There has never been a better time to be alive to make money. In this blog post, I want to show you how to make money.
Some of the ways are a little quicker than others, so you have plenty of options. There is an African village where the women go out every morning to gather firewood to cook the meals. They begin by picking up small pieces of wood and placing them in a basket that rests on their heads. This act of collecting wood led to a proverb: Stick by stick makes a bundle. As these women find twigs and other small branches, they are not enough to fuel the fire to cook the meals. However, little by little, the wood collection grows, and eventually, they have enough.
That is what I hope you will discover with this blog post that aims to show you how to make money. You will find ways you can make a little money here and there, and eventually, you will have some significant money to pay down debt, invest, take a vacation, or do something enjoyable with loved ones.
I want to show you several different avenues where you can start making some extra money to make life just a little bit easier. Ready? Let's learn how to make money!
- Sell Your Stuff to Make Money
- Go Back to School or Start a Training Program
- Find a New Job to Earn Some Cash
- Find a Side Hustle or Side Gig
- Online Surveys for Money
- Rent Your Stuff
- Negotiate Salary
- Invest Your Money
- Open a Free Online High-Yield Savings Account
Sell Your Stuff to Make Some Money
It is a good thing to be in a position to help others. But, if you are in a bind with money, then you need to take care of your situation first. America is a consumption society where we consume a lot of things. We watch TV or see online ads, and we buy, buy, buy, buy, buy! Well, that stuff we thought we couldn't live without has been sitting around unused and collecting dust for months. It's time to part with that stuff.
Unless you bought collectibles or antiques, you are likely not going to make all your money back. But, if you need some cash, then something is better than nothing. Let's start by selling stuff. Remember: Stick by stick makes a bundle.
Here is what I posted on Instagram about selling apparel on Mercari, which some consider an online flea market (or digital community marketplace) because you can buy so many different things, not just clothes.
I didn't break the bank, but as I wrote on Instagram, I did make more selling some clothes on Mercari than I ever did at Plato's Closet. The $85.85 I made for my initial foray into this online marketplace community was more money than I had before I began this endeavor.
Here is how Mercari describes itself:
Mercari is the selling app. We make it super easy to sell (or buy) almost anything. We all have things we don’t use, never used, or simply outgrew. But that stuff still has value. Mercari gives you the power to simply sell it, ship it, and earn some cash for it. Fashion to toys. Sporting goods to electronics. All the brands you know and love.
Decluttr is an online service that allows you to sell your stuff instantly. You can sell smartphones, tablets, other tech items, DVDs, CDs, and more. If you read the reviews on Google Play, you will see Decluttr is a way to earn some cash. But it's not for everybody. DVDs and CDs seem to be selling for pennies on the dollar. However, some of the more in-demand smartphones are fetching a reasonable price.
You can download the Decluttr app and use its barcode scanner to see what items are selling for. Is it for everybody? No, but be smart and sell what will help you make some money. As one person said, if you are getting rid of the stuff already, you might as well get something for it.
ThredUP is an online consignment store where you can make some extra money. The trendier your clothes, the more you make. The Washington Post wrote about one woman who made more than $500 selling clothes her kids grew out of, not to mention business clothes she purchased but no longer needed after she decided to work from home.
ThredUP accepts women's and children's clothes. They will send you a prepaid bag that you can fill with clothes and send back. You can read about how they pay and when they will pay you a premium. Like Declutter, you might not like some of the prices, but that's OK. You can always have a yard sale and sell your used clothes there.
Gazelle bills itself as the leading eCommerce company. It allows you to sell your older smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. When we upgrade our technology, don't we always wonder what we will do with our old gear? Oftentimes, it ends up getting tossed because we don't want to mess with it. We also think because we have outgrown its usefulness that it must not be worth anything to anyone else. Well, Gazelle has proven that to be false.
Not everyone wants the latest and greatest. Be honest, you know someone who still uses a flip phone, right? You can make some money selling your old equipment to Gazelle; sometimes they will pay some extra cash for your first “trade-in” (how they refer to selling your items); they sometimes offer you an incentive to refer a friend, and you can also make money by becoming a Gazelle affiliate. Explore the site, and see if it makes sense for you.
