Are you trying to win the Mega Millions, but your numbers never seem to come up? It may be time to look for better ways to make money. Fortunately, you can earn extra cash without going and getting a “real job.”
What are the best ways to avoid sitting in a cubicle all day? Some money-making strategies require an upfront investment, while others let you earn money in your free time with the help of apps.
Read on to learn the best ways to earn cash without a regular 9-5 job, plus tips on how almost anyone can get started.
Table of Contents
- 1. Share Your Opinions
- 2. Write an eBook
- 3. Start a Blog and Monetize It
- 4. Start Freelancing
- 5. Get Paid to Lose Weight
- 6. Rent Out Your Car
- 7. Rent Out a Room
- 8. Rent Out Extra Space
- 9. Invest In Dividend Stocks
- 10. Get Paid to House Sit
- 11. Take Care of Dogs and Cats
- 12. Invest in Real Estate
- 13. Invest Your Spare Change
- 14. Complete Basic Tasks On Taskrabbit
- 15. Sell Photography
- 16. Earn a Bank Bonus
- 17. Flip Furniture
- 18. Drive for Uber or Lyft
- 19. Sell Stuff You Own
- 20. Start a YouTube Channel
- 21. Donate Plasma
- 22. Become a Crowdworker
- 23. Shop for Groceries
- 24. Deliver Packages with Amazon Flex
- 25. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards
- 26. Take Online Surveys
- Final Thoughts on Making Money Without a Job
1. Share Your Opinions
One of the easiest ways to earn money is by signing up to participate in market research studies. You won’t make much, a few dollars here and there, but you can create a free account and get started within minutes.
You’ll be paid in PayPal cash or gift cards for sharing your opinion and completing other tasks online.
E-Poll Market Research is one of the top companies to consider for this type of work. They make it easy to create an account and answer survey questions. However, there are plenty of other options to consider, including:
- Pinecone Research
- Global Test Market
- E-Poll Market Research
- American Consumer Opinion
- Pro Opinion
- Harris Poll Online
While market research gigs won’t make you rich, it’s something you can do during your spare time.
2. Write an eBook
If you have a book idea, turning your story into an eBook can help you earn passive income without a regular job. Kindle Direct Publishing can even help you format your book for Kindle, at which point you can market and sell your book to millions of potential readers who shop on Amazon.com.
How much can you earn writing eBooks? That depends on how many books you write, how much you sell them for, and how successful you are at marketing your book. Selling 20 books per month with a profit of $7 per book would net you $140 per month and $1,680 per year.
Meanwhile, selling 100 books per month at $7 per book would net you $700 per month and $8,400 per year. Need a little inspiration? Here’s an article that shows you how to make your first $1,000 selling eBooks.
3. Start a Blog and Monetize It
You can earn a lot of money by starting a blog or niche website and monetizing it. I should know. I started Good Financial Cents more than a decade ago, and have earned millions of dollars through the monetization of this site since its earliest days.
How do you make money blogging? Earning real income with a website isn’t as easy as it looks, but there are plenty of monetization strategies you can try. Here are the most common ways blogs make money:
- Affiliate sales
- Display ads
- Product sales
- Sponsored posts
- And more…
If you’re curious about what it takes to earn money blogging, consider signing up for my Make 1K Challenge. It’s free and can help you earn your first $1,000 online with some of the blog monetization strategies I’ve already mentioned.
4. Start Freelancing
You could argue that freelance work is like a regular job, but working at home and on your terms is much different from traditional employment. The fact is, most freelancers are fully remote – they can work from anywhere in the world with a laptop and an internet connection.
Plus, they can hire and fire clients based on their personal needs and preferences, and their income potential is unlimited. According to ZipRecruiter, freelancers in the U.S. average $64 per hour.
Of course, you’ll need a marketable skill to find paid work as a freelancer. This could be freelance writing, design skill, marketing expertise, or something else.
You can use several websites to market your skills as a freelancer, including:
5. Get Paid to Lose Weight
HealthyWage makes it possible to earn money while you lose weight. You won’t earn a ton of cash through the app, but you can earn a few dollars and use it to supplement other income you have.
The more weight you lose, the more money you can make. For example, the HealthyWage website claims some of their clients who lost more than 100 pounds managed to earn anywhere from $1,400 to $3,000. However, the HW weight loss calculator shows potential earnings of $578 to $828 for people who only have 15 pounds to lose.
6. Rent Out Your Car
If you have a car you rarely use and want to earn some side income, you can consider renting it out with Turo, a ride-sharing platform that connects car owners with people who need a short-term rental. You can set your price, although you’ll have more success if you price your car competitively.
Nicer vehicles in high-demand areas can easily fetch rates that surpass $100 per day through this platform. Turo notes that in-demand cars rented out regularly can bring in anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year in net profit.
