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In a pinch and need a little extra cash? Looking for ways to make money at home?
You are not alone.
In fact, Google logs nearly 250,000,000 (that’s 250 million) searches each year by people just like you.
Whether you’re a broke college student who needs a little extra spending cash, or you’re actually an adult now and looking to eliminate credit card debt or increase savings, most of us could benefit from a little more take home pay each month.
And whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, our financial situations have an enormous impact on almost every facet of our lives. The misuse of money can have devastating effects on our collective mental, social and emotional health.
Being short on cash often means being late on a utility bill, foregoing holiday gifts for a loved one, or missing out on activities with friends.
Worse yet, some of us continue to spend and rack up debt.
Even a few hundred dollars is often the difference between making it till the end of the month…and falling flat on your face.
If you feel like you are a part of this group, there is good news – we live in a pretty incredible age.
The rise of the Internet makes earning money from home a legitimate option for those of us who could use a little extra cash. From getting paid to do online surveys, to opening an online store, to becoming a freelance writer, there are hundreds of ways to make money at home with online jobs.
Below I’ll share with you 18 easy ways to make money at home for free (including my own personal experience and a pivotal lesson that I learned along the way).
Related: 11 Best Work from Home Jobs for 2018
18 Best Ways To Make Money from Home
1. Take paid surveys on the Internet
Until a few months ago, I had never heard of paid surveys. Sure enough, they are real…and they can net you hundreds of dollars each month.
Users are usually notified by email when a qualifying survey is available. Because of that, I recommend signing up for multiple survey sites so you’re eligible for as many surveys as possible.
You won’t get rich from it, as most surveys pay less than $5, but you can easily earn upwards of $100/month or more just by filling out surveys in your spare time. Some sites even give you a free $5 (or more) just for signing up — it’s hard to beat that!
Make money from home with these paid survey sites:
Survey Junkie is among the most straightforward survey sites out there, which puts them at the top of this list. All you have to do is sign up to be eligible for surveys. Once you complete a survey you earn a certain amount of points that you can exchange for cash paid directly to a PayPal account or you can redeem your points for gift cards. Super simple.
Free Signup: Register Here
Perhaps the most well-known and trusted of all the survey sites, users earn “Swagbucks” (also known as SB’s) for each survey they complete. Swagbucks even gives you a free $5 as an incentive just for signing up.
$5 Signup Bonus: Claim Here
Vindale Research asks for information about you that they can match you with fitting surveys. At up to $50 a pop for some surveys, and a free $1 just for signing up, it pays to check in daily to see which ones are available to you. Cashouts are through PayPal.
$1 Signup Bonus: Claim Here
Cash and simplicity. Those are my two favorite parts about Inbox Dollars. After a few minutes of answering questions and watching a couple tutorial videos on how the site works, I had $5 added to my account. Pretty sweet!
$5 Signup Bonus: Claim Here
MyPoints rewards members when they shop online, take surveys, play games, watch videos and more. Similar to Swagbucks, plus they give you a $10 Amazon gift card for free after signing up.
$10 Signup Bonus: Claim Here
Note: There are dozens of other survey sites out there. These just happen to be the more well-known ones that have a reputation for paying out in a timely manner and not having impossible standards for cashing out. As always, be careful with your personal information. I recommend using an entirely separate email address for survey sites so they don’t clutter your inbox.
2. Let Trim free up money in your budget
Trim is one of my newfound obsessions.
It’s a simple tool that combs through your spending habits and finds quick, easy wins that’ll put more money in your pocket. For example, Trim can negotiate your cable bill, find subscriptions that you should probably cancel, and can even find you more affordable car insurance.
Even though you don’t directly make money with Trim, if it optimizes your budget by even 5% a month, that is real money! And of course, the app is free, so it’s definitely worth trying out.
3. Start a blog
If you happen to be even a half-decent writer, you can do what you love and make money at home simply by writing about it.
DollarSprout uses a blog as a way to spread information about earning and saving more money. You too can be a source of information (or amusement) for just about anything that interests you.
And you can make money by doing it. A lot of money, in fact.
This little blog of ours routinely pulls in over $25,000 in revenue each month — and we started it only 3 years ago.
Whether you’d like to start a lifestyle oriented blog, where you share your favorite home decor ideas, or a beauty and fashion blog where you film makeup tutorials and write product reviews, you can turn your favorite hobby into a budding online business.
