There are a million websites out there telling you how you can make money online. For the average expat, having a web-based source of income is the ideal, and will give him or her the ability to work anywhere in the world with a computer and a basic internet connection.
But what about those expats who don’t want to, or who don’t possess the skills to make money online? What about those who left their home country precisely to get further off the grid, to lessen their dependence on technology and the fast-paced life that so often goes along with it? What are they left with? Teaching English? Well, that’s a start, but there are some much more creative and clever ways for expats to make some extra money.
Teach a skill
Most of us have some skill or trade that we have picked up along the way. Remember those years of piano/singing/yoga lessons? Put them to good use, go out and give lessons in the skills that you have.
Many people sign up for piano classes so they have an educational hobby that they can enjoy. Maybe your skill is playing the guitar? Woodworking? Drawing? Belly dancing? Massage? Word of mouth can spread fast and before you know it you might be making all the money you need by helping other people learn something new.
Babysitter or Nanny
This one might seem a little counter-intuitive for those living in less developed countries – surely the local labor for things like babysitting is cheaper? It is, but often wealthy families will prefer to engage the services of a Western-born person who speaks native English, even at a much higher cost, to babysit or assist with the raising of their children. That provides the perfect opportunity for expats who love working with kids to put their skills to good and profitable use.
There is a growing market for organic fruit and vegetables. Not only that, but most people will pay a premium for your produce, even outside of the US or Europe. Set up a stand at the local market, or in your front yard. Growing your own organic food can be a rewarding activity in itself, and will also ensure that your own family always has a fresh supply of great food.
Be paid to be a mystery shopper
Yes, you can be paid to shop. Obviously, opportunities to engage in this sort of work are probably more readily available in your home country, but mystery shopping happens all over the world. Before you lock this in as your new profession, you will need a keen eye for details and an excellent memory, but the upside is that you can be paid to eat out, travel and shop.
Keeping bees can actually be one of the more profitable forms of agriculture. For a relatively low setup cost, equipment and bees can generally be acquired locally. In a short time, your growing expertise will allow you to continually increase your number of hives, and hence your earning potential. Once established, hives require attention but rarely require additional outside resource and very little additional expense. And it’s not just honey that can be sold; you can also sell the bees wax, bee bread or pollen, propolis, royal jelly and slumgum for fertilizer.
Sell photos for stock agencies
OK, I’ll concede that this one will require you to spend considerable time in front of the computer online. But if you have a passion for photography, it is possible to make a decent income selling the rights to use your photos to stock agencies which will then offer them for sale to companies wishing to use them for their own purposes. Generally you get paid a royalty every time someone purchases your photo. A quick internet search will reveal many website offering to buy your photos.
Be a Model
If you are living in a country where Caucasian people are the exception rather than the rule, you are in a great position to make money as a model. Most companies, even those catering to their own domestic markets, often prefer or need to use models that are Caucasian or have a Western appearance. You can model anything from underwear, to watches, to cars – the possibilities are endless.
Or a Movie Star
Films being shot in foreign locations often required extras that speak native English for small supporting roles. You can make some several hundred dollars a day, rub shoulders with celebrities and maybe become famous in the process.
And these are just the beginning. Once you start thinking outside the box, anything is possible. I’ve seen guys in developing countries cleaning windshields at traffic lights earning more money than working professionals, or buskers on the street making more cash than those dropping money into their guitar cases. Wherever you find yourself living, and whatever your particular skills and passions are, there are always opportunities around to make money, you just have to look for them. Good luck.