Best Ways to Make Money During a Recession

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Aug 29, 2023

Recessions are a reality of the economic cycle. However, while many perceive them as periods of downturn, dwindling job opportunities, and shrinking profits, others see them as golden opportunities to make money. History has shown that economic downturns can offer innovative and adaptable individuals a chance to thrive. The key is to recognize the shifts in the market and respond to them effectively.

Best Ways to Make Money During a Recession

If you’re wondering how to navigate the rough waters of a recession and come out on top, this article is for you.

1. Essential Services

Even in an economic downturn, there are services people can’t do without. Think repair services, plumbing, electrical work, or grocery delivery. If you have skills in these areas, market yourself aggressively. The demand may surprise you.

You can find jobs through apps like Uber Eats, Instacart and Thumbtack.

2. Online Ventures and Side Hustles

The digital space offers numerous money-making opportunities that can be recession-proof:

  • Freelancing: Money making websites like Upwork or Fiverr connect freelancers with clients. If you have skills in writing, graphic design, coding or marketing, this could be a lucrative option.
  • E-commerce: While high-street retailers might suffer, online shopping often remains robust. Dropshipping, affiliate marketing, or selling products online can prove profitable.
  • Online Courses and Tutoring: Use your expertise in a subject to teach others. Platforms like Udemy or Teachable allow you to create and sell courses.

3. Real Estate Opportunities

While a recession may dampen the housing market, it’s also a time when many properties can be acquired at a significant discount. It’s a prime time for long-term investors to buy. Once the market recovers, these properties can be sold for a profit or rented out for passive income.

You can also explore property management, Airbnb arbitrage or real estate wholesaling.

4. Start a Small Business

If you have the capital, you might consider starting or buying a small business. You could start a local services business and offer services like pressure washing, lawn maintenance or gutter cleaning.

If you’re tech savvy, you might consider starting a marketing or web management agency.

5. Diversify Income Streams

Don’t rely on a single source of income. By diversifying, you reduce the risk of financial instability. Whether it’s a side hustle, investment dividends, rental income, or freelance work, multiple income streams can help weather the recession storm.

6. Leverage Your Network

Recessions often shift market needs. By networking effectively, you can identify new opportunities, partnerships, or client needs. Don’t underestimate the value of a well-connected professional network. You can often find professional groups on places like LinkedIn or Facebook Groups.

7. Invest in Your Education

It’s an excellent time to upskill or reskill. By investing in education, you prepare yourself for the jobs and opportunities that will arise once the recession ends. The future belongs to those who are prepared. Going to school could mean getting a technical degree, taking an online course, getting an MBA or pursuing your real estate license.


Recessions, while challenging, aren’t the end of the world. With adaptability, innovation, and a keen sense for opportunity, you can not only survive a downturn but also thrive in it.

Whether you’re investing, starting an online venture, or diversifying income streams, the key is to remain proactive and informed. The best ways to make money during a recession often lie in understanding market shifts and responding to them effectively.

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