Join our mailing list to find out more ways to make and save money with little time and effort.


Retire at 30: 7 Habits to Reach Financial Independence Young

Retire at 30: 7 Habits to Reach Financial Independence Young
Jennifer Leach Feb 3, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Early retirement has become a thing. That’s why more and more people are trying to adopt the necessary habits to retire at 30.

It’s something that more and more people are starting to think about seriously.

And, it’s within reach, for many.

People want to quit work sooner, start enjoying life earlier and are willing to do just about anything to get there.

For years, people have worked 40+ years to retire and then just start really enjoying their life in old age.

In retirement years, hiking the Appalachian trail or backpacking across Europe is a much different experience than in your 30s.

So, how can you retire early?

Are people actually doing this?

The answer is yes, you can retire early and people are doing this.

In fact, there are whole communities formed around this movement.

Keep reading while we share these 9 habits of people who retire in their 30s.

Why Retire Early?

For some reasons described above and more, early retirement is very appealing to many people.

I mean, why wouldn’t you want to stop working early, in lieu of retiring and enjoying your time the way you want to?

Here are some of the many benefits of early retirement:
  • More time (for family, travel, etc.)
  • An opportunity to start a new career
  • Possible health benefits (like enjoying more sleep, etc.)
  • Less stress
  • Finding new interests

There can even be unexpected benefits to early retirement.

People dream of retiring early so they can sleep in, have long lunches with friends, road trip on the weekends without having to dread returning to Monday work, get their schedule back, and more.

What is the F.I.R.E. Movement?

It stands for Financial Independent Retire Early.

The goal with F.I.R.E. is taking steps to early retirement like saving and investing aggressively so you can retire somewhere in your 30s or 40s.

So, you’ll be working very hard and making some lifestyle changes (possibly) for a few years to enjoy the rest of your life work-free, in early retirement.

Here’s what you can learn from the F.I.R.E. movement:

It’s about retiring early, so don’t be afraid to dream.

Those dreams are the motivation to keep you going when you’re saving up to 75% of your income, cutting out things like movie dates, eating out, and more.

You’ll want to cut costs as much as you can, in order to save the most.

You can couple this money-saving journey with opportunities to make more money, through side hustles, monetizing a hobby, or starting a small business.

Dave Ramsey says that we can learn this from the F.I.R.E. movement:

  • Start dreaming and planning for retirement
  • Find opportunities to lower your expenses
  • Look for income-boosting opportunities
  • Make saving a priority
  • Make investing a priority

Interested in taking this journey to early retirement?

Participating in F.I.R.E. is one way to do it, along with practicing a certain way of living and having these habits ingrained in yourself.

Here are 9 habits of people who retire early.

1. They are Voracious Savers

It goes without saying.

If you want to retire in your 30s, you have got to be saving.

And, to be in line with the F.I.R.E. movement, that means chucking away half of your income or more into your savings.

If you’re not doing F.I.R.E., it still means that you are going to be saving for the future.

Saving money is a lot easier than most may say.

It’s not necessarily how much you save (more on this later) but, how you save.

Are you saving consistently?

Are you saving more over time?

It’s ok to start with saving $50/month if that’s all you can do, and then increasing that goal slowly over time.

The point is, to continue saving and keep raising the bar.

Saving on Your Top 2 Expenses

Your top 2 most expensive costs every month are probably your housing cost and your car or travel expense.

Housing costs are things like rent or mortgage payment.

And, your car/travel cost is your car or lease payment, or other monthly transportation costs (like the cost of Uber rides, public transportation, etc.).

There are ways to lower these costs and this is how…

First, let’s look at your housing cost.

How can you lower your rent or mortgage payment?

  • Get a roommates
  • AirBNB your space
  • Move to a cheaper area or cheaper place
  • Move in with your family
  • Move back with your parents
  • Move into your car

Getting roommates is money-saving because roommates can split the costs of rent/mortgage payment and other household expenses like electric bill, water, trash, etc.

And, potentially save on other costs like groceries, parking, and other costs that benefit the entire household.

For example, if you’re renting a 2-bedroom apartment for $1,500/month, you could bring on one roommate for the other room and split the costs, making your new rent $750 for your half.

That puts a whopping $750 back in your pocket!

Plus more, if you consider other household utilities and expenses that can also be split.

Where to Find Roommates?
Next, you can Airbnb your space, whether you rent or own.

This means you’ll be renting out a space in your home (like a spare bedroom) or your entire place to short-term renters.

You can make enough from this to pay your entire month’s rent/mortgage payment or more.

Think about if you lived rent-free, how much faster you could save.

Consider this and read more about Airbnb and Airbnb arbitrage to see if this is a good fit for you.

Then, you can always move to a cheaper place or cheaper side of town.

If you live in an area ripe with amenities close to shopping and more, you might consider moving a little further out to save money.

