Are you looking to find one of the best online jobs out there?
Some of the best online jobs are work from home jobs that involve you working for someone else, or you may be able to even start your own business.
And, yes, many people earn a full-time income while working online jobs from home.
So, if you are looking to start making extra money or if you want a new career path that lets you earn money from home, this list of best online jobs is especially for you.
My hope is that what you read in this article will spark your interest and possibly inspire you to learn how to earn money from home.
Online jobs are great for many reasons such as:
- You can work from home
- You may be able to have a more flexible schedule
- You may be able to travel more or even full-time
Being a blogger is pretty non-traditional, but it’s an online job that allows me to travel full-time, create my own schedule, and be my own boss.
I know many people who work online for the same reasons I do, and they love it.
Here are a few different types of people and situations that can really benefit by finding one of the best online jobs on this list –
Parents can work online and have the flexibility to stay at home with their young children. Online jobs are also great for parents of school-aged kids who want to be around during the day if something happens while their child is at school.
People who want to increase their income can benefit by finding online part time jobs that allow them to work outside of their “normal” 9-5 work schedule.
Anyone who wants to start a new career can find part time jobs from home that they can start on the side and one day grow into a full-time business. This allows you to try something new while not immediately giving up your current job and income.
Anyone with wanderlust can work online and travel while they earn money. This is what I do, and I love being able to see so many new places while earning a great living online.
And, I’m always looking to add to this list of best work from home jobs and online options, so if you know of anything else, please leave a comment or send me an email.
All of the best online jobs on this list are legitimate jobs, career paths, or business ideas, so you don’t have to worry about work from home job scams. As always, they will require your time and effort – as all careers do.
Related content on the best online jobs:
- 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More
- 10 Powerful Lessons That Every Freelancer Needs to Know
- 80 Ways To Make Money On The Side
- 15 Outdoor Jobs For People Who Love Being Outside
Here are 17 of the best online jobs.
1. Create a blog.
My favorite online job is, of course, blogging!
It allows me to travel full-time, work from home, have a flexible schedule, earn somewhat passive income, and more.
Blogging changed my life for the better, and it allows me to earn thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love.
I created Making Sense of Cents in 2011 and since then, I have earned over $4,000,000 with my blog and over $1,500,000 just in 2018.
My blog was created on a whim as a way to track my own personal finance progress. And when I first started my blog, I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging or how to start a successful blog!
I did not create Making Sense of Cents to earn money from home, but after only six months, I began to make money.
Blogging is quite affordable to start too!
- How To Quit Your Job And Become A Full-Time Blogger
- How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog
- The Ultimate Guide To Blogging Income Sources
- 10 Easy Tips To Increase Your Affiliate Income
You can easily learn how to start a blog with my free How To Start a Blog Course.
Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn:
- Day 1: Reasons you should start a blog
- Day 2: How to determine what to blog about
- Day 3: How to create your blog (in this lesson, you will learn how to start a blog on WordPress – my tutorial makes it very easy to start a blog)
- Day 4: How to make money blogging
- Day 5: My tips for making passive income from blogging
- Day 6: How to grow your traffic and followers
- Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you be successful
2. Help local businesses on Facebook.
Did you know that you can make a living from Facebook? With Facebook advertising, you can help businesses expand their reach.
And, yes, this is a skill that you can learn!
I recently had the chance to interview Bobby Hoyt about this subject. Bobby is a former high school teacher who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in a year and a half. He now runs the personal finance blog Millennial Money Man full-time, as well as a digital marketing agency for local businesses that he started in 2015.
Last year, business owners spent over $88,000,000 per day on Facebook ads. The market is wide open for digital marketers on Facebook, and this is definitely a skill you can learn!
If you are looking for a new business idea or even just a side hustle, learning how to make money running Facebook ads for local businesses may be something that you want to look into.
I recently did an interview with Bobby about running Facebook ads, and in this interview, you will learn:
- How Bobby started making money through running Facebook ads
- Why small businesses want Facebook ads
- How a person can find their first Facebook ads client
- How much you can make doing this type of work – the average is around $1,000 extra a month per client
One last thing before we head to the interview on how to make money running Facebook ads for local businesses. Bobby has a course called Facebook Side Hustle Course that teaches you how to successfully make money running Facebook ads for local businesses.
