You brew a fresh pot of coffee, pour yourself a cup, flip on your favorite morning talk show and sit down at the kitchen table with your laptop. You’re still in your bathrobe, cozy after a hot shower. Your dog wags her tail happily at your feet.
You’re ready to start your work day.
Too Good to Be True?
Working from home is a dream for many of us: You save time, money and stress on your commute, and the dress code includes your favorite pajamas. Yes, the Spongebob ones.
But not all work-from-home jobs are created equal.
The jobs, which include envelope stuffing, assembly work and multi-level marketing, mostly had one thing in common: The companies ask you to invest upfront. Hopefuls find out there’s little work available only after spending hundreds of dollars.
It’s the same old story: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
However, there are legitimate work-from-home jobs — though many require training, time and effort, just like any other position.
Legit Work-From-Home Jobs to Try
Here are five suggestions for legitimate work-from-home jobs to try instead of the ones CBS recommends you avoid:
1. Instead of Stuffing Envelopes, Try Earning Passive Income
Companies often advertise earnings of up to $1,200 per week for envelope stuffing, CBS reports — a number worthy of enduring the tedious task.
But hopefuls are asked to pay an upfront fee, and often discover afterwards that there are few envelopes to stuff — so they won’t actually make any money.
Skip the papercuts and set up a passive income stream online. The money won’t be immediate and it’ll take some effort, but truck driver Matthew Allen of Dumb Passive Income makes $1,000-$6,000 per month — and he hasn’t even quit his day job.
If you took it full time, you could do even better.
2. Instead of Assembly Work, Try Crafting or Freelance Writing
Don’t fall for this one: after being asked to pay the price of parts, the creations you assemble might still be rejected as substandard.
If you’re creative, try making your own original handmade items and selling them on Etsy. This mom’s project took off and now makes her $70,000 per month.
3. Instead of Processing Rebates, Try Being a Call Center Representative
Did you know you could be an AppleCare representative from your couch?
In the digital age, there’s no need to crowd telephone-based workers into costly offices, so lots of companies are moving toward hiring remote customer service reps.
And assisting with a variety of individual problems is bound to be more interesting than processing rebates, even if 70% of your job is asking callers, “Did you try a reboot?”
You’ll receive technical training, but some experience in technology troubleshooting would probably be helpful.
4. Instead of Medical Billing, Try Transcription
If you’re willing to codify treatments and add up medical bills, would you listen to a TV show or phone call on repeat and type what you hear?
If you’re familiar with medical terminology, you’ll be the perfect medical transcriptionist — a subcategory of the job on the higher end of the pay scale.
5. Instead of Multi-level Marketing, Try Udemy
It’s a real bummer to get an unexpected, excited phone call from a friend — only to discover she’s just trying to get you to sit in on her Arbonne webinar.
Selling Avon or Beachbody products might work for some, but it can distance you from the friends and family you need to recruit to make substantial earnings. And if you’re unsuccessful in your efforts at recruitment and sales, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of makeup or vitamins — and none of your investment cash.
If you like working with people and want to improve their lives, teach one of your skills to others on Udemy. You’ll be selling people a viable skill instead of lip gloss — and there’s no fee to get started.
Your Turn: Do you have a legitimate work-from-home job we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments!
Jamie Cattanach is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and a native Floridian. She’s passionate about learning, literature, chocolate and finding ways to live the good life as cost-effectively as possible. You can send smoke signals (or, you know, friendly greetings) to @jamiecattanach on Twitter.