As the cost of living rises year by year, one paycheck alone might be hard to make ends meet nowadays. No wonder, the thought of earning some extra income is always on everyone’s mind.
But, thanks to technology which opens up a new way to make money, more and more people are now able to earn extra with ways that suit their lifestyle.
Hence, we have come up with 16 ways of making money in Malaysia, the 2019 version.
Ways to Make Money in Malaysia 2019
1. Meal Hosting
Have you heard of Airbnb, but for food? If you love to cook, and share your meals with people around the world, then meal hosting can potentially be your side hustle.
With the help of online platforms to attract foodies around the world you are now able to host your home cooked meal in the comfort of your own home while connect with foodie communities from various places, below are some examples:
|Websites||Type of Meal Hosting Available||Fees Incurred|
|PlateCulture||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner||It charges 20% as booking fee.|
|MealSharing||Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Cooking class, Cocktail Party, Wine tasting, Tea party, Food tour, Supper Club, Pop up, Thanksgiving, (food delivery service is available too)||It charges 10% transaction fee.|
|Dinez-in||Different variety of meals, Cooking class, Event catering (food delivery service is available too)||It takes 15% as service fee.|
Before jumping onto the bandwagon, bear in mind that safety screening and home visits will be conducted by the company's person-in-charge to verify that your home and kitchen passes several necessary standards.
At some point, you might be required to get vaccinated.
If you are not home cooked chef, fret not!
You can try co host with someone who can play the cook, such as your mom or your dad (if he’s good at cooking).
2. Put Your Skills For Sale
Have you thought of working as a freelancer? According to The Star, about 26% of Malaysian workforce are freelancers, and the numbers are still increasing.
Why? Because freelancers have the flexibility to work remotely, on top of that, work around their schedule instead of following the 9 to 5 routine.
So, how can I freelance?
Well, do you have any skills that you can put a price on?
Here is a table of comparison between different online freelancing platforms:
|Freelancing Platform||Platform Fees for Every Completed Job|
|Upwork||20% after earning the first $500|
|10% after earning between $500.01 to $10,000|
|5% after earning exceeds $10,000|
|Fiverr||20% after every successful transaction|
|Freelancer||10% of the total earnings or $5 (whichever is greater) for fixed price project|
|10% of the total earnings for hourly project|
|People Per Hour||3.5% (excl. VAT) for total earnings over $7000|
|7.5% (excl. VAT) for earnings in between $700 to $7000|
|20% (excl. VAT) for earnings below $700|
|Kaodim||No transaction fees, but it cost RM 3 to RM 20 to bid for the job.|
|ServisHero||No transaction fees, but it requires the platform’s prepaid credits to bid for the job.|
*prices shown by the symbol ‘$’ represents USD.
Many businesses nowadays are willing to outsource their jobs to lighten their burden.
Some tasks come as a project based and some offer a part-time contract, is up to you to choose something that suits your lifestyle.
How much can I earn?
This greatly depend on your expertise, the quality of your work, how good you communicate with clients, ultimately, how much you charge for your skill.
I won’t promise you that this path would be a bed of roses, it does provide you the flexibility that a 9-5 job can’t.
Put your attention on building good rapport with your clients and converting them into your long term customers, when your reputation is established, you can then charge a higher rate and consequently build your wealth from there.
3. Help to Shop a.k.a Personal Shopper
Personal shopper usually comes three categories:
- Setting up their own businesses through social media platforms or creating a website.
Examples: Maryam.Authentic.Chic, Nadiatheshopper (you don’t necessarily need to have a website to kick off your career, make use of social media platforms work well too)
- Join a personal shopping company.
- Freelance during overseas.
You can either join a company as a freelancer or ask around if anyone is interested in your service.
Essentially, customers are paying personal shoppers to help them buy specific items, whether abroad or locally, for a few reasons, either the item is unavailable in Malaysia or they don’t have the time to buy themselves.
