Make Extra Cash

How to Make Real Money Working From Home

Updated on March 21, 2020 Updated on March 21, 2020
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    Pre-internet, if you looked for ways to make money from home found many of the opportunities were scams. Things like stuffing envelopes, assembling products, and processing insurance claims.

    What most of these kinds of make money from home scams had in common was that you were expected to pay some kind of upfront fee. Once the scammers had your money, you never heard from them again.

    Things are different now largely thanks to the internet. And there are plenty of reasons we should all take these new opportunities to make money from home.

    The future of work is going to look very different within the next decade. Whole industries are going to be wiped out thanks to automation. And frankly, the current landscape of work is nothing to write home about.

    At the same time, some 29% of Americans have more in credit card debt than they have in emergency savings. And we have a record amount of student loan debt, $1.36 trillion in 2018, a 129% increase since 2008.

    Pretty grim. But the good news is that whether you want to work from home part-time or full-time or just in your spare time, there are more legitimate ways to do it than ever.

    Almost without exception, we all waste a lot of time. We watch hours of Netflix, we play rounds and rounds of video games, and we spend a shameless number of hours reading and watching weird stuff on the internet.

    So even if you think you have no time to make a little extra cash, these opportunities can make you money in your free time.

    Take Surveys Online

  1. Survey Junkie
  2. Survey Junkie pays consumers for their opinions. Create a free account, answer some demographic questions, and you’ll be matched with surveys. For each survey you complete, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for cash via PayPal or gift cards.

    Most surveys are worth between 100 and 200 points and take 5 to 20 minutes to complete. One point is equivalent to one cent, and you can see how many points a survey is worth and how long it takes to complete before you start.

    Of all the survey sites out there, Survey Junkie has the most surveys available as new ones are added daily.

  3. Prize Rebel
  4. Prize Rebel is a survey site, similar to Survey Junkie. Members earn points for answering surveys, watching videos, and referring new users. Each task you complete earns you points, most are worth between 50 and 200 and surveys earn the most points.

    Each point is worth one cent and can be redeemed for cash via PayPal or gift cards.

  5. Swagbucks
  6. If you shop online, why not get money back for it? When you join Swagbucks, you earn cash back when you shop at more than 1,500 retailers including Amazon, Target, and Starbucks.

    You can also make money on Swagbucks by doing things like using the search engine on the site and watching videos. The points can be redeemed for things like Amazon gift cards or cash through PayPal.

  7. Ibotta
  8. Ibotta is a coupon app that pays you for saving money on the household items and groceries you buy regularly.

    After buying eligible products, you can redeem your rebates by uploading a photo of your receipt. Ibotta will match the items you bought to the rebates and give you cash.

  9. InboxDollars
  10. InboxDollars is a “get paid to site.” Users make money from home through completing tasks like taking online surveys, playing games, and watching videos. There are several similar sites floating around, but InboxDollars is continuously updated with new tasks giving users lots of opportunities to earn money.

    InboxDollars also offers several payment options including a paper check, ePayments, and pre-paid credit cards.

    Make Money From Home Part-Time

    These options for earning money from home require more time, from a few to several hours a week. But they’re much more flexible than a traditional part-time job (waiting tables, bartending, retail) because you can do them from home and on your own schedule.

  11. Start a Blog
  12. This is a good way to make extra money from home part-time because if you’re consistent and willing to do some hustling, you can turn it into your own small business.

    How do I know? Because the site your reading is precisely that. Listen Money Matters now makes a cool $400,000 a year. Put that in your bank account!

    passive income ideas writing

    Starting a blog is also a great way to make money from home because it doesn’t cost a lot to get started or to remain up and running. You can get quality hosting at HostGator for the bargain price of less than $5 a month.

    One year of hosting and a domain name with HostGator will cost you just $160 a year. You spend more than that on coffee!

    WordPress powers more than a quarter of the entire internet. Everything you need to create and maintain a blog is at your fingertips with WordPress, and you don’t have to be at all tech-savvy to use it to create a great blog. The plans start at $0 per month, and the most expensive package available is just $25 per month.

    If this is your dream way to make money online check out our step-by-step guide to creating a profitable blog.

