Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
And it's been a blessing! My husband and I are going on our 3-year wedding anniversary and Swagbucks has been a part of our story from the beginning. I was able to get a beautiful red (our fave color) luggage set paid for entirely by Swagbucks! Our passion is to travel and thanks to Swagbucks, we have been able to make our trips even more special. <3
You have to be committed for this one because the application and training take quite a while. To teach for Kaplan Test Prep (212-492-5800, kaptest.com), you need to have scored in the 90th percentile on the test you want to teach. After you attend the required 20 hours of training, you'll start at about $20 bucks an hour. At the Princeton Review (877-312-7022, princetonreview.com), you'll earn $25 per hour, but you have to take a 30-minute test and give a five-minute lesson audition. If you pass, you begin a 30-to-60-hour training program. Finally, if you scored in the 99th percentile when you took the GMAT and aren't one of the five people still making millions in the business world, you can pull in $100 an hour teaching for Manhattan GMAT (212-721-7400, manhattangmat.com). Yes, there are some catches: You'll have to endure a phone interview, an online audition, a live audition and two months of (paid) training. You'll also have to explain to a classroom of naive corporate hopefuls why their career choice is doomed. Doomed!
Okay, so it's a Les Miz--style desperate measure. But if you've got the tresses and the desire to chop 'em off, why not make a little cash while you're at it? You post photos and a description on The Buy and Sell Hair (buyandsellhair.com), either with a listing price or an invitation to field potential buyers' offers. Recent sales include 14 inches of black hair that went for $500 and 16 inches of never-dyed strawberry blond hair that went for $800. Fantine never had it that good.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.
If you've ruled out survey taking as a legitimate way to earn money from home, listen to Bonnie Alcala. She and her daughter Andrea Spain, an elementary-school substitute teacher, take surveys online for fun and a little profit. They are careful to avoid any scams by refusing to pay an upfront fee or other charge. Bonnie and Andrea pocket around $100 a month for spending two hours a week taking surveys, which gives each of them extra pin money. In addition, they collect all kinds of gift cards and other prizes.
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With sites like ShopAtHome.com, eBates.com, and TopCashBack.com, you can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.
Consignment stores like Tokio7 pay you only when someone buys your stuff. Beacon's Closet (beaconscloset.com), on the other hand, gives you instant cash—35 percent of what the item will sell for. A pair of like-new Converses will get you $10--$20, and a cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater $16--$29. "We buy seasonally," says Tiffany Collings, manager of the Park Slope branch. "So if you have a wow piece that's not right for the temperature outside, wait to sell it."
I recently stumbled on the Trim app and I have to say, this one is a game changer. It’s a simple app that acts as your own personal financial manager. Once you link your bank to the app, Trim analyzes your spending, finds subscriptions you need to cancel, negotiates your Comcast bill, finds you better car insurance, and more. And of course, the app is free! My bet is that it will only take a few days for Trim to put an extra $100 in your pocket. So easy!