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Have you ever laid in bed late at night, unable to sleep?
You’ve got your phone in your hand and the calculator app is open.
How am I going to afford this car repair? What about Christmas presents? Will I have enough to finish my physical therapy treatments?
If you could use a bit more cash in your life, you’re not alone.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to make $5000 a month from home.
No boss. No commute. No pants.
Table of Contents
How to make $5,000 a month from home (or anywhere)
Five thousand dollars a month is well over the 2020 U.S. median income of $41,535.
There are plenty of ways to pull in five grand per month from the comfort of your home, but they aren’t going to happen overnight.
That said, if you’re willing to grind, you can get there. And when you no longer have to drag yourself to the office every day to pay the bills, all that hard work will be worth it.
Note: Income data for several jobs was drawn from Indeed’s salary database.
1. Freelance your skills
Freelancing is one of the quickest ways to start earning from home. Especially if you freelance a skill you already have (or a freelance job that’s easy to learn).
The beauty of this kind of work is, as you freelance, you build more skills. And as you build more skills, you can charge higher rates.
This is a broad word that encompasses many different jobs. Here are some of the skills that fall under the term:
✔️ Data Entry
✔️ Graphic Design
And the list goes on. Here are some great ideas for beginners:
These are all viable options, but some are more scalable than others. And if you want to earn $5000 per month without working yourself to death, you’ll need to choose a valuable service.
How to make $5,000 a month freelancing
There are many routes that’ll take you to $5000, but let me give you a personal example.
I am a freelance writer.
When I’m in the zone, I can pump out three $250 articles per day.
So in less than a week of work — albeit uber-focused, mentally draining, 10-cups-of-coffee-per-day work — I can hit $5000.
That said, most days my brain runs out of gas after half a day, and I only write one or two articles. But three is certainly possible.
Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this for several years, slowly working my way up the ranks. Unless you are already an expert in a certain field, it’ll probably take a while to get to this point (unless you’re an absolute superstar).
But even if you made a quarter of that, you’d still grind out $5000 in a month.
If you’re interested in how I got started, I made a free course on how to earn your first $1k as a freelance writer. Grab it below 🙂
If writing isn’t your jam, there are plenty of other options as well. For inspiration, hop on Fiverr and see what services people are offering. They aren’t all $5k ideas, but they should get your juices flowing.
Complementary side hustle
Doing freelance work from home is awesome. Ridding yourself of long commutes, time clocks, and micromanaging bosses can be empowering.
However, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. It’s unhealthy to sit in your home office all day and night. I feel like I’m slowly transforming into a sedentary hunchback.
To avoid this, look for extra side hustles that get you out of the house and moving around.
For example, Instacart will have you walking around grocery stores. And apps like Rover can help you start a dog-walking side hustle.
2. Drop servicing
Drop servicing is like freelancing on steroids.
If you’ve heard of dropshipping, it’s a similar idea.
Drop servicing is a type of arbitrage. You’re basically a digital service reseller. Kind of like an agency.
You land clients who need a service — SEO, email marketing, graphic design, video animations, whatever — then instead of doing the work yourself, you outsource it to another freelancer willing to do the work for less.
How to earn $5000 per month drop servicing
Drop servicing is all about marking up a digital service and finding someone to do it cheaper.
When you outsource all the work, your income is no longer tied to how much client work you can fit into a day (like it is with freelancing).
You just need to build your team, then land as many clients as possible.
For example, let’s say you charge $500 to make short video intro animations for Youtube channels. Then, you pay another freelancer $200 to do the work for you.
That’s $300 in your pocket. Do that 17 times, and you have over $5000. The higher your margins, the fewer clients you need to land.
And if you sell a recurring service, things start adding up fast.
But to scale as quickly as possible to $5k per month, you need to follow a proven system.
Here is my complete Drop Servicing Blueprint review, if you’re interested. Yes, I took the entire course — it’s a beast!
Complementary side hustle
Freelancing is a great place to start with this kind of work.
Not only does mastering the service you sell make drop servicing easier, but it also allows you to network with freelancers who could join your team.
That said, if you hire a solid team, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the service you’re selling. You just need to know how to sell it (and trust that your team of freelancers won’t let you down).
You can go all in and start a drop servicing business from the get-go, but sometimes it’s easier to ease into it.
Land as many freelance clients as you can. And once you can’t keep up with all the work, start outsourcing it.
3. Internet scoping
Most people have never heard of internet scoping, making it the perfect under-the-radar remote job for anyone interested in law.