Some elite bloggers are even pulling in over $100,000 each month! For example,
- Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents made over $241,000 last month alone!
- or Pat @ Smart Passive Income who made over $167,000 in his last report.
- and lastly there’s Rosemarie @ The Busy Budgeter who also made over $100,000 in her most recent report!
Craziness. And those are but a few of thousands of bloggers making five, and even six-figures a month, working from home.
If you’re new to blogging, want to make money at home but aren’t quite where to start, I’d consider starting a WordPress blog (like this one) with HostGator. It’s a low cost way to start your own online business (less than $5/month) and HostGator offers a 45-day money back guarantee if you deciding blogging just isn’t a good fit for you.
Here’s a great step by step tutorial for those of you who are interested.
Bonus: Use coupon code rsosaveaw2new for 53% off!
4. Make money delivering food with UberEats
Depending on where you live, you can deliver food with your car, bike, or scooter. You can deliver day or night, for however long you’d like. Once you are approved with UberEats, you can sign onto the app and start accepting delivery requests right away (and making money).
And just like other delivery gigs, at the end of each delivery, you’ll be eligible to receive a tip.
5. Rent your car out while you’re not using it
Here’s a new way to make money from home: Let other people use your car when you don’t need it.
Getaround lets you post your vehicle on the app and automatically connects you to people in your area who need a ride. Renters can access and book your car straight from the app, so you don’t have to mess around with scheduling to exchange keys.
As a Getaround car owner, you get access to premium parking as well as a $50 monthly rental credit. And with $1 million insurance coverage, you can rest assured your property is in good hands.
It only takes a few clicks to put your car to work with Getaround. Just register for a free account, name your car, set the location and availability, and enter a description.
Rental earnings accrue on a monthly basis and are paid on the 15th of the following month. Getaround is one of the easiest ways for car owners to make money at home.
6. Become a personal grocery shopper with Instacart
Yes, this is a thing. And it’s getting more and more popular by the day.
Similar to UberEats, Instacart allows you to make money on your own schedule — but by shopping and delivering groceries to paying customers.
With Instacart, you have two ways to make money as a shopper:
7. Use Ebates (and Dosh) to get cashback on everyday purchases
If you’re going to shop, why not get money for doing it? Well technically you’re not getting money, but you’re getting money back (cashback) on purchases you would have made anyways. Cool thing is, this is on top of any discounts/coupon codes you already have.
There is no reason not to do this. This is probably the single easiest way to make money at home. You need an email address to sign up. That’s it. Even if it’s $100-$200/year, why are you throwing money away for no reason?
To sweeten the deal, both companies are offering signup bonuses worth $10 (Ebates) and $5 (Dosh) respectively.
The bonuses aren’t immediate, you’ll need to make a qualifying purchase, but that is the point of both apps after all (to save money on your everyday purchases, like gas and groceries).
My friend Jeff (also a DollarSprout writer) has made almost $1,700 from Dosh so far in 2018!
8. List an extra room in your house on Airbnb
Have an extra room in your house? Going to be gone for a week and are looking to make some serious dough?
Literally make money from your home.
Believe it or not this is seriously the easiest way ever to pull in hundreds (even thousands) of extra dollars per month. Most of it involves very little or no work on your end and there is almost 0 overhead to get started.
This is something that not nearly enough people are taking advantage of. If you own a home, consider putting a room (or the whole place) on Airbnb.
Here’s how it works:
Create a listing by filling out a description, taking and uploading photos, and setting a price. Your listing helps guests get a sense of what your place is like.
Then, you set the availability and house rules for your listing. Once your listing is live, guests can book their stay at your home, and you start earning money.
To up the “trust” factor for both the host and the guests, Airbnb does require some verification information, including phone numbers. After a visit, everyone gets the chance to write a review. Reviews keep guest accountable for treating hosts and their homes with respect, and helps ensure hosts make their space as welcoming as possible.
Learn more about how you can make money as an Airbnb host here.
9. Install a few cell phone apps (or allow ads on your phone)
Yes, companies will pay you to install apps (or place ads) on your cell phone and leave them there. These apps often run in the background and track your spending/purchasing habits but if you’re not one to really care who knows what groceries you’re buying that week then this is seriously the easiest way to make upwards of $300 per year for no reason.
Nielson Computer and Mobile Panel – Want a shot at $10,000 plus in addition to regular usage rewards? Sign up and you can score a serious pay day just for keep an app installed on your phone. Nielsen is currently paying users $50 per year to keep their app installed on a device.