When my sister moved to a big metro area in the U.S., she moved into a luxury area and pays as much for rent on her one-bedroom apartment as I do for my entire house!

While she loves the area, she can walk to many conveniences including shopping, restaurants, and more, she does wants more for her money.

Once her lease ends, she plans on moving a little further out to save on housing costs.

A friend of mine who lives in Louisiana is planning to move to Dallas, TX.

To save money for the move, he moved to a smaller place and took on a roommate.

This helps him save around $600/month which he puts right in his savings account, which will help him with moving expenses and having a buffer in savings for moving to a new area.

Think about making one or both of these moves to help you save more and be one step closer to reaching your goal of early retirement.

Moving in with your family or parents is another alternative.

This is something I personally did when I was moving away from home, transferring to a large university several hours away.

I had a six month gap between the time my lease ended and the time I needed to move so I moved back in with my parents.

In that time, I was saving the cost of rent, utilities, and other housing expenses, which allowed me to make double payments on my debt, like my car loan and credit card debt, AND put money towards my savings twice as fast!

Suck up your pride and think of the bigger picture.

It might be fun to live with your folks again and enjoyable to eat meals together, spend more time, and live back at home.

Moving into your car is something people do to save, believe it or not.

I remember a year ago watching a reality TV show where this small family owed the IRS $30,000.

To pay that debt, they moved into a van while they subletted their home.

They only had to do this for around 6 months or so, then they paid off that debt and moved back home.

I see more and more people turning to van living or car living to embrace a more digital nomadic way of living, which allows them to travel, enjoy freedom and save money on rent, electricity, and other housing costs.

This one is definitely a more extreme way to save a lot.

Check out this story on the true cost of living in a van to get an eye-opening look at this lifestyle.

Saving on Your Monthly Debts

Save money on your monthly debts.

You can do this one of two ways:
  • Lowering your monthly debt expense
  • Paying more toward monthly debts

Both of these things are not necessarily the same.

Lowering your monthly debt does not mean you will automatically pay more toward it each month, though it can.

Here are some ways to lower your monthly debt expense:
  • Call your creditors and ask for lower payments
  • Negotiate a lower interest rate and/or more favorable terms
  • Qualify for a debt reduction

Calling your creditors is easy.

Pick up the phone, reach out to your creditors and ask for lower payments.

They will usually be accommodating in some way or another.

It’s very costly for creditors to recoup their costs of a customer defaults so when they receive requests to lower payments or more favorable terms.

You can do this for credit card companies, utility bill companies, subscriptions like streaming TV providers, and more.

Need more help?

Try one of these word-for-word scripts you can tell your creditors to get to your desired outcome!

More favorable terms can include:
  • A lower interest rate
  • A longer term, which can lower the monthly payment
  • A lower minimum monthly payment
  • And, other arrangements

You may also qualify for a debt reduction, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program which forgives the remaining balance of your Direct student loans after you’ve made 120 (10 years) of qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

So, this first option of lowering your monthly debts, means that you’ll have less money toward these debts and more money towards saving.

Remember, if you’re retiring early, you don’t necessarily have to be debt free.

In retirement you’ll still be having income coming in, from your investments, savings, etc. and you can continue to make some debt payments then.

Consider this example:

  • You can reduce your monthly credit card payment from $250/month to $100/month (putting the extra $150/month in savings) and retire at age 35 but continue to make the credit card payment in retirement, or
  • You can continue to pay $250/month and retire at age 40 with no credit card payment

Which option would you pick?

There’s no right answer.

It really depends on the person.

Some people would be happy to work for 5 more years and retire with no credit card payment while others would relish those 5 years and would rather retire early and make a payment while retired.

It’s a matter of personal choice but this example shows that paying off debt fast isn’t always the answer for everyone.

Next, you can pay more toward your monthly debts.

This means you’ll be paying debts at an accelerated pace, which means you’ll save less but pay off debts faster, so in retirement you have no debt or minimal debt.

This is also an attractive choice that would be an excellent solution for many.

Regardless of the avenue you take, while you are working toward retiring early, you should minimize debt as much as possible.

This means stop taking on more debt, in the form of adding more credit card debt, taking out a home equity loan, etc.

You want to keep moving forward and more debt will move the needle in the opposite direction.

Lowering Your Food Cost

You’ve got to eat and you’ll have food cost, forever.

There are smart ways to lower your food cost, to help you reap savings and contribute that to your retirement fund when you retire in your 30s.

  • Use apps and tools
  • Use cash back sites
  • Meal prep
  • Batch cook
  • Cook at home
  • Stop eating out

Using Apps and Tools

You can take advantage of free apps and tools to help you save money on groceries and food expenses.

You’ll love these apps, which save you in a variety of ways from giving you cash back, alerting you of deals and sales, and more:

The Benefit of Cash back Sites 

With cash back sites, you shop online or in-person and get cash back.

