20 Ways To Earn 100K in Just a Year (No Need To Sell Your Body or Drugs!)

In today’s world, making money isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity. We live in an age where everything from the roof over our heads to the food on our tables requires cold, hard cash. The days of trading chickens for a sack of flour are long gone, and the modern hustle is all about the greenbacks.

One Redditor asked, “How do I make 100k in a year without selling my body or drugs?” The thread has over thousands of comments, but we have selected the most fascinating ones for you!

1. Ask People for Money

Dollars. A young man close-up in a blue shirt on a yellow background, gives or takes money. Holds money in hands.
Image Credit: file404/Shutterstock.

First things first, we’ve got to talk about crowdfunding. You know, the modern-day version of passing around the hat. Platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo have turned regular Joes and Janes into the money-getting wizards of the internet. 

A Redditor said, “Ask 100,000 people for $1.00.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Now you understand why there are beggars at every intersection these days! Met a kid back in 94 who quit a fair-paying job to panhandle in a tourist area, making 3x the money tax-free. Literally had dirty holey clothes to wear and everything. Bonus days are when he could bring his girlfriend’s dog with him; people pay extra for dogs.”

2. Janitorial Business

Man in apron holding kitchen cloth and detergent spray feeling overwhelmed
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Janitorial work might not sound glamorous, but let us tell you, it’s got the potential to rake in some serious cash.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “I started a janitorial business. I clean offices, and I do most of the work myself. I work 5-7 hours a night, Monday through Friday. I make $142,000 a year. It took about 7 years to get to this point. My first customer accepted a contract that paid $2,400 a month. Then, my second customer paid $1,600 a month. Then, my 3rd customer paid $5,000 a month. 

Then, I added small customers who paid between $400 and $1000 a month. I didn’t make it happen in a year, but I wanted to contribute so you can see that if you’re in your 20s and you start now, you’ll be where you want to be in a short time. It might take more than a year, but that’s okay. If you start now, you’ll look back and say, “I’m glad I started when I did, or I wouldn’t be where I am now.””

Another replied, “Piggybacking off of this. I make 50-90hr, sometimes more, cleaning. Cut out the middle man and start your own business.”

3. Window Cleaners 

Cleaning woman washing windows using a squeegee to wash a window.
Image Credit: Dmytro Flisak/Shutterstock.

Everybody’s got windows, right? From cozy homes to towering skyscrapers, windows are everywhere. And guess what? They all get dirty. Rain spots, fingerprints, dust, and bird droppings- you name it, windows collect it. 

One said, “The head of my high school’s English Department’s husband was a window cleaner. One of the businesses he worked with was my family’s restaurant. I got to know him and his wife fairly well. 

He would tell me that since window cleaning had such a small overhead with mostly just soap and rags, he could pocket a lot of profit. He thoroughly enjoyed rolling up to his job sites in a Bentley to clean their windows.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I’ve often thought about this idea. I did some research, and it’s easy to start, with low overheads, etc. The most important thing I found is you have to be bonded (insured against theft and such). I worked at the top bank in the US for 20 years, and our cleaners made so much money with very, very, very little work. Banks and Offices and commercial spaces are easy to clean.”

4. Skilled Labors

Panoramic shot of cheerful repairman holding ladder and smiling
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Now, when we say skilled labor, we’re talking about jobs requiring serious know-how. Think carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, and all the other tradespeople who keep the world spinning. These people are the unsung heroes, the backbone of our modern society, and guess what? They’re making a boatload of money. 

 A Redditor said, “A lot of skilled laborers are aging out and retiring, and there’s still high demand for those jobs. If you don’t want to burn money on college, I would look into plumbing, electrician, woodwork, mechanic, welding, or other high-skill jobs. All those jobs I just mentioned can very easily make 6 figures, and some only really require a high school education and will take you on as an apprentice to train you.”

Another replied, “I would like to add that you may need to do some certifications down the road to make sure you’re not setting things on fire, but overall, I believe you’ll be in much less debt than most coming out of college.”

5. Lawn Mowing 

cute man mowing lawn in the backyard of his house.
Image Credit: michaeljung/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Similar idea, but with a lawn mowing business. I made enough money doing this part-time in school sometimes; it made me wonder why I was going to school. Mowing with your own truck and a helper or two could definitely get you over $100k.”

Someone commented, “Spoke to the mower at work. He has done very similar to this. Said he had purchased his house for around 800k a few years ago and has almost paid off 2/3rds of it. Dude literally mows lawns when it comes to the money side of it.”