Ibotta – Taking grocery shoppers by surprise everywhere, Ibotta is the hottest new app that lets savvy consumers save big on all the biggest brands (especially on groceries). I’ve racked up $1,321.00 in earnings over the last year or so if that gives you any idea how much you’re leaving on the table.
They pay users $10 just for signing up and they offer an additional $10 for each user you refer.
Bonus: Refer 3 users and Ibotta will credit you with $100.00.
10. Become a freelance writer (or proofreader)
Along the same lines as starting your own blog, if you haven’t gathered by now, writing quality content for viewers is worth a lot of money. To the tune of several hundred dollars for a 3-4 page article.
If you’re still reading this article, odds are someone would have paid you over $100 for something of similar (or hopefully better) quality.
The better you are at writing, the more your content is worth. Even part time freelance work can add thousands to your monthly income. Holly Johnson from Club Thrifty makes over $200,000 a year from freelance writing! And she has a course that teaches others how to do the same.
If writing isn’t your thing, do what Caitlin Pyle did:
In 2014, Caitlin made over $43,000 by working as a freelance proofreadproofer…part time. If you’ve got a knack for spotting typos or naughty grammar, this side hustle might be right up your alley.
When she wasn’t working, she even had time to go on several fun vacations. After she had a ton of success doing that, she decided she wanted to teach others how to do the same thing, so she started up Proofread Anywhere.
Sign up for one of her free workshops to learn more about how to make money from home as a proofreader.
11. Get a bank account that pays better
Have thousands in a savings account earning you .000257% interest?
You are lazy…and I am calling you on it.
Part of being fiscally responsible is showing that you care about your money. Even if you do not know enough to start investing young, there is absolutely no reason that you can’t take 10 minutes out of your day and move your savings to an account that at least gets you a 1-2% return each year.
On $10,000 in savings, that is $100-200 each year, for free. Make your money work for you.
Right now there are several competing banks offering premium rates on high-yield savings accounts. This is great for the consumer (you) because they’re in constant competition to see who can offer the best interest rate (to lure in new customers).
One of the highest paying savings accounts you can open right now is through CIT Bank.
It’s an online savings account, so you won’t have a local branch right around the corner, but that’s easily made up for by their relatively robust interest rates.
Although constantly in flux, their current rates are hovering at just over 25x the current national average of .06% APY.
You can withdraw cash, just like you would any other savings account, with a bank card at a local ATM. The account minimum is a mere $100, making it the perfect opportunity to teach kids about compound interest, or for you to get the best rate on your current savings.
12. Start investing
1-2% APY from an online savings account is just the beginning, though. Depending on your age, you should be netting around 7% year with a balanced portfolio.
Have $50,000 in savings? That is $3,500 dollars per year that you are missing out on if you’re not investing. Of course, there will be ebbs and flows (and you won’t make money every day), but investing over the long term is one of the best ways to build wealth.
With an app like Acorns you can get started in just a few minutes on your phone.
Acorns works by essentially rounding up the spare change from your everyday purchases (to the nearest dollar) and then invests the difference into the stock market. If you’re clueless about how the stock market works, but still want the highest return you can possibly make on your money, this is the perfect way to start investing. You can read our full Acorns Review here.
UPDATE: $5 Signup Bonus
Acorns is now offering a $5 signup bonus for new accounts opened. After completing your account registration, Acorns will deposit a FREE $5 into your account to help you get started.
13. Become a real estate investor
Andrew Carnegie famously once said:
“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined.”
Most people think that you need to have a lot money stocked away before getting started with investing in real estate, but that isn’t true. In fact, you can start with with as little as $500 by using a platform like Fundrise. Fundrise allows investors of all types (beginners and experts alike) to invest directly in a real estate portfolio that’s managed by a team of professionals.
If you’ve ever had the itch to give real estate investing a shot, but don’t necessarily want to take the hands-on approach of being a landlord, trying an option like Fundrise is worth considering. With 8-11% annual expected returns, this is an excellent opportunity to potentially grow your wealth.
Related: 12 Free Ways to Make $500 Fast
14. Rent out things you’re not currently using
You know that super nice Nikon DSLR that’s sitting in your closet collecting dust (that you can’t bring yourself to sell because you still use it from time to time)?
Or that Trek mountain bike that goes unused 300 days out of the year that’s just sitting in your garage?
