Legitimate Ways To Make Extra Money – My Financial Stress Journey

There is something about trying anything and everything out there to make extra money that is just a part of me and has been for quite some time now. I am constantly searching for legitimate ways to make extra money. If there is an ad on Facebook dangled in my face that offers a way to try to make extra income with little to no upfront cost, you can bet I will be the girl trying it.

This has led me to many disappointments, but also many successes, and even greater learning experiences! My mindset has always been, “why not try it, what is the WORST that could happen?

Piggy Bank

I have tried everything from putting stickers on my car windows to try to be hired online as a virtual assistant or become a transcriptionist.

The motivation behind trying anything and everything possible has always been driven by extreme financial stress. I was a full-time college student for many years working at least 2, sometimes up to 4 jobs on top of school.

I have always had the attitude that if I need more money, that means I needed to get off my butt and get another job. Even after graduating I still struggled severely with my finances between all of my bills and debt incurred while finishing college.

I was recently blessed with a full-time job that I love and that supports my financial needs, however, my interest in making extra money and trying new things has not subsided.

I really want to share my financial stress journey, including both positive and negative experiences, so others can realize how many learning and earning opportunities are out there. This is absolutely a growing list and I don’t plan on my interest in tackling new opportunities to diminish any time soon.



I started bartending when I was 19 and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to make it through college living on my own without it. It truly is the best and fastest way to make money throughout college, or even just throughout a rough patch.

I am a HUGE advocate for bartending, but ONLY if you are smart about it. You must be responsible and keep your eye on the ball. With the money that bartending brings, it is so easy to become stagnant and content knowing you could never make that type of income at a regular 9-5 job. I strongly encourage people to look past the “now” and into the future.

Bartend as a side job, bartend while you are in school, bartend in between jobs, but do not bartend with no end goal unless you wish to be a bartender forever.


Alright, I’m putting this as a success because I totally could have made legitimate income using it, but I was too lazy. I never actually went on a trip. However, I have used this service for delivery dozens of times and highly recommend it to anyone who values their time too much to be wasting it in a grocery store, or simply just hate’s grocery shopping!


I began using Care.com when I was a freshman in college and wanted a part-time babysitting gig. I ended up working for a family for roughly 6 months, it was a great experience. I have thought about trying Care.com for other job opportunities but never got around to it.

I would highly recommend this site for anyone who is interested in making money on the side doing things such as babysitting, cleaning, or caring for the elderly.


Grub Hub

This is my most recent success story with side hustle jobs. Before I was blessed with my current job, I was really struggling to make ends meet after graduating. Grub Hub was becoming more and more popular in my area, I was seeing it ALL over.

It had been almost 2 years since I had more than 1 job so I was a little nervous and hesitant to start. I signed up, went through the hiring process and finally, one day decided to step out of my comfort zone and schedule my first block (shift).

I tried to maintain my schedule during day-light hours and was overly impressed with the hourly minimum pay that Grub Hub offers in my area, $13/hour. Of course, if I was very busy and customers were tipping well, I would make more. I only ended up driving for Grub Hub 1-2 times per week for about a month before getting the job I have now which allowed me the financial security to quit delivering with Grub Hub.

If you are looking to make extra income and own a reliable vehicle, I would highly recommend trying Grub Hub or whichever food delivery service is most popular in your area.

Selling on Poshmark and Mercari

Throughout the time when I was really struggling for money, I started looking around my house and realizing I have a lot of CRAP. A lot of crap that I don’t even use. If I hadn’t touched it in more than a year it was time for it to go. All of those clothes I was sure I was going to fit into again one day had to go.

This is a very time-consuming process if you have a lot of stuff. I spent hours sorting through things and taking presentable photos to share online.

The fees associated with selling online are pretty ridiculous, but I tried to be positive about it. Even if the app was taking money for fees or shipping, I was still making money and was better off than I started. All the stuff was just sitting in my basement anyway.

The alternative to the fees is selling on Facebook Marketplace which I have done. However, it is a lot of work to track who is getting what and when/where you have to meet them when you are selling a lot of items.

Not Successful:

Uber Uber

I’m sure a lot of people are probably wondering why this is not on my success list. Being a young female, driving with Uber just wasn’t something I was comfortable doing. I live in a fairly safe area, but bad things do still happen.

