32 Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home
So you’re looking for ways to make money from home… Join the crowd!
Thanks to a genius invention called the internet, Americans are discovering more and more creative ways to cushion their bank accounts from the comforts of home.
Not sure where to start? Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), and keep reading.
How to Make Money From Home in 2019
If you’re looking to make money online, you’ll need to exercise caution. There are a lot of scams out there, but don’t fret: We’ve tested dozens, if not hundreds, of different money-making strategies and included only our favorites.
Yup — none of them involve Nigerian princes, and you really will get paid.
Without further ado, here are 32 legitimate ways to earn extra cash from home.
1. Get Paid to Watch Videos Online
Most of you already know about InboxDollars, but did you know that it will pay you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news and dozens of other videos? Plus, you’ll get a bonus $5 just for signing up.
You need to watch all of the shows in a specific playlist to earn your bucks, so be prepared. InboxDollars lets you know how long the playlist runs before you start watching, and playlists range from a few minutes to about a half hour.
The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!
2. Get Paid to Delivery Groceries and More
Need a reliable side gig? Try delivering groceries, takeout and even retail purchases with Postmates.
The amount you can earn varies, but the median earnings per hour during peak times is $19*, CEO Bastian Lehmann said at a 2015 TechCrunch event.
Unlike other apps, you’ll take home 100% of your earnings when you make a delivery — no service fees, booking fees or transaction fees.
You can deliver through Postmates by car, bicycle or foot. Just create an account, then you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail within a week (a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to make your purchases). Link the card to the Postmates Fleet app, and you’re off to earning extra money.
*Actual amount earned will vary, depending on a number of factors. You’ll see how much you earned after each delivery and exactly how your earnings were calculated.
3. Invest in Real Estate (You Don’t Have to Be Rich)
Not everyone has “buy a house” kind of money.
You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started with Fundrise. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500, and Fundrise does all the heavy lifting for you.
Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be split into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States.
In addition to four rental properties, Christopher and Meghan Miller have invested in a diversified portfolio of real estate projects across the country — from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles — through Fundrise’s automated investment experience.
“I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants,” Christopher says.
They follow the progress of each project they’ve invested money into through Fundrise, and Christopher receives automatic payments directly into his checking account.
(But remember: Investments come with risk. While Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since at least Q2 2016, dividend and principal payments are never guaranteed.)I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants.
You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.
4. Play Free Scratch-off Tickets
There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.
Instead, try scratching for free using an Android app called Lucktastic (Lucktastic Match for iOS). Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.
The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. For more info, check out our full review.
5. Earn up to $60/Hour Helping Small Business Owners
Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? And you don’t even have to leave your house? Oh, and you get to help others.
Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers through his online course, Bookkeeper Business Launch.
You don’t have to have a CPA to be successful in this business. In fact, all you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.
It’s a great opportunity for moms who want to work part-time, millennials who are just out of college and anyone who wants to bring in real money while working from home.
6. Get Paid to Give Your Opinion
Online surveys aren’t going to make you rich, but there’s a certain appeal to clicking a few buttons and earning money while sitting at home.
We’ve tried a lot of paid survey sites, but here are a few others we’ve found and liked:
- Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
- MyPoints: This platform lets you earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online — a great way to cash in on long lines or an endless commute. You’ll earn a $5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.
- Survey Junkie’s clean look keeps you motivated to take as many surveys as you want. It’s relatively quick to reward you with points once you’ve completed a survey. Once you earn 1,000 points — equal to $10 — you can cash out for gift cards or cash via PayPal. Pro tip: Take all the profile surveys to help you earn an easy 200 points or so up front.
7. Stop Deleting Your Emails
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.
8. Effortlessly Invest in the Stock Market With as Little as $5
If you’re like most of us and wish your money would just take care of itself, consider starting an investment account through Acorns.
You can start small and stack up change over time with its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.
Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.
The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. For example, Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar was able to save at a rate of $420 a year!
At that rate, you could set aside $1,000 in about two and a half years — without trying.
The app is $1 a month for balances under $1 million, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.
