Life is tough when you don’t have a job. There’s no money coming in, so you’re constantly worrying about paying rent and buying food.
Fortunately, there are ways to make money without an actual job. Even if you already have a job but you’re still struggling to make ends meet, these ideas will help you climb out of the financial rut.
Easy Ways to Make Money Without a Job
1. Fill Out Surveys
This is a really easy way to make some extra money – about $1,095/year, in fact. All you need to do is sign up as a Survey Junkie member and start participating in market research surveys.
That might not seem like a lot, but here’s the thing: the $1,095/year is earned spending just 1 hour a day on Survey Junkie. And depending on the surveys you qualify for, you might even make $615 in as little as 10 days.
2. Get Paid to Watch Videos
It sounds like everyone’s dream, but don’t get your hopes up too high. Getting paid to watch videos on Swagbucks is similar to completing surveys – low payouts are are meant to supplement the other income revenues learned here, not replace them.
Still though, by watching videos, you can make an extra $90/month. That’s $1,080/year. All you need to do is hit play and go back to filling out surveys on Survey Junkie with your computer. By doing this, you can make $2,175/year at just 1 hour a day!
3. Get Cashback On Your Purchases
It’s unavoidable – you’re going to do some shopping sooner or later. So why not save on your expenses?
Enter Ebates – a cashback portal that will pay you a certain percentage of your purchase cost back in cash! It won’t work for everything, but it does for most essentials.
All you need to do is sign-up, browse the selection of available savings, and earn some of your cashback every time you shop.
4. Find Hidden Money in Your Email
Another great way to save on necessary expenses (and even the occasional luxury item) is to sign up with Paribus.
Stores often have clearance sales or specials that blindside customers. You’ve saved up for an item, purchased it – and suddenly, a few days later, it’s on sale.
If you’re shopping online (which is often cheaper anyway), Paribus will scan your email account for the receipts. Whenever there’s a price drop for something you’ve bought recently, Paribus will help you get the price difference refunded to you.
The same happens if delivery is late. If an item you ordered arrives after it’s expected delivery date, Paribus will organize a recompense.
5. Unclaimed Money
If you’ve lived in more than one state, chances are the local state government is holding money on your behalf.
Legally, any unclaimed money and property value gets sent to them by the companies, with the understanding that it will be held until you’re located.
This is money just lying around, waiting for you to claim it. If you think you might have any “abandoned” cash owed to you, head to Unclaimed.org and let them help you find and claim it at no cost.
6. Walk Into (and Shop at) Stores
Another great way to find savings that will help you stretch your available funds is to sign up as a Shopkick member.
Simply run the app on your phone and start earning points in these 8 ways:
- Get rewarded when your GPS picks up you entering a partner store*
- Use the in-app scanner to scan the barcode of select products*
- Link your card and earn points for every dollar spent at a partner store
- Scan your receipt if you’ve bought select items to receive cashback points
- Get rewarded when visiting a partner store online*
- View select products online*
- Watch product ads through the app*
- Earn points for every dollar spent online at a partner store
*No purchase necessary to earn points in these ways
Once you earn enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards to help save on future purchases. You can even scan the receipt after to earn more points!
Believe it or not, you can supplement your income rather nicely by recycling your waste. If you’re really tight for cash, you can also do clean-ups in your neighborhood to find more goods.
Here are a few ways to go about making money by recycling:
- Check the local rates to see what your state government will pay for recycled bottles and cans
- Send your cardboard boxes to ReboxCorp.com, UsedCardboardBoxes.com, BoxCycle.com, or ContainerExchanger.com (you can easily stock up on boxes by visiting local stores and checking on Freecycle.com)
- Sell your used cooking oil to ScopeOils
- Return your used ink cartridges to Staples and OfficeDepot for a small cash reward or store credit
- Sell your old phones and other electronics on Decluttr (also, see below) – and if no one wants your old phone, find the nearest ecoATM.com
- Most auto parts shops (like Advance Auto and AutoZone) will pay $10 for your old car battery
- Recycle your old books (textbooks included) on BookScouter, which pays more than bookstore buyback programs
- Find the nearest scrapyard to sell metal with the iScrapApp
- Contact your local utility to sell old, working fridges – and if you have a working A/C unit, they’ll take it with your fridge
8. Become a House Sitter
House Sitters America
You need to pay a membership fee of $30/year to become a house sitter with House Sitters America.
The primary idea is homeowners won’t need to find someone for extra security, garden maintenance, or pet boarding – and you don’t have to pay for accommodation while traveling. Simply sign up, find a house that needs a sitter while the owner is away, and start booking.
