14 Really Strange (but Effective) Ways to Make Money in California
Wish you could skip the traffic jams, and instead, work from the comfort of your own home? If you’re like many of our readers, the answer is a resounding “YES!”
So to help you, we’ve rounded up 14 really strange (but effective) ways to make money just for California residents. On the list are both full-time jobs and some quick things you can do to make buck, but none of them require a college degree.
Keep reading to learn about our favorite ways to make extra money in California in 2016.
1. Grab A Free $10 Gift Card from Papa Johns
Have you heard of MyPoints? They are a cash-back site that lets you earn rewards by shopping online and printing coupons. We use them all the time at our house, because it’s instant way to save on everything you buy (for example, it gives you up to 5% cash-back on purchases in some categories on Amazon).
But, enough about that, here’s how to get the free Papa Johns gift card:
- Sign up for MyPoints here using your email address (it’s free).
- Use the MyPoints portal the next time you need to shop online (it's connected to thousands of stores including Walmart, Amazon, and Target).
- As long as you spend $10, MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points which you can redeem for a free $10 Papa Johns gift card.
2. Deliver Food With UberEATS
Sign up as a food delivery driver with UberEATS to meet the demand of those who don’t want to go out, but still want to eat out.
The service is still rolling out around the U.S., but it’s available in about 40 cities nationwide and currently looking for drivers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Similar to other contract services in the sharing economy, how much you can earn depends on how many deliveries you take and how fast you work. UberEATS requirements are easier to meet than those for the ride-share service:
- Be at least 19 years old.
- Have a driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration.
- Have at least one year of driving experience.
- Be able to lift 30 pounds.
This can be a great option if your car doesn’t meet the ride-share requirements.
3. Get Paid to Share Your Opinion on Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton
What do you think of Donald Trump? Do you Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote?
I’m kind of a political nerd, so one way I’ve made extra money is by registering for the major polling & survey companies (Ipsos Panel and Opinion Outpost are two of the largest and rated A+ with the BBB). I participate every election cycle and I'm usually able to pocket around $100/month.
Most of you know that I've advised against survey companies in the past because of their low payouts. But, I make an exception to my "no survey" rule when I'm watching TV. My calculus on this is that I'm not really doing anything anyway, so I might as well make a few extra bucks. :)
4. Watch YouTube-Like Videos
This works because the videos are sponsored by brands who need to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one of their ads, they'll credit your account with cash.
Here's a link to signup. They give you $5 just for signing up.
5. Become a Stitch Fix Stylist
Are you a fashionista? Then this part-time gig is perfect for you.
You’ll work on your own schedule, using Stitch Fix’s online styling platform to help your clients look and feel their best.
Positions are available in the North Bay, South Bay, Sacramento and San Diego areas. You must have a passion for style and people, and be available to work 15-30 hours per week.
Read more about it here: Stitch Fix Stylist
6. Get Paid to Download Apps
Lots of companies, including Google, will pay you to install their apps on your cell phone. And there’s more: They’ll also pay you for every month you keep those apps installed.
Why? Because the apps collect data from your cell phone, which companies use to better understand web and mobile usage -- gathering information such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
Here are a few of our favorite companies that will pay you to download their apps:
- Smart Panel - Once you’ve qualified and downloaded the app, they will give you $5. If you keep it installed for at least two weeks, you’ll earn another $10. And then for every month that you keep the Smart App installed, you’ll get another $5. All total, you can earn up to $75 for the 1st year! (Note: This panel is currently only open to iOS users.)
- Media Insiders Panel - If you're male or 44 years of age or older, this company will pay you $5 a month to keep their app on your phone. Plus, you can install it on up to 3 devices, making your total possible earnings up to $200 a year.
- Nielsen Mobile for iPhone Users - if you have an iPhone, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
- Nielsen Mobile Panel for Ages 45+ - if you have a smartphone and your 45 years of age or older, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
Read more about these opportunities here: How to Earn $495 By Downloading These 6 Apps
7. Use Those Social Media Skills for 310 Nutrition
If you’re a social media addict who’s passionate about health, 310 Nutrition might have a job for you.
The company says it’s looking for motivated team players rather than social media pros, and cares more about attitude than experience. To be eligible, you must be a fast typer who resides in the Los Angeles area.
Read more about it here: Social Media Marketing Assistant
8. Set Your Own Schedule as a Transcriptionist
If you want a work-at-home job that doesn’t require sales experience or a college degree, transcription might be a good fit. This gig requires listening to audio files and typing out what you hear, and you can work as little or as much as you want.
Though the work can be repetitive (think: listening to the same audio files over and over), it pays well and offers a ton of flexibility.
Read more about it here: Earn $25/Hour as a Transcriptionist
9. Deliver the Perfect Trip With Carlson Wagonlit Travel
If you have experience in the travel industry, this full-time work-from-home job might be a dream come true. As a travel counselor for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, you’ll make sure everything goes smoothly for your business travel clientele.
To be eligible, you need to be familiar with international travel requirements and scheduling tools, as well as have strong customer service skills and an attention for detail.
Read more about it here: Senior Travel Counselor
10. Rock Nordstrom’s Customer Service Line
Are you a Nordstrom’s fan girl (or boy), but can’t stomach the prices? Then you’ll be excited about this job for one reason: the employee discount.
In this full-time position, you’ll provide customer service via phone, email and chat, answering questions about everything from style to fit to returns. You need a thick skin, a passion for fashion and a computer with an internet connection.
Read more about it here: Member Care Representative
11. Open a Second Bank Account
We've put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open a bank account!
There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund & my vacation fund.
The top bank bonus is $500 right now — head over to this list to see all of the banks in your area that are offering free cash.
12. Sew Away for Molly M Designs
Talk about the perfect gig for seamstresses! Molly M Designs is looking for someone to sew its leather pouches and pillows.
You must live in the San Francisco area and, ideally, be able to work 10-20 hours per week using your own industrial straight stitch sewing machine.
Read more about it: Seamstress Job
13. Make Furry Friends as a Pet Massage Therapist
You’ve probably never thought about pet massages before, but animals develop sore muscles just like we do. And a growing number of pet masseuses are here to help them feel better.
To work as a pet masseuse, no specific license is required, though a few schools do offer certification programs. You can run this business out of your home, or visit local pet businesses to ply your services.
Read more about it here: How to Earn Money as a Pet Massage Therapist
14. Look at Pretty Pictures All Day
With this job, you’ll work on your own schedule assessing photos for Shutterstock, one of the leading providers of royalty-free images.
The position asks for two years of experience in and around the professional photography world, as well as an internet connection and strong attention to detail.
Read more about it here: Work-From-Home Image Reviewer
Your Turn: Which opportunity on this list looks most appealing to you? What other work-from-home jobs in California should we include?
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We would have shared them with you anyway, but a true "penny hoarder" would be a fool not to take the company's money. :)