9. Sell Your Old Clothes, Accessories and More
Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago?
Marie Kondo would be very disappointed because, the truth is, it’s probably not sparking much joy. Go ahead and thank it — then sell it.
One marketplace app we especially like is Letgo.
You can list anything in less than a minute. Just snap a photo, set your price and go. Unlike other selling apps, Letgo is totally free and doesn’t charge a commission.
10. Earn Cash Back on Groceries, Beauty and More
A simple way to earn some extra money? Shop with cash-back apps and websites.
Here are two of our favorites:
- The easy-to-use Ibotta app is the perfect way to squeeze some extra savings out of your grocery hauls. Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the app. Once you’ve checked out, snap a photo of your receipt and boom — cash back. When you sign up and claim your first 10 offers within 14 days, you’ll get a $20 bonus.
- Shopping online? Shop through Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you up to 10% cash back on online Walmart purchases. Plus, you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.
11. Get $50 to Invest in Causes You Care About
Investing can be a great way to grow your money, but have you carefully considered which companies you’re willing to back? Their morals and values? You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s destroying our oceans or cheating the system.
Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.
Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They consider everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.
You can start with just $50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.
Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($3.75) per year if you invest $500.
Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.
12. Get $5 to Start Saving More Money
Life starts to feel a bit dull when all your money goes to bills and responsibilities. You intend to treat yourself, but usually, you don’t wind up getting the things you really want, like those music festival tickets you’ve been eyeing for months.
Instead of being consumed by the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle — the one that doesn’t leave much wiggle room — try a better savings method.
You can automate it with Dobot, a free financial app that helps you visualize your goals and makes it easy for you to save for the things that you care about.
Get started by downloading the app, then connect your checking account. The app’s algorithm will analyze your spending patterns to determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.
Bonus: Get a free $5 bonus toward your goals once you complete your first transfer.
The purpose is to boost your financial health, so Dobot won’t ever withdraw too much — it ensures you’re left with enough money to meet your spending needs as you save.
Whether you’re saving for a new apartment or growing your emergency fund for the next (unexpected) storm, this automated strategy can get you there at your own pace. To set it up: Add a photo to visualize your goal, give it a name, note the amount you need and the date you need it by.
Enter your phone number to download Dobot for Apple or Android. And just like that, you’re one step closer to saving money to reach your financial goals.
13. Get Paid to Lose Weight
Bottom line: HealthyWage will literally pay you for losing weight.
Not only are you getting more healthy, you’re also making some money. How’s that for motivation?
Here’s how it works:
- Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
- Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
- Place a bet on yourself ranging from $20 to $500 a month.
Depending on how much you have to lose, how long you give yourself to do it and how much money you put on the table, you could win up to $10,000!
Wondering if it can really work? We talked to one woman, Teresa Suarez, who lost 68 pounds — and made over $2,400.
14. List Your Extra Space
Have a spare room? Might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.
If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one. We talked to Terence Michael, an Airbnb superhost based in Los Angeles.
Here are some of his tips:
- Break out the labelmaker. “I have the entire house loaded with labels,” Michael says. “They look nice; they’re modern. This helps people feel less helpless.”
- Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels. Here’s a little hack from Michael: “I order on Amazon and have it delivered when people are there.”
- Be kind to your neighbors. “I say, ‘I’m not going to put anyone here who I think won’t be good for you,’” Michael explains. “And I turn a lot of big groups away, especially in Nashville. I don’t want anyone going to the cops or the city.”
(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)
15. Create an Online Course
You don’t need experience or a degree to make money teaching on Udemy. If people want to learn what you have to teach, you can create a potentially profitable video course at home. Curious? Here’s where you can find out more about how to create a Udemy course.
16. Sell Your Crafts, Vintage Finds and Even Project Supplies
If you’re creative, you can make some decent money selling your work through Etsy. Although there are some fees, including a 5% transaction charge, the marketplace connects you with more than 33 million buyers globally.
That’s a whole lot of potential customers.
Establish a strong brand and backstory. Connecting with customers makes them more likely to spend time on your shop.