  13. Rent Your Home on Airbnb
  14. There are a lot of making money opportunities in the gig economy but being an Airbnb host is one of the most lucrative.

     An analysis by personal finance site Earnest found that 85% of side-gig workers made less than $500 a month. Airbnb hosts tended to earn the most (a median of $440 a month), while Etsy giggers earned the least at a median of $40 a month.

    If you live in a tourist destination, you could make that $440 in a single weekend. If you can’t or aren’t willing to rent out your own home, you can still make money through Airbnb.

    Some are out of town investors who bought a home in a tourist-heavy area as a real estate investment with the sole intention of using it to make money with Airbnb.

    If you don’t want to deal with the details of renting out their place (managing bookings, cleaning between guests, dealing with guest questions and problems, etc.) or don’t live close enough you can hire what’s called a co-host to handle this stuff for you.

  15. Getaround
  16. How many hours a day do you actually use your car, one, two? There are 24 hours in a day last I checked so your car is just sitting around doing nothing most of the time. But you can put your lazy car to work with Getaround.

    Getaround is like Airbnb for cars. It’s an app that lets you post your car or truck and rent it out to people in your area. Sign up, list and describe the type of vehicle you have, list its location and availability. Those looking for a car can book and access your car from the app on their cell phone, you don’t have to arrange to hand over the keys in person.

    Your car will be insured with Getaround for $1 million in the case of damage or an accident. Car owners are paid once a month and according to the site, can make as much as $800 in extra money a month.

  17. VIPKID
  18. VIPKID is a web-based company that connects native English speakers with native Chinese speakers who want to learn English as a second language. The students are children, typically aged 4 to 12 so if you like kids, this is the gig to make extra money for you.

    Teach English

    Each class is about 30 minutes long conducted through headsets and webcams. Teachers must be American or Canadian residents and have a Bachelor’s degree but it doesn’t have to be in education, it can be any field.

    There is a minimum time commitment; teachers must be available for at least 15 different time slots each week and teach a weekly minimum of 7.5 hours.

    Teachers are not required to prepare class materials; VIPKID provides them. And this part-time job pays pretty well, between $14 and $22 per hour with a guaranteed minimum of $14 an hour.

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    Make Money From Home Full-Time

    If you’ve had it with your 9-5 job and all of the aggravations that go with it, the commute, the co-workers, the lack of flexibility, you’re hardly alone. But most of us need a full-time job to pay our bills.

    If you want a home job that is full time, these are some options worth considering.

  19. Freelance Writer
  20. I started this section with a freelance writer because that’s how I’m earning money, all of my money. Freelance writing has been my sole source of income for just over a year now.

    I had a head start thanks to the huge portfolio of my writing for Listen Money Matters. Every freelance writer gig I have gotten since is thanks to LMM. This allowed me to start closer to the top than the bottom when I decided to write full-time.

    Woman writing while using a laptop

    If you don’t have a lucky portfolio, you can start building one. Your own blog is an excellent way for potential clients to get a sense of your writing. If you don’t have a blog, start bidding low for jobs on Upwork, one of the biggest sights for freelance writing gigs.

    You can use those Upwork jobs to build your portfolio and to get reviews on the site from your clients which helps other potential clients on the site find you.

    Word of mouth is another great way for a freelance writer to get work. I’ve had several Upwork clients recommend me to people looking for a writer.

  21. Virtual Assistant
  22. Being a virtual assistant is pretty much like being a traditional assistant, but you get to do it from the comfort of your home. Most do things like handling emails and social media accounts, scheduling meeting and appointments, paying bills, and making travel arrangements.

    Because you’re not dealing with a boss in person, it’s essential to be self-motivating, to be mindful of deadlines, and to be organized, especially if you have multiple clients as some virtual assistants do as not each client requires a full-time assistant.

    Pay is typically per hour and ranges widely but most American based virtual assistants can expect to make somewhere between $15 and $30 per hour.

    You can hustle for clients on freelancing sites like Upwork, Guru, and Fivver but if you prefer to skip the client search, you can work for a staffing company that specializes in placing virtual assistants like Zirtual.

