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- I want to retire early as a millionaire, and I know I need multiple income streams to reach that goal.
- I’ve found a few that require no startup capital, including selling or renting out my own stuff.
- Getting on gig and freelance platforms brings in cash, but they also take a percentage of what I make.
One of my biggest personal finance goals is to retire as a millionaire in my 50s. As someone who didn’t take saving for retirement seriously until I turned 30, I’ve found that in order to make that goal happen, I need to not only be serious about my spending and saving now, but also start planning for ways to accumulate wealth in the future.
In addition to diversifying my investments, I’m always looking for new income streams. Which is why I currently have a handful of side hustles that I do, from selling online courses to freelancing, and am always looking to add on new ones, especially ones that don’t require any upfront capital.
If you’re looking to bring in more income and start a new side hustle, here are four things you can do to bring in cash without investing any money.
1. Sell what you already have
Every Sunday, I spend an hour looking for items around my house that I can sell. In the past few months, I’ve made a few hundred dollars selling clothes, shoes, furniture, and kitchenware items that I never used.
Not only does selling or renting out items you already own cost you $0, it also takes very little time. After you snap a few photos of the item, write a description, and list the price, the apps and platforms where you list your item share these products with their audience of customers — with no additional effort from you.
If you want to sell household items, you can use platforms like Poshmark, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace. If you want to rent out your items, you can use platforms like Loanables, Turo, or BabyQuip.
While all of these platforms are free to use, some will take a fee once the item sells. Knowing this ahead of time helps me price the items a little higher to account for these fees and still earn the profit that I hoped for.
2. Put yourself on a gig platform
During the fall and winter, when I have more free time on the weekends, I’ll offer my services as an event coordinator or party planner (something I have experience doing) on different websites where people are searching for last-minute vendors, like GigSalad.
When I’m hired for an event, I can bring in a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 in a weekend, without spending any cash on upfront costs.
After determining what kinds of in-person skills you could offer someone (whether work around the house or as a vendor for an event), find a platform that lets you list your services for free.
For example, if you’re good at fixing things around the house, helping people move, or building furniture, you can list your services on Handy or TaskRabbit. If your skill set includes photography, cooking, or entertaining (whether as a musician, dancer, or even balloon artist), you can share your information on websites like Thumbtack.
3. Freelance your skills
After I got laid off from my full-time job as a copywriter in 2015, I decided to offer my writing skills to clients who needed freelance help. Ever since then, providing this service has been a steady source of additional monthly income.
Brainstorm skills that you have, or search platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, or Toptal, to see what kinds of skills they showcase and create a free profile for yourself. That way, you can get matched with clients who want to hire you for projects or occasional work.
It’s free to start this type of side hustle, and using pre-existing platforms to find work helps you tap into their audience. Most of these platforms do take a percent of your income when clients book you, which can range from 5% to 20%.
4. Try house-sitting, dog-sitting, or babysitting
One local side hustle that I’ve started to do during my downtime is offering to house-sit, dog-sit, or babysit for neighbors. Offering this kind of service doesn’t require any start-up costs and, depending on demand, I can charge a higher rate during peak or holiday seasons.
Anyone can get started on these side hustles for free by setting up a profile on platforms like Rover, Care.com, or Trusted House Sitters. After sharing information about yourself, your location, and your rate, you can start getting inquiries from local neighbors who might want to hire you. Like most other free-to-use platforms, you’ll pay a fee when booked (usually around 20%).