Even if you aren’t creating masterpiece paintings or elegant jewelry or adorable baby clothes, you can still make money through the platform. For example, one Penny Hoarder contributor, Janet Berry-Johnson, made about $200 a month selling needlecraft kits and patterns.
Maybe you’re more of a vintage type? Adventure through flea markets and even eBay to find vintage items you can fix up and resell through the platform.
Sure, this is still work — but not really, if you enjoy it!
17. Start a Blog
The startup costs for blogs are minimal: Just secure your domain name and hosting — only $2.95 a month from Bluehost.
You’ll need to write some quality content to get into WordPress (or your blogging platform of choice) and start sharing it through social media. Once you feel comfortable, you can monetize your blog through Google AdSense and affiliate programs for some nice passive income.
Sound appealing? Follow our seven-step guide to starting a blog.
18. Make Your Own Schedule as a Data-Entry Clerk
Data entry isn’t the best-paying online job, but it is one you can do with few skills or previous experience — all you need is a solid internet connection and a computer, and you must be at least 18 years old.
Pay ranges on a per-hour or per-project basis. Typically, you can pick up jobs as frequently as you’d like through freelance broker sites like Smart Crowd and Clickworker.
19. Sell Your Trash
Americans throw away approximately 266 million tons of trash every year, and it turns out we might as well be throwing away cash.
There’s a reason dumpster diving has become so popular in recent years, and it’s because things you think are worth nothing often do have value.
Anything from your empty wine bottles to old magazines can be sold online. Here’s a full list of the things in your trash that might be worth cash.
20. Earn $1,000/Month Hanging out With Pups
If you’re looking for a flexible, independent way to earn money — and you love hanging out with dogs — Rover might be your perfect gig.
The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town.
Rover says sitters can earn as much as $1,000 a month.
Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:
- Be 18 years or older.
- Pass a background check.
- Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).
Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.
You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)
Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.
21. Rent out Your RV
RV owners: When’s the last time you hit the open road?
If you’re not living in your rig full time, rent it out through an online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, like RVshare. Think of it like Airbnb… but for RVs.
We spoke with Karla and Patrick Atherton, who’ve been using RVshare since October 2017. In 2018, the couple made $37,830.55 through the platform.
To see how much you could earn by renting your RV out, snag a free estimate in just a few minutes.
22. Write and Sell an Ebook
If you’re a subject-matter expert or have an intriguing life experience, you could write a book. But there’s no need to send it off to all the major publishing houses in New York City.
You can self-publish ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Writer Steve Gillman wrote a book in a week. Note: Ebooks don’t have be hundreds of pages long. Gillman found many books as short as 6,000 words.
After publishing on Amazon, he started making $350 a month. The best part? He continued to make money, even months and years later.
How much you can you make?
How much you make hinges on a number of variables, including how much you list your book for and how many copies sell. For reference, Amazon pays writers up to 70% royalties on ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
23. Design PowerPoint Presentations
If you have a knack for designing awesome PowerPoint presentations, turn your talent into a money-maker.
Graphic designer Magda Maslowska designs custom presentations and infographics for businesses and keynote speakers who don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves. If you have an eye for great presentations, consider launching a business of your own.
24. Do Calligraphy on the Side
Maybe you don’t want to be a content writer, but if you have excellent handwriting skills and a set of calligraphy tools, you can address envelopes. You could make $2 to $5 a pop just for being a talented calligraphy writer!
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but book a wedding with 100 guests, and you could rake in $200 or more for handwritten invites.
Launch your own website to sell your services, or offer calligraphy through Etsy. For example, Margo Dittmer gets creative with her calligraphy services and sells custom wedding certificates for $175 each on Etsy.
25. Make Money Doing Voice-Overs
Janna Polzin, a stay-at-home mom in Toronto, earns money by talking to herself. In her closet.
After her son was born in 2013, this stage actress turned to the online acting community and kept hearing about one voice-acting platform again and again: Voices.com.
“I often walk away from my computer thinking, I can’t believe I just made money from that!” she says.
Voices.com is an international online voice-over acting marketplace that helps vocal talent — both professional and amateur — find clients who need them.