Plus, almost anyone can rent out their car provided it meets the guidelines of the Turo platform. Your car must be 12 years old or newer with less than 130,000 miles. It must be worth less than $200,000 (no Lambo’s), and you must also meet Turo’s auto insurance requirements.
7. Rent Out a Room
Do you have a spare bedroom in your home that you never use? Maybe you have a basement or garage apartment you could fix up and begin renting for a profit?
Either way, Airbnb lets you rent out rooms and other spaces in your home on any dates you prefer. You must let renters know they’re renting a room in a home vs. an entire apartment or house and provide as much additional detail as possible.
The amount you can earn will depend on where you live and the type of accommodation you can offer. However, expensive cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco have plenty of rooms for rent that go for well over $100 per night.
8. Rent Out Extra Space
You may not have an entire room you can rent, but even if you have some storage space, Neighbor.com allows you to rent it out to others in need.
Common spaces rented through this platform include
- Garage space
- Parking spaces
- Storage space for a boat or an RV
- Empty lots
- Extra attic storage
The Neighbor.com platform makes it easy to advertise your unused space so that people nearby can inquire if they’re interested. Also, note that the platform offers insurance that can protect you if some of your client’s items are damaged or stolen while in your care.
How much can you make renting out extra space? It depends on how much space you have to rent and where it’s located. However, Neighbor.com shows a range of rental space options that cost anywhere from $20 to $100+ per month.
9. Invest In Dividend Stocks
Investing in dividend stocks is one of the best ways to earn money without a regular job. Many early retirees find a way to live and pay bills based solely on the dividends they receive from various stocks.
But what exactly is a dividend stock? For the most part, they are regular stocks but with a track record of sharing their profits with investors through dividends. Dividends can also be earned in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, and they can be significant once you build up a large portfolio.
Since dividends are paid by profitable companies, they tend to be seen as less risky for investors. If you’re curious about what it takes to get started with this strategy, this post explains how to invest in dividend stocks.
10. Get Paid to House Sit
Housesitting is an option if you’re somewhat mobile and can move from place to place. Generally, you can find house-sitting gigs through word of mouth, referrals, or online portals like Craigslist.org or Facebook Marketplace.
That said, not all house-sitting gigs are paid. Some offer the potential for exotic travel instead and free lodging for a week to several months.
Either way, a website called TrustedHousesitters is the best place to find house-sitting gigs. Some jobs posted are for house-sitting only, while others require housesitters to provide basic care for pets or plants.
If you have serious wanderlust and want to travel far and wide, this platform can help make it happen. Many gigs posted online are in countries like Australia, Ireland, France, and Switzerland.
11. Take Care of Dogs and Cats
If you love animals and want to earn money taking care of them, several platforms can help turn your dream into a reality. For example, Rover.com lets you provide basic care for dogs or cats in your home, or you can pick up dog walking gigs. Another mobile app, called Wag!, lets you do more of the same.
You can set your rates for all types of work through these platforms, and your availability. While earnings vary by location and job, most people watch dogs and cats for anywhere from $40 to $100 per night.
12. Invest in Real Estate
Real estate investing may seem like a pipe dream if you hope to earn income without a job, but hear me out. There are many ways to earn income through real estate without owning physical property or dealing with the hassles of being a landlord.
You can invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) that let you build wealth over time. You can also use a platform called Fundrise to invest in real estate for as little as $10.
Fundrise lets you purchase eREITs, large investment funds that acquire, own, or operate multi-residential and commercial properties. The income you earn is entirely passive since the RIET company handles the work of finding income-producing properties and managing them.
While returns are never guaranteed, Fundrise investors have achieved very solid returns. Investors who use the platform earned an average return of 7.31% in 2020, followed by 22.99% in 2021, 1.50% in 2022 and -0.88% in 2023 (so far).
- * Invest in real estate with $10
- * Open to all investors
- * Online easy to use site and app
13. Invest Your Spare Change
You can earn income on your spare change by investing it using Acorns. The roundup savings app syncs to your debit or credit card, rounds up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invests the difference. Once it’s set up, there’s no work on your part.
Most of the money is invested in ETFs and managed by the world’s top investment firms like Vanguard and BlackRock. While this app makes it easy to invest small amounts of money, it’s not free to use. Personal plans start at $3 per month, while a family plan costs just $5.
14. Complete Basic Tasks On Taskrabbit
If you’re looking for some paid gigs that are relatively easy, consider setting up a profile on TaskRabbit, an online platform that lets you get paid for completing various tasks, such as:
- Assembling furniture
- Hanging pictures
- Wrapping gifts
- Party clean-up
- Running errands
Projects typically pay between $30 and $100, although some pay significantly more than that. TaskRabbit also lets you pick and choose the jobs you want to take on based on your availability so that you can work entirely on your schedule.