Unlike some businesses that require you to mortgage your house or take out a second loan, all you need to start a lawn mowing gig is a lawnmower, a trimmer, and some good old-fashioned sweat equity. You don’t need an Ivy League degree or a fancy office- just a desire to make yards look fantastic.

6. Truck Drivers

18 wheeler truck on highway
Image Credit: 5m3photos/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Be a truck driver; companies can work you 70 hours a week, and that really lowers the bar. I’m an employee with decent benefits in a company-owned and maintained truck.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Seriously, my current job, I work maybe 50 hours a week, with 5+ hours every week just being me having to wait around while I’m on the clock, and I’ll make about 110k.”

E-commerce is booming, and everything you order online must somehow be transported. That’s where truck drivers come in.

7. Become An Engineer 

Engineers and Tower Crane.
Image Credit: Oakland Images/Shutterstock.

Engineering isn’t just about fixing stuff and doodling complex equations on whiteboards (although that’s part of it). It’s about creating, innovating, and problem-solving. And here’s the sweet spot: engineers are in high demand, always have been, and always will be. 

Someone commented, “Learn a trade or get a college degree in a field that actually matters. (Engineer)”

Another replied, “I know of engineers who aren’t Software Engineers who start out at $100k. Engineers in Pharma just make drugs. They don’t sell them, except for a few who climbed the ladder.”

8. Power Plant Operations

Portrait of selfish senior man crossing hands on his chest..
Image Credit: Koldunov/Shutterstock,

Power plant operations might sound like you’ll be stuck in a dingy control room all day, but it’s a dynamic, fast-paced field. It’s about generating electricity, and guess what? That’s something the world can’t live without. 

One said, “Power plant operations require no degree, but you do have to be smart enough to learn the necessary applied chemistry, thermodynamics, mechanics, and engineering on the job. A few years of experience can get you to six figures at a major plant.”

Another person agreed and said, “I can’t grasp how farmers who feed the world earn nothing compared to me, who sits behind a computer screen setting up, securing, and fixing firewalls for people to make more money.”

9. Government Work

Man in Office Looking for Help
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Government positions often come with competitive salaries and a range of benefits rivaling even the cushiest corporate gigs. A Redditor said, “You can make 100k working for the government.”

Someone commented, “Can confirm. I’m only a few years in, but already on track to earn at least 115k this year. It’s crazy.”

10. Sales

aggressive call center employee
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Your first sales job will probably be bad, but keep grinding. I’m barely 30 years old and have been clearing over 100k yearly for the past 4 years. It’s not a hard job at all. It can be discouraging. Don’t supplement it with booze like some do. Exercise regularly to maintain stress and grind sales.”

Another replied, “My buddy cleared 230k last year in his gig, although he’s in a different industry entirely doing sales. You tend to need a bachelor’s degree to earn faster/get better sales jobs. But experience is key. Usually, after 2-3 years experience max, there’s no reason you aren’t making six figures unless you suck or your company offers a terrible commission plan.”

Think about it- every business, from mom-and-pop shops to multinational corporations, relies on sales to keep the lights on. Without sales, there’s no revenue, and without revenue, well, you get the picture. And who do they turn to for help? You, the sales superstar!

11. Affiliate Marketing

Portrait of a young angry man gesticulating with his hands, looking at the camera.
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A Reddit user wrote, “Best way to achieve this goal is to do affiliate marketing of any kind. Big and fast money is gathering there. Best way is to cooperate with others to achieve this goal faster;).”

Another one explained, “Affiliate marketing isn’t multi-level marketing. You just get paid a percentage or flat fee for referring customers to businesses. 

Those Amazon links in YouTube descriptions? Those are affiliate links that track who sent you to Amazon, and the creator gets a percentage of your purchase from Amazon for the referral if you buy after clicking that link. Pretty much every online store of any size has affiliate programs.”

Here’s the magic- passive income. Affiliate marketing is like setting up money-making machines that run while you sleep, sip margaritas on the beach, or binge-watch your favorite shows. Once you’ve set up your affiliate links and content, they can keep bringing in cash for months, even years, on autopilot.

12. Get a Degree

Young university graduate woman isolated on pink background smiling
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Studies show that people with a degree tend to earn more money over their lifetime than those without one. And with a degree, you’re more likely to land a stable, well-paying job.

Someone commented, “Get a degree or skills in a field that solves real-world problems. Engineering, Medicine, Science, Commerce, Business, etc. Another way, if you’re not top of the brains in the population, is to migrate to a country where the currency is stronger than yours. Get a job, and work your *ss off for five or six years while being frugal. Return and stonks. At least that is what we Indians do.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Tons of great paying jobs if you graduate from a good Ag school like Kansas State, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, etc,.”

