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How Malaysians Earn Extra Cash?

by Natasha Christopher

Tired and feeling hopeless about your financial status? Take some tips from us and some of our readers on what they do to earn extra cash in their downtime. Who knows you can do the same too!

“The best thing about being rich is the freedom; freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. It doesn’t suck” -Tommy Lee-

Agree on the quote? I can truly tell that if I was awarded RM20,000, it would solve so many of my debts and finances. I think it would solve part of your expenses and debts too! It’s never easy earning the hard work that you deserve. Let alone the fact that you need to cancel a few plans with your friends to hustle and remind yourself to pay the bills on time.

There was one situation that I was determined to go on my first overseas trip and it was to Melbourne. Since I was a student, I worked part-time for a year as a cafe waitress just so I could go to Australia and that hard work paid off. Going overseas with the money that I deserve and worked for is truly another feeling that one can’t explain. I feel independent and empowered by my own resilience to set out what my heart desires.
Sometimes, you work so hard that at one point you make up for lost time with family and friends. Though it’s nobody’s fault if one wants to make more cash, you have to admit, it’s pretty admirable for someone to put in the extra effort just to afford materials or just simply to pay off debts.

However, according to INTI International University & Colleges first-ever survey on the freelancing landscape in Malaysia, it was found that 68% of the 300 respondents surveyed chose to freelance as their first choice of work despite the availability of full-time jobs.

Source: The Edge Markets, Oct 26, 2017.

Although, The Salaries & Wages Survey Report, Malaysia, 2017 showed that the median and mean monthly salaries and wages of paid employees increased by 7.7% and 8.1% respectively.

This brings us to the question, how much is enough for a person and what do they do to earn extra income? Here are some of our suggestion on what you can do.

Grab Car

grab car 2
I’m sure when you want an opinion from the others on how to earn easy extra cash, most will say “just do Grab”. Many have said yes to doing Grab, a whopping 600,000 drivers or more have registered to be a Grab driver. According to a poll done by Indeed, average Grab driver monthly pay in Malaysia is approximately RM4,434, which is 128% above the national average. Salary information comes from 8 data point collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. Of course, the pay defers in terms of distance travelled, hours and days spent.

The Council of Eminent Persons reported that majority of Grab drivers are part-timers and their income from Grab contributes 30 per cent to their household income.

Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform. To be a Grab driver, you must possess a valid driver’s license and are authorized to operate a motor vehicle and have all the appropriate licences. You also need to have a valid policy of liability insurance for the operation of your vehicle.

Age: 20 to 60 years old

License: Made from 2008 and above

Vehicle: Your own car or someone else car is also permitted as long it’s not a Perodua Viva car.

Lastly, no criminal records such as theft, rape, murder, kidnap and so on.

airbnb 2
Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short term lodging in more than 65,000 countries including Malaysia. In recent years, Airbnb has evolved its peer-to-peer model to give hosts the tech tools they need to run a seamless, sophisticated operation.

This is not a hotel chain neither does it own the short time lodgings. A lot of people cannot afford to book mainstream accommodation choices such as hotel rooms. So the cheaper way of having a roof over your head is a house that makes you feel like home.

Here’s how you can be an Airbnb host and earn extra;

1. Create your listing

It’s free and easy to create a listing on Airbnb. Describe your space, how many guests you can accommodate, add photos and details. The pricing tool can recommend competitive rates, but what you charge is always up to you.

2. Welcome Guests

Get to know guests before arrival by messaging them on the Airbnb platform. If you want to skip this option, you can always greet guest by just sending them a door code. Somewhat of a self check-in.

3. Get Paid

Airbnb’s secure payment system means you never have to deal with money directly. Guests are charged before arrival, and you are paid automatically after check in, minus a 3% service fee.

Source: Airbnb official website.

It’s also best to familiarize yourself with local laws too just in case you don’t need to go through a lot of obstacles.


Social Media Influencer 
influencer 1
Yes, this job pays too and it ain’t cheap as well. Being a social media influencer has taken its reign as one of the easiest money to earn. Some do it full time as well. So how much do influencers get paid? It really depends on a range of factors. It depends on the followers an influencer has, the brand, sponsored post and so on.

For example, Kim Kardashian West get paid up to $500,000 per post in her social media! That would have paid for my travelling trip for a year! YouTuber and comedian Lilly Singh gets paid $ 7.5 million per year. How crazy is that?

To be in the lap of luxury with easy money comes with a struggle too. To be able to figure new content to share with the public, as well as creating an effective way to market a brand to the people is really a difficult job. If there is one thing all can agree is the fact that there is a large potential to be tapped in roping in social media influencers to take brands further.