Most arrangements are made with the understanding you have somewhere to stay rent-free in exchange for taking care of the place.
However, some homeowners might be willing to pay a small fee in addition to running costs like electricity, vet visits, etc.
MindMyHouse works on a similar basis, with a $20/year sitter fee.
The idea is, once again, homeowners are able to cover running costs (electricity, vet visits, pet food, etc.), but don’t need to spend money on security and/or maintenance.
Likewise, you offer to take care of such things in exchange for a place to stay rent-free while the homeowner is away on vacation or a business trip.
Because of this, it’s not really a way to make money – but it’s definitely a way to get a change of scenery free of charge.
Luxury House Sitting
If you’re absolutely desperate to make money because you don’t have a job, Luxury House Sitting might be more up your alley.
There’s still an annual membership fee of $25 to be paid, but you can opt to set a daily rate for your house sitting services. It’s advised to discuss the homeowner’s requirements before setting a price, which means you’ll be doing so each time you get an assignment.
The major catch is Nomador doesn’t allow house sitters to charge any fees whatsoever. Instead, there’s the understanding you’re using the homeowner’ property as free accommodation while on vacation to save on expenses.
Your services as a house sitter (and often to look after pets) is offered in exchange, so that both parties benefit.
9. Be a Friend
Whether it’s sharing a cup of coffee and conversation or seeking a friend for a social event, RentAFriend connects strangers to help them build a (strictly platonic) relationship.
All you need to do is create a profile (membership costs $24.95/month) so others can find out your likes and dislikes. If there are shared interests, they can get in touch with you to arrange a meet-up.
RentAFriend recommends a friendship fee of $10/hour, but also recommends being flexible and willing to negotiate.
10. Online Juror
Online juror jobs allow lawyers and attorneys to practice their court case with “fake” juries to better gauge any weak points. This way, when it comes time for the real thing, they can be sure they have as airtight a case as possible.
Take a look at the following websites to find them:
- JuryTest.net (between $5 and $50 per mock trial)
- OnlineVerdict.com (between $20 and $60+ per mock trial)
Bonus Platform: Sign Up Direct conducts in-person mock trials, rather than online, but at a hefty payout of $100 to $150 per trial.
11. Refinance Debt
Rather than an opportunity to make money in the conventional sense, refinancing your debt can help you save money.
By refinancing debt with a lower repayment term, you get lower interest rates and save money in the short-term.
On the flip side, you can also refinance your debt for a shorter term, pushing up your short-term expenses but saving in the long-term. Often, this can be done with the original lender.
It’s worth mentioning that refinancing debt is different from debt consolidation, where you take out a single loan that’s used to pay off many debts.
12. Walk Dogs
Rover connects dog lovers with dog owners who are willing to pay for taking their beloved pet on walks.
According to their website, simply taking 2 or 3 dogs out for a walk 2 weeks of the month can earn you $1,000/month. If you make use of the Rover’s Sitter Resources Center, you can learn new skills (like proper grooming) and be able to charge more for your services.
13. Sell Stuff Online
Earlier, we mentioned using Decluttr to sell your old phones and other electronics.
But Decluttr can be used for far more than that. In fact, while electronics remain the most popular items, Decluttr is a great way to sell almost anything – even Legos!
Simply sign up, let them know what you have, and make sure you can put together an order of $5 or more.
Decluttr will then email a shipping label to you so you can send your package to their nearest warehouse for final inspection. Once your goods are given the all-clear, you’ll get paid via PayPal.
14. Sell Your Phone Pictures
With smartphones sporting increasingly high-quality cameras – the Huawei P30, for example – anyone able to take stunning photos with their phone can make some extra money selling them. The best platform to do so with is FOAP.
Sign up, fill out your profile, and start uploading images. Whenever a brand, company, agency, or independent person buys your photo, FOAP takes 50% commission and you get the other 50% as royalties.
This might not seem like much, but most of FOAP’s competitors offer much lower royalty payments. Plus, that same photo can be bought multiple times – so you continue earning money while still retaining copyright.
Alternatively, you can partake in company-sponsored “missions,” where companies are looking for a particular type of image or video. If yours is chosen, there’s a much higher financial reward (but you won’t be able to continue selling the image/video after).
15. Get Paid to Lose Weight
HealthyWage is a great way to stay motivated when trying to lose weight. After all, you’re placing a financial bet on your ability to do so – and if you stick with your goals, you earn big.