13. Computer Science 

woman working home on her couch on a laptop
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In a world that’s increasingly reliant on technology, computer scientists are the modern-day wizards keeping the digital kingdom running smoothly. One said, “Become educated. Preferably in computer science.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Some people even manage to break into Software through Bootcamp, self-learning, and Leetcode. I think it’s doable in 1 year (assuming hiring ramps up again), and it would be a life changer for many average earners.”

14. Work, Work, and Work!

Mean Boss in Office
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A Redditor said, “Work all the time. I’ve known a couple of people who did either two full-time jobs or a full-time plus two part-time jobs for a year to save up for something big. It’s not sustainable, but it’s a means to an end.”

Another replied, “I’m planning on working two full-time jobs because I’m incredibly irresponsible. If I have any free time, I will probably shoot drugs into my veins. Might as well stay busy.”

The more hours you put in, the more you will earn. It’s a direct correlation between hustle and dollars. The late-night emails, the weekend projects- they’re all adding up to your financial future.

15. Car Dealership 

An irritated young man driving a vehicle is expressing his road rage..
Image Credit: ARENA Creative/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “The automotive industry can be profitable.”

Someone commented, “If you can devote the time and put in the work, sell cars, and you should be able to get pretty close in a few years. Depending on the dealership and the pay plan, and your devotion. I believe that, unless you have some kind of disability or something, anyone ‘can’ sell cars. But not anyone is willing to do it.”

But it’s not just about the sales; it’s about the bonuses and incentives. Car dealerships often offer bonuses for hitting sales targets, selling specific models, or being top performers.

16. Become An Entrepreneur 

Handsome young man with phone and money in pocket
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A Reddit user wrote, “Without going to college or spending years learning a trade, I would say start a business. Successful entrepreneurship is tough, but if you have a great product and understand your market, you can be successful.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Develop a unique and innovative business idea that sets you apart from competitors. AND then swim in money, haha.”

Here’s the magic word- innovation. Entrepreneurs are the idea generators who see problems and turn them into opportunities. Whether it’s inventing the next big thing or disrupting an entire industry, innovation can equal insane profits.

17. Oilfield

Oil worker turning valve on oil rig
Image Credit: ZoranOrcik/Shutterstock.

The oil industry isn’t just a job; it’s a way of life. As long as the world runs on fossil fuels (and it isn’t changing overnight), oilfield workers will be in demand. A Redditor said, “Oilfield. Long hours and hard work but big $”

Another replied, “So I’ve heard it’s like 6 months of long work hours for like $98,000 and 6 months off doing whatever you want.”

18. IT

person hacking a computer
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One said, “Go into tech. I have no degree. Been doing it for 8 years. I make over 100k. You will easily get there in half the time if you take a high volume support role and work on security certs. You’ll get the exp needed quickly and have certs that support career growth.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Look at a+ network+ the real big thing is learn a programming language. Start with python. There are unlimited free tools online. But look at your local library. Most offer classes that can help get you started as well. If you have 5 years of experience in advanced troubleshooting in all environments and have a programming language. 150k easy.”

Now, let’s talk about the perks. IT jobs often include benefits like remote work options, flexible hours, and casual dress codes. You can be slaying computer bugs in your pajamas or from a beach in Bali- the choice is yours.

19. Grocery Stores

Cashier working in grocery store
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Goodluz via DepositPhotos.com.

Grocery stores are open at all hours, so you can choose shifts that fit your schedule. Night owl? No problem. Early riser? They’ve got you covered. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “I started working as a cashier at Target in 2006, making $7.25/hour, and now I am the store manager of a large independent grocery store, and I make about $47/hour.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Grocery stores are considered essential businesses, and they tend to have a steady customer base regardless of economic conditions. This means that there is generally a demand for grocery store employees, even during economic downturns.”

20. Trade

Senior grey-haired man wearing suit holding dollars and using smartphone
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Trading isn’t just about day trading; it’s about smart investing, too. With the right strategy, you can make your money work for you, earning dividends and capital gains while you sip piña coladas on a beach somewhere.

A Redditor said, “Without knowing your background, it’s hard to give good advice. You can never go wrong with learning a trade. Close friend of mine started as an apprentice at a GC. Learned for a few years, then got his contractor’s license and went off on his own, got acquired, and is now making well above what you shared your goal is. Takes time and hard work, but it’s sustainable.”

Another replied, “Fr, learn the basics of trading and make big money.”

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Leighton Meester at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Star Trek" held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States on April 30, 2009.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.