3. Sell items on Amazon.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer has many, many people who sell items and earn money from home. Jessica Larrew, of The Selling Family, explains how selling on Amazon may be a possibility for you. She is a friend of mine, and I am blown away by her success!
In the first year that Jessica’s family ran their Amazon FBA business together, working less than 20 hours a week total, they made over $100,000 profit!
Jessica also has a FREE 7 day course that will teach you everything you need to know in order to start selling on Amazon. I recommend signing up for it now!
This is one of the best online jobs to work as a side hustle, and if you want more information, click on the interview link below.
In my interview with Jessica, How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA, we talk about:
- How Jessica started selling on Amazon FBA
- What exactly Amazon FBA is
- How to choose what to buy and sell
- How much a person can expect to earn
- The positives of selling on Amazon, and more
4. Teach English online to earn money from home.
Online teaching jobs are growing every single day.
Learning how to teach English online has become extremely popular, making it one of the best online jobs for many good reasons – it’s flexible, there’s a high need, and it pays pretty well.
Surprisingly, you don’t need to be a teacher to learn how to teach English online. You also don’t need to speak more than one language – you only need to speak English.
Those things make teaching English online a really great side hustle or online job for almost anyone.
The amount of money you can earn teaching English online will vary, but it’s typically around $14 to $22 per hour.
Because this side hustle is becoming popular, there are several great companies that allow you to teach English online. My top three picks are ones my readers have recommended and ones I have personally looked into:
Learn more at Make Extra Money By Learning How To Teach English Online.
5. Find online tutoring jobs.
Are you looking for a flexible side hustle as an online tutor?
Course Hero is a website that helps high school and college students with course-specific questions.
Using the website, students connect with Course Hero tutors on a wide range of subjects and classes, which makes this a great side hustle for people with different educational backgrounds and experience.
Tutors earn an average of $3 for each question they answer on Course Hero. Earning between $12-$20 per hour, Course Hero tutors earn an average of $300/week.
Learn more at How To Make $300+ Weekly As An Online Tutor With Course Hero.
6. Become a virtual assistant to earn money online.
Not only does the internet allow us to complete more daily tasks online, more and more people are working from home in fields such as blogging, social media, etc. This means there are more and more virtual assistant jobs, making it one of the best online jobs today.
Virtual assistant tasks may include social media management, formatting and editing content, scheduling appointments or travel, email management, and more. Basically, you can get paid to do any task that needs to be done in someone’s business, but doesn’t need to be done by them.
My friend Kayla is a full-time blogger, virtual assistant (VA), and project manager who earns over $10,000 per month while working from home. She is also the founder of $10K VA, her course where she teaches exactly how you can make a consistent $10,000 per month as a virtual assistant too!
Kayla used to work a full-time job as a credit analyst, earning about $2,000 per month. She was struggling to make ends meet while paying off debt, so she started a side hustle as a virtual assistant.
I interviewed her at How Kayla Earns $10K/Month From Home as a Virtual Assistant, and we talk about:
- How much can a beginner VA expect to make
- How a person can find their first virtual assistant job
- The steps to become a VA
- Her best tips for being a VA
7. Make money on Pinterest.
To continue with the above, I do want to talk about how you can become a Pinterest virtual assistant as well.
This is where you help businesses improve their reach on Pinterest. This could be:
- Designing Pinterest images for their website
- Helping business owners set up their Pinterest account
- Scheduling pins so that they are consistent
- Creating a marketing plan, and more
8. Write your own eBook.
Writing your own eBook is a great way to make money online, and there is probably something super helpful that you could write about (even if you think otherwise!).
In fact, my friend Alyssa self-published her first book and has sold more than 13,000 copies.
She is now earning a great passive income of over $200 a day from her book ($6,500 in one month alone!).
