51 Apps that Pay you Real Money
Much like our grandparents found side jobs to supplement their income, almost any enterprising person today can find a side hustle to make additional money.
Typically, the easiest way to make more money is to use the resources you already have, whether that’s things you own (like your car, extra space in your house, or any clutter you have lying around), things you can do (like creative hobbies or skills you can offer) or simply your time.
The internet has created a massive peer-to-peer economy and thousands of tasks and jobs, all of which can earn you considerable side money with research and some hustling.
Making even a few hundred extra a week can add up quickly – whether you’re saving for retirement, paying down debt, or just want more spending money – and whoever you are, there’s probably there’s a side hustle out there for you.
Read on to learn about the best apps that pay you real money:
- 1. Give companies your honest opinion
- 2. Get paid to watch online videos
- 3. Invest Spare Change
- 4. Make a Smart Budget With Personal Capital
- 5. Earn Cash back when you Shop
- 6. Earn Cash Back When Grocery Shopping
- 7. Sell Gift Cards you Don’t Need
- 8. Lend Money to other People
- 9. Negotiate your bills
- 10. Find a Higher Interest Rate with an Online Savings Account
- 11. Earn Money Going Online
- 12. Improve your Credit Score
- 13. Refinance Credit Card Debt with a Lower Interest Rate Personal Loan
- 14. Save Money by Investing with a Robot
- 15. Save Money Shopping Online
- 16. Do Chores for Your Neighbors
- 17. Monetize Your Car with Uber & Lyft
- 18. Deliver Food
- 19. Earn Extra Interest on Your Savings
- 20. Do Someone’s Grocery Shopping
- 21. Rent your Car
- 22. Sell your Stuff
- 23. Sell your Old Textbooks
- 24. Rent your Stuff
- 25. Rent your Room
- 26. Window Shopping
- 27. Become a Local Dogwalker
- 28. Cut out Unnecessary Subscriptions
- 29. Automate your Savings
- 30. Become a Search Engine Evaluator
- 31. Create an Online Course
- 32. Test New Apps
- 33. Improve Google
- 34. Enter Online Contests
- 35. Sell your Skills
- 36. Babysit
- 37. Start and Monetize a Blog
- 38. Become a Freelance Proofreader
- 39. Sell Custom T-shirts
- 40. Donate Plasma
- 41. Become a Tutor
- 42. Invest in Crowdfunded Real Estate
- 43. Invest Responsibly
- 44. Provide Your Opinion
- 45. Clean Out Your House for Cash
- 46. Sell Your Old Phone or Laptop
- 47. Invest With a Robot to Save Brokerage Fees
- 48. Make Money from your Cell Phone with Mobile Xpression
- 49. Sell Your Creative Designs on Etsy
- 50. Encourage Weight Loss by Betting on Your Results
- 51. Sell Your Photos Online with Shutterstock
1. Give companies your honest opinion
Many advertising companies and other researchers value your opinions; survey sites such as Survey Junkie pay out cash or other rewards for survey completion.
Of course, there are a lot of spam sites out there and scams, and the majority of these sites will not pay minimum wage. Depending on who you are, it can be difficult to find surveys you’re qualified for.
However, filling out surveys is a relatively fun and painless way to spend those extra chunks of time while you’re waiting in line or hanging out to earn a few extra dollars. When you are r
Most surveys take less than 20 minutes and pay a few dollars. However, even these small rewards can add up over time – filling out a survey and making just $3 a day would net you over $1,000 in a year.
Learn more about the highest paying survey apps.
2. Get paid to watch online videos
If surveys aren’t your style, there are plenty of other low-effort tasks you can perform online. Advertisers will often pay you to watch videos, YouTube advertisements, shopping through the site, or other tasks.
Swagbucks is the most well-known of these sites, but many companies offer similar perks. Netflix, for example, frequently hires taggers to watch videos on the platform.
Some companies are interested in browsing habits, and will pay you small amounts to track what movies you’re watching without any extra steps needed on your end beyond downloading a browser extension or app.
That may sound invasive, but it works much the same way ratings work for live cable TV, and is one of the lowest-effort ways to make a few dollars on the side.
Find out How Swagbucks works.
3. Invest Spare Change
Like the old-school coin jars, there are plenty of ways to round up your spare change, adding up to sizable returns and investments over time.
Acorns is the best-known player in this space: how it works is that an app on your phone will keep track of purchases you make with your debit or credit cards, automatically rounding up all purchases to the next dollar. For example, a $3.45 purchase would bill as four dollars, with the extra 55 cents going into an investment account.
Because such small amounts disappear, it’s much less painless to set aside money this way, and because you don’t have to think about it, you automatically make better investing decisions.
You can then earn interest on what you invest, make returns from stock growth, and ultimately make substantial savings for retirement or other goals over time.
4. Make a Smart Budget With Personal Capital
Online wealth management and advice are increasingly able to combine technology with old-school financial know-how to connect you with experience advisors at lower costs than was previously possible.
