Earn More Money From Doing What You Do Best

Income from hobbies is a godsend when funds are tight

Woman stirring a pot on a stove.
Woman stirring a pot on a stove.
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

hether it’s writing, photography, gaming, cooking or another pastime, there might be money in the offing. Profitable hobbies could be the answer for tight family budgets.

Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and consumer finance analyst for U.S. News, and certified public accountant Michael Moe joined with consumer credit reporting company Experian to give advice for those who want to start a business but don’t know where to begin.

Hobbies come in all types. When people are sheltered at home, they have lots of opportunity to perfect their skills.

“I’ve spent a lot of time gardening,” Harzog said. “I love to cook with fresh herbs. I’m also learning Spanish, and I’ve been reading a lot. I finally got tired of Netflix.”

According to Experian, earning extra cash can help you achieve your money goals faster. A hobby can lead to a side business that lets you earn money doing it. This might include creating jewelry and selling it on Etsy, or freelancing as a writer, editor or graphic designer.

“I took up running after a baby arrived,” Moe said. “It’s been a joy since then.

“I’ve known friends who have gotten into Etsy,” he said. “Poshmark and Ebay are other ways to unload items and make money.”

Hobbies can be welcome diversions.

“I tend to be a workaholic,” Harzog said. “Hobbies bring balance to my life. I’m more relaxed. Ironically, I’m even more productive.”

A Today article looks at several ways to get into hobbies.

A hobby keeps the mind active and busy,” Moe said. “It connects interests with others and contributes toward an enriching life.”

For Youngsters as Well

Teens are especially in the market for money-making activities.

“Babysitting is a good one for ladies,” Moe said. “There’s automotive work for the boys. However, these roles can be easily flipped.”

A Good Financial Cents article by Jeff Rose considers 50 ‘lit’ ways to make money as a teenager.

“Teens can try baking and selling cookies to their community, creating and selling art work on Etsy and turning gaming hobbies into income via donations,” Harzog said. “They can also create a YouTube video about gaming and get a sponsor or ad revenue.”

Something pretty as a picture can beautify income from a photography hobby.

“Photograph events, and sell your pictures,” Harzog said. “Write about photography. Teach others how to take great photos.

“With teaching, you can create several classes by categories: portrait, nature and so on,” she said. “Classes could be online or in weekend workshops.”

Finance writer Grant Sabatier examines how to make money with photography.

“Invest money into a good camera,” Moe said. “Then, start with family and friends doing portraits and school photos. Get publicity through word of mouth.”

Cooking stirs up a tasty recipe for extra cash.

“Host bake sales at local events or at the farmers market,” Moe said. “Catering for family and friend gatherings would be really fun and a great way to make extra money.”

Forbes raises the lid on seven unique ways food lovers can make money.

Four-Legged Solutions

Animal lovers can also cash in.

“Work for a vet,” Harzog said. “Start a pet sitting or dog walking business. Start a blog about animals. Monetize that or train dogs for clients. I’m a dog person. I don’t know if you can train cats.”

Nextdoor describes how to keep a safe distance while operating a dog walking business.

Crafts can be a source of do-it-yourself money.

“Unique mask making would be really good right about now,” Moe said. “Seasonal items such as holiday crafts or even St. Patrick’s Day ideas are fun.”

The Simple Dollar tells how to earn money selling crafts on Etsy.

“Make decorative or aromatherapy candles, or knit scarves to sell,” Harzog said. “Get a Shopify site or start a blog where you can sell products. Another idea is to make unique or personalized holiday ornaments.”

Games and Streaming

Those who are game can make money with them as well.

“There are many ways to get into the gaming industry as a career,” Harzog said. “You could play competitively and stream on Twitch.”

Besides Twitch, Jim Wang describes how people are also making money streaming their playing sessions and uploading their games on YouTube.

“Become a game creator,” Moe said. “Come up with game ideas. I watched on Amazon Prime how games such as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune came from ideas that turned into reality TV game shows.

“Blogging or becoming a freelance writer is another option to make money,” he said. “I’ve been writing a bunch of reviews on Yelp.”

For those interested in learning how to make money writing, The College Investor has assorted ways to get paid to write.

“Develop your craft first,” Harzog said. “Then start pitching ideas.

“No matter the hobby, don’t give up if you don’t get quick results,” she said. “Be persistent. U.S. News Money has a list of hobbies that can create a new income stream for you.”

Then there is the growing promise of video.

“Use YouTube as a monetization tool,” Moe said. “If you can video something you love online, that’s a huge outlet to make money. However, you’ll need to build up a reputation and brand name.”

About the Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


This article is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered financial advice. You should consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

Financial Strategy

From financial goals to success — follow us and blaze your individual path

Sign up for Your Financial Strategy

By Financial Strategy

Go from financial dreams to concrete progress toward your financial goals Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Jim Katzaman - Get Out of Debt

Written by

Helping Americans shave years off of debt, cut thousands of dollars in interest, increase lifestyles and save for secure #retirement. largofinancialservices.com

Financial Strategy

From financial goals to success — follow us and learn how to develop your path

Jim Katzaman - Get Out of Debt

Written by

Helping Americans shave years off of debt, cut thousands of dollars in interest, increase lifestyles and save for secure #retirement. largofinancialservices.com

Financial Strategy

From financial goals to success — follow us and learn how to develop your path

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store