She is also the creator of From Blog To Book, a course that will help you write, launch, and market your first book. I’ve already signed up for the course, and the expertise she shares is absolutely amazing. Some of the modules in her course include:
- Mapping Out Your Book Content
- Strategies for Writing Your Next 30,000 Words
- Where to Publish Your Book
- Tutorial: Getting Your Book on Amazon
- Design Your Book Cover
- Set Pricing for Your Book
- Create Your Marketing Plan
Learn more at How Alyssa is making $200 a DAY in book sales passively.
9. Write romance novels.
My friend Yuwanda Black has found one of the best online jobs that is also super interesting. She writes romance novels and in one month, she was able to make over $3,000!
I was able to have her write on Making Sense of Cents about her creative way to make extra money. In the article linked below, you can learn:
- How she got started writing romance novels
- How much money she has made
- Her top tips to start writing successful romance novels
- Why your novels do not need to be long (her most successful books are under 10,000 words)
- How to promote your romance novels
- How to sell on Amazon
And much more!
10. Build an online store.
Yes, you can start your own online store, and you don’t need to have tons of experience or a lot of money to do so. Many people start with no background – which means that if this is one of the best online jobs that you are interested in, then you should definitely read on.
I’ve also heard of a number of students who have successfully started ecommerce stores because there aren’t any degree requirements for this option. It’s also one of the best online jobs for students because you can work it in just 5-10 hours a week like Jen did, and you don’t have to store the items you’re selling.
I had the chance to interview Jenn Leach of E-commerce and Prosper, who explains exactly how to start an online store.
Jenn is a corporate mom turned e-commerce store owner and blogger.
She started her online business a little over three years ago, and since then, she has developed and grown three successful online e-commerce stores earning an average of $19,000 per month.
She is super successful despite only spending around 5-10 hours per week on her e-commerce business.
E-commerce and Prosper, Jenn Leach’s course, teaches you how to start an online store. She reveals her successful rinse and repeat formula to students in her course. It’s the same formula she uses to earn an average of $19,000 per month. This course will teach you:
- How to start an online store
- Winning e-commerce success tools
- How to turbocharge your e-commerce success
- How to start making money in THREE days
Learn more about this at How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.
11. Start a bookkeeping business.
Ben, founder of Bookkeeper Business Academy, explains how becoming a bookkeeper may be a possibility for you.
Ben helps people start and grow their own bookkeeping business with his online bookkeeping course.
And, guess what?
This is one of the best online jobs because you don’t have to be an accountant or have any previous experience!
In this interview, we talk about:
- What a bookkeeper is
- The typical clients a bookkeeper has
- How much new bookkeepers earn
- How to become a bookkeeper
- The positives and negatives of bookkeeping, and more
Learn more at Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper.
12. Find items to resell online.
Have you ever found something that you thought you may be able to resell and actually make some money?
Melissa’s family earned $42,875 in 2015 through buy and sell flipping, and they were working only 10-20 hours per week.
Yes, just 10-20 hours a week!
And in 2016, she hit $133,000!
Some of the best flipped items that they’ve done include:
- An item that they bought for $10 and flipped for $200 just 6 minutes later
- A security tower they bought for $6,200 and flipped for $25,000 just one month later
- A prosthetic leg that they bought for $30 at a flea market and sold for $1,000 on eBay the next day
She also has a great book called 5 Ways to Get FREE Items To Resell for Profit, which teaches you how you can earn money from home by flipping items.
You can learn more at How Melissa Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items.
13. Begin a freelance writing career.
Working as a freelance writer is one of the best online jobs these days because there is a growing number of jobs out there for freelance writers.
A freelance writer is someone who writes for a number of different clients, such as websites, blogs, magazines, and more. They don’t work for one specific company, rather they work for themselves and contract out their writing.
My friend Holly from EarnMoreWriting.com (as well as the popular personal finance blog Club Thrifty) is a very successful freelance writer and has earned over $200,000 writing online!
Her freelance writing course includes nine video modules, several printable worksheets, and awesome add-ons, too. Here are some of the things you can expect to learn if you take her freelance writing course:
- Discover the #1 most important thing you can do to get paid writing jobs
- Learn how to find beginner level jobs and move up over time
- Learn how price affects the amount of work you get
- Learn which types of jobs help Holly earn the most pay, and where you can find them
- Find out which online platforms work best for finding paid work, and how to use them
- Learn how to structure your work day to earn six figures or more
Learn more at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.
