13 Weird (But Totally Legal) Ways to Make Extra Money in Canada
We know the internet is full of ways to make money at home… but they’re not all legitimate.
So we’ve weeded out the scams to share some of the best opportunities with you.
These are all ideas we’ve tried before, so we know they’re legit and that you’ll get paid. And we bet there are some in here you’ve never heard of!
Here are 13 ways you can make money from home if you live in Canada:
1. Scan Your Groceries
Did you know that the Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries each week? Crazy, right?
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family, you’ll be asked to simply scan the barcodes on your groceries and send your data off to Nielsen each week. Pretty easy, huh?
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes.
You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles. This is a great way to make your consumer voice count and be rewarded handsomely for recording your purchases. You’re already going to the grocery store anyway, right?
2. Drive With Uber
If you find solace on the road and enjoy finding the best route across town, this is a great way to make money doing it!
As an Uber contractor, you’re responsible for setting your schedule and motivating yourself to work — no one is keeping tabs on you. Your earnings will be calculated by adding a base fare, plus time and distance traveled after your pickup, and Uber charges a service fee (20-35% depending on your city).
If you want to give it a try there are a few things to keep in mind. You must be at least 21 years old, have three years of driving experience, have an in-state driver’s license, a clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check.
Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.
If you don’t have a car that meets the requirements, Uber’s Vehicle Solutions can connect you to options to help you find one from their network of partnerships.
In participating markets, you could rent a vehicle by the week – a simple way to dip your toes into rideshare driving.
If you qualify, you could also apply for a flexible lease with unlimited mileage and payments deducted directly from your Uber earnings. Ready to buy new? Driving with Uber could get you a discount on eligible vehicles.
Here’s a link to sign up to drive with Uber.
3. Fill This Out While You Watch TV
Surveys aren’t our favorite way to make extra money, but if you’re just hanging out watching TV, why not click a few buttons on your phone to put your time to use?
Some of their top-end surveys can pay up to CA$123 (US$95), but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes, making it pretty easy to earn CA$100 or more per month.
4. Get Paid Up to $300/Year to Turn Off the Lights
Toronto residents can earn up to $300/year by syncing their utility accounts to a energy-sharing program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage by one hour per week.
Here’s how it works:
1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account and sync it with your online utility account. OhmConnect will give you up to $75 just for signing up!
2. You must have an online account with Toronto Hydro to participate.
3. OhmConnect will send you weekly payments for reducing your electricity for one hour per week. They do this because you’re helping reduce the high demand that prompts unclean power sources to turn on. They’ll send you up to $300/year, plus you’re helping save the planet!
Plus, with OhmConnect’s new referral program, you can get paid up to $75 to help your friends save money and energy.
For every person who signs up through your link, you’ll earn:
- 500 points ($5) when they sign up with a utility account (Silver status)
- 2,000 points ($20) when they save one kilowatt during an #OhmHour (Gold status)
- 5,000 points ($50) when they participate in 90% of events in a month (Platinum status)
5. Help This Research Company Study Internet Trends
MobileXpression is a research company that studies internet trends and reports to their clients about the popularity of different mobile phone websites. It’s currently looking for a few thousand smartphone users to share some of the websites we are browsing on our mobile devices.
All of the sharing is done with special software that is installed on your phone and it doesn’t require any real work from you. You can also uninstall the software at any time if you decide you no longer want to participate.
After you’ve installed it for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). I won a $25 gift card to Amazon, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.
Note: This one can only be downloaded on Android 5.0 or below.
How it works…
1. Sign up at MobileXpression – You’ll need to share a little bit of information about your demographic which is similar to signing up as a Nielsen household.
2. Download their software – It seems to be pretty easy and it runs in the background of your phone just like any other cell phone app. The site says it will have no affect on your mobile phone performance.
3. Send your data – This step doesn’t really require any work from you as the software automatically send the relevant data to MobileXpression. They don’t monitor your phone calls or personal information but they do check out the web pages you view, the links you access, and the usage times for certain device activities (e.g., text messaging, call lengths and web browsing).
4. Collect your rewards – After it’s been installed for seven days, you can play their instant rewards game where you are guaranteed to win something.
6. Earn Up to $80/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper
Does earning CA$80 (US$60) an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed?
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.
And no, 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.
We talked to Robinson about what it takes to become a virtual bookkeeper, as well as tips and advice for making this career track work for you. You can read the full interview here, or check out his website for more information.
7. Watch YouTube-Like Videos: $30
The folks over at Swagbucks will actually pay you to watch videos on your Android phone or your desktop computer.
Now, most of them aren’t as entertaining as the Grumpy Cat series, but you’re getting paid — so who cares?
The videos are sponsored by brands who need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one of the ads, InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.
Once you watch enough videos to reach $10 (1,000 SBs), you can cash out for gift cards to Amazon, Best Buy and ton of other stores.
You’ll get a free $5 just for signing up and watching your first video.
8. Get a Free $5 from Ebates
Have you heard of Ebates? They are a cash-back site that lets you earn rewards by shopping online. We use them all the time at our house, because it’s instant way to save on everything you buy (for example, they give you up to 5% cash-back on every purchase you make at Amazon).
But, enough about that, here’s how to get a free $5 from Ebates:
- Sign up for Ebates here using your email or Facebook account (it’s free).
- Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to shop online (it’s connected to thousands of stores including Ebay, Amazon, and Home Depot).
- As long as you spend $25 at any of those stores, Ebates will reward you a free five bucks (on top of the cashback rewards you earn normally).
9. Get Paid to Get in Shape
A lot of people want to get in better shape, and you’ll have a little extra motivation if you’re getting paid for it!
10. Clean Up Search Engine Mistakes
Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see. But they don’t always get it right…
They’re actually full of errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevancy and usefulness. That’s where you come in.
You can find search engine evaluator jobs through Lionbridge. You’ll take a qualifying test, and some companies also conduct a phone interview. Once you’re accepted, you can set your own schedule and work as much or little as you want.
11. Work From Home as a Transcriptionist
Transcribing requires little to no prior experience, and offers flexible hours and workloads.
The work sounds easy: Listen to audio and type what you hear. But it can be repetitive and requires a lot of attention to detail.
But the work is flexible and you can do it from home. Plus, the pay is a pretty good selling point: Earn around CA$20-$32 (US$15-$25) per hour for general transcription, and more if you learn to specialize in the legal or medical fields.
12. Help Others Land the Right Job
Do you have contacts who are about to graduate and enter the job market? Or friends looking to make a career change?
Offer to help polish their resume to make it job-search-ready. If you run out of clients in your network, you can also find online resume writing jobs through ResumeEdge and WriterBay. You can earn between $15-$25 per hour.
13. Look for Whale Vomit
Have you ever heard the word “ambergris”?
If so, you might know it’s a coveted ingredient in most high-end perfumes — and that it’s also known as whale vomit!
Gross, I know. But, get this — if you find some, it’s worth $5,000 per pound!
Ambergris is usually secreted by the whale via fecal matter. However, in the rare event that the mass is too large to pass through the digestive tract, it’s vomited up (and out) by the whale.
These lumps usually float around the ocean — but sometimes come ashore.
In fact, we recently shared a story about a guy who found $60,000 in vomit while walking his dog on the beach one day!
If you’re anxious to start combing the beaches in your area, read more about identification techniques and storied discoveries by visiting Ambergris Expertise & Buying Worldwide.