So you need a way to make money from home. Hey, join the crowd. Nearly 4 million Americans are working from home these days. That’s more than the population of Oregon, Utah or Iowa.
In other words, there’s an invisible army of us clocking in and sitting down at our keyboards at home. A 2015 Gallup pollfound that 37% of Americans have telecommuted in their careers — four times as many as in 1995.
Problem is, we all know the internet is chock full of work-from-home scams. So many ripoffs! Seriously, it’s like the Wild West out there, except there’s no Lone Ranger to put things right.
When you’re working from home, you’re truly on your own. You’ve got to look out for yourself, ’cause no one else will.
How to Make Money From Home
With that in mind, we’re trying to do you a solid.
We’ve scoured through thousands of different ideas to find you 32 unique ways to make money from home. I guarantee there are some in here you’ve never heard of.
The important thing is: These methods are all road-tested. These are all ideas we’ve tried before, so we know they’re real and that you’ll really get paid.
Here are 32 legitimate ways to make money from home:
1. Get $5 From Stash to Start Saving
It’s no brilliant secret that investing can be a smart way to make money.
Sometimes, though, it feels restricted to a few wealthy elite.
But Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000. (The first month is free.)
Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money.
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.
Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get an extra $5 bonus to get started.
2. Collect Points For Gift Cards Through Drop
Pssstt… we’ve got a secret.
There’s a new rewards platform on the market. Drop is a financial-tech company that automatically rewards you for your purchases.
As an exclusive Drop user, all you have to do is link your credit and debit cards. When you make a Drop-qualified purchase, you’ll automatically earn points, whether you’re grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, hailing an Uber or ordering a pizza
The points will add up, and you can then exchange them for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Starbucks. It’s the ultimate loyalty card — without the card.
It turns out that deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?
Our new secret weapon is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up. Once you do, it will scan your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Target or one of the other retailers listed on its website, it will track the item’s price. Once a price drop is detected, Paribus engages with the retailer on your behalf, requesting a refund – automatically!
Have you heard of MyPoints? It’s a cash-back site that lets you earn rewards by shopping online and printing coupons.
We love it around here, because it’s an instant way to save on everything you buy. For example, you can get up to 5% cash back on purchases in some categories on Amazon (i.e. where we shop foreverything).
Plus, you can get a bonus $10 Amazon gift card when you sign up. Here’s how:
Use the MyPoints portal next time you need to shop online. It’s connected to thousands of stores including faves like Walmart, Amazon and Target.
When you spend $10 at any of those stores, MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points, which you can redeem for a free $10 gift card of your choice.
8. Invest in Real Estate (You Don’t Have to Be Rich)
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.
Don’t forget apps when you’re consideringonline money-making opportunities. A number of companies will actually pay you for downloading apps on your smartphone — and you’ll get paid for every month you keep them installed. The apps collect data and help companies better understand web and mobile usage — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
QuickThoughts Missions relies on your input — and sneakily-taken cellphone photography — to give businesses important feedback. And like any respectable PI, you get paid for your investigative footwork.
MobileXpression for Android: After you’ve installed this app for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize. (Everyone wins something.) We won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.
SavvyConnect — You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet or computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. That’s a total of up to $180 per year for letting this app collect data that helps companies better understand web and mobile usage. Some of the things that they’re interested in learning: what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
10. Sell Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, Video Games and Electronics
Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods.
One user, Gil Flores, sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 — an average of $1.57 each.
Just download the app and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use; there are no listing or seller fees; payment is super fast and there’s even free shipping.
Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $5 for your trade-ins!
11. Let Someone Borrow Your Place for the Night
Have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money by renting it out.
If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.
We’ve put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open an account! Some of them will pay you up to $250 just for opening a savings account!
There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund and my vacation fund
No extreme physical activity or pulled muscles required for this money-making trick. All you need to do is download the Shopkick app.
Once you sign up, the app pays you in “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Walmart, Target, TJMaxx and more). These can be redeemed for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora and Best Buy.
It pays you even more “kicks” for photos of receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in-store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases. Bonus: You don’t have to do anything; your linked cards will automatically apply your kicks.
We’ve got an ultimate guide to using the app here.
19. Drive Folks Around Town
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JAN 13, 2017: Lyft driver Paul Pruce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 13, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis)
Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?
Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.
Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!
