From Freelancing To Flipping Cards — 13 Malaysians Share How They Earn Extra Cash

These side hustles are definitely worth a try if you're looking for more income!

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1. Photography & videography

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"I do wedding photography, and sometimes videography with a small team, and it pays well. I work full-time as a video editor and usually spend the weekends shooting weddings. After that, I take around one month to edit the photos and make them extra beautiful before sending them to the client.

"When I started, I did the weddings of family and friends for free to build my portfolio. After that, things spread by word-of-mouth, and now I get bookings months ahead of time."

- Nor, 33

How much I earn:
RM2,000-RM3,300 for pre-wedding photography
RM5,000-RM6,000 for wedding photography
RM10,000-RM12,000 for videography

How many hours I spend: 1-2 weekends a month, 5-6 hours a week for post-editing

2. Hair & makeup services

"I started learning to style hair in university to help my sister with her full-time job as a makeup artist back in 2014. It started off as a way to make money as a broke ass student. (Desperate times, no money for food heh).

"But it soon turned into a good side hustle on the weekends when I became a full time writer. In the beginning, I couldn't even do a braid and if you told me I'd be doing hair today, I would have thought you were joking.

"In my case, it was mostly out of desperation to survive back then. And that made me strive."

- Tamara, 29

How much I earn: RM250+ per client
How many hours I spend: 1-4 weekends a month

3. Freelance writing & editing

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"I freelance as an editor for a company that translates Chinese web novels and comics to English. As an editor, my job is to take the English version that has been translated by our translators and edit it so it flows properly in English and make sure it has proper grammar. I also update a databank of terms used in each project so that I can make sure everything is consistent. How much I have to edit/rewrite depends on how good the translator assigned to the project is haha.

"It's a great side gig for me 'cause it plays to my strengths and I also really enjoy reading fiction anyway, so I find it fun. I also like that I have the flexibility to take on as many or as few projects as I want, depending on my schedule."

- Sandra, 31

How much I earn: Between RM200 to RM2,000 per month (depending on the project)
How many hours I spend: 3-5 hours a week (more depending on the project)

4. Teach a fitness class

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"I work as a part-time dance instructor that teaches Beginner to Intermediate level Heels Dancing. The dance style of the class/overall genre is very feminine — playing with lines, flexibility, body rolls, and floorwork. In terms of music, the usual go-to songs I vibe with/choreograph from are R&B. Sometimes, I also experiment other music genres like Afrobeats, Pop or Hip Hop!

"To me, I see this part-time gig as a hobby/passion to have fun (after my full-time day job), play with my creativity and be a part of a community that uplifts women (and men!)"

- Claudia, 26

How much I earn: RM800 - RM1,000 per month
How many hours I spend: 1 hour a week

5. Create & sell handmade goods

"I work full-time as a special needs art teacher and enjoy making art as a hobby. I started to crochet for fun and suddenly had a lot of finished pieces that I didn't want to keep. So, I gave my first few ones to friends and family, then realised that people wanted to buy them!

"I also just had my first market experience, where I shared a booth with friends to split the rental. I earned quite a bit and was happy to see other people appreciate my work as well as send my little crafts to new homes."

- May, 26

How much money I earn: RM20-RM50 depending on size
How many hours I spend: 4-6 hours/week

6. Blogging

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"I work full-time in marketing and in my spare time I run a food blog for fun. From the Google ads on my site, I earn a passive income every month. Sometimes, I do sponsored content for restaurants or for F&B clients. They pay me per article. 

"I love it because blogging and food is my happy place. I would still do it even if I didn't make money! So the extra cash is just an added bonus."

- Tasneem, 37

How much money I earn: USD100-200 a month from Google ads, RM250-RM500 per sponsored content
How many hours I spend: Around 4-6 hours a week

7. Teach a musical instrument

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"I grew up learning and playing drums in church, and it's an instrument that I really love. It actually takes a lot of practice and you learn a lot of hand-eye coordination. The joy is seeing my students actually getting over the hump and being able to coordinate to play certain beats and fill-ins.

"It's more of a passion project than a side hustle for me, but the extra money definitely helps!"

