32 Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home
So you’re looking for ways to make money from home… Join the crowd!
Thanks to a genius invention called the internet, Americans are discovering more and more creative ways to cushion their bank accounts from the comforts of home.
Not sure where to start? Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and keep reading.
How to Make Money From Home in 2019
If you’re looking to make money online, you’ll need to exercise caution. There are a lot of scams out there, but don’t fret: We’ve tested each item on this list.
Yup — none of them involve Nigerian princes, and you really will get paid.
Without further ado, here are 32 legitimate ways to earn extra cash from home.
1. Get Paid to Watch Videos Online
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 specific 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 a half hour.
The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!
2. Find Hidden Money in Your Inbox
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called 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 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, Paribus 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, Paribus will help you get compensated.
Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.
3. Get Paid 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:
- 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.
4. Earn $12/Hour Doing Random Google Searches
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.
5. Play Free Scratch-off Tickets
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 that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.
The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.
6. Invest in Real Estate (You Don’t Have to Be Rich)
Not everyone has “buy a house” kind of money.
You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started with Fundrise. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500, and 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.
In addition to four rental properties, Christopher and Meghan Miller have invested in a diversified portfolio of real estate projects across the country — from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles — through Fundrise’s automated investment experience.
“I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants,” Christopher says.
They follow the progress of each project they’ve invested money into through Fundrise, and Christopher receives automatic payments directly into his checking account.
(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.)I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants.
You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.
7.Earn up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper
Can you open an excel spreadsheet? Does earning $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.
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.
8. Earn Cash Back on Groceries, Beauty and More
Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within Ibotta.
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.
9. Invest in the Budding Cannabis Industry
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.
10. Start Investing With Just $10, and Grow Your Money 50 Times Faster
Personal finance 101: Where you stash your money is almost as important as how much you have. Believe it or not, you don’t need to start out with a lot to be a smart investor.
With a free app called Worthy, you can start investing with just $10.
No matter how much, that money is yours. You want to grow it safely, right? Your first thought is a savings account, which will earn you an average of 0.10%, according to an April 2019 report by the FDIC. That’s practically stagnant.
You’ve got to think outside your bank.
Worthy is a microinvesting app that pays out a fixed 5% annual interest rate — around 50 times more than what you’d get from the bank. And a lot more stable than investing in stocks.
It invests in bonds that act like a savings account — you can deposit or withdraw money at any time with no fees or penalties. You can even set up a recurring investment or use Worthy’s round-up program to invest your spare change.
11. Get Your True-Crime Fix by Joining a Mock Jury
Jury duty isn’t always fun, but what if you could do it from the comfort of home? Becoming an online mock juror can be an interesting way to make some extra money.
Here’s how it works: Attorneys present cases to online juries as a way to test it before trial — to find that’s working and what isn’t and craft the best arguments.
You can sign up as an online juror through a site like eJury. When a new case is submitted, you’ll be notified. Jump in to review the case and answer questions. You can earn $5 to $10 per case, depending on its length.
12. Sell Your Crafts, Vintage Finds and Even Project Supplies
If you’re creative, you can make some decent money selling your work through Etsy. Although there are some fees, including a 5% transaction charge, the marketplace connects you with more than 33 million buyers globally.
That’s a whole lot of potential customers.
Establish a strong brand and backstory. Connecting with customers makes them more likely to spend time on your shop.
Even if you aren’t creating masterpiece paintings or elegant jewelry or adorable baby clothes, you can still make money through the platform. For example, one Penny Hoarder contributor, Janet Berry-Johnson, made about $200 a month selling needlecraft kits and patterns.
Maybe you’re more of a vintage type? Adventure through flea markets and even eBay to find vintage items you can fix up and resell through the platform.
Sure, this is still work — but not really, if you enjoy it!
13. Start a Blog
The startup costs for blogs are minimal: Just secure your domain name and hosting — only $2.95 a month from Bluehost.
You’ll need to write some quality content to get into WordPress (or your blogging platform of choice) and start sharing it through social media. Once you feel comfortable, you can monetize your blog through Google AdSense and affiliate programs for some nice passive income.
