How To

5 Summer Jobs You Can Do in Your Spare Time

walking the dog

If you’ve been dreaming of having a little extra cash in your pocket this summer, we’ve got the solution for you: a seasonal summer job you can do in your spare time.

“There are a lot of ways to earn extra money this summer,” says Nicole Williams, the connection director for LinkedIn. “Think of the things you enjoy and what you tend to be good at — then look into what people need help with this summer.”

To get you thinking, MintLife spoke with Williams about simple summer jobs that are in demand. Here are five jobs you can do in your spare time this summer, including the average pay for each job and ways to advertise your services:

Gardening and landscaping

Come late spring or early summer, many people start gardens and plant flowers. But when the initial thrill of the garden harvest wears off (or the bugs start to attack), many people look for help keeping up with their gardens. Also, when families leave home for vacations, they often need someone to tend to their plants, gardens, and lawns.

Gardening and landscaping may require watering and pruning plants, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, trimming the shrubs, or applying pesticides to a garden.

Average pay: $10 – $20 per hour

Housesitting

A lot of people take long vacations over the summer and want someone to keep a watchful eye their house while they’re away. This usually entails tasks like getting their mail or newspapers and watering the plants each day.

Average pay: $10 – $20 per day, possibly more if you are required to sleep at the house.

Pool cleaning

Pool owners usually enjoy everything about their pools — except having to clean them. That’s where you can come in. Pool cleaners remove debris from the water, set up the Polaris (the pool-cleaning robot), and test the chemical components of the water. “If it sounds complicated, it’s actually not,” says Williams. No training is needed – except a few simple instructions from the owners,” she says. You won’t need to purchase any supplies either, as the owner usually has them on hand for you. 

Average pay: $10 – $20 per hour

Pet sitting

Boarding your dog or cat can be pricey and animals often don’t like to be away from home, so many pet owners look for sitters to come in and watch their animals while they’re away on vacation. Pet sitting usually includes feeding and giving water to the animals, walking the pet, playing with the cat or dog, and changing the litter box.

Average pay: $50 – $100 per day, depending on the animal and tasks required.

Party assistant

People tend to throw parties more often in the summer than at any other time of the year, except for November and December. These events might be anything from outdoor cocktail parties to sit-down dinners. The host usually needs help pulling it all off, which means you can offer your services as a “party assistant.”

A party assistant helps with anything from addressing invitations, to waiting tables, to bartending, to running errands for the party host.

Average pay: Pay varies depending on the tasks, but expect to make anything from $10 to $30 per hour, plus tips.

Don’t forget to advertise your services!

To get the word about your services, consider putting up fliers in local coffee shops, churches, and other neighborhood gathering spots. You should also utilize Facebook and other social networks and remember to ask your friends and family to help you spread the word.

Finally, you may want to look into putting your services up on a site like TaskRabbit.com, AgentAnything.com, or Craigslist.org. You can also scope out the potential competition in the area by doing an Advanced People Search on LinkedIn. This will help you find out what services you should be offering and how to set yourself apart from the rest.

Catey Hill is the author of “Shoo, Jimmy Choo! The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More” and a freelance personal finance writer who has written for Seventeen, The Wall Street Journal, SmartMoney and the New York Daily News.  Follow her on Twitter at @cateyhill.