21 Simple Ways for Women to Make Extra Money in Their Free Time
Despite what my alumni association and dozens of credit card offers — so cordially addressed to “Mr. Kohler” — would have you believe, I, Carson Kohler, am in fact a woman.
And I’m a woman who likes to make money.
Sure, I have a full-time job with a solid salary and benefits. But I can always use extra cash to help out with rent, groceries and unnecessary splurges.
In my search for income, I found a ton of ways women can make money (without necessarily welcoming unknown humans into your car), including starting a work-from-home business, investing in real estate online and even becoming a mermaid.
21 Ways for Women to Make Money
In the words of Shania Twain: “Let’s go, girls.”
1. Start a Work-From-Home Business
Working from home is the dream, right?
But sometimes you don’t want to slip into any ol‘ customer service gig. Try striking up your own home-based business. You’ll truly get to set your own hours and determine your week’s workload.
If you’re not sure where to start, this free online course from Proofread Anywhere will lay it all out for you.
Joanna Kelley, a mom of three, discovered Proofread Anywhere and decided to give the free seven-day introductory course a try. Now, she works five to 20 hours a week and makes up to $1,200 a month in her own time.
Curious about that free course? Get started with Proofread Anywhere here.
2. Invest in Real Estate (Online)
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 interest payments and property income (e.g. rent). You’ll get paid via quarterly distributions, plus extra periodic distributions if properties are sold.
(But remember: Investments come with risk. While Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since at least Q2 2016, your payment is never guaranteed.)
You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.
Interested? Get started with Fundrise here.
3. Stock up Your Coins
Acorns is a simple savings and investment app that rounds your credit or debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and invests the digital change.
You can connect the app to your credit or debit card and let it automatically round up all your transactions, or manually round up only the ones you choose.
Contributor CJ Reid does the latter, accepting roundups of less than $0.50, such as her $3.60 cup of coffee.
“Rounding up 40 cents here and 25 cents there moves me swiftly enough to $5 so that I can begin investing without putting myself into the red,” she says.
Once your round ups reach $5, that amount will be transferred from your bank to your Acorns account, and invested into your chosen portfolio.
“Acorns makes it easy to invest by removing the responsibility of choosing individual investments or worrying about trades,” Reid explains. “You don’t need any previous investment knowledge or history.”
And once you get the process automated, Acorns investments make your digital change work for you.
“With a conservative portfolio,” Reid says, “I turned $15 into $19 within a few weeks.”
Bonus: Right now, Acorns will give you $10 after you sign up and make your first investment.
4. Earn Cash Back on Your Purchases Automatically
The Drop app wants to… drop some cash in your wallet.
Link your credit and debit cards, and you’ll earn points whenever you make a qualifying purchase.
This can happen when you’re grocery shopping, hailing an Uber or even ordering a pizza. The points will add up, and you can exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks.
You can sign up and download the app here.
5. Teach English Online
Always dreamt of moving abroad to teach English as a second language, but have commitments stateside? Thanks to the internet, you can still share your knowledge with students in China.
VIPKID is hiring part-time ESL teachers to work at least 7.5 hours per week, mostly on weekday mornings and weekend evenings. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, plus experience working with kids ages 5 to 12.
The base pay is between $7 and $9 per half-hour session, and with bonuses, the company states you can earn up to $22 an hour.
6. Swim out Your Lifelong Dream as a Professional Mermaid
Y’all. Childhood dreams do come true.
Various parks, aquariums and bars/lounges around the U.S. employ women to perform as mermaids.
The only catch? You’ve got to be a strong swimmer. You’ve also got to be willing to make at most $12 an hour as a Florida state worker.
But, hey, for some, living out a lifelong dream is worth it.
(Note: The park also employs princes.)
7. Serve as a Mock Juror
Like every other person these days, I’ve become obsessed with true-crime podcasts. “My Favorite Murder,” anyone?
If you want an insider look at what happens when a case hits the courtroom, you can serve as an online mock juror. As a mock juror, you’ll help lawyers prepare for real cases. You can earn $10 to $60 for about an hour of your time.
From your computer, you’ll review evidence including documents, videos and photos.
8. Get Paid to Get Fit
Listen. Losing weight and getting fit is easier said than done. (I’ve been saying this for years now, and I haven’t gotten it done…)
But will a little bit of money motivate you?
It’s motivating Marcie Hagner, who has placed a bet on her weight-loss goals through HealthyWage. If she can lose the 50 pounds she bet she could, she’ll pocket $862.
Read more about how she’s finding motivation to lose weight through HealthyWage.
9. Consider a Different Kind of Ride Sharing
We constantly hear about ride-sharing services, but to be honest, I wouldn’t feel super safe driving into an unfamiliar part of town and picking up an unfamiliar person.
If you do, that’s great. If not, there are some solid alternatives out there, including a ride-sharing service for kids called HopSkipDrive. The idea sparked when three moms, who struggled to juggle full-time jobs with shuffling their kids around town, put their heads together.
You can earn money through the app as a CareDriver, contractors who are thoroughly vetted and pick up kids from school, soccer practice, a ballet rehearsal… you name it. HopSkipDrive says drivers make up to $30 an hour.
The service is only available in California right now, but keep an eye out for news of expansion.
10. Earn Cash Back for Online Purchases
If you do a chunk of your shopping online, you could be missing out on some extra money.
Sign up for 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 archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its participating retailers, it will track the item’s price and issue you a refund anytime there’s a price drop.
You don’t have to do anything.
