How to Make Money When You Can't Leave Your House

Looking for out-of-the-box ways to make some extra cash right now? Try out these 30 strategies.
How to Make Money When You Can't Leave Your House
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It wasn’t that long ago that working from home was merely a pipe dream. But throughout history, there has always been some type of “working from home.” Of course, today, working from home with ease has been with a big thanks to advancements in technology.

The work from home requirements have become a necessity in a pandemic where you can’t leave your house. Maybe in the past you have worked from home because you can’t afford childcare, have a medical condition or you may be introverted and just prefer to stay at home. But, today, you are complying with stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19.

Regardless of the reason you've worked from home, there are plenty of ways you can still make money, such as the following 30 ways.

Related: 50 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying as Much or a Lot More Than the Average American Salary

1. Get paid for your opinions.

Will taking online surveys make you rich? Nope. In most cases, the payout only ranges between $0.50 to $3 per survey, But, it’s an easy way to make some extra money, usually in the form of points that can be redeemed for gift cards, whenever you have some downtime.

Some of the most well-known sites are Swagbucks, Survey Junkie and InboxDollar. You could also look into American Consumer Opinion and Opinion Outpost.

You can make a little more money by participating in online focus groups or testing products at home. The additional upside is that you have the potential to make a couple of hundred bucks each month. Check out User Interviews, FocusGroup.com or Respondent.io.

2. Test websites.

Typically, you can earn between $5 to $20 per hour testing websites. However, there is a possibility to make as much as $60 per hour. Best of all? You don’t need to possess any advanced technical skills to do this. You’re getting paid for your feedback on the design, functionality and layout of a website.

UserTesting, Enroll, TestingTime and are some of the places where you can find this side gig.

3. Install some new apps.

Again, you’re not going to become a millionaire doing this. But, it’s probably the least amount of effort you have to do to make money. After all, all you have to do is install some apps on your phone. That’s it.

With that in mind, here are 10 apps that can make you money:

  • Wikibuy. There are two ways you can make money with this app; earn rewards when you shop and it locates the best deals.
  • ScreenLift. As long as you have this Android app as your first screen, you can earn points or “Lifts.”
  • Robinhood. A micro-investing app that allows you to get started for just $1.
  • Rakuten. Formerly known as eBates, this app allows you to earn cashback when you shop.
  • Slidejoy. Use your lock screen and snag yourself some cash-like rewards.
  • Sweatcoin. You can earn rewards literally for walking around.
  • Fronto. Here’s another lock screen app where you can exchange points for Amazon, Google Play, Target, Walmart, iTunes or PayPal gift cards
  • Drop. Shop and redeem your points at places like Amazon or Netflix.
  • Foap. If you’re constantly taking pictures on your smartphone, you might be able to see them to brands.
  • Ibotta. A popular cashback app where you’ll get $20 just for using it.

4. Downsize and declutter.

Since you aren’t leaving your home, you might as well go all Marie Kondo on what you no longer need. Sure. Some of the things that you owned may have to be trashed or donated. But, you can also cash-in on your prized possessions.

You can list these items on well-known marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist, LetGo, or Facebook Marketplace. Or, you could turn to a specific site like:

  • Declutter or Gazelle for your old electronics.
  • Poshmark of thredUp if you have slightly worn clothing.
  • Bookscouter for those books collecting dust.

You could also go old school and plan a garage sale. Just remember to have this on a popular date and time, do a little advertising and accept multiple forms of payments.

5. Rent out your unused items.

Don’t want to part with your possessions? No worries. You can still make money by renting them out. Examples include:

  • HyreCar or Turo for renting out your car, as opposed to driving for Uber or Lyft.
  • Spinlister if you have a bike you’re willing to rent out. You should also be able to list snowboards and surfboards.
  • Style Lend if you have fashionable items in your closet.
  • Airbnb if you don’t mind having people crash at your place.
  • Fat Llama or Loanables for pretty much everything else you want to rent out.

