Today I’m sharing 6 ways to make an extra $500 per month for your house deposit. This post is sponsored by Breezeful.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Even though I already own my own home, I’m currently on a mission to save and earn more money each month, because we’re embarking on an unplanned kitchen renovation. Everything is so expensive! Even sitting in my house, in the dark, just breathing costs money, lol. So I thought I would share some ideas to make extra money, for anyone struggling to save for a down payment on a house. I know a lot of advice out there is very repetitive: give up your daily coffee run, use the library instead of buying books, etc. But if you’ve already cut back everywhere you can cut back, and your current job just isn’t paying enough for you to save, here are some ideas to help bolster your income a little. All of these side gigs are self-employment situations because that’s usually easiest to fit into an already busy schedule of working full-time. If you register and operate your side gig as a proper business, however that’s done where you live, you’ll also be able to benefit from a lot of tax write offs. Even better: none of these side hustles require much money to start and the one thing they all have in common is that they’re all tried and tested by yours truly.
One tip first: while you’re saving for a down payment, it can be helpful to sit down with a mortgage broker to discuss your options. A mortgage broker is an advocate for you and helps to negotiate with lenders. There are many advantages of using a regional broker: they might have access to lenders that only work with brokers and they can help you negotiate the best rate. A mortgage broker can also help you figure out exactly how much you need to save for your down payment, so you can set your goals and hustle accordingly.
Here’s how to earn an extra $500 per month:
If you currently have a space in which to work, like a friend’s or parent’s garage – or even a sheltered patio – you can easily make an extra $500 per month – or more! – refinishing furniture. There are tons of inspiring and informational Instagram and TikTok accounts showing you exactly how to refinish furniture for hundreds of dollars in profit. If you don’t have the money to buy the supplies to get started, start by finding quality, free items in the classifieds, on the roadside, etc., and simply clean and sell those for a quick profit.
I practise what I preach! I haven’t gotten into refinishing furniture for profit yet, but I have found two sets of vintage Cesca chairs and a MCM teak coffee table at my local landfill and I sold all of these items for a total profit of $1000! With each of those items, I considered restoring them for an even greater profit but I just haven’t had time – but it’s my goal!
Once you have a little “seed” money for your new furniture flipping business, find out what sells well in your market – you might have to think outside the box.
I recently stumbled across a couple online who flip couches! Can you believe it? They buy under-priced secondhand couches, steam clean them with an affordable steam cleaner they purchased, stage them beautifully, and sell quickly for a profit.
Become a Re-Seller (Vintage Housewares & Designer Clothing)
Becoming a re-seller online requires very little start up money, but requires a lot of research. Two areas in which I have seen people really succeed are: selling vintage housewares and “designer” clothing, but there are so many other niches. It’s amazing what people want and buy! Very surprising niches will easily make you an extra $500 per month (I just found out people pay good money for pine cones on eBay)!
It takes a little research and a small investment, but selling vintage can be very profitable and takes up less space that flipping furniture. I started an Etsy shop many years ago, with my Mom and Mummu. We already had a love of vintage and were pretty much just finding homes for our own vintage surplus, but then I started buying a little more intentionally – researching what sold well, and what didn’t, in my shop and other vintage shops. There are easy ways to see the sold price of items on Etsy and eBay, so you can find out what to look for and what you can expect to make.
I sourced my items everywhere: from thrift stores to yard sales, the landfill and the classifieds. I always give items a good scrub and photograph them in bright lighting.
Another profitable side business is re-selling clothes. I’ve seen many people set up profitable shops selling gently worn clothing. Those that have the best success curate a very specific look and style, and then put together capsule shop launches. When I say “designer,” I don’t mean luxury brands, I just mean quality name brands that people shop for. One quick tip: shop for natural fabrics: linen, cashmere, wool – because the world is overrun with so much polyester, people will pay good money for a quality, gently used garment made with natural fibres.
There are so many online market places for selling clothes and housewares, but you can even sell directly on Instagram to your market.
Start a Blog (or YouTube Channel)!
