Creative Ways to Supplement Your Income and Afford Rent in Canada

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Key Takeaway Box:

  • Renting in Canada can be challenging due to rising inflation and high cost of living.
  • Supplementing your income can help you afford rent and build financial stability.
  • There are many ways to find and secure side gigs, both online and offline.
  • You need to balance additional work with your life and well-being.
  • You can learn from the success stories of other people who have supplemented their income.
Canadian home office scene with a person exploring creative income sources on a laptop, surrounded by symbols of creativity like a camera, paintbrushes, and a musical instrument, with a scenic Canadian backdrop through the window.
Exploring Creative Income Streams: A Canadian Guide to Enhancing Your Rent Budget.

Renting in Canada can be a daunting task, especially if you are living on a low or fixed income. According to a report by Rentals.ca, the average monthly rent in Canada rose by 10.4% in 2022, reaching $1,934⁶. This means that many renters are spending more than 30% of their income on housing, which is considered unaffordable by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)⁶.

If you are struggling to afford rent and make ends meet, you may be looking for creative ways to supplement your income and improve your financial situation. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to earn extra money, both online and offline, that can fit your skills, interests, and schedule. In this article, we will share some of the best ways to find and secure side gigs, as well as some tips on how to balance additional work with your life and well-being. We will also share some success stories of real people who have supplemented their income and achieved their financial goals.

What You Need to Know About Supplementing Your Income

Before you start looking for side gigs, there are some things you need to know and consider. First, you need to determine how much extra income you need and how much time and energy you can devote to it. You can use the CMHC’s affordability calculator⁶ to estimate how much mortgage or rent you can afford, based on your income and expenses. You can also use a budget planner to track your spending and savings, and identify areas where you can cut costs or increase income.

Second, you need to understand the tax implications of earning extra income. Depending on the type and amount of income you earn, you may have to report it to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and pay taxes on it. You may also have to register for a business number, collect and remit GST/HST, and keep records of your income and expenses. You can find more information on the CRA’s website⁷ or consult a tax professional for advice.

Third, you need to be aware of the potential impact of supplementing your income on your existing benefits and programs. For example, if you are receiving the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), or the Allowance, your extra income may affect your eligibility or amount of these benefits. You can check the eligibility criteria and income thresholds for these benefits on the Government of Canada’s website¹²⁴ or contact Service Canada for assistance.

How to Find and Secure Side Gigs

Once you have a clear idea of how much extra income you need and can earn, you can start looking for side gigs that suit your skills, interests, and schedule. There are many ways to find and secure side gigs, but here are some of the most common and effective ones:

  • Use online platforms and apps. There are many online platforms and apps that connect freelancers, contractors, and gig workers with clients and customers who need their services. Some examples are Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy. You can create a profile, showcase your portfolio, set your rates, and bid on projects or tasks that match your skills and availability. You can also receive ratings and reviews from your clients or customers, which can help you build your reputation and attract more work.
  • Leverage your network and referrals. Another way to find and secure side gigs is to leverage your existing network and referrals. You can reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, former employers, or anyone else who may need your services or know someone who does. You can also ask for referrals from your satisfied clients or customers, and offer incentives or discounts for them. Word-of-mouth marketing can be very powerful and cost-effective, as it can help you build trust and credibility with your potential clients or customers.
  • Create your own website or blog. If you have a specific skill, expertise, or passion that you want to share with the world, you can create your own website or blog and monetize it. You can use platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace to create and host your website or blog, and use tools like Google Adsense, Amazon Associates, or Shopify to generate revenue from ads, affiliate links, or e-commerce. You can also use your website or blog to showcase your portfolio, offer your services, or build your personal brand.