14. Become a transcriptionist.
Transcription work is a growing field.
In 2007, Janet started working from home as a medical transcriptionist. Shortly after that, she started a successful general and legal transcription business.
While running her business, she noticed a need for more skilled transcriptionists, so the idea of creating a course and introducing one of the best online jobs to more people popped up. Janet now teaches others in her online course how to transcribe online.
In this my interview, Make Money At Home By Becoming A Transcriptionist, we talk about:
- What a transcriptionist is
- How you can get started as a transcriptionist
- What kind of money you can expect to make
- The type of training you need, and more
15. Proofread for a living.
Do you find yourself correcting grammar and/or cringing at common writing errors?
Maybe you even enjoy finding errors?!
In 2014, Caitlin made slightly over $43,000 by being a freelance proofreader, while also going on several fun vacations.
If you are looking for a new job, or even just a side hustle, this may be one of the best online jobs to look into. In my interview with Caitlin, Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader, you can find more information on how to earn money from home as a proofreader, court transcript proofreader, or a freelance proofreader.
In this interview, we talk about:
- How to get started as a proofreader
- Who the typical clients are
- What kind of income can be made
- Whether anyone can be a proofreader or not
- What kind of training you need, and more
- Online jobs info
Caitlin also has a great FREE 7 day course just for people who want to stop wasting time and start making more money with their proofreading skills. I definitely recommend that you check it out.
16. Work as a freelancer.
Freelancers are people who work for others by doing part-time jobs. A business may hire you on for one-time gigs or you may get a long-term job with a company as a freelancer.
In addition to some of the freelance jobs I’ve already mentioned (writing, proofreading, transcribing, and bookkeeping) there are even more freelance jobs out there for people who have experience in a variety of fields, including:
- Graphic design
- Web design and development
- Video editing
- Sound design
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
17. Work in customer service.
Many large companies are starting to outsource their customer service departments to people who are working at home.
Customer service representatives may be responsible for a number of things, like:
- Working at an online call center
- Working as a chat agent
- Offering technical support
- Virtual assistant tasks
- Working as a travel agent
This is becoming one of the best online jobs because the number of large companies who need online customer service reps is growing. Companies like Apple, American Express, UHAUL, and more are now offering these types of jobs.
More resources if you’re looking for one of the best online jobs to earn more money from home.
If you are new to Making Sense of Cents, I am all about finding ways to make money from home and save more money as well. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:
- Back when I had student loans, one of the things I did was learn how to become a mystery shopper so that I could make extra money. No, it did not make me rich, but it gave me a little bit of extra income, and it also allowed me to go out to eat and get free things that I probably would have bought anyway. Read more at Want To Make An Extra $100 A Month? Learn How To Become A Mystery Shopper.
- Are you thinking about starting your own business? The Small Business Roadmap will show you what steps to take to start your own business.
- If you are starting one of the best online jobs on this list and want to pad your income, answering surveys can bring in a few extra dollars. Survey companies I recommend include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, American Consumer Opinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Prize Rebel, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
- Reducing your debt can help make the transition to working for yourself even easier because you can reduce some of your financial stress. If you have student debt, then I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
- Knowing your credit score is a valuable thing for anyone, especially new online business owners. Check your credit score with Credit Sesame for free!
- InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend where you can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up! This is just extra money in your pocket while you start your new career. InboxDollars and taking surveys are probably the most easy work from home jobs, but a warning: they don’t pay as well as some of the others on this list.
What do you think are the best online jobs?
The post Want To Make Money From Home? Here Are 17 Of The Best Online Jobs appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
5 Legal Documents You Need During a Pandemic
As Americans grapple with how to stay physically and financially healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to make sure you and your family have the right emergency documents. It’s much easier to prepare for a potential disaster than to recover from one that blind-sides you. After a tragedy occurs, it may be too late to make critical decisions.
Let’s talk about the different emergency documents and why you may need to create or update existing paperwork. If you get COVID-19 or have another unexpected illness or accident, these documents will help you manage your finances and make essential decisions with more clarity and less stress.
