The best moonlighting job I ever had was covering high school football games as a stringer for the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun. It didn't pay much, but it provided me with movie money and a lot of pleasure. And it eventually led to a career in journalism.

Moonlighting, as you may have noticed, is coming back strong, and there are many reasons for the resurgence. Last year 6 million Americans took a second job and it is estimated that at least another 20 million workers would like to earn a few extra bucks a week. The reasons are many: to have more spending money, get out of debt, provide a college education for children, buy a Jaguar, take a fantastic vacation, retire early or just make ends meet.I am not referring only to folks who leave the office to rush out and umpire slow-pitch softball games or factory workers who double as security guards. Many view moonlighting as the first step toward breaking away from the 9-to-5 routine and realizing a lifelong dream to "be my own boss."

In a new book appropriately titled "Moonlighting," author Carl Hausman has listed 148 ways to make money on the side, complete with timesaving tips. The book, which is published by Avon Books and sells for $7.95, provides information on how to prepare to start a moonlighting business, how to charge for the product or service and how to promote the business.

The possibilities are unlimited. Moonlighting has reached the entrepreneurial stage. A well-published professional photographer makes a good living by growing vegetables in his garden - and photographing them for magazines.

Whether your interests run to beekeeping or bookkeeping, there is always a way to make a buck in your spare time. Often, you don't even have to apply for a job, punch a time clock, fight traffic or work within someone else's schedule. A lot of modern-day moonlighters, Hausman says, are finding ways to moonlight at home.