We all have something like that just laying around that could actually be passively making us money from home through a super neat service known as Fat Lama.
Link of Fat Lama like Airbnb, except you list everyday items for rent, instead of your house. Some users are earning upwards of $10,000/month renting out a wide variety of things — from TV’s and high-end sound systems, to simple things like bikes and scooters, you can list just about anything and turn a profit.
Better yet, they even offer comprehensive lenders insurance. If an item is lost, damaged and/or for some reason never returned, they’ll cover the full value of the item. It’s an insanely easy way to passively make money at home and have someone basically pay off your item for you.
Renting out items isn’t the only way you can earn, too. New users automatically get a $25 bonus applied to their account and you can an earn additional $25 for each member that you refer than ends up placing a rental order.
15. Invest with Lending Club
Lending Club is an online platform that offers a different type of investing: peer-to-peer lending. With this system, investors (ie, you) lend money to borrowers and earn a profit by collecting interest.
For instance, let’s say that someone wants to do a kitchen remodel that will cost $5,000. Instead of putting that on a credit card (bad idea!), they can go to Lending Club and take out a personal loan at a much lower interest rate. As an investor, you can invest in this specific loan — in increments as small as $25.
Lending Club does all of the credit screening for you, so you have an accurate idea of how “safe” it is to lend to specific borrowers. The more risk you take on, the higher interest rates you can potentially earn. This comes at a cost though; if someone defaults on their loan (meaning they can’t make payments), you are out of luck.
16. Profit off of your own weight loss
Most people have a hard time losing weight. And sure enough, there is a business that has capitalized on that.
HealthyWage.com is a website that allows you to make a bet on your own weight loss.
The idea is simple: If you accomplish your weight loss goal within a give time frame, you win your bet. If you don’t accomplish your weight loss goal, you lose your bet. For example, if you use the bet calculator on their home page, a $30/monthly bet to lose 20 lbs in 6 months could earn you anywhere between $200-$529.41…if you are successful.
17. Design and sell t-shirts
Everybody wears t-shirts, and I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. That means there will always be a money making opportunity here.
Teespring.com is a site that allows you to design and sell t-shirts, without paying any money up front for inventory. You basically create your own “store” with different t-shirt designs, and once you hit a certain number of orders, TeeSpring will create your shirts in one batch and ship them all for you.
18. Help Google and make money at home
Want to earn $110 per year for changing literally nothing about your life?
Insert the Google’s Opinion Rewards app here. Well, technically not here, but on your computer at home.
It works essentially the same way as the phone apps do above. If you don’t care to let Google know what you do on a daily basis, you can make money from home by letting them monitor your Internet usage. They use the information they gather to help them market/increase the functionality of their advertising programs when targeting users that are similar to you.
19. Put your digits to use
Not your phone number. Your fingers.
You can earn up to $24/hr simply by transcribing audio to text. Speechpad pays speedy typists to make written versions of audio and/or video clips.
At up to $.40/minute, you can seriously rack up some dough for those insanely fast typing skills you never thought would come in handy.
Choosing Where to Start
I wasn’t kidding when I said there are hundreds of ways to make money at home.
Some more bizarre than others — think selling your hair for hundreds of dollars.
But if I were to make just one recommendation for you to take to heart, it would be to get involved in something you love.
Something you’re passionate about doing. If you’re going to be doing something to make money at home on top of your 9-5, when you’re already tired from a day’s work, it had better something you really enjoy.s
I speak from experience because I was straight broke during my early years in college. Being poor was all the motivation I needed to start looking into ways to make money at home (or a dorm room).
Enjoying What You Do Matters
It was fairly sobering to watch the nearly $20,000 I had saved from working all the way through high school (I was a savings beast), disappear nearly overnight when it came to paying for my degree from Virginia Tech.
As an irrational twenty-something at the time, I turned to online poker as a way to make money at home – specifically, Texas Hold’em. As foolish as that may have been then, it worked out for me.
I would not recommend this avenue to anyone now.
Having been gifted an analytical mind, I spent over 7 years learning how to approach the game from a logic/math based skill-set.
I was fortunate enough to amass earnings just shy of 6-figures and all that ultimately helped me pay off much of my student loans and start building my savings (modest when compared to many professional players but still a big deal to me at the time).
The reason it worked for me is because I loved studying it.
And that’s it. Point is, with some hustle and dedication, you can easily start to make money at home. Some of you can easily add an additional $1,000 in income to your take home pay each month.