While this won’t directly make you new money, it can maximize the interest you earn on your existing money, help you avoid losing your money, and help you make smart investment decisions to manage your net worth and plan for your financial future.
Personal Capital is one example of a modern financial management tool that does this for you. They offer expert advice from fiduciaries with extensive experience in wealth management. Their fees are based on percentage of your assets that they manage. Up to your first $1 million, they charge a flat .89% fee for management, and that includes some extras, like free 401(k) planning and financial planning help.
Back testing showed that their methodology could outperform S&P 500 by about 1.5% annually, and with lower volatility. This is significantly better than you are likely to do on your own trying to pick stocks.
5. Earn Cash back when you Shop
If you’re an enthusiastic online shopper, this extension is for you. Ebates offers a simple browser extension through which you’ll earn cash back rebates. Depending on the store, you could earn up to 10% cash back just by doing your normal shopping trip.
Ebates also has ways to connect your regular credit card with your Ebates account to make it even easier for you to get cash back at regular stores. Other great options include Befrugal and Top Cash Back.
Of course, this method requires spending money to get money back, but if they are purchases that you would be making otherwise, it would be nice to get as much benefit out of that as possible.
With no saving, or habit-changing required, Ebates is the ultimate way to earn some passive additional income.
Find out how Rakuten Ebates works.
6. Earn Cash Back When Grocery Shopping
Similar to Ebates, Ibotta allows you to earn cash back when grocery shopping, but in real life instead of online. After shopping at participating stores, simply take a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app.
Compare Ibotta vs Rakuten Ebates.
Activate the deals you want, redeem with your receipt, and receive cash back within 48 hours. Ibotta lets you redeem cash through a PayPal account or with a merchant gift card. Since you already shop for groceries, this is an easy way to earn free Paypal money.
If your favorite grocery store is participating (and many big brands are) you are very slightly deviating from your normal routine by having to take a picture of your receipt, but other than that nothing is different from your regular shopping trip. You need to eat, so you might as well get paid for it.
You can also earn free gas by participating in grocery store fuel points programs.
7. Sell Gift Cards you Don’t Need
If you have extra gift cards, it’s possible to sell them online for most of their value – so for example, you can redeem 92% of that random restaurant coupon from another city for cash.
If you know you’re planning to make a big purchase from a store, it’s also worth looking into buying discounted gift cards for stores that you plan to shop at. Learn about the best apps to earn free gift cards.
Raise and Giftcard Granny are both example marketplaces where you can securely regift your cards or exchange cards for balances at the stores you want.
8. Lend Money to other People
Peer-to-peer lending is a rapidly growing method of investing.
Lending club is the biggest, and has been growing rapidly (especially following a recent IPO and high investor returns). The way it works is that anyone can sign up for a loan from a peer in the network. Depending on their risk factors, they are assigned a score and an interest rate.
As an investor, you can skim the list of loans asking for funding, and decide whether to invest in a loan or a piece of a loan. Then the loan is paid back, with interest, netting you up to 10% returns.
That’s higher than the stock market average, but there are risks with this type of investing, such as the possibility that the loan you make is defaulted on (meaning that the recipient can’t pay it back). That happens on about 6% of all peer loans; you can (and should) minimize your risk by diversifying, spreading out your investment across many loans.
You’ll need to make at least 70k a year and make a minimum 1000 investment to start ($25 per loan), but if you meet those conditions, this can be an easy and lucrative investment.
9. Negotiate your bills
You may be spending too much on your normal monthly bills.
Many cable, internet, credit card, and utility companies add extra fees, which hide in the additional pages. Then we overlook them, blindly paying the bolded number on the front.
Read the fine print, and don’t be afraid to call your credit card/phone/internet companies if you think you are being overcharged. Chances are, you are.
Some apps, like Trim will automate this process for you, or at least point you in the right direction by analyzing your spending and offering suggestions for where you could cut. They will even cancel some subscriptions for you or negotiate your bills down so that you don’t have to.
Using trim is much easier than negotiating directly with your own cable company.
In the case of debt, most creditors want to make it easy for you to pay back what you owe. It’s often possible to negotiate your interest rates, minimum monthly payments, or payment schedule.
Hospitals will often forgive some medical debt or set up a more convenient payment plan – all you have to do is ask, and in some cases this simple step can be enough to save 1,000s of dollars over the course of a loan.
10. Find a Higher Interest Rate with an Online Savings Account
Most savings accounts net about 1% in annual interest. That’s not even enough to keep up with inflation; in other words, when you leave your long-term savings in the bank, it may actually become less valuable over time.
Online high-yield savings accounts offer higher rates than checking accounts, without the risk of other high-yield investments like stocks or real estate, but without as much risk.
For those elusive longer-term goals, consider setting up a high yield savings account with an online platform. Sites like CIT Bank are entirely online and offer some of the highest interest rates out there. This is a great option to use for that money that you really want to put away and not touch for a while.
