
- DIY Hobbies — Build and Fix Things
- Personal Finance Hobbies — Grow Your Net Worth
- Food and Drink Hobbies — Grow Your Garden
- Shopping Hobbies — Pop Some Tags
- Random Hobbies That Pay Surprisingly Well
Top 10 Hobbies That Make Money
All of the hobbies on this list have the potential to pay out a little bit — at least enough to cover the costs of participating in them. Some of the more specialized ones (like graphic design) can be scaled up into a highly-profitable online career.
That said, the 10 hobbies below stand out as some of the best overall choices. Almost anyone can use one or more of these options to earn a decent chunk of extra cash in relatively little time.
#1. Taking Surveys
Considering the fact that you can complete surveys on your phone while watching TV or while listening to podcasts, taking surveys for money can make for productive use of your spare time.
Surveys are one of the easiest ways to make money from home. You won’t get rich from them, but you can certainly give yourself some extra spending money every month.
It’s pretty simple, too.
Just sign up with a reputable paid survey site and you’ll be notified when a survey becomes available. When we ranked the best survey sites, Survey Junkie was one that really stood out.
Here’s what’s to like about Survey Junkie:
- Good standing with Better Business Bureau, excellent rating on TrustPilot, and greater than 4.0 app rating for both iOS and Android.
- They don’t flood your inbox or send you spam emails.
- The site offers some of the highest payouts in the industry.
- Many surveys are fun and unique, such as listening to and rating music.
- Pays in cash through PayPal.
Blogging is one of the ultimate “choose your own adventure” businesses. You can pick just about any hobby on this list and make money blogging about it. Although, bloggers in certain niches do better than others.
The startup costs are incredibly low (under $3 a month) and the potential is high. As an example, I started this blog to teach others about what I learned while working as a CFP®. Little did I know that just one year later I’d leave my job to run this blog full-time.
Not sure if starting your own blog is right for you?
That’s why I created a free 14-lesson email course titled How To Make Your First $1,000 Blogging, which goes over all the details of launching your blog the right way — from the technical side to marketing, and everything in between.
Simply enter your email below to sign up and get the course delivered to your inbox.
If you’re not interested in starting your own blog, consider becoming a freelance writer and writing for other publications about your hobby of choice.
Similar to blogging, you can pick just about any hobby on this list and make decent money writing about it.
If you love to travel, consider becoming a travel writer. Love to cook? There are food blogs that could use your favorite recipes. Not sure which of your hobbies is best-suited for freelance writing success? Not sure how to get started?
Check out my beginner’s guide to freelance writing, which explains everything you need to know to start landing high-paying clients.
Enjoy fine-tuning writing and grammar? Then you can make solid money as a proofreader or editor.
Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion in written content. There are more websites and blogs than ever, and Amazon now allows authors to self-publish both physical and digital editions of their books.
However, not everyone who writes is a master of tone and style — and many writers and authors know it.
As a result, there’s a massive demand for freelance editing services. Clients will pay you to help them with all kinds of projects, from blog posts to future best-sellers.
The types of work you’ll do vary by client. Some want you to just go through the document and correct grammar, punctuation and sentence structure problems. Others will ask you to serve as a consultant, advising them about what works and what doesn’t, and guiding their prose.
Two of the best places to find clients are the freelance websites Fiverr and Upwork.
On Fiverr, you’ll create a profile and offer services with set prices. For example, you might charge $50 to edit 1,000 words. Then, clients will come to you.
On Upwork, it works the other way around; clients post jobs, which you can sort through and bid on. Upwork tends to pay a little better, but it’s harder to score clients when you’re just starting out.
If you’re not sure you have the skillset for editing, you can also get paid good money to proofread books, papers, blogs and more.
Believe it or not, this little hobby can generate a full-time income. Caitlin Pyle, who runs the blog Proofread Anywhere, earned over $43,000 in one year proofreading part-time.
As a proofreader, your job will simply be to notice and correct technical mistakes, like typos.
If you’re interested, Caitlin runs a free daily webinar called “Learning the Skills You Need to Start Your Freelance Proofreading Hustle.”
#6. Taking Pictures
There are more than a few ways to turn your love of photography into a profitable hobby. I compiled a list of the seven best ways to make money by taking pictures with your phone, but the one with the biggest upside in terms of both enjoyment and earning potential is stock photography.
Remember the content boom I noted above, in the entry on editing? Well, all that content needs photos to go along with it — and publishers are increasingly turning to stock photo sites to find it. In fact, it’s one of the fasting-growing online niches.