I signed up completely and could have taken my first drive whenever I chose, but I just could never do it. There are way too many horror stories and a few extra dollars of income isn’t worth my life.

If you aren’t a sissy like I am, have a reliable vehicle, and are looking for some extra money, this could be the perfect opportunity for you!


Again, before starting with the job I have now, I was getting pretty desperate. I found something online about being a transcriptionist and thought I would give it a try. The reason this wasn’t a success was because of the time commitment to take all the courses and exams required to be considered for any high paying jobs. I just don’t have that kind of time.

If you are someone who does have that kind of time, maybe this could be for you. The training was free was which a HUGE plus.


Okay, this company is just a downright SCAM. Don’t do it. This is something I saw on a Facebook Ad and it involves receiving a sticker decal for your rearview car window that advertises for companies.

In theory, this is a great idea and I could totally see the earning potential behind it. there are some companies that pay people earnings for placing stickers on their cars, but this isn’t one of them, and the ones that are legit are hard to get in with one of the indicators that it isn’t truly going to earn you any money is the fact they make you make for the “shipping” to receive the sticker.

It was only like $8 so it’s not like I was out any money, but they also require a monthly payment thereafter. All around not legitimate. If a company is paying you to advertise for them, you shouldn’t have to give them a penny.

Uber EatsUber Eats

I tried to sign up for Uber Eats after I was already signed up to drive with Uber. I have a lot of confusion with the app as I could never get it to switch over the Uber Eats delivery rather than just driving people around. So that was really annoying for me.

Additionally, Uber Eats just isn’t popular in my area, no one is using it.

Door Dash

I signed up for Door Dash when I signed up for Grub Hub. Grub Hub definitely was taking over my area but there were a few popular restaurants that had partnered with Door Dash instead.

The downfall to Door Dash was the pay and the lack of volume. They didn’t pay nearly as much as Grub Hub because they don’t pay an hourly minimum. They also didn’t keep me busy at all because not many restaurants in my area were using them.

I ended up sitting in my car in a parking lot waiting for orders that never came, and didn’t even get an hourly minimum pay. I drove for Door Dash only once after realizing these downfalls.

Online SurveyOnline Tutoring

This experience was very similar to that of my transcriber experience. With a site like Tutor.com, all the courses and exams are free to do, but they are very time-consuming. I simply did not have the time to take all the exams to become qualified to tutor people on their site.

If you do have the time, this could be a legitimate way to earn extra money. I never got far enough to find out.

Online Survey Taking

I started messing around with this time-waster when I was still in high school. The amount of time you have to put in to take an entire survey and maybe not even “qualify” afterward is simply not worth the 50 cents they are willing to pay.

Seriously, stop trying to make money taking surveys and spend your time on something that will provide a better outcome.

Random “Get Rich Quick” Companies

There are a lot of these out there. Thankfully, I have only tried the ones that were fairly small upfront investments, anywhere from $5-$25 I would say. There are plenty out there that will try to get even a hundred out of you, I never took that plunge.

These really are a huge waste of time and money. There is no such thing as getting rich quick, be realistic.

In the works:


I just started dabbling in this environment a couple of weeks ago and had my first sale 2 days ago. It is a good platform in theory, but it is mostly just a bunch of unqualified people giving advice or trying to do things as if they are qualified. With that being said, there is a lot of scam attempts that take place within the site.

Just this morning I had a gentleman call me a “mumu” and a “two mind” because I told him I would not accept a job offer unless it came from a company domain email address. When I wouldn’t oblige, he said: “we don’t want you no more”.

He really had me rolling!

Anyways, if you have the patience to deal with it, it is probably a good place to make a few dollars here and there. The standard pricing is $5 per gig and more of the people using the site will give “advice” for 1 hour for that amount.

It could add up over time if you’re just sitting at home bored, to begin with, but I’m not sure if the $4 you get after Fiverr takes their cut is really worth it.

You can have higher-paying gigs, but I have yet to receive a sale off of one of my higher paying gigs.


This seems to be a legitimate source of income if it functions within the area where you live. My accounting is currently awaiting a background check confirmation which was $25 to complete before being able to be a “Tasker”.

I was okay with paying this because it made me feel as though they are a good company just trying to weed out the people who wouldn’t take it seriously enough to even pay $25 for a background check. So we will see! I have high hopes for this one.