Think of niche skincare brands from Korea, luxury goods from France, the latest Google phone from the U.S or even local groceries shopping. Do bear in mind that as the price of product increases, responsibility increases as well, simultaneously, chances of you making a higher profit from it is possible too.
How much you should charge?
This entirely depends on you, but to give you a rough guide, there’s a few methods of billing:
- A percentage of the item’s original price, e.g between 5% to 20% (this would be good for highly sought after/ niche items like the latest iPhone model)
- A percentage of the total amount of items cost (this works on items that you can get at the same place, such as snacks)
- A fixed rate regardless of the total cost (this option poses a certain risk as you might run into difficulties when trying to obtain the item, where you end up spending more than you can earn)
- Hourly rate (not widely used in Malaysia, but could potentially bring in good income, depending on how you communicate with your client to agree to pay)
It all boils down to how difficult for you to obtain the item requested and how much your buyer is willing to pay.
So do your research and prepare your game plan, at least you have a plan B to fall back if you encounter a long queue or there is a limit to the number of items you plan to buy.
Finally, post your trip on the relevant platforms or announce to your circle of friends to start taking orders!
4. Earn by Tour (Locally)
As a Malaysian, we know our country is a multi-faceted gem. Other than amazing food, we have amazing islands, scenery and awesome people.
Why not introduce our amazing culture to tourist or foreigners while you earn extra money along the way?
You can customize tours to give tourist or foreigners an insight into the local life, such as the usual get-to-know-a-place sightseeing, or a foodie tour to find the best durians.
A one-of-a kind-experience can work well too.
Such as cooking an authentic Peranakan meal, guided tour in our night market also known as pasar malam, trying out Malaysia’s traditional clothings, there are endless possibilities! You are your own limit, the key is to figure out what you do best and how to offer it to the others.
On average, a tour guide can earn between RM 2900 - RM 3600, a more personalised service can charge with a higher price.
For example, a guided trip to Kota Kinabalu can cost up to RM 2000 depending on what activities you are up for . The reason being is that different people will need different time span to reach the peak, which results in different tour duration, therefore, the price can be high.
So how should I get started?
Well, you can promote your service through word of mouth, or by registering yourself on travel platforms.
Online platforms to kickstart your tour business
|Type of Platform||Transaction Fees (every trip booked)|
Depending on the trip you plan to host, be sure to understand some of the laws and registration requirements that may be applicable, such as the legal age to drink if you plan to include alcohol in your trip.
5. Renting Out a Room or Property
This method is an oldie but a goodie, majority has been doing this for centuries, but with a different approach as technology advances.
Depending on your property, Depending on your property, you can rent out a room or entire house, long term or short term basis, if the situation allows/permits.
Websites such as Roomz and SpeedHome are a great way to post your listing, also, let’s not forget about our big brother, Airbnb, which has established itself and quite stable in Malaysia.
Ways to rent out your property
|Platform to Advertise Your Property||Fees Incurred|
|Roomz||No fees incurred|
|SpeedHome|| - Free to list your properties
-An additional option to include insurance in your listing, against any property damage
You have the option to choose “Shared host and guest fee” or “Host-only fee"
- Shared host and guest fee: Guest will pay 20% while you pay 3% of the service fee.
- Host-only fee: You need to pay 14%-20% of service fee
|Through an agent||A month’s rent will be paid to the agent if the agent managed to secure a tenant for you|
|Through word of mouth||None|
Before renting out your property, be sure to do a thorough check on your tenants. Whether he or she is financially stable, any criminal records, cross check with any resources you have. As for long term renting, it is best to have a tenancy agreement, which is stamped by Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDN) as a legal protection.
6. Running Simple Errands
Help is invaluable when it comes to emergency situation, which makes it hard to be priced, which puts us to the next point!
People who are in need of help will pay more to hire.
Besides, helping others is our natural instinct, that’s why you feel good after helping someone who needed it.
So how can I earn money from that? The answer is GoGet.
