Are you struggling to keep up with your budget? With the rising prices of goods due to inflation, fuel price hikes, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to make ends meet for many people.
How can you make quick cash? Are there jobs that pay you cash on the spot? How can you make money while working full-time?
If you’re looking for a side hustle to earn cash fast, you might have heard of under-the-table jobs. But is it against the law to work under the table?
There’s a negative ring to the term “under the table,” so we’re also concerned. That’s why we delve deeper into it. We’ve checked official government sites to review some important laws, like when you need to file taxes.
So, read until the end, and don’t skip our list of the best jobs that pay cash directly. You wouldn’t want to miss our top tip on how to find these jobs.
Let’s dive in!
In this article
What does “under-the-table jobs” mean?
Before we dive into our list of jobs that allow you to earn extra money, let’s get these main concerns cleared: What does it mean to work under the table, and is it against the law?
“Under-the-table jobs” means earning money “off the record.” You can be paid cash on the spot, with no tax deductions or reporting and no social security taken.
Businesses must report employment taxes even when they pay cash for your services. You, as an employee or contractor, must also report and file your taxes. Otherwise, both of you risk tax non-compliance, which could have adverse consequences.
One exception is that you don’t need to file taxes when your earnings are below $400. Above that, you must report to the IRS.
With that, let’s get into the jobs that you can take for some extra cash:
22 best under-the-table jobs that pay cash directly
Here are some of the best jobs that pay cash on the spot:
Many parents need help taking care of their little ones so that they can work. Yet, it’s challenging to find stay-in and long-term nannies these days.
Most first-time moms and dads also need time to rest and recharge, so hiring a babysitter can benefit them.
If you love kids, you can offer babysitting services. Some parents may hire for a few hours a day to take care of their kids while they work.
According to UrbanSitter, the national average pay rate for babysitting is $20.57 an hour for one child and $23.25 an hour for two children.
Your friends or relatives are the easier customers to get because they already trust you.
Here are some sites people use to find a nanny:
2. House sitting
House sitting is one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash. Some people will hire you to look after their house while they’re on vacation or traveling for work.
The tasks are also easy, including watering the plants, checking the mail, ensuring the doors are locked, and turning the lights on at night.
The pay rate usually starts at $30 a day, which can double if you have to stay overnight. You can also charge more if it’s combined with pet sitting.
Here are some of the best house sitting websites:
3. House cleaning jobs
If you’re good at cleaning, you can also earn good money from offering cleaning services. Some homeowners may need help to clean their homes once in a while or regularly (e.g., weekly, monthly). They may not have time to do the cleaning themselves, so they hire part-time cleaners.
The tasks are pretty straightforward, which include vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, and washing.
Here’s where you can find house cleaning jobs:
4. Pet Sitter/Dog Walker
If you love animals, this is a good opportunity to earn extra money.
Some pet owners may be busy at work or need to travel for a few days, so they need someone to look after their pets. The job may also include walking their pets outside, washing, and feeding them.
The pay for pet sitting starts at $20; higher if you have to keep the pets overnight.
The best places to find pet sitting jobs include the following:
Have the patience to teach others? If you’re good at academics and like teaching, tutoring is for you. You can teach children or grade school students reading, math, English, and other subjects in person. You can also find tutoring jobs online.
You can earn an average of $20 an hour. You can also charge extra for other more difficult subjects like calculus or algebra.
Where can you find tutoring jobs? Here are a few places:
Painting can be time-consuming and boring to some, but it’s a good way to earn cash. Some homeowners may need help painting their fences, rooms, house exteriors, or furniture.
You don’t have to have a professional license to do painting jobs too. Just equip yourself with basic knowledge about paint and primers and the proper way of applying them on different types of surfaces.
As a beginner, you can charge at least $12 per hour. Professional painters can charge around $20 to $50 per hour.
You can find painting jobs here:
If you’re on the creative side and have a good camera, you can also earn from photography jobs. You can take photos at children’s parties, christening, and other simple events. You can also take product photos or family portraits.