26. Use Your Type-A Skills as a Virtual Assistant
If you have a knack for organization and communication, you just might make the perfect virtual assistant.
These days, you don’t have to be the busy corporate assistant you see in old movies or on TV. You can work right from your couch.
Folks will pay you to help schedule their days, answer emails, update their website, run social media accounts and book travel accommodations — all from the comfort of your couch.
To find open virtual assistant jobs, peruse some of these work-from-home job boards.
27. Sell Your Old Books for Amazon Gift Cards
Have old college textbooks taking up valuable shelf space? You could host a garage sale or sell them on eBay or Craigslist, but one of the easiest ways to get rid of them is through Amazon.
With Amazon Trade-In, you can trade in your used textbooks, plus other items, like electronics, in exchange for an Amazon gift card.
Just enter the item’s information on Amazon’s Trade-In page to see how much you could pocket. Shipping is free.
28. Help Make the Internet Better as a User-TesterDid you know you can get paid to poke around on websites and test out apps? It’s called user testing.
Basically, companies will pay regular folks like us to offer feedback on websites and apps. How’s the design? Can you find your way around? Have questions that aren’t answered?
You can make up to $60 per test through sites like UserTesting. The best part? You don’t need any user-testing experience — just a solid internet connection.
29. Become a Freelancer and Set Your Own Hours
Have you considered freelancing? You can operate as a freelancer in just about any industry — from freelance writing to accounting to design to web development.
If you’re just starting out, consider finding gigs through freelance platforms. This will help you gain experience and connect with clients — without having to put a whole lot of work into marketing your services.
30. Sell Your Photos (Even If You Took Them With Your Phone)
Fancy yourself a solid amateur photographer? Instead of posting all day, every day, to Instagram, why not turn your work into some extra cash?
Start with a stock photography marketplace like Foap.
Download the Foap app, then upload your photos — even if you took them with your phone. When your photo is purchased, you automatically profit. Because Foap does most of the legwork, you’ll split the profit 50-50.
Want to go even bigger? Upload high-quality images to Shutterstock, one of the more popular stock photography sites. Each time your photo (or video) is sold, you pocket up to 30% of the sale price (while retaining the copyright).
31. Earn $12/Hour Doing Random Google Searches
Search engines (think: Google, Yahoo and Bing) use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see — and they don’t always get it right.
Although these algorithms are “smart,” they’re also prone to errors. Imagine searching for photos of hummingbirds — only for a photo of a seagull to pop up. Or maybe you’re looking for some news on immigration — only to find you’re reading a tabloid site.
That’s where humans can intervene as search engine evaluators. It’s your job to analyze search results and judge them based on quality, relevance and usefulness. And you can earn around $12 an hour or doing so.
32. Tutor Kids From Around the World (From Your Couch)
Did you know you can make money tutoring online?
There are several online-learning platforms focused on teaching English as a second language to students in other countries. For example, Angela Brumbaugh is a QKids teacher. She teaches 36 half-hour sessions a week and makes up to $20 an hour through the platform.
Then there’s VIPKID, another online tutoring site. Jennifer Ross works part time for the company, and at $22 an hour, she brings home more than $520 a week.
Our Favorite Work-From-Home Advice
Making money from home sounds all glitz and glam — and it can be, in a sweatpants kind of way. But there are also things you need to know before fully diving in. Here are a few resources to help you get started:
- If you’re looking for a full-time work-form-home job, we rounded up 15 of our favorite remote job boards.
- Listen: There are a lot of work-from-home scams out there, so be sure to use your best judgement. We shared exactly how we vet the work-from-home jobs we write about — so you can do it on your own, too.
- If you’re looking to settle into a full-time work-from-home job, you’ll want to stock your home office with the essentials. Trust us when we say: Working from a couch all day isn’t good for your posture!
- Oof. Taxes. You should know about these work-from-home tax deductions. Plus, how to handle your taxes when you have a side gig.
- Are you looking for a side gig? You can find those in our list of 45 legitimate ways to make money online.
Happy working from home!