When most people think of Boston, outsiders might think of tea parties (not the pinky-up sophisticated kind), Red Sox games at Fenway Park, Ivy League schools and, perennially in the news, snow.
But let’s be real here. Boston offers so much more to its city-dwellers — especially when it comes to making money on the side.
We’ve got a few creative ideas up our wool sleeves (because we’re cold just thinking about your city) to help you out.
9 Ways to Make Money in Boston
Ready to pay rent this month and not squirm in fear? Consider a few of these ways to pocket extra money in Boston.
1. Find Your Perfect Match
If you’re tired of combing the internet far and wide for a flexible part-time job that fits your needs and qualifications, here’s a simple fix: Search contractor positions with gig-economy apps (think: ride sharing, dog sitting) through GigUp, an online job matchmaking tool.
Instead of searching far and wide for gig platforms you may not even qualify for, you’ll roll through one questionnaire, and GigUp will pair you with jobs that best suit you.
Take a look at your matches and select your picks. GigUp will send your information to the company (only when you tell it to), and the company will get back to you if you’re a match made in heaven.
You don’t even need a resume.
The platform is free to use, so sign up here to find your next side gig.
(Trust us: It’s less painful than setting up an online dating profile.)
2. Ship a Box of Snow — or Leaves
Boston: You’ve got something some of us in other parts of the country (ahem, Florida) want: fall foliage and snow!
Did you know you could make a solid side income by selling snow in a box? One Bostonian did through his company, “Ship Snow, Yo.”
Obviously, this is a seasonal source of income, but Kyle Waring sold snow (ya know, the free stuff that falls from the sky) for $89 a box.
Then, when summer rolls by and fall creeps up, Waring ships “genuine” New England-sourced maple leaves to nearly anywhere in the world for $19.99. In his first week of business, he received 250 orders, amounting to a crisp $5,000 in revenue.
The takeaway here? Get creative!
3. Let Others See Seasons for Themselves
Have a spare room? Might as well try to earn some extra money by listing it on Airbnb.
If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We even found a guy who earns $1,380 a month renting out a backyard tent on Airbnb.
Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.
Here are a few tips:
- Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
- Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
- Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.
Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.
(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)
4. Drive With Uber
OK, if walking isn’t your thing (we get it), slide into the driver’s seat.
As a partner driver with Uber, you’re an independent contractor. You set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.
If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you’re under 23 years old), have a valid U.S. driver’s license and pass a background check.
Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.
Here’s a link to apply with Uber.
5. Rent out Your Car (or Parking Space)
If you take public transit (or Uber) to work each day but still have a car for, you know, weekend adventures, consider renting it out. Tons of sharing-economy platforms will help you get the word out, including Getaround.
Getaround says users can make up to $10,000 per year sharing their car — that’s about $800 a month. Plus, the platform insures all cars (up to $1 million each).
On the other hand, if you don’t have a car or drive it to work each day and have a prime parking spot, rent that out. Folks in your area are clambering for parking spots.
According to the Spot app, a spot in downtown Boston is going for $100 a week. Check out its pricing map to see what your little rectangle is worth.
6. Get Paid to Nap…
Don’t want others sleeping in your space? Then consider getting paid to sleep.
Yeah, we thought we were dreaming, too, but Penny Hoarder contributor Jillian Shea joined two sleep studies in Boston at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and earned $12,000 in 11 days.
The pro-napper herself offers tips on how to find and qualify for sleep studies.
7. …or Snuggle
Ever heard of a professional snuggler?
It’s real, and we talked to Samantha Varnerin, the “Top Snuggler of Massachusetts.” Varnerin, a construction project engineer by day, can make over $1,000 some months by cuddling with clients, money she uses to pay rent.
You can read more about Varnerin and her unique side job as well as what professional snuggling actually entails here.
8. Share Your City
Boston is a beautiful city that attracts tons of tourists each year, so if you know the city’s hot spots and hidden gems, become a tour guide.
If you don’t know where to start, Airbnb’s new(ish) “Experience” feature can serve as a solid platform to get the word out about your newfound side hustle.
Bonus: If you’re hosting a walking tour, download the Achievement app. You’ll earn points for your healthy activities, like trekking across the city each day.
9. Drink Beer
Heard of mystery shopping? Basically, you’re snooping around to different stores and retailers to grade their services and products.
One such retailer: Breweries!
Boston is home to some notable ones (think: the revolutionary Samuel Adams), so look into becoming a mystery shopper for craft beer companies through Secret Hopper.
The Penny Hoarder’s senior writer Tyler Omoth gave the gig a go. He concluded it won’t make you rich, but you do get to drink free beer!
Read his full review of Secret Hopper, then see what your city has to offer.
Hey, Bostonians, now you know: Making extra month through a side gig in your city can actually be kind of fun!
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She wants to plan a vacation to Boston soon so she can drink great beer and feel smart amongst the Ivy Leaguers.
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