The key to financial freedom is making more than you spend, and then investing the difference. It’s really that simple. How quickly you achieve freedom depends solely on how much you’re making and how big of a percent you’re investing. BUT, one major question that is rarely addressed is: “what if I don’t make ANY money?” If you fall into this boat, don’t worry. Today I’ll be sharing 5 ways to make money from home. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or full-time worker, you can apply these in almost any circumstance.
In this post, I’ll briefly describe each “way”, list the pros and cons, and then list some websites which might help you get started. Some of these fall under the category of online jobs but most are more entrepreneurial. Let’s dive right in!
Personally, I think that tutoring is one of the best (if not THE best) side hustle. Not only can you make good money, but you can also help people out. Plus, you can teach something that genuinely interests you.
If you have knowledge/interest in an area and a working wifi, you’ll be able to tutor! Here are the steps you’ll want to take to start making money as a tutor:
- Figure out what you want to teach (choose something you’re good at and have interest for)
- Reach out to your network and see if anybody is in need of a tutor
- If you couldn’t find any student in your network, reach out to people online
- Once you have a student, conduct a brief first time interview to get to know each other and learn about their strengths/needs
- Design a lesson plan for the student
- Pick a time and day that works best for the both of you (and also establish a payment schedule)
- Start tutoring and making money!
Pros of tutoring:
- It requires little material to start
- You can scale it pretty easily once you have an established base of students
- It’s fun if you genuinely enjoy the topic you’re teaching
Cons of tutoring:
- Even though it’s scalable, you’ll probably be starting out trading your time for money
- You might get bored of the content that you’re teaching (especially if you have a lot of students who are similar skill levels)
Some websites that might help out your tutoring journey:
- First Tutors Canada (if you can’t find any students through your network or socials you might want to look on here for them)
- Khan Academy (a great place to brush up on certain concepts you might have to teach)
Do Freelance Stuff (like writing)
If you have a talent or skill which you feel is useful but don’t want to teach it, you could perhaps do freelance stuff!
Freelance stuff might sound confusing, but it’s just when you work for yourself instead of a big company. Honestly, you can freelance almost ANYTHING nowadays. From guitar playing to writing to proofreading, there are needs which people want filled.
You can do a similar outreach within your network to advertise your freelancing services, but chances are your work will be too niche for anyone in your circle. If that’s the case, I highly recommend checking out one of the many many websites set up already which help freelancers land contracts. The steps to take if you want to make money freelancing are:
- Pick a freelancing platform to work on
- Set up your profile and list your accomplishments (market yourself hard)
- Once you’ve gotten your first client, make sure to EXCEED their expectations so you can build rapport in the freelancing space
- Keep marketing yourself and keep outperforming and the money will come in
Pros of freelancing:
- You can generally work on your own time
- The choice is yours as to which clients to take and which to reject
- You can truly do what you love (and don’t need to teach it)
Cons of freelancing:
- It can be really tough getting the first few clients
- Clients can be a pain in the butt if they don’t pay or constantly ask for revisions
Some websites that might help your freelancing journey:
Maybe you don’t want to tutor. And maybe you don’t have a particular freelance skill you can monetize. Well… what to do?
You can take photos and sell them! This is actually a really neat idea for anyone who has an interest in photography. Not only will you improve your own skills, but you’ll probably make some money in the process too! The steps to take if you want to make money through taking photos are:
- Get a nice camera (or use your phone if you have surgeon steady hands)
- Learn about photography online (Youtube, blogs, actual people)
- Take photos
- Sell them to people on e-commerce platforms
- Or put them on specialized photo companies which will give you a piece of the profits
Pros of making money off photos:
- If you take great photos, they have high advertising value
- You get to be outdoors a lot if you take outdoor photos
- You generally don’t have to yield to client demands or strict deadlines
Cons of making money off photos:
- You may need to do a whole bunch of the advertising yourself
- Not a many people have the talent to take great photos
Some websites that might help your photography journey:
- Etsy (quasi-eCommerce platform to sell your photos)
- 500px (upload your photos here and receive a cut if they sell)
What do I mean by selling stuff? Literally looking around your home and selling anything you don’t need is sure to yield you some good money.
This method isn’t as powerful as the other methods because there’s only so much you can sell (before you run out of stuff). Still, it could be an effective way to make money in the short-run, AND if you’re really good at it, you could turn it into a flipping business.
Here’s what you can do if you want to make money selling stuff:
- Look around your room/house and identify what you absolutely don’t need (books, clothes, accessories)
- Sign up or sign into online e-commerce platforms
- Take photos of your product and write up a nice description for it
- List your item online
- When you get an order, ship the item to the person’s address
Pros of making money by selling stuff:
- Can usually rack up a lot of money pretty quickly
- Helps declutter your space
- Teaches you a bit of entrepreneurship
Cons of making money by selling stuff:
- If you have a very attached personality (me) it might be hard for you to part with certain things
- Organizing photos and descriptions and listings can be difficult
Websites that might help your eCommerce journey:
Rent Out Stuff
Last but not least, we have renting out stuff as a money-making option. This can be anything from a bedroom in your house, to your unused guitar which sits by itself all day.
Renting stuff out is a great way to retain ownership of something, yet still be able to make money off it. ALSO, it has one MAJOR advantage over the other methods of making money (we’ll get into that in a bit).
There’s no one way to rent stuff out, but some general guidelines you might follow are:
- Determine what you want to rent out (a room, a bike, a car?)
- Find buyers through online platforms or through word of mouth
- Get them to sign an agreement (like a lease) that protects both you and your stuff
- Let them have it for the specified amount of time
- Collect the rent!
Pros of renting stuff out:
- The major major advantage that renting stuff out has over the other ways to make money is that (if done right) it can be HUGELY passive. Passive income just means you’re not trading your time for money and it is crucial for financial freedom.
- You still get to keep your stuff
- Can turn into a full-scale business once you get the hang of it
Cons of renting out stuff:
- The people renting your stuff could damage it
- They can also be a pain in the bum at times
Some websites that might help you rent stuff out:
- Ruckify (rent objects like guitars and bikes and cars)
- Airbnb (if you want to rent out a room or a unit in your house)
Make Money, Save Money, Invest Money!
There it is! 5 of the best ways to make money from home. To recap, they are:
- Do freelance stuff
- Take photos
- Sell stuff
- Rent out stuff
All of the 5 are relatively straight-forward and most people have the ability to pull them off. This means that you should have NO excuse now NOT making any money.
Once you start making money, be sure to save it and eventually invest it! That is how real long-term wealth is built. But that’s a post for another day 😉
Thanks for reading through 5 Ways to Make Money From Home and thank you for following along! If you’re a Canadian Student, check out the Ultimate Canadian Student’s Guide to Personal Finance! To learn more about me, head over to this link here. If you want to get exclusive updates and tips, drop your email in the “get updates” box (might have to scroll up a bit.) Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
Jeff is a Harvard 2025 student passionate about making smart financial decisions both in school and in the workplace so that he can spend more time doing what he loves (like playing golf, spending time with family, and travelling). He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys sharing all things personal finance, academic, and golf-related. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.