It is a platform that allows you to connect with people who need help.
First of all, you need to have these to begin with:
- Online banking account
- Own a smartphone with data connection
- Ability to communicate in English
Basically, GoGet connects you with people who need help with errands. They could be meals takeaway, grocery shopping, a cheque deposit, or even sending a passport to the airport for someone forgetful.
How much will I earn? According to GoGet support, Go Getter earns tips instead of being paid the conventional hourly wage, the range is between RM 500 to RM 6000. But Go Get will take 20% commission of total earnings from GoGet jobs if you’re just starting off.
Simply put, people are willing to pay more under urgent situation, so the more jobs you claim from GoGet, the more you can earn, and the lesser GoGet will take from your total earnings.
7. Rent Out Your Car for Money
All cars value will depreciate eventually regardless when you bought them, because they are an asset that wears out over time.
But, there’s a way to overcome this.
If you are not using your car on a daily basis, you should consider renting them out to earn extra.
On average, a compact car can be rented for RM 65 a day, roughly RM 455 for a week, and about RM 1950 for a month. But again, this is just a rough calculation to get you into the picture.
The question is, how can I rent out my car? There are different platforms that allow you to list your car (if your car fits the requirements) with no to minimal fee.
Platform such as Moovby and Kwikcar are widely used by Malaysians for peer to peer car sharing. For Moovby, it charges the vehicle owner a 25% for every successful transaction, whereas Kwikcar remains no charges (at the point of writing).
A general rule of thumb before renting out your car is to make sure your car is not older than 10 years, as this will deter most car sharing platform from accepting your car.
8. Make Money With Driving License
Driving license is arguably one of the most important official documents that we take around with us.
But what does it mean to you? It means that you can potentially make money or earn a side hustle with your driving license! Here are some examples of ways to make money with driving license:
A. Jobs that transport people
|Ride hailing drivers||
Driving platforms: Grab, Mula, EzCab, Riding Pink
Commission sharing: 10%- 25%
Vehicle requirement: Vehicle has registered less than 10 years
Estimated annual income: RM42,600 - RM56,000
Driver requirement: PSV license
Estimated annual income:RM 23,892
Driver requirement: Clean driving record, flexible working hours
Estimated annual income: RM26,736
B. Jobs that transport goods
|Online food delivery drivers||
Driving platforms: Foodpanda, Grabfood, Dahmakan
Vehicle requirement: motorcycle or car
Estimated annual income: RM19000 - RM20080
Driver requirement: GDL license
Estimated annual income: RM64,714
|Ninja Van driver||
Driver requirement: clean driving record, flexible working hours
Estimated annual income: RM26,736.
Since we focus mostly on side hustle today, I will be digging deeper into the transportation field that can potentially serve as a part time job.
Before you make up your mind, bear in mind that starting from 12th July 2019 onwards, all e-hailing ride drivers are required to obtain Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license, and vehicle being used has to have at least 3 stars in ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rating.
9. Turn Your Car Into a Moving Billboard
If you’re not comfortable with the thought of picking up a stranger nor letting a stranger drive your car, fret not, there is another way to make money with your vehicle.
Think about it, you can drive to work or anywhere as normally as how you would, at the same time getting paid for it, how nice would that be!
As the title suggest, you can rent out your car as an advertising platform to earn money.
Different companies have different ways of calculating how much you can earn by advertising with them, but the general idea is that more obvious your car ads appear to the public, the higher the chances to earn more.
So the timing and the location of your drive does play an important role, make sense?
For example, by driving at 5pm will garner you more audiences than driving at 11pm, same goes to this, by driving to a highly populated area will earn you more as compared to just driving around your neighbourhood.
On the other hand, to give freedom to drivers to advertise the brand they prefered, advertising company will put up campaigns from time to time, by the brand who wants to be advertised. Drivers who are interested will have to register to the campaign before the campaign has been fully signed up.
