8 (Legal) Ways to Get a Second Income Without Getting a Second Job

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Trying to make extra money can leave a sour taste in your mouth. You might run into a scam or two. And don’t forget about the unsavory companies that want you to “invest in your future.”

Puh-lease. Who has the time?

Instead of messing with fishy ads, check out some legitimate ways you can make extra money on your own time (without buying a bunch of inventory to sell to your friends).

How to Make More Money Without a Second Job

From getting paid to do things you already do to earning cash back on items you’re already planning to purchase, we found 9 easy ways for you to earn up to $336 this week.

A cell phone displays the Inbox Dollars App.
Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder

1. Make an Extra $20 Watching Videos

Let’s kick things off with an easy one. 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 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 half an hour.

The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!

At the end of the week, try to add $15 on top of that $5 bonus, and pull in a solid $20 from doing something you already do.

2. Find a Hidden $5 or More in Your Inbox

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Capital One Shopping Price Protection — 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.

To save time, mom and blog manager Aimee B. does the majority of her shopping online — about 90% of it, she estimates. She stocks up on groceries, clothes and household necessities without leaving home.

In the past two years, Capital One Shopping Price Protection has found Aimee $1,315.41 in savings while shopping online.

“It really is as simple as giving your email address,” she says. “It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Capital One Shopping Price Protection will help you get compensated.

We know you have some old e-receipts collecting dust in your email, so see if this tool can score you an extra $5 to $10 this week.

Disclosure: Capital One Shopping Price Protection compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

3. Get Paid $20 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. Sign up for all of them, and you can pocket $20 in bonuses this week!

  • 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.
  • VIP Voice surveys are relatively quick to complete and reward you with points you can redeem for cash or gift cards. Plus, you’ll still get points for taking surveys even if you don’t qualify to take the whole survey. Plan to login a few times each week, and you’ll have no trouble earning extra money this month with almost no work.
A woman checks her computer while holding a kitten.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

4. Earn $12/Hour Doing Random Google Searches

You know how you ask Google all the random questions that pop into your head? You could get paid for that.

Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see — and they don’t always get it right.

They’re vulnerable to errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevance and usefulness. And those humans can get paid around $12 an hour for the work.

If you want to get paid to clean up Google’s mess (or Bing’s or Yahoo!’s) apply for a job with a company like Lionbridge. The company is often hiring, so if you don’t see any openings now, keep an eye on The Penny Hoarder work-from-home jobs page for the next one.

If you did this for one hour every week day, that’s an easy $60 in a week. If you’re feeling money hungry, add an hour on Friday and Saturday to bump your earnings up to $84. Cha-ching.

5. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)

Take a look at some of the world’s wealthiest people. What do they have in common? Many invest in large private real estate deals. And here’s the thing: There’s no reason you can’t, too — for as little as $10. 

A company called Fundrise lets you get started in the world of real estate by giving you access to a low-cost, diversified portfolio of private real estate. The best part? You don’t have to be the landlord. Fundrise does all the heavy lifting.

Fundrise’s Starter Portfolio has a minimum of only $10 and is geared toward first-time real estate investors. Your money will be invested in the company’s Flagship Fund, which already owns more than $250 million worth of real estate around the country, from apartment complexes to the red-hot housing rental market to larger last-mile e-commerce logistics centers.

Want to invest more? Fundrise offers a variety of account levels and features to fit every type of investor’s needs. Once invested, you can track your performance on Fundrise’s website and mobile app, and watch as properties are acquired, improved and operated. As tenants pay their rent, you could earn money through quarterly dividend payments, and over time, you could earn money off the potential appreciation of the property. Since 2014, Fundrise investors have earned roughly $100 million in dividends alone.

So if you want to get started in the world of real-estate investing, it takes just a few minutes to sign up and create an account with Fundrise.

*Past performance is not indicative of future results. The publicly filed offering circulars of the issuers sponsored by Rise Companies Corp., not all of which may be currently qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission, may be found at www.fundrise.com/oc.

6. Earn up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper

Can you open a spreadsheet? Check. Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? Check. How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed? Check, check, check.

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.

You don’t have to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful, too.

Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and you have no commute. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.

Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch.

At $60 per hour — Robinson’s recommended target rate — you could earn $600 working just 10 hours a week! Even at about $20 per hour as a new bookkeeper, that’s $200 a week. Still pretty good!

Matt Roth for The Penny Hoarder

7. Earn $25 for Shopping

Heading to the store soon?

Here’s how to make your trip pay off: Before you go, search for items on your shopping list within Ibotta, an app that will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes to get paid.

Some deals we’ve seen include:

  • 25 cents cash back for any item.
  • 25 cents back on strawberries.
  • 50 cents back on frozen fruit snacks.
  • $1 back on a box of tea.
  • $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Notice a lot of those aren’t tied to a brand — just shop for the staples on your list, and earn money! Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.

You’ve got a lot of groceries on that list, a.k.a. earning potential, so use Ibotta this week to earn $25 in cash back for buying things you already need. You’ve already got $10 guaranteed, so you only have to find deals for another for $15. Easy.

8. Invest in Cannabis, and Get $5 in Free Stocks

You don’t just want to invest. You want to invest in an industry you believe in. One that could take off and make money.

You want to invest in cannabis, and now you can. You don’t have to have tons of money to invest in the cannabis industry. Using a microinvesting app like Stash, you can invest in increments as little as $5.

Need a nudge? Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to give you an extra $5 after your first investment.

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. It offers more than 40 exchange-traded funds, including one for those who are already seeing green on the cannabis horizon.

But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

Once you sign up with Stash, take a look at the app’s portfolio options, including one cannabis-related ETF, to find an investment blend that meets your goals. You can be as conservative or aggressive as you need to be.