How to Make Side Money in the Military

how to make side money

Being in the military can be a great experience, and sometimes you have enough free time for a side hustle. Your gig can be a passion project that you can work on passively or a dedicated secondary source of income.

Military deployment and side hustles can be challenging to manage. You’re either home or you’re not home when you are a service member, which makes it hard to plan on starting a side gig. But you can find quite a few ways to make extra monthly income.

These side-money gigs can be pursued by military spouses as well. No matter your reason, here’s how to make side money in the military using our top nine tips!

Freelancing or consulting

Freelancing or consulting could be a fantastic way to make extra income and leverage your specialized skills during your off-duty hours. If you possess expertise in areas such as writing, graphic design, web development, tutoring, or technical fields, freelancing may offer you a platform to showcase your talents and monetize them effectively.

One of the major advantages of freelancing is the flexibility it offers. By choosing when and where you work, you can fit freelancing gigs around your full-time job or other commitments. This benefit allows you to have complete control over your schedule and maximize your productivity. Freelancing provides you with the opportunity to work on projects you are truly passionate about. You can select clients and assignments that align with your interests and strengths, allowing you to enhance your skills and build a strong portfolio in your field of expertise.

Online tutoring

If you excel in a certain field, such as math, science, or English, you can leverage your knowledge and offer online tutoring services to students who need academic assistance. This side hustle not only allows you to share your knowledge and help others succeed but also provides a flexible and convenient way to earn money.

With the rise of technology and the internet, platforms like Chegg Tutors and Wyzant have emerged, connecting tutors with students in need of their expertise. These platforms provide a virtual classroom environment where tutors and students can interact in real-time through video chats, messaging systems, and file-sharing features. These platforms make online tutoring accessible to students from anywhere in the world, regardless of geographical boundaries.

Ridesharing or delivery driving

Signing up as a driver for ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft or delivering food with services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Postmates could be the perfect solution for you. These platforms offer a unique opportunity to make money on your own terms.

Ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft allow you to use your own car to provide transportation services. Whether it’s picking up passengers from the airport, driving them to their destination, or giving someone a ride across town, the possibilities are endless. The best part is that you can choose your own hours and work whenever suits you. You can maximize your earnings by driving during peak times or in busy areas. Plus, you have the option to decline rides if you’re not available or not in the mood to drive. 

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Rent out your space

If you have a spare room or property, renting it out on platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo can be a great way to generate extra income from short-term rentals. These platforms provide a convenient and secure way for property owners to connect with potential guests from all around the world. By listing your space, you have the opportunity to earn money by hosting guests on a short-term basis.

One major advantage of renting out your space is the flexibility it offers. You can choose when you want to make your space available for guests, allowing you to rent it out only when it suits your schedule. This flexibility makes it an ideal option for people who have a spare room or property that they don’t use frequently. By renting it out, you can maximize the usage of your space and earn a return on your investment.

Sell crafts or products

Selling crafts or products online not only provides you with a platform to showcase and sell your creations but also allows you to reach a global audience of potential customers.

One of the biggest advantages of selling crafts or products online is the convenience it offers. As an online seller, you have the flexibility to work from the comfort of your own home, which means you can set your own working hours and be your own boss. Additionally, selling online eliminates the need for expensive overhead costs that come with opening a physical store, making it a more cost-effective way to start a business.

Another benefit of selling crafts or products online is the vast potential customer base. Online marketplaces like Etsy have millions of active users who are specifically looking for unique and handmade items. Your products are likely to find a receptive audience and can attract customers who appreciate the value and quality of handmade goods.

Selling crafts or products online allows you to establish a brand and develop a loyal following. With the ability to customize your online shop and showcase your products effectively, you can create a cohesive brand identity that resonates with your target market. By providing excellent customer service and consistently delivering high-quality products, you can cultivate a loyal customer base that will not only become repeat buyers but also refer your shop to others.


Photography is a lucrative profession for individuals who have a passion for capturing mesmerizing moments and telling stories through visual imagery.

One way to monetize your photography skills is by offering your services for various events and occasions. With so many weddings, parties, and corporate events happening every day, professional photographers are in demand. You can capture precious moments during these events, ensuring that the memories are beautifully preserved for a lifetime. By networking with event planners, wedding coordinators, and other professionals in the industry, you can establish a steady client base and enjoy a consistent income.