Here are 3 mobile apps that offer to pay to advertise on your car:
|Mobile App||Earning Structure||Vehicle Requirements||Estimated Earnings||Frequency of Payout|
|Moola||Moola calls it the “Impression”, which is calculated by when and where you drive. Different timing of the day will result in different impression rate.||Car with good condition, along with factory finish paint or equivalent.||About RM 150 - RM500 if you drive an average of 35km/ day (depending on the campaign and the “impression” you get).||Monthly|
|Grab Ads||N.A||No restriction on car condition, but preferably to have in its original factory paint.||About RM 150 - RM 600 (depending on the campaign you choose).||After the end of a campaign|
|MyBump||Depending on the type of campaign you sign up, and your car mileage.||No restriction on car condition, but preferably to have in its original factory paint and less than 10 years old.||About RM 80 - RM 400 (depending on which campaign you choose and your mileage).||After the end of a campaign|
10. Pet Sitting
Do you remember the feeling when you saw a funny cat videos or dog wagging its tail happily at you? And your heart melted on the spot?
Here’s why: research shows that furry animals help us to fulfill the need to be loved and give us a sense of purpose. That’s why many people form a bond with their pets that sometimes last a lifetime.
Unless, you don’t feel the same with pets, then I recommend you to move on to the next point.
On the other hand, pet sitting is a good business in Malaysia as the demand is usually higher than the market can supply, plus, you can shower your love on a cute pet while earning some side income!
You can either be an independent pet sitter, by promoting your service through word of mouth or joining a corporate pet sitting platform that helps you to reach out to potential customers.
By joining a pet sitting platform you don’t need to worry about marketing or customer support, in fact, some platform like PetBacker will provide training and certification for new sitters. But this comes with a price, you will need to share your revenue with them as they need to maintain their platform expenses.
In a glance, here are 2 widely used platform in Malaysia:
|Website||Services Provided||Service Fee||Sitter Requirements||Verification Process|
|JomPaw||Pet boarding, dog walking, pet taxi, pet training||20% from every successful transaction.||18 years above with the basic knowledge of animal care, pet owner is highly welcome.||There will be an interview conducted prior signing up as a pet sitter.|
|PetBacker||Pet boarding, dog walking, pet taxi, pet grooming||18%-25% from successful transaction, depending on numbers of jobs you completed.||Didn’t specify on their website, but a pet owner is highly welcome.||No information was disclosed.|
On a side note, judging from the current market, a license is not needed to be a pet sitter, but if you know anything otherwise, do let us know by commenting down below!
11. Selling In Pasar/ Market
As a true Malaysian, we love our pasar, in other words, market. There’s just something about the atmosphere, the food and the price that lure us to visit, or better still, spend there.
But on the flip side, have you thought of making money as being a seller?
Pasar comes in many forms, flea market, night market, or even as the form of car boot sale! Depending on what you are selling, choosing the right market is essential to attract the right crowd.
If you’re an artsy DIYers who love to handcraft jewellery or knick knacks, Art Row, Publika and Makers & Co are communities that organised craft related bazaar and pop-ups. They often update their Facebook page on when there’s any event coming up.
Food is another highlight in most bazaars as we Malaysians tend to gravitate towards Food. We are always curious as to what type of food that are sold in bazaar.
An example of Malaysia's home grown brand, Amazin' Graze, started out small by setting up a market stall in Bangsar shopping centre. There are many ways to introduce your recipe to the market, it could be thethe word of mouth, through social media platforms or setting up a booth in the bazaar to get the ball rolling.
You can check out I love Bazaar.com for upcoming events and their fees.
On the other hand, car boot sale is another cheaper option than shopping malls, of course, without any table, as the name suggests, your car boot will be the platform to display your goods. Generally the rental can cost between RM 10 to RM 30.
The point is, pasar has unofficially become an attraction for many people, which makes it a good platform to do business. So by finding a low rental cost and selling a higher profit margin item is the perfect equation to earn money.
