Timothy is a writer and video content creator. He enjoys helping others learn to improve their lives and shape better futures.
We could all use a little more money. But does it sometimes feel like all the good money-making opportunities are already taken? Or every time you come up with a great idea to bring in some extra income, does it seem like 100 other people are already doing it?
Well, if that's the case, then maybe it's time for you to make some changes. Maybe it's time for you to stop playing it safe. Maybe it's time to get weird!
Compiled below are 9 weird side hustles that I can almost guarantee none of your neighbors are using to make extra money.
1. Be Someone's Friend for Money
Did you know that there are websites that will allow people to rent you as a friend? Well if you didn't it's time you learned because there is good money to be made here. At least there is if you have a good personality, enjoy spending time with strangers, and aren't particular about who you are seen with in public.
One of the premiere friend rental websites is Rentafriend.com. Rentafriend claims to have 'friends' available for rent all over the world. According to their website, as of October 2019 there were over 621,000 people signed up and waiting to be your friend, for a fee.
With that many people already doing it, why not dip your toes in the friend-for-money waters too? You can set your own hours, rate of pay, and activities that you are willing to do with your friend. Rentafriend.com also claims to have 'friends' making $2000 a week working full time using their service.
I don't know about you but I have a hard time getting $20 out of my friends and we grew up together. Maybe I've been going about this friendship thing the wrong way...
2. Sell Your Hair
There's a lot of money in hair! Especially if it's very healthy and has never been dyed. Real human hair is always in demand for wigs, weaves, hair extensions, etc. The amount you get for your hair depends on a variety of factors like length, thickness, and color.
If you were planning on cutting your hair anyway and are curious about how much your flowing locks could fetch, there are a number of websites that can help you out. Check out HairSellOn.com if you want access to a handy Hair Calculator. You just enter in your hair's vital statistics into the calculator and it will crunch the data and give you an estimate of how much your hair is worth.
Here are a few other websites to check out if you are interested in making a little extra money selling your hair:
Note: It is illegal to cut off other people's hair while they sleep and sell it over the internet. It is only legal to sell your own hair. I'm sorry I had to mention this but I know a couple of the quicker readers were already thinking about it. Let's not get that weird people. Hair thieves get the top bunk in prison...if you know what I mean.
3. Sell Your Plasma
You can make an extra $20 to $50 per donation for your plasma, a liquid filtered from human blood that is used in the treatment of certain diseases. Donating plasma is actually pretty simple. You will have to pass a pre-donation physical, answer questions regarding medical history, get tested for viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis and have your protein and hemoglobin levels evaluated.
After that, you are good to go. The initial donation takes about 2 hours, but it shouldn't take that long on subsequent visits. You can donate plasma up to 2 times a week, as long as you don't donate more than 110 times in a year.
If you do the math: $20 per donation X 110 = $2200. That's over 2 grand a year on the low end of the pay scale just for donating plasma that you weren't really using anyway.
4. Sell Your Breast Milk
As a middle-aged man with no children, I'm not even going to pretend that I know how this one works, but I have it on good authority that women can sell their excess breast milk for a tidy profit. Apparently, you can make up to $2 an ounce selling your breast milk online.
I was afraid to do too much research on this topic because I was sure that some of the search terms I would have to use would bring back the wrong type of results. Results that could put a nasty virus on my laptop if I 'accidentally' clicked on them. I'm willing to go to some serious lengths for my readers but I draw the line at malicious malware.
I did, however, stumble across a couple of websites that might be of use to anyone who is strapped for cash and has more milk on their hands than money. Check out:
- Only the Breast.com (https://www.onlythebreast.com)
- The Mother's Milk Co-op (https://www.mothersmilk.coop)
5. Become a Head Lice Removal Technician
People get head lice. I don't know how, I've never had them. But I hear they suck. And that means big money for a properly trained head lice removal technician. If the mere thought of head lice doesn't make you want to take a pressure washer to your scalp, then perhaps you've got what it takes to work for a company like Lice Doctors.
Lice Doctors claims to have treated over 450,000 clients nationwide! And at $199 a pop just for the first hour of treatment, they definitely are making enough profit to bring on some extra help. I couldn't find out from their website how much technicians are paid, but I imagine no matter what the rate of pay is you won't have much competition when applying.
6. Sell Your Sperm
Fellas, I know you were all feeling a little left out after Tip #3 which was just for the ladies. So to make things fair I had to include a money-making opportunity that is just for the guys. I'm sure everyone has heard of sperm banks, but have you actually ever considered going to one and making a deposit?