CIT’s savings calculator helps you understand how your money will grow based on your investment plan, giving you the concrete numbers you need to make an informed decision about your savings plan.
11. Earn Money Going Online
You can earn money, free food, grocery coupons, retail deals, and cash by performing tasks online, like playing games, surfing the web, reading emails, shopping online, completing paid surveys, and watching paid videos and TV.
12. Improve your Credit Score
A good credit score is the key to earning more credit in the future. This score makes getting excellent credit cards easier, often means significantly less money down on insurance premiums, and more favorable loan terms. Maintaining a good credit score can ultimately save you thousands of dollars.
Abusing credit cards and missing payments makes your score worse. On the other hand, not using any credit at all can also make it worse – credit card companies want to see that you’re using the line of credit you have available, but not maxing out multiple cards or spending more than you can easily pay back.
Your credit score follows you around for life, so learning the ins and outs of responsible credit management will help you save in the long term.
13. Refinance Credit Card Debt with a Lower Interest Rate Personal Loan
Interest payments are the real killer when it comes to credit card debt.
As you get slammed with more and more interest when payments go unmade, you get charged interest on your interest, instead of just on the original amount spent. You ultimately end up paying back way more than you actually spent, drawing out the process of becoming debt free.
If you feel like you’re barely staying afloat with your current credit card debt and can’t quite get ahead, you may want to consider getting a personal loan to help you pay it off.
Of course, you are replacing one debt with another, but many personal loans often offer lower fixed interest rates than your current credit card debt so you will be paying back less over time by switching. One of the biggest benefits is getting rid of that cumulative interest on your credit card debt that is working against you.
Sites like Payoff and Upgrade offer clear explanations of their rates and benefits of switching to a personal loan and they also have advisors who are able to chat with you about your options. Refinancing with a personal loan can help get you a simple interest instead of compound and will help get you back on your feet in no time.
14. Save Money by Investing with a Robot
Instead of investing with a traditional broker, try using a robot instead. Wealthfront uses sophisticated algorithms to efficiently diversify your investments across a range of traditional asset classes. Wealthfront passes on the savings to consumers in the form of lower asset management fees than traditional brokers.
Humans aren’t great at guessing where the market is going. Our psychology makes us inherently bad at investing for ourselves, so using a broker to help manage investing is a good first step. Brokers will help you make better returns over time, and using a robo-broker will help to keep your investments entirely objective and free from the biases that we all have.
Robo-investing is the happy medium between DIY investing and hiring a FIA. If you are young, don’t have other accounts with other financial services, and don’t know what to do, a robo-advisor will give you a good place to start.
15. Save Money Shopping Online
Paribus tracks your online spending and automatically requests a price credit when other online merchants reduce the prices of your past online purchases.
Paribus is one of the most popular price comparison apps.
Credit and debit card merchants charge sellers to use their services. Dosh lets you get some of that cash back as an instant rebate. If you hook up a card to the app, you can get as much as 10% back on your purchases.
Unlike other rebate companies, you don’t need to complete any extra tasks like receipt scanning or entering specific stores – it automatically reads your debit and credit card purchases and gives you cash back.
You will need to give Dosh access to your transactions, but they have invested heavily in security and encryption to lessen the risk of doing so.
The amount you actually get varies by store and region. People who live in big cities tend to get more money, but even if you don’t earn much, it’s low-effort enough to make it worth it.
Learn how to save money on Amazon.
16. Do Chores for Your Neighbors
Your neighborhood likely has lots of people who need help on daily tasks.
If you are handy or just have some extra time on your hands, sites like taskrabbit let you earn side money while helping people around you out with small local chores.
For example, you can help elderly neighbors with basic tasks, run errands, pick up packages, wait in line for people, set up for local events, help someone pack up to move, fix furniture, clean a kitchen, or weed a garden.
You will need to be 21, pass a background check, and have a checking account. Once you’re set up, you choose what services you want to offer in your area and write a short description.
17. Monetize Your Car with Uber & Lyft
Your vehicle is one of the easiest and fastest things you can monetize. If you have a car, insurance, and a clean driving record, you can make up to $30 per hour driving in your spare time.
Driving for Uber or Lyft is an active way to earn income – i.e. you will need to drive people around to make any money – but it is also a reliable way to earn money without any additional skills (other than a driver’s license).
It’s also pretty easy to get started and offers flexible hours. You only drive when you want to, filling in whatever extra hours you want to around your schedule. Whenever you want to make some extra money, just hop in your car and turn your app on.
If you live in a city, you can make $10-15 per ride on average, and considerably more if you drive during “surge” pricing hours when there’s high demand for rides. So, if you time you’re driving right, this can easily net you several times the minimum wage using the vehicle you already own.
While Uber and Lyft are still the big players in the business, there are also a few smaller start-ups in the on-demand-driver industry, such as Ridely in Southern California, Shuddle (for driving kids) and LiftHero (for driving elderly people). Depending on where you live, these might even be a better/more lucrative option.