5 emergency and legal documents to have during a pandemic
Instead of being caught off guard during a difficult time, consider if you should have these five legal documents.
1. Last will and testament
The purpose of a will is to communicate your final wishes after you die. Too many people don’t have one of these incredibly important documents because they mistakenly believe it’s something just for old rich people.
The fact is, every adult should have a will. If you die without one, the courts decide what happens to your possessions, not your family.
The fact is, every adult should have a will. If you die without one, the courts decide what happens to your possessions, not your family.
And once you have a will, don’t forget to update it periodically to make sure it addresses all your wishes, assets, and beneficiaries. Critical life events—such as getting married, divorced, having a child, or losing a spouse or partner—should trigger you to update your will.
If you’re starting from scratch, make an inventory of your assets—like bank accounts, investments, real estate, vehicles, expensive belongings, and sentimental possessions—and decide what you want to happen to them. You can list beneficiaries for specific items, like who gets a piece of heirloom jewelry or an artwork collection. You can also create distribution percentages, such as 50 percent of the value of your assets go to your partner and 50 percent to your only child.
In addition to dealing with your possessions, a will allows you to name a guardian for your minor children.
In addition to dealing with your possessions, a will allows you to name a guardian for your minor children. And don’t forget to leave instructions for what you want to happen to your pets, digital assets, intellectual property, and business assets. You can create a plan for your funeral, such as where you want to be buried and whether you want your organs donated.
Someone must carry out…
Car Rental sends me an invoice after a settled charge dispute
TLDR; Made non-refundable car reservation before pandemic. Cancelled vacation plans after pandemic announced. Filed a charge dispute and won. Received an invoice from the car rental company for the disputed amount one month later.
Before the pandemic hit, I had made a 5-day car rental reservation (prepayment, non-refundable) in early 2020 for a May 17, 2020 vacation. On April 6, I request a refund due to the coronavirus situation impacting my travel plans. They replied saying there is nothing they can do currently and told me to email again within 30 days of the pickup date. In May, the destination where I was to pick up the car required a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors to the state. I could not accommodate for this unexpected additional 14 days so I cancelled my vacation plans altogether. I decided to request a refund again on April 23 due to the unforeseen circumstances as my trip would be severely impacted by the extra 14 days.
The car rental company agreed to issue a partial refund ($100) and the remainder as a one-year voucher (less than $200). I received the partial refund the next day on April 24 but not the voucher. I followed up with an email on April 27 and May 2 with no response. I assumed they were not going to follow through so I decided to dispute the charge with my credit card company for the remainder amount on May 5 (12 days before the pickup date). Later that same day, I received an email from the car rental company with the voucher. Given the situation I had my doubts that I'll even be able to use the voucher by its one-year expiration date due to the ongoing pandemic, but whatever. Anyways, I figured they sent me the voucher before they had knowledge that I filed a charge dispute, so I assumed they'd either cancel/invalidate the voucher once they found out or they'd dispute the chargeback and win. Either outcome would've been fine with me at the time.
Despite this, my credit card company awards the dispute in my favor and closes the case on June 10. With this decision, I automatically assumed that the voucher would've been cancelled/invalidated (I actually don't know whether the voucher is still valid or not). Today I received a notice from the car rental company dated June 24 stating I have an invoice due on my account in the amount of the voucher (less than $200).
So now I have a few questions:
- I don't mind paying the invoice but I'd rather not if I don't have to. How legal is it for them to send me an invoice after the investigation and case was already decided? Why wouldn't the car rental company just have disputed the chargeback in the first place during the open investigation from May 5 – June 10? Why send me an invoice after the fact? If they'd had disputed the chargeback, they would've won the case, no?
- Since I was awarded the dispute, can I just have the car rental company cancel the voucher and waive the invoice? I don't have any intentions of using the voucher by its May 2021 expiration anyway.
- When I originally made the reservation (prior to pandemic), I was expecting a certain product/service. Obviously now that product/service has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, I no longer feel like I can get the same product/service. Despite the car rental company's "non-refundable" policy, do I have any consumer rights/protections?