Because it’s simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.
As a driver partner with Uber, you are an independent contractor. You create your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.
If you want to give it a try, here are a few of the things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you are under 23 years old), have a valid US driver’s license and pass a background check.
Also, 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.
Make your first purchase through the site within 90 days, and spend at least $25.
Your account will be credited with rewards points you cash in for your $10 gift card.
21. Earn up to $700/Month Fixing Search Results
You could make about $700 this month for evaluating search-engine results.
And the best part? Most of it can done while working from home — in pajamas.Let us explain…
Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see. For example, if you type the name of one of our writers, Steve Gillman, into a Google search box, a half-million possibly-relevant web pages will be narrowed down using various criteria until a second later, you see his smiling face.
You’ll also see links to his personal website, his blog on the Huffington Post and LinkedIn profiles for a bunch of guys who share his name.
But the search engines don’t always get it right.
They are full of errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevance and usefulness. If you’re interested in this type of work, head over to our search-engine-evaluator article to get more info on how to apply.
22. Rent out Your RV
How many people do you know who bought an RV for one awesome camping trip or music festival… only to look back a few years later and realize they don’t use it as much as they thought they would?
If you’re in that boat (er, camper), you can turn your unused RV into cash.
You can rent your RV to other travelers through RVshare, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace.
How much you’ll earn per day will vary based on your location and the type of vehicle you have. We ran a quick hypothetical and found that Class A models made in the past 15 years range $185 to $375 a night here in St. Petersburg, Florida!
That’s a smart way to make your pricy RV pay for itself — or to bank some cash for your next big road trip.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And pays you. To drink beer.
Sound too good to be true?
Secret Hopper is a relatively new company that invites beer lovers to secret shop at breweries and rate their experience. Were you greeted when you came in? Did they offer a sampler? Did the bartender engage you in conversation?
There’s a rather extensive questionnaire you fill out after visiting the brewery, so it helps to review it beforehand. The Penny Hoarder’s own Tyler Omoth tried it out for himself. Read more about his experience here.
To signing up, just go to the web page and fill out the simple form with your age, gender and general beer knowledge.
There are plenty of other types of mystery shops, as well. Choose what fits your schedule so you can pick up retail shopping and restaurants, too, if you want to round out your day.
24. 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.
Education is one of the world’s leading industries, and the private tutoring market alone is expected to top $102 billion by this year.
Have you ever considered becoming an online tutor to make extra money at home? Well, if you haven’t, you most certainly should. You can make some serious coin by answering students’ questions, explaining your notes and uploading tutorials.
That’s right — by sharing your knowledge, you can be rewarded handsomely.
Try marketing your services on a site likeTutor.com, where instructors earn $9 to $13 per hour, plus $5.50 per hour just for being logged in waiting for students.
Companies sometimes need new corporate taglines, advertising slogans and jingles. Bumper sticker and greeting card makers want cute, endearing or funny thoughts to put on their products.
When these businesses need help, they sometimes collect submissions from freelance writers or run contests anyone can enter — including you.
Try one or more of these platforms to get started:
Slogan Slingers helps companies create slogan contests, in which their registered writers compete. It’s free to sign up as a writer, and the company claims you can make up to $999 per contest (minus its small admin fee).
Get a Slogan is a crowdsourcing platform that brings in custom, creative and catchy slogans from a variety of sloganeers. Companies come to them for help, and writers submit their ideas. It’s free to sign up, but you initially have only “qualifying” status. Once you’re upgraded to “qualified,” you’ll receive $50 for each of your winning slogans.
Freelancer.com has a section devoted to slogan-writing projects, which are sometimes run as contests. For example, at the moment, a personal-injury law firm is offering $150 for the best “unique and memorable tagline/slogan.”
31. Watch More Television
Do you like to stay up-to-date on the latest popular — and not-so-popular — TV shows? Get paid for the TV you’re watching in your spare time by writing reviews.
Writing about& ;TV comes in a lot of forms, according to NPR television reporter Linda Holmes. Lots of sites pay writers to review or recap shows, but different types of write-ups require different tones.
You could do a straightforward review of the craft of the show, search for symbolism in the story or start a conversation with readers about the lives of the characters.
If you prefer a bit of snark, you might write for a site that prefers to riff on TV shows. These turn your review into an opportunity for biting punchlines.
“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.”