Let me start off by saying that I think taxes are a necessary evil.
After all, in an ideal world, taxes are what funds the building of roads, schools, essential government workers, and keeps a country running.
But regardless of your own tax bracket, I think it’s safe to say that we have all done some…er…creative accounting at some point in our life.
Maybe you’re a white collar criminal and you’ve already been caught! Tough luck bucko!
Or perhaps, (and this is more likely) you’ve worked an under the table job at some point in your life to make ends meet or when you were a kid.
Whatever the case, there’s a wide range of ways to start discreetly making fast cash if you want to. I’m not here to talk about the merit of this sort of thing because this is entirely up to your discretion.
However, if you want a list of the best under the table jobs to get inspired, this is the article for you.
Let’s get to it.
Note – It’s your responsibility to accurately report your income when filing your taxes, and I am not responsible or giving you direct financial advice here for how to go about managing your PERSONAL finances.
What Are Under The Table Jobs?
If you’ve never heard this term before, you might be a little confused about the under the table jobs meaning.
Simply put, these are gigs where you don’t claim income tax on the money you make.
Typically, these jobs are paid in cash, and main requirement is that your employer also doesn’t report your income and that you work as an independent contractor, not a W2 worker.
Now, under the table jobs aren’t always cash gigs, and you can get away with small direct deposits, PayPal money, or e-transfers.
However, cash jobs are more common since most payment processing platforms like PayPal and most banks report your income to the IRS or whatever government agency operates in your country.
Now at a large scale, under the table work requires money laundering to clear the cash. These aren’t the sorts of gigs I’m talking about here, so slow your roll Heisenberg.
Rather, this list of jobs are predominantly cash jobs or simple side gigs that make it easy for some money to conveniently slip through the cracks.
The Best Under The Table Jobs – Cash Gigs
Let’s start off this list by examining some jobs that are pretty much always paid in instant cash.
Babysitting is an incredibly popular college job, and there’s a variety of reasons.
Firstly, babysitting typically pays well. According to SitterCity, a leading marketplace for care services, the average babysitter earns approximately $17.50 per hour:
Other responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, or taking kids to appointments usually increases your hourly wage as well.
Outside of decent pay, babysitters can use their nights to complete homework, make money online, or simply relax with some Netflix.
Considering that this job pays cash quickly as well, it’s certainly one of the easiest under the table jobs to try out. Just be sure to get the necessary qualifications like CPR and first aid training.
2. Manual Labor Jobs
I recently released a video on 8 different popular side gigs that you can use to boost your monthly income:
In this video, I mention several gig economy apps, which aren’t always the best for working under the table since they pay through direct deposit.
However, I also bring up the idea of manual labor jobs in this video, and these are the perfect candidate for this type of post.
There are so many ideas here, including jobs like:
- Lawn mowing/landscaping.
- Window cleaning.
- Snow removal.
- Gutter cleaning.
- Junk removal.
- Wasp/pest removal.
- Lawn aeration.
I shoveled the occasional driveway to make money as a teen or kid, and I have plenty of friends who made money with things like window cleaning or landscaping during college.
Did we report this income!?
Absolutely (if you’re from the IRS and reading this). 😉
Jokes aside, manual labor jobs make it easy to work under the table.
You can go door-to-door to sell, get paid in cash that same day, and ride off into the sunset, you beautiful Butch Cassidy of the suburbs.
For more ideas, checkout our post on the best ways to make money with a pickup truck!
3. Sell Produce
Have you ever driven through farm country and seen people selling fresh produce, jams, or even firewood from a stand at the end of their driveway?
This is honestly the perfect setup, even if you don’t live right in farm country.
If you can grow or make something, selling it to people passing through is a pretty easy way to make money under the table.
You get paid quickly, you’re selling a physical good, and a lot of people even make this a source of passive income by leaving a ‘pay what you can’ jar or ‘pay $5’ kind of collection box.
4. Garage Sales
If you’re in need of some spring cleaning and want some easy side cash, you have a few options on the table.
Selling items at a garage sale is probably the most straightforward way to go about this.
You can put up flyers in your neighborhood, or even list your garage sale on a website like yardsales.net.