- Do I have any other options?
I feel like I went through the proper and necessary channels to find a resolution (but I could be wrong), so I was quite surprised when I received this invoice. Any help or clarification on the situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Is it cheaper to buy eggs or raise chickens?
Hello! Today, I have a great article to share about raising backyard chickens for eggs, and how much it will cost you to raise chickens. I have several different family members who raise chickens for eggs, so I am familiar with the topic. When Chris approached me with the guest post idea, I had to say yes because I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the money side of it. Enjoy!
Like many, I didn’t decide to start raising chickens with a spreadsheet in front of me.
I had just returned from visiting my parents’ new retirement project, a hobby farm in northern Vermont that was bustling with chickens and ducks and all sorts of wonderful, useful livestock I had never considered keeping for myself until that moment.
After all, I grew up in the suburbs, full of cats, dogs, and the snake the “weird kid” in middle school loved to talk about, and the only “livestock” were the cows that were shipped in every summer to picturesquely dot the fields behind the local ice cream place – carefully kept too far away from customers to smell.
I was thinking about delicious, farm-fresh eggs; endless access to high-quality fertilizer and pest controls; taking control of where my food came from and developing a healthier, organic diet; and of course, just the joys of animal ownership.
Waking up to the delightful chattering of chickens in the yard, getting to hang out with feathery friends on the weekend – spending time with the animals we love can be so intoxicating, you can read more about my story here.
However, starting a chicken coop is an economic venture, even for chicken owners who don’t intend to make a profit off of their eggs.
For a chicken coop to be sustainable, owners have to take into account all of their costs – from starting costs like building a coop and buying chicks, to the regular maintenance costs of feed and supplements, to the unexpected expenses like repairs and vet bills – to figure out how much they’ll need to plan to spend every year on keeping their animals happy and healthy.
Start-Up Costs Of Raising Chickens For Eggs
The costs and logistics of starting your first chicken coop can be daunting, and this is the point where a lot of people who had romantic ideas of homesteading with a few picturesque white chickens beside the red wheelbarrow in the garden give up.
I know I almost quit after I spent more than an hour on the town website, looking for a simple list of the steps I needed to take to keep chickens in my backyard –
- Was there paperwork?
- What about noise regulations?
- Did I need a permit?
-and ended up wading through 100-page food regulations, months’ worth of senior center lunch menus, and Board of Health meeting minutes, only to finally show up to the town hall to ask in person and find out there were no paperwork requirements.
That saved cost on my part, because there were no filing fees in order to get a permit, but every locality is different. And every prospective chicken owner should do their own research on their town or district’s regulations before moving ahead with their planning.
The most obvious start-up cost in chicken keeping is, of course, the cost of the chickens themselves. This can vary, depending on what kind of chickens you get and how old they are.
On paper, the cheapest option might seem to be to buy eggs and hatch them yourself. For common breeds like the Rhode Island Red or Plymouth Rock, hatching eggs can cost less than $5 each. However, you should know that chicken eggs do not have a 100 percent hatch rate – for a shipment of eggs, the hatch rate actually averages around 50 percent.
Additionally, hatching eggs can be difficult, and comes with extra costs, most notably an incubator for the eggs, which usually run about $100, plus all the extra equipment needed to raise chicks, which can be another $100.
On the plus side, as kindergarten classes around the country learn every spring, watching eggs hatch and caring for adorable baby chicks can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in the chicken-keeping world.
In total, starting a flock of five hens from eggs will probably run you about $250.
On the other hand, one of the most common ways to start a flock is to bypass eggs entirely and buy live chicks.
This has several advantages over hatching eggs, including saving incubator costs and having to pay for eggs that ultimately won’t hatch.
As with eggs, chick costs vary depending on the breed, but common breeds average about $5 per chick, unless you want a purebred or particularly exotic bird, in which case each chick can cost up to $100!
However, raising chicks will also require additional costs in purchasing the equipment necessary to replace their mothers – things like a brood box to keep them warm while they grow their feathers and prevent them from running off and a specialized chick feeder, which will need to be replaced with a traditional feeder as they get older.