According to the publication Research & Markets, annual sales of stock photos will be more than $4 billion by the year 2023. If you love being behind a camera (even the one in your smartphone) you can score a piece of that pie.
You’ll usually earn between 20 and 50 cents for each image sold. So, it’s a volume business — the goal is to have hundreds of great photos for sale, with each generating a recurring stream of commissions.
And since you’re able to sell the same image over and over and over, stock photography represents a great source of passive income. You’ll keep getting paid for work that’s already finished.
#7. Spending Time on Social Media
Find yourself spending lots of time on social media? Well, you can get paid (and get paid well) to manage other people’s social media accounts.
Businesses are starving for customers. And right now, one of the best ways to acquire new clients and customers is on social media.
Good social media managers can easily bring in $2,000 to $4,000 per month, per client. Top-tier managers with experience successfully running paid social media campaigns can charge over $10,000 per client — and will sometimes get a cut of the profits they help generate.
If you’re dedicated to learning the fundamentals, managing social media is one of the quickest ways to make a full-time living working from home.
Bobby Hoyt, the creator of the Facebook Side Hustle course, was a brand director looking for ways to make extra money. So, he started running Facebook ads for local businesses. Before long, he was making more money doing that than working at his day job.
His course teaches you everything you need to know about running paid Facebook ad campaigns (and you can use many of the same concepts on Twitter and Instagram).
The course has a waiting list and only opens up a few times each year. Check out the site to learn more and put your name on the list — I’ve learned a lot from Bobby and I’m sure you will too.
#8. Working Out
Like to work out and live a healthy lifestyle? Or just need some extra motivation to start living healthier? Believe it or not, you can actually get paid for losing weight with HealthyWage.
Here’s a quick summary of how it works:
- Start at the HealthyWage prize calculator and enter how much weight you want to lose, when you want to lose it by, and how much you want to bet per month.
- Based on what you enter, the HealthyWage prize calculator will determine how much you can earn.
- After registering, you’ll then start the challenge with a video-recorded weigh-in.
The challenge ends with another video recorded weigh-in.
#9. Hanging Out With Dogs
If you love dogs, you can get your pup fix while also earning good money by pet sitting and/or dog walking.
This is an especially good money making hobby for those in a densely populated area. If that’s the case, you can double or triple up and take multiple dogs out for a stroll at the same time.
It’s for this reason that someone with a large client base can earn over six figures a year walking dogs.
#10. Traveling the World
Travel hacking — also known as the art of using credit card rewards to book travel for free or nearly-nothing — is incredibly fun.
Of course, it’s definitely not for everyone: you have to have a good credit score and be able to pay your credit card bill in full each month.
Years ago, I was hesitant to get into travel hacking. It seemed complicated, and like it had the potential to hurt my credit. But once I booked two first-class tickets from Chicago to Buenos Aires simply for signing up for a credit card, I was hooked.
And over time, I realized that my fears were unjustified.
Common sense says that we have to pay for entertainment, but sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s not hard to find fun hobbies that can help you kill time while also putting a little more cash in your pocket.
#11. Playing Games on Your Smartphone
Swagbucks is an app that will give you points when you make in-game purchases in some of your favorite mobile games, including Angry Birds and Wheel of Fortune titles.
Those points can be redeemed for gift cards to major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
You won’t get rich with this hobby, but if you play games in your spare time and enjoy spending a little bit here and there on your Clash of Clans addiction, you might as well earn points along the way.
#12. Competitive Video Gaming
It might seem crazy if you’re someone like me who grew up playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on the original NES, but professional competitive video gaming — known simply as e-sports — is a multi-billion dollar industry (and growing).
Today, there are professional e-sports teams worth millions of dollars, and they compete for huge prize money in front of thousands of spectators.
Some of the most popular competitive games are League of Legends, Call of Duty and Overwatch, but you can even find cash-prize tournaments for free-to-play games like Fortnite.
#13. Playing Free Texas Hold ‘Em for Gift Cards
If you love watching the World Series of Poker on TV and playing Texas Hold ‘Em with your friends, you should check for 100% free-to-play tournaments in your area.
This isn’t gambling, which is like tossing money out the window; rather, restaurants and bars often run free tournaments with real prizes (usually gift cards) for the winners.
For them, it’s just another way to bring customers through the door and sell food and drinks. For you, it’s a fun way to put your skills to the test, make new friends, and possibly score some free food or merchandise.
#14. Watch Random Videos
Not everyone is competitive. For some people, playing games with the goal of winning money might sound like more stress than fun.
If you’re more interested in passive entertainment hobbies, like watching TV and movies, check out Swagbucks: the company that will pay you to play mobile games will also pay you to watch random videos, like advertisements and infomercials.
