15 Under-The-Table Jobs That Pay Cash Upfront

August 9, 2021
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Even if you currently have a full-time or part-time job, there’s a chance you still want to make extra income for one reason or another. 

There’s plenty of ways you can get extra income, but one of the most effective ways to do so is through under-the-table jobs.

There are numerous under-the-table gigs you can do in order to make extra money that can go towards your savings, investments, or other financial goals like paying down debt faster. 

And the best part about these opportunities is that they don’t even need a specific set of skills — there are a lot of simple tasks people are willing to pay cash for. 

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about under-the-table job opportunities. But first, a few clarifications.

What Does “Under The Table” Mean?

Not everyone is familiar with the term “under the table jobs”, despite how common it is. It can sound pretty suspicious at first, too, but it’s nothing bad at all.

All an under-the-table job consists of is a job where you earn money that isn't reported. Instead, you'll get cash for your time (instead of an official paycheck), which in turn means no taxes, social security taken, and no reporting.

These gigs are great to help you save more money monthly or put extra towards a financial goal, and most of these jobs require no prior experience to be done.

Is Working Under The Table Illegal?

According to the IRS, paying employees under the table is one of the top types of tax non-compliance.

It's worth noting that there are some businesses that will pay their employees in cash, but if they choose to do this, they're still responsible for reporting employment taxes. 

The same goes for you, in case you're an employee working under the table — even considering that taxes aren’t withheld from your wages, you should still be filing and reporting those earnings, and above all, paying those taxes. 

Many people also earn cash from doing side jobs or other work transactions under the table, and you should still be filing this extra income as well.

In short, as long as you continue to report your under-the-table earnings to the IRS, working under the table is perfectly legal.

How Do You Find Under the Table Jobs?

There are a few ways you can find under the table job opportunities by searching online. However, not all under the table job opportunities can be found there, so we’ve included a few alternative ways you can find these opportunities too.

#1 Craigslist

One classic way to find under-the-table jobs is through Craigslist. The website has been around for years and you can find people looking to pay others for a wide variety of jobs. 

When you visit the website, it’s advisable to allow it to find your location. If you don’t want to do this, though, you can also select the area that best matches where you live.

After that, look for the “Gigs” section and click on it to find potential jobs that pay you in cash.

There are plenty of legitimate options on Craigslist, but keep in mind that there can be scams too, so always proceed with caution when using it.

#2 Facebook

You can also find people posting and sharing odd jobs they may need help with within the Facebook Marketplace and local groups. 

When looking for local groups, make sure they’re active and people are posting in them each week. You can find plenty of groups that you could join and find some work in.

You can also post some Facebook statuses for your network of friends and family to see. If you have a specific set of skills or you're just looking for work to do, you can find a surprising amount of people that will pay you to do stuff.

Considering you’ll recognize these people, you may also feel safer doing the work because it’s very unlikely that you’ll get scammed. 

#3 Ask Friends and Family

Another simple way to look for under-the-table jobs is to ask your friends and family. They could have work they need help with, and it’s very likely that you’ll be the perfect candidate since they already know you.

Asking friends and family is also useful because they could have their own networks of people who might be interested too. It never hurts to ask, right?  

Top Under the Table Jobs

Despite needing some prior consideration, under-the-table jobs are a great way to make some side income and may even apply to your career development.  

Some of these under-the-table job opportunities are good enough to turn into full-time jobs or be worthy of consideration as a future career. But any earnings you get must be reported as mentioned in the previous section.

Without further delay, though, here are some of the best under-the-table job opportunities that will pay you in cash, instead of a check or a direct deposit to your bank account.

#1 Cleaning Jobs

Many people find cleaning very tiring or don’t have as much time to do so, and they’re willing to pay others to do it for them. 

You don’t need to own a professional cleaning business to get started (although one day you might if you get a lot of work). The cleaning can be pretty straightforward and includes activities such as dusting, vacuuming, washing, and other types of cleaning. 

#2 Babysitting

Babysitting is the most common type of under-the-table job there is — a considerable amount of families are willing to pay you in cash just to watch their child (or children) while they're away for a few hours.

This is not for everyone, though, and it’s an under-the-table job you should especially avoid if you’re not good with babies or kids. But if you enjoy it, this job can pay quite well for weeknights or weekends.

#3 House Sitting

Another under-the-table job option that can get you quick cash is house sitting. In this case, there are no children involved, but some families may need you to check up on their house because they’ll be going on extended vacations or travelling for work. 

House sitting includes tasks like checking and getting the mail, watering the plants, doing general checkups around the house, and similar tasks. This makes it an excellent way of making extra income easily.

#4 Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

If you love animals, then engaging in pet sitting or dog walking can be a fantastic under-the-table job for you. People can have busy work lives, and they might need someone to take care of their pets sometimes. Taking pets to a kennel can also be very expensive, so having someone take care of the pets while you go on vacation is a lifesaver.