Most of those expenses will add up to about $100 – although the handier amongst us can try to save costs by building their own brooder box, for example.
There are also still the costs of setting them up to thrive as adults, which we’ll get to in just a minute. Just getting set up for the chicks, though, will come out to about $125.
The other option when starting a flock is to acquire adult chickens – either pullets, young adults around 4-16 weeks old, which run around $25 a bird, or rescue hens, fully grown adults who have been “spent” in the industrial poultry world, but will still produce good eggs regularly enough for backyard purposes.
For folks who really want to bond with their chickens and have them be pets as well as livestock, adults probably aren’t the way to go, as chicks that have bonded with you from the beginning will be much friendlier and more trusting than older birds. The main advantage to starting with pullets is the cost savings, since you’ll only have to outfit them once, with the same coop, feeder, and other supplies that they’ll use their whole lives.
How much does a chicken coop cost?
Coop costs is the big expense many prospective chicken owners worry about the most, and they’re not wrong to do so – it’s going to be your biggest expense!
And it should be, because having a sturdy, healthy place to live is crucial to your birds’ overall health and well-being.
Trying to cut costs on the coop, by going smaller than you need or buying second-hand, will almost always end up costing you more in the long run, either in medical care or replacement costs for sick birds or in finally ponying up for the more expensive coop you should have gotten in the first place.
While local regulations vary, the rule of thumb for coop size is four square feet per bird if they have an attached run or free range, and 10 square feet per bird if they don’t, which is enough space to allow them to be comfortable, exercise, and gives them enough fresh air to prevent respiratory illnesses, assuming the coop is well-ventilated.
For our hypothetical five-bird starter flock, that’s a 20 square foot coop, five feet by four, plus a run.
This is another area where you can cut costs by building your own, and there are lots of do-it-yourself chicken coop guides and blueprints available online. Just make sure the material you’re using is chicken-friendly and non-toxic, as well as being sturdy enough to last through years of chicken poop and bad weather.
For those who aren’t thrilled about their next home carpentry project, ready-made coops or some assembly required coop kits are easy to find and easy to build.
Small wooden coops start at about $160, though some will tell you you’ll have to spend more if you want to get a really high-quality one, while a plastic coop will usually run about $700.
Which one will work better for you and your flock will depend on a number of factors, but both materials have their devotees. Plastic coops are easier to clean and dry much faster, which will be a huge boon to anyone raising chickens in an area with harsh winters.
As a New Englander, this was a big consideration for me when choosing my first coop. I ultimately went with wood, though, because wooden coops come in a much wider variety of designs and are much easier to repair – another consideration in a region prone to nasty blizzards.
As for run costs, here again you can build your own – which usually costs about $1 per meter – or buy a kit for about $150.
You might also be able to roll your run costs into your coop costs by buying one of the many coops with a run attachment included. As for size, you’ll want to plan for approximately 15 square feet per chicken, though this can vary by breed. As an example, bantam chickens usually need less space than their larger cousins, so they’re absolutely an option to look into if you’re strapped for space in your backyard.
A 15 square foot requirement, though, means our starter flock of five will need 75 square feet total, maybe 7.5 by 10 feet, which is only about $11 worth of fencing. All of this brings our coop and run costs anywhere from $171 to $850.
Unfortunately, we aren’t done with start-up costs yet, as we also need to outfit our chicken coop, with things like a feeder, a waterer, perches, and nesting boxes. Luckily, our five-hen flock will only need one feeder and one waterer, though costs can vary widely depending on what kind you decide is best for your flock.
Owners planning for bigger flocks should aim to have one feeder and one waterer for every eight birds. Waterers can be plastic or metal, with metal being the more durable but also more expensive option of the two. Depending on material and size, a waterer will usually run between $6-$30.
For feeders, chicken owners have more choices. A wall-mounted feeder can cost as little as $3, and hanging feeders are only slightly more expensive at $7. Trough feeders, which are ideal for chicks and smaller bantam birds, average $15, so whichever one you go with, it’s unlikely your feeder cost will break the bank.