There are many additional ways to earn 300 dollars a day.
18. Deliver Food
If you have a vehicle, but it isn’t new enough or big enough to drive other people around, delivering food can also be a great way to monetize free time and your car.
Many food delivery companies pay drivers to pick up food from restaurants and deliver it; you will receive a delivery fee and tips in exchange.
Though compensation varies pretty widely depending on where you live and what companies you deliver for, it’s possible to make decent money doing this. For example, the average Grubhub driver nets about $13 per hour plus tips.
Like ride-sharing side hustles, you’ll make more money if you drive during peak hours and in places which have a lot of orders, like business centers during lunch hours and big apartment complexes.
You will need to be 18 and own a smartphone, but other than that, there’s no barrier to entry to becoming a food delivery driver.
Find out about the best ways to earn extra money online.
19. Earn Extra Interest on Your Savings
Right now, most banks pay low interest on savings accounts. If your money is only earning .5% interest in a standard savings account, you’re actually losing money due to inflation.
Still, it can make sense to keep some money in low-risk savings accounts for emergencies and short-term purchasing goals.
If you do plan to keep money sitting in a bank account, optimizing the interest you’re earning on it can mean thousands of dollars difference once they compound in the long term, without increasing your risk exposure.
For example, Discover offers high-interest savings accounts (currently around 2% returns) that beat most national bank terms. Money-market and other high-yield savings accounts sometimes offer higher returns.
20. Do Someone’s Grocery Shopping
If you enjoy grocery shopping and have free time, doing grocery shopping for other people can also be a great side income.
Instacart, one of the most popular companies in this area, hires both in-store shoppers (who pick out and pack groceries) and full-service shoppers (who pick out groceries and then deliver them). Full-service drivers make more money, but if you don’t have a vehicle, you can still be an in-store shopper.
How much you’ll make depends on the volume of orders where you live. As an example, drivers are compensated differently in different cities, but around $4/order or $.40 per item.
21. Rent your Car
If you have a car but don’t want to drive people around, it’s also possible to offer your vehicle for rent. This way, you can make money from your vehicle without needing to spend time driving people around.
Apps like Turo and Getaround let you install a mechanism in your vehicle that lets you remotely unlock it. Then, people who use the app can pay by the hour to use it.
How much you make from this depends on the make and model of your car – most will make $5 to $7 dollars per hour, but some higher-end vehicles will generate $20 to $30 per hour.
Though it can be nerve-wracking to let someone else in your car, insurance is included for damage incurred while you’re not in the car, defraying some of the risks of loaning your car to a stranger.
This is a great way to make money from your vehicle while it would just be sitting there. In terms of total income, these options are more likely a way to defray the cost of owning a car than an income source.
However, you can make money from it, especially if you live in a highly travelled city or have multiple vehicles. As these apps catch on, it may also become more lucrative over time to do this as demand increases.
22. Sell your Stuff
Selling on eBay and Craigslist is still relatively easy and an often overlooked method of earning extra money to get rid of the stuff that’s cluttering your house. Other less well-known marketplaces like Declutter also provide easy and fast ways to turn things you don’t need into money.
There are also numerous location- and neighborhood-based apps such as NextDoor and 5Miles, which let you focus on selling or bartering with people in your immediate community, creating connections while you declutter.
If you have a lot of clothing, dedicated online shops like Poshmark and thredUP can also help turn your stuff into cash. More enterprising spirits can even make money scouting out thrift shops and garage sales for designer items, then reselling them on one of these sites.
23. Sell your Old Textbooks
Textbooks are notoriously expensive, and most people don’t use them after the course they’re meant for. University bookstores and used bookstores often buy back textbooks, but typically pay fractions of what the book is actually worth.
Amazon will accept books as trade-ins. You can also start a selling account and set your own prices. Other bookselling services focus on textbooks specifically, such as Cash4Books, in which you type in an ISBN and get an instant offer for your books.
24. Rent your Stuff
Many possessions that you don’t use often – from electronic lawn care tools through expensive camera equipment – are simply more cost-effective to rent. In the peer-to-peer economy, you can also let other people borrow your stuff, for a small fee.
Fat Llama is a great example of this kind of system. They offer insurance to make sure your stuff gets back to you in one piece, and it’s fast and easy to list almost any item, from literal llamas to lawn mowers. People earn an average of $50 per week, but if you have in-demand rare items that a lot of people want to use, you can earn considerably more.
So, if you have a lot of stuff lying around that you don’t use often, but don’t want to sell for good, renting is a great option to earn some extra money on the side.
25. Rent your Room
Airbnb is a bed and breakfast on demand. If you have an extra room or even entire house you’re not using, you can list it on the site and people will pay to stay there. You can approve or reject each person who asks to stay and block out dates when you don’t want anyone in your house. When you are open to hosting, you can charge as much as you like for an overnight stay.