I started Dans le Lakehouse as a hobby while I was a grad student and, many years later, it’s become my full-time job. You won’t make money your very first day of blogging, but you can quickly build up enough content to start earning at least $500 a month and, if you do it right, you can continue to earn passive income from every post you publish. This side hustle is probably the most difficult of these six suggestions and takes the most time and research, but it can really be worth it!
My blog posts from the very beginning still get clicks and earn me money every day. The main ways in which you earn revenue from a blog include brand collaborations, display ads, affiliate links, and directing your audience to products/services you sell.
When you set up your website, also set up your social media accounts: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter – but focus the most on Pinterest! Think of Pinterest like a search engine and use it to drive traffic to your blog and other social media platforms. Take the time to learn and implement SEO and create content with purpose, to fast track your success.
If you prefer video content, YouTube is even more profitable than blogging, and you can earn an income with the same methods.
Create Downloadable Products
If you are a creative or crafty soul, you can easily turn your passion into $500 profit per month. Really profitable shops are ones that offer downloadable products so you can easily set up a shop with your designs and still work your full-time job while the digital shop runs almost on auto-pilot. Plus there is very little overhead to get started!
There is a high demand for affordable printable art and printable templates, for everything from budgeting to grocery lists to templates for content creators (think media kits). Find a niche that works for you, and set up social media accounts to help promote your shop.
Sell Your Physical Arts & Crafts
If you’re prefer to make a tangible item, a highly profitable item is Christmas ornaments. While that’s a seasonal market, people happily spend $20 or more per Christmas ornament and the start up costs for buying supplies can be very inexpensive.
There are thousands of other ideas though and, once again, Instagram and TikTok are full of creators showing you exactly how to do it and what kinds of products to sell. I have many friends who sell handmade home decor items for a profit. Choosing what to make and sell all depends on how much space you have to create, where your real talent and passion lies, and what kind of products your market wants. Of course, you can always sell globally, but shipping can be frustrating so if you can find the perfect product for your local market, your life will be much easier.
Leverage social media, or craft fairs, to sell crafts yourself – or reach out to local stores. I have had success selling my own handmade Christmas ornaments in local gift shops, craft shows, and also on Etsy, but selling with local shops has been the easiest because I just drop off a box, get paid, and continue making.
If you choose to focus on selling yourself, start social media channels to help promote your work and connect with locals – including other makers and creators.
Right now is an excellent time to get into tutoring, because so many kids fell behind when schools were closed. When I was doing my PhD, I tutored high school aged students in the evenings, in a variety of subjects but, because I had excelled in University and gotten scholarships the entire way, I specialised in helping students write submissions essays and apply for scholarships. Mostly I tutored students in their last year of high school, who needed that extra push.
Find your niche and, depending on your area and level of education, you can charge between $20-100 an hour for tutoring. Encourage parents to “enrol” their students with you for at least a weekly session. If you charge $25 an hour and meet weekly, you only need 5 students to make an extra $500 a month. I advertised my services in the online classifieds but if you’d really like to look professional, consider setting up a simple website with an “about” section and your rates – and eventually recommendations/reviews. Meet in a public space, like a coffee shop, to stay safe!
6 More Ways to Make $500 per Month
Every suggestion above is something I have done myself! But here are 6 more bonus ways, that I’ve never tried, to make an extra $500 each month:
- Dog walking (especially if you are available when most people are at their 9-5 job)
- Yard work (older homeowners will pay handsomely to have someone rake, weed whack, pressure wash, etc)
- Teaching a skill (partner with small businesses to host small classes/parties – think “painting and wine night”)
- Selling e-Designs & mood boards (if you’re great at decorating, there’s a huge demand for affordable help)
- Organising (make fast money helping people organise/declutter their homes)
- Social media management (small businesses need affordable help to photograph their products/services and run their social media accounts)
Saving for a down payment on a house can be a daunting task, so I hope these ideas for 6 ways to make an extra $500 per month for your house deposit were helpful – maybe they sparked a unique idea of your own! I’d love to hear your thoughts for earning extra money each month.