Sometimes people look for ways to earn a real income from home, but sometimes we’re just looking for extra spending money. The great thing about making money from home is that you can take it in any direction you want!
If you’re looking for simple ways to make some money in your spare time, this is for you. There are many ways to make money easily and on your own schedule, with no long-term commitments. These are a few of my favorites:
Surveys are one of the most popular ways to make money from home. There are tons of survey sites you can use, and you can do them on your computer or even on your smartphone. If your timing is right, you can also get in on the chance to do product reviews!
One of the reasons surveys are so popular is that you can do them in your spare time. People will do surveys while they watch TV, while they’re waiting for something, or while they’ve just got nothing going on. And with the convenience of smartphone apps especially, surveys are an easy way to bring in some extra money.
A few of my favorites:
Swagbucks is one of my favorite ways to make money from home. When you sign up, you become part of a website with a ton of ways to earn Swagbucks (or SBs), which you can then trade for cash or gift cards.
Swagbucks has pretty much everything in exchange for SBs. There’s cash-back shopping with a ton of online stores, watching videos, taking surveys, participating in the daily poll, games, contests, sweepstakes, and more. Plus, you can use Swagbucks as a search engine and earn random SBs. Even if you don’t like taking surveys and watching videos, just using the search engine feature will put a steady stream of cash in your pocket. Sign up here.
3. Selling Your Stuff
One of the simplest ways to make some extra money is to sell the unwanted stuff you have lying around. Whether it’s clothes, electronics, media (like DVDs and books), or just excess belongings you no longer want, there are ways to make money with them. This is a two-fold benefit to you: extra money, and reduced clutter. By getting rid of things you don’t want, you’re giving yourself a little bit more freedom.
You can go online to sell your things (if you’re not sure where to start, start with eBay). If that’s not your speed, you can definitely still go the local route. If you decide to sell locally, take advantage of things like buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook, reselling apps, and websites like Craigslist or community/neighborhood boards. You can even make some good money with a yard sale if you’ve got a lot of stuff to offload.
4. Simple Gigs
A lot of things people do as teenagers for pocket-money are still viable sources of income today. You can mow lawns, do some babysitting, or even be a house sitter. It’s easy money, there are no extra demands on your time, and you can pick and choose when you do it (to a large extent).
Other simple gigs include tutoring, taking care of pets while someone is at work or on vacation, doing odd jobs, moving or delivering furniture (if you have a truck or trailer), or running errands and delivering groceries.
5. Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping is a fun way to make some extra cash and check out some restaurants and experiences in your local area while you’re at it. Businesses hire mystery shopping companies to send “regular people” into their businesses to evaluate the customer experience. You can do “shops” at stores, restaurants, medical offices, or even attractions like a mall carousel.
There are also apps (like Field Agent) that will ping you when you’re near a site and offer you a task to accept. These will be things like taking a picture of a specific item or of a store restroom.
To make mystery shopping even more convenient, you can do the same service over the phone. Your role is to test the customer service experience, and there are several companies that hire mystery shoppers for phone calls.
6. Small Tasks
Quite a few different variations of the “small task” exist. There are some sites that allow you to offer your service to potential clients or customers. There are other sites that assemble all kinds of small tasks and let you pick and choose what you want (like Mechanical Turk). There are also some task-specific sites where you can do things like testing search engines or reviewing websites.
- iSoftStone – This site hires search and ad evaluators. You are able to check-in and work whenever you want, but you are required to work 10 hours per week. If you enjoy this type of gig, there are several others sites like this including Leapforce and Lionbridge. Please be aware they require a bigger time commitment however.
- mTurk – I remember doing HITS on mTurk during my lunch breaks before I began working from home (circa 2007). These were “penny tasks” then and sadly they still are today, for the most part. You will find a variety of entry level, non-phone tasks here ranging from data entry to surveys to transcription. It’s low pay and that pay comes via Amazon Payments. It’s busy-work however.
- FancyHands – This site hires virtual assistants for small, one-off tasks. There is no time commitment. Come and go as you please. I don’t spend a lot of my spare time here as many of the tasks involve things I don’t care for (making phone calls, haggling over bills). That being said, I do love that there are no surprises. You can see very bit of what will be involved, including files, before accepting a task. Pay isn’t the best ($12/hr avg), but I’ve seen worse. Payments are made weekly via Dwolla only.
- Fiverr – I do love Fiverr for spare cash. It satisfies my gig-hopping tendencies and I can turn it on and off as I please. You need to be careful when choosing the Gigs to offer. Your initial offering needs to be short, sweet and to the point. It should also be scalable. Much of the money to be made on Fiverr is in the upsell. Level 2 Sellers can earn up to $160 per order in Extras. Narrow down your target audience. Be specific. Stick to your guns. Payment is made via PayPal. Revenue takes 14 days to clear after an order is complete. See this post for my Fiverr tips.
7. Cash-Back Sites
Using cash-back shopping sites is quite possibly the easiest way to make some extra money from home. Every time you go online to buy something, shop through a cash-back site and you’ll receive a cash rebate on your qualifying purchases.
Ebates is a good one to use because you can download a browser extension that can enable the cash-back bonus without even having to go through the Ebates site. You can get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up here.
8. Grocery Apps
Another fantastically simple way to get extra money is to use grocery apps. They’re like a combination of couponing and cash-back shopping. Generally speaking, what you’ll do is mark off the items in the app that you plan to purchase, and then you buy them! I’ve been able to get tons of money back thanks to these rebates on things I would have purchased anyway.
My favorite of the grocery apps is Ibotta — you can “cash out” with PayPal, Venmo, or with a gift card. They also offer a lot of “no name brand” rebates which means you can get money back when purchasing things like a gallon of milk even if you buy the store brand. Get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up here and complete your first rebate within 10 days.
Those are a few of my favorite simple ways to make money. Sign up for my weekly newsletter below and I’ll send you a few more!