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June 23, 2021

By Tracy Scott

If you suddenly find yourself in dire need of extra cash to pay bills, try your hand at generating income with one (or more) of the jobs in this list.

When you’re faced with a financial crisis, getting money into your bank account quickly is a top priority. But, the shock to your system caused by an unexpected layoff, job furlough, or reduction in hours can feel like you’re stuck in quicksand, unable to figure out your next move. A non-traditional job might be the lifeline you need to pull yourself up and return to stable ground.

If you suddenly find yourself in dire need of extra cash to pay bills, try your hand at generating income with one (or more) of the jobs in this list.

1. Teach English to kids

Did you know that you can teach English abroad without stepping outside your front door? While some online tutoring services require instructors to hold a college degree from an accredited institution, there are plenty of online English teaching companies that don’t require credentials.  Help kids learn English from the comfort of your home when you sign up as a tutor at websites like My Tutor Lab and Open English.

2. Become a virtual assistant

Are you an organized person? Can you follow instructions that don’t include a ton of detail? Then consider becoming a virtual assistant. Small business owners across the country are always looking for extra hands to help lighten their load. Join virtual assistant Facebook groups to discover the best ways to secure one of these popular positions.

3. Get paid to drive

Driving services, such as Uber and Lyft, have been around for years. They remain popular because drivers can set their own hours and potentially work as much as they want. But, they’re not the only option for earning money by delivering cargo from point A to point B. You might also consider Amazon Flex or DoorDash, where drivers deliver packages and food for pay. Or earn money with other driving services, such as Roadie, that let you deliver just about anything.

Be sure to speak with your car insurance agent before you take your first job. You might need to amend your auto insurance policy to include commercial driver’s insurance, which can ensure proper coverage if you have an accident.

4. Turn your caring into cash

People, pets, and property all need special care. A few hours a week babysitting, pet sitting, or house sitting could result in quick cash. Get the word out by letting friends and family know that you’re available. Be sure to post on social media and sign up for services like Care (people), Rover (pets), and MindMyHouse (homes).

5. Offer your handyman skills

Can you put together an IKEA bookcase faster than you can say “Pass the allen wrench”? Then TaskRabbit or Thumbtack might be worth a look. When you sign up to offer your skills, people needing odd jobs, such as yard work, TV mounting, and home repairs, might pick you to complete the task.

Other considerations

Before you start earning money from your non-traditional job, check how doing so might affect other aspects of your finances.

  • Depending on where you live, it might be necessary to secure a business license before earning income from a non-traditional job. Start by visiting your state or county’s official website to determine whether you’ll need to pay a business license fee.
  • Some states require businesses to make quarterly tax payments. Search the same website you use to uncover business license requirements to confirm whether quarterly tax payments are necessary.
  • Ask a tax professional if you’ll also need to pay income taxes as an independent contractor or self-employed individual.
  • Since each person’s situation is different, do your research to determine how earnings from a non-traditional job might affect unemployment compensation


Official Website of the Aloha State
Small Business Administration
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Your new income source doesn’t have to dry up once you return to a regular 9-5 job. Consider maintaining both streams of income, at least until you build up an emergency savings fund equal to six months of living expenses. This can help soften the blow if another financial emergency hits your household.