LAST_UPDATESat, 23 Jun 2018 10am

Rising Cost Of Living − What Part-Time Jobs Can I Do To Earn Extra Income?

Thinking of making some extra income with the rising cost of living?

If you’re probably earning something of what a journalist (like me) would get, and seek to earn more, what with having to spend at least RM20,000 to get married nowadays (check out this article I wrote, for those earning below RM5,000), or after spending a big chunk of your monthly income for cars (hands up those driving a ‘graduate’ car and spending RM500-RM800 for it), have credit card debts (because of your uncontrollable shopping habit until you’ve maxed out your limit!) or have other commitments like helping out the family etc., you are definitely feeling the pinch.

But fret not, these days, there are many creative and innovative ways people are adding a little cash in their pockets, like fixing up old furniture and clothes, selling stuff at the flea market, walking someone’s dog, having a garage sale and opening up a lemonade stand in front of their homes.

The social media is also a good tool to make money by just blogging, participating in online surveys, selling things, or by just being popular on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

However, here, we’ve compiled a list of jobs - some eccentric and some curious - that might take your interest, and interviewed the people who have earned extra income from it, also those who are in the know with the jobs that you might be able take up after office hours.


A barber makes around RM100 per day, says the full-time Indian barber whom I interviewed.

“So at night, with enough clients, you may ‘cut’ up to RM50 per night shift."

I asked if it was feasible - and possible too for someone to offer hair cutting services in the evening.

“Yes, it's possible, if you are good at it and have your own place.”

However, this is your average-Indian-barber we're talking about, so if you fancy working at those studio-salon hairdressers, they’ve already replied they prefer having people work full-time.

Burger Seller

Bob, as all Ramli burger sellers are known for, puts his burger stand by a roadside in Ampang. He has a day job and works full-time, but flips burgers only in the evening where he sets up his portable stall from 6pm until around midnight.

He tells that one can make almost RM300 on an average day.

“I make around RM250-RM300 per day, but it also depends on your location, and where you are putting your business up.

“Do bear in mind however that after paying for all the supplies for the food, it doesn't come much. But at the end of the month, I roughly have around RM500 as profit after all the expenses.”

Uber Driver

When it comes to money, Uber drivers can earn up to RM8,000 a month.

Shah, who is an Uber driver shares:

“It depends on how many hours you are willing to spend in a day, and depending on which service you are on (Uber X-Low, Uber XL-Medium, UberBlack-Premium). As a driver, we are getting 80 percent of the fares.

“There is actually no average, because some of the rates changes on a weekly/monthly basis. During certain peak hours in hot spot areas like KLCC, sometimes the fares are up to 3x-4x per hour. On a rough figure, on maximum hours and days, one may earn up to RM8,000 or more a month.”

As a tip for future Uber drivers, Shah advises to make sure that the car is clean and comfy, have small chats with the riders, offer drinks (mineral water) or even phone charging services.

Mystery Shopper

“Full-time shoppers can get up to RM4,000. Part-time shoppers get about half of that, depending on the number of assignments and companies they work with,” mystery shopper X tells me (talk about being mysterious).

Mystery shoppers perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way, and then provide detailed reports or feedback about their experiences.

“For example, when we wake up, we’ll go and have fast food for breakfast, as part of an assignment. Next, check out a computer store at 1 Utama, but before that drop by a gas station, which we will ‘audit’, and review.

“For lunch we might be eating someplace else, and taste the food before heading off to a bank and pretending to be interested in taking out a loan. The food and petrol are all free, of course - so that’s basically what we do.

“But while doing all that is fun, sometimes writing the report can be quite the hassle. It's best to write your review soon after, because it's easy to forget what you’ve experienced. Things that we write include the speed of the service, cleanliness of the store, number of employees in the store, how long it takes before the mystery shopper is greeted, whether or not the greeting is friendly, the types of products shown – we basically find out everything that isn’t going as it should be.”


A part-time maid can earn from RM50-RM70 per day on the weekend, says YesMaid founder Nadzrina Nadzri, who advertises her company’s services on ServisHero.

“The pay can go up to RM400 per month. The job of the maids would be cleaning around three or four houses, but most of the time consumed are from the travels. Working and travelling can take around six to nine hours.

“We would usually send two people per house, depending on the project. For weekly cleanings, we have two cleaners who will spend two hours per house. But for the dirtier houses, we’d send four cleaners.

“We provide the equipment including vacuum cleaners and even the pail, but the one thing we don’t do is ironing. The food, petrol and driver are also provided, so don’t worry about that.

“Don’t be surprised as most of our part-time maids are fresh graduates and those looking for extra income because of the GST and the rise in cost of living here in Malaysia.”

Voice Actor

Yati, who works part-time as a voice actress, and lends her voice for animated shows explains how she makes her side income from the job.

“For professional companies, the recordings are usually done during working hours, but there are some part-timers who even go out during their lunch times to do the dubbings. The minimum payment is RM300 for a standard demo fee for any voice over talent.

“However, there are smaller agencies that pay around RM50, minimum, which is very little for dubbing an episode of a TV drama.

“Usually, professional voice actors are part of a guild that will protect you and help you promote your talent, to ensure a fair payment. But you can still do it part-time with smaller agencies and not be a part of the guild, only that jobs might be limited for you.”


Since entertainment is almost always at night, if you have the talent, singing might be a fitting part-time job for you.

Veronica (not her real name), who has her own cover band, gave us some insights.

“Most people who sing are those who sing for fun, to get exposure and are unpaid. But for cover bands, the pay can either be really good or bad, depending on your popularity.

“The payment we get varies from around RM200 to a few thousand for the entire band, and it also depends on the contract and the employer.

