Working a regular job is great, but sometimes you need to make a little extra cash — I’m talking real, cold, hard cash. Fortunately, there are lots of under the table jobs that will help you meet your goals.
What’s great about cash paying jobs is that you are paid cash immediately, and many of them don’t require specialized skills, training, or a big investment. That means you could realistically read through this list, find something you like, then go out and get paid cash today.
But before I break this list down for you, I want to answer a couple of important questions:
- What does “under the table jobs” mean? These are jobs that pay cash and are typically “off the record,” as in they aren’t reported as income. That means no taxes are taken out, no Social Security, etc. You’re paid cash directly for work you’ve done, and this is an appealing way to get paid if you want immediate access to what you’ve earned.
- Are cash-paying jobs illegal? It’s not illegal to pay in cash, and it’s a common way to get paid for contractors, mechanics, lawn care people, etc. But the person paying the wages is technically still responsible for reporting that as income and reporting employment taxes.
Not reporting cash wages is a type of tax non-compliance, and it’s a major no-no in the eyes of the IRS. Employees that get paid under the table should still be reporting that cash as income and paying taxes. Yes, that means it’s illegal if you don’t.
We can’t force you to report the cash you earn from the side jobs below, but you should know that there are repercussions if you don’t. It’s entirely possible to get flagged by the IRS, audited, and face penalties.
Babysitting is one of the first under the table jobs people ever get. It can be a great gig for more than just teenagers, and you can easily make $20-$60 cash in an evening.
You obviously need to enjoy spending time with kids, but being CPR certified or having first aid training adds to your appeal. Parents like knowing their kids are with someone they can trust in an emergency.
Babysitters are typically paid per hour ranging from $12-$20/hour. Rates vary based on location, but you should also charge based on how many kids you’re watching. Where I’m at in Houston babysitters average $15/hour watching one kid.. But babysitters in Chicago average $17/hour, and ones in Seattle about $20/hour.
You can do a quick search online to find the local rates, but reaching out to friends with kids will give you an even more accurate idea.
2. House Sitting
I loved getting paid to house sit when I was in college because it was almost like taking a paid vacation to someone else’s house. Rates vary for house sitters, but the average is $25-$50/day based on where you’re house sitting.
Housesitters usually get paid cash or check to take care of someone’s house while they’re out of town. You might be responsible for things like collecting the mail, water plants, taking out the trash, etc.
If you’re willing to travel and up for a trade, there are websites dedicated to connecting homeowners people who are willing to swap services. The idea is that you get to stay somewhere beautiful for free, and the homeowners gets free housesitting services.
I did a quick search on the website TrustedHousesitters, and I found amazing stays in Napa Wine Country, a beach house in Santa Cruz, or houses close to the mountains in Colorado.
3. Cleaning Houses
Cleaning houses can be one of the more lucrative under the table jobs because many people hate cleaning their homes.
Someone on my team here at M$M ran a small cleaning service, and she made anywhere from $40-$100/hour. All of her business was word-of-mouth, and she got paid by cash or check on the day she cleaned.
Cleaning someone’s entire house can be pretty physical work, and you might have to deal with some disgusting stuff. But for the most part, this is a straightforward way to get paid cash. You dust, sweep, mop, clean bathrooms, wipe off surfaces, etc.
4. Selling Stuff Online
There are more outlets than ever online for selling stuff, which makes this an incredibly flexible and accessible way to make extra money.
Selling things online locally is the best way to make cash because you can exchange money in person when you complete the sale. Here are some online platforms to sell locally:
- Facebook Marketplace: Because Facebook has so many users, you have a really wide reach when you sell on Marketplace. You can choose to sell locally online, or you can agree to ship things out, but you’ll need to have PayPal, Venmo, or something similar.
- Craigslist: Yep, Craigslist is still a legit place to find local buyers online!
- NextDoor: This hyper-local app is a good place to find buyers in your area.
- OfferUp: This selling app is specifically for selling things near you.
Remember, be safe whenever you meet people in person, and never take checks or money orders.
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5. Pet Sitting
You can make $30-$60 a day pet sitting, and this is one of the best cash jobs for pet lovers. Pet sitters stay overnight in the pet’s home and care for them while their owners are away. This obviously involves feeding them and playing with them, but you may also need to take them for walks or administer medicine.
You can start finding potential clients by letting your friends and families know you’re starting a pet sitting side hustle. Those referrals go a long way!
If you want to grow your business and are okay with getting paid more than just cash, Rover is a great way to find paying clients.
Rover is a platform that connects pet owners with caregivers near them. You can list services like pet sitting, boarding, and dog walking.
6. Dog Walking
According to HomeGuide, dog walkers earn an average of $20 per 30-minute walk with prices ranging from $10 to $35.
The highest-paid dog walkers are located in busy urban areas where they can walk multiple dogs at a time. You can also make good money in suburbs with a high living cost because the owners are often too busy to regularly walk their dogs.
