19 Ridiculous Ways to Make $10,000 You Definitely Haven’t Thought of Yet

$10,000 in cash
Flickr/CooperWeb


No matter how you slice it, an extra $10,000 would be nice.

A bite out of college tuition.

A healthy starting point for retirement investing.

Depending on your location, it could even be a downpayment on a new home for your family to live in or rent out for profit.

But it’s a lot of money to save!

So we’ve gathered these weird ways you could earn that extra cash… and how much effort you’d need to put into each to do so.

1. Sell Pine Cones

Yes, seriously.

Or K-Cups. Or instruction manuals. Or the cartons your eggs come in. People buy so much random stuff on eBay.

How many pine cones you’d have to sell: 25,000 at 25 cents each.

2. Drive With Lyft

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can drive days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Not sure which ride-sharing app is best for you? Here's our guide to Lyft versus Uber.

How many hours you’d have to drive with Lyft: If you average about $18 an hour like Pruce, you could earn $10,000 after 556 hours of driving.

3. Sell Your Poop

No, that’s not a typo.

In fact, some people once earned up to $13,000 a year for their… deposits.

There is one catch: You have to live in the vicinity of Medford, Massachusetts, where OpenBiome uses the poop to help physicians around the country treat infections of a nasty bacterial infection.

And you also have to be OK with… selling your poop.

How many “samples” you’d have to provide: 250. Hope you’re regular!

4. Tell Companies How You Really Feel About Their Products

If you don’t mind filling out surveys while you’re vegging out on the couch, you could reap rewards.

Plus, you get a chance to make your voice heard. It’s like writing a Yelp review… that might win you a free vacation!

One platform we like is MyPoints. It 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.

How many surveys you’d have to take: Point values vary depending on how you redeem them. Let’s say each survey is worth $1; you’d have to complete 10,000 surveys.

5. Put Your Trivial Knowledge to Good Use

If you’re one of those people who can pull useless pieces of knowledge from out of nowhere, you’ll want to download this app.

It’s called HQ Trivia. With at times more than a million players logging on at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern each day to play, you might’ve heard of it.

“Quiz Daddy” Scott Rogowsky is the game’s main host. He asks 12 questions. You’ve got three multiple-choice options and 10 seconds to answer each. If you get all 12 questions correct, you’ll split the grand prize (around $5,000 lately, though it’s been $25,000 or more on randomly chosen special occasions) amongst the other winners.

How much you win depends on how many winners share the pot with you.

How many questions you’d have to answer correctly: Say you get about $100 each time you win. You’d have to win 1,000 games — or at least 12,000 questions.

6. Start a Cricket Farm

Not afraid of things that hop, crawl and scuttle?

You could try cricket farming. Stick with us.

It’s pretty easy to get started, and there’s actually more demand for crickets than you might think. Reptile owners have to feed their pets.

You basically just need a fish tank, egg cartons and dirt to set up your habitat, and once you start breeding the crickets, they can sell for up to $12 for 250. By the way, the females lay five to 10 eggs… per day.

Check out our full-blown guide to cricket farming to get started. And hey, if the business falls through, you’ve got a home-grown source of protein for yourself!

You’re brave, right?

How many crickets you’d have to sell: 208,333.33 crickets. Wonder which third of the last one you’ll get…

7. Help a Business Professional Organize Their Day

If you have a knack for organization and communication, some busy professionals or self-employed folks will pay you to help organize their day.

You don’t have to be the busy corporate assistant you see in old movies or TV — now you can be a virtual assistant right from your couch. VA gigs vary in pay, hours and workload.

You might help people and businesses with data entry, social media management, website maintenance, research and customer service. And you could earn up to $60 an hour doing it!

Find virtual assistant jobs through these sites:

How many hours you’d have to work: 167 hours at $60 an hour.

8. Test Websites Drunk

Like surfing the internet? Like drinking?

You could take a page out of Richard Littauer’s book and charge website owners to browse their sites… while tipsy.

Why, you may ask?

Well, by testing how navigable a website is while you’re drunk, you can give the creator valuable information about how to make the interface foolproof — and flask-proof — and the experience user-friendly.

The idea is a site should be so easy to navigate, someone should be able to use it while drunk.

Littauer’s a user experience professional and an engineer — what you might call a professional web-surfer. So your mileage in this business may vary… but man, what a sweet gig if you can land it.

How many beers you’d have to drink: To make $10,000, you’d have to test 200 websites at Littauer’s original price of $50. If it takes you three beers to work up a sufficient buzz, that’s 600 beers!

9. Try This Scratch-off App

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 app called Lucktastic. 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, enter contests and play games.

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.