Want to sell stuff you no longer need locally? Try OfferUp. It has been likened to a cross of eBay and Craigslist. However, OfferUp is a former GeekWire App of the Year that has seen sharp rises in the amount of merchandise sold through the mobile platform. This increase can be seen in how consumers spend a significant amount of time on the app. Some consumers are spending as much as 25 minutes a day on OfferUp. It was started to make the whole buying and selling process easier.
After you download the OfferUp app and sign up, it is easy to get selling. Just take a photo of your item, upload it, title it, add your asking price, and you are done. Anyone who is looking for stuff to buy in your area will see what you have to offer, and maybe they will offer to buy it.
OfferUp allows you to post your items for sale anonymously. You can communicate with potential buyers via a built-in chat system. You will want to become a verified seller, which uses a driver’s license and phone number. It allows you to do business with others who have been verified.
Like with Craigslist, be careful of who you are selling to. OfferUp allows a shipping option if you do not want to meet anyone face-to-face. While we have been talking about making money by selling stuff, who knows, you might find something at a good bargain and resell it at a higher price. Can you say “retail arbitrage?”
Go Back to School or Start a Training Program
Want to know how to make money? Learn a useful skill. There is a lot of debate in the United States right now whether our kids need a college degree or if they should learn a trade. Either decision comes with its own set of risks and rewards. How many people do you know who spent tens of thousands of dollars on a college education and are now working outside their field of study?
College degrees open up a world of possibilities, like being a lawyer, a physician, a social worker, a scientist, and so many other fields. But, who among us knew exactly what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives at 18 years old? The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average person will hold 10 different jobs before they turn 40 years old.
Some trades are very high in demand, like welders. There are stories about teens earning around $50,000 a year right out of vocational school. The pay will vary depending on location, but this isn't minimum wage money. We are talking some serious cash.
Whether they are called vocational schools or career centers, these educational facilities often offer courses for adults to learn new skills at a fair price. Sometimes, if a company lays off workers, the government provides funding to train the displaced workers for new jobs — especially if a corporation is moving those jobs overseas.
Check out your local human services agency in the county where you live (formerly called the welfare office). It might be worth a look, and you might earn some extra cash you didn't plan on.
If you have the smallest inkling you can write code for programming, then you need to click on the Lambda School link like right now. This is an incredible opportunity if you are willing to commit to learning how to program. I didn't even tell you the best part: You pay no tuition upfront. None. Zilch. Zero. Nada. It's not free, but the tuition is only paid when you land a job, and get this, only if the job pays at least $50,000 a year.
You agree to pay a percentage of what you earn if you get a good-paying job. If you don't, then you owe nothing. This is an incredible opportunity for the right person.
If you do land a job meeting the minimum income threshold, then you will have to pay 17 percent of your income for two years. The total amount of “tuition” you will pay is capped at $30,000, no matter how much you earn. Another option is to pay $20,000 upfront and skip paying back a percentage of your income.
At private liberal arts colleges, people are paying more than $20,000 a year (closer to $40,000) a year.
You can learn data science, iOS development, Android development, web development, and UX design. This is a serious opportunity, and you can choose a couple different options: The immersive route where you take live classes online from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, or the part-time route and take classes three hours a night with some weekend classes.
Find a New Job to Earn Some Cash
Ever since the Great Recession, companies in the United States have been adding jobs. Of course, different areas of the country will see different rates of growth, or decline, but accountants and attorneys say this is a great time to be looking for a job.
The unemployment rate has been at historic lows, which means there are fewer available bodies. So, how do companies get the people they need? They have to pay a premium. So, if you have a marketable skill that is in demand, well, a bigger payday might be on the horizon for you. Be careful and weigh your options. You might make more money at a new job, but when you factor in benefits and travel time, your total compensation might not be as much.
It used to be when people were looking for a job, they would open up their daily newspaper and see who's hiring. However, most of those classified ads have gone online.
There are several places online to find jobs, including Craigslist, Indeed, and your local newspaper's website. However, here are some other options you might want to explore.