You can start earning $21 per hour. Alternatively, you can offer a packaged service instead of per hour basis.
Aside from covering events, you can also earn extra money from selling your photos online through stock photo sites.
You can find opportunities from the following:
If you know how to bake homemade cookies or specialty cakes, you can make good money selling them. They’re staples in home parties or small events, and almost everyone you know probably loves sweets.
One cookie can sell for $3-4, and you can sell them in 6- or 12-cookie packs.
You can sell your baked good to your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. You can also post them on your social media accounts.
9. Drive People
Driving for other people is one of the most common under-the-table jobs. If you know how to drive and got a license, you can drive for other people using your car or theirs. Seniors, particularly, may need help getting around, such as when visiting their doctors or going to the supermarket.
You can charge at least $15 per hour, plus gas and toll fee if you’re using your own vehicle.
You can ask your neighbors if they need a part-time driver or look for opportunities here:
10. At-Home Daycare
You can use your home as a daycare and look after kids while their parents work. This is also a bit convenient since the parents will bring and pick up their kids.
At-home daycare pay rate starts at around $10 per hour. You can earn more if you can manage to take care of up to three kids.
Take note that you can only babysit without a license if you’re looking after a maximum of three kids not related to you. More than that, you’ll have to register or be a licensed childcare provider.
You can ask your neighbors with small children if you can help look after their kids or advertise your service on your social media accounts.
11. Manual Labor
If you’re good with your hands, you can do some manual labor to earn cash. You can work part-time in a construction site or mechanic shop, or you can do carpentry jobs.
You can expect to earn at least the minimum wage in your state, but the range is typically at $14 to $20 an hour.
You can look for manual labor jobs in your neighborhood or check the following platforms:
12. Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is another excellent way to earn money under the table. If you have some knack for creating blogs and other written content, you can write for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Most freelance writing jobs are online, so if you have a laptop or computer and access to the internet, this should work out well for you.
You can charge per hour, word, or project. Hourly rates range from $30 to $40, according to Upwork. Some freelance writers charge a minimum of $1 per word.
You can find freelance writing jobs here:
Do you have a talent for fixing things—old appliances, broken furniture, leaking pipes? You can make some cash as a handyman and help your neighbors with repairs and general house maintenance.
Amateur handymen can earn at least $14 per hour, which can go as high as $50 per hour, depending on the job's complexity.
Aside from asking your neighbors, you can look for handyman jobs here:
Working homeowners barely have time to tend to their gardens, and that’s where you can come in.
For at least $12 per hour, you can do the gardening for them—water the plants, remove weeds, rake leaves, add mulch, and more. You may also do some landscaping and lawn mowing.
You can ask around your neighborhood or check the following platforms:
- Facebook groups
15. Mowing Lawns
Lawns need to be trimmed regularly, but for busy people, this can be tedious and time-consuming. You can offer to mow lawns for a fee starting at $14 per hour. Pros can charge as high as $60 per hour.
You can promote your service to your neighbors and use your social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
16. Makeup artist
If you know how to apply makeup on other people, it’s a valuable skill that allows you to make some quick under-the-table cash when needed. Don’t forget to take some photos of before and after looks, which you can use to promote your service next time.
You can start charging at $18 per hour, but as you gain more experience and clients, it can go as high as more than $90 per hour.
You can promote your service on social media or find makeup artist jobs on these platforms:
17. Graphic Design
Graphic designing is another excellent skill if you need to make money on the side. You can create logos, social media posts, and other marketing designs for entrepreneurs, website owners, and businesses.
You can charge at least $15 per hour. But if you know your craft and have some work to showcase your skills, the rate can go as much as $150 per hour.
Here are the best job sites for graphic designers:
18. Snow Removal
“I love shoveling snow!” Says no one ever. It’s probably one of the things people hate to do, and that’s where you can come in and offer your help for a fee.
Aside from people who don’t like this chore during the winter, older people will also need help removing snow in their driveway or patio.
