Rent is no one’s favorite monthly expense — and over the summer, paying rent can be even more annoying.
Maybe you’re a college student headed home for break, desperately (but unsuccessfully) seeking a subletter. Or maybe graduation is growing distant in the rearview, but you’re still looking forward to a jam-packed itinerary of epic summer road trips.
Either way, nothing’s as frustrating as shelling out cash for an apartment you’re not even sleeping in. And if you’re planning a summer staycation, well… who couldn’t use a little bit of extra cushion when the first rolls around?
Luckily, summer’s good for more than beach days and ice cream cones. This sunshiney time of year is also filled with tons of ways to double down on your side hustle game, so you can make extra money fast.
Besides getting free money, here are a few of our favorites.
Rent Out Your Spare Space
Hitting the road this summer? Then you have a perfect opportunity to earn some extra cash by listing your space on Airbnb.
Short-term tenants are often easier to find than a three-month subletter, and per-night rates mean you might do better than breaking even. Just be sure your lease allows for this arrangement — and enlist local help if you won’t be around to assist guests with check-in or clean up the apartment between renters.
Airbnb is a good option if you’ll be sticking around, too; many people earn hundreds of dollars a month just by renting out their couch or spare bedroom. Plus, hey: new friends!
Chauffeur Lost Tourists
Getting those bewildered-looking tourists off the street before they’re mowed down by speedy local traffic? Just consider that a bonus.
Listen, we’re all about body positivity. No matter what the scale says, you’re totally ready to rock a bathing suit just as you are.
But if you’ve been hoping to shed a few pounds for you and could use some extra motivation, listen up: You can actually get paid to lose weight.
Yes, really. Talk about a win-win situation.
Websites like HealthyWage and DietBet allow you to put your money where your mouth is, literally. You enter your target weight, give yourself a reasonable time frame, and place a cash-money bet on your own progress. If you hit your goal, you’ll earn your bet back and a little more on top of it — a nice bonus to go with your renewed dose of confidence.
Go on a Summer Cleaning Spree
Missed the annual spring cleaning blowout? No matter. There’s no law against decluttering your space during the other three seasons.
Hey, it definitely beats getting a real job, right? Here are more ways to make money from home — real pants 100% optional.
Accrue a Savings Account — While You Sleep
All right, we’ll give it to you straight. This one’s not a way to make money, per se.
But if you’d love to save more of the cash you do have (without going through the painful hassle of actually, you know, saving it), let us introduce you to your new best friend: Digit.
This super-smart app connects to your bank account and analyzes your spending habits to calculate the perfect amount of cash to sock away each and every day… without you even noticing. (Don’t worry, you can withdraw the funds whenever.)
After a few weeks, you’ll probably be surprised at how much your spare change adds up. It’s a great way to finally start that emergency fund you’ve been talking about, and can also make rent day a little less stressful.
Long summer days can leave you feeling a little stir crazy — and let’s face it, spouting off can help.
But instead of going on political rants to your friends and family, channel that impulse into survey sites like InboxDollars and Springboard America. Not only will you keep your social circle intact, but you’ll actually earn money in the process.
They may only pay a few cents apiece, but these surveys are crazy easy to fill out while watching Netflix or listening to your favorite podcast. And when it comes to cutting a rent check, every little bit helps!
Sell Those Gift Cards You Got for Christmas
Remember when Christmas was all about tearing into those mysterious-looking boxes you’d been spying since late November? After your 12th birthday, chances are it morphed into an endless parade of envelopes stuffed with gift cards.
But if Aunt Mabel’s best attempt has been sitting at the back of your wallet since New Year’s, you might just be in luck. You can actually sell those gift cards on websites like Raise and transform that plastic into cash money — which, unlike Best Buy credits, your landlord will gladly accept as payment.
If you’re really feeling that over-18 drag lately, here are 13 money tips that make adulting a little less painful.
Find Ways to Work Remotely
If you want to totally hack your summer (and life in general), here’s our very best advice: find a way to earn cash no matter where those sunny roads take you.
From college-student classics (like becoming a barista) to roles a little further from the box (like offering freelance calligraphy services), you’ll benefit from finding the best side hustles out there to help you stash the cash you need to make a break from the cradle. Or you might even consider using some of the best online survey companies.
Or putting your existing skill set to work by starting a freelance business to applying for remote jobs like work-from-home customer service positions, when all you need is a computer and an internet connection, your office can be anywhere. Hello, summer freedom.
See? Paying rent is no sweat — save that for the sunshine.