For example, if there’s an offer for $5 cash back when you buy from the Pizza place down the street, you can take advantage to get $5 back, off your order.

These sites are free to use and earn you money on purchases you’d be making anyway to places like pharmacies, general goods stores like Walmart, retail stores, restaurants, and more.

Here are some of our favorite cash back sites:

Meal Prepping to Save

If you are looking to save money and time, try meal prepping!

Meal prepping is super easy and is such a time saver.

It can even help you lose weight!

Here’s how it works:

You plan and prep your meals in advance.

You can use meal prep containers to portion out your servings and meals, then store in the fridge.

When you’re hungry, grab a meal and eat it.

This is great for work and school lunches too, and snacks!

Here are some helpful resources to get you started:
Batch Cooking for Saving Time and Saving Money

Batch cooking involves preparing and cooking food in big batches.

This is beneficial for so many reasons.

You can save time by cooking a lot of food at once and eating from it all throughout the week.

You can also save money, by using up all your kitchen ingredients quickly and cooking in large batches, as opposed to smaller, individual meals.

Check out the 9 rules of batch cooking to get started.

Cooking at Home and Avoiding Eating Out

When given the choice to cook at home or eat out, I’ve always chosen cooking at home.

First, it just tastes better, compared to fast food or meals cooked at restaurants, in my opinion.

Next, you get full control over what’s in your meal.

No more asking for no onions on your pizza or asking for gluten free meal preparation.

You can make your food exactly how you like it.

Plus, it saves a ton of money!

So, to get you one step closer to retiring early, save money on food by abandoning eating out and embracing eating at home.

Start with planning a menu for the week or the month.

Then, shop for your food.

And lastly, cook!

Try batch cooking and meal prep to help you save even more money and save some time, too!

Changing How You Travel

Travel is going to happen.

Whether the unexpected arises, like the need to travel across the country for a funeral, or a much needed vacation for rest and relaxation.

Moving toward early retirement doesn’t mean you can’t travel.

We’re going to talk about two types of travel:

  • Travel for Leisure
  • Travel fo Need

Travel for leisure are things like vacationing or going on road trips for fun.

While it’s recommended you heavily cut back on these, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon this kind of travel all together.

Here are some tips to save the most money when traveling:
  • Plan far in advance
  • Make a budget for your trip
  • Travel to non-touristy locations
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel
  • Stay at an AirBNB instead of a hotel
  • Walk and bike ride at your destination instead of taking expensive taxis or Uber rides
  • Book your flight and accommodations early
  • Travel during the off season

You can get a great deal on your vacation too, if you are a member of websites like: Groupon, Living Social, or sign up for cheap flight alerts through places like Kayak.

Next, traveling for the need means your required commute like going to work, school, grocery shopping, running errands, going to doctors appointments, etc.

Apart from carpooling or taking public transit (two cost-effect solutions), you can save money on your car expense in other ways, like:

  • Using the cheapest gas (check out Gas Buddy to find out which gas stations in your area has the best prices)
  • Getting your vehicle maintenance (oil change, tune up, etc.) on time
  • Not speeding
  • Not carrying a lot of weight on your vehicle (like transporting luggage on your roof)
  • Using unleaded fuel
  • Shopping around for car insurance

Going Extreme with Saving

Lastly, a route many people take: extreme saving.

Extreme saving measures will really push you to the limit.

These are out of the box savings strategies that work but, not without sacrifice.

Here are some crazy, extreme saving ideas to help you boost your savings quickly and move one step closer to early retirement:
  • Cut your hair at home
  • Eat like a college student
  • Recycle everything
  • Say no to disposables
  • Don’t buy ready-made or convenience foods
  • Drink water
  • DIY it
  • Shop second hand
  • Move in with your parents

Read more on extreme saving strategies to explore more ways to save.

2. They make Sacrifice

Another habit of people who retire in their 30’s is that they make sacrifice.

Looking at all the examples of saving in #1 above, you can see that sacrifice is definitely an integral part of the equation.

It’s all about giving up something for the greater goal.

Would you give up eating fast food for 8 years if it meant you could retire at age 32?

Would you live with roommates for 12 years to save as much as you can so you can retire at 40?

You have to ask yourself if you’re really willing to work and work hard, toward the goal of retiring early.

And, if you are, then sacrifice will be part of that.

When I made the decision to become an entrepreneur, I sacrificed for 18 long months.

During that time, I worked two jobs.

I had my full-time 9 to 5 job.

This was the job I got right out of college that I had been working for 7 years.

It was a job I really disliked, despite the nice people I worked with, excellent benefits, bonuses, and more.

My second job was my small business.

I operated an e-commerce store and every moment I had spare time was dedicated to the store.