Scopists freelancer for court reporters. Court reporters transcribe court proceedings live using a special stenography machine. But since they’re typing a mile a minute using special stenography language, their work is littered with mistakes.
That’s where a scopist comes in. They take the rough transcript along with the audio recording, and they clean it up into a final error-free transcript.
If that sounds intriguing, check out my full guide on internet scoping jobs.
How to make $5,000 a month as a scopist
According to the Internet Scoping School, full-time entry-level scopists earn roughly $30,000 a year. But experienced scopists with speedy fingers can earn up to double that — $60,000 per year, or roughly $5000 per month.
Scoping has a slightly higher bar to entry than some of the other ideas on this list. You need to go through training. But look on the bright side, a higher bar to entry means less competition for you.
To get your feet wet, start out with this free scoping training.
Complementary side hustle
If you’re skilled enough to become a scopist, you should also have no problem landing freelance proofreading or legal transcription jobs.
Speaking of which, if legal proceedings sound boring to you, maybe you’re better suited as a proofreader. Here’s how to start a freelance proofreading business.
Content creation continues to explode in 2021.
Whether that be blogging, Youtubing, or podcasting, creating content has become one of the most popular ways to go into business for yourself.
Youtube has overtaken blogging as far as content consumption goes, but there are two reasons why I still recommend blogging.
#1.) Not everyone feels comfortable in front of a camera
#2.) Youtube is a third-party platform, so you’re building your entire business on someone else’s turf. This is risky. A blog, on the other hand, is your own piece of internet real estate.
In the end, you can’t go wrong with either option. Choose whichever you feel more comfortable with. Or you can do both (although I’d start with just one).
To give you an example of how this business works, here are some travel blogs that make money (and how they do it). You don’t necessarily have to make a blog about travel, but it’ll get your juices flowing.
How to make $5,000 a month blogging
As a blogger (or any type of content creator), you have many potential income streams.
That means there are many combinations to hit $5000. For example, you might earn:
➕ $1500 from ads on your site
➕ $1500 in affiliate commissions for promoting products you love
➕ $1200 in online course and digital product sales — exclusive content you create for your audience to help them achieve a specific goal
➕ $500 in sponsored content paid by other brands
➕ $300 in consulting services from people who need your expertise
Or you could go all-in on one monetization method, like my role model, Jon Dykstra, who currently earns over $80,000 per MONTH from his portfolio of niche sites — mostly from display ads.
After trying several different strategies over the years, I think this display ads method is the easiest to start in 2021. To see how it works, check out Jon’s free training.
Complementary side hustle
As mentioned, blogging meshes perfectly with several other side hustles.
A Youtube channel or podcast can capture a new audience and drive traffic to your blog (and vice versa).
If your niche is product-based, you could also create your own product to sell to your audience.
Lastly, as your blog grows, you’ll start to be seen as an expert in your field. This can open up big opportunities.
For example, I have a friend who ran a personal finance blog and podcast. As she networked within the industry, she connected with the manager of a behemoth personal finance podcast looking for a freelance podcast director.
Now she makes bank freelance on the side.
5. Virtual assistant
If you have no clue what you want to do (or don’t want to take time to learn new skills), then becoming a virtual assistant might be right up your alley.
General virtual assistants take care of basic virtual tasks for their clients. Things you probably already know how to do. Like managing email inboxes, formatting text, managing spreadsheets, making phone calls, etc.
You can work from home as an independent contractor, and if you find a general VA job that involves different tasks, you’ll have plenty of variety in your work.
That said, general VAs usually get stuck with the mundane, time-consuming tasks that their clients don’t want to do. So it might not be the most exciting work in the world.
Also, this type of basic work doesn’t pay as well, so it’ll be harder to reach $5k. To earn more, you’ll need to specialize and offer higher-value services.
How to earn $5,000 a month as a virtual assistant
According to Indeed, the average VA earns a hair under $20 an hour. To make $5000 at $20 per hour, you’d burn out pretty fast.
That’s why it’s important to specialize as fast as possible.
To learn about the best ways to specialize and boost your income, check out this ginormous list of virtual assistant service ideas. These free and paid virtual assistant courses can also help you start earning faster.
For example, let’s say you specialize in Pinterest management (here’s how to do it). You charge clients a flat rate of $315 per week to grow their Pinterest accounts, driving valuable traffic to their business.
Each client takes 2 hours per day of work, so you can fit four clients into your roster. Four clients multiplied by $315 per week comes out to $5040 per month — score!