Garage sales are cash-only, so this is a great way to build up a rainy day fund or to make some quick cash without having anyone be the wiser.
5. Use Apps To Sell Stuff Locally
If garage sales aren’t your style, you can also use a variety of apps to sell things to people in your neighborhood.
Some popular selling apps include:
- Letgo – Basically craigslist but for selling locally.
- Facebook Marketplace.
- OfferUp – Another secure app to sell stuff locally.
- Shpock – A great selling app if you live in the UK.
If you want some quick under the table cash, I’d probably try the Facebook marketplace first just because of accessibility.
Just remember to always meet buyers in public places and to bring a friend if you can!
6. Dog Walking & Sitting
If you have friends or neighbors who can’t find the time to walk their dog or are going away for vacation, you can always take care of their dog for a simple gig.
Kennels are incredibly expensive, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved as long as you like having dogs in your home and you also have the time to look after it.
If you do know someone who uses a third party platform like Rover to book dog sitters, you could also try to steal that business and turn it into an off-the-books gig.
This is a bit riskier since Rover insures dog sitters and owners for certain liabilities, so make sure you only try this route with someone you know well.
Making money as an online English teacher is a high-paying side hustle. However, payments are usually made through direct deposit or PayPal, which isn’t ideal.
However, tutoring students in person is a pretty awesome way to make money under the table. After all, you get paid in cash following a tutoring session, and you can make pretty decent money.
This Reddit thread has some pretty good advice on how to make money with tutoring:
The ideas here are simple yet effective.
Charge a respectable hourly rate, post flyers around schools, tell your clients to refer friends, and use your qualifications/previous test scores to help book more students.
If you’ve done well on your SATs or a particularly challenging subject, this side hustle option is perfect for you.
8. Teach Music Lessons
Like tutoring, teaching music or singing lessons is another great under the table job idea.
As a music teacher, it’s easy to get paid in cash following a single lesson or block of lessons. Plus, since traditional music schools are very expensive, many parents are happy to pay for off-the-book lessons.
A friend of mine taught guitar lessons to kids when we were back in high school, and if you love the instrument you play, this is also a pretty enjoyable way to make some extra side income.
Jobs That Pay Cash Tips
Another easy way to make money under the table is to work a job that typically pays a lot in tips.
Now, according to the IRS, these are your responsibilities if tips are part of your income:
- Keep a daily tip record.
- Report tips to the employer, unless less than $20.
- Report all tips on an individual income tax return.
You use form 4070A to keep a record of tips, which is included in Publication 1244.
I’m getting into this because if you work a job that obviously pays tips, you have to write down something when filing your taxes.
Otherwise, you’re clearly the worst person in the history of customer service jobs or you’re committing tax evasion (guess which one the IRS will think!).
The key is deciding how much to write down, which I leave up to your discretion. Again, legally, you must report everything you earn and I am not giving specific advice here. Do what you want.
Anyway, here are some under the table jobs that pay cash tips to consider!
9. Food Delivery Jobs
While these jobs pay through direct deposit and also allow customers to tip via the app, customers can also pay cash tips.
Personally, on the few occasions I’ve tried a grocery delivery service, I’ve only tipped with cash. Many people I know also do the same thing since the apps aren’t always that intuitive.
Plus, if you want to make money quickly, food delivery is a pretty solid gig.
Here’s a screenshot from some of my friend’s Uber Eats earnings:
All of this money went into his bank account via direct deposit.
However, he also got a bit of extra tip money in cash.
If you want to try out this side hustle, I definitely recommend checking out DoorDash and Instacart for delivering groceries (I feel like people are more inclined to tip cash for groceries than for a simple fast food order).
Ultimately, apps that pay you to drive are always a reliable way to boost your income if you’re looking for fast cash!
Extra Reading – Instacart vs Shipt – Which Gig Job Pays More?
It doesn’t matter if you’re in college or looking for a viable nighttime side hustle; bartending is an immensely lucrative way to work under the table.
Even the cheapest student bar results in getting a decent amount of cash tips each night. I have plenty of friends who bartended in our college town during school, and you definitely work for tips in the industry.