If you are in college and are looking for a career or internship in tech, then consider Pathrise, which is billed as a career accelerator. It is students helping students advance their career at big tech companies and startups by guiding them onto a career path and providing assistance every step of the way. This idea of focusing on a career path can be very beneficial.
It is a common occurrence where people land a nice job out of college, but they soon realize there is little to no room for growth. Starting with the end in mind can be very helpful.
A personal advisor will help you optimize every single item on your resume. It is similar to Lambda School in the sense there are no upfront costs. However, if you land a job, then you will pay 9 percent of your annual salary, but it must be paid over the first six months of your hiring.
In essence, you are paying 18 percent, or nearly one-fifth, of your income for the first six months. But, it just might be worth it if Pathrise helps you land a higher starting salary. A higher starting salary generally equates to a greater earning potential throughout your career.
ZipRecruiter is the high-tech way to a new job. It uses artificial intelligence based upon an employer's job posting to match up the best candidates. And, through AI, ZipRecruiter invites job seekers to apply. If you do a good job writing and structuring your resume, then you stand a greater chance of finding a new job that is right for you. ZipRecruiter has an app that allows you to “apply to jobs anytime, anywhere.” It will suggest jobs for you.
You can search within a certain mile radius and filter by salary range. ZipRecruiter gets good marks from people who reviewed it on Capterra, especially for ease of use. One of the tales of caution from a reviewer is that when you apply on ZipRecruiter, it automatically sends your last resume posted, so you cannot customize it. Keep this in mind if you try it and apply to different kinds of companies.
Find a Side Hustle or Side Gig
There are so many ways to make money and earn extra cash these days. Exuberant entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk swears that if people will spend 50 to 100 hours learning about some kind of product, whether it be shoes, clothes, computers, cameras, whatever, they can make six figures a year through flipping stuff — finding items on eBay at a good price and selling them for a nice profit on Amazon. He refers to this as retail arbitrage.
If that is your kind of thing, have at it. But, look at some of the disruptive technology that has allowed people to flourish and make money as an Uber driver, social media influencer, blogger, YouTuber, and more. Look below for how to make money with these ideas for side hustles and gigs.
Looking for ways to make extra money near you? The Steady app and website can you find jobs that are right for you, whether it be part-time, one-time or anytime work.
If you're a pet lover, consider becoming a dog walker or pet sitter through Rover. Rover gives you the ability to set your own schedule and prices. Rover also connects you with pet parents in need of a dog walker or pet sitter, which makes launching a dog walking or pet sitting side hustle a breeze.
If you have ever listened to the Dave Ramsey show, you have undoubtedly heard these two bits of advice: Sell the car! (the new one that you paid too much for and are making huge payments on), and deliver pizza to make some extra cash. Well, you can do that, but this is the gig economy, baby, and we have other options available to us, like delivering for DoorDash. As a Dasher, you will deliver food from local restaurants or items from local merchants to waiting customers.
How it works is people order something from their DoorDash app, and if you are a Dasher, you will get a notification asking if you want to deliver the order. The app will let you know what the guaranteed minimum delivery fee is, and you get to keep all of your tips. Some people say they make up to $700 a week as a Dasher, but with anything else, you get out what you put in. Like with a lot of these tech companies, DoorDash is not available in all areas.
If you live outside of a metro area where DoorDash does not operate, then you can do what one fellow did in Northeast Ohio: He started his own local delivery service. He met with business owners who liked the idea, and he and his small crew stay pretty busy, I hear. The delivery rates vary but start around $4.
If you are looking to make some quick cash delivering anything — and we mean anything — to those in your city, Postmates might be worth a look. Postmates doesn’t care if you drive, use a scooter, ride a bike or walk … just as long as you make the delivery in a timely manner. To get started, fill out an online form, upload a selfie and proof of identity and you could potentially average $15 to $25 an hour, depending upon the market you are in. You will get notified of delivery opportunities via the Postmates app. You will be paid for each completed pick-up, each successful drop-off, a per-minute rate while you wait at the pick-up location, and a per-mile rate based on the distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations. If this sounds like something you are interested in, sign up for Postmates and start earning some extra cash.