Most Airbnbs are less expensive than hotel rooms, for a win-win. Airbnb takes work – to list and maintain your room and deal with guests – but can also be a rewarding way to meet interesting visitors and make significant chunks of cash.
Airbnb is actually the most lucrative gig in the whole gig economy. Of course, how much you can make renting out your room varies considerably by the size and specifics of your home and where you live. On average, however, an Airbnb host makes almost $1000 extra every month.
26. Window Shopping
Understanding shopper behavior and what gets people into stores is valuable to retailers. Some online startups get stores to pay to get people to come into stores and browse, based on the idea that people are much more likely to make purchases once they’re in the store.
Regardless of whether that’s true, it’s possible to get a kickback just for doing your shopping like normal – for example, Shopkick offers cash back from online and in-person purchases. You can even get paid just for entering a store and scanning items on your smartphone without buying anything.
You can also get “random” kickbacks from browsing store web pages online. Kickbacks can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards. You won’t make a ton of money – for context, entering a store gets you 100 points which equals about 40 cents – but if you shop regularly, this is a great way to get rebates on your purchases.
27. Become a Local Dogwalker
If you love animals and have time and energy to spare, becoming a dog walker can be a great way to get some exercise, meet some great dogs, and make money at the same time. Companies like Wag!, Rover, SNIFF, and many others connect pet owners with people who want to take their dogs for walks.
Walkers on these apps accept jobs much like Uber or Lyft drivers, pick up dogs, take photos of the dog while on the walk, and then return them to their homes at the end of the walk.
Compensation varies, but Wag! reports that walkers bring in $17 per walk on average, a percentage of which is kept by the company. These apps help connect you with pet owners, but if you have the right connections, you can also strike out on your own as a professional dog walker and make upwards of $40/hour.
There are many other apps that pay you to walk in your neighborhood.
28. Cut out Unnecessary Subscriptions
More and more products use a subscription model: instead of paying once, you have to pay over and over again. We’re all vulnerable to hearing you have to pay “just 9.99 a month!” instead of a larger price up front; it sounds like a better deal.
However, these services add up quickly over time, and many people don’t notice just how much. There’s a reason most of them are set up to renew automatically, even if you aren’t using them or actively making the decision to repeat your purchase each year or month.
A recent survey conducted by McKinsey found that for active online subscribers, the median number of monthly subscriptions was two and nearly 35% of monthly subscribers used three or more services.
That translates into thousands of dollars a year you may not even realize you are spending.
Maybe your New Year’s resolution gym membership isn’t everything you wanted it to be, or you signed up for a week long free trial and forgot to cancel.
In short, taking the time to check all your accounts for subscriptions and make sure you stop paying for services you aren’t using at all and reevaluate others to be sure you are getting your money’s worth out of them.
Some apps, like Albert, can automate this cancelation process and make it faster to do.
29. Automate your Savings
A lot of people think personal finance relies on willpower, but often it’s actually the opposite – the less you have to think about it, the easier it is to make good decisions.
Have you been putting off making a savings account because you can’t quite get yourself to pull money out of your checking? Automating your savings lets you save without ever having to think about it–and never having to see this money means you can’t spend it (or mourn not having it).
You are statistically way more likely to pay down debt or build up an emergency fund by setting this transaction up for right after you get paid.
You never have to think about it and can spend your time doing more important things than calculating leftovers after paying your bills. With the leftovers method you are almost guaranteed to be saving less than you could be.
New apps like Rize help you get started from a mobile platform. It’s compatible with most checking accounts; automating your savings has never been easier. These automatic transactions allow you to prioritize saving, and pay your future self first.
30. Become a Search Engine Evaluator
If you are someone with strong analytical skills and are looking for something to fit into your schedule, becoming a search engine evaluator is the perfect way to put your skills to use without compromising your routine.
Companies like Appen provide a platform for you to become an independent contractor for some of the world’s leading search engines. You’ll help evaluate and improve search results to enhance user experience. Being tech savvy is a must.
So, if you’re comfortable troubleshooting, and have excellent search and communication abilities, working through Appen may be a great way to earn a little extra cash without having to change up your life.
As with many work-from-home companies, there are some pretty strict rules and it can be easy to lose your contracts, which makes this a better side gig than trying to invest full time.
31. Create an Online Course
Do you have a skill that you think you could teach? Creating an online course brings alive the dream of a passive income. It takes a lot of time up front to create, test, and market your course, but once you’re up and running, your money is largely passive.
Sites like Udemy offer platforms on which to market your course. They provide free lessons on how to craft your class as well as other resources to keep yourself on track.
With subjects ranging from art to pet training to coding, anyone with a skill and the time to dedicate for creating a compelling course can be successful with Udemy.
32. Test New Apps
Every new app has its glitches, and you can be the one to test them out. Companies like WhatUsersDo, Tester Work, and Enroll will pay you to test out the new apps they’re making before they release them.
You will be giving valuable feedback on logos, content, and ensuring that the intended pathways make sense. With flexible work hours you can easily fit this in with your normal job.
