How to Make Extra Money in NYC: 16 Great Ideas

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If you live in New York City, you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Most New Yorkers could use some extra money, but many of them don’t realize that they don’t necessarily need to get a second or third job. Instead, you can do things to make some passive income.

What is passive income? It is income that you get without putting extra effort into it. Some examples of passive income include the interest from a savings account, dividends from a stock, and rental income from a real estate investment.

So, you can certainly do any of those things, but it’s not enough for most people. The good news is this: if you are looking for information on how to make extra money in NYC, you are in the right place!

How to Make Extra Money in NYC

1. Consider Index Funds 

NYC is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, so it makes sense that one of the first suggestions is to learn how to invest in the stock market. Index funds are one option that you have to invest in the stock market and receive a passive income in return.

When you invest in an index fund, you invest in the market as a whole, and you don’t have to worry about doing research, knowing when to buy or sell, nor balancing out your portfolio. You also have the ability to choose whatever fund you want, as there are funds out there for almost every sector in the market. All you have to do is put your money in and then sit back and relax.

2. Become a Silent Business Partner

If you have some money lying around, you might want to become a silent partner in a local business. Doing this makes you a business investor, but you don’t have to worry about any of the day-to-day operations. Instead, you have an equity position in the business, and you only have to sit back and collect the profits.

3. Buy a Blog

Every year, thousands of blogs are created, and many of them are totally abandoned by their owners after some time. This means that these blogs are out there generating traffic and potential cash flow with no one there to collect it.

Most of the blogs out there use Google AdSense, which is a monthly stream of revenue that comes from the ads Google chooses to place on that particular blog. To sweeten the deal, you can also look into affiliate programs, which can produce even more revenue. But, of course, you have to own the blog to get the money.

How much do you have to spend? On average, you have to pay about two years of what the blog is bringing in. So, if the blog brings in $300 a month, you should expect to pay about $7200 for it, but you can likely get it for less. That brings in $300 a month after two years of ownership.

If these sites have good evergreen content on them, you could reap an income for years to come. On top of this, if you can start the site back up with new content, you can even get more revenue each month.

4. Get Credit Cards with Rewards

This won’t bring in a ton of extra money, but if you are going to spend it anyway, you might as well get something from it. There are plenty of credit cards out there that offer cash-back that ranges from one to five percent of the amount that was purchased.

As such, if you buy something for $25, you get $0.25 to $1.25 back. Over time, this adds up. You can also look into reward cards that give points or airline miles; just make sure you don’t overdo the credit card usage and put yourself into deep debt.

5. Make Videos on YouTube

If done correctly, you can make a great passive income on YouTube by making videos about almost anything. You can then use Google AdSense to put some ads on your videos, and with every click, its money in the bank for you.

The key to this, though, is that you have to make compelling videos and create enough of them so that you are getting income from a number of sources. Also, you have to keep in mind that it does take some time to create these videos, but once the work is done, you can get a passive income from them for a long time to come.

To make this even easier, make videos on something you are passionate about. Then, it becomes much more like a fun hobby that you are actually getting paid for.

6. Make and Sell Items Online

If you want to take your hobbies to the next level, you can make and sell items online. This can be any range of items from hand-knitted scarves to instructional DVDs. All you have to do is set up a website for your service or product, and then start selling.

If you don’t want to put the work into setting up your own site, you can also sell it through other websites such as on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. While this isn’t totally a passive income option, you are going to have fun while doing it, and you can line your pockets with cash in the process.

7. Write a Book or Articles

If you like to write or you have a creative mind, you can write a book, publish it to a site like Amazon, and see a revenue stream for a long time. Alternatively, you can sell the book to another source, which gives you a lump sum payment.

You can similarly do this by writing articles. There are plenty of sites out there where you can post articles that you have written, and then once they sell, you get the cash sent to you. Again, sometimes you can sell these articles over and over again, so a single article could bring in some great income.

There is also the fact that you can sell articles to big publications, including many right here in NYC, and you can get hundreds of dollars for a single article.