My schedule looked like this:
  • 5am Wake Up
  • 5:30am Feed baby
  • 6am Get ready for work
  • 7am Drive to Work
  • 8am Arrive at work
  • 10:30am First Break-work on business
  • 12pm Lunch-work on business
  • 3pm Afternoon Break-work on business
  • 7pm-get home from work
  • 7pm to 8pm-spend time with family, eat dinner, put baby to sleep
  • 8pm-2:30am work on business

It was hectic and crazy.

And then, 18 months after I started, I was making enough money from the business to quit my day job.

So, I did and I quit!

I sacrificed my time, energy, spent less time with my family, spent less time for personal passions and more time to pursue the business, and it paid off.

Moving toward early retirement is similar.

It’ll be a journey and it can feel very taxing on you, but once you reach early retirement, you’ll know it’s totally worth it.

3. They are Goal-Driven

Next, people that retire in their 30’s are goal-driven.

You have to centered around goals to retire early.

After all, early retirement is a goal, isn’t it?

It takes a lot of time and preparation plus, a fair amount of diligence and dedication to execute your plan to achieve your end goal.

Being goal driven means that you’re serious about making a plan and following through with it.

And, being goal-driven is actually one of the seven great habits of successful people.

4. They Plan

Planning is such a critical piece of early retirement.

Retiring early centers around a plan.

You start with an idea, you want to retire early.

Next, you craft a plan to get there.

That includes some of the things we mentioned up above, like cooking at home, saving as much as you can, avoiding taking on new debt, etc.

This is executing your plan.

Along the way, you’ll measure your results, make adjustments as needed, and continue moving forward to your goal.

Planners are people that are well-organized, determined and diligent.

If you don’t possess these qualities, if you see it through to early retirement, you will develop these traits along the way!

5. They Wake Up Early

Did you know that the most successful people wake up early?

Early, like 5am early, or earlier.

It’s true.

The CEO of Apple starts his day at 3:45am.

Oprah Winfrey rises at the crack of dawn.

So does, Michelle Obama, Indra Nooyi, and others, according to this source.

Many argue that the biggest predictor of success is having a routine.

And, waking up early helps to determine that routine.

You’d be surprised to hear the number of successful people that are early risers.

One of the perks I absolutely love about being an entrepreneur and working from home is making my own schedule.

Friends ask me how late I sleep in and are surprised to hear that I get up every day at 6am, even on weekends.

They wonder why I wouldn’t sleep in.

Well, waking up make me feel better, I get more accomplished during the day and it helps me start my day off right, on my routine.

Waking up early has so many more neat benefits.

Give this a try and see how you feel.

6. They Max Out Their Employer Matching 401(k)

A 401K is a retirement account offered by your employer.

It’s a great way to help you grow your nest egg for retirement.

Many organizations have a company match, where they match dollar for dollar, up to a certain amount.

For example, if you contribute 6% of your income, they match and also contribute 6% of your income toward the 401(k).

It’s like making double payments towards your retirement and you should never pass up free money.

Make sure you are doing this at your job.

7. They Aren’t Afraid to Live Outside Their Comfort Zone

Deciding to work toward early retirement is a big decision and not without sacrifice.

Many people have to make lifestyle changes or sacrifice in order to move toward the greater goal.

Working overtime consistently, taking on a weekend job, cooking at home most of the time, and other changes can be tough to make.

Sticking by them for years is required sometimes, in order to retire early.

These things all have one thing in common, they may involve living outside your comfort zone.

This is a quality that many people who retire in their 30’s have.

8. They Dream and Reimagine Their Future

One of the first steps to make when deciding to retire early is dreaming about how you’d like your future to look like as a retiree.

Do you want to travel the world?

Do you want to relax at home, enjoy sleeping in, and garden?

So, being a dreamer is something that many early retirees have in common.

9. They Aren’t Afraid to Work

Early retirees are not afraid to work.

Work is a big part of moving toward early retirement.

Because it takes hard work and diligence to do goal setting and execute those goals.

It takes an effort to keep your eye on the prize and continue embracing new lifestyle changes in order to meet your goal.

And, actually taking on extra work, in the form of side hustles, taking on a second job, or overtime, is often involved and a part of working toward early retirement.

It takes money to save money.

Working more and increasing your income means that you can save at a faster pace.

Taking this approach, coupled with saving is what a lot of early retirees do in order to enjoy a life of retirement in their 30’s.

Here are some examples of extra income opportunities that you can pursue to up your income game:
  • Jobs for Introverts
  • Jobs for Extroverts
  • Driver Jobs
  • Side Hustles
  • Small Business
  • Traditional Income Earners
  • Non-traditional Income Earners

Jobs Perfect for Introverts

Introverted people are inward-facing.

Social situations make them feel stressed and anxious in some cases.

They enjoy independent work in quiet settings, so they can shine the most.

Wondering if you could be an introvert?

Do you have some of these traits?

