Most people are happy to see that 2016 is finally over. But the smart people are getting ready for everything that 2017 is going to have to offer

One way to make this year better than the last is to have a little bit more money to save, spend or invest – or to pay off those debts that piled up in 2016. If you play your cards right, you can make an extra $5000 this year.

Here are four things to do to end 2017 with more money in your pocket.

Freelance Online

Can you code, write, edit what other people write, or do a little bit of graphic design? If so, then you should consider freelancing on the side to make some extra money. For a few extra hours a week, you could ghostwrite short articles, edit other people’s writing, or design presentations for clients who are willing to pay you for your efforts. 

Companies like Upwork make it real easy to connect people like you, who have skills and some time on your hands, with clients who need work done fast at modest prices. Earning a little money by writing in your spare time – on the weekends, after work, or during lunch – can add up quick, and you can end the year with an additional $5000 in your bank account.

Get in and Drive

If you live in a major metropolitan area, you almost certainly have used Uber or Lyft to get around town at some point; so why not sign up as a driver and start earning money? Driving is one of the best side hustles out there; you can drive to earn money whenever you have free time away from your main job. And with Uber drivers averaging $20 per hour of work, this is one of the most lucrative part-time jobs out there.

There are barriers to entry here – you need a driver’s license and a car in good condition, and a willingness to interact with strangers – but if you have all those things, there is nothing stopping you from adding $5000 to your bottom line in 2017.

Mechanical Turk it

Mechanical Turk, an Amazon Service, is one of the most innovative sites on the Internet, and another way that you can make some extra money in 2017.

The crowd-sourcing site allows clients to post a variety of relatively low-skill, menial tasks they need to be performed – from writing product reviews to taking online surveys, to transcribing audio data – that workers (called Turkers, meaning you) can sign up to do for a pre-designated cost.

Once you complete the task, you get paid. Unlike Upwork or the driving gigs, you do not need significant skills to work on Mechanical Turk; if you have a device with access to the Internet, you can sign up and start working. However, most of the jobs on the site, simple as they are, pay a relatively low fee for completion. So you can still finish out 2017 with an extra $5000, but it will probably take longer than Upwork or driving.

P2P Lending

If you were fortunate enough to have ended 2016 with some money in the bank, how about making it work for you this year? One of the best ways to do this is through peer-to-peer lending. There are many P2P lending sites that allow investors to pool relatively small amounts of funds, and then lend them to borrowers, earning interest off of the transaction. Sites like

Sites like Upstart or Funding Circle will let you begin investing with relatively small amounts of money. While there is a risk inherent with any investment, especially P2P lending, this is a great way to establish a passive income stream and work towards an extra $5000 in the bank for 2017.


William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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