The rate typically starts at $25. You can promote your service to your neighbors and join local community groups online.
19. Selling Crafts
Custom jewelry, crochets, woodwork—you can make some under-the-table cash if you know how to do crafts.
You can set your price per piece, but if you need some ideas on pricing, you can calculate it using the $12 to $15 per hour labor cost.
You can sell your crafts on the following sites:
20. Car Washing
Many people own a car, and they always require cleaning. You can earn money from washing cars quite easily for at least $10 per hour.
You only need basic knowledge about cleaning vehicles, even without special equipment.
You can start with your neighbors or put a pop-up booth outside your house and offer the service to vehicles that pass by.
21. Personal Assistant
Personal assistants perform various tasks for someone, like a busy entrepreneur or executive. If you don’t mind doing random tasks and are pretty flexible, this is an excellent opportunity to make extra money.
Tasks can include grocery shopping, picking up their kids after school, and setting their appointments. You can also become a personal assistant online (virtual assistant) and assist people in doing admin tasks for their business.
You can find personal assistant jobs here:
22. Quick Rentals
Do you have extra room in the house? If you’re located in an area where many tourists visit, you can put your extra space up for quick rentals.
Airbnb rental is around $200 per night on average, so you can use that as a basis for pricing your room. You can start lower at $100 per night.
If it’s under the table, you can advertise through your social media accounts.
Aside from Airbnb, you can also rent out your room through:
Where to find under-the-table jobs
Now that you have several ideas of what jobs pay cash directly, the question is, where do you find them?
1. Ask Friends and Family
If you need fast cash on the side, the first people to approach are your family and friends (your neighbors, especially). Ask them if they need any help around their home that you can do for a fee.
You can also tell them what kind of side work you’re looking for, and maybe they can refer you to their friends, too.
Craigslist is a classified ads website where you can find many things, including under-the-table jobs.
You can go to its Gigs section and choose from the posted ads. Just make sure that you verify the details and be wary.
Scammers are also prevalent on the site, so you need to ensure you’re dealing with clients who will actually pay you.
Nextdoor is a social app for local communities where you can stay updated with the local news, support local businesses, and find jobs.
You can find posts there from people in your area looking for pet sitters, baby sitters, house cleaners, and more.
You can visit its website to create an account for free and connect with your neighbors.
4. Job Websites
You can also find some of the best cash-paying jobs on regular job websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, or CareerBuilder.
Just make sure that you filter the local jobs near you and read the descriptions carefully to ensure that they’re paying you cash.
5. Facebook Groups
Another excellent option to find side gigs that pay cash on the spot is Facebook Groups. You can join groups that are specific to your community and watch out for posts that ask for help like lawn mowing, housekeeping, and pet sitting.
Alternatively, you can also promote your services or publish a post saying that you’re looking for some work on the side that pays cash.
6. Reddit Subreddits
Reddit is a forum-like website where you can find lots of information on pretty much anything under the sun. You can find subreddits like r/ForHire where people post gigs, one-time job, and other odd jobs.
Pros and cons of under-the-table jobs
Taking under-the-table jobs can help you earn extra money immediately, but you must also consider its pros and cons.
- • You can earn money fast
- • You receive your pay instantly
- • No tax on your earnings
- • You can do them on your free time
- • There are no hour restrictions
- • They’re a temporary income source only
- • You can be in trouble with the IRS for not reporting your income
- • There are no employment benefits like health insurance or 401k
Under-the-table jobs are good sources of extra money for short-term needs. But if you’re planning to do them full-time, remember to report your income and pay your taxes to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities.
You may also need to register as a solo entrepreneur or LLC or register for a license when necessary.
If you need to find additional income sources to boost your budget, there’s no shortage of under-the-table jobs. From pet sitting to lawn mowing to freelance writing, you can find the best jobs that pay cash instantly in your community or online through various platforms.
Some of the jobs listed above can help you build a career and consistent income over the long term. However, you must ensure that you’re not breaking any laws, such as tax non-compliance.