  • Being around many people drains your energy
  • You like solitude
  • You have a small, close group of friends
  • You would consider yourself as quiet or reserved
  • You get distracted by too much stimulation

Here are some examples of jobs that will be great for introverts:

  • Instacart shopper
  • Graphic designer
  • Virtual assistant
  • Copywriter
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Software programmer

Check out these 15 easy to start side hustles for introverts, to give you more ideas.

Jobs Extroverts Will Love

As an extrovert, you enjoy being around people and you thrive in social settings.

With a go-getter kind of attitude, jobs that have these characteristics are a great fit for you:

  • Problem-solving
  • Social and working close with others
  • One-on-one with peers and customers
  • High communication settings
  • Networking

Sales, customer-service based, and active jobs are good for extroverts.

Sales positions involve a lot of communication.

You’ll be selling to customers and this involves strong communication and persuasion skills.

Extroverts may not feel overwhelmed or stressed in social settings or environments where lots of communication and one-on-one interaction is required.

Some examples of sales jobs include:
  • Direct salespeople
  • Real estate agents
  • Sales managers

These positions can be found in retail, communications, pharmaceuticals, education, and many other fields.

Customer service jobs involve being friendly, approachable, confident and a great communicator.

You’ll be working with stakeholders in your industry, whether it be peers, customers, management, etc.

Customer service jobs can include customer support for tech companies, grocery and food service industry establishments, and virtually every single industry out there.

Because companies need a point of contact for support, to answer questions, provide guidance and assistance, put in requests for tasks to be completed, and more.

Lastly, jobs that require lots of activity are really great for extroverts.

These can include outdoorsy-type jobs or jobs where you aren’t tied to a desk, like:
  • Tour guide
  • Fitness instructor
  • Photographer

Read about more jobs for extroverts.

Driver Jobs to Work from Your Car

Driver jobs involve working from your car.

People are crazy about driver jobs because they involve working on the go, in a casual environment, and in many cases on your own terms, like based on a schedule that you get to choose.

Here are some driver jobs that are great for extra money and work well around your current work schedule:

These jobs revolve around delivering people or delivering things.

When you deliver people, you’ll be acting as a taxi driver, more or less, with work revolving around picking up and dropping off passengers.

This kind of work is great because it’s short, your main work is just driving, it can be stress-relieving and comes with a ton of perks, like:

  • Weekly pay
  • On-demand work
  • Choose your own schedule
  • Casual dress
  • Work from your car
  • And, more!

Delivering things can include food delivery and delivering goods, like groceries or store items.

This means you’ll drive to pick up the goods, then deliver them to the customer’s doorstep.

Either way you decide to go, driver jobs may be an awesome fit for you!

My brother-in-law did this for years and it worked perfectly for his situation.

He attended school while his wife worked a day job.

He was able to bring income in for his family while attending school and caring for his baby.

His family saved money on the day care expense that would’ve existed if he was working a traditional job.

He was an Uber driver and really loved it!

Everyday Side Hustles to Try

You’ll really enjoy this huge list of everyday side hustles to try, to help you raise money to get you closer to your goal of early retirement.

A side hustle is a side job that you take on, in addition to your primary work.

There’s a lot of variety in this list.

Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to practice #7, the early retiree habit of being outside your comfort zone.

Here’s the list:
  • Retail arbitrage
  • Flea market flipping
  • Website flipping
  • Amazon FBA selling
  • Virtual assistance
  • Social media management
  • Digital marketing
  • Digital publishing
  • Babysitting
  • Petsitting
  • Pet walking
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blogging
  • Life coaching
  • Resume writing
  • Sales page writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic design
  • Voiceover services
  • Translation
  • Transcription
  • Day trading
  • Social media influencer
  • Content creator
  • Ebook author
  • Digital course creator
  • House cleaner
  • Event planner

Retail arbitrage

This is about buying products low and selling high, pocketing the difference, the profit, as your income.

For example, you could buy a cashmere sweater on sale at Macy’s for $20 and resell on Ebay for $50, earning $30 profit (before fees).

This is a whole industry that tons of people are making a full-time living at.

It’s not difficult, it just requires time and a budget to buy goods up front, then flip for a profit.

You can resell on marketplaces like Ebay or Amazon.

You can also resell in person at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, and other places.

Flea market flipping

Flea market flipping is a form of arbitrage, as shared above.

It focuses on buying and selling from flea markets, like buying an antique set of flatware at a flea market and reselling at a huge markup.

Flea markets can be real goldmines for arbitrage because you can find a lot of hidden treasures that can make you a lot of money.

Website flipping

Website flipping is another type of arbitrage!

You buy and sell websites for profit!

For example, you can buy a fitness blog for $1,000, spend a month improving it, and then resell it for $3,000, keeping the difference, $2,000 as your profit!

I have actually been doing this for years, earning over six figures in the process.