If becoming a virtual assistant piques your interest, check out this here’s a great place to get started.
Complementary side hustle
As you rise the ranks as a virtual assistant, you’ll pick up wisdom along the way. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who’d be interested in that wisdom, making this a great blog, Youtube, or podcast topic.
If you master the art of landing clients, you could also transform your VA services into a makeshift drop servicing business. You find clients willing to pay premium rates, then you hire an army of cheaper VAs to help you do the work.
Selling on Amazon through Amazon’s FBA program (Fulfilled by Amazon) has become a popular side hustle.
It’s fiercely competitive, but there’s also huge opportunity. Amazon has 300 million active users. If you can figure out how to snatch a teensy piece of that pie, you can earn well over $5000 per month.
Best of all, Amazon makes it easy. If you pay for their FBA program, they store your inventory, manage orders, and handle shipping and returns for you. That means all you’re left to do is make sure you don’t run out of stock.
This is obviously an oversimplification, but you get the idea. The trick is finding a winning product. And to do learn how to do that, check out this free Amazon FBA masterclass.
If you decide to go all-in with an Amazon business, I highly recommend taking a looksie at my Marketplace Superheroes review, where I give an inside peek at a training program (and software) that literally guarantees your success.
How to make $5k a month with Amazon FBA
According to Amazon Reboot, the average FBA seller pulls in $10,000 to $25,000 in total monthly sales. With margins of 10% to 20%, that leaves roughly $100 to $5000 in profit.
So to make $5000 a month, you’d need to fall on the high end of average.
To give you an example of how this might break down, let’s say you sell five different products.
After you pay for inventory, shipping, FBA costs, and all other fees, each product gives you a $15 profit margin.
To reach $5000 per month, you’d need to sell 2 to 3 units of each product per day.
Complementary side hustle
Amazon has millions of users on its platform who are ready to buy. The problem is, you rely on their algorithm to get eyeballs on your product.
If they don’t show it to anyone, you won’t make sales.
To remedy this, you can drive your own traffic to your listings using a blog, Youtube channel, podcast, or social media channels.
For example, if I sold hammocks on Amazon, it’d be super handy to have a popular blog or Youtube channel about camping.
HOLD UP. Why settle for $5000 per month? Don’t sell yourself short. Here’s how to make $10k a month.
No, I’m not talking about day trading or betting on the latest meme coin.
I’m talking about long-term investing. It’s not sexy. It takes a long time to build up. But it’s extremely powerful.
The easiest way to start investing is to participate in your company’s 401(k) plan (if they offer one). Not only will your money grow, but many companies offer matching programs. It’s essentially free money.
There are many ways to invest — and I am NOT a financial advisor — but I highly recommend reading The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. Ideally sooner rather than later.
How to make $5,000 a month investing
Unless you’re rich, you won’t make five grand per month from investing off the get-go.
For example, at a 12% annual return, you’d need to have roughly $500,000 invested to make $5000 a month passively.
But everyone has to start somewhere. And eventually, if you invest consistently, things start to snowball.
After you read the book I recommended, your first step should be setting a monthly deposit schedule. Take a set chunk right off the top of your paycheck to invest each month. It doesn’t matter if that’s $1000, $100, or even $10. The goal is to create a habit, then grow from there.
Complementary side hustle
Since this is a long-term strategy, you’ll need some complementary side hustles to meet your income goals in the short term.
Since investing is largely passive, you should have plenty of time to tack on anything else from this list.
Lastly, if you don’t like the idea of investing in the stock market and would rather own something tangible, then real estate is another viable option.
If you’re starting with limited funds, check out BiggerPocket’s guide to house hacking.
How do you feel about taking pictures? Editing photos? Networking? If you’re solid with all three of those skills, starting a freelance photography business could be the perfect side hustle.
The biggest problem with photography is how saturated the markets are at the moment. It seems like a lot of people want to be Instagram heroes these days.
But if you’re willing to color outside of the lines, opportunity abounds.
To give you a wild example, some people are making crazy money selling photos of their own feet. Oh what an interesting world we live in!
How to make $5,000 per month as a photographer
When it comes to photography, it pays to own your niche. What type of photos will you be the expert in?
Weddings? Real estate? Family photos? Action and sports? Special events? Feet pics?
When someone needs photos in your niche, you want to be the photographer in your area that everyone recommends.
The path to $5k depends on your specialization. For example, wedding photographers often charge $1000 to $3000 per event. That means you’d just need to work a few weddings per month to hit your goal.