Portraits are another area where skilled photographers can excel and make a living. Families, individuals, and businesses are always in need of professional portraits that truly represent their personality or brand. By honing your portrait photography skills and building a strong portfolio, you can attract clients who are willing to pay for your expertise. Whether it’s capturing stunning headshots, family portraits, or pet photography, you can explore a wide range of opportunities.

In addition to offering services for events and portraits, a lucrative option for photographers is to sell their photos on stock photography websites. These platforms allow photographers to showcase and sell their images to a global audience. From nature and landscapes to fashion and technology, you can tap into the high demand for diverse and high-quality stock photos. By consistently uploading and promoting your work on these websites, you can earn a passive income from the sale of your images.

Blogging or content creation

Starting a blog or a YouTube channel is a fantastic way to share your knowledge or passions with a wide audience and potentially earn money while doing so. The first step is to choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about or truly passionate about. Your focus can be anything from cooking, fashion, or travel to fitness, technology, or personal finance.

Once you have identified your niche, you can start creating valuable and engaging content for your audience. Whether you choose to write blog articles, create videos, or both, it’s crucial to regularly provide high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. This process will help you attract followers and grow your audience over time.

As your blog or YouTube channel gains traction and starts attracting a significant number of followers, you can explore monetization options. One popular method is through advertising, where you can display ads on your blog or YouTube videos and earn money based on the number of clicks or views they generate. Another option is to seek sponsorships from brands that align with your niche. They may pay you to promote their products or services to your audience.

Real estate

When it comes to investing, real estate offers a great opportunity for long-term financial growth. One avenue to consider is purchasing rental properties. This strategy enables you to generate a steady stream of income through monthly rental payments from tenants.

There are two ways to handle the management of these properties. The first option is to manage them yourself. This process allows you to have full control over all aspects, from screening tenants and collecting rent to handling repairs and maintenance. Managing the properties yourself can be a rewarding experience as it allows you to have a hands-on approach and potentially save on management fees.

Managing rental properties can also be time-consuming and demanding. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, hiring a property management company is a viable option. These professionals take care of the day-to-day operations, such as finding tenants, collecting rent, and handling maintenance issues. By outsourcing these responsibilities, you can focus on other ventures or enjoy the passive income generated by your real estate investments.

Pet sitting or dog walking

If you love animals, offering pet sitting or dog walking services can be a rewarding and fun way to spend your time. Many pet owners find themselves in need of someone to care for their furry friends when they are unable to do so themselves. This is where a pet sitter or dog walker can step in and provide valuable assistance.

Pet sitting involves caring for pets in their own homes while the owners are away. This can include feeding, giving medication, taking them for walks, and providing companionship. It is a great option for pets that are more comfortable in their familiar environment and may experience anxiety in new surroundings, such as a boarding facility. By offering pet-sitting services, you can ensure that pets receive the care and attention they need while giving their owners peace of mind.

Online surveys and market research

Participating in online surveys and market research studies can be a great way to earn some extra cash during your free time. With the rise of the internet, companies are increasingly turning to online platforms to gather consumer data and insights. Swagbucks and Survey Junkie are two popular sites.

These websites offer you the chance to sign up and participate in various surveys and studies conducted by different companies. The surveys typically range from a few minutes to around half an hour, and you are compensated for your time and effort.

But why would companies pay you for your opinions? Well, your feedback and insights are extremely valuable to them. By gathering data on consumer preferences, opinions, and behaviors, companies can refine their products and services to better suit their target audience. Market research helps companies make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Finding the Right Military Side Hustle

You might think that once you join the military, your income options are limited. However, making side money in the military is possible. Most hiring managers are likely to be flexible with their scheduling, especially if you let them know that you are in the military. There are endless opportunities for you to apply your military work ethic. Enjoy the flexibility and collect some serious cash.


Can I have a second job while in the military?

You can get another job while you are in the military, but it cannot be a federal job. You must also get permission from the military before accepting another job, and there might be restrictions that you must abide by as well.

Can you DoorDash while in the military?

DoorDash has strict licensing requirements, so it could be an issue. However, generally speaking, it is likely that you’ll be able to work for DoorDash while in the military. 

Can you have two jobs in the military? 

There are some restrictions in place, but with permission, you can hold certain part-time positions while in the military. Just make sure you seek out clarification from your leadership officials.

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