If you create your own challenge, the amount you bet is up to you. However, if you want to join an existing challenge, the buy-in is set – usually between $25 and $33/month for 3 months.
Some challenges have a $10,000 top-prize (typically split evenly between team members for $2,000 each), while others let you win a portion of the total pot if you achieve a set goal (for example, losing 6% of your starting body weight).
16. Sell Your Jewelry Online
More than 29 million people shop for (and buy) jewelry online every day according to 2018 statistics. That’s a huge target market – though, of course, there’s also fierce competition.
We’re not suggesting you start your own online jewelry store, but if you have any pieces you don’t wear often, selling them online can be a lucrative business. And if you’re making jewelry, an online store is the way to go.
Here are the top 5 sites to sell jewelry online:
17. Get Paid to Search the Web
All of us spend a lot of time online – in fact, the average American spends 24 hours online every week!
You can turn that internet surfing into some extra cash thanks to Smart Panel. Sign up, collect a $5 registration reward plus an extra $5 every month, and go about business as usual.
According to their website, you can make $110 in your first year and up to $230 by the end of your second. It’s not much, but there’s zero effort involved.
Smart Panel just wants to analyze your web usage patterns. And you can always reinvest that money with Acorns (covered later) to make it grow.
18. Get Paid to Read Books
Online Book Club
It’s every reader’s dream – getting paid to read books.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple: you need to write reviews in order to get paid. But if you’re a voracious reader and willing to put in some effort with your reviews, it’s a great way to earn extra cash.
Online Book Club is the platform we recommend joining. Once you subscribe and register as a reviewer, they send you links to free and discounted ebooks.
You don’t have to read or review all of them, of course, but depending on the book and review length, you can earn between $5 and $50 per title.
Rent Out Your Stuff
19. Rent Out a Room
Instead of renting out your spare room to someone who pays late every month, list it on Airbnb.
Obviously, you need to have the room furnished and comply with Airbnb’s terms and conditions.
But depending on where you stay, a single room rented out for just 15 days a month to one person at a time can make you an extra $555 (Cape Canaveral, Florida) to $1,400 (New York) a month.
20. Rent Out Your Car
Chances are, without a job, you’re trying to save on expenses by walking or catching a lift with friends rather than driving your own car. After all, gas is expensive.
Thanks to Getaround, you can rent it out to others who need a car, whether temporarily or for longer periods. Depending on the make, model, and mileage of your vehicle, Getaround suggests an average of $500 to $1,000/month.
21. Rent Out Your RV
Alternatively, if you have an RV, you can rent that out too.
RVShare is the best online platform for doing so. Depending on the make, model, and condition of your RV, the company suggests an average between $120 and $365 every day it’s rented out.
According to their website, that adds up to $5,000-$30,000/year!
22. Rent Out Your Baby Gear
Having a baby is expensive – and the gear is only part of the expense. To add insult to injury, your baby is probably going to outgrow most of it in a couple of months (a year if you’re lucky).
But if you’re thinking about having another baby sometime in the future and don’t want to sell all that gear, you can still make some money by renting it out on BabyQuip.
Sign up, post and manage your listing, accept bookings, and deliver the gear to the family in need. Once they’re done, you can arrange to pick it up again.
Become a Freelancer
23. Freelance Writer
If you have a knack for writing and have a stable internet connection, you can turn it into a very lucrative income by joining Upwork and becoming a freelance writer.
You can use free resources like Earn More Writing and ProBlogger to hone your craft. It’s also worth doing some cheaper jobs listed on Upwork to help you build a portfolio. Then, you can start charging more for your services. Once you’re in the swing of things, it’s even possible to earn $5,000/month.
24. Freelance Editor
Domainite is a great online platform for making money as a freelance editor, especially if writing isn’t for you (or if you want to earn some more on the side). If you can edit about 30,000 words a day, you can earn up to $27,300/year.
Once again, there are free resources available online to help you improve your skills and market yourself properly. Proofread Anywhere is one of the best.
Also, if you’re working as a freelance writer on Upwork, consider accepting some of the editing jobs posted there too!
Side Hustles To Earn Money Without A Job
25. Start a Blog
Starting a blog requires a lot of upfront effort. You need to build your own website (you can rent server space from Bluehost starting at $2.75/month, which includes a free WordPress installation), learn SEO, and research how to do affiliate marketing successfully.
But once you have the basics down and develop a steady following, blogging becomes a relatively passive source of income.
As long as you update your blog regularly (once a week, consistently on the same day, is a good place to start), most of the initial effort won’t have to be repeated.