Here we shift into how to make money, but not from taking online surveys or similar activities. Instead, you can use your skills on freelancer.com to earn some cash. There are a lot of different categories to make some money, like web development, content creation, translation, graphic design, engineering and science, data entry, and so much more. It truly runs the gamut.
As with everything we have mentioned here, do your due diligence before committing to it. However, with freelancer.com, you can pick and choose what you decide to bid on. Perhaps you are used to making a certain amount per hour, but you want to raise some extra cash in a hurry. You might decide to bid on a job at about half your normal rate to help out your cash situation. While you are not extracting every penny you can, you are slowly building income that can be used to get out of debt, go on a vacation, pay bills, or go out on a nice date.
You can sign up for free on freelancer.com, but they will try to get you to commit to accepting a free trial for one of its paid tiers. The free version only allows you to bid on eight projects a month. Also, whether you are in a paid tier or not, both the worker and the employer will pay a fee to freelancer.com. Depending upon how the project pays, the fee will either be hourly or per project.
There are a number of ways you can make money teaching, whether you are a certified teacher or not. Teachers can develop lesson plans and sell them online through services like TeachersPayTeachers. You can offer tutoring through online video tools like Skype or Zoom, which has a free tier. You can write books or lessons and sell them via Kindle.
What if you are not a certified teacher? If you have a certain amount of expertise in a certain field, then you might be able to teach at a community college or a university. Adjunct professors are professionals from various industries who teach college-level courses. Many universities like their instructors/professors to have doctoral degrees, but sometimes they will accept someone with a master’s or a bachelor’s degree who also has extensive experience in the field of study.
A lot of people will also create an online course. Are you a blogger, podcaster, influencer or YouTuber? Why not create an online course teaching people how you did it? Digital marketers, search engine optimization consultants, and others have gone this route. This is not an easy thing. It will take a lot of time to create a course, build a website, take care of membership, and market the course. However, you can make a nice side income doing so.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building an online course from the ground up, then you can also create courses and become a premium instructor on Udemy. There are several different revenue-sharing plans, depending upon how the student came to sign up for your class: Was it a coupon code from you (then you will make more), was it from seeing your course while looking for a different one, or did Udemy promote your course?
There are still other ways to teach. You can offer guitar or piano lessons (or any other musical instrument). You can look to offer courses through the local YMCA or arts center teaching others how to paint, draw, dance, do pottery, perform magic, or any other artistic endeavor.
You can also teach English online, part time.
Now, this is an interesting opportunity here. You can earn up to $22 an hour teaching English online through VIPKid. You will be teaching children in China how to speak English. You will need to be aware of time zone differences, and one of the things with this is you will have to be very engaging. VIPKid looks for people who can capture the kids' attention, and all of this has to be done over the internet. While you will have the potential to earn up to $22 an hour, some of the successful teachers create their own crafts and learning aids to help the children better understand the English language. You will need to record an introduction video so families can get to see you in action. While you might just want to teach, keep in mind the job will require a little acting, too. You will need to smile, be bubbly, cheerful, energetic, entertaining, engaging, and informative.
Other Side Hustles to Consider
- Instacart – get paid to shop for other people
Online Surveys for Money
Get paid to provide your opinion to companies looking for help.
Another site looking to connect your thoughts about things with market research firms is Opinion Outpost. As with all of these survey websites, it usually takes a little time to fill out all the information. It is not difficult, but a little time-consuming. This is to be expected because the more a marketing company knows about you, the better they can target you with more appropriate opportunities. You can “cash” out with 30 points, which equates to $3. You can choose a gift card, like Amazon. If you want the money deposited into your PayPal account, you will need to wait until you have 100 points, the equivalent of $10.
Do you ever find yourself mindlessly wasting time on the internet? If so, you might want to consider signing up for an InboxDollars account and getting paid for things you are already doing online. For example, how many times today on Facebook did you get in a debate with somebody? Well, had you been logged into InboxDollars, you might have received a little extra cash for sharing your opinion by taking a survey or answering some questions on a short poll.
You can earn money watching videos or playing games, as well as shopping and searching online. They pay in cash, not in points.
