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Even in the age of automation, some jobs still require a human touch. Companies often outsource those jobs via services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. These jobs can be tedious — tagging images, transcribing videos, classifying receipts — and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Pay depends on the task, and the person requesting the work gets to approve the finished product before paying you. That can leave room for scams, so do your research and join a community like TurkNation, which can steer you away from shifty dealers. Read more about doing tasks on Mechanical Turk.
I’m a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people all over the world. To give you an idea of what is possible with blogging, DollarSprout.com is part of a group of blogs that routinely brings in over $100,000 a month in revenue. While it takes time to build your blog up to that income level, you can get the initial set up done in under 30 minutes (no experience needed).
One of the best things about working online is that you get to choose your own work schedule. You can work at night, during the day or even weekends. It is really up to you. This means that you will get to spend more time with your family, go for vacations, plan holiday activities, tour the world and much more. In addition, you get to live anywhere around the globe without the worry of job transfers.
Despite the jokes, it's not such a bad thing to come straight out of Central Casting (875 Sixth Ave at 31st St; 646-205-8244, centralcasting.org). If you're nonunion, download a registration packet from the website and deliver it Tuesdays or Thursdays (11am for men, noon for women). Have a SAG or AFTRA affiliation? Go on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays at 10am. Currently, the most in-demand parts are prep-schoolers for Gossip Girl and faux cops and corpses for Law & Order and its spin-offs. "Every day is a deadline," explains Brad Kenny, manager of Central Casting. "At 4pm today, a show could call and say, 'We need ten doctors and four nurses for tomorrow—they have to fit these sizes and be this ethnicity,' and we rush to find those people." The pay ranges from minimum wage if you're nonunion up to $160 a day plus overtime if you're SAG. Also try: NYCastings (nycastings.com) and Back Stage's casting search engine (casting.backstage.com/jobseekerx).
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.
The stuff you can't sell online, you could sell from your garage on the weekends. Many neighborhoods plan annual or bi-annual yard sales. If you have items to sell, this is a great time to do it as the neighborhood as a whole can bring in a lot of traffic and help you perform better than you would on your own. If that's not possible, consider partnering up with a couple of families in a popular neighborhood.
If you're not self-employed and work for a company, find out if they have a retirement plan. If you're lucky, employers will sometimes match contributions you make into a retirement fund. Retirement plans also often have the benefit of being tax-deferred. The longer you get to keep your money (and make interest on it) the better. It's never too early to start planning for retirement.
If you’ve ever wanted to try real estate investing but don’t want to deal with all the stress of being a landlord, you might want to consider investing with Fundrise. Fundrise is a new platform that allows you to invest directly in a real estate portfolio that a team of professionals identifies, acquires, and manages on your behalf. With a starting investment as small as $500, you get exposure to dozens of solid, value-producing assets.