“If you want to be an indie singer, singing and playing your own songs, it can be really miserable because the pay is so little. As a cover band, we sing songs that people know so we can demand a higher pay, and even more so when you know how to entertain the crowd.

“We also play for weddings, restaurants, bars and jazz clubs. You see, most employers don’t look at the hours we spend together to practice, but judge us by the time we spend performing on stage and think that’s what they should be paying us.

“So if you want to earn money singing part-time, you would need to get more exposure, make yourself known, and being in a cover band does allow you to get hired more."


While babysitting is not a norm here in Malaysia, where a person (female, most of the time), acts as a guardian to one’s own children while the parents have to be away from home, who’s to say you can’t start a new job niche here?

Amira, for example, did babysitting in the United States back when she was a student there.

“I babysitted last time in the United States, but it's not much of a thing here in Malaysia. In the States, I get paid around $10 (RM42), lunch money basically. In Malaysia, I do it for free for my family, most of the times.”

Kelly, a full-time mother usually sends her son to the daycare centre, but says she wouldn’t mind paying for a babysitter.

“I’d be willing to pay around RM10 per hour as the standard rate for babysitters instead of sending my son to the daycare centre to be taken care of,” she tells us.

Professional Gamer

Ramona Azween works full time as the Managing Director at Geeks Studios, but who she really is only shows up in the evening, when the 26-year-old professional gamer shoots up people over Counter Strike. She has even won several tournaments and is the only lady in the team (and team Captain too).

“I wake up in the morning, do some work, and have a power nap by lunch, and then I finish up my work in the evening, go back home, play a few rounds of Counter Strike.

“You can do it too if you want to be a part-time professional gamer. Even my own teammates are all full-time workers and our times are flexible in the evening so that's when we practice.

“When it comes to pay, we all get the money from tournaments. And if you’re sponsored by a gaming organisation, that’ll be better.

“We usually get around RM1,000 per person for tournaments, and there’s around two small tournaments a month and some major ones in between. Once, we won the grand prize, and each of us received RM2,000 per person.”


Shikah Zowahir is a freelance tailor, who works full-time in a bank. She earns up to RM500-RM600 a month, or RM1,000-RM3,000 during the wedding season, which requires her to sew one engagement dress, one wedding dress, and a few dresses for the bridesmaids.

“I sew engagement dresses and wedding dresses, both Malay and Western style. I do it alone, and learnt it all on my own, from the Internet and by watching YouTube videos. I also read eBooks to master the craft.

“For simple Malay dresses, like a simple baju kurung, it takes me around one or two nights to sew. I advertise my services mainly on Instagram and usually, people know me by word of mouth,” she shared.

Acting Talent

For those who are interested in acting, “Part-time talents can get around RM1,200 to RM5,000 per month,” says Jeany Amir, who heads her own TV commercial company.

“It however depends on the client as well as the casting agency and on how famous you are. We do hire celebrities as talents too.

“But sometimes, I do need talents who are not celebrities for a photo shoot or a TV commercial especially for products.

“Sure, for a part-time job, I would advise for people to go ahead and apply at talent casting agencies and if you are lucky, you will be selected,” she revealed.


Siu Ann is a freelance branding aficionado, copywriter and translator through the service provider app ServisHero (SH).

“How much I can earn depends on the length of the article, content and other specifications according to what the clients want.

“It also depends on how much time is needed to develop the content as well as the amount of research put in. Typically, a 250-500 word article can earn me anywhere between RM100-RM500.

“I am currently tied down to a full-time job, but I still write and translate part-time after working hours or during the weekends to supplement my income.

“It is easy to procure writing jobs via SH as it is an on-the-go mobile app and I can access job enquiries anywhere, anytime. Also, they have a steady stream of clients that request different writing or translation jobs from all sorts of industries.”

Marathon Runner

Aside from posting pictures of the marathons that you’ve completed, next time, you should participate in the marathons that offer prize money, like the Standard Chartered Marathon which offered each champion US$5,000 (RM17,900), but was unfortunately cancelled due to the haze.

But first, you’ll need to train hard, to win that first, second or third place. The recent Spartan Race also offered a generous prize money, RM3,000 for its first place winner.

For that long shot, why not check out the upcoming marathons happening here,

Join GoGetter

A GoGetter is, in other words, an errand/delivery person and are resourceful, reliable individuals who want to earn money on their free time by doing errands.

They are known to do errands ranging from:

● Stand in line for you
● Emergency gifts deliveries for important dates
● Late night mamak runs
● Getting a burger
● Transport items in any shape and size from balloons, furniture, to plants
● Emergency buys like a wardrobe malfunction
● Pharmacy runs
● Running errands for pregnant women and new mothers

Forget ‘hourly wage’ or ‘salary’, all you have to do is earn the tips of every job. The tips will be however much the poster decides to give, and the more jobs you do, the more you will earn.

Jin Huan, a GoGetter studying Business Administration at HELP University was interviewed by GoGetter and this is what he said:

"I like finding ways to make money to help fund my social activities. To me, a GoGetter is someone who is willing to help and is also being appreciated.

“I’m planning on using my GoGetter tips on food hunting! Maybe if I start claiming more jobs, I think I’ll start saving up to go somewhere near like Singapore or Thailand.”


Lastly, if you are sitting drinking your teh tarik at a mamak stall, thinking that you can earn a buck at the 24-hour eatery - forget it.

The pay for workers is peanuts, and I’m talking about earning RM900 a month. I was also informed that part-timers are not welcomed.

All in all, if you are resourceful, passionate about something, have a skill or talent and are willing to sacrifice your week nights, and weekends, there are always ways to earn more moola.

Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait for your next pay raise, or perhaps start your own business, for more flexibility to help alleviate your financial suffering.