Plus, if something shows up late, Paribus will help you get money back for what you paid for shipping — up to a full refund.
11. Swipe for Cash Back on Everything
If you’re looking for a passive way to earn some money throughout the year, a cash-back credit card is perhaps one of the easiest methods.
You just have to be sure you don’t get too carried away with those purchases — and that the card is paid off at the end of each billing period.
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. We checked Credible’s annual rewards calculator, and it estimates $417 in annual rewards based on our spending habits.* (You can enter your unique spending habits and see what you’d earn, too.)
Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.
12. Deliver Takeout
Sweet, sweet takeout. Sure, you love it. You probably spend too much money on it. Don’t we all? Earn some of those expenses back by delivering orders to others through Uber Eats.
For Uber Eats, requirements vary by location but tend to require you to:
- Be at least 19 years old if delivering by car.
- Deliver via car (must be a 1997 or newer with at least two doors), bike, scooter or foot depending on your area.
- Pass a background check.
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (if you deliver by car or scooter).
For all the information you need, head over to the Uber Eats sign-up page.
13. Rent out Your Old Baby Gear
Are you a mom?
You’ve probably got a lot of baby gear. Think: a crib, a car seat, a playset. Don’t let them collect dust when your kid starts growing out of all that stuff. You can rent out those old baby necessities to traveling parents. Because it costs how much to check a stroller on a plane?!
Check out this peer-to-peer rental site called goBaby. There, parents who are traveling can hit you up for that stroller or car seat so they don’t have to travel with the cumbersome gear.
And you can make some money. Sounds like a win-win.
14. Share Your Unique Experiences
As a freelance blogger, you can work as much or little as you want, so this makes a nice side gig.
Here are some of our favorite resources for freelancers. These include everything from how to make up to six figures to how to keep track of your income.
15. Rent out Your Car
If you own a reliable vehicle, but leave it sitting in your driveway all the time, you could turn it into an income stream by renting it out!
Through Turo, you can rent your car to a community of approved drivers.
Here’s how it works:
- To get started, list your car for rent here.
- Create a calendar to let travelers know when your car is available.
- You’ll get notified when someone requests your car. Just coordinate a meeting place, or deliver the car right to the traveler at the airport or other location.
- Get paid!
Turo will dynamically set your car’s rental price based on market value, location, time of year and other data. For a car with a market value of $10,000, Turo suggests you could earn about $1,800 a year renting it just five days a month.
You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you provide your own commercial rental insurance, you’ll earn 90%.
16. Make Money via Amazon
Sure, you might spend a lot of money on Amazon, but you can also make a lot of money on the platform, too.
Consider: Selling products, becoming a work-from-home customer service agent or delivering packages through Amazon Flex. The options are endless… well, until you hit 11 because we rounded up 11 ways to make money on Amazon.
17. Cash in on Minimalism
Living that #Minimalist lifestyle is all the rage right now, so why not use this mentality to your advantage?
Start taking a good hard look at your belongings. What do you actually need? What can you make money from?
- Clothes: If you have clothes you haven’t worn in the last year, why do you hang onto them? Try selling them to folks in your area through an online marketplace like Letgo. It takes about five minutes to create your account and list an item, and it’s free.
- Technology: About your overcrowded entertainment center, likely full of outdated music and movies… Consider selling these items to Decluttr. It’ll buy your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, video games and even cell phones and tablets. Shipping is free, and Decluttr pays you within 24 hours of retrieval.
- Books: Bookshelf collecting dust? We love books as much as the next person, but see whether your treasures are worth anything by simply searching their ISBNs at Bookscouter. The platform searches dozens of buyback sites to see where you could get the most money.
- Gift cards: While you’re digging out those stiff winter coats, check the pockets. You might come across a gift card or two in there. If you do, sell it for rent money through a gift-card exchange site like Raise.
Ready, set, purge.
18. Sell Your Doodles
If you have a knack for designing and drawing, you can submit your creations to become rubber stamps through an online retailer like Azeeda, formerly Stamp-Press.
As a stamp designer for Azeeda, you’ll submit your designs and, if accepted, you’ll get paid on commission.
Learn more about submitting your designs for stamps, stencils and gift tags.
19. Strike a Prose
I cannot tell a lie: I’ve spent way too long in way too many greeting card aisles.
If you’re struggling to pick out the perfect prose, why not just get paid to write some new cards of your own?
20. Get Paid to Enjoy Spa Treatments
Spa day, anyone? Sign me up. Get paid for it? Heck yeah!
Wondering how? Two words: Mystery shopping.
Mystery shopping is the act of posing as a customer but secretly reviewing services and products — and getting paid to do so. You can get paid to go mystery shopping for just about anything, including spa treatments.
Penny Hoarder contributor Steve Gillman put together a list of mystery shopper jobs, and, yes, one includes going to the spa.
21. Fill This out While You Watch TV
Surveys aren’t our favorite way to make money, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch, why not click a couple buttons and earn a few bucks?
Here are some of the best paid survey sites we’ve found:
- Ipsos i-Say: You might recognize the Ipsos Panel name because it’s the same company that does most of the political polling during elections. Some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10 to 15 minutes.
- 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.
- InboxDollars offers several short, daily surveys you can take. If you take all of them each day, you could earn an extra $730 a year — not too bad.
OK Now Ladies…
Whether you’re looking for ways to make rent, start investing or even just treat yourself to a vacation, it’s time to make some money.
See you at the next mermaid tryouts.
*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.
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s humming along to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”