You’ll earn points for each video you watch, which can be cashed out for gift cards.
#15. Collect, Trade and Sell Rare Games
If you’re an 80s kid, you might have been obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons growing up. For 90s kids, it might have been Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon cards.
What many people don’t realize is that each of those games are still around, and each has an active player base and an enormous collector’s market for both the old and new editions.
Troll & Toad is just one of many online retailers that will pay you cash for your collectible cards and games; you can also buy and sell them on Amazon, eBay and TcgPlayer.com.
Visual Arts Hobbies
Your creative streak can pave the way for a lucrative income idea (or even a full-time career) in the visual arts, as graphic designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators are some of the most in-demand freelancers in the market.
If you’re good, you’ll typically earn at least $50 per hour for your time. If you’re great, you can earn substantially more than that.
And you might be surprised by the wide array of ways you can monetize your skills. (It’s not just making logos anymore…)
#16. Graphic Design
There are so many ways to make good money as a graphic designer that it’s almost silly. Web development companies hire freelancers to create graphics for their projects, and demand for skilled designers is surging thanks to the millions of new websites coming online each year.
However, the biggest driver of increased demand for designers might be social media: companies are in desperate need of people who know how to make compelling infographics, charts, and other visual assets that catch readers’ attention.
#17. T-Shirt Design
If you’re not quite sure how to parlay your graphic design skills into a money-making hobby, consider creating t-shirt designs, which you can do either for a company or as a stand-alone business.
Websites like TeeSpring and Merch by Amazon offer on-demand shirt printing, which means all you have to do is upload your designs and market them; you’re not actually making t-shirts, buying stock or shipping the items to customers.
The best way to make money with t-shirt designing is by following current events and producing designs that are super-timely and relevant.
The internet is increasingly becoming a “video first” environment, with videos playing a more important role than ever on websites and social media.
But if you’ve ever seen an amateur commercial, YouTube clip or live stream, then you understand why companies are willing to pay solid rates for talented videographers who can deliver a professional-looking (and sounding) video package.
You can find work locally, but there are also thousands of jobs available online on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Plus, you can sell stock videos just like you can sell stock photos.
#19. Piloting Drones
One interesting and fast-growing niche within videography is drone footage. The biggest driver of this trend is demand from Realtors, who are increasingly including aerial footage as a standard part of their property listings.
But drones are also great as a way to capture valuable stock videos, as they can shoot difficult to reach places and capture unique perspectives that few (if any) people have recorded.
#20. Editing videos
A great way to supplement your income as a videographer is by offering freelance video editing services, which can be performed for clients anywhere in the world.
If you’re a master with Final Cut, Premiere and After Effects, people will pay you handsomely for getting their videos ready for public consumption — whether that entails splicing and reordering the footage, adding captions, adjusting the lighting and color, or adding special effects.
#21. Drawing Cartoons
Not all that long ago, Nathan Pyle was a successful but largely unknown illustrator. Today he’s an internet sensation with over 700,000 Instagram followers, thanks to his wildly popular internet comic Strange Planet.
Here’s one of the panels that helped catapult him into stardom:
Pyle has now released a Strange Planet book, a card game, and a full line of merchandise.
In fact, there’s a long history of illustrators striking gold with internet comics. Perhaps the most famous of all is The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman.
Platforms like Instagram and Reddit are perfect for sharing your creative hobby with the masses.
#22. Drawing Anything!
If you’re not quite sure cartooning is up your alley, don’t fret — the magic of the internet makes it possible for you to get paid for drawing almost anything.
Some of the most popular gigs on Fiverr are for things like illustrating children’s books and producing hand-drawn renderings of family photos.
But clients have also paid for jobs with titles such as “I will create a unique botanical watercolor illustration” and “I will create a weird illustration.”
So, suffice it to say, if you have a talent for drawing you can monetize it on Fiverr.
Teaching can be a fulfilling way to spend your extra time, but it can also be a source of side income.
Substituting at a local school is a great option, but teaching doesn’t have to mean going the traditional classroom route.
If you’re skilled or knowledgeable in a particular hobby or field, the internet makes it easy to connect with like-minded people who would love to learn from you.
#23. Tutor Kids From Around the World
Families all over the world are eager to help their kids learn English, and they’re willing to pay good money for lessons from native speakers.
Many online tutoring companies connect teachers and students, with starting pay as high as $20 per hour. The gig comes with some great perks: students come to you (so there’s no client hunting involved), and all the course materials are provided.
Tutoring is a great hobby for those who want to spend their time giving back, as you’ll be making a direct impact on your students’ lives.