12. Teach What You Know Best
Teaching can be very satisfying and rewarding for some people, imagine from the day you pass down your knowledge to the day you see your students finally master the subject.
Best of all, you can earn a living from that, by just tutoring others on what you know best.
Of course, there are people who dedicated most of their lives teaching full time. But if that is not possible for you, there are always ways to make it doable with your schedule.
You see, formal education has evolved throughout the years from just being in the classroom to seeing each other on a computer screen while you are a thousand miles away from each other, thanks to technology.
Aside from being a private tutor who teaches at the student’s house or in a tuition centre, knowledge can now be learned through different mediums such as videos, or even FaceTime! How convenient is that?
Here is a table on platforms that offers to teach in a different way, and the traditional method:
|Platform||Way of Teaching||Courses Offered||Teacher Requirement||Platform Sharing|
|italki||Interaction with tutor through Voice Over IP like Skype or Hangouts||Different language courses||You can choose to be either a community teacher (which only require you to be native the language you teach) or a professional teacher (where you need to submit your certifications)||15% of every successful transaction|
|Udemy||Video based teaching||From preschool to programming, too many variations||No certificate required, but every video has to meet a strict Quality Review Process||50% if students buy your courses on Udemy platform|
|ChampionTutor||Private tutoring or group session||Mostly academic courses, from preschool to foundation studies||At least Form 5 and above qualification||50% of the first payment cycle|
How much do you stand to make?
Image from ChampionTutor
The above table is just a rough guideline on how much you can earn, but ultimately this boils down to how well you can teach and manage your classes, after all, perseverance is the key.
13. Start Your Own Website/Blog
What is your passion? What is the thing that will motivate you to keep going when money is not involved?
When you devote your time into something that interests you, you will eventually master it.
But what does this mean to you?
In this digital era where information exchange is crucial, online platform has become an important tool for people to do their research when is needed.
So, if you have something to offer regarding the particular matter that you are confident at, by starting a website or a blog could potentially attract people with similar thoughts, subsequently earning an income too!
For example, Jane enjoys travelling, particularly in South East Asia. By creating a website, it allows her to share her travel insights with the public, especially those who are interested to travel in South East Asia too.
Why? Because Jane’s specialised way of travel will make her website seem more reliable and in-depth for people who plan to travel to South East Asia. They will find her advice and guides more relevant and helpful.
As a result, it is important to get the content right, as it should be something that you can share with your audiences confidently.
Now you have your content sorted out, what’s next?
To create your website and get going, you will need:
- Web hosting service
- Domain name
- Website building software
- Web Page design
- Business email address (optional)
That looks a lot to begin with, but don’t worry, lucky for us living in the era of convenience, there are solutions out there.
These services offer a whole package that includes everything in to help you create your own website, some are free and some you need to pay (for more advanced services).
They are called CMS, a.k.a. Content Management System (CMS).
|CMS||Charges||Free Web Hosting||Free Custom Domain||Free Business Email Address||Free Web Page Design||Remarks|
|Wordpress||There are free and premium options||Yes||No, but they offer a free address using a WordPress.com subdomain||No||Yes||The free plan does come with WordPress Ad|
|Shopify||Free||No||No||No||No||It solely focuses on ecommerce|
|Wix||There are free and paid subscriptions||Yes||No, but they offer a free address using username.wixsite.com||No||Yes||The free plan does come with Wix Banner Ad|
But wait, before you choose any CMS to go with, you need to be sure what kind of website you want to create. A quick tip, if you plan to do this long term, I would advise you to get a custom domain name as it will be tied to your brand identity.
14. Write an eBook
Besides having your own website to share your knowledge with the world, publishing an ebook is another alternative. If you feel that it is a hassle to obtain a website or a blog for yourself, writing your knowledge into a book is still a good way to go.
In case you might be wondering, eBook is just like a normal book, except without a physical body. Meaning that an ebook can only be read in digital devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, which saves you the fuss to go through a publishing house or a bookstore to promote your book.