While you’re likely to start out making a mere $1,280/year, by the end of your third year, you could be making upwards of $80,000/year.
26. Create a YouTube Channel
Creating and running a YouTube channel is similar to starting a blog: there’s a lot of initial effort required.
Not only do you need to start your channel and get enough followers to start making money through AdSense advertising, but you also need to write and record content.
That is, of course, the catch: unlike a blog, you need to keep up with creating and uploading content on a regular basis and of good quality.
At the end of the day, you can still use your channel to attract a wealth of income sources: video sponsorship through Grapevine Logic, link to your blog’s e-commerce store, YouTube-specific affiliate marketing, YouTube’s Fan Funding, Patreon, etc.
You won’t start out there, but some of the top YouTube personalities make 6-figures – a goal to strive toward.
27. Teach People Stuff
Udemy is one of the most popular e-learning platforms in the world – and it’s a great way to sell an online course to teach people something you’re knowledgeable in.
You want to start off by following their step-by-step guide on how to decide your subject matter and go about creating, publishing, and marketing your online course. But once it’s up and running, your course will become an almost entirely passive source of income.
All you need to do is keep an eye on comments so you can respond to student queries, and possibly consider updating your course from time to time.
The more courses you’re able to upload, the better. Check out Skillshare’s guide on how to make $5,000/month with a Udemy course.
Teachable is another great resource for creating and selling online courses.
Unlike Udemy, which only charges commission, Teachable does require a monthly membership fee plus transaction costs. The Basic package is a great way to start, with a $39/month plus 5% transaction fees.
Teachable is more beginner-friendly, as they streamline the entire process for you. It takes time, but you can make as much as $300,000-$480,000/year.
28. Become an Author
Amazon KDP makes it easier than ever to get your book (or books) self-published.
You can even head to Upwork or Fiverr to find ghostwriters if you’re struggling to get your ideas written.
Make Money Investing
29. Investing Made Easy
SoFi Automated Investing
Investing is better than saving, as you earn higher returns – so long as you make the right investments.
One of the easiest ways to do so is making use of SoFi Automated Investing. Set goals, deposit money, and let SoFi automatically reinvest your returns and take care of portfolio diversification for you.
You can choose whether to get started with as little as $1, make a single (larger) deposit, or set up a recurring payment – whatever works best for you.
30. Invest in Dividend Stocks
Investing in dividend stocks is a great way to ensure regular income from your investments. But it’s also easier said than done – you need to know which dividend stocks to invest in, how to invest smartly, and where to invest.
For more information, visit our Beginner’s Guide to Investing to get started. Once you’re ready to start investing, we recommend reading through our brokerage review section to find the right option for you.
31. Invest in Real Estate
Real estate investments are one of the best ways to turn a small amount of money into a large amount of money over time.
The Fundrise Starter Portfolio is our top recommendation, allowing you to get started with as little as $500. Their low-costs (a mere 1%) make them highly competitive and far more affordable than public investments.
Once you gain some experience and your account reaches $1,000+, you’re upgraded to the Core Portfolio free of charge.
If you’re smart about your finances (which we hope you will be), you’ll save up the cash earned through Survey Junkie and/or Swagbucks (above) and use them to fund your Fundrise account.
32. Invest With Spare Change
We get it – it’s difficult to look at your Swagbucks and/or Survey Junkie account and see the money piling up without withdrawing it.
So why don’t you sign-up for Acorns? Not only will you get a $5 registration reward, but you can fund your Acorns account with money from your PayPal account instead of having to withdraw it to your bank first.
However, where Acorns really shines, is in its ability to set the Round-Up Feature to invest your “spare change.” Whenever you swipe your linked card, or use it to make an online purchase, Acorns will round-up the total to the nearest dollar and add the “change” to your Acorns portfolio once a week.
As a bonus, Acorns recently introduced their Found Money feature, where their affiliate partners give you a little cashback bonus straight into your Acorns investment every time you make a purchase.
Imagine the possibilities for a moment: if you’re shopping through Ebates (above) with an Acorns-linked card, you get cashback through the former and Found Money through the latter.
Scan the receipt with Shopkick (above) for an extra bonus, or shop online and let Paribus (online) potentially help you earn extra.
Now that’s smart spending and smart investing!
Other Ways To Make Cash Without A Job
33. Use Your Car
If you’re not planning on renting your car out, you won’t go wrong registering yourself as an Uber driver instead.
