While many people are in a rush to complete goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year, I’m looking forward to new and innovative ways to add more money to my bottom line come next year. Lucky for us, there is never a shortage of new money-making apps and ideas coming online. Here are some cool new ways to make money in your spare time this upcoming year.
1. Online ESL Tutoring
Speaking of teaching, even if you don’t have a teaching degree or current certificate, you may be able to make money teaching English online. This is a great side gig for those working a full-time job. The scheduling is flexible and you can work in the early morning, evenings and on weekends. And the pay is pretty good, too! Some ESL tutors are paid up to $21 per 40-minute class.
2. ACT Test Prep
Not necessarily new, but definitely a great opportunity! Jen Henson was a teacher in Ohio when she was approached by her principal to tutor an athlete preparing for ACT testing. He had a full ride offer from a college but need the test scores to seal the deal. After hearing about the results Jen was able to help this student achieve, he’s in the NFL today, she started being approached by other coaches.
She both taught full-time and tutored on the side as long as she could. This year, she decided she could no longer handle both. She was able to walk away from her 22-year teaching career to pursue ACT test prep full-time.
Jen has found a lot of fulfillment in the work she now does. In addition to the student now in the NFL, she has tutored two others now playing in the MLB. Her biggest accomplishment, however, is all of those who she has helped secure a free education or a spot at their dream college because of their ACT test scores.
3. Become a Courier
Many of my readers aren’t hip on the idea of becoming a rideshare driver. It can be a little intimidating being in a car alone with a stranger. A great alternative in the same industry is becoming a courier. Sites like Postmates, UberEats, Amazon Flex and others can be a great opportunity to earn extra cash delivering everything from lunch to packages. These can be good side hustles with flexible schedules. In some areas, I have also seen a big boom in medical courier opportunities, and these don’t pay too shabby!
4. Share Your Stuff
Do you have a big ticket item or two that you only use part-time? We are living in an age of “peer sharing” which has opened a door to earning income from renting everything from RVs (RVShare) to sailboats (see Sailo). This works for smaller items, too. KitSplit lets you lend out professional cameras. If you have a desirable item that costs more than the average person can afford, someone out there may be willing to pay to borrow it.
5. Rent Your Knowledge
You have likely heard of subscription boxes such as Birchbox and Julep. While almost anyone can start a subscription box service, they can be incredibly labor-intensive and the profit margin usually isn’t so great for those operating on a small scale. Did you know you could start a subscription for your knowledge that’s almost pure profit? With sites like SubHub, you can offer a monthly membership offering anything from meal plans to workout plans to crocheting patterns and beyond. The sky is the limit. You do need to provide new content on a consistent schedule to keep your customers happy. But if there is something your friends are always looking to you for new ideas, you may have an easy little side business on your hands.
6. Get More Cash Back
Who doesn’t love cashback opportunities like Ebates? It’s one of my favorite ways to earn extra money with little or no extra work. But what about in-store cash back? Dosh is a newer app that offers just that. You can earn cash back on things like getting your oil changed or eating out in addition to the usual in-app and travel purchases. They give you $5 just for downloading the app and connecting your debit or credit card.
7. Invest Your Change
We all know we should be investing money, but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. This is especially the case for those with limited dispensable cash or inconsistent income. Acorns (get $5 to invest when you sign up through this link) is an app that will allow you to round up your everyday purchases and invest that spare change. While you may be unable to write a sizeable check for investing each month, you may not notice an extra $.25 tacked onto your morning Starbucks. Stockpile is another micro-investing platform I love. Get $5 to invest free when you sign up here.
8. Refer Your Friends
How many times have you told your friends about a great service or product you love? Could you have been compensated for that referral? Many companies today have refer-a-friend programs that will pay you in cash or store credit for bringing them new customers. Look in your online profile for these opportunities. The website will often provide you with a link you can share on social media or in an email. If it’s a product or service you are asked about a lot, it may even be worth your time to get cards printed up with your link for handing out.
9. Turn Audio Files Into Text
Transcription is a work-at-home opportunity that has been around for years. Recently, we have seen an influx of short task and crowdsourcing sites popping up offering transcription services at an affordable rate and a quick turnaround. That's good news for those new to working from home.
These small task sites like Rev.com and TranscribeMe may not require prior transcription experience. That opens a door for those looking to give transcription a try. Transcription is production-based pay in most cases. That means the faster and more accurate you can listen to those audio files and type them into text, the more you can get paid.
Once you have a little experience under your belt, start applying to those better-paying transcription jobs. There's no shortage of them!
10. (Get Someone Else to) Cancel Your Subscriptions
We all sign up for subscriptions that we eventually don’t want. As I’m sure you have found out, sometimes cancellation isn’t so easy. What I love about Trim is that they will identify these recurring charges in your bank account, let you know what you are being charged for and then give you the option to have them cancel them. They can send an email, make a phone call or even send a certified letter if that’s what the company requires. This service is currently free. Trim can also negotiate things like your cable bill. For that service, they charge you a percentage of your annual savings. Sign up here.
11. Score Tests
I've been getting some really good feedback from my audience about scoring tests from home. Companies like Measurement, Incorporated hire remote workers on a per-project basis to read and evaluate student tests. These are often temporary positions. Measurement, Inc typically has their biggest need March to June.
Evaluators usually need a bachelor's degree in any field. You will also need to pass the scoring company's test and training.
Even those these are temporary positions, many of my readers state they are asked back year after year as long as they stick with the guidelines and attendance requirements. This could be a great egg to have in your work-at-home basket if you have a bachelor's degree!
12. Offer Video Services to Others
For many years, freelance writing has been a great opportunity to earn extra cash with a flexible schedule. The latest online content need is video. If you can turn your client’s written content into professional, high-quality video, you may find yourself with no shortage of business. And these don’t necessarily need to be you in a “talking head” video. They could be PowerPoint presentations, screencasts, photo montages, animations and more.