The next question you might ask, where can I publish my book then?
There are platforms in Malaysia that allows self publishing authors to publish their books with a higher royalty, as compared to publishing house:
|Kindle Direct Publishing||
Ultimately, it is up to you where you want to publish your ebook, who is your targeted audiences and your main motive.
If your main motive is to earn quick cash, Kindle Direct Publishing might be the answer. If establishing a loyal reader base is your goal, then Streetlib or E-sentral will serve you better.
15. Sell Your Photographs as Stock Photos
Do you constantly find yourself looking for your phone or camera just to capture the moment? Do you enjoy chasing after the aesthetics in your photos, regardless of how long it takes? Did you know your photos can earn money?
Bear in mind though, there are some requirements before you can sell your photos online, which really depends on the agencies. But the general rule of thumb is that the pictures have to be high resolution, not blurry (obviously!), the lighting is not over or under exposed, reduce the noise as much as you can and beware of the logos or faces in your picture without model release.
Then you might be wondering, how much can I earn by selling stock photography?
I have seen photos selling for RM 1800 on Getty Image, but let’s be real, on average, stock photos cost about $0.25 to $0.45 , depending on how high demand your photo is. The truth is, in most cases, it can only act to supplement your main income, but hardly able to pay the bills, with the fierce competition these days, the supply has overcome what the market demands.
But, don’t underestimate the power of passive income.
The whole point of being passive is that once you shoot and upload the pictures to the agencies websites, your job is pretty much done. Your photos will stay there for others to view and, possibly, be purchased, until when you decided to remove them (I mean, why would you?). People can see it from time to time and buy it if they are interested.
So, which agencies should I upload my photos?
Here is a comparison of major services in stock photography industry.
Alternatively, if photography is not your strength, you can also venture out to videography, or even vectors, as these are also available to sell on major agencies in stock photography industry.
16. Sell Your DIY Crafts or Preloved Items
If you have a flair for art and craft, why not sell them for some bucks?
Whether it’s calligraphy, painting, clay moulding, notebook binding, if you are confident in your skill, others will see it and willing to go for your service.
Art, My Foot! is a good example of homegrown brand that customises paintings on canvas shoes, based on customer’s request. They market their services mainly on Instagram and Facebook.
Alternatively, Etsy is another platform that concentrate solely on DIY crafts, with an international audience, as the currency used is USD. In case you might be wondering, there are Malaysians that sell on Etsy too!
On the other hand, Bazaar or flea market is another option to market your services/ products. Besides, you can communicate with customers to promote your brand for future connections.
Say art and craft is not your thing, fret not!
As the saying goes by “One man’s trash is another man's treasure”. Believe it or not, the clothes that you no longer wear or the books that you have finished reading might still be able to earn you some money!
There are a few ways to get your stuff selling:
- Negotiable profit within an allocated period of time - Flea Market/ Bazaar
If you have some time to spare, this might be the best option. You can decide the price of your item, depending on how fast you want them to sell as well as be able to negotiate with the customers to a price that both of you agreed, check point 11.
- To get the most profit without time limit - Online platform
For those who are not in a rush, but wanting to get the most profit out of their preloved items, selling online like Carousell, Lelong and Shopee is the way to go as your listing will be on the web until the item is being sold. But bear in mind though as Lelong and Shopee will charge a fee on every successful transaction.
The decision is based on how much you want to earn and how fast you want to sell off your items. A common mistake many people tend to make is to price their used items above the average of the preloved market, so do a quick check on how much others are selling if yours are not selling out.
Ultimately, there are endless possibilities to make money in Malaysia, the choices boils down to your needs, how urgent do you need cash? Alternatively, if you don’t live in Malaysia, you can check out our article on The Ultimate Guide In Earning Extra Money and Rewards, where there are ideas that work not just in Malaysia but internationally. If you have other ways that are not mentioned here, comment down below and let us know! All the best and hustle hard!