Related: The best jobs for retired teachers.
#24. Create a Course
You don’t have to be a world-renowned expert to create an online course that’s informative and valuable for others. In fact, platforms like Udemy are giving regular people the ability to earn money by sharing their knowledge and experience.
If you’ve spent a few years working in a particular industry, chances are there are other people looking to break in who would benefit from your insights.
That said, your course doesn’t have to focus on professional matters; Teresa Greenway made a Udemy course about how to bake sourdough bread and earned $86,000 in the first two years.
#25. Be a Life Coach
Everyone has struggles and challenges in life, but not everyone has access to mentors who can help them work through those obstacles in a supportive and systematic manner.
That’s why many people turn to life coaches — objective third parties who provide honest assessments about personal and professional matters (as well as tools and suggestions for improvement).
One example of when people turn to coaches is when they’re trying to get a new business or freelance career off the ground.
It can be hard to transition away from a more traditional career trajectory, and coaches can provide guidance and much-needed perspective.
#26. Be a Sports Coach
Private sports coaching is a lucrative business, and it can also be a lucrative hobby. Coaches with less experience and name recognition usually start out at about $30 or $40 per hour, and top coaches often earn as much as $100 to $200 per session.
The best part is that this opportunity is open to you even if you didn’t play the sport of your choice at a high level, as many sports (like golf and soccer) have governing bodies that provide coaching certification courses.
Others (like baseball and basketball) make use of advanced video analytics techniques that can be learned.
#27. Be a Yoga Instructor
If you’ve mastered mermaid pose and king pigeon doesn’t even feel like a stretch anymore, consider offering yoga classes.
You don’t even need a studio — you can hold class in a public space (like a park) and advertise on MeetUp, an app that helps people find events around town.
If you’d prefer something a little more structured, gyms and studios often hire substitute and part-time instructors.
#28. Be a Personal Trainer
One of people’s favorite uses of Instagram is showing off their fitness gains. Why not help them reach their goals? If you find that people are always turning to you for advice when you’re in the gym, consider starting up a side hustle as a personal trainer.
The laws surrounding certification vary by state, but you typically only need credentials if you’re working for a gym. Most of the time, you’re free to work as a private instructor without any formal licensing.
Performance and Media Hobbies
#29. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of opportunity, because just like with blogging you can create a YouTube channel on almost any topic imaginable.
One popular genre is product reviews, where you simply talk about items associated with your hobby.
For example, if you’re into yoga, you could try out different mats and bricks; if you’re into basketball, there’s a huge audience for sneaker reviews.
Some YouTubers even make millions of dollars per year with videos of themselves “unboxing” toys.
The best part is that YouTube does all the work for you; ads are automatically added to your videos, so all you have to do is record and upload.
#30. Stand-Up Comedy
Another type of content that works well on YouTube is comedy. Stand-up, parodies and sketches have all done well on the site, but the only limit is your creativity: the barrier to entry is extremely low, so you have the opportunity to try different kinds of videos and find your comedic voice.
If you decide to try your comedy offline, it’s easier than you might think to get booked at local clubs — as long as you can actually make people laugh.
See: How to start a podcast.
If being on stage or screen doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but you still crave the attention of a throng of adoring fans, you’re in luck: you happen to be living through an absolute explosion in the popularity of podcasts.
You can start a podcast on any topic, and you don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to get started — you can even use your smartphone.
Take a few minutes to see what other podcasts exist about your hobby and then try to carve out a unique niche.
#32. Be a DJ
We all walk around with a device in our pocket that can play almost any song ever recorded at the tap of a finger, but there’s still a market for professionally-curated playlists that can get people up off their butts and onto the dance floor.
However, that’s harder than it used to be (thanks to the aforementioned smartphones), and good DJs are surprisingly hard to find.
That means if you establish a good reputation, you can make solid money and stay booked at weddings, private parties, corporate events, or anywhere else that needs a vibe and a beat.
Playing music on city streets — which is called busking — can be a fun way to earn tips.
It’s also a great way to hone your skills as a musician. It’s difficult to capture people’s attention when they’re hustling from Point A to Point B, just as it’s hard to stay focused (and in tune) with the sounds of the city crashing around you.
Busking is generally legal, but the laws surrounding the practice vary from city to city, so you’ll want to brush up on the rules before you hit the pavement.
Sometimes, we don’t even realize our hobbies qualify as hobbies — let alone stop to think that we might be able to make money with them.
For a lot of people, style hobbies probably fit that bill. If you pay attention to things like seasonal fashion, celebrity trends and Instagram influencers, you probably have good taste and valuable style insights.