According to the Phoenix Sperm Bank donors earn around $70 per donation. The website adds that "healthy men are able to earn up to $1000 per month".
I see I've got your attention now! $1000 a month!?!? That's a mortgage payment! And let's be honest, there are WAY less pleasurable ways to make 1000 bucks. (See Tip #7).
Of course, there are some hoops you have to jump through before you can become a sperm donor who's getting the big checks in the mail. There is a screening process that involves a full physical, as well as an in-depth look into the medical history of your family going back several generations. And you will also have to give a semen sample that will be analyzed to see if your 'product' is worth buying.
If everything comes back OK you will be eligible to start donating sperm and making money. For a comprehensive list of sperm banks in the United States, you can visit: https://www.co-parentmatch.com/sperm-bank-usa.aspx.
7. Clean Up Dog Poop
Some people are way too rich to clean up after their dogs. Or they are just too lazy. Whatever the reason, it's become a new trend for people to pay someone to come to their house and clean the dog poop out of their yard.
It's not the most glamorous job in the world, but it's outdoors, you get to visit some pretty swanky neighborhoods, and you'll always have fertilizer for your garden.
I came across a few different reports about professional pooper scoopers, with one even claiming that the going rate from doggy (or any other pet) waste removal is around $45/hour.
This seems a little outrageous to me since I once had a grounds maintenance job in Gainesville, FL where I was occasionally required to clean doggy droppings off the sidewalk so the University of Florida students (Go Gators!) wouldn't step in them and then track it into their apartments. I was only making $12/hour and I had a host of other tasks to perform as well.
Hopefully, however, you will be better compensated than me if you decide to give this profession a go. If you want more information about starting an animal waste removal business, or to learn about owning a franchise (yes, they are franchising this job) you can visit Poop911.com. (Slogan: 'When dogs do their business, it's money in the bank').
8. Get Paid to Cry In Public
People will pay you to attend funerals, wakes, viewings, etc. and cry. Let that sink in! This is what the world has come to. But who am I to judge how people want to send their loved ones off into the Great Beyond.
If you are willing to pay perfect strangers to attend your Uncle Larry's funeral to weep, moan, and gnash their teeth, more power to you. I'm just happy it gives my readers another way to make some much-needed money.
How much can you expect to earn being a professional mourner? Well, there was a company in the UK called Rent-A-Mourner that was paying mourners anywhere from $30–$120 per event, plus tips! I'm not sure how they determined what to pay each mourner, but the company is out of business now so maybe that $120 was a bit much.
This is great news for someone with tear ducts like yours! Now that the major player in the game has fallen there's no reason you can't corner the cry-on-demand market. And why stop at crying and mourning? Why can't we pay people to laugh with us too? Got anger issues? Why not farm out that rage to the mild-mannered people of the world for arguments, break-ups, and divorce proceedings?
There are so many emotions out there that you could be capitalizing on. Stop emoting for free! Come up with a clever name, get some business cards made up, go down to the courthouse and get an LLC, and start making that cash!
9. Become a Pretend-A-Patient
Ever wonder how aspiring doctors perfect their bedside manner before working with actual patients? Well some of them pay perfectly healthy people to pretend to be sick.
Yep, you can get paid to let medical students poke, prod, bandage, diagnosis, and stare at you in a concerned yet slightly condescending manner. Basically, all the things your doctor does now when you visit his/her office, but in this scenario there are no mentions of insurance premiums, co-pays, or 'non-covered procedures'. In this scenario, you are the one demanding full payment ASAP.
So if pretending to be sick and letting total strangers feel all over you sounds like the way you want to spend your free time, do a Google search for 'standardized patient' jobs in your local area. Standardized patient is the technical name hospitals and universities give to the profession. It sounds better on an accounts ledger than 'pretend patient'.
If you land a standardized patient gig you can expect to make between $15–$20/hour depending on how convincing you are as a sick person.
Note: You cannot wait until you are actually sick and then try and find work as a fake patient in order to get a free doctor visit and diagnosis. Don't think you will be able to get one over on them just because they are medical students. They have ways of knowing if you are really sick. For example, there is no such thing as 'fake diarrhea'.
© 2019 Timothy Ward
Liz Westwood from UK on October 23, 2019:
A lot of these fon't really appeal to me, but I smiled at rent a mourner. My brother and I attended 3 family funerals as chief mourners in a short space of time. As he was unemployed at the time he said we could work as a rent a mourner.