How many tickets you’d have to scratch: Instant wins vary, so this could anywhere between one… and 10,000.

10. Open a New Credit Card

If you’ve been following The Penny Hoarder for a while, you know we love making our credit cards work for us.

We take advantage of their awesome rewards and go in for sweet sign-up bonuses.

As long as you’re responsible, cash-back credit cards can be a simple way to make extra money without ever having to think about it.

Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.

There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire. Sign up — and get a 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.

Our advice is to set your rewards card to automatically pay your monthly bills: You’ll earn rewards and keep everything paid on time, without giving either a second thought.

How many points you’d have to earn: 1,000,000. That’s just over $660,000 in groceries, gas, utilities and more.

11. Cook Dinner in Your Own Kitchen

Can’t get enough of shows like “Chopped” or “Cutthroat Kitchen”? Itching to recreate some of the inventive meals you see chefs whip up?

Well, don’t just sit there.

Get in the kitchen, grab a knife, and start cooking! You could make those meals into money with foodshare programs like EatWith.

How many meals you’d have to prepare: If you charged $10 per meal, you’d have to make 1,000 meals to earn $10,000.

12. Scare Your Friends and Family

Obsessed with Halloween?

If you regularly pull out all the stops on your costume and decorations, you might be a good candidate to start your very own haunted house.

This team of brothers made not just $10,000, but $200,000 — in one month.

Granted, if you had their startup cost handy, you might not be reading this post. But if you have any, it’s a scary smart way to double your money.

How many people you’d have to scare: 400. You might even have more Facebook friends than that!

13. Shovel Your Driveway

Gear up for winter!

Although you may not have quite as much supply as Kyle Waring did in the famous Boston snowstorm of 2015, it turns out people in sunny locales will actually buy boxes of snow.

Because it’s exotic or they’re masochists or something.

How many boxes of snow you’d have to sell: 112 six-pound boxes — or 500.5 16.9-ouncers!

14. Pour Drinks

If you can open a bottle and your spill rate is less than, say, 15%, you can land a sweet gig as a brand ambassador (read: the smiling woman pouring samples of coconut rum at the liquor store).

One of our writers earned between $20 and $30 per hour as a brand ambassador. Not bad!

How many shots you’d have to pour: Say you do one a minute. To get to $10,000, you’d have to pour 24,000 shots and make $25 an hour.

15. Find a Red Paperclip

Remember Montreal’s Kyle MacDonald?

Refresher: Although he was never handed $10,000 in cash, he was able to barter his way up from a humble red paper clip until he owned a house, ABCNews reported in 2006.

Significant stops along the way included a snowmobile, a recording-studio contract and an afternoon hanging out with Alice Cooper.

He traded all of these items until he was offered a home in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada. How’s that for a weird way to make money?

How many red paperclips you’d need: If you’re as wily as MacDonald, just one!

16. Give Fluffy a Massage

Our faithful companions need spa days, too.

If you adore animals and have strong (and tender) hands, consider becoming a pet massage therapist. You could earn up to $120 an hour.

How many pets you’d need to massage: 286 half-hour pet massages at $35 each.

17. Play Video Games

Yep, it’s actually possible to earn money playing video games.

But you have to really like video games. We’re not talking about your Candy Crush “obsession.”

Cory Michael started streaming his game sessions and commentary on the internet as a hobby in 2014. Over time, a lot of people — more than 29 million — have tuned in to watch him on Twitch, a free video streaming service that launched in 2011.

With that kind of audience, Twitch accepted his partnership application and agreed to pay him to play.

Now he’s turned broadcasting video games on Twitch from his home into a full-time job that pays him six figures a year.

How many hours you’d need to play: A lot.

18. Share Stories About Your Kids on Parenting Blogs

If you’ve got kids, you’ve got automatic story generators.

From pregnancy fashion choices to dealing with finding your tween daughter’s dating profile, there’s lots to say about parenthood.

As long as you have a way with words, you can generate some cash off those face-palm parenting snafus. Here are our favorite parenting magazines and blogs that pay contributors, most around $50 per article.

How many stories you’d have to share: 200. Good thing your kid’s antics never stop.

19. Get in Shape

Picture this: You step on the scale and finally see your goal weight.

Congratulations! But it gets even better.

You’re about to receive a generous check to spend on a celebratory dress in your new size, stock up on household necessities, or to wisely stick into savings — all just for losing weight!

It’s not a fantasy. If you wager on your own commitment with HealthyWage, this could very well happen for you… if you stick to your guns and lose the weight.

It’s simple. Sign up for HealthyWage, and define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it. Place a monetary 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!

How many pounds you’d need to lose: This will vary based on your wager. Read our HealthyWage review to learn more.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

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