Getting your dog out for regular exercise is an important part of a healthy life, and this job benefits them and you!
7. Dog Grooming
We’ve got a theme here– under the table jobs related to pet care, and dog grooming is the last one I’ve got for you.
There are some breeds of dogs that need lots of grooming — Poodles, Bichon Frise, Bearded Collies, Chow Chows, and Bulldogs to name a few. A service where you come to the dog’s house and groom them could be a good way to make some extra cash.
The breeds I just mentioned are some of the hardest breeds to groom, but people are also willing to pay good money for simple things like nail trimming.
When people want their yard to look nice, I mean nice, you’ve got to go the extra mile with weeding, trimming, edging, and raking. The problem is that a lot of people don’t have the time or energy to do it on their own. That’s why this is a great under the table job.
You can earn $20/hour or more. Most people who get paid to do yardwork are able to bring their equipment, so keep that in mind when you get started.
9. Mowing Lawns
Here’s another classic cash job. If you’ve got a lawnmower and a can-do attitude, you may be able to make $15-$20/hour mowing lawns.
Getting into a regular routine with your customers is the ideal situation, and you can charge a per week or per month fee to care for their lawn. To make even more money, you could add additional services like weeding, edging, etc.
10. Snow Removal
Because mowing lawns can be a seasonal job, you can swap your lawnmower for a snow shovel during the winter. Walking door-to-door in your neighborhood and seeing if people want their sidewalks or driveways shoveled is a good way to make some cash.
Salting after you’ve shoveled is a nice add-on service, and you can charge a little more for that extra.
11. Selling Crafts
Do you make candles? Design jewelry? Woodwork? You can use your creative powers to make a little cash.
The hard part about this option is that you have to invest some time and money into your business before you start getting paid. However, if you’re passionate about it and know where to sell your crafts, you may be able to make it work.
As far as where to well, try craft fairs, selling on Etsy, or selling via social media.
One of my readers made $2,000 crocheting hats and sold them via Facebook over the holidays.
12. Teach a Class
I know a lot of people who’ve had success teaching online courses, and they can be a pretty passive way to make extra money. But to make cash, teaching in-person jobs might be a better way to go.
Yoga, dance, knitting, jewelry making, etc. — there are so many different skills that you can get paid to teach people.
You can reach out to studios and craft stores in your area and see if they’re looking for instructors. This is ideal because they’ll have a built-in customer base and the space to host classes.
13. Festival or Farmers Market Booth
You can sell so many different kinds of things at farmer’s markets or festivals. Like crafts, clothes, food, vegetables from your garden, artwork, etc.
Look online to find a list of festivals and markets in your area, then reach out to the organizers to see how to get a booth. There will likely be a fee, and you may have to bring your own table or tent.
If you’re good at fixing things around the house, you could make decent money as a handyman. You’ll want to avoid electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work unless you have professional certifications, but this varies state-by-state.
You can make money patching drywall, installing light fixtures, mounting TVs, building, building decks, etc. The point is: find out what is and isn’t legal to do in your state without a license before you get started.
Doing well in school can really pay off, and it’s an integral part of getting into college, which is the goal for most kids. However, school is tough, and sometimes kids need help to keep their grades up.
Parents are willing to pay good money for tutoring help, and you don’t necessarily need to be a teacher or have a background in teaching to get paid to tutor. The best tutors know their subjects, but more importantly, they know how to explain them.
Tutors can make $20-$50/hour tutoring subjects like math, English, science, history, or foreign languages. Test prep tutors, like ACT or SAT tutors, can make upwards of $60/hour or more.
16. Street Musician
Busking is one of the oldest cash paying jobs out there. If you’ve got an instrument a little time, you can make some extra cash playing on the street.
My friends and I used to go out on St. Patricks’s Day and play outside the bars in Galveston, TX to make extra cash. Maybe it was the kilts or maybe we were really good, but we always made decent money.
That’s me below, second from the right playing the drums.
17. Paint Houses
Painting is one of those things you either love or hate. People who find it tedious or boring are often willing to pay to have people paint for them.
Professional interior painters charge between $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot, and adding ceiling or trim painting adds an extra $1-$2 per square foot to the job.
18. Craigslist Gigs
Even though Craigslist occasionally gets a bad rep, you can still find cash paying jobs that aren’t scams. The “gigs” section on Craigslist is organized by computer, creative, domestic, crew, event, labor, talent, and writing.
To avoid scams, by getting a full scope of the job before you agree, not accepting checks, and never giving out your personal information.
19. Home Bakery
If you love baking, you can make extra cash selling things like muffins, pies, cookies, and cakes out of your house. Decorative iced cookies are a big thing right now, and you can charge anywhere from $30-$60 for a dozen of custom iced cookies.
20. Make-Up Artist
One of my readers started a side hustle of doing make-up for weddings and big events. She makes $300-$600/day plus tips. She’s even been flown out to Aruba to do make-up for a destination wedding.