To be sure, you’ll earn better money driving with Lyft (below) on average, but it’s always best to sign up for both. By doing so, you’re able to increase your chances of picking up fares at any given moment.
Simply register as a driver and log in any time you’re available to drive. As an added bonus, you can also become an UberEats driver using the same app, and make extra money by doing food deliveries in between passengers.
After accounting for vehicle costs (including gas money), you can earn an average of $15/hour plus tips.
We mentioned Lyft as an alternative to Uber for good reason: on average, Lyft drivers tend to make $17.50/hour, $2.50 more.
But – as also mentioned – it’s even better to sign up for both ridesharing apps. If one of them is going through a dry spell in your area, you still have a chance to pick up passengers on the other.
And if you also registered as an UberEats driver, instead of just one potential income source, you have 3.
Bonus Tip: Instead of choosing between renting your car out with Getaround (above) and driving for Uber, UberEats, and/or Lyft, why not do all 4?
Get an Online Job
34. Virtual Call Center
Concentrix is almost always looking for motivated individuals to join as virtual call center agents.
You need to have a quiet working environment, a landline, and plug-in headphones for this job. It’s a relatively easy way to make money and allows you to work from home.
Concentrix does require you to be logged in 40 hours a week, but at $11/hour that’s about $22,000/year. And you can still pursue some of the other ideas from this post.
35. Online Customer Service Jobs
Convergys offers a similar opportunity, only instead of dealing with phone calls, you’re handling emails and online chat.
Again, you need to be available 40 hours a week (at $10.53/hour, or about $21,000/year). We don’t recommend trying to multitask between Convergys and Concentrix (above), but without the need to answer the phone, you might be able to pursue other opportunities from this list at the same time.
Just be sure to keep an eye on your emails and online chats so you don’t make customers wait unnecessarily.
36. Online Social Media Jobs
ICUC and LiveWorld
ICUC is the best place to find social media moderator jobs, where you look after the social media page of a business or businesses.
You’ll be required to answer customer queries and ensure everyone interacting on the page does so in accordance with the page’s individual rules, as well as the social media platform’s.
With ICUC, you work 8 hours a day, which can include weekends and public holidays. If that’s not an option for you, check out LiveWorld, which allows you to set your own hours.
37. Online Bookkeeper
If you have bookkeeping and accountancy skills, you won’t go wrong trying to find that type of work with AccountingDepartment.com.
They have strict schedules, and this would be treated as a full-time job. If this is up your alley, check for available positions. And, as always, you can still continue with some of the other ideas in this post to supplement that income!
38. Online Transcription Jobs
When starting out with online transcription jobs, you need to be willing to accept very low pay. Crowdsurf is your best bet at $12 to $14.40/audio hour.
The reason for this is that the better platforms require experience before you can even think about applying. You also need a relatively fast typing speed of 60 to 70 words-per-minute. If you’re not sure what yours is, test it out and practice for free with LiveChat’s online tool.
Once you have the knack of it, plus a few months of experience, head over to GMR Transcription and/or 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP. Both of these platforms are strict about who they hire, but the former pays $42 to $75/audio hour and the latter $30 to $180/audio hour.
Do note that payment is per audio hour, not for every hour you work. This is why it’s so important to have a good typing speed (and, for that matter, excellent listening skills, and headphones).
The universally accepted professional transcription speed is 4 hours work for 1 hour of clear audio, with some leniency for bad audio (typically 6 hours transcription for 1 hour audio).
This is why we place so much emphasis on improving until you can get hired by 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP at $100+ per audio hour: by doing so, you can earn about $16/hour instead of the $4/hour you get with Crowdsurf.
39. Make Money as an Online Notary
Last, but not least, consider making money as an online notary.
But this isn’t an opportunity for everyone.
Expect to write a rather difficult exam and pay between $100 and $500 just to start offering your services as an online notary. And then you have to worry about local state law, as not all states allow notaries to work online (Virginia is the most forgiving).
It’s always going to be best to offer your services via your own blog (above) and market yourself as an online notary through social media. To help you get started, Upwork, Guru.com, and Fiverr usually have online notary positions availablel.
Whatever option you decide on (or, more advisably, whichever options), don’t expect to get rich quick. Opportunities that promise lots of money in a short space of time are almost always going to be scams.
Instead, make use of the 39 ideas and dozens of resources in this guide. Be persistent and patient, and don’t be afraid to pursue as many opportunities as possible – especially when starting out.
As Elon Musk once said (and other highly successful individuals have testified), you need to work 80 to 100 hours a week if you want to change the world… even if it’s only your own world.