Website flipping is a lot of fun.

It’s rewarding and can be very lucrative.

Learn more about website flipping in this free case study.

Amazon FBA selling

Amazon FBA is Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon merchant program.

You’ll be an Amazon seller and your goods will be fulfilled by Amazon.

That means when you sell your cashmere sweater on Amazon, instead of you being responsible for shipping it to the customer, Amazon will do the shipping.

This takes a lot of work off your hands and lets you focus on other parts of your business.

Read more about Amazon FBA to see if it might be a good fit for you.

Virtual assistance

As a VA (virtual assistant), you’ll be supporting a business doing virtual tasks like:

  • Email management
  • Calendar management
  • Note-taking during meetings
  • Social media scheduling
  • Copywriting
  • And, other duties, depending on your client

Virtual assistants can start at $15/hour and some make up to $10,000/month or more.

It’s a good fit for so many people who have the skills to do administrative-type duties to help a busy entrepreneur or professional.

There are VA’s for personal services too, like scheduling doctor’s appointments, coordinating big family dinners, etc.

People are busy and VA’s are the perfect people to help them achieve balance.

Find a job like this in a freelance job bank like Upwork.

Social media management

Do you love playing on social media?

You can get paid to play on social networks as a social media manager.

You’ll be in charge of helping businesses connect with their customers via social media.

You might do tasks like:

  • Polling the Facebook fan page audience
  • Posting to Twitter
  • Creating ads for Pinterest
  • Creating social media graphics for posting on Instagram
  • Measuring growth and looking at analytics to uncover trends, and more!

Digital marketing

Digital marketing encompasses all online marketing, like email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and more!

As a digital marketer, your job will be to help your client reach more people through the internet.

Recommended reading: 10 Digital Marketing Jobs That Pay Well

Digital publishing

Digital publishing is about publishing content online, through blogs, content sites, etc.

Your job will be to create content for online publishing.

This can be to drive awareness to a cause, drive traffic to a monetized blog post, etc.

You can do this kind of work for your own digital content or for clients.


Babysitting means you’ll be watching kids for your clients.

This might include doing things like picking up kids from school, preparing snacks or meals, helping kids with their homework, light cleaning, etc.

For people that love kids or are really good with kids, this is the perfect job.

You can find babysitting jobs on places like Care or Sitter City.


Petsitters watch pets for others.

This supports busy pet owners that may need their pets watched while they are traveling or busy at work.

Pet walking

Pet walking means you’ll be walking pets like dog walking, for busy pet owners.

You can find pet walking jobs at Wag and Rover.

Affiliate marketing

As an affiliate marketer you will get paid to refer products to people.

If your referral results in a sale, you earn a commission.

For example, if you refer a gym membership to your best friend, you could earn $100.

I referred Rakuten to my sister and earned $25 and she earned $10.

This is exactly how affiliate marketing works.

You can refer in various ways on platforms like through email, social media, your blog and other places.

Read more about affiliate marketing with these 10 quick tips for beginners.


As a blogger you’ll write content and share with an audience, making money through:

  • Sponsorships
  • Advertisements
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Your own products and services

Learn how to start a blog in our free 7-step guide.

Life coaching

Life coaches can help people in various ways, from getting more organized, leading a more productive life, practicing mindfulness and stress management, and in other ways.

Learn how to become a life coach here.

Resume writing

Resume writers help people write professional resumes.

This can be through coaching or by actually writing the resume for others.

Resumes are so important because they are a gateway to getting hired with a company.

For sharp writers with experience in resume writing or professional writing, this is a great side hustle to take up.

I recently read a story where a resume writer went from zero to $200,000/year through platforms like Thumbtack.

Other places to score resume writing jobs:

Sales page writing

Sales page writers will create professional, converting sales pages for people.

A sales page is typically a web page that is selling a product or service to the public.

There is definitely an art to writing a great sales page.

It takes excellent copywriting skills and a good understanding of human psychology to craft a well-converting sales page.

This is a higher paying copywriting job that requires a lot of skill and you can find jobs in this field on Indeed and Upwork.


Ghostwriting is copywriting where you don’t get credit for your writing.

This means you’ll be writing for someone else and they will take credit.

This can be for ebooks, white papers, resumes, etc.

You can find ghostwriting jobs on freelance job banks, on job search engines, on social media, online classifieds, and more.


Copywriting is writing for magazines, websites, blogs, professionals, companies, etc.

You can write many pieces of content, from:

  • Blog posts
  • Sales letters
  • Email sequences
  • Courses
  • Ebooks
  • Books
  • And, more!

Graphic design

Graphic designers are responsible for designing for others.

This can be the design of social media graphics, book covers, business cards, sales pages, and more.

If you’re creative and have design skills, this might be a natural fit for you.

Voiceover services

Voiceover is when you talk over recorded video or audio.