Watching and taking care of pets will be the main task, but other jobs may only need you to walk their dog a certain amount of times per week. You won’t get rich on a single day by doing this job, but $20 to $50 each time you do it really adds up over time.

#5 Handyman

If you’re good at things like fixing household appliances, woodworking, electronics, computers, and more, then you have a pretty powerful under-the-table job opportunity right ahead of you.

Of course, do not take on a job you have no knowledge of just to try to make a few bucks — after all, you don’t want to start off with negative experiences. But people will certainly pay you to help them with these things, and this is especially true if you can save them some money from professional services, which tend to be very expensive.

#6 Online Tutoring

Do you know a lot about a particular subject (or subjects)? People are always looking for help in academic terms — especially for their children when it comes to math, reading, writing, and English

It doesn’t even have to be any core subjects in school as you could also teach about cooking, gardening, and other skills. If you have strong expertise and like teaching others, tutoring is a great way to make money under the table, and you can even do it from the comfort of your home

#7 Pet Grooming

Another pet-related option to make money under the table is through pet grooming. 

There are many professional services out there that people will prefer to go to, but if you have experience with simple tasks like giving the pet a bath and/or trimming the pet’s nails, then there will be plenty of people willing to hire you out there.

Similar to cleaning, many people don’t have the time or don’t really like doing this, so they’ll gladly pay you some cash if that means you’ll handle it.

#8 Landscaping/Yardwork 

Doing things like mowing lawns, weeding, watering plants, and helping with gardening is an effective way of earning some under-the-table cash as well. 

While professional landscapers are able to do beautiful work and can help clean up big projects, they can also be very expensive. If the work these people are asking you to do is not overly complicated, this is something you can handle for a fraction of that price. 

#9 Snow Removal/Shoveling

Removing snow or shovelling is another task that not many people are keen on doing. Sometimes it’s not even about wanting to do the task or not — there are also people who might be too old or that have a disability and need your help. 

To do this job, all you need is a shovel or snow blower. If you want to offer more aggressive snow removal and you have a truck, you could attach a plow to the front and take care of some local businesses that way.

#10 Farmer’s Market

Farmers' markets exist in almost every town, and they're also a great way to make some under-the-table money.

Depending on the type of farmers' market it is, you’ll usually find these running on most weekends or even certain times of the year.

These are great places to find some work to help setting up vendors or to work with them to sell items. 

Your other option is to sell your own stuff at one for cash. These include any homemade goods, produce you grew, crafts, and more. 

#11 Instructor 

If you have a specialty skill that people are interested in paying to learn (for example, yoga, dancing, karate, art, crafting, and the like), you could also become an instructor.

Naturally, there are certified instructors for some of these, and those will certainly be more sought after. But it’s a great way to share knowledge with others while simultaneously making some quick money. 

#12 Painting

If there is one job that the majority of people probably hate doing, it’s painting. It can be time-consuming and, let’s face it, just not that fun.

But if you have some experience and don’t mind doing it, you can definitely make some cash doing this work for others.

Painting jobs can include painting certain rooms inside someone else’s house, painting fences, sheds, and other miscellaneous items.

#13 Photography

Almost everyone can take good pictures thanks to the advancement of cameras on our cellphones. But being able to take great photographs and being able to edit them properly still takes some skill.

So if you’re interested in photography and like doing it, whether it’s family portraits, maternity, weddings, product photos for businesses, or other events, there’s always a market for it.

It’s worth mentioning that the market is competitive, but if you have a solid portfolio showcasing your work and you keep at it, it can become a considerably well-paying side hustle or even a full-time job.

#14 Graphic Design

Do you have an artistic vision? Are you good with graphics and computers? Then you can make some cash under the table by doing graphic design for other people.

While this is also a full-time career for most people, having an under-the-table job as a graphic designer is also a great way to start. 

You could do things like logos for websites, t-shirt designs, signs, greeting cards, and other design-related tasks.

#15 Selling Crafts

If you have a solid set of skills for crafting, then you can easily sell your creations to other people for cash. It can be done at garage sales, art shows, craft shows, local festivals, and other similar events.

There's a market for all sorts of things like woodworking, clothing, art, jewelry, knick-knacks, and other crafts you make. 

It does take a bit more effort than some of the other options on this list because you're creating things, but it can also be a lot more lucrative as well.

In Summary

Finding an under-the-table job that gives you extra income to reach your financial goals is now easier than ever. And even if you can’t use the Internet to find all the under-the-table jobs on this list, you can still ask your friends and family to find job opportunities that’ll give you cash under the table.

Of course, choosing one of these job opportunities will depend on your availability, willingness to do the task at hand, and the payment involved. So, before you commit to a particular under-the-table job, consider the pros and cons of each.

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