Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help you make informed decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.
- I want to retire early as a millionaire, and I know I need multiple sources of income to achieve that goal.
- I’ve found a few that don’t require any start-up capital, including selling or renting my own business.
- Getting on gig and freelance platforms makes money, but they also take a percentage of what I earn.
One of my biggest personal finance goals is to retire as a millionaire in my 50s. As someone who didn’t take saving for retirement seriously until I turned 30, I’ve found that to achieve this goal I not only have to be serious about my spending and saving now, but also start planning ways to accumulate wealth in the future.
In addition to diversifying my investments, I am always looking for new sources of income. That’s why I currently have a handful of hustles I’m doing, from selling online courses to freelancing, and I’m always looking to add new ones, especially ones that don’t require any upfront capital.
If you’re looking to generate more income and start a new side hustle, here are four things you can do to make money without investing any money.
1. Sell what you already have
Every Sunday, I spend an hour looking for items around my house that I can resell. Over the past few months, I’ve made a few hundred dollars selling clothes, shoes, furniture, and kitchen utensils that I’ve never used.
Not only does selling or renting items you already own cost you $0, it also takes very little time. After taking a few photos of the item, writing a description, and listing the price, the apps and platforms you listed your item on share those products with their audience of customers, with no extra effort on your part.
If you want to sell household items, you can use platforms like Poshmark, OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. If you want to rent your items, you can use platforms like Loanables, Turo or BabyQuip.
Although all of these platforms are free, some will take a fee once the item is sold. Knowing this in advance helps me price the items a little higher to account for those fees while still making the profit I was hoping for.
2. Put yourself on a concert platform
During the fall and winter, when I have more free time on weekends, I will offer my services as an event coordinator or party planner (something I have experience) on different websites where people search for last-minute vendors, like GigSalade.
When I’m hired for an event, I can bring in anything from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 in a weekend, without spending any money on upfront costs.
After determining the types of in-person skills you could offer someone (whether working from home or as a salesperson for an event), find a platform that lets you list your services for free.
For example, if you’re good at fixing things around the house, helping people move houses, or building furniture, you can list your services on Handy or TaskRabbit. If your skills include photography, cooking, or entertaining (whether as a musician, dancer, or even a balloon artist), you can share your information on websites like Thumbtack.
3. Unleash your skills
After being laid off from my full-time job as a copywriter in 2015, I decided to offer my writing skills to clients who needed freelance help. Since then, providing this service has been a steady source of additional monthly income.
Think about the skills you have or search platforms like Fiverr, Upwork or Toptal, to see what types of skills they feature and create a free profile for yourself. This way, you can be connected with clients who want to hire you for projects or occasional work.
It’s free to start this type of secondary hustle, and using pre-existing platforms to find work helps you tap into their audience. Most of these platforms take a percentage of your revenue when customers book you, which can range from 5% to 20%.
4. Try house-sitting, dog-sitting or baby-sitting
A local side hustle I’ve started doing in my spare time is offering to babysit, dog-sit, or baby-sit for neighbors. Offering this type of service requires no start-up costs, and depending on demand, I may charge a higher rate during peak or holiday periods.
Anyone can get started in these side businesses for free by creating a profile on platforms such as Rover, Care.com or Trusted House Sitters. After sharing information about yourself, your location, and your rate, you can start getting requests from local neighbors who might want to hire you. Like most other free platforms, you will pay a fee when booking (usually around 20%).