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8. Sell Photographs

Living in NYC, you have plenty of opportunities to take photos of things that other people around the world will never see. You can brush up on your photography skills, take photos, and you can sell them online at sites like Shutterstock.

Depending on the site you sell on, you will either get a percentage or a flat fee when one of your photos is sold. One photo can be sold over and over again, so you can make money for years on a single good photo. If you can submit a couple of hundred photos, you will have a nice passive income in no time.

9. Pay Off Your Credit Cards

This one might sound weird, but hear us out. Reducing an expense, like a credit card bill, gives you that same amount each month.

Let’s imagine that you have a $10,000 credit card bill. That’s about $200 a month in payments, but if you pay off this debt, that frees up $2,400 per year in cash that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

10. Set Up a Site Selling a Single Product or Two

Is there a product you are very knowledgeable about? If so, you might consider selling it on a dedicated site. This is not selling your own product, but instead, you are going to be selling someone else’s, and you get a percentage of the sales. If you find success with one product, you might be able to add more and over time, this could come with a lot of revenue.

11. Become a Referral Source

There are a lot of small businesses out there in NYC, and every small business needs some referral sources in order to maintain its sales. You can be a referral source for these companies, and you can make money in the process.

To start, make a list of small businesses that you use on a regular basis. These should be businesses that you would have no hesitation recommending them to other people.

Then, contact the owners to see if they have any cash referral offers. Some of the most common industries that do this include accountants, plumbers, electricians, and house cleaners.

Also, don’t forget to look at referral programs at work. Many companies offer a referral bonus for new staff or new customers. This is easy money with almost no work involved.

12. Rent Out Your Apartment on Airbnb

Another benefit of living in a city like NYC is that there are a lot of tourists around, and these tourists are looking for places to stay. If you have an apartment available, you can definitely make money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you, for instance, travel for work, you can make thousands of dollars a year by allowing others to rent your apartment. How much you make will depend on location, condition, and size of your home, but when done right, you can make some cash instead of leaving your home sitting empty while you are gone.

13. Create an App

Most people don’t realize how lucrative it can be to create an app. Just think about how many people have and use smartphones.

People love apps, and they download them like crazy. These apps make their lives easier or provide entertainment. So, if you have an idea, why not jump on it?

Though it is true that there are a lot of apps out there, if you have a great idea that is unique, you can literally make thousands of dollars. You can do this even if you don’t know how to code.

Start learning or you can hire an app developer who can take your idea and make it a reality. Though you have to make an investment into hiring this person, you can find freelancers online who are looking for work, and they won’t be as expensive as a pro. Once the app is out there, anytime someone downloads your app, you get paid.

14. Create an Online Course

Do you have something that you are passionate about or consider yourself an expert on? If so, why not share your knowledge with the masses?

There are a number of ways you can create, and then sell, your online courses. One of the simple ways is to work with a website like Once you create a course, it will start making money for you 24/7.

What can you put into your course? Almost anything that will engage students. You can add video lessons, audio files, tests, checklists, interviews, and much, much more.

Some people who write courses even sell them at different price points. For instance, a basic course might be one cost, but the basic course with extras, such as tests, video modules, and interviews could sell for a lot more.

15. Sell on eBay

If you like looking for a bargain, selling on eBay is a great way to make extra money, and though this isn’t exactly passive income, it can be very fun. There are plenty of secondhand stores in NYC where you can get great deals. Then, you can turn around and sell it online on sites like eBay.

Sure, you need a little money to invest from the start, but with the right sense of buying and selling knowledge, and a little bit of luck, you could make a lot of money.

16. Play Video Games

If you are a big gamer, you can also make money by playing video games. First, you can start your own video game channel where people can watch you play and even pay you for allowing it.

Another way you can make money by playing video games is to create amazing, awesome characters in games you love. You can also sell accounts in some games, which can make money for you while you do something you would be doing anyway: playing video games.


If you are wondering how to make extra money in NYC, hopefully, you now have an answer or at least a few ideas of what you can do. Though some of these require a little bit of effort, you won’t get results without putting a bit of work into it. Even passive income opportunities often come with a little bit of effort involved.

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