How to Earn Extra Money Where There Is Nothing to Do!
Being able to find one job is lucky, (even though they rarely pay well), but finding a second is often impossible. (I talked about this in my post on financial advice that poor people are tired of hearing).
After all, there are dozens of people competing for that same spot, and many are willing to take less pay or benefits just to have some employment.
When you want to earn extra cash, either to make ends meet or just for building up your savings, what do you do?
To help give you some ideas, I've put together this list of side hustles that can work for anyone, even if you live in a very small town, or way out in the country:
Note: These are mostly offline job ideas because I see a huge a need for side hustle ideas that don't require internet (something many people here don't have access to on a regular basis).
1. Selling Eggs
Selling farm eggs is always a popular "country hustle." Eggs are always in demand. The best part about this side income is that the chickens really do the hard part.
Even if you don't live near a farmer's market, you can advertise eggs in the paper, on bulletin boards and via word of mouth. Heck, there are lots of people who just add it to their Facebook page.
How much you make depends on whether your eggs are free-range or 100% organic, how many hens you can raise, and how many eggs you are able to do without yourself.
2. Hatching and Selling Chickens
If you want to be more serious with chickens, invest in an incubator and hatch eggs. Roosters sell for $3-$7 apiece and hens sell for $5-$12 depending on the breed (locally).
You can also charge a fee to hatch eggs for other people. That was my number one favorite side-hustle as a teenager. With so many people now looking to raise a few backyard chickens for eggs and meat, there will always be a steady demand for baby chicks.
3. Selling From the Garden
Obviously you can sell surplus fruits and vegetables. But did you know you can also sell ornamentals?
If you have established flowers that produce extra seeds or bulbs without much help from you, then you can sell these for a lot less than the local nursery.
Although I've not sold any seedlings directly for cash, I've traded a lot of strays that pop up for other items, including food! Some examples of plants that keep on giving include irises, daffodils, cosmos, zinnias, marigolds, and four-o-clocks.
Even though these plants sprout easily, lots of people would rather plant a seedling than fool with seeds. If you have a really green thumb and you can propagate plants easily, you can even sell roses, hedges, trees, and herbs.
4. Selling Foraged Plants
Morel mushrooms, pecans, wild onions, elderberries, muscadine grapes and polk salad are some of the many plants that grow wild here.
They are also staples for many local dishes. People are more than willing to pay you to go out and do the work of foraging these treats for them.
Do some snooping in your locale to see if there are any wild foods that are in demand, but aren't sold in mainstream stores.
5. Turning Wrenches
Have some mechanical skills? Even if all you know is some basic automotive maintenance, you can offer your services on the side.
My husband can often make $300+ a month just changing oil in motorcycles.
He also makes a little extra (either money or bartered goods) doing very small, easy repair tasks on mowers and tillers.
6. Sharpening Tools
Yep. There are people who make their whole side income just from sharpening dull blades. It takes a little practice, but its worth it!
There will always be dull blades (and business for you!).
Things that always need to be honed a little include:
- Chain saw blades
- Lawnmower blades
7. Cleaning Parking Lots
I once knew two guys who specialized in cleaning parking lots. It started out as a side job, and they turned it into a full-time business.
They picked up litter, cleaned away fallen branches, cleared leaves, and sometimes used a pressure washer to clean up the asphalt.
Side hustles that will work in small towns and rural areas.
8. Hauling Stuff
If you have a pick-up truck (even better, a truck with a trailer!) then you have the best tools for a small town/rural side hustle job.
People always need stuff hauled or moved. It might be yard litter that needs to be taken to the landfill. Or it could be moving stuff to a storage unit.
It can even be as simple as bringing home a sofa someone bought on an impulse, only to realize they have no way to transport it home.
9. Be a Guide
Small towns and rural areas get some outside visitors a few times a year. Often these people come from the bigger cities, and have no clue where they are or where they need to be going. So, hire out to be a local guide.
Often, the biggest influx of outsiders in remote areas is during hunting seasons. Most of these would-be hunters are unfamiliar with the area, including where homes are located. A local guide can make sure they set up their camp in a safe area.
People who come at other times of the year may also need to know things like best camping and fishing areas, local attractions, good places to eat, and so on.
10. Outdoor Photography
Small towns and rural areas provide thousands of opportunities for unique photographs. Nature scenes are always in demand.
Other photographers specialize by taking portraits of people or pets in outdoors settings.
11. Tutoring A Needed (or Fun) Skill
Know a lot about something? Why not tutor a few students?
Sure, you can help with math homework, but why not think outside the box a bit? Remote areas can sometimes be a bit behind in certain areas.
Here, there are people who are just now getting internet to their homes. They've never touched a computer before. They have no idea how to set up an email, or use Facebook.
If you see a need like that in your area, you can make some side income doing crash courses in computer skills. (Include things like computer safety!)
You can teach anything you enjoy. Why not offer tutoring in handcrafting, chess, meditation, organizing, etc? Or even teaching people how to change their own oil and tires!
More Side Hustle Ideas for Those Living in Small Towns and Country Areas
Here are some of the common side hustles you will see recommended online, and a few specific to more rural areas. Any of these could work in a small town/country neighborhood depending on the local demand:
- Elderly companion
- Running errands for people
- Flipping cars, furniture or other goods
- Yard work (mowing, cleaning gutters, etc.)
- Painting (houses, fences, mailboxes, gates, gas tanks, etc.)
- Washing equipment (yep. People will pay to have someone wash tractors, field equipment, boats, ATVs, big rigs, and more)
- Selling firewood (as long as you have access to the trees. No trespassing!)
- Assistant work (writing letters, reading fine print, writing resumes etc. )
- Farm and ranch help (seasonal jobs, harvests, livestock handling, etc.)
- Designing signs and logos for independent businesses
- Writing ads for small independent businesses
- Staging homes to be sold
- Housecleaning and organizing
- Writing real estate descriptions (some independently owned companies will hire freelance)
- Writing campaign speeches or articles for local elected officials (you probably already know them well, so bug them til they agree!)
- Selling articles or photos to the local paper