15. Sell Photography
If you love taking photographs and have a knack for getting professional-looking images, you can use your skills and expertise to sell photos online. Websites like Depositphotos and iStockPhoto pay photographers to supply them with stock photos they can sell to writers, publications, and various online platforms.
The best part about this side hustle is that you can get started with the equipment you already have. While you can use a professional camera if you want to, many smartphones take professional-quality photos.
16. Earn a Bank Bonus
Earning a bank bonus is another way to earn money without a regular job, but you’ll need an upfront investment to get started. Most bonus offers require you to deposit a specific amount of money and keep it in your account for up to 12 months.
You may also be required to set up direct deposit to earn a bank bonus, and other terms and conditions may apply.
Where can you find the best bank bonuses? While bonus offers constantly change, you can start by checking with banks like Chase, HSBC, Radius Bank, and Wells Fargo.
17. Flip Furniture
Flipping furniture requires some upfront legwork and potentially even some artistic talent, but you can earn a solid income with this strategy if you know what you’re doing. Essentially, this side hustle requires you to shop at thrift stores, garage sales, and online platforms to find furniture that will ultimately sell for more than you paid.
From there, you can sell the furniture as-is or clean it up and paint it with the goal of fetching an even higher price.
18. Drive for Uber or Lyft
You can make money driving for Uber or Lyft on your own time, picking and choosing the days and hours you want to work.
Not only is rideshare work one of the most flexible side hustles, but you can earn $20 per hour and more with tips. Note that you do need to have a clear driving record, and your car must meet basic requirements for either platform.
19. Sell Stuff You Own
If you are low on free time but still want to make money without a job, consider selling stuff you don’t need. An array of online platforms make it a breeze, although some platforms work better for selling.
If you have home decor, furniture, or workout equipment to sell, you’ll almost always do better unloading those items locally on Facebook Marketplace.
20. Start a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel is another way to earn money without a job, but that doesn’t mean it’s not work. The fact is, creating quality videos and building an audience takes a lot of creativity and time. Plus, not everyone who tries to build a YouTube channel will succeed.
That said, you can earn income without a regular job. I know because I have done it with my YouTube channel, Wealth Hacker.
How much you can earn on YouTube varies quite a bit, but it’s possible to earn thousands of dollars per month. If you’re curious about monetizing videos, my in-depth guide will show you how to make money on YouTube.
21. Donate Plasma
Donating plasma is a unique way to earn money without a job, although it’s not very glamorous. DonatingPlasma.org makes it easy to find plasma donation centers in your area, and you can earn as much as $100 for your first donation.
That said, subsequent plasma donations typically earn closer to $50. You’ll also be limited by the number of times you can donate plasma within a month. However, it’s possible to use this side gig to earn an extra $500 per month, which you can use to supplement your primary income.
22. Become a Crowdworker
If you are willing to complete various tasks that help regular workers do their jobs, consider becoming a crowdworker. This gig will have you finishing up to-do lists of jobs that don’t require specific technical skills. For example, you may get paid to proofread documents, label images, update a resume, complete a form, or complete a data entry assignment.
23. Shop for Groceries
If you want to do something simple that will get you moving, consider delivering groceries using apps like Instacart or Shipt. You get paid hourly, plus tips and all you have to do is head to the store, purchase groceries according to a list, and deliver them to people in your neighborhood.
The gig is extremely flexible, similar to driving for Uber or Lyft.
24. Deliver Packages with Amazon Flex
Another non-job gig lets you get paid to deliver packages for Amazon.com. You can do this through a platform called Amazon Flex, which promises its drivers anywhere from $18 to $25 per hour.
Unlike a regular Amazon job, Flex lets you pick the day and the hours you want to work. To get started, you need to create a free account, get approved, and start reserving blocks of time you want to deliver packages.
25. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards
You won’t get the total value of your gift cards, but you should get 90% or more of the gift card balance for each card you sell. While selling gift cards for less than their total value may not seem ideal, it’s better than not using them and getting nothing in return.
26. Take Online Surveys
Finally, you can earn small amounts of money by signing up with the best online survey sites. Not only is this side hustle as easy as it gets, but you can participate and get paid during your spare time and even on your phone.
I recommend Survey Junkie as the best online survey site since you can redeem the points you earn for transfers to a PayPal account, a bank transfer, Amazon.com or Walmart purchases, iTunes purchases, and more. Other online survey sites to check out include the following:
With all this being said, you’ll want to keep in mind that most surveys only pay a few bucks and that some only pay you with gift cards, while others offer the option for PayPal transfers. Make sure you understand how each survey site works and how you get paid before you sign up.
Final Thoughts on Making Money Without a Job
There you have it, 26 ways to make money without a job. While many of the jobs on our list won’t replace your 9-5, they can be a great way to increase your income so you can pay off debt or break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Check out the video below if you’re looking for even more ways to make money.