The idea of having a side income appeals to just about every Singaporean, because after all, you can never have too much money.
But once you actually factor in the amount of time and effort needed to earn money outside of your day job, most people get turned off-after all, the idea of having to slave away giving private tuition or doing freelance work when you're already exhausted from working long hours in your regular job is not appealing. And dealing with bargain hunters and straight up weirdos on Carousell is also very few people's idea of fun even if you can earn some decent money from it.
Forget about that. Here are five ways to earn extra income from home without having to put in much time or effort.
1. IF YOU HAVE A CAR, SIGN UP FOR SERVICES LIKE GRABHITCH
Okay, so maybe you don't want to become a full-time Grab or Uber driver. There are easier ways to earn money. But if you have a car, you might benefit from something like GrabHitch. That way, you can pick up passengers along the way whenever you're going to hit the road.
Heading out for supper with friends on the weekend or going for a movie? You can easily pick up a passenger after you leave the house, and accept one more on your way home. This is a great idea for those who like to go out late at night when there isn't much traffic on the roads. Earning a side income this way is relatively hassle free since you can just see who is heading in the same direction as you and choose whether or not you would like to give them a ride or not.
2. SET UP AN AIRBNB EXPERIENCE
Turn your hobby into an income by making it an "experience". On Airbnb, traditionally a platform for people to rent out their homes (by and large not legal in Singapore), you could design an experience where you can teach others skills related your hobby.
Some of the more popular experiences on Airbnb right now includes learning how to cook traditional Singaporean cuisine, view a real life 87-year-old grandma make effigies and even taking a walk down Singapore's red light district, Geylang.
The cost of an experience is relatively high but this is because Airbnb heavily curates what goes on their platform. They have strict rules about what is an experience. Typically, it should be something interesting, led by an expert and not something that can easily be booked on regular travel sites (e.g. a simple tour). Guests must be able to participate in the activity you design as well.
Airbnb will take a 20 per cent cut as service fee from the cost of the experience listed.
3. RENT OUT SPARE ROOMS IN YOUR HOME
Since homes are viewed as assets in Singapore, it's time to milk yours for all it's worth. If you live in a condo or landed property, you can rent out spare rooms on Airbnb. There are even some people overseas who rent out their living rooms to tourists for a small fee. Just take note that the legal short-term rental period is minimally 3 months.
While short term leases of under 6 months are technically not allowed in Singapore for HDB flats, the government has so far done nothing to track down and prosecute private property owners who rent out their rooms to tourists. Don't try this trick if you live in an HDB flat as you might get your entire home confiscated.
You can also go the legal route by renting out your rooms on long-term leases of at least 6 months. This is legal whether you live in private or HDB property. You will earn less per-day than if you were renting out the property short-term, though.
4. LOOK AFTER PEOPLE'S PETS Babysitting other people's kids requires a ton of energy, as you're basically forced to keep an eye on them all day long. Luckily, pet sitting isn't quite so hard.
Pet-sitters on Pawshake have the option of turning their homes into a pet kennel of sorts by letting people leave their pets with them when they're on holiday.
You're of course responsible for feeding the animals and, in the case of dogs, might have to take them out for walks, though you can charge an extra fee for that. But other than that, your main job is to provide the animal with a safe place to stay.
You can also visit your clients' homes to feed their pets, walk their dogs and so on, but the pet-boarding option is the least time-intensive option and enables you to earn around $40 to $45 a night.
5. IF YOU HAVE SOME SPARE CASH, INVEST IN DIVIDEND-YIELDING STOCKS
Buying property and then renting it out isn't the only way to earn a monthly side income. Investing in dividend stocks is another way you can see immediate returns on your investment.
Do note, however, that like all stock investments, these do come with a certain amount of risk, although to be fair dividend-yielding stocks tend to be blue chips that are quite stable.
On the downside, that also means that you should not expect these stocks to skyrocket in value overnight. So if you're young and/or have a higher risk appetite, you probably don't want these to be the only investment in your portfolio.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.