21. Sell Electronics
You can make cash selling gently used electronics, like video game consoles, computers, tablets, and more. You can sell things from around the house to get started, but if you know how to fix up electronics, you can make even more selling refurbished electronics online.
22. Sell Food From Your Garden
If you have a green thumb, selling home-grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs could be a good way to make a little extra cash. You could sell at local farmer's markets, set up a booth in front of your house, or advertise on social media.
You don’t need to have a large scale farm to pull this off either. Urban farming has taken off, and there are lots of resources online that teach you how to make the most of your garden space.
23. Auto Detailing
Car detailing has fairly low start-up costs — you just need some rags, a shop vac, and some cleaning supplies. And it’s not uncommon to charge around $50/hour detailing cars.
Living in an area with a high cost of living means you might be able to charge even more, especially if you’re detailing more expensive cars.
24. Fix Cars
Speaking of cars, you might be able to make some cash on the side doing basic car repairs or maintenance. There are lots of people who will pay for basic services like oil changes and the like.
Opening your own garage or becoming a certified mechanic could start to bring in some serious cash.
25. Small Engine Repair
If you’re mechanically minded, small engine repair coil d be one of the best under the table jobs for you. Small engine repair involves fixing things like lawn mowers, generators, mopeds, and other types of motorized power equipment.
Listing your services on NextDoor would be a good way to get started because your clients will be near you, which could make it easier to do repairs
26. Personal Assistant
Personal assistants get paid to schedule appointments, pick up dry cleaning, shop, and so on. Really, they get paid to do any kind of task that doesn’t have to be done specifically by their client.
If you know any busy professionals, you can reach out to them and see if they need help. Or ask them to pass along your contact info to others.
27. Tailor Clothes
You can monetize your sewing skills by hemming pants, altering dresses, etc. Besides advertising your services on social media, you can leave your contact info with high-end boutiques.
For anyone whose dream is becoming a fashion designer, getting paid to tailor clothes could be a good way to get your start.
28. Bike Repair
Biking has gotten really popular since the start of the pandemic because it’s an easy and fun way to exercise. There’s literally no additional equipment required, besides the bike.
And with so many new bike riders, there’s going to be a market for people who know how to fix up bikes. You can get paid to fix flat tires, repair chains, replace brake pads and cables, and so on.
Scrapping metal is hard work, but you can supplement your income if you know what to look for. To make the most cash, you’ll need to be able to spot the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals.
Common nonferrous metals are aluminum, brass, copper, lead, and stainless steel. These typically pay more per pound. The most common ferrous metals are iron and steel, which are the least profitable.
Know how to make an old fashioned? What about a negroni or whisky sour?
You can bring home cash tips as a bartender, but there are also under the table jobs for bartenders who want to work at catered events, like fundraisers, weddings, big parties, etc.
31. Flip Cars
Flipping cars can be a profitable side hustle if you know how to spot a deal and do basic car repairs. The used car market is hot right now, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index reports that used car prices went up 39.8% since 2020.
Depending on where you live, there are limitations to the number of cars you can sell in a single year. So you should do your research before getting too involved.
32. Sell Firewood
If you have a lot of trees on your property or have access to recently cut-down trees, selling firewood might be the right fit for you. Firewood is measured in cords, which is defined as 128 cubic feet of wood — this measures approximately 4’ high x 8’ long x 4’ deep.
A cord of wood ranges from $120-$660 according to HomeAdvisor, and that’s based on the type of firewood. You can sell in half or quarter cords too.
33. Buy and Sell Sneakers
I recently learned about SNKRS, the Nike app where you get updates of highly coveted new sneakers. Then I learned how much people sell the sneakers they buy off the SNKRS app. It blew my mind.
The rise of sneaker culture has fueled the buying and selling market, and back in 20167, Forbes estimated the after-market sneaker market at over $1 billion.
To get started, check out the website Hypebeast to see what’s hot.
Where to Find Under-the-Table Jobs Near You?
If any of these jobs sound appealing and you want to get paid in cash, here are a few ways to find work:
- Word-of-mouth: Let your friends and family know that you’re starting your side gig and ask them to share your information with people they know. Referrals go a long way!
- Social media: Share your new business idea on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. — social media is a valuable tool to get your name out there.
- Craigslist: You can find legit Craigslist gigs that pay cash. Just go to the “gigs” section and start searching.
- NextDoor: This hyper-local platform connects you with your neighbors, and it’s a great way to advertise your services for free.
- Hand out flyers: You can post flyers around the park, in local community centers, or go door-to-door. Going door-to-door helps people put a face with a name and begins to build trust.
The Final Word on Under-the-Table Jobs
You can make quick cash with many of the jobs above, but do the right thing and report your income and pay taxes. It’s expensive to get in trouble, and you don’t want to jeopardize the rest of your finances.If you’re looking for even more ideas, I’m talking side hustles that pay $1,000+ a month, check out our list of best side hustle ideas for 2023.