Affiliate Marketing

My other most recent endeavor which is still in the works is what leads me here to be writing this post today. I recently become a Premium Member with Wealthy Affiliate and have created my own website. It is coming along very nicely and the support has been outstanding.

The training program provided is unlike anything else I have ever experienced and truly is a place where you set long-term money making goals and strive to achieve them with an entire team of support behind you. I am very thankful to have found this site. If you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about, check it out here.



Some opportunities that didn’t make the success list for me maybe things that work wonderfully for you! The area and time restrictions were 2 big contributing factors in many cases.

I completely understand the stress and anxiety that financial problems can bring, and I have spent many years trying everything under the sun to overcome that anxiety. It has been a constant winning and losing battle, but I am hopeful with each new opportunity.

Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to leave a comment with your experiences below!

Thanks for stopping by,



  • Lisa

    Hi Kay,

    I totally enjoyed your review of extra ways to make money. I had never heard of some of the companies but I live in a rural area.
    I can totally understand not wanting to drive for Uber being a female. In all the times I have used Uber, I have only had one female driver. I also don’t know if they make that much money when you consider gas and wear and tear on the vehicle.
    I use Fiverr a lot, for all kinds of things and have been mostly pleased with what they produced for me. I sometimes have personal things done and use my personal email, FYI. Also, for higher-paying gigs, I use only top-rated sellers.
    Great article and I think you will find affiliate marketing to be the best!

    • Kay

      Thanks for sharing Lisa! I am still really interested in Fiverr and learning what it’s all about. I am interested to know what other people use it for the most?

  • Judy


    Thanks for a great article. I’m always on the lookout for a bit of side money, so it was good to be able to read your experiences.

    I’ve thought about joining fiverr as a writer. There’s a lot of competiton there, and some are asking very little for what would be a few hours work.

    I had a friend try the survey thing, and she made nothing. That’s something that is 100% not worth doing.


    • Kay

      Judy, I have noticed that on Fiverr as well. I am assuming they are comfortable charging little to nothing for their services because they are not fully qualified? I am unsure, but I will figure it out as I go! It doesn’t hurt to try!

  • Eric

    Hi Kay!

    I enjoyed your review- you did a phenomenal job writing out an article about different ways to make money online. I like how you pointed out which areas have worked well, and some areas not so well, and then your works in progress. It’s a good way to let people know which ones they’re likely to see better results.

    I’ve tried some of these places before. I’ve done some transcription work but haven’t had much success with it. I’m currently getting my Fiverr account set up and ready to offer several gigs. I hope Fiverr will work well in the long-term for you, as much as I want to be successful with a freelance work platform.

    Kudos to you writing a stellar article. Keep it up!

  • Sam

    Hey Kay, that was such a great read! Your suggestions from experience are really useful, I’m kinda intrigued by instacart… what is it exactly? Thanks so much! Sam x

    • Kay

      Hi Sam! Instacart is a service where individuals do your grocery shopping for you! Instacart partners with certain stores in your area and you are able to select and order items right through their app. There a fee involved and it is also expected you tip your shopper. It is truly an amazing option when you just don’t seem to have enough time in the day!

  • Luigi

    Hi Kay

    Great content, you are a ‘natural’ writer, so keep going you will be achieving many goals that you set to acheve!

    The website looks professional, great images! If you just started with WA I am amazed how good it looks. …..Better than mine!

    Keep it up Girl

  • Debbie Ombati

    Kay, I like your honesty in the review. I have tried surveys unsuccessfully before. I found that they took too much for little to no results. Affiliate marketing is the most rewarding method I have found so far though it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I love Wealthy Affiliate and would totally recommend it too.

    I’ve also heard great things about Instacart but I have not tried it yet. I probably should.

    • Kay

      If I hadn’t just been blessed with a new job in the past couple of months I would definitely be pursuing Instacart again as well as continuing to pursue GrubHub as they are great forms of additional income!