Nesting boxes and perches are also relatively inexpensive; many will often come with the coop. If your coop doesn’t come with nesting boxes, you can get your own for about $10 a pop for the most basic model, which is likely all you need. You’ll want to plan for one nesting box for every three hens. The cost for perches, on the other hand, is essentially just the cost of a 2×4 and a handful of nails at your local hardware store – probably about $5. You’ll want a long enough perch for each of your hens to get about 10 inches of space.
So, when all is said and done, where does that leave the total cost for setting up a flock of five hens?
- $125-250 for chickens and the equipment to raise them to adulthood
- $171-850 for a coop and a run
- $34-70 to outfit the coop
For a grand total of between $330 and $1,170. Ouch.
Maintenance Costs Of Raising Chickens For Eggs
Of course, we’re just getting started on our expenses.
Now that you have your chickens, you still need to buy feed, supplements, bedding, and other crucial supplies for your birds. These are recurring expenses, so what seem like small savings on one bag of feed or bale of hay will add up in the long run.
For feed, there’s no need to get caught up in the many, many different types of feed you might see on the shelves – for the most part, your small backyard flock of layers will only need a basic layer feed once they reach adulthood, which usually runs about $15-25 per 50 pound bag.
A good starter rate is to feed six ounces of feed per chicken per day, which means that 50-pound bag will last our hypothetical five hens a little less than a month. Those raising their flocks from eggs or chicks will have to feed them on starter feed or starter crumbles to make sure they get enough protein and don’t overdose on calcium, transitioning to layer feed at around 18 weeks old.
Chickens also need several supplements in their diets, the most important of these being calcium carbonate and insoluble grit. Calcium carbonate helps laying chickens get the calcium they need to put strong, healthy shells on their eggs; it can be introduced to their diet through ground up oyster shells, which usually cost about $3 for a month’s supply. Insoluble grit helps the birds digest their food, basically serving the same purpose as teeth do for people, and costs about $15 a bag.
Free range chickens will need less grit than their confined counterparts, because they pick it up while foraging, but they should still have grit available to them to supplement that.
Another potential maintenance cost is bedding. Here again, chicken owners have a lot of different options, including some that can be basically free, like wood shavings or shredded newspapers. The classic straw is also an option, as are hemp and sand. All of these beddings have their potential upsides and downsides, and chicken owners may have to experiment a bit before they find an option that makes both their chickens and their bottom lines happy. A good number to expect for your bedding costs would be about $5 a month.
Other chicken maintenance costs are harder to quantify – how much they’ll add to your water and electricity bills, for example, or time and labor costs.
You might also run up against unexpected one-time expenses, like vet bills or repairs to your coop or your run. These things can be difficult to plan for, so make sure to keep a cushion in your chicken budget so you can comfortably cover any surprises that might come up.
Based on these numbers, though, our hypothetical starter flock of five hens will cost about $45 a month in maintenance and upkeep, for a yearly total of about $516.
Are backyard chickens worth it?
Of course, keeping chickens isn’t all about the bottom line.
It’s almost impossible to put a monetary value on most of the benefits we reap from our feathery friends, including the joys of their company and the myriad mental and physical health benefits of keeping a backyard barnyard.
For my part, watching my five-year-old niece absolutely glow when she finally got a hen to hop into her lap after months of trying was worth, conservatively, about $1 million in oyster shells and layer feed.
And many others have written more eloquently than I about the joys and sorrows of chicken keeping.
Suffice it to say that a single number cannot possibly sum up all the costs and benefits of chicken keeping.
For those obsessed with the numbers, though, we can come up with a rough per-egg cost of keeping hens. Your average hen produces about 200 eggs per year, though, again, this varies widely by breed and also depends on the health and age of your chickens. That means our five-hen flock will produce about 1000 eggs per year, for a first-year cost of between 84 cents and $1.69 per egg.
Every year after that, though, will yield a per egg cost of about 52 cents. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s worth it.
Author bio: Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and today keeps 11 chickens. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and are interested in backyard chicken health and care. Her work has been shared on HuffPost, Mother Nature Network, Community Chickens, Mother Earth News and many more outlets. You can find Chris at Chickens and More.
Are you interested in raising backyard chickens for eggs? Have you ever thought about the money side of it all?
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