  23. Sell on eBay
  24. I have second-hand experience with this one as a close friend of mine’s full-time job is selling clothes on eBay and she’s been doing it for many years. It’s a really fun way to make money because a big part of the job is shopping!

    need money now sell stuff

    Of course, you don’t have to sell clothes on eBay, you can sell just about anything, but if you’re going to make a career of it, you should sell something you already know a lot about as it will cut down on the learning curve.

    Some of the most profitable categories include clothes, household items, collectibles, and electronics. Depending on what you choose to sell, you can expand to other sites as well. Clothes can also be sold on Poshmark (I have another friend who does this), handmade items can be sold on Etsy, and books can be sold on Amazon.

  25. Call Center Work
  26. You probably don’t realize it, but when you call an 800 number and speak to a customer service rep, they very well may be answering your call from home. Hiring call center workers to work from home cuts down on overhead for a company which is why so many are moving in that direction.

    U-Haul is one such company. Reps take customer calls to answer questions and make reservations for rental trucks and storage facilities. The base pay is $7.50 to $8.50 an hour, and you can earn bonuses when you book truck rentals.

    Those who become full-time employees are eligible for benefits including medical and dental insurance and a 401k plan.

    Hilton Worldwide is another well-known company offering both part-time and full-time call center jobs. Employees must have a high school diploma or GED and one year of previous customer service experience. You must also use a land line, not a cell phone.

    The starting pay is $9 an hour, and you can make up to another $2 an hour when you meet certain goals. Full-time employees are eligible for benefits.

    Make Money From Home With No Time

    The Holy Grail of making money is passive income, the money you make that doesn’t require your time or even much effort. That’s what these ways to make money will do, generate passive income.

  27. Invest
  28. If you want to grow your wealth, you must invest. And bonus, investing is a form of passive income available to everyone, even those without a lot of money to get started. And the easiest way to invest is with a robo advisor.

    Betterment is what we always recommend to new investors (and not new investors for that matter) because it makes investing so easy. Answer a few questions to determine your asset allocation and you’re off.


    Betterment also has very low fees, something all investors need to consider, and they offer automatic rebalancing and tax loss harvesting. There is no minimum so if you have $1, you can start investing.

    Acorns is another excellent option for new investors. Again, there is no minimum to get started and in fact, when you sign up for Acorns, they’ll gift you $5 to start investing. Free money! Acorns also have some neat features like round-ups and found money that allows you to earn free money when shopping at many places you likely already buy from.

  29. Real Estate
  30. Every portfolio should include some real estate. But not all of us can afford to become real estate investors. And if we can, we may not want the headache of becoming a hands-on landlord. But what if we showed you how to invest in real estate without a seven-figure bank account and how to own rental property without needing to learn how to fix a leaky sink? It’s possible.

    The easiest way to invest in real estate is through a REIT, a real estate investment trust. A REIT is a company that owns or produces income-producing real estate. Think of a REIT as a mutual fund for real estate investing.

    Fundrise allows individual investors to add commercial real estate to their portfolio online through an eREIT. You can get started for as little as $500 and Fundrise fees are lower than typical open market REITs.

    The key to being a hands-off landlord is to buy a turnkey rental property. That’s what Roofstock allows you to do. It’s a turnkey market place selling single-family homes. Each property is independently screen, appraised, and certified so investors have a complete picture of the home they’re buying. Many homes even have a tenant already in place so your house is cash-flowing from the start.

    It’s So Great!

    Working from home has so many advantages. You can set your own schedule, you can (in many cases) work from anywhere with an internet connection, you can do errands when places aren’t very crowded, you can have a drink while you work, no commute, you don’t have to pack or spend money buying lunch.

    It has a few disadvantages too though. It can be lonely. If you can, make a friend or two who also works from home. That way you have someone to do things with when all of your other friends are at their traditional hour’s job. It can be hard to create a work-life balance. You’re home a lot, and when you are, you could be working.

    Depending on the type of work from home job you have, the income is not always steady which can make budgeting a challenge. You also likely won’t have the benefits a traditional job come with like health insurance and a 401k.

    But overall, after a year of exclusively working from home, I can say the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. I hope more people will choose the make money from home path. That way I’ll have more people to meet at happy hour sushi. It starts at 3:00. I’ll see you there.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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