- Leonard, 33

How much money I earn: RM200-RM300 per student/month
How many hours I spend: One hour a week per student

8. Flip cards

"I look for good deals on trading cards and buy people's collection in bulk, then I try to flip them for a profit.

"I'm basically browsing through online marketplaces like Facebook and Carousell throughout the day in search of trading cards I can sell.

"Usually, I come to an agreement with the seller, and it's a win-win situation (I get a bulk of cards for below market price, the seller clears off everything at once). Then, I either list them up one by one or offer them to collectors in the community. With the profit I make, I continue investing other deals, gradually making bigger deals.

"One of my proudest achievements was 'accidentally' picking up a big collection of Magic: The Gathering cards for RM150, and flipping it for RM3,000 the next day (and I believe the person I sold it to got a pretty good deal too)."

- Jeremy, 29

How much money I earn: Around RM10,000 in profit this year 
How many hours I spend: Around 1 hour a week

9. Sell your clothes and other items

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"I used to hoard my clothes and so much junk for years. I still had outfits from when I was a teenager! There aren't enough days in the year to wear them all. So I did a big purge and sold loads of stuff on Carousell, as well as secondhand stores.

"Then I did a big spring clean and found I had sooooo many things I don't use. From lamps and furniture, to kitchenware and unopened beauty products, there was so much clutter. Maybe I have a problem lol. But I sold everything I don't need in Facebook groups, Mudah, Carousell, and even to friends and colleagues."

- Selena, 28

How much money I earn: Around RM5,000-RM7,000
How many hours I spend: 1-2 weeks of spring cleaning & a few months of selling

10. Make and sell baked goods

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"I work full-time as an accountant and bake on the weekends. I have a set amount of slots for baked items, which I promote ahead of time. People pay first so I always get the money first and know exactly how much to bake, as well as where to deliver it (so I can calculate delivery costs at the same time).

"I only do it when I feel like it, so there's never any pressure to fulfil an impromptu order. Some months, I don't open orders at all, and other times, I may do it every weekend. My menu also changes depending on seasonal ingredients and whatever it is I feel like baking. Everything is promoted on my Instagram account.

"Sometimes, it might be eclairs or cakes, other times it may be fruit tarts or cookies. When it's durian season, I make a lot of money with my musang king desserts!"

- Jenny, 41

How much I earn: Around RM100-RM150 per slot, 10 slots per baking session
How many hours I spend: 6-8 hours a week when I choose to bake

11. Tutor children

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"I'm a part-time English tutor who provides online classes that cover the Cambridge Checkpoint and IGCSE syllabuses.

"I love what I do because conducting my own classes gives me the autonomy to try out different pedagogies and digital tools, and I get to dictate the course overview and materials I use, which is really important to me because the flow of learning and learning resources play vital roles in aiding students' understanding of a subject matter. And I just genuinely love teaching and imparting wisdom to the younger generation!"

- Cindy, 25

How much I earn: RM400 - RM900/month
How many hours I spend: 3 contact hours/week

12. Transcribe audio files

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"I freelance as an audio file transcriber. It's really easy but time-consuming. I find clients online through freelancing sites and bid for jobs. In the beginning, it was a bit hard to get chosen for gigs as there's a lot of competition. So, I would have to bid lower than other people.

"Eventually, you get long-term clients who keep coming back to you for work and there's a steady side income coming in.

"If you type fast and don't mind listening to audio on repeat, then I definitely recommend trying this out."

- Jia Lyn, 30

How much I earn: RM300-RM800/month
How many hours I spend: 4-10 hours/week

13. Be a delivery rider or driver

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"My side hustle is making deliveries in my spare time. My full-time job is managing social media for a pharmaceutical company and the office is far from my house. So, instead of sitting through rush hour on my way home, I just do deliveries in the area. Might as well make some extra money while waiting for traffic to subside.

"I also do deliveries on weekends when I have time. I like that I can choose my hours and if I don't feel like doing it all, I don't have to.

"It's nice extra money. The more you work, the more you get. So, it's all in my hands."

- Rosli, 24

How much I earn: RM2,000-RM3,000/month
How many hours I spend: 28-30 hours/week

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