The last time we checked, they were offering a $5 credit just for signing up. Not bad for a few minutes of effort.
If you search online, you will see the biggest criticism of InboxDollars is you will not make a lot of money, and they will only pay out after you reach a $30 threshold. The point of tapping into InboxDollars is not to break the bank, but to put a few more pennies in the piggy bank. Pennies make nickels, nickels make dimes, dimes make quarters, and quarters make dollars.
If you are just aimlessly searching social media, you aren't making a cent. Who knows, maybe you can make a couple dollars in an hour's time each week. Over the course of the year, that is an extra $100. Where I live $100 is more than nothing. Remember, stick by stick makes a bundle.
Where InboxDollars pays in cash, PrizeRebel rewards you with points that can be converted into PayPal money or gift cards (including Amazon) for taking surveys. If you visit the site, you will be bombarded with incentives to sign up for free and start earning right away. You will see little pop-ups informing you who just claimed a $2 Amazon gift card. You will see who just landed a $5 PayPal money card. Oh, and you will see a tally of how much PrizeRebel has paid out since 2007.
PrizeRebels labels itself a market research firm, and it will give you “free money” for signing up and participating. It boasts 8.2 million members and has paid out $15 million since 2007. You can take surveys, watch videos, and shop online to earn points that can be converted into cash. Like InboxDollars, don't expect this to be a windfall, rather, a slow, steady trickle. Doing little things like this is how to make money.
You will not be able to make any money with PanelPlace, so why are you seeing it listed here? PanelPlace acts sort of like a clearinghouse for paid surveys. While you will not make money directly from the service (though there are contests where you can make about $10 if you are lucky), it recommends sites where it is possible to earn credits, gift cards and other rewards.
So, if you like taking surveys, this might be a good opportunity for you. One of the neat features of PanelPlace is it allows for users to share social proof that they are making money or earning rewards from taking these surveys.
Consumer research requires highly targeted participants. Depending upon your demographics, you might receive more or less offers than a friend. When companies are trying to determine what products to launch, how to rebrand or what product feedback, they are looking to gain insights from very specific individuals. So, keep that in mind if you decide to check out PanelPlace. And, remember, if you are going to get paid or rewarded for taking surveys, you will need to register for each one; PanelPlace is a middleman to connect you with those opportunities.
Other Opportunities to Take Surveys or Play Games for Money
- iSurveyWorld (online surveys)
- Mistplay (play games for money)
- Pinecone Research (online surveys)
- Toluna Influencers (online surveys)
Rent Your Stuff
Earlier, I talked about how to make money by selling stuff. How would you like to earn a little extra cash by not selling anything, but by renting? It's possible. Read on!
Airbnb disrupted the lodging game. It has more listings than the largest hotel chain, and get this, it doesn't own any properties. What it does is connect people who have available rooms for lodging in their homes, vacation homes or their rental properties with people who are looking for a place to stay. There are people who treat this as a business and are making six figures a year by offering rooms in their homes, vacation homes, and rental properties on Airbnb through its app.
This is not a situation where you download the Airbnb app, list your room, and then start making money. It will require some effort. The neighborhood where you live, the characteristics of your home, and reviews will have an impact on how much you can charge. You will need to clean the room after your guests check out. You will need clean sheets, pillowcases, blankets, Wi-Fi, and other accessories. You can expect your utilities to go up with more people in the house.
Someone using the Airbnb service pays, on average, $80 for a night's lodging. You will have to pay Airbnb about 3 percent for handling the transaction. The Airbnb numbers are staggering: They have more than 150 million users; more than 6 million listings; and every night, about 2 million people are finding a place to stay via the app.
Vrbo, or Vacation Rentals by Owner, can help you promote your vacation rental worldwide through its platform. Vrbo was owned by HomeAway, which was purchased by Expedia, and so if you list your house on Vrbo, it will also be listed on HomeAway. This service is geared toward guests who are looking to rent the whole house and not just space within a home. You can use it to rent your home, condo, beach house, or cabin.