6. Sell old gift cards.

Do you have an unwanted or unused gift card? Don’t let it go to waste. Instead, sell them online through sites like CardCash. You’ll get up to 92 percent cashback or trade for more.

7. Make cash from your trash.

Before you throw away or recycle your food packages, see if you can sell them on sites like eBay. Of course, this doesn’t mean pawning off your literal garbage. For example, people might want to purchase things like General Mills Boxtops for Education since they can be redeemed.

8. Become a blogger, YouTuber or podcaster.

Fair warning. You aren’t going to make money overnight. However, if you consistently deliver quality content this is a proven way to make a living from the comfort of your home.

Of course, before you get there, you first need to determine what insights you want to share. Ideally, this should be an area that you’re familiar with and it should be unique. You’ll also have to invest in a domain, hosting and promoting your content.

As you build a following, that’s when you’ll begin to profit off your blog, YouTube channel or podcast. You’ll be able to do this through ads and affiliates. If you’re really savvy, you may also want to share your own merch.

Related: Radical Changes Needed in Setting Guidelines for Women During Work From Home

9. Launch your own ecommerce business.

A tried and true way of making money from home is by having your very own eCommerce site. Thanks to solutions like Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce it’s never been easier to build, manage, and promote your store.

Just like blogging, however, you need to do some work upfront and be patient. You need to determine what items you’re going to sell and how you’re going to spread the word about your online store.

10. Cash in on crafts and hobbies.

Do you love to bake, make candles, refurbish furniture or create art? If so, then why not make money doing something that you already enjoy doing? Just list your handmade items on sites like Etsy. And, even better, this is an excellent way to earn a passive income.

11. Buy and resell tickets (legally).

You can use legitimate and legal ticket broker websites like TicketMaster, StubHub, SeatGeek or VividSeats to scoop up tickets for high-profile and resell them online.

12. Enter the freelance market.

When you think of people working from home, you probably immediately think of freelance work. And, for good reason. No matter what skill-level or expertise you have, there’s an opening just waiting there for. Everything from virtual assistants to writers to graphic designers to marketers is up for grabs.

Of course, the more experienced and specialized your skills are, the more you’ll make. But, if you’re just starting out, you can quickly find work on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Toptal, Flexjobs, UpWork or Remote.co.

13. Watch TV or videos.

You might think that this is too good to be true. But, it’s for real. InboxDollars, as an example, will pay your actual cash to watch short video clips. You could also join Nielsen or be fortunate enough to become a Netflix tagger.

14. Play games.

Seriously. Sites like Swagbucks, Lucktastic, Second Life or Mistplay will pay you to play games. Usually, this is in the form of gift cards, but some will compensate you via PayPal. How much you’ll earn varies depending on the game and how much time you invest.

15. Invest, invest and invest.

My dad, in his infinite wisdom, used to say that it takes money to make money. And, yeah, that’s true — especially when it comes to investing.

If you have the funds, there are several ways you can invest in order to make a solid return.

Of course, there are the usual suspects like bonds, stocks and real estate. But, you should also think outside the box. For instance, you could invest in:

  • Art via Masterworks.
  • Fine wine using Vinovest.
  • Farmland through FarmTogether.
  • Music royalties on websites like SongVest.com and TheRoyaltyExchange.com
  • Startups thanks to Republic.

16. Become a P2P lender.

Another popular and legit way to secure an above-average return on investment is through person-to-person lending on sites like Prosper and LendingClub.

17. Flip websites.

Just like establishing your blog, this is going to take some work upfront. If you’re starting from scratch, that means finding a niche, purchasing a domain and hosting, adding content, and then driving traffic to the site. When it has some value, you can put it up on Flippa.

Or, you could purchase an existing site and spruce it up. It’s like purchasing a home and remodeling it to increase its value.

18. Self-publish an eBook.

Whether you have a fascinating story to tell or want to share your expertise, you can write your own book. From there, you can self-publish it with the help of companies like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, IngramSpark and BookBaby.

Bonus tip: Increase your sales by recording an audio version of your book.