This is narration for storytelling, broadcasting, etc.


If you’re bilingual or know multiple languages, you can make money translating for others.

Places Where You Can Work Translation Jobs

Check out these additional translation jobs where you can work from home.


In a transcription job, you’ll be listening to audio and typing what you hear.

Transcriptionists can earn up to $25/hour and there’s a lot of flexibility in this industry, to allow you to design your dream schedule, work from home, and more perks.

Places to Find Transcription Jobs

Day trading

Day trading is buying and selling financial instruments during the same day for the purpose of making a profit.

There is definitely a certain skill needed to make money day trading.

If you’re curious about venturing into this for the purpose of making money, try taking a course or tutorials to get a really strong understanding of it all.

Learn more about what day trading is and if it’s right for you.

Social media influencer

Working as a social media influencer means that you’ll have an audience on social media, that will buy from you, in the form of purchasing products and services, clicking on links (where you benefit and get paid, like affiliate links or ads), and the opportunity to work with brands that pay you to post on your social networks.

Influencers can make a full-time living with as little as 1,000 followers.

Targeting networks like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to start and you can go really far by being proactive and contacting brands and companies directly, by pitching!

You can also join influencer networks, that will help match you with opportunities that will make you money.

Some examples include Massive SwayIzea, and Linqia.

Content creator

Content creation is all about creating content for others to consume.

This can be video content, written content, graphic illustrations, a combination of all, etc.

How can you make money as a content creator?

YouTube content creators get paid in advertising revenue when they monetize their videos.

Take a look at what the highest paid YouTuber’s earned in 2019.

Bloggers, social media influencers, website owners, and others are also content creators and can make money in a variety of ways, from partnering with brands in a sponsorship to developing and selling their own products.

If you’re a creative, this might be something you’d want to venture in.

Ebook author

An author of an ebook is the person that creates and writes the book, then distributes it to their audience, whether it be an email list, showcasing on social media, using paid advertisements, or self publishing on platforms, like Amazon KDP.

Digital course creator

Creating digital courses is a great way to create passive income for yourself.

Spend the time and work to create the course, sell to your audience, then enjoy sales in the future with little to no work.

Here are some platforms you can sell your course on:

Here are some examples of successful course creators:
  • Mariah Coz has had multiple six figure launches
  • Michelle has earned $50,000/month from her affiliate course sales for bloggers
  • Videofruit made over $220,000 in 10 days from their course launch

How to Create an Online Course?

1. Come up with a course idea

2. Validate the idea

3. Create your launch plan

4. Launch

Coming Up with Your Course Idea

Coming up with your course idea can require more work than you think.

You want to solve a pain point, help your audience with their problems by presenting a solution, in your course.

Look at your course topic and do some research to make sure it isn’t too saturated.

You don’t want to be lost in the sea of online courses for that topic.

Then, validate your idea.

Validating Your Idea

Validation means you’ll test your course idea on a small sector of your target audience and based on the results, you can decide to move forward with the full course creation or not.

This can be preselling your course to test the interest and see if people would be willing to pay for access to the material you’ll be teaching.

You CAN sell your course before you actually create it.

Read about the 6 steps to a successful presale.

Creating Your Launch Plan

Then, once you’ve validated your course idea and the course has been created, it’s time to launch.

Build your launch plan that may include:

  • Emailing your list
  • Creating one or more webinars
  • Announcing on social media

And then, you’ll launch!


For the launch, make yourself available and be responsive to your students and prospective students.

This is especially important if you are not launching an evergreen course and it’ll be open for a limited window of time.

House cleaner

Get paid to clean houses.

This is a great side hustle for those who want to be up and about, being active in their job.

Your job here will be to clean houses.

You can also clean commercial spaces like office buildings, etc.

You can do this on your own or create a team.

You’ll need cleaning supplies, transportation, and clients.

House cleaners can make up to $50/hour and with a typical house cleaning taking around 3 hours, that means you would only need 5 clients/month cleaning their house twice a month, to earn $1,500/month.

To get clients quickly, consider going on deal websites like Groupon and offering a discount on your services.

You can also look at investing in paid ads like Facebook ads to give your business an income boost.

Event planner

You’ll get paid to plan events.

This can be birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, corporate events, and more.

If you are well-organized and enjoy the whole process of planning an event, event planning might be the perfect side hustle for you.

Considering a mid-size event running around $2,000, you could do one a month and create a separate full-time income source for yourself!

Get clients through word of mouth, advertising, or through social media and networking.

Need more ideas?

Check out these resources:

Small Business Ideas You’ll Like

Next up, you can start a small business as a way to make extra money to stash away in your early retirement fund.

Small business ideas can be about a hobby you’re passionate about, an industry you know a lot about, or a side gig that branches off what you do in your 9 to 5 job.

My good friend actually did this a few months ago.

She works for a company where she does a lot of different things, including event planning.

