Although having a 9-5 job is the most common way to make a living, it isn’t the only way. Thanks to the modern marvel we call the internet, there are now dozens of ways to earn extra cash by harnessing an existing talent or developing a new one.

Sound crazy? It really isn’t. Thanks to a few part-time jobs and online businesses, my family makes our entire living with the help of two computers and an okay internet connection. And we’re not the only ones. If you conduct a quick search of the internet, you’ll find people earning all kinds of money in ways you never thought possible.

(Related: How I Earn a Living On the Internet)

5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash….and Fast

Of course, there are a lot of reasons to hustle on the side. Whether you want to pay down debt, save money for a home or a car, or simply build your emergency fund, almost everyone can use some extra cash. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to raise funds quickly, whether you want to use it for a weekend getaway to Miami or your daughter’s college education. Here are a few of the easiest ways I’ve found:

Run Errands On the Side

If you want to earn some extra cash on the side, consider doing someone’s mundane tasks using a site like TaskRabbit. By signing up directly on the site, you’ll be able to bid on errands that range from dog walking to picking up laundry. The best part is, you can often walk away from the job with cash that day.

Sell Your Books

Got a pile of old textbooks laying around? Here’s your chance to put them to good use. Since some websites aimed at college students make it easy to get cash for used college books, you can earn a bundle just by getting rid of them.

If you don’t want to list your books on an online book resale site, you can also list them on or on your local neighborhood Facebook page.

Consider Freelance Writing

If you’re a decent writer and want to earn some extra cash, you can always consider freelance writing on the side. If you have a career focus or are an expert in your field, you should have no trouble getting writing jobs.

Although freelance writing is highly competitive, I don’t feel weird suggesting this strategy to others at all. The truth is, there are a multitude of jobs out there for anyone with a unique voice. Want to learn more?

(See also: How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs)

Find Work as a Virtual Assistant

If you aren’t a great writer but have other online skills, you should be able to find work as a virtual assistant. In most cases, VAs perform tasks that writers and website owners don’t have time to do. Those tasks typically include things like making Pinterest images, answering and composing emails, writing and scheduling blog posts, and performing other administrative tasks.

Try Swagbucks

If you’re on the internet often, you can probably earn a bundle by installing a paid search engine like After you install the tool bar, you’ll earn gift cards just for using your computer for everyday tasks. As of today, Swagbucks has paid out $96,778,619 in gift card rewards, and all to people who did nothing but use their computers like they normally would.

Although the internet has made life harder in some ways, it has also opened the door to a wide range of new careers. A few decades ago, none of the side gigs listed above were possible – or even feasible. But with the help of the internet, the ways to earn extra cash are practically endless.

What is your favorite way to earn money online? Have you tried any of the strategies above?