If you’re reading this section, then you probably enjoy shopping. But that’s not true for everybody; for some people, just the thought of hunting through T.J.Maxx or Nordstrom Rack is exhausting.
That’s where Stitch Fix comes into play: it’s an online clothes delivery service that hires stylists to pick out clothes for customers, based on their answers to a series of questions (and a super-secret algorithm).
Stitch Fix stylists work from home and can make up to $20 per hour. However, you have to live in one of a few cities to quality.
#35. Interior Design
Are people always commenting on how great your home looks? Do you have the art of feng shui down to a science?
Then you might enjoy working as an independent interior designer, helping clients select furniture, decorations and color schemes for their work and living spaces.
#36. Makeup Artist
In most states, working as a makeup artist in a salon requires a cosmetology license, which can take a few hundred hours of schooling to acquire.
However, there are a number of other (and probably more lucrative) ways to transform your love for makeup in a money-making side gig without the need for certification.
You can work as a freelancer for local events like weddings and photoshoots; you can work with local theater groups and playhouses; and you can start a YouTube channel that features demos, how-tos and product reviews.
In fact, beauty videos are some of YouTube’s most popular (and highest-earning) content.
#37. Party Planner
Use your love for organizing and your great style sense to earn some extra cash. People hire event planners for all types of special occasions, like gender reveal parties, graduations, weddings and anniversaries.
Even more lucrative niches within the planning field are corporate, private and promotional events, which companies and organizations use for publicity and fundraising purposes. They’ll pay big bucks for people who know how to put together an event that attendees love and which (most importantly) looks great on Instagram.
Plus, you can pair this work with influencer and affiliate marketing, as brands will pay you to use their products at high-profile events.
If you know your way around the tool shed, there are more than a few ways to get paid for working on fun DIY projects.
What’s great about the hobbies on the list below is their upside — doing them well takes real skill, which is rare. That means there’s an opportunity for huge profits, as people are willing to pay top dollar for high-quality work that shows attention to detail.
See: Get rich with carpentry.
If you’re a carpenter, then you already know it’s both a trade and an art. Every project is unique, and every client has different wants and needs.
Great carpenters are increasingly difficult to find. That means if you’re someone who puts thought and care into every notch and bevel — and who can bring the client’s vision to life — you can earn a significant premium for your work.
Of course, carpentry isn’t the only way to make money from woodworking. Etsy is a great place to sell unique, hand-crafted items; you’ll find everything from homemade wooden toys to hand-painted wooden duck decoys on the site.
#39. Home Repair and Remodel
If you’re interested in putting your carpentry and woodworking skills to use on a larger scale, there’s big money to be made in home repair and remodeling.
The key here is to think of yourself as a business rather than as a handyman. If you consider yourself a woodworking hobbyist, your inclination might be to offer your services on an ad hoc basis at an hourly rate.
A better approach is to offer flat-fee estimates that take into account both the amount of time you’ll spend on a project and the value of your completed work.
Think of it like this: if your rate is $25 per hour and a project takes 20 hours to complete, you’ll earn $500. But if your work adds $5,000 in value, your client is getting the better end of the deal.
#40. House Flipping
If you have both woodworking skills and a hefty chunk of available funds, you might find house flipping to be an exceptionally profitable hobby.
Simply put, house flipping is the process of buying a piece of property (for cash) with the express intent of selling it for more than you paid as quickly as possible. Usually, doing so requires rehabbing or updating the property to make it more appealing to buyers.
There are large companies that engage in house flipping on an industrial scale, but they have to hire contractors to do the remodeling (which is expensive).
If you’re an individual who can do that remodeling work yourself, you have more profit potential and can seize opportunities that might not make sense financially for the bigger players.
#41. Fixing, Restoring and Customizing Cars
Better with nuts and bolts than hammers and nails? There’s tons of money to be made working on cars — and you don’t have to limit yourself to routine repairs and maintenance.
There’s a huge market for rehabilitated custom cars, many of which have deteriorated over time, becoming rusty or dry-rotted from sitting in a garage (or worse yet, a driveway) for decades.
It’s not difficult to find old cars for almost no money on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
But, if that seems like a more involved project than you’re looking for, keep in mind that people will also pay good money to have customizations done to their current vehicle — whether that’s an upgraded stereo or video system, cosmetic tweaks like a new paint job, or technical tweaks (like hacking the computer settings on a hybrid car to get the absolute best MPG).
Personal Finance Hobbies
I might be biased — considering the fact that I run a personal finance blog — but I think growing your net worth is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there.
