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It’s more than possible to make extra money in the military. After all, the military, just like any other full time job, can be supplemented with a side hustle to make some extra money. 

This way, you and your family are safe in the case of an emergency, you can travel and save up for those big life expenses, or you can simply have some extra spending money for fun.

And even if you’re overseas, there are plenty of options to put some extra dough in your pocket. You can also take advantage of one-time earning opportunities when you’re back at home waiting for orders or on leave.

Keep reading to find out how!

31 Legit Ways to Make Extra Money in the Military

How to make extra money in the military

Ready to make money in the military? Here are 30 great ways to get started:

1. Sell handmade crafts online

If you’re creative and enjoy making things by hand, selling your crafts online is a great way to make some extra money. Websites like Etsy make it easy to set up shop and start selling your wares to buyers around the world.

Related: 60 Best Etsy Shop Ideas to Make Money Online

2. Start a blog

If you want to make money in the Navy, Army, or Air Force, consider starting a blog. You can write about your experiences in the military, offer advice to others considering enlisting, or share tips on everything from budgeting to saving for retirement. 

Not only will you earn money from ads and affiliate marketing, but you could also land speaking gigs or writing opportunities as a result of your blog’s success.

3. Start investing

Investing is a great way to make your money work for you, and it can be done even if you don’t have a lot of money to start with. There are plenty of investments that pay a monthly income that allow you to start small and grow your portfolio over time.

This way, you won’t have to work a part-time job while in the military to grow your money. Investing is truly passive!

a person start investing on an investment app to make extra money in the military

4. Start a print-on-demand shop

Print-on-demand is perfect for someone overseas because it gives you the freedom to design and sell your products from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a printer. 

Once you create your designs, customers can order them on demand and you’ll make money every time someone buys one of your products.

You may also be interested in: Selling Printables on Etsy: The Ultimate Guide

5. Work as a transcriptionist

If you’re looking for a side hustle that you can do from anywhere, a transcription job  is a great option. 

Transcriptionists convert audio files into written text, and all you need to get started is a good pair of headphones and a typing speed of at least 60 words per minute.

6. Sell your photos online

Do you have a knack for photography? If so, you can sell your selfies or photos online and make money doing something you love. Websites like Shutterstock and iStockphoto allow you to upload your photos and earn royalties every time someone buys one of your images.

If you’re already taking photos to document your military experience, why not make some money off of them?

a man taking selfies and sell it to make extra money in the military

7. Start a Patreon account

Patreon is a great way for creative people to make money from their passion projects. If you’re already creating content like videos, podcasts, or articles, consider setting up a Patreon account where your fans can support your work. 

You’ll earn money every time someone pledges to your page, and you can use that money to reinvest in your projects.

8. Become a content writer

If you have a flair for words, there are plenty of opportunities to make money as a content writer. 

Businesses need content for their websites, and you can get paid to write articles, create social media posts, or even develop marketing materials. That is why it is one of the best part time online jobs to make money from home making it easy to do while you’re on leave.

9. Become a social media manager

If you’re good at social media and enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest trends, working as a social media manager could be a great way to make money in the military.

By becoming a virtual assistant, you can get paid to do everything from creating content to analyzing data. You could even focus your skills on one particular social media platform, like if you were to work as a Pinterest manager.

10. Get started with web design

Creative military members that need a completely digital side hustle should consider web design. 

If you have an eye for aesthetics and know your way around HTML, CSS, and other web development technologies, you can start designing websites for businesses or individuals. It is also one of the highest paying online jobs to make serious money.

11. Drive for a rideshare company

This is one of the best options for when you’re home on leave and looking to make some extra money. 

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft allow you to sign up to drive people around in your spare time. You can set your own hours and make money on your own schedule.

a woman Uber driver that make extra money in the military

12. Deliver groceries

Another great option for when you’re home on leave to make extra money in the military is to sign up to deliver groceries.

Companies like Instacart and Shipt allow you to shop for and deliver groceries to people in your area. This is a great way to make some extra money while getting some exercise.

You may also be interested in: Instacart Tipping: Ultimate Guide on the Do’s and Don’ts

13. Do landscaping jobs in your neighborhood

If you want to stay in shape while on leave, consider doing some landscaping jobs in your neighborhood.

You can mow lawns, trim hedges, and even do some gardening for people in your area. This is a great way to make some extra money in the military and get some fresh air.

Related: 13 Easy Freelance Jobs for Beginners to Make Money From Home

14. Be a pet sitter

If you love animals, pet sitting or starting a dog daycare at home could be the perfect side hustle for you when you’re back in town. You can get paid to watch people’s pets while they’re out of town, and you can set your own hours and rates.

a person pet setting a dog to make money in the military

15. Offer your services as a virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is someone who provides administrative support to businesses or individuals remotely. This could include anything from scheduling appointments to managing social media accounts. 

You get to control your schedule as well as your area of expertise, making this a flexible way for military personnel to earn extra money.

