Raining? 15 Entertaining Ways to Make Money When You’re Stuck Inside
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Rainy days sound nice — in theory.
You spend the day tucked under a quilt, only emerging for bathroom breaks and food deliveries. Your thumb gets a workout: click, click, click. “Yes, I’m still watching Netflix.”
The rain pitter-patters in the background. The curtains remain drawn. This is hibernation at its finest.
In reality, rainy days can be craze-inducing if you’re stuck at home. Before the skies opened up, you’d planned to check so many errands off your to-do list. And watching “Evil Genius” more than three times just makes you feel like you’re spinning in circles.
15 Entertaining Ways to Make Money on a Rainy Day
Entertaining? Money? You might rather watch the “Evil Genius” opener on loop. But trust us on this one: We rounded up some fun ways to make money while you hide from the rain today.
1. Share Your Opinion — but Not in an Angsty Facebook Status
Sure, we’ve all got opinions. And sometimes the most angsty ones bubble up and over on those moody rainy days. Rather than taking to Facebook or Twitter, let some of that energy out through online surveys.
You won't get rich taking online surveys, but if you're stuck inside on a rainy day, why not?
We’ve tested out a ton of survey sites, but here are two we prefer, both with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau:
- InboxDollars: You can get paid to take short daily surveys. If you qualify for and complete all of them each day, you could pocket an extra $730 in a year. It’s one of our favorites because it rewards you in cold, hard cash.
- Swagbucks: When you take surveys through Swagbucks, you’ll earn SBs, which you can exchange for gift cards and cash. When you sign up and take your first survey, you’ll a $5 bonus. Earn 2500 SBs, and cash out through PayPal.
2. Play Free Digital Scratch-off Tickets
If you’re just sitting around, why not play some mindless scratch-off games?
We’re never going to encourage gambling over here, but if you’re into scratch-offs, you’ll want to download the Lucktastic app.
It’s free, and it releases a new assortment of free digital scratch-off tickets daily. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.
Advertising supports the apps (so you’ll have to watch a few commercials), so it’s able to keep the payouts high and the games free.
3. Snag $10 — Plus Cash Back — Shopping Online
If you’re stuck inside and had big plans to get your errands done, that sucks.
But these days, you can do almost all your shopping online. Need toilet paper? Get it delivered to your door the next day. Been scraping the bottom of the shampoo bottle? Go ahead and peruse all the options online and order some more.
Before you click “Add to Cart,” check out Ebates.
Ebates is an online cash-back shopping portal. If you’re stocking up at Walmart, for example, shop through Ebates, and you could get up to 10% cash back on your purchase total. Plus, you can stack coupons and promo codes with the rebate.
When you make your first purchase of $30 or more through Ebates, you’ll pocket a $10 bonus. Cash it out in the form of cash or gift card.
4. Turn on Netflix and Get an Extra $5
Note the irony of all this Netflix ‘n’ hiding from the rain. You see that shelf over there? We all have one — the one with dusty DVDs. When’s the last time you popped one of those on the TV? Or maybe your shelf is stacked with CDs or video games.
Either way, why not hand them over for some money?
Download the Decluttr app, and start scanning items’ barcodes. Declutter instantly offers a price on the item. Once everything’s been accounted for, check out. Be sure to enter code FREE5 for an extra $5 — on us.
Now, pack the items in a box, print your free shipping label and send it off to Decluttr. You’ll get paid within 24 hours of retrieval.
5. Host a Solo Trivia Night at Your House
Even if you’re terrible at trivia, there’s something thrilling about maybe, just maybe, answering a question correctly.
And if there’s a large cash prize on the line? Even better.
With live trivia game shows, you can play trivia and win big money — without pulling on your galoshes and going to the bar and getting, well, sloshed.
There are several of these games out there, but because Swagbucks is a reader favorite, we recommend Swag IQ. It’s free, and you can play right from your phone.
Each day, Swag IQ hosts live trivia games. The host asks 10 multiple-choice questions, which progressively become more difficult. If you can answer all 10, you’ll split the day’s prize with the other winners. (We’ve seen prizes around $1,000 a day.) If no one wins, it’ll roll over to the next game for an even larger jackpot.
Each prize is awarded in Swagbucks (SBs), reward points you can exchange for cash or gift cards.
6. Start up Your Rainy Day Fund
Rainy day funds are super important. Nope, this isn’t money for pizza delivery. It’s basically a stash of money you’ll save in case of an emergency.
If you have a hard time saving money, though, you’re not alone. A lot of times you have to kind of trick yourself into getting the job done.
Or recruit some help.
The folks who created Long Game have you covered with a game that’s fun and helps you achieve your financial goals.
You set saving “missions” (such as a rainy day fund) and every time you add money to your FDIC-insured Long Game savings account you’ll get closer to completing your mission.
As you save and accomplish missions you’ll earn coins to play mini games for cash prizes! We’re talking the classics, like slot machines, scratch-offs and spin-to-win wheels.
To create an account, you just need to verify your identity and connect your bank account. Then set how much you’d like to automatically save each payday, as little as $5. Get saving right away, because you’ll get a “boost” in your first week: 40 coins per $1 auto-saved and 3 coins per $1 deposited.
Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 points, so you can start playing while you wait for payday.
7. Start Your Real Estate Venture — Without Stepping Outside
Want to try real-estate investing without playing landlord? We found a company that helps you do just that.