For those who are on their phone or tablet constantly this is a perfect way to put your skills to use. It is a fun way to help create products and dip your toes into the tech world.
Additionally, for the QA enthusiasts out there, some of these sites offer trainings to help you gain skills and experience that you can apply elsewhere.
33. Improve Google
Google is constantly trying to improve, and to do this they need information from everyday users of any and all Google products.
Google Opinion Rewards is an easy way to earn a modest additional income by doing nothing but using your devices as you usually do.
Of course, by joining this program you are giving permission for Google to follow your browsing habits, but you are able to turn off permissions every now and then if you choose.
The average income from this program is only about $100, but that is a completely passive income to add to your main gig.
If you’re comfy being tracked for the sake of improving the user experience of Google products, this is a great way to keep all your habits the same and earn a little extra cash along the way.
34. Enter Online Contests
Entering contests online is a fun and easy way to potentially earn some extra money. You don’t need any skills and can do this whenever you want.
It obviously is not a consistent way to earn money, but there are definitely ways to game the system to tilt the odds in your favor of winning. Patience and persistence are key to winning sweepstakes.
You should not rely on sweepstakes as a stable income, but it is a fun and easy way to try to win prizes.
There is a whole community surrounding entering sweepstakes as a hobby with tons of tricks and tips to help you win, avoid spam, and have fun.
35. Sell your Skills
Whether you have a hobby that you’re looking to turn into a full time job, or one that you would like to be a more lucrative side hustle, sites like Fiverr make it easy to sell your skills.
You will have to put in a little work to learn the marketplace, but after that you really get to decide how much time you’d like to invest into this project.
Having an inexpensive and quick job as a side gig lets you decide how much work you take on and when. Working remotely allows you the flexibility you want to live and travel where you please while also being able to make a few extra bucks.
Fiverr offers categories to help get you started with your projects then it is smooth sailing from there.
If you have experience with kids, there are always parents who are looking for their next great date-night sitter, or for some after school help for their family.
At the low end, you’ll be making $15/hour for one kid, and more if they have siblings. Families will also often reimburse your travel costs if you’re driving the kids to/from school or practices; if they’re using the going IRS rate, you’ll easily cover your gas and then some.
Many families on this site are also looking for long-term care. Nannying is particularly lucrative if you find the right match. Depending on the age of the child, you may have quite a bit of down-time while you are working to complete another remote side hustle.
Care also features tutoring, pet-sitting, elderly care, and housekeeping gigs for those who are looking for caring jobs but maybe without the unpredictability of prolonged childcare.
With Care and other sites you are able to pick clients based on your availability, but they do have the ability to leave public reviews of you so it is important to stay professional and hold yourself accountable to keep your reputation in check.
37. Start and Monetize a Blog
Have a hobby or area of expertise? Share it with people online to build revenue on the side.
Millions of people read content online every day; if you can build up an audience and generate traffic to your own website, you can monetize a personal blog.
Of course, it can take years of work or a lot of up-front investment to create content and set up an attractive and easily-navigable website. But if you can get over that hurdle, it’s possible to make some serious side cash.
Top bloggers do it as their only source of income, and some sites are making multiple millions every year.
You’ll need to pick a topic that people are interested in, and that isn’t completely saturated with competing sites.
Marketplaces like hostgator let you buy domains and host a blog on them inexpensively. Once you’re set up, you can monetize by placing ads on your site, adding affiliate links (which give you a commission if someone clicks on them and then buys that product), or even selling your own products.
38. Become a Freelance Proofreader
Online freelance marketplaces let you leverage your skills to earn money on the side. If you’re detail-oriented and good at editing, freelance proofreading is an excellent way to help people and make some money on the side.
Once you have some experience, a novel-length work can pay anywhere from $200 to $500 to edit. If you can edit technical documents, you can make substantially more.
Some people make proofreading and editing their full-time career; for others, it’s a source of side income for a couple of hundred dollars a month.
You’ll need to be detail oriented and have some knowledge of grammar rules (or be willing to learn), as well as the style specifics for whatever you specifically want to edit.
Once you have those skills, it’s a side income source that can be completed anywhere and can pay $30-$50 per hour.
Sites like proofreadanywhere can help give you a leg up in the business; it’s also possible to find clients on your own or through freelance marketplaces.
39. Sell Custom T-shirts
Teespring lets you design custom products like mugs, phone cases, t-shirts, and more.
Once you set up your design, you can list them on the site and set your own prices. You choose price and keep the profits – Teespring’s cut is included in the base price it costs to make a product, so you get to keep most of the margin.
If you design a mug and the manufacturing cost is $5, and you opt to sell it for $20, for example, you’ll get to keep $15 from each sale.
Unlike other product-based businesses, this option lets you sell products made-to-order, so you won’t need to invest in inventory.