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Online Opportunities for Extra Earnings

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for people who want to earn extra money from the comfort of their home or anywhere else. There are many online opportunities for extra earnings, but here are some of the most popular and profitable ones:

  • Writing. If you have a knack for words and grammar, you can offer your writing services to various clients and niches. You can write articles, blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, web copy, product descriptions, reviews, ebooks, and more. You can also write creative content, such as poems, stories, songs, or scripts. You can find writing gigs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Textbroker, or iWriter, or pitch your services to websites, magazines, or publishers that pay for submissions.
  • Designing. If you have a flair for design and aesthetics, you can offer your designing services to various clients and projects. You can design logos, flyers, posters, brochures, business cards, infographics, illustrations, animations, and more. You can also design digital products, such as websites, apps, games, or e-courses. You can find designing gigs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, 99designs, or Dribbble, or create and sell your own designs on platforms like Creative Market, Envato, or Redbubble.
  • Teaching. If you have a passion for teaching and learning, you can offer your teaching services to various students and subjects. You can teach languages, math, science, music, art, or any other skill or hobby you have. You can also teach online courses, webinars, or workshops on topics that you are knowledgeable or experienced in. You can find teaching gigs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Udemy, Skillshare, or Teachable, or create and sell your own courses on platforms like Thinkific, Podia, or Kajabi.

Where to Look for Local Opportunities

If you prefer to work offline or in your local area, there are also many opportunities to earn extra money. Here are some of the places where you can look for local opportunities:

  • Community boards and newspapers. You can check your local community boards and newspapers for ads or listings of people who need help with various tasks or services. You can also post your own ads or flyers offering your skills or services to your neighbors or community members. You can find opportunities such as babysitting, dog walking, house sitting, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, tutoring, cleaning, or handyman work.
  • Local businesses and organizations. You can also approach your local businesses and organizations and offer your skills or services to them. You can find opportunities such as retail, hospitality, customer service, delivery, catering, event planning, or marketing. You can also look for seasonal or temporary jobs that may be available during peak times, such as holidays, festivals, or special events.
  • Volunteering and donating. If you want to earn extra money while also giving back to your community or a cause you care about, you can consider volunteering or donating your time, skills, or resources. You can find opportunities such as fundraising, campaigning, mentoring, coaching, or counseling. You can also look for organizations that offer incentives or rewards for volunteers or donors, such as tax credits, gift cards, or vouchers.

Balancing Additional Work with Life

While supplementing your income can help you afford rent and achieve your financial goals, it can also take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. That is why it is important to balance additional work with your life and well-being. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Set realistic and achievable goals. Don’t overestimate how much extra income you need or can earn, or underestimate how much time and energy it will take. Set realistic and achievable goals that are aligned with your needs, abilities, and priorities. Track your progress and celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small.
  • Manage your time and energy. Don’t overcommit yourself to too many projects or tasks, or work longer hours than you can handle. Manage your time and energy wisely, and allocate them according to your goals, deadlines, and urgencies. Use tools like calendars, planners, timers, or apps to help you organize and schedule your work and life activities. Also, make sure to take breaks, rest, and recharge regularly.
  • Maintain your health and wellness. Don’t neglect your health and wellness, as they are essential for your productivity and performance. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated. Also, practice self-care and stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or hobbies. Seek professional help if you experience any physical or mental health issues.
  • Maintain your relationships and social life. Don’t isolate yourself from your family, friends, or other people who matter to you. Maintain your relationships and social life, as they can provide you with support, comfort, and joy. Make time to connect and communicate with your loved ones, and share your feelings, thoughts, and experiences with them. Also, participate in social activities and events that interest you, and meet new people who share your passions or goals.
  • Maintain your passion and purpose. Don’t lose sight of your passion and purpose, as they can motivate you and inspire you. Maintain your passion and purpose, and pursue them with enthusiasm and dedication. Find ways to express your creativity, talent, or vision, and share them with the world. Also, find ways to contribute to your community or a cause you care about, and make a positive difference in the world.