Sound appealing? Follow our seven-step guide to starting a blog.
14. Use Your Type-A Skills as a Virtual Assistant
If you have a knack for organization and communication, you just might make the perfect virtual assistant.
These days, you don’t have to be the busy corporate assistant you see in old movies or on TV. You can work right from your couch.
Folks will pay you to help schedule their days, answer emails, update their website, run social media accounts and book travel accommodations — all from the comfort of your couch.
15. Sell Your Old Books for Amazon Gift Cards
Have old college textbooks taking up valuable shelf space? You could host a garage sale or sell them on eBay or Craigslist, but one of the easiest ways to get rid of them is through Amazon.
With Amazon Trade-in, you can trade in your used textbooks, plus other items, like electronics, in exchange for an Amazon gift card.
Just enter the item’s information on Amazon’s Trade-In page to see how much you could pocket. Shipping is free.
16. Help Make the Internet Better as a User-TesterDid you know you can get paid to poke around on websites and test out apps? It’s called user testing.
Basically, companies will pay regular folks like us to offer feedback on websites and apps. How’s the design? Can you find your way around? Have questions that aren’t answered?
You can make up to $60 per test through sites like UserTesting. The best part? You don’t need any user-testing experience — just a solid internet connection.
17. Sell Your Photos (Even If You Took Them With Your Phone)
Fancy yourself a solid amateur photographer? Instead of posting all day, every day, to Instagram, why not turn your work into some extra cash?
Start with a stock photography marketplace like Foap.
Download the Foap app, then upload your photos — even if you took them with your phone. When your photo is purchased, you automatically profit. Because Foap does most of the legwork, you’ll split the profit 50-50.
Want to go even bigger? Upload high-quality images to Shutterstock, one of the more popular stock photography sites. Each time your photo (or video) is sold, you pocket up to 30% of the sale price (while retaining the copyright).
18. Become a Freelancer and Set Your Own Hours
Have you considered freelancing? You can operate as a freelancer in just about any industry — from freelance writing to accounting to design to web development.
If you’re just starting out, consider finding gigs through freelance platforms. This will help you gain experience and connect with clients — without having to put a whole lot of work into marketing your services.
19. Rent out Your Ping-Pong Table
Got a Ping-Pong table you don’t use? Someone might need it for a party, so why not rent it out? You can make money with almost anything in your home now thanks to websites like Zilok that make it easy to rent out your stuff.
Zilok is free for individual members to create listings, but rental businesses have to pay fees. To list your item on Zilok, you’ll have to create a post with a description, photos and a price per day. Once a renter finds your product, Zilok takes a commission depending on the listing price. For everything under $10, the commission fee is $1. Fees range between 5% and 9% for all other price categories.
20. Monetize Your Doodles
Are you an aspiring artist? Do you want to get paid for your art?
It’s not easy, but it can be done.
We talked to one artist who earns around $2,000 per month selling his art online. He markets his business through Instagram. He sells unique screen prints that he creates, and also does commissioned artwork for freelance clients.
His advice: Start small. Create marketable products. Push yourself
21. Cash out on Your YouTube Videos
Is your cat hilarious? Are you really good at impersonations? Maybe you like doing crazy stunts.
Upload a video to YouTube.
Contributor Steven Gillman did just that. He monetized his YouTube videos with Google AdSense. For example, he shot 10 videos about ultralight backpacking. No, they didn’t become huge hits, but he’s made more than $1,000 since uploading them.
“Alas,” says Gillman, “our videos never went viral, but they did generate more than one thousand dollars of income over the years.”
22. Rent out Your Trendy Clothes
Are your friends always complimenting your great sense of style? Try making money off that killer taste!
You can rent out your clothing online through a site like Style Lend.
There are a ton of others on the market, but take sure to read the fine print on rental sites. Some don’t charge any fees to the buyers and sellers, but some charge a rental commission per order. You’ll need to price your wears accordingly to account for any commission handed over to the company.
23. Write Love Letters
Even in this digital age, greeting cards are still a thing, and you can contribute. You don’t even have to leave your computer!