She loves planning events so she started her own event planning business on the side.

It’s the perfect fit for her because she’s been doing it for over 10 years and really enjoys it.

This is a great example of taking your current job and spinning it into a side business for extra money.

Small business ideas to consider:
  • Ecommerce
  • Online Tour Guide
  • Tutor
  • Pet grooming
  • Interior design
  • Bakery
  • Crafting
  • Network marketing
  • Public relations

Recommended reading: 20 Home-Based Business Ideas That You Can Start From Home.

Traditional Extra Income Opportunities

For those looking for traditional extra income opportunities, that could include pursuing more overtime at work or getting a second job at a brick and mortar place of business working nights and weekends.

This means taking advantage of overtime at your place of work.

It also means looking for part-time jobs that will work around your current schedule.

This could include jobs in these industries:
  • Retail
  • Food service
  • Book stores
  • Grocery
  • Warehouses

Non-traditional Extra Income Ideas

Then there are the non-traditional extra income opportunities.

This can include some of the side hustles and small business ideas described above.

It can also include some of these non-traditional ideas for more money:

  • Survey Taking
  • Sell photos
  • Selling feet pictures
  • Participating in studies
  • Teaching English online
  • Renting out your spare bedroom
  • Get paid to test video games
  • Renting out your equipment
  • Selling your crafts on Etsy

Survey Taking

There’s a lot of opportunity for taking surveys online for extra money.

You won’t get rich doing this and you won’t be making a full-time income by any means, but you can make a little extra money which you can use to put toward your savings account to get you one step closer to your early retirement goals.

Surveys are loved by many because of their flexibility:

  • Take surveys when you want
  • Available 24/7
  • Pay via PayPal, direct deposit, check, gift cards, and rewards
  • Get paid to share your personal opinion
  • Feel fulfilled by shaping the way that companies create their products for consumers

Here are some top survey companies you can start with:

Take a look at these 10 top survey sites that will make you $300/month or more.

Selling Photography

Selling your own photos can be done online with the help of websites and apps like:

Here are 15 ways to make money selling photos.

Selling Pictures of Your Feet

This has been a trending topic on the internet over the past few months or so.

Among wacky things to sell online like smelly socks are pictures of your feet.

There are whole communities dedicated to buying and selling feet pics and some sellers are claiming earning up to $3,000 in a week doing this.

This is definitely one of the more non-traditional ways to make extra money.

Participating in Studies

Have you ever heard commercials on TV or radio for a new prescription drug, along with a huge list of side effects?

There are studies for those drugs and you can make a lot of money participating in them.

I had a friend who would participate in studies from time to time and earn $1,200 to $2,500 per study.

Each study can vary.

Some are overnight and some require you to spend a few hours there and you can return to your home in the evening.

You can find out more about paid medical studies here. 

Teaching English Online

You can partner with an ESL company and teach English to Chinese students online.

You’ll be given the curriculum and all the teaching materials and you can earn up to $25/hour doing this part-time.

Here are some ESL companies to review:

Renting Out Your Spare Room

There’s a company called Neighbor that will pay you to rent your space as storage space for their customers.

It’s like the AirBNB of storage units.

If you have a spare bedroom, attic, basement, garage or other space available, you could make up to $15,000/year passively with Neighbor.

How it works?
  1. List Your Space for Free
  2. Respond to renters
  3. Make money

Listing your space for free is easy and they even have an app.

Next, interested renters will reach out to you and you can see what they’ll be storing or even have the option to meet them in person.

Lastly, make money!

Click here to read more about Neighbor and start listing your space.

Getting Paid to Test Video Games

With Playtest Cloud, they pay you to test video games.

So, it’s like getting paid to play games.

Here are other companies that pay you to play:

Renting Your Equipment

For owners of expensive photography equipment, you could get paid to rent out your gear.

Take a look at Kitsplit to get started renting out your camera equipment for cash.

Selling Crafts on Etsy

If you’re crafty you can monetize your passion by selling on Etsy.

Etsy is an online marketplace that brings together buyers with creative sellers that offer one of a kind products that are handmade.

Ideas for products to sell on Etsy:
  • Digital prints
  • T-shirts
  • Coffee mugs
  • Cookies
  • WordPress themes
  • And, more!

Go to their Categories and peruse all the different selling categories, to give you some inspiration.

Final Thoughts

You can see that early retirees have these core things in common:

  • They are great at saving
  • They aren’t afraid to sacrifice
  • They are goal-driven
  • They are good planners
  • They wake up early
  • They max out their 401(k)
  • They aren’t afraid to live outside their comfort zone
  • They are dreamers
  • They aren’t afraid to work, to increase their income

Do you have any of these characteristics?

If you do, you share these things in common with people who retire at 30.

What are you going to do to achieve your dream of early retirement?

Jennifer Leach

Leave a Reply