In this economy, paychecks don’t stretch as far as they used to. Many people are looking for ways to make money on the side, whether it’s to pay the bills, hatch a corporate escape plan, or take a much-needed vacation. Part-time weekend jobs won’t require you to work a double shift — and can provide a steady source of extra cash. If you aren’t quite ready to give up the corporate life to start your own business but want to make a little money on the side, here are six low-key yet potentially lucrative moonlighting gigs to consider.
- Tour guide. If you’ve lived somewhere for years and know the area like the back of your hand, why not share your knowledge with visitors? Apply for a job at your local zoo, museum, or historical society — or set up a small business giving weekend walking tours on your own.
- Babysitter. Whether you’re a student or a budding entrepreneur, babysitting gigs on Friday and Saturday nights can be a relatively easy way to earn money (especially if the kids are in bed much of the time you’re there). Spread the word about your availability, hourly rates, and the neighborhoods you’ll frequent via Facebook and Twitter. Tip: Offer references or testimonials from parents who’ve previously used your services.
- Retail clerk. Many department and big-box stores, such as Macy’s and Target, hire part-time help on weekends and holidays to help restock the shelves or serve as cashiers. Many retailers let employees tailor their hours to suit their personal schedules.
- Tutor. Excel in English, Math, a foreign language, music, or a particular sport? Look for part-time work by helping students master a given subject. You can often command a higher hourly wage than you could as a babysitter or retail clerk — and work less to earn the same pay.
- Waitstaff. Most restaurants handle their biggest crowds on Friday nights and weekends — and often hire extra help to handle the surge. This is especially convenient for college students and other people who just want to work a few hours a day, or for anyone pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. Though your hourly wage is typically low, the tips can really add up, especially at higher-end establishments.
- Bartender (or barista). If you have a knack for mixing drinks, offering your bartending skills at office parties, weddings, family reunions, etc., can bring in an hourly wage or event fee plus tips. To get started, try networking with local photographers and videographers to learn how they find clients, or apply at a local restaurant or pub. Similarly, if you’re a caffeine fiend, look for a weekend job making $5 espresso drinks for others while consuming them yourself at a deep employee discount.