Turn Your Fun, Into Funds

During the 9 to 5, 40 hour a week working life, there’s not a lot of time for your passions. Between work and family obligations, you’re lucky to fit in a few hours to relax and flex your creativity on the weekends.

Once you retire, though, you’ve suddenly got an ocean of time to fill. You can totally indulge in your hobbies, and if you like, you can even use them to make some extra side cash.

If you’ve got a creative hobby already, great! From teaching a course to coaching one on one to selling your goods locally and online, there are many ways to monetize your pastime.

If you’re still looking for a lucrative but fun way to use your imagination, here are some pursuits you can get into and then use to make extra money down the road.


No matter how online and digital our world gets, there will always be a need for woodwork. Accomplished woodworkers can build cabinetry, create specialty molding, make furniture, and more. Because this skill has flown under the radar in the recent past, there’s more call than before for expertise in woodworking. Dedicate an area of your garage, get the tools you need, and get to work!

Photography / Videography

From baptisms to weddings, crime scenes to travel websites, photographers and videographers are always needed. If you have a knack for visual arts, why not pick up a camera and apply that talent? One thing to note – you do need to make sure your skills are up to par before you start offering your services. Some moments (like weddings) can never be replicated, and bad photography or videography will result in missed memories. Hone your craft, and then set out your virtual shingle. Your would-be clients will appreciate the professionalism!

Flip Antiques

History buffs and avid “treasure hunters” alike love experiencing the past made tangible feeling that only real antiques can give. With just a little know how, you can start hunting for special pieces at garage sales, estate sales, and secondhand shops and then offer those pieces for sale – either online in marketplaces like eBay or in an antique shop of your own. Pro tip – if you specialize in one particular type of antique (like World War II memorabilia or pocket watches, for example), you can grow your expertise and profitability faster than as a generalist.


Maybe there’s no place you like being better than in front of your own grill. If so, chances are good you’ve picked up a trick or two, and you probably have secret recipes of your own, too! Good news – if grilling is your creative hobby, there’s a huge market for special spices, rubs, and sauces, and it’s never been easier to bottle / package your own “top secret” stuff for sale. If you don’t want to sell specialty foods, that’s ok – you can enter into grilling / smoking / barbecuing competitions. Even local competitions offer cash prizes – and of course, major bragging rights.

Car Restoration

Classic cars can be an investment in and of themselves. These beautiful machines require both money and time for the motivated restorer, but the end results can be more than worth it. Put some time in on the front end to find the right vehicle, and then go the extra mile to restore it right – you’ll see big rewards when you finally put your precious baby up for sale. (Don’t blame me if you end up keeping her for yourself, though!)

Brewing / Distilling

Like most hobbies, making craft alcohol has a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting your product just right. Luckily, there’s a large online community of brewers, vintners, and distillers out there and a wealth of resources so you can troubleshoot just about any problem you have. Check your local laws, perfect your brew, and then approach local restaurants about your products. With a little luck, you can have your own profitable label in a few years – or even less.

Drone Flying

Realtors, builders, farmers, sports teams… the list of people who need drone video footage gets longer every day. If you enjoy driving RC cars or playing video games, you’ll probably have a natural affinity for flying a drone, and you can use this fun hobby to sell videos to the wide variety of folks who need them! Again, check your local laws before you get too deep into drone flying, but once you know what you can and can’t do, the sky’s the limit!


Playing an instrument might take longer to learn than most other things, but the thrill of performing makes it all worth it. Once you’ve got the hang of your instrument, you can join a cover band or get gigs as a session musician. If you’ve into writing your own original music, you can create and license songs for use – with the internet, making money as a musician doesn’t have to be impossible.

Print on Demand

What should you do if you’re not into any of these things? What if, for example, your favorite pastime is RVing, riding your motorcycle, or golfing, but you still want to make some money creatively? Check out Amazon Merch, Teespring, Redbubble, or any one of the big print on demand services. You can take the quirks or phrases you and your buddies say, make a cool graphic design with the phrase, and then list shirts, hats, notebooks, and more. With a little bit of knowhow, you can turn your inside jokes into real money – and you won’t even need to carry any inventory or even pay a single employee to do it.

Now that you’ve got the time, why not use your talents to make your fun hobby into a profitable side hustle? There are few things more rewarding than being your own boss and seeing someone fall in love with your creations, and like they say, if you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

You May Also Be Interested In:

Fed Coin: The Empire Strikes Back

Happy Hump Day! We’ve just had a typhoon run through the Phils again.  I love big, theatrical storms where the damage is minimal. It’s still overcast here. Though I love when the sun isn’t roasting my bald head, the gray pall, unfortunately, fits perfectly with this somewhat dystopian piece. Let’s have a chinwag… Central Bank...

Nilus Mattive

Nilus is the editor for the daily e-letter The Rich Life Roadmap and a Paradigm Press analyst.

Nilus began his professional career at Jono Steinberg’s Individual Investor Group, where he published his original research through a regular investment column. Later, he worked for a private equity business and spent five years editing Standard and Poor’s...

View More By Nilus Mattive