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Internet Users Survey 2017, most users in Malaysia send an average total of four hours a day browsing social media through various digital devices. This makes a potential outreach better to a wide audience.

baker 1
The term ‘if you are good at something, never do it for free’, certainly applies to this special skills and talent that one possess. What is the one thing people needs to survive? That’s right, food.

There have been a rise in the food delivery industry and supplying food to homes. Not talking about restaurants, but self home-cooked meals to deliver to others and get paid for it. You’ll get more out of it when you cater to huge events. There are many stories of individuals who leave their 9-5pm jobs to be a cook or baker. True enough, when people recognize your talent, that’s where your passion will turn to a good payday for you.

photographer 1
Snapping pictures and capturing the beauty of everything that you see and get paid for it, sounds like a dream come true right? Well, it’s a high possibility you do the job too.

Just invest in a camera, know how to set around it, snap a picture and get paid. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? However, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to shooting or snapping video and picture. It takes hours of practice, patience and preparation.

It’s not easy having to learn how to edit a video and making an exceptional performance that will make people hire you again. You need to able to stand out and the skills you need takes time. So, don’t fret if it doesn’t work the way you want it to be in the beginning.

Creating a wedding video and taking pictures can cost a person approximately around RM 3,000 and above. All straight to your pocket. Heck, some people don’t earn this much of money at the start of their career.

blogging blog word coder coding using laptop
If you love writing and documenting your stories and experiences, creating a blog may attract extra cash for you too.

From food reviews, travel stories, or reviewing a product/brand, and just jotting down on a day-to-day basis story can attract views and essentially providing you money. Getting a job as a professional blogger is much easier than starting at ground zero with your own blog. However, setting up and monetizing your own blog takes a lot more work that it actually seems. There’s real effort and creativity based on your topics to really sell your piece out. Also, you need traffic to earn some big bucks for yourself too.

According to an anonymous source from a digital agency in Petaling Jaya, on average, popular bloggers in Malaysia bring in about RM4,000 to RM5,000. There are even bloggers who rake in RM30,000 a month on advertising alone! (Source: iMoney.my).

Who knows, you can be the next blogger to have reach RM40,000. Just saying.

Here is what day-to-day people have been doing to earn extra money and what they feel about it;

Learning to drum at a young age made me realized of my talents that should be shared with everyone. Having weekly gigs certainly, do help me a little with my pocket money as I am still a student. -Matthew Toh, 23-
To be able to bake and get money for it is something I can never imagine doing. I’ve met many amazing new people and slowly the connections just made me be my own boss. If it wasn’t for this extra skill set that I have, I wouldn’t be able to survive monthly. -Michelle Rose, 29-

I do a little writing on the side to earn a little extra. For example, I proofread an article, write for a website company as well as script-writing. It helps me to achieve my dreams of being a writer for a movie someday. -Angelina Ruel, 27-

Driving Grab has been quite rewarding as I can manage my debts a little better now but the downside to this is the quality time with a loved one as it has consumed most of my time working continuously. At the same time, I meet a lot of new people in the process too. Certainly, helps me grow to be a wise person when it comes to working hard. -Kavilan Kavz, 26-

Music has always been my passion, and my full-time job as a marketer in a digital company just helps me pays my bills. Weekends are when I earn extra money as a drummer/vocalist. To meet many people in the music industry as well as listening to them just makes me feel satisfied with the passion that I chose. Plus, let’s not forget I get paid to play music too. -Malcolm Tan, 30-

My love for Additional Mathematics and Science is being put to good use when I can earn extra from dedicating my efforts into high school teenagers to help them with their exams. Being a part-time teacher really did open my eyes to more possibility as a person and how far I can do to impact the people around me. -Shalini Krishnan, 26-

As I am a student, things do cost a lot for me. So that’s why I work as a part-timer waiter nearby my university so I can afford a little bit more for myself. Although sometimes it takes a toll on my studies due to tiredness from working, it teaches me to be independent and strive to get my degree when all of this ends. -Isaac Loon, 21-

What initially started out as a favour for a family friend to show them around Kuala Lumpur, now I’m doing tour guide as my side income. It still amazes me as to how things worked out all for the better and to be a part-time tour guide for my beautiful country Malaysia is something I will never regret. – Cora Lang, 32-

Image via The Loop HK

Image via The Loop HK

I’ve always loved the art and makings when it comes to cocktail and mixing alcohol up to get a variety of flavours. Through word of mouth, I’ve been able to serve and meet people in events, company dinners and many more. Sometimes an event can award me extra money so I can afford things for myself and my mother. For that, I am beyond blessed. -Brandon Suryan, 24-

Doing Grab definitely have distracted my mind from the increasing need to get a job and to earn as much as my working friends are. To be able to meet interesting people along the way did make me more confident to interact with lots of people and eventually for my job interviews. -Kayden Ng, 22-

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