I enjoy looking for ways to make more money, save more money, and optimize my investments. Part of the reason why is because I know that improving my finances increases my freedom and allows me to spend more time and energy on other things matter to me.
#42. Optimize Your Finances
Optimizing your finances can be a fun hobby. On the other hand, it can also be a chore. Often, the difference between the two is whether or not you’re chalking up small wins.
One example of a small win is determining that you can increase your 401(k) contribution by 1% this week. The next week, it might be increasing the principal payment on your mortgage by $10.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s not always easy to find these small wins. But when you do, acting on them can have profound long-term impacts on your financial health.
And even if your budget isn’t quite so tight, trimming some of the fat and redirecting more funds to savings and investment can dramatically increase the speed at which your net worth grows.
#43. Invest in the Market
A hobby I’ve had since my early 20s is investing in the stock market. I take no more than 10% of my net worth and place it in individual stocks.
Sometimes it’s worked out and other times it hasn’t, so it’s important that you limit this to a very small proportion of your overall investment activity.
Another good tip comes from the billionaire investor and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who says his number one investing rule is “don’t be greedy.”
His strategy is to focus on limiting risk and taking small but consistent gains, which he can then reinvest to take advantage of the compounding effect.
If you only have a little bit of money to invest, platforms like Betterment allow you to start with just $1.
#44. Invest in Artwork
If you’re not sure picking stocks sounds like a fun hobby, another interesting investment option is artwork. It’s an area that used to be out of reach to most regular people, with top-tier works starting out at about $2 million a piece.
If you could swing that investment, you’d reap big rewards: since 2000, blue chip art has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 250%.
#45. Get Free Money
There are a surprisingly large number of legitimate ways to get free money; definitely enough to make a hobby out of, in fact.
I’ve run down 30 of the best ideas in the article linked above, but one worth highlighting here is Acorns’ Found Money section.
Acorns is a micro investing app that allows you to “round up” your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically invest your “spare change” into mutual funds.
But the company also offers “Found Money,” which gives you money-saving, cash-back shopping opportunities and rewards for trying out certain websites and services.
There are a number of offers that will pay you without even buying anything.
For example, at the time of this writing you can score $5 each for getting free insurance quotes from John Hancock, Haven Life, Esurance and Liberty Mutual.
That’s $20 for just a couple of minutes of work.
Food and Drink Hobbies
There’s greater demand than ever for healthy, locally-sourced food. And it’s hard to get more local than your neighbor’s garden!
You might be surprised to learn just how much people are willing to pay for your fresh fruits and veggies.
Similarly, people are increasingly looking for ways to skip the fast-food drive-through and opt for more wholesome meals. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to prepare a nutritious dinner.
So, if you know your way around a kitchen, there are tons of opportunities to make extra money with your love of cooking.
#46. Sell Home-Grown Produce
People are hungry for local produce. Industrial growing techniques, paired with the time it takes to ship produce from the farm to the supermarket, results in less flavorful options.
Plus, many consumers are wary of industrial pesticides and chemicals. You don’t need a farm to set up a stand at a farmer’s market — customers will love the small scale of your business.
You can also sell to local restaurants. One good approach is to focus on growing uncommon things that they might not need large amounts of, like radishes and microgreens.
If you choose the right “crops” and learn how to grow them well, you can become a businesses’ regular supplier of that particular item.
#47. Start a Supper Club
Supper clubs (sometimes called dinner clubs) have exploded in popularity over recent years.
Here’s the premise: you prepare a home-cooked meal in your own kitchen — usually enough to feed six to 12 people — and then serve guests in your home.
The people you serve can be friends and family, and you can encourage them to invite people they know to future meals. But you can also advertise your meals on MeetUp, a popular networking and local events site.
Using MeetUp gives you the chance to screen potential guests, and also provides a way to keep in touch with your clientele and advertise your upcoming suppers.
Technically, in most states, you’re not allowed to charge for these meals because you’d effectively be operating an unlicensed restaurant. So most of the time, supper clubs are run on a donation/tip basis.
#48. Offer Cooking Classes
Not sure you want to deal with serving people in your home? Consider offering cooking classes. As with a supper club, you can start with friends and family or advertise on MeetUp.
The difference is, you don’t have to worry about restaurant licensing or health department inspections (because you’re not actually selling food).
Plus, people will jump at the chance to save money by learning from you, as commercial cooking classes are expensive — sometimes hundreds of dollars per session.
Some tips for what to teach include basic cooking principles and concepts (what does it actually mean to saute, what constitutes “a pinch” of salt, etc.) and family specialties (did you grandma from Poland make pierogi, or does your grandpa from Germany have a mouth-watering schnitzel batter recipe?).