When you sign up, you will have a choice to make: Do you want to pay an annual subscription fee to use Vrbo, or would you prefer to pay a percentage of every booking, plus a credit card fee? One person who evaluated the pricing structure — a $499 annual fee vs. a 5 percent booking fee plus a 3 percent credit card fee — concluded if you rent your home more than six weeks a year and make more than $7,000 in rental fees, the subscription plan is the best way to go.
The nice thing about services like Vrbo is that more and more people are using services like this, so it expands the reach of your marketing efforts. It is very expensive to run ads in newspapers and magazines, so getting the exposure on Vrbo is a good thing. Afterall, HomeAway and Vrbo have about 40 million monthly visitors.
Because millennials make up a large percentage of Vrbo users, you will want to focus on attracting them. Make sure you are using high-quality photographs and highlight unique features and amenities.
What Airbnb is to your spare rooms, Getaround is to your idle car. The leaders at Getaround estimate the typical person's car sits idle for 22 hours a day, so not why rent it by the hour to someone who needs transportation. They also estimate someone who lists their car for rent on Getaround can make hundreds of dollars a month.
If you decide to list your car with Getaround, you can set your own price. The minimum is $5 per hour. While it might seem like a good opportunity, it is a limited one. Getaround is currently available only in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, New York City, Miami and San Diego.
Also, Getaround will receive 40 percent of the rental fee. This might seem like a steep cost, but it is not so bad when you consider they provide 24/7 roadside assistance and cover the insurance when your car is being rented. Trying to obtain commercial insurance involving transportation is expensive.
Here is another opportunity to rent your stuff, and with Fat Llama people rent all kinds of things, like bikes, scooters, cameras, film equipment, drones, skateboards, projectors, projection screens, and more. It does not cost anything to list your items or browse what is available. Fat Llama makes 30 percent off every rental. The borrower pays 15 percent, and the “seller” pays 15 percent. So, if it costs $100 to rent some camera equipment for the day, the borrower will pay $115, and the seller will receive $85.
When the Great Recession hit, companies started putting on the brakes when it came to giving their workers more money. People were laid off. New equipment purchases were delayed. Routine maintenance was ignored. And, wages were frozen. Still today, people are complaining about not having received a raise in years. The quickest way to earning a little more money might be to simply ask.
We probably all know people who grew tired of their jobs because they did not believe they were making enough money, and they didn't have the courage to ask their bosses for a raise. But, when they put in their two-week notices, they were surprised when their bosses asked if they would be willing to stay if their pay was increased.
Please do not think for a single second I am saying quit your job to get a pay raise. That's not it at all. However, I am saying to approach your boss and let him or her know exactly why a pay raise is warranted. Another thing to consider is approaching your boss with a plan to increase sales or productivity, and if you reach your goals, you want an increase in pay of a certain percentage. And, if you miss those marks, then you won't get a raise. This is a little risky, but don't be afraid to bet on yourself.
Invest Your Money
Nearly 20 years ago Robert Allen opened a lot of people's eyes when he started talking about securing multiple streams of income. With all of the suggestions in this post, I hope you are able to achieve multiple streams of income. So far, everything listed above deals with active income: You have to do something, whether it is you working or you renting or you selling something. As we start to wrap up this post, I want to show you ways to start generating a passive income: You will make money without having do something, other than invest or deposit.
Below, you will see a series of links to online destinations where you can easily invest or deposit your money into a high-yield bank account. This allows your money to grow without you having to do additional work. One of the most powerful forces in the universe is compounding interest.
- Ellevest helps women reach their financial goals through investing, learning, and much more. Monthly memberships start at $1 a month. Learn more about Ellevest and how it was built by women, for women.
- CollegeBacker uses robo-advisor technology to make it easier for you to open up a college savings account for your children in under 5 minutes.
- EvoShare is a cashback rewards program that funnels the money into a 401(k)/403(b) retirement account, makes a payment toward your student loan, or sends a deposit into a college savings account.
Open a Free Online High-Yield Savings Account
CIT Bank has a Savings Builder with which you could earn you a high interest rate, depending on how much you deposit. Open an account with just $100.
I hope you have found some new ways that you can earn extra money. But, remember, making more money is only part of the equation. You also need to find ways to cut expenses and save money. You can read about how to save money here.