19. Sell your expertise.

Are you an expert in a specific matter? If so, you can capitalize on your knowledge and expertise by hosting webinars or designing an online course. You could also answer questions on marketplaces like JustAnswer.

Related: Hosting a Webinar or Streaming on Zoom or Twitch? Here's the Setup You Need.

20. Teach lessons or tutor.

There are actually a number of ways to go about this. For instance, if you know how to play the piano, and you have one in your home, you can charge students for lessons. If you’re a whiz at math, you can tutor struggling high schoolers.

Another idea would be to go 100 percent virtual. Chegg, Education First, and VIPKid will pay your hourly rates to tutor people online. Just be aware that a TEFL certification may be required.

21. Start a call-center.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to outsource their customer service reps to at-home-workers. While you can use sites like Flexjobs to secure this type of work, companies like Arise give you the ability to establish your very own virtual call center.

22. Work as a chat operator.

The pay isn’t the best — it usually starts at $11 per hour. But, if you’re a fast typer and possess strong customer service skills, this is another legit way to make money from the friendly confines of your own home. Plus, you don’t have to talk to people on the phone.

23. Provide tech support.

Are you known for your mad troubleshooting skills? Do you like helping others? If yes to both, then you might want to consider becoming a technical support rep, such as Apple’s At Home Advisor.

Just be wary of scams. You can do this by checking out listings on legit sites like Indeed or verifying the business over at the Better Business Bureau.

24. Translate and transcribe.

As long as you have a computer, reliable internet and type quickly, you can make money translating or transcribing audio, video or text files. Bonus points if you can speak another language fluently.

Where can you find these gigs? You could market yourself via your own site. But, they’re also available on most freelancing marketplaces or niche sites like TranscribeMe or Gengo.

25. Design t-shirts.

If you’re the creative type, you can design your own t-shirts. Depending on the apparel, you could make between $10 and $25 per sale. Even better, you don’t have to deal with inventory or shipping if you do this through sites like Teespring.

26. Offer childcare.

You don’t have to start a full-fledged daycare. After all, you have to obtain the proper insurance, licensing and certifications for that. Also, your home may not be the right facility due to space or safety requirements.

Instead, you may offer to watch one or two children for family, friends or neighbors. For example, my mom recently retired and watches my niece a couple of days each week. It gives her something to do while giving her a supplemental income. And for my sister, it’s more affordable to drop her off at my parents than at a daycare center.

27. Petsit.

I’m a dog person. As such, whenever friends or family went out of town, they paid me to watch their pooch. I may not charge them these days. But, I still don’t mind doing this. Since I have a dog myself, it’s not that big of a deal to take care of another one.

Of course, this isn’t a consistent income. That’s why you may want to sign-up for Rover — some people charge up to $50 an hour. Or, if you don’t want to take on this responsibility, give Sniffspot a try. Here dog owners rent your land or yard instead of dealing with public dog parks.

28. Write slogans.

While it probably would be beneficial to have some sort of training in marketing, it’s not a deal-breaker. In fact, you can enter competitions on Slogan Slingers. But, there are also “slogan writing gigs” on freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork.

29. Start a Facebook ads agency.

Having a background in advertising or marketing. You should, however, know how to leverage Facebook to drive sales to businesses. Preferably, you should contact local businesses since they don’t have the time to play around on social media — or only have the resources for a low-cost campaign.

What you charge will depend on the conversations and clients you bring. But, it’s not impossible to earn between $1,000 to $1,500 per client each month. That’s not nothing.

30. Search for unclaimed property.

Sometimes tax refunds are returned to the IRS. For instance, maybe there was a mailing error or they were never claimed. As a result, these are returned.

But, this isn’t just limited to taxes. If government pensions, government-guaranteed mortgage-insurance refunds, or savings bonds aren’t claimed, they also go back to the government. And this also applies to returned utility deposits, uncollected insurance benefits, state-tax refunds and dividends.

The good news? You can search for these unclaimed properties via Unclaimed.org and Missingmoney.com. Why knows? Maybe there’s hundreds or thousands of dollars just waiting for you to claim.

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