To boost your photography income even further, you could upload your photos to stock photography sites in hopes of some passive income.
Complementary side hustle
Expert photographers can shift their skills into many neighboring hustle opportunities.
For example, you could offer photo editing services, or even create and sell filters and presets.
You could also venture into videography and video editing.
If you need to brush up on any of these skills, you can take a month’s worth of free courses here.
9. Teaching English online
If you’re reading this article, you can earn money teaching English as a second language.
Millions of people around the world want to learn English, and they’re willing to pay for it.
You can technically get paid to have conversations in English even if you’re not a native speaker. But to earn the big bucks, you’ll need to be a native speaker and hold a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.
There are tons of TEFL programs out there, but to be honest, some of them suck. You usually get what you pay for. Here is the one I took — it’s one of the best. And here is a budget TEFL course that’s also decent.
Beware of the dirt-cheap courses, which oftentimes don’t teach you anything —they’re just a fancy piece of paper with your name on it.
When you teach online, you’re location-independent. You can teach English online while traveling the world, or you can do it from the comfort of your home.
All you need is a trusty laptop for online teachers and a solid internet connection.
Apart from boosting your income, it’s also a cool way to experience new cultures. You can even target students from specific countries. For example:
How to make $5000 dollars a month teaching English
The easiest way to start is by working for an English teaching platform like QKids, VIPKID, Palfish, or Magic Ears.
Each of these offers decent pay — typically topping out at $20ish per hour — but not quite enough to hit $5000 in a month.
To do that, you’d need to cut out the middleman and find your own private students. I’ve known experienced teachers who charge private students over $50 an hour.
At that rate, you’d only need to work 25 hours per week to reach your goal.
You won’t start at these rates, but you can slowly work towards them.
Complementary side hustle
When you take a TEFL course (assuming it’s a good course), you’ll become an expert in English grammar.
That means you essentially have all the skills needed to work as a freelance proofreader as well.
Another way online English teachers boost their income is through affiliate marketing. If you work for a platform, oftentimes you can receive bonuses for recruiting new teachers to the platform.
Many teachers create blogs and Youtube channels to help aspiring English teachers, then they promote their company’s platform to earn referrals.
Consulting is the perfect job for people who love what they do, but not who they do it for.
If you’ve built up expertise in your field, you can sell that expertise as a consultant.
Here’s a quick video that explains the basics of how consulting works:
Most people assume you need to be some ninja business or marketing expert to make money consulting, but this simply isn’t the case.
While traveling, I’ve met several unique types of consultants who support themselves on the road. One of them does holistic health consults by phone, and the other does virtual voice lesson consulting.
I’ve even heard of people who earn as Christian life coaches, guiding people on their spiritual journeys.
Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
How to make $5,000 a month from home as a consultant
Consultant salaries come in all shapes and sizes. It all comes down to how much value you can provide your clients.
If you’re a marketing consultant, and the advice you give to a business owner leads to an extra $10 million, you could charge a hefty sum.
But you can earn well with more obscure types of consulting as well. Make a list of any successes you’ve had in life, then determine if the wisdom you’ve gained would be valuable to other people.
It’s not unheard of for consultants to charge $50 to $100 per hour (and sometimes much more). That’s 12 to 25 hours per week to hit your goal.
The trick is filling up your pipeline. You’re not going to start with a jam-packed schedule on your first day.
Just like anything on this list, it’s a process. Slow and steady wins the race.
Complementary side hustle
The above video is made by a consultant. YouTube is a popular medium for people who want to talk about their careers. So is blogging.
End game work would be using your blog or channel to help push courses to help teach people how to start a consulting business. Or condensing your expertise into a course that you can offer people who can’t afford your 1-on-1 consulting rates.
For example, my holistic health consultant friend could create a holistic health course to share her knowledge. Since it’s not as personalized as a 1-on-1 consult, she could offer it as an affordable alternative to working with her directly.
Frequently asked questions
If you earn $5000 per month, your annual salary is $60,000 before taxes. You’re in the 22% federal tax bracket for 2021, leaving you with approximately $51,052. This does not include any other deductions, credits, or state and local taxes.
It depends on your rate of return. To generate $5000 a month at a 5% annual yield, you’d need to invest $1,200,000. At a 10% return, you’d need $600,000. And at a 20% return, you’d need $300,000 invested.
To make $5000 a month working a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job, you’d need an hourly wage of $31.25. To make $5000 working 20 hours per week, you’d need an hourly wage of $62.50 per hour, which is a reasonable goal to work towards.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered—where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).