Another great option if you love to cook is catering. You can specialize in anything from the type of food (organic, BBQ, etc.) to the type of event (weddings, birthday parties, etc.), and it’s not hard to find clients — everyone from churches to local businesses uses caterers to provide food at their events.
Also, a spinoff of traditional catering that you might want to consider is running a meal prep and delivery service. People want to eat healthier, but they’re busy. As such, you can prepare a week’s worth of pre-portioned meals — either ready to cook or ready to eat — and deliver them right to your clients’ doorstep.
#50. Run a Bed and Breakfast
Another option that ties into your love for cooking is running a bed and breakfast.
Airbnb lets you make money by renting out a room in your home, and you’re not required to offer your guests food to do so. However, you can make significantly more money on a per-night basis by adding food service into your offer.
Plus, it’ll help you score great ratings as your guests will love waking up to a hot cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast.
Believe it or not, your shopping addiction can actually be a surprisingly profitable hobby.
There are numerous legit sites and apps that will pay you solid cash-back rates when you shop online or in-store, but the list below also outlines a few of the best ways to transform your shopping trip into a money-maker.
#51. Secret Shopping
Secret shopping — sometimes referred to as mystery shopping — can be a fun way to make money and get free goods and services. Companies hire secret shoppers in order to collect data on their products and customer service.
For example, you might be asked to visit a restaurant and order a specific item, and then write a brief description about how it tasted and how you were treated by the waitstaff.
There’s a common misconception that secret shopping is a myth or a scam, and that such opportunities don’t actually exist.
That’s absolutely false: there are numerous companies that offer secret shopping gigs (such as Market Force Research), and while you certainly won’t get rich it’s not a bad way to make a few extra bucks.
#52. Retail Arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying an item in one place — either geographic (such as at a flea market or thrift store) or virtual (such as on eBay) — and then selling that item for a higher price somewhere else.
This works because while the economic principle called “the law of one truth” says that any given item should sell for generally the same price in all places, not everyone in the marketplace is working with the same set of information, and not every item has the same value across different market segments.
Learning how to exploit these market imbalances can be shockingly easy and very lucrative — whether you’re walking into a store and buying things to resell online, or drop-shipping products that you never even touch.
#53. Find Rare Books
One great niche within flipping is rare book hunting. Most people don’t realize that a single book can be worth hundreds of dollars.
One type of book that has value are old books, which may be hard to find because most of the copies have been lost or damaged.
But you can also make good money on newer books, as many editions are printed in limited numbers and don’t become popular until a few years after their release.
Often, that increased demand isn’t quite enough for the publisher to justify a reprint, which drives up the price for the existing copies.
#54. Buy and Sell Sneakers
The aftermarket sneaker industry is estimated to be around $1 billion, and it’s easier than you might think to snag a piece of that action.
A couple of years ago, Nike moved away from in-stone shoe releases; today, the most in-demand drops occur via Nike’s SNKRS app.
Sneakerheads have traditionally used eBay to sell their kicks, but in recent years services like GOAT have introduced tools and features specialized to the market.
For example, when you sell shoes on GOAT, you have to send them to the company for authentication; GOAT then ships them to the buyer on your behalf.
Often, hot styles sell on GOAT for $200 or $300 over retail just minutes after they’re sold out of regular channels like Nike.com.
9 Random Hobbies That Pay Surprisingly Well
The 10 hobbies on this list don’t fit perfectly into the categories above, but each offers notable perks.
#55 Buying Booze
If you’ve ever worked at a grocery store or restaurant, you probably know that there are undercover auditors who try to buy alcohol products without an ID.
These undercover agents are known as alcohol compliance auditors. But there are two important things you may not have known about these auditors: they’re usually freelancers, and (most of the time) they get to keep the alcohol they buy.
#56. Biking Around Your City
Postmates is a food delivery service that hires freelance bike couriers. If you enjoy bicycling for exercise, it can be a great way to see new parts of your city while making solid money on the side.
Here’s how it works: after signing up, you’ll download the Postmates Courier app to your smartphone. Then, when you’re ready to make a delivery, just press a button to go online — you’ll get a ping (usually within minutes) asking you to accept or decline a delivery from a particular restaurant.
If you accept, all you have to do is head to the location, pick up the food, and take it to the customer’s door. You’ll get paid a flat fee, plus 100% of the tips the customer adds on to the order total.
From a hobbyist’s perspective, there are some key perks: you can log on whenever you want to (there are no schedules or time requirements), and you can get paid instantly for a small fee.
