The reason this is important is because many people don’t realize that they have options. Since you need a prescription for contact lenses, many people assume that the prices are the same regardless of the store, or that they are required to purchase from their prescribed contact lenses from their optometrist. However, prices vary wildly from store to store, and it’s important to shop around.
Small crowdsourcing, online, and real-world tasks, sometimes called micro jobs, have become an increasingly popular way to pick up extra cash. Short-task websites offer a way for buyers and sellers of services to connect. These gigs generally don't take much effort and, as a result, don't usually pay much. However, if your goal is to earn a few extra dollars, then micro jobs may be just what you need.
Check with your local bank to see if they're giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you're in need. It won't break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 -- maybe even more -- when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
Get paid for your opinions. Taking surveys online can be a relatively quick way to earn enough to afford a few extras. Harris Poll Online, for example, awards points for the completion of online surveys, which can take between five and 25 minutes to fill out. Survey takers accumulate points and can redeem them for gift cards from retailers such as Amazon and Starbucks. Other online outfits that will pay you to take surveys include SurveyClub, Global Test Market and Swagbucks. There's no cost to sign up.
Waiting tables at a restaurant means scrounging for tips. Cater-waitering for dinner parties, corporate events and weddings is essentially the same job—but with an hourly rate of $17 to $35. Send your rsum and photograph to Premier Model Bartenders (145 W 28th St; 212-499-0886, modelbartenders.com), which employs 300 part-time cater waiters in New York.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you'll be wise to invest in a managed WordPress hosting plan from a company with great service like Kinsta, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.
4. Create a Kickstarter project. If you're an artsy type or a hopeful entrepreneur, Kickstarter could be the perfect way to earn more money and pursue your passion. Kickstarter is an online platform where people share their ideas for creative projects and ask the public to help fund them. There have already been a number of popular success stories. In many cases, independent movies, music albums, and even businesses wouldn't exist without the initial funding they received from the Kickstarter community. If you put together a good proposal, it is very reasonable to think that you could land $1,000 in funding. You can get more details on how the process works at Kickstarter.com.
Tutor students. If you have an academic specialty and can squeeze in a couple of hours during the week while Junior is taking a nap or Janie is at gymnastics, share your knowledge with struggling students. Find students looking to improve their grades on your own through your kids' schools – check a site such as Craigslist.org to gauge hourly rates in your area – or sign on with an online tutoring company, such as Tutor.com. You must be available to tutor at least five hours a week and have a college degree to tutor certain subjects for Tutor.com. Tutoring is done virtually from home via a computer, not in person. Tutor.com tutors are paid an hourly rate based on the subject.
Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.
Recognize that time is money. This critical piece of advice is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who was an accomplished American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, and statesman--the ultimate multitasker. Your ability to manage your time (and stop procrastinating) is a critical ingredient in your ability to make money. Whether you have a job or are self-employed, keep track of what you're spending your time on. Ask yourself "Which of these activities make the most money, and which of them are a waste of time?" Do more of the former and less of the latter, simple as that. When you're focusing on high-priority tasks, get the job done well, and get the job done fast. By working efficiently, you're giving your employer or clients more time, and they'll appreciate you for it. Remember that time is a limited resource that you're always investing. Will your investments pay off?
You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them. 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content, like those videos, for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, use them to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.
Babysitting isn’t just for teens. Everyone from college students to recent retirees can make money watching other people’s children. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are still a great way to get started, but you can also create a profile on Care.com or Sittercity to expand your reach. Note any specialized skills, such as CPR certifications or experience with special needs children, to make yourself more marketable.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
Most of us are guilty of hanging onto things that we never use, myself included. Take a day and go through all your old stuff and get rid of some of it! One tool that is really helpful for this is Decluttr. You can enter your items barcodes into their valuation engine and they’ll give you an instant offer. Then you simply pack all your items into a box and ship them off for free.
If you’re willing to take on some risk and have the heart of a true hustler, you can make extra money online doing commission-only sales for startups and other businesses. While you won’t be getting a regular salary, with the right sales strategies and skills as an inside sales rep, you can make decent money for each sale you bring in. And because you’ll most likely be working with startups, if you can negotiate a little equity you could profit big time if you're pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds.
You can generate a small side income taking online surveys — but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, unless you invest a lot of time, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Global Test Market. Read our analysis of a dozen survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.