You will need to find your own customers as Teespring doesn’t market your products for you, but if you’re an artist or designer with a good idea, this can be an easy way to set up an online shop without a lot of overhead or startup costs.
Anyone can use their online platform to create a profitable design-based business.
40. Donate Plasma
If you’re healthy, donating blood plasma lets you literally save lives while making money.
Blood plasma is the clear liquid part of your blood, and is used to treat people with clotting disorders and other diseases.
Donating plasma can be uncomfortable, and takes longer than donating whole blood. During an appointment, your blood will be drawn, the plasma separated from the blood, and then the remaining cells returned to your body. The process takes about an hour and a half.
The more you weigh, the more you’ll be able to donate, as a general rule. You’ll need to be o ver 18 and at least 110 pounds to donate. Some centers have more specific rules regulating who can donate and when.
Pregnant women, those with anemia or other conditions, and those who have recently travelled in some countries, won’t be able to donate.
The Red Cross only takes plasma donations once per month, but some private centers will allow donations as frequently as twice a week. In most places, donation centers pay up to $50 per donation, making it possible to earn up to $300 extra a month.
Many clinics offer bonuses for new donors up to $400.
41. Become a Tutor
Tutoring can be a surprisingly lucrative source of side income. Depending on your schedule and preferences, you can tutor online or in-person.
Tutors make anywhere from minimum wage through multiple $100s an hour, depending on your subject matter expertise, teaching experience, and education level.
It’s possible to work with anyone from elementary school students through graduate students, and you can tutor in subjects as wide-ranging as biology, foreign languages, ESL, test prep, accounting, and writing.
Companies like Tutor the People offer an interface through which to find clients; it’s also possible to work through other companies or as an independent contractor choosing your own methods, schedule, location, and teaching style.
42. Invest in Crowdfunded Real Estate
Real estate can be one of the most lucrative investments, but in the past, it required significant risk exposure and upfront investment to break into the market.
Because they have access to alternative assets like private real estate, institutional investors used to consistently outperform the public market.
Today, crowdfunding sites allow you to buy into the real estate market for much less. Fundrise democratizes access to this once-unattainable asset class, making it possible for anyone to become a real estate investor regardless of income or net worth.
You can invest a small amount into an existing project and then benefit off of the rent income, asset value, and interest rates.
Sites like Fundrise are helpful to diversify existing investment portfolios, or for those just looking for a user-friendly intro investment. They boast a 8.7 – 12.4% historical annual returns and low-fee model.
Regardless of your net worth, you can now benefit from real estate’s unique potential for adding to your cash flow and long-term profits.
43. Invest Responsibly
There are a lot of investment options out there, with varying impact and varying returns. Swell investing lets you invest in balanced portfolios made up of publicly traded companies in ethical industries – for example, renewable and green energy companies, disease eradication efforts, clean water, and recycling and repurposing companies.
Swell curates lists of the most impactful companies that are available on the stock market and helps you create your own portfolio based on this information.
They don’t offer mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, but only shares of the actual companies, so you’re directly invested in supporting their success.
Swell does charge fees, but for small amounts, they are fairly negligible – they charge about .75% per year to manage your investments through their platform.
44. Provide Your Opinion
Online survey sites provide cash in exchange for your opinion; market research companies want insight into real peoples’ behavior and insight, and they’ll pay for it.
There are a lot of similar sites out there. Many are scams or just don’t pay well enough to make it worth it.
However, OneOpinion is one site that seems to have a solid reputation when it comes to providing enough surveys and paying well enough to make your time worth it.
It’s run by the market research firm Critical Mix. You’ll need to be at least 13 to use it.
To find surveys, you can sign up for email alerts, search for them yourself on their website, or use a smart phone app. The average rate for an online survey is $1 to $5, although there are occasional longer $15 surveys in the mix.
There are also product testing opportunities which give you the chance to use pre-release products for free in exchange for giving your opinion. These pay up to $50.
You can also get extra cash for referring your friends and family to use the site. If you get disqualified after beginning a survey, you’ll still be compensated.
Payments are via PayPal or gift cards. It takes a while to make money, but this is one of the more reputable and easy to use options out there.
45. Clean Out Your House for Cash
Decluttr will pay you for many of the most common clutter items lying around your house.
Most tech items, from old DVD players to laptops and cell phones can be quickly and easily exchanged for cash. You can also sell board games, toys like LEGOs, books, CDs, and other stuff.
You can look up each item (or enter its barcode) you want to get rid of, get an instant quote which is good for the next 28 days, and then mail in all your stuff. You’ll be paid within a day of when it arrives.
Shipping is free. The company has a solid customer support rating and BBB ranking and has paid out millions for old stuff. Using Decluttr is an easy way to sell used electronics that you don’t need anymore.
46. Sell Your Old Phone or Laptop
If you have an old smart phone lying around that still works, you can trade it in online for a substantial rebate with Gazelle.
Gazelle lets you mail in smart phones and computers that would normally be e-waste and get money back. The amount you’ll get depends on the condition your phone is in – i.e., how well it works, and whether it has any cosmetic damages.