People love local honey, and beekeeping is easier than you might think. After all, the bees do almost all of the labor.
Small-batch local honey brings in big bucks at farmers’ markets, and you’ll be doing your community an environmental service since bees are crucial for pollination and the maintenance of biodiversity.
This is especially important since bee populations have been dwindling in recent years, due in part to the proliferation of industrial pesticides.
#58. Fixing Computers and Networks
If you enjoy working with technology, many individuals and small businesses will pay you for your help.
You can specialize in anything from installing Wi-Fi networks to computer repair to home automation systems.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a computer science degree or a decade in the IT industry; what seems simple and intuitive to you sounds like a foreign language to people who aren’t as tech-savvy.
If you’re good at what you do, you can bring in upwards of $50 or more per hour with this hobby.
#59. Painting Murals
Murals are becoming an increasingly popular way for property owners to spruce up their buildings, and they provide talented artists with a way to both make extra income and showcase their work.
Of course, many businesses might not realize how much they’d benefit from hosting a mural (it brings attention and publicity… and hopefully, new customers), so there’s a little bit of sales involved in this process.
A good approach to finding clients is to look for walls that would both benefit from a mural, and for which such artwork makes sense in the context of the building and the community.
Before you approach the property owner, take the time to create a couple of sketches showcasing examples that might fit.
#60. Making Jewelry
You’ve probably already heard of Etsy, but just in case you haven’t: it’s the world’s largest online marketplace for handmade crafts.
One of the most popular craft product types on the site is jewelry. You can sell almost any type of jewelry or fashion accessory you can imagine, made out of almost any material you can imagine.
And you can make good money, too — this blogger claims to have made $170,000 in three years of running an Etsy shop.
What’s great about Etsy compared to eBay is that customers are looking specifically for unique, non-commercial items. Since the audience is more focused on this type of item, conversion rates and prices both tend to be higher.
See: Sewing for Beginners
Hand-sewn items are another popular product type on Etsy. These can be hand-made clothes, custom-made clothes sewn to perfectly fit the client’s body measurements, and even clothing for pets and dolls.
If you love sewing but selling online isn’t your thing, consider charging your friends and family for doing alterations.
Often, people don’t even realize how much better their clothes look after being tailored compared to how they look off the rack; if you can convince a couple people you know to give it a try, you can use the before-and-after photos to show off your work and gain new clients.
There are so many ways to make good money with translation that it’s impossible to list them all here. A quick scan of Fiverr and Upwork will reveal hundreds of freelance opportunities for you to jump on, but you can also put your language skills to work in a variety of other scenarios.
Local businesses sometimes export their products to foreign countries and need packaging and publicity materials translated. Attorneys often need documents translated to or from English, and you usually don’t need any formal legal education to do that type of work.
#63. Tour Guide
You don’t need to work for a tour company to become a tour guide. If you’ve ever been to a major tourist destination like Berlin, you know what I’m talking about: locals walk around key landmarks with signs that say things like “free tour starting in 10 minutes.”
At the end of the tour they’ll mention that they work for tips. Of course, you don’t need to go the sign route: you can also use MeetUp and the sites listed in the resource above to connect with visitors.
If you know a lot about the history of your town and are able to talk about it in an engaging and entertaining way, you can bring in great tips; since people aren’t paying a company, they’re more likely to pay you better than they otherwise would have.
If you’ve ever been to a Little League baseball game, you might have been surprised to find an umpire in uniform who actually knew what he or she was doing.
That’s because, believe it or not, most youth baseball umpires are paid rather than volunteers. Little League umps can make $25 to $50 per game, while high school umps can make $50 to $100 per game — decent money by any standard.
There’s usually a certification and testing process involved, but if you love the game this is a great way to get on the field while also putting some money in the bank.
And it’s not just a valid idea for baseball fans; almost every sport utilizes freelance referees.
Hobbies That Pay: Summary
I hope you’ve found this list of money making hobbies to be helpful. Just remember: hobbies don’t need to pay in order to be worthwhile.
In fact, sometimes the joy of a hobby is that it has nothing to do with money or work; it just provides a little bit of solace from the stress and pressure of the daily grind.
If you think trying to make money with your hobby might make it less enjoyable, then I would advise you not to try and monetize it. Finances are important, but so is balance. There’s a lot more to life than money.
But if you’re looking for a way to make extra money and you’re not sure what to do, or if you need to up your income but don’t want to give up your free time or quit your hobby (for instance, with a side hustle or a regular part-time job), then figuring out how to monetize it makes sense.
You’ll get to keep doing what you love while also improving your financial outlook.
What to read next: 14 Creative Ways To Make Money