With Shopkick, there’s no purchase necessary to earn cash back. In order to make money with Shopkick, all you have to do is download the app, enable your location services, and start earning kicks. You’ll earn points just by walking into a store, and even more points for scanning items or making a purchase. Payout comes in the form of gift cards to your favorite stores, including Walmart, Target, Sephora, and Starbucks to name a few.
But that tends to complicate things. Making some extra side hustle cash doesn't actually have to be that complicated. As someone who's been immersed in the field of online income generation for nearly two decades now, I can tell you that it takes some work. However, there are several clear paths forward. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what your goals are and just how much you're looking to automate your income.
Sell your stuff. You can also make a little extra money by selling your old things. There may be a lot of items sitting around in your house that you hardly ever think about, but which can earn you some serious cash. You shouldn't have to part with anything you love or need for sentimental reasons, but if you can get rid of some things you don't really care about, you can earn some extra cash while also doing some inadvertent clean-up around the house. Here are a few things to sell:
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
Did you ever see the movie Stripes? It's an 80's classic and one of those timeless comedies with Bill Murray. Click here to see Harold Ramis teaching his English class the Do Do Run Run by Shaun Cassidy. To get started teaching English as a second language to adults, go through your local schools and colleges to find classes where teachers of English are needed.
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!
Most people do not claim all of the allowances they are allowed to take, which is why they end up getting a large refund check each spring. If you regularly get a large refund, then it may be time for you to file a new W-4 with your human resources department. Your new W-4 should reflect the proper number of withholding allowances you are eligible to take.
If you're looking to address some immediate financial needs, then the app economy is likely right for you. Thanks to the global sharing phenomenon, launched in part by our smartphones and ever-burgeoning global connectivity, you could easily opt for some quick active income by using well-known apps. From ride sharing to deliveries and even quick tasks, there's an app for that today, as the saying goes.
The Learning Annex (212-371-0280, learningannex.com) offers more than 8,000 courses each year, from how to be a matchmaker and how to flip houses to how to be a "Real Cougar Woman." If you have an idea for a class ("How to Make Money Without Really Working"?), send an e-mail to email@example.com. For noncelebrity teachers, they pay a percentage of the revenue. The average class costs $44.95—so enroll 30 students and you'll make $150--$200.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
23. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
Note: There are dozens of other survey sites out there. These just happen to be the more well-known ones that have a reputation for paying out in a timely manner and not having impossible standards for cashing out. As always, be careful with your personal information. I recommend using an entirely separate email address for survey sites so they don’t clutter your inbox.
Become a mystery shopper. This means doing business with various establishments and rating their products and services without their knowledge. It may sound like cake, but remember that it requires discreteness, a good memory for detail (ex. the name of every individual who helped or served you), and enough cash for you to be able to pay for your shopping experience up-front and then wait to be reimbursed pending the approval of your review.
Sign up with focus groups in your area. Studies that you are eligible to participate in pop up sporadically but pay quite well – often more than $50 for an hour of your time. You can also look for focus groups online but will have to sort through a lot of bogus “opportunities” and sites that ask you to pay up-front for the privilege of participating before you find anything worthwhile.
“Donating plasma is similar to giving blood. A trained staff member called a phlebotomist puts a sterile needle in your arm vein to draw blood. The blood is then cycled through special, sterile equipment that separates plasma from the other parts of your blood. Your plasma is then collected in a container, while the other parts are safely returned to your body. This process is called plasmapheresis.”
Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or One Hour Translation, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what kind of freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know if you’re charging too much or too little. Learn how to get started on Upwork.
Have you ever heard of Uber or Lyft? Of course, you have! This is a great earning opportunity for someone with a reliable car and the ability to navigate their city’s streets. The main barrier to entry is having an approved car that is efficient to keep your costs down. There are lots of stories of Uber drivers making an extra $1k a week outside of their normal day jobs! Not bad. Plus, this is a fun way to get to know your city, help tourists make plans, and get to know interesting people. Lyft is offering $300 Sign-up Bonus! Or if you prefer Uber, click here to drive with Uber. (Or do both!)
Salvage and resell. Do you love antiques or have a knack for finding valuables at flea markets or yard sales? If you do, it might be time to consider salvaging items for resale – or even scouting out antiques to sell for a profit. While you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time searching for prospects and spend some money buying upfront, you could easily turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.