Success Stories: Real Examples

To inspire you and show you what is possible, here are some success stories of real people who have supplemented their income and afforded rent in Canada:

  • Sarah, a graphic designer from Toronto, who created and sold her own stickers on Etsy. Sarah is a graphic designer who works full-time at a marketing agency. She loves her job, but she also wanted to have a creative outlet and earn some extra money. She decided to create and sell her own stickers on Etsy, a platform for handmade and vintage goods. She used her design skills and software to create cute and colorful stickers, featuring animals, plants, quotes, and more. She printed them at home, packaged them, and shipped them to her customers. She also promoted her shop on social media, and received positive feedback and reviews from her buyers. She was able to earn an average of $500 per month from her sticker sales, which helped her cover her rent and utilities.
  • James, a teacher from Vancouver, who taught English online to students from China. James is a teacher who works part-time at a local school. He enjoys teaching, but he also wanted to have more flexibility and diversity in his work. He decided to teach English online to students from China, using a platform called VIPKid. He created his profile, set his availability, and chose his curriculum. He taught one-on-one or small group classes, using video chat and interactive tools. He also received training and support from the platform, and feedback and ratings from his students. He was able to earn an average of $20 per hour from his online teaching, which helped him pay his rent and save for his travel plans.
  • Lisa, a nurse from Calgary, who participated in paid surveys and focus groups. Lisa is a nurse who works full-time at a hospital. She loves her job, but she also wanted to have some extra income and fun in her spare time. She decided to participate in paid surveys and focus groups, using platforms like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Leger Opinion. She answered questions and shared her opinions on various topics, such as products, services, brands, or trends. She also joined online communities and panels, and interacted with other members and moderators. She was able to earn an average of $200 per month from her survey and focus group participation, which helped her afford her rent and treat herself to some shopping or dining.

Conclusion: Building Financial Stability

Renting in Canada can be challenging, but it is not impossible. By supplementing your income with creative and flexible side gigs, you can afford rent and build financial stability. You can also enjoy the benefits of having more income, such as saving, investing, paying off debt, or achieving your financial dreams.

There are many ways to find and secure side gigs, both online and offline, that can fit your skills, interests, and schedule. You can also use online platforms and apps, leverage your network and referrals, or create your own website or blog to showcase and market your skills or services. You can also use your HustleHub account to access more resources, tips, and opportunities to supplement your income and afford rent.

However, you also need to balance additional work with your life and well-being. You need to set realistic and achievable goals, manage your time and energy, maintain your health and wellness, maintain your relationships and social life, and maintain your passion and purpose. You also need to understand the tax implications and the potential impact on your existing benefits and programs of earning extra income.

You can also learn from the success stories of other people who have supplemented their income and afforded rent in Canada. You can find inspiration, motivation, and guidance from their experiences and achievements. You can also share your own success story with the Hustlers community, and inspire others to follow your footsteps.

We hope this article has helped you discover creative ways to supplement your income and afford rent in Canada. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you and help you in any way we can. Thank you for reading, and happy hustling!


Source: (1) Affordability Calculator | CMHC – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/consumers/home-buying/calculators/affordability-calculator. (2) Lower-income renters in Canada can now apply for a one-time $500 top-up …. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2022/12/the-application-portal-for-the-one-time-top-up-to-the-canada-housing-benefit-is-now-open.html. (3) Guaranteed Income Supplement – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/guaranteed-income-supplement.html. (4) Guaranteed Income Supplement: Do you qualify – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/guaranteed-income-supplement/eligibility.html. (5) Canada Pension Plan Supplement – Everything You Need to Know. https://canpension.ca/articles/the-extra-benefits-of-the-canada-pension-plan-supplement-you-need-to-know. (6) What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement? – TurboTax® Canada. https://turbotax.intuit.ca/tips/what-is-the-guaranteed-income-supplement-14389. (7) Guaranteed Income Supplement: 4 Questions Answered. https://www.nerdwallet.com/ca/personal-finance/what-is-guaranteed-income-supplement. (8) Where to look for cheap rent in Canada, as prices soar, again. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/rental-costs-housing-affordable-canada-1.6551984.

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