Again, you have to claim some of your tips, and like restaurants, how bars decided to split up tips varies.
But, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bartenders earn more than $11 per hour, so it’s a decent job even without being too sneaky:
The same logic behind this job also applies for serving jobs.
As long as you claim some tips, there’s plenty of opportunity in the food and drink industry.
I absolutely love playing guitar, although I’ve never had the confidence to go and busk on a random street corner.
However, if you live in a busy city, I’m sure you’ve seen buskers with a guitar case full of coins and bills after a couple hours of playing.
If you have a knack for singing/your instrument, I think busking could be a fun way to share the joy of music while simultaneously making some easy cash.
Just note that if you see someone who is clearly struggling and they’re busking in a section of your town, leave them be: they need the money more than you do.
13. Tour Guide & Local Driver
Whenever I travel, I try to go on some local tours or at least get off the beaten path a tad with a local who knows the area like the back of their hand.
And, it doesn’t matter if you’re backpacking through Europe or hiking through South America, pretty much every major city will have a plethora of local guides.
I was in Medellin, Colombia recently, and my Spanish is a knock-off Taco Bell commercial at best (I’m working on it). Needless to say, I paid plenty of drivers and was always on the lookout for bilingual tours or guides who could show me around.
And, of course, I always paid in cash.
If you know some of the history behind your city or beautiful scenic routes, start a modest tour guide operation.
You can create an Instagram page for your business, and DM people who have recently posted photos tagging your city. A tad creepy, granted, but this is another awesome under the table job that has a low barrier to entry.
College Job Ideas
I’ve had plenty of college side hustles throughout my 4 years in school.
In college everyone is broke. So, you can bet that a lot of jobs are low-paying cash gigs that are never recorded. If you’re currently a student, consider some of the following hustles.
14. Sell Textbooks
I’ve made a video on different ways to make money in college before, and selling textbooks definitely made the list:
Selling PDF textbooks as a college student is incredibly fast cash.
Once you download a textbook PDF, it’s easy to flip for a modest $10, which also helps keep the cost down for other students. If you have physical copies, you can also resell these on local Facebook groups or to your friends.
Use your extra cash for grocery or beermoney and enjoy!
15. Essay & Resume Editing
Many schools offer resume and essay help from library staff or a careers and services building.
However, you can always offer this on the side to cut out the middleman. A simple post on some local classifieds or Facebook groups can help get the ball rolling.
This is an especially easy way to make some money as you progress through college and get better at writing. Freshmen usually need a lot of help and are willing to pay to avoid failing, so find an arrangement that works for you!
16. Sell Study Notes
There were several courses throughout my time in college where a test bank or final exam questions were leaked.
Since I was barely going to class after my first year, scooping up these notes for $10 or whatever was a pretty easy way to ace various final exams (I love capitalism).
If you take good notes or have test banks and want another under the table job idea, just sell your knowledge to other students.
The ethical dilemma here is for you to grapple with, but hey, if you’re a broke student I say go for it.
If you want a few more ideas to earn cash on the side, you can always go the freelance route and offer a specific service to clients in your area.
According to Salary.com, the average photographer makes around $31 per hour:
If you’ve ever helped plan a wedding, business event, fundraiser, or some other gathering that requires a freelance photographer, you’ll know the prices can get pretty steep.
If you have a high quality camera and know how to actually take nice, flattering photos, this could be an excellent under the table side hustle to try.
You can make a free portfolio on WordPress or an Instagram page and list your services on local classifieds.
Like other freelance jobs, all you need is a few positive reviews and word of mouth to help get future gigs.
18. DJ Events
In my college town, we had a few people who regularly DJ’d at clubs.
Did these people actually know how to DJ?
Of course not.
But, they did wear hoodies and owned Macbooks with the latest top 40 songs, so I guess that’s all you need these days.
I don’t think becoming a DJ is very hard given every experience I’ve ever seen, be it at clubs or events.
As long as you have some basic equipment or verify that equipment is provided by the venue, this is the easiest side cash you’ve ever made.
19. Fitness Coach
It doesn’t matter if you instruct yoga, help clients lose weight, or prepare a bodybuilder for a show: the fitness industry has plenty of room if you want to work under the table.