Former Penny Hoarder writer Tyler Omoth has gotten paid up to $50 a piece to write greeting cards. But it’s not a way to get rich quickly.
“I sometimes sent in as many as 70 ideas for various holidays or occasions,” Omoth admits, “and would get a response saying, ‘We really like these three ideas.’”
Bottom line: It can be a fun and interesting side hustle, but don’t expect to make a fortune.
Some greeting card companies will pay you more for your words, art or photos. We put together a list of eight card companies that’ll pay you up to $300 for submissions.
24. Make Money Doing Voice-Overs
Janna Polzin, a stay-at-home mom in Toronto, earns money by talking to herself. In her closet.
After her son was born in 2013, this stage actress turned to the online acting community and kept hearing about one voice-acting platform again and again: Voices.com.
“I often walk away from my computer thinking, I can’t believe I just made money from that!” she says.
Voices.com is an international online voice-over acting marketplace that helps vocal talent — both professional and amateur — find clients who need them.
25. Do Calligraphy on the Side
Maybe you don’t want to be a content writer, but if you have excellent handwriting skills and a set of calligraphy tools, you can address envelopes. You could make $2 to $5 a pop just for being a talented calligraphy writer!
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but book a wedding with 100 guests, and you could rake in $200 or more for handwritten invites.
Launch your own website to sell your services, or offer calligraphy through Etsy. For example, Margo Dittmer gets creative with her calligraphy services and sells custom wedding certificates for $175 each on Etsy.
26. Design PowerPoint Presentations
If you have a knack for designing awesome PowerPoint presentations, turn your talent into a money-maker.
Graphic designer Magda Maslowska designs custom presentations and infographics for businesses and keynote speakers who don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves. If you have an eye for great presentations, consider launching a business of your own.
27. Write and Sell an Ebook
If you’re a subject-matter expert or have an intriguing life experience, you could write a book. But there’s no need to send it off to all the major publishing houses in New York City.
You can self-publish ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Writer Steve Gillman wrote a book in a week. Note: Ebooks don’t have be hundreds of pages long. Gillman found many books as short as 6,000 words.
After publishing on Amazon, he started making $350 a month. The best part? He continued to make money, even months and years later.
How much you can you make?
How much you make hinges on a number of variables, including how much you list your book for and how many copies sell. For reference, Amazon pays writers up to 70% royalties on ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
28. Sell Your Trash
Americans throw away approximately 266 million tons of trash every year, and it turns out we might as well be throwing away cash.
There’s a reason dumpster diving has become so popular in recent years, and it’s because things you think are worth nothing often do have value.
Anything from your empty wine bottles to old magazines can be sold online. Here’s a full list of the things in your trash that might be worth cash.
29. Tutor Kids From Around the World (From Your Couch)
Did you know you can make money tutoring online?
There are several online-learning platforms focused on teaching English as a second language to students in other countries. For example, Angela Brumbaugh is a QKids teacher. She teaches 36 half-hour sessions a week and makes up to $20 an hour through the platform.
Then there’s VIPKID, another online tutoring site. Jennifer Ross works part-time for the company, and at $22 an hour, she brings home more than $520 a week
30. Make Your Own Schedule as a Data-Entry Clerk
Data entry isn’t the best-paying online job, but it is one you can do with few skills or previous experience — all you need is a solid internet connection and a computer, and you must be at least 18 years old.
Pay ranges on a per-hour or per-project basis. Typically, you can pick up jobs as frequently as you’d like through freelance broker sites like Smart Crowd and Clickworker.
31. Sign up for a New Credit Card
One of the best ways for a Penny Hoarder to make some serious extra cash is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses.
Of course, to get the most benefit, you should have excellent credit, and pay off your card in full each month so you’re not paying interest. (After all, every time you pay interest, you’re losing some of the positive effects of the bonuses.)
For those of you wondering, here’s how opening and closing credit cards affects your credit score (Hint: You can do it without causing too much harm).
32. Create an Online Course
You don’t need experience or a degree to make money teaching on Udemy. If people want to learn what you have to teach, you can create a potentially profitable video course at home. Curious? Here’s where you can find out more about how to create a Udemy course.