  • daniel

    Enjoyed your article so much. I have just personally experienced the driving world and I understand what Uber has or shall we say don’t have to offer. Rode with a cab after researching this option today driver was informative to the Uber world for my area agree that not the safest for anyone was told many “characters” in and among the drivers. You certainly have been busy there with trying some of these options. Refreshing reviews and thanks for putting the information together. Your latest with being a with Wealth Affiliates is working great by the judgement of your website business looking very impressive. I haven’t heard of some of these but always good to hear someone else’s experience with them and help avoid the pitfalls of these. I am intrigued that you picked bartender as succeed although the money in it not surprising. Transcriptionist as well as medical coding training promising money well I looked into billing side with a company that promised unlimited income and these lumped into category with your transcriptionist experience I can say this is a very specialized field I don’t blame you for not taking the training but it is a good job and for one who is in the field it pays the bills but it is a factory job for output not much for what sold to me about the career being so involved in medical research. A great pleasure to read this article and wanted to share this with you. Great job!!!!

  • Adrian

    Great article. Been there and done a lot of this myself in the past. It is true about online surveys being a waste of time. I have done them and spent some time filling them out only to be told I did not qualify. Thanks.

    • Kay

      Adrian, that was honestly the most frustrating part about the Online Surveys!!! I would spend 15-20 answering the prelim questions just to be told I didn’t qualify! 99% of the time this would happen to me!

  • Ivan Brozincevic

    Thanks for sharing your experience. There are plenty of ways to make extra money, but unfortunately, most of them are scams. I see you’ve had a fair share of ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes as well. Luckily, there are always good people who are going to point us in the right direction. I appreciate your work. Thanks again.

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for your open and honest article. The consumer rarely hears about the failures….it’s usually only the success stories and they’re often written in a way to get you to sign up.

    • Kay

      You are so correct! I know trying to find reviews online is so discourages because someone is ALWAYS going to have something negative to say! This is why I prefer to find out for myself when it is something with little to no risk to begin.

  • Alex

    Thank you for sharing all this information, Kay! It’s been quite a journey for you, and I admire your perseverance.

    Indeed the internet is full of scams and people trying to fool you, so you have to do your research before jumping onto any wagon.
    Depending on what your skills are, you might want to try upwork.com or freelancer.com. There are lots of projects there, so you have a high chance of finding something you can do.

  • suzanne

    Hi Kay and thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I can’t relate to these specific job opportunities, because they weren’t around when I was your age, LOL. But… I definitely had my own struggles with finances.

    I remember looking for online work and got scammed a few times. If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, its slimy salesmen.

    But like you, I started with affiliate marketing and haven’t looked back. It’s such a great way to earn an income.

    As a member of Wealthy Affiliate, I highly recommend them to your readers. It’s the cheapest, all-inclusive platform online today. If I can succeed, anyone can.

    Best wishes to you,

    • Kay

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Suzanne! I am hoping to continue progressing with Wealthy Affiliate, I aspire to be as successful as many of my co-members!

  • Shifts

    Young lady, I so much love this post. This is one of the best post on ways to make money on and offline that I have seen so far and I sincerely love it. About the Fiverr thing, I have tried it before now. I wasn’t getting any sales so I wasn’t going online on Fiverr as I usually did from the start. When I logged in after some days, I saw that one of my gigs which was to type 30 pages of anything (I stated I love typing Mathematical equations) for just $5. But I already missed it because I was offered the job like 3 days before I logged in. I felt so much pain about it and up till now, I haven’t gotten a sale. I believed that one sale would have brought in more sales if I did a great job. Well, I am still hoping.

    I want to try affiliate marketing. I will be starting by January next year

    Best regards!

    • Kay

      You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it! Especially with my experience being even after receiving a couple of 5-star reviews, I haven’t shown any increase in sales. And as you are suggesting, we are spending an entire hour or more on something that is only going to reward us with $5-10. I simply think that focusing my time on writing content for my personal blog will get me much further in the long run!

      Thanks for sharing 🙂 

  • Techie

    Wow! It is never easy to get money but there are easy ways just like you have said. I have a friend that works in an hotel, I don’t know if he works in the bar section of the hotel anyways but he is doing well and able to meet up some required needs for school and other stuffs. He works one day on and one day off. It has really helped him sort out many bills. But like you have said, this job needs smartness. Bartending or most hotel jobs are cool. The future is very important. I just hope he has a future plan.

  • Sandikazi Scwebu

    Great article Kay.  There are indeed many ways to make money online, but some are really not worth your time, as you mentioned.  It seems common to most of us to go through this journey, which lead us to this platform, with lots of opportunities, and wonderful community – Wealthy Affiliate.  I wish you great success in your journey at Wealthy Affiliate.

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