Related: How to Become a Virtual Assistant (With No Experience) 

16. Start your own YouTube channel

Do you feel confident being in front of the camera? Then you probably have a personality for hosting your own YouTube channel. 

Some topics that could be great for a military audience include vlogs about your experiences, advice for other service members, or tips for living a healthier or disciplined life.

17. Invest in real estate

If you’re looking for a longer-term investment, you could consider investing in real estate. 

You can become a landlord and rent out properties to tenants, or you can invest in real estate crowdfunding platforms and earn money from the appreciation of the property.

real estate property for rent to make extra money in the military

18. Cook for other military members

If you’re a great cook, you can make money by cooking for other military members. These people may miss home-cooked meals and your culinary skills could be a great way to make some extra cash. 

You can sell your meals by the plate or by the week, and you can set your own hours and prices.

19. Design and sell homecoming military signs

If you’re creative and crafty, you can design and sell homecoming military signs. These are a big hit with families waiting for their service members to return home, and you can make a decent profit by selling them. 

You can sell your signs online, directly to fellow military members, or at local craft fairs.

20. Sell custom challenge coins

Custom challenge coins are a popular way for military units to show their solidarity and camaraderie. If you’re good at designing and creating these coins, you can start your own business selling them to other units. 

You can also sell them online, through military websites and forums, or at unit functions and events.

Find out more about: 51 Incredibly Easy Things to Make and Sell Online for Money

21. Rent your home while you’re away

If you want to make extra money while deployed or stationed overseas for an extended period of time, you can rent out your home to others. This is a great way to make some extra money and ensure that your home is being taken care of while you’re away. 

You can list your home on websites like Airbnb or VRBO, or you can rent your home long-term to a tenant.

a person turnover the key of his home to the renter to make money in the military

22. Work security gigs

You can work at nightclubs, concerts, or other events where security is needed. These events love to hire active military and law-enforcement members and many companies offer flexible or one-time-only jobs.

23. Offer consulting services

If you have a lot of experience in the military, you can offer your services as a consultant. 

You can help businesses with things like security, logistics, and event management training. This is a great way to put your knowledge and skills to use.

24. Sell used stuff on the Facebook Marketplace

When you’re home from the military, take care of two tasks at once by cleaning out the garage and selling any unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace. This is a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t need and make some extra cash at the same time.

used clothes for sale in marketplace to make extra money in the military

25. Cover other people’s duty assignments

If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, you can offer to cover other people’s duty assignments. This is a great way to make some extra cash, and it can also help your fellow service members. 

You can find people who need coverage by posting on military websites and forums, or you can ask around at your unit.

26. Teach or tutor online

If you have a skill or knowledge that others need, you can make money by teaching or tutoring online. You can offer your services through websites like Tutor.com or you can create your own website and promote your services online.

27. Help out with childcare

Military families often need help with child care, and you can offer your services as a babysitter or nanny. You can advertise your services online, through military websites and forums, or you can ask fellow military members if they need help.

a woman babysitting to make extra money in the military

28. Donate Plasma

A quick and easy way to make some extra cash is to donate plasma. You can usually donate as often as once a week in one of the plasma donation centers and the money you make can be used for anything you need.

29. Detail cars for extra cash

If you’re good with cars, you can make extra money by detailing them for others. And if you picked up mechanical skills in the military, you can offer your services as a mobile mechanic.

30. Flip items for profit

You can buy items at yard sales, thrift stores, and online auctions and then sell them for a profit. This is a great way to make some extra cash and it’s also a lot of fun. You can even flip websites and other digital items like online businesses.

a man holding a cup of coffee while flipping websites to make extra money in the military

31. Work a part-time job

In some cases, you can work a part time job while in the military as long as the company is ok with your military schedule. This is more stable than a side hustle for active duty military members and can give you a little extra income.

Can active duty military have a second job?

Yes, active military members can have a second job or source of income while they are serving. However, there may be some restrictions depending on the branch of service and the type of work being done. Notably, your secondary income can’t interfere with your military duties.

It’s important to find forms of income that are flexible and balance well with your current military lifestyle and obligations. If you align your second job with skills you’ve picked up in the military, it can be a great way to make some extra money while serving your country.

Can you run a business while in the military?

Yes, starting a business is one of the best ways to make passive income while in the military. While it can be a lot of upfront work, eventually you can set your business up to run on autopilot and bring in income while you’re serving.

Try to work on your new business when you’re on leave or have free time, so you can avoid putting too much stress on yourself while you’re still fulfilling your military duties. Getting support from family and friends can also be helpful when starting a business while in the military.

For example, your partner could help with inventory and shipping while you’re deployed, or your parents could watch your kids while you’re working on building your business. 

Whatever you do, make sure you have a solid plan in place before you get started. A business can be a great way to make money in the military, but it’s not something you want to jump into without doing your research first.


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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been seen in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a thriving investment portfolio. Find out more.