I’m sure many personal trainers already do this sort of thing, and in my city, I know a few parents who regularly have at-home fitness lessons instead of going to the gym.
Online coaching is, of course, an option. However, if you want to keep things simple and get paid in cash, offer your coaching services to people in your city for a reasonable price.
20. Sports Trainer
When I was younger, I played soccer for my city for a number of years.
For two of those years, I also went to a few private soccer lessons over the summer with a pretty talented instructor and former player.
I’m lucky to have generous parents who supported my love of sports. My instructor was also lucky, because we paid in cash for the lessons.
If you’re a skilled player or coach, there’s definitely a lot of money to be made in private lessons.
Generally, you want to limit how much PayPal cash you make in a given year because PayPal is run BY A BUNCH OF RATS I TELL YA (I hope you read that in a New York accent).
However, there are also lots of humble online money-makers that pay minor amounts of cash or free gift cards that largely go unnoticed. Plus, these companies aren’t sending you a 1099-tax form or anything like that.
21. Passive Income Apps
I’ve talked about apps that pay passive income a lot on this blog, and in a nutshell, you can earn $100-$200 in free gift cards per year with the following programs:
- S`more Lockscreen App – $36.50-$50 per year in PayPal cash or free gift cards.
- Mobile Performance Meter – $36.50 to $75+ per year.
- MobileXpression – Another easy $30-$50 per year in free gift cards.
- UpVoice – Earn up to $75 for browsing the web.
All I’ll say here is good luck tracking these trickles of PayPal cash or Amazon gift cards!
22. Cashback Websites
Another simple way to earn PayPal cash or gift cards is to shop with different money saving browser extensions.
Some popular options include:
- Rakuten – Easily earn cashback from shopping online at thousands of retailers. Cashback is paid via PayPal. Read my Rakuten review to get all the details.
- Capital One Shopping – Automatically apply coupon codes at checkout and earn loyalty credits that can be exchanged for free gift cards. Note that Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up using the links provided.
- Honey – Honey Gold lets you earn free gift cards for shopping at their partners. Checkout our Honey Review to learn more!
If you combine these ideas with different passive income apps, you’re looking at some meaningful savings and a lot of random gift cards.
How To Find Under The Table Jobs
I’ve already listed a few ideas for how you can get started with these sorts of gigs, but if you’re stuck, here are some useful job marketplaces and websites to try:
If you want to find under the table jobs on Craigslist, it’s actually quite simple.
Firstly, you can try searching for cash jobs in your area or scan for jobs that are obviously from a single person and not a business:
Alternatively, you can also browse the Craigslist homepage for gig jobs in your city:
You need to be careful with scams, of course. After all, if something is too good to be true, it is.
However, for working under the table, there should be plenty of same-day cash jobs available.
2. Facebook/Reddit Groups
If you do a bit of searching, it’s probably easy to find local Facebook or Reddit groups for your specific town or city.
Now, every group is different, but in my town, there’s usually some local job threads or people who will invariably ask for business recommendations or even post cash jobs themselves.
If you want to pickup on the occasional side gig, it’s a good idea to join these groups and to keep tabs on what goes on.
The next time someone asks for moving help or landscaping work or whatever else, you can jump in and do the job for cash.
3. Post Flyers
There’s a reason most lamp posts in your city are plastered with flyers: they still work.
This strategy is a sheer numbers game, but hey, if you want a relatively low-cost method to promote your service, this isn’t a bad way to test the waters.
You don’t even need a website these days; a phone number and Instagram page is all you need to show customers you’re at least somewhat legitimate.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how to handle your finances.
However, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all worked some cash jobs at one point in time. If you’re currently looking to boost your monthly income, resorting to this strategy now isn’t a bad idea either.
Hopefully, this list of the best under the table jobs helps point you in the right direction if you’re stuck.
Just be sure to keep things reasonable with this sort of work! 😉
Again, legal disclaimer: you have to report all of your income and I’m not responsible for what you choose to do. Just throwing some random ideas out there, ya know?
Catch you guys in the next one!
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please use our contact page to get in touch!