Oh, and you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500. A company called 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.
This isn’t an obscure investment, though. You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a set of townhomes in Snoqualmie, Washington, or an apartment building in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares, just like a stock. Cash flow typically comes from interest payments and property income (e.g. rent).
(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.)
You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.
8. File a Class-Action Lawsuit
No one truly knows how many class-action lawsuits are filed each year, but some experts say it’s in the thousands.
Why do we care? A class-action lawsuit is when a group of consumers sue a company due to harm or loss. Basically, something goes wrong with a product or service (think: Volkswagen’s emission scandal), and those affected get a cut of the settlement.
So how do you know if something you own (or owned) has been involved in a class-action lawsuit lately? A little online sleuthing will do the trick.
Each settlement is different, but typically you’ll need to provide proof of purchase (like a serial number or receipt). Once you fill out an online claim, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before receiving your payout.
If you want to see what types of products have been involved in class-action settlements lately, check out some recent claims.
9. See Whether the State Treasury Has Your Unclaimed Money
Want to find some buried treasure? OK, well the ground’s a little wet for that, but you can search for money online. Seriously.
State treasuries throughout the U.S. have more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds, according to The New York Times. It’s just sitting around — waiting for you to come play lost and found.
To see if it’s holding onto your funds, check with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. (Beware: There are several look-alike sites out there. Be sure you’re searching legitimate ones.)
Penny Hoarder reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice, performed a quick search, and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name.
“As I was scrolling through, I saw his name and his middle initial,” she says. She asked him to confirm his old Florida address; he grew up in Tampa. Sure enough, Mark Howell was entitled to $56 from a “matured insurance policy.”
That’s like finding $56 on the ground!
10. Reflect on Sunnier Times
Ah, remember when it used to be sunny outside?
Stuck inside, you remember those sunnier times as you scroll through your phone’s photos. The beach. The green grass. The blue sky.
Yeah, those were the days.
Select your favorite shots and upload them to a free app called Foap, which lets you turn your quality smartphone photos into cash as stock photos.
If someone buys the license to your photo for $10, for example, you’ll pocket an easy $5. If that same photo sells 20 times, you’ll make a cool $100 — with only about five minutes of work.
So, relax. Netflix is calling your name.
11. Reconnect With Old Friends
When life gets busy, it’s easy to lose touch with an old friend. But when you’re stuck inside in a thunderstorm, you get to slow down and reconnect.
Keep these refer-a-friend programs in mind when catching up, because you could make some money. (Don’t throw a referral code in their face if you haven’t talked in a hot minute; that’s just annoying. But share something if it’s really helpful.)
Have a friend who’s having trouble saving money? Let them know about Acorns. Refer enough friends and you could pocket an extra $100 a year.
Or maybe you’re planning a reunion. Tell your friends to check out Groupon — with your referral code. If they sign up, you can bank $10 in Groupon bucks. Win-win for an awesome trip.
For more ways to pocket a few bucks for boasting about your favorite products and services, we put together a list of our favorite refer-a-friend programs.
12. Break out the Craft Box
Rainy days are perfect for crafting. Turn on your favorite podcast for some company and dive into your latest project.
If you’re an efficient crafter, consider selling your goods on Etsy, an online marketplace that draws more than 30 million buyers.
When you open an Etsy shop, you’ll gain access to tools and services that’ll help you run your business a little more smoothly. It costs 20 cents to list an item, then it’ll take a 3.5% transaction fee and a 3% payment processing fee. That’s nothing compared to other platforms.
Or, if you prefer to keep your crafts, we don’t blame you. You can still sell on Etsy. Take notes from Janet Berry-Johnson, who makes an extra $200 a month selling craft supply kits.
13. Write Greeting Cards
Got a way with words and feelings? Get sappy (or sassy) on this rainy day and write greeting cards.
We compiled a list of greeting card companies that’ll pay you.
Scroll to the bottom of our list, and you’ll find a bonus platform where you can make your own cards and earn a percentage of the income. Each time someone buys your card, you’ll get 5% of the purchase. Once you hit $10, you can cash out.
Take notes from Penny Hoarder Tyler Omoth, who made extra money writing greeting cards.
We think this is the purrrrfect gig for creative writers — but we hope you have some better cat puns than that.
14. Enter a Recipe Contest
There’s nothing better than baking a huge pan of grandma’s-recipe brownies on a rainy day. Then eating them all. On accident. Oops.
If you know your way around the kitchen and have crafted some original recipes, why not enter them into a contest to get paid and published?
Like essay contests, new recipe contests are always popping up. We’ve seen recipe contests that paid up to $5,000. If you want to find current openings, roll over to Google and simply search “recipe contests.”
15. Break out the Magnifying Glass and Check Your $1 Bills
Do you have some $1 bills floating around? Did you know they might be worth more than $1?
Check out the serial numbers on your $1 bills. The collectors at Cool Serial Numbers have created a list of their most-wanted serial numbers — and you might have a bill with one of these sequences on it.
Here are a few examples of the sort of serial numbers these collectors are looking for:
- Seven repeating digits in a row on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 09999999, 77777776).
- Seven of a kind on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00010000, 99999099).
- Super repeaters on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 67676767).
- Double quads on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00009999).
If you dig one up, you just might be able to sell it to a collector for some big bucks!
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys rainy days — but no more than two at a time.