If there is one thing that everybody has in common, it is probably that we could all use a little more money. We all have our ways of making it. Some of us may try to increase the salary we earn, some may work extra hours, others get a second job. Though many of us would love to earn more without actually working more.
While there aren’t many options for that last group, the good news is that there are a lot of ways to make more money by thinking out of the box, and a lot of them are things you may have never considered before.
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Some of these ways will only earn you a little bit of pocket change, but other ones can earn you some pretty big bucks. Normally, the harder it is, the better the pay off. But if you can figure out how to make it work for you, who knows. You might be able to increase your income by a pretty tidy percent.
I’ve compiled a list of methods for making some extra cash that you might find useful. Some of them are easy, and some of them are pretty serious– it’s up to you to decide how far you’ll go to boost your income.
1. Taking Surveys
As suspicious as it seems, you really can get paid for doing surveys online. Usually the pay isn’t that good, but if you are diligent you can get a pretty decent turnout.
If you do get selected for a focus group, you can make anywhere from $50-100 for a single session. Manage to snag a few meetings in a month and now you’re looking at a nice chunk of money. It may require driving to nearest major city in some cases, though.
That said, focus groups are far and few in between, but online surveys are much more frequent. So, it pays to sign up for a dozen or so legit sites.
Each survey pays a different amount based on the length and the topic of the study. For example, SurveySavvy pays anywhere between $1 to $10 for a survey that may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
On the other hand, Pinecone works a little differently; they pay $3 for every single survey you take.
Participating in market research studies is truly a great way to add to your income while at the same time voicing your opinion about products and services you use in your daily life.
For a list of 30 legit survey companies that actually pay, read this post.
Try Swagbucks, the famous rewards program that pays you for watching videos, taking surveys, shopping and more.
2. Performing Online Tasks
Lots of websites will offer you small amounts of cash for doing tasks, usually easy ones, too. It can range from HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) on a website like Mechanical Turk or Clickworker which will net you a few cents per task, to a website like Fiverr.
Fiverr is a website where you offer your services for $5 as a standard going rate (though you can offer packages to charge more for more services.) If you have any skills like graphic design, music composition, or something similar, you can offer to do it here.
If you live in a country with a low minimum wage, this can actually be a pretty decent way to make money.
3. Search for Tasks in Real Life
Websites like Task Rabbit can help you find side work in your area. You can sign up and be hired by people to do simple stuff, like cleaning a kitchen or making a coffee run. This won’t net great money, but it is fairly ample side work.
You can also browse the gigs on Craigslist to interface with people directly, instead of using an intermediary service.
Of course, when it comes to Craigslist, it’s work-at-your-own-risk.
4. Write Articles for Content Mills
Now, it’s possible that writing IS your hobby, in which case we’ll have really driven that point home by now. But even if you don’t like to write for fun, there is money to be made writing for various content curators online.
Some of them, like HubPages, can be a source of passive income for even years after the work is done. Others, like Writer’s Domain, will pay you fairly well per article, though they do keep the rights to what you produce.
If you have any skill in the written word, this can be a great way to rack up some easy income doing something leisurely. Everybody likes work they can get done with a cup of coffee on the ready, after all.
For a bigger list of sites that pay you to write content, read this.
This one is a no-brainer: Just save your recyclables and take them to a local recycling center (if you have one.)
Where I live, there are plenty of recycling centers which are prepared to pay you cash for glass, plastic, aluminum, and other recyclable material.
It’s at least worth checking if you have any centers in your area, because this is a way to do something good and make money at the same time.
6. Renting Out Your Stuff
There are two major ways to rent out your stuff. The first is using a site like RentyThing to see if there are people in your area who want to rent your possessions, appliances, or tools.
This is a good way to make money on stuff that you aren’t using currently, but might in the future.
The second is to rent out your car, which is certainly a worrisome enough prospect (I start to sweat when I hand my keys to a valet.) However there is solid money to be made renting out your car if you aren’t actually using it for a certain part of the day.
Some services, like GetAround or Relayrides, will be willing to pay you up to $10/hour or maybe more. That’s good money for sitting at home, but you’d have to be willing to trust someone behind the wheel of your car.
For this one, your mileage will quite literally vary.
7. Sell Advertising Space on Your Car
You’ve probably seen a car driving around town that had a business decal on the side, or maybe a little business name on the window or something. You might have even seen a car with a full wrap, where all of the space on the body of the car was one big advertisement. Well, you too can sell this space on your car.
The companies which provide this service are very picky, and will take into consideration the make, model, and condition of your car. However, if you are chosen to receive a decal, you can make up to $500 a month, and sometimes even more. They’ll offer the biggest bucks if you don’t mind driving a practical billboard around town.
I have written before about this and a list of car wrapping companies you can contact.
8. Sell Your Hobbies
No, not the materials you use to do your hobbies, but the actual results of your hobby itself!
Most people are bashful about being paid money to do something they already like to do. But if you want to make some extra money, it might be worth it to get over those feelings.
This ties back into the Fiverr step up above. If you’ve got any extra marketable skills, you can actually get paid for it.
If you’re a musician, pull up a chair on the corner and play for tips. If you’re an artist, consider selling your work online, or constructing a portfolio and attracting clients.
People who are devoted to their hobby sometimes have the ability to make really good money from it. You just have to accept that others will actually be willing to pay you for it!
9. Donating Blood and Plasma.
Now, this one is very easy money, but a lot of people are turned off by the idea of this (maybe because of the needles.)
Many blood and plasma donation centers will pay you more for your first few visits, but you can still make some strong extra money doing this regularly.
Some donation centers have a strong wait period between donations, some do not. If you managed to find a donation center that will allow you to contribute regularly, you could be looking at a fair $300-800 dollars in a month.
One thing to be careful of is that these donations can make you feel dizzy, so it’s recommended to catch a ride there, if you can.
10. Point Reward and Rebate Programs
Sometimes you can even get tidy first-party rebates, like through Amazon, who frequently offers gift cards in return for purchasing set denominations (like $50 or $100 dollars.)
If you’re already prepared to make a purchase, like a Netflix account, you can make the purchase through a promotion site and gain points in the process. While this method requires some purchasing, it only takes a little planning to gain while you spend.
In certain cases, you can actually make back in points around what you spent in the first place!
Some of these extra income opportunities really are just easy money, and other methods require some work. But if you are diligent, and you put some effort in, these can turn into serious ways to supplement your income and improve your financial situation.
Just a few hundred dollars can be the difference in scraping by and living comfortably, so it’s a good idea to look into at least a few of these methods. And who knows, you might discover a new way of making money that really changes your financial landscape.