You’ve heard a million different ways to ‘earn cash from home’ but none quite as creative as these. Having extra cash is never a bad idea, MensHealth gives us different ways to earn extra cash.
1. Gig Yourself Out
Can you write a catchy jingle? Translate Mandarin? Design a killer company logo? Figure out what you’re good at and put it up for sale on Fiverr. “We live in the gig-economy—especially the younger generation,” says Kyle Taylor, who blogs about cool ways to make money on ThePennyHoarder. “People are stringing together a lot of different gigs to make extra money with side jobs.”
The payout: Sellers on Fiverr offer unique services—everything from writing press releases and crafting poems to offering animal care and doing voiceover work—ranging anywhere from $5 to $500.
2. Become a Professional Friend
If you’re an affable guy that likes to meet new people, you can make some extra cheddar just by being friendly. RentAFriend is a strictly platonic “friends-for-hire” website that allows users to select a friend for an event, a tour around town, or an evening at the movies. The website has over 100,000 unique visitors a month and over 2,000 paid members who browse the site looking for some good, old-fashioned companionship.
The payout: Some friends charge up to $150 for an hour, but the average hourly rate is $20 to $50. According to RentAFriend, if you work part time—3 days a week—and charge $20 per hour, you can make an additional $1900 per month.
3. Turn Your Car into a Billboard
If your daily commute is a complete drag, turn it into a money-making operation. Companies such as Adz in Motion and Free Car Media will pay you for displaying ads on your car. But Taylor warns that these companies are extremely selective about who they work with. They choose based on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the driver’s geographic location. There are also several car-wrapping scams out there, so do your research to find a legitimate service before you commit to anything.
The payout: If you do get selected to participate, you could earn as much as $400-$500 per month. Some smaller campaigns that include a simple decal instead of a full wrap can earn you $50 per month.
4. Download Apps
It doesn’t get much easier than this: Just download a few apps, let them sit on your smartphone, and watch the money roll in. Taylor says installing Media Insiders Paneland Google Screenwise can add up to a couple hundred bucks each year. “These are mobile apps that run in the background on your phone,” he says. “They don’t track calls, but they do provide data to Google and other companies about how long you stay on websites and how often you’re using Facebook to help them make better marketing decisions.” Although it’s not NSA-caliber spying, users who download these apps do need to be comfortable giving up their data to companies for market research purposes.
The payout: If you install Google Screenwise on your computer, smartphone and tablet, you’ll be offered an $8 first-week incentive, plus $2 every week for staying with the program. Using the Media Insiders Panel will earn you up to $15 each month from Tango Card. Rewards for these programs come in the form of gift cards, but installing both apps can earn you $295 in rewards per year.
5. Rent Your Space
If you have an extra parking spot in your driveway or a big empty basement in your house, you can rent out your space to make ends meet. Websites such as StoreAtMyHouse and ParkAtMyHouse allow you to advertise your unused space online and attract renters. Parking spaces can be especially lucrative if you live near a sports stadium or a commuter rail line. Or, if you have an extra room in your house or an apartment above your garage, put it up on Airbnb to attract out-of-towners looking for a place to stay.
The payout: It depends on what you’re renting out and where you’re located. For prime driveway or parking space, you can make up to $200 per month. Average listings for attic or basement space on StoreAtMyHouse range from $50 to $200 per month. Airbnb rentals can go from $40 a night for a room rental to upwards of $1,500 a night for a luxury home.
6. Participate in a Mock Jury
Can’t get enough of Law & Order? Get in on the action. These fake trials help lawyers test out arguments or reach settlement agreements before real cases go before a judge. You can find opportunities online, but “the ones where you go to a lawyer’s office usually pay better,” Taylor says. “They sit you in a room with 10 to 12 other people and they give you an abbreviated version of a case that may or may not come to trial. Then, like a real jury, you deliberate and come to a decision.” Before you’re selected to participate in a mock trial, you’ll be asked several demographic questions, since law offices are often looking for a diverse pool of people.
The payout: Online mock jury trials could pay as low as $10 per trial or up to $50 per trial. However, a trip to your local law office could net you around $100 for a few hours—plus free lunch. (Score!)
7. Be a Gym Rat
If you can’t go a day without pumping iron, download GymPact app (free for iOS and GooglePlay). Each week, you make a pledge for how much you’ll work out. You’ll also be required to state how much you’re willing to pay if you don’t keep your pact. As long as you achieve the goal you set, you’ll earn real cash from other members who didn’t meet their weekly resolutions. GymPact uses GPS, photos, and other services to keep you honest so you can’t lie about your progress. If you already hit the gym on a regular schedule and rarely miss a day, why not earn some extra funds for your effort?
The payout: Rewards generally range from 30 cents to $5 per week depending on the number of activities you commit and the number of users who don’t complete their pacts. Once your rewards total $10, you can withdraw those funds to your PayPal account.
8. Name a Company
Are you a wordsmith that can come up with catchy names and slogans? You might as well be creative for cash. NamingForce is a website where new companies or products solicit users for name suggestions. Anyone can submit ideas, based on a short description provided by the company. “The cool thing about this is you can submit as many names as possible,” says Taylor. “Some of the larger companies provide bigger prizes that could go up to the thousands of dollars.”
9. Review Music
If you’re always hungry to find new tunes, you could get paid to listen to music clips through SlicethePie. Music fans can sign up, listen to 90-second sound clips, and write short reviews to help bands and marketers gain insightful feedback. The quality of your review and how often you submit evaluations will determine how much you get paid.
The payout: New critics often start out receiving just 2 cents per review, but as your rank improves and you become more active in the community, you can easily climb up to 20 cents each time out. Once your account reaches $10, you can withdraw the cash to a Paypal account.
10. Resell Cardboard Boxes
The United States Census Bureau estimates that about 50 million Americans move each year—so think about all of the cardboard boxes that wind up in landfills. You could actually turn those empty boxes into bucks by reselling them through websites like BoxCycle. All boxes need to be in good condition, with their structure intact. If you’re feeling ambitious, call local stores to see if you can take their extra cardboard boxes away, or look for free box listings on Craigslist.
The payout: The bigger the box, the more it’s usually worth. Most companies will pay anywhere between 50 cents and $2 per box. If you manage to move a few hundred boxes each month, it could mean a decent profit—especially if you get the boxes for free.
11. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards
Roughly $2 billion worth of gift cards go unused each year. This is money that retailers get to pocket! You can now take these excess gift cards you have laying around and turn them into cash. Giftcardrescue.com will buy these cards from you to resell at a discounted price to another customer.
The payout: Dependent on the merchant, the gift card you sell can be bought at up to 90% of its value!