Not all phones are accepted, and there’s a big range in how much you’ll get for your phone. Offers vary based on supply and demand. For example, a four-year-old iPhone 6S with minimal scratches might go for $80, while a new XS max might sell for $586.
You get paid in gift cards, pay pal, or check. Shipping is free, and they’ll provide a box if your phone is worth over $30.
If you’re in the market for a new phone, you can also buy a refurbished model for much less than you can get it in the store, saving extra money.
47. Invest With a Robot to Save Brokerage Fees
Robotic advisors such as Betterment offer many of the benefits of professional investment advice, but automate it, reducing the cost.
Betterment is one such online financial advisor. Its services include advice on what your portfolio should include based on how much risk you want to take on.
Their advice is based on algorithms which lead to diversified index-tracking and exchange-traded funds. They help optimize your returns, control costs, and reduce tax burdens automatically.
They also take care of rebalancing, DRIPs, and tax loss harvesting, and let you trade fractional shares, minimizing the extra work needed to turn your cash into investments, and making sure your returns aren’t reduced by having an extra cash balance.
They do charge a slight fee, of .25% per year. If you want to pay 0.40% per year and have at least $100,000 in management, you can also access live human support from certified financial planners.
There aren’t any extra fees for trades, transfers, buying and selling securities, or rebalancing.
Betterment is a tool to help you outline financial goals, make a portfolio to meet those goals, and minimize your tax and fee burden from managing online investments.
Overall, Betterment can help you plan for the future and make smarter investment decisions.
48. Make Money from your Cell Phone with Mobile Xpression
Companies like MobileXpression monitor mobile phone internet traffic in order to conduct market research and provide companies with a better understanding of the patterns and behavior that affect the mobile internet.
This works much like TV ratings – MobileXpression passively monitors internet use through a VPN installed on your phone, and anonymously reports on that activity. You are then compensated with gift cards.
You’ll need to have a compatible smart phone and be at least 18 to use it. They collect basic demographic information but won’t reveal personal information to advertisers.
MobileXpression also doesn’t collect the content of downloaded files, SMS messages, images, contact lists, or phone calls. They do collect information about your mobile data usage, but this isn’t linked to you as an individual.
The amount you can earn is fairly low – though it varies by area, you can expect to take a few months to earn your first gift card. You’ll also need to manually claim the voucher each time you earn one.
You will also be entered automatically into sweepstakes in which you can earn significantly more – they have monthly $100,000 “Your Opinion Matters” sweepstakes as well as $100 $2,500, and $5,000 prizes.
If you have an older phone, the app can slow down your phone. However, MobileXpression can be a low-effort method to make money without changing any of your habits.
49. Sell Your Creative Designs on Etsy
If you have any kind of hand-made product, you can sell it on Etsy.
Unlike other ways to start a business, Etsy sets up the platform for you. You won’t need to advertise as intensely as you would with other online programs, since there’s a built-in audience of people that already enjoys shopping for products online.
Vintage items, crafts, clothes, jewelry, and art are all popular and easy to sell on Etsy. It takes some trial and error to learn how to market using the platform, price your products, and set up an appealing storefront.
Making everything by hand means that it will be very labor-intensive to scale this kind of business, but you control how much money you make, and it’s a low-overhead method to start a small business quickly.
50. Encourage Weight Loss by Betting on Your Results
Financial incentives have been proven to be effective tools for weight loss; in other words, if you have some of your money invested in your success, you’re much more likely to lose weight and keep it off.
Healthywage is a pooled betting site that lets you make a wager based on your weight loss goal and timeline. If you aren’t a professional athlete and want to lose at least 10% of your current weight, you can join a bet to invest in your success.
When you reach the end of your betting timeline, you’ll have a two-week “weigh out” window to verify that you’ve met your weight goal.
If you don’t make your goal, you’ll lose the money you bet. But if you do, you share in the pot everyone invested. You can win up to $10,000. It’s a risk, but if you make it, it’s a win-win – you get healthier, and you go home with a pile of cash.
51. Sell Your Photos Online with Shutterstock
Most businesses need stock photos for marketing brochures, websites, and other materials. Sites like Shutterstock let anyone upload new images into their online database, which people can then search through and pay to download specific images.
The benefit of uploading your photos is that once you get them on the site, any income is almost entirely passive. Revenue starts at .25 cents for each time one of your photos is downloaded, and as you reach download milestones, you can start to increase this amount.
To get an approved account, you’ll need to upload ten high-quality image “samples” for review. Photos need to be in .jpg format at at least 4 megapixels of resolution. Shutterstock now also accepts videos up to 60 seconds, which can also be lucrative sources of side income.
Once you’re approved, making real money on this site takes time. You’ll need to upload new pictures regularly and expect to have a few hundred on the site before you see real download numbers.
Still, the amount of time required to create and upload images is low enough to make this an easy way to make side cash.