Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I've been quoted in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Business.com, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Moneyish, Zumper, IdeaMensch, Discover Bank, PrimeRates, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, Club Thrifty, Guru Focus, Rent Track, Fit Small Business, Coupon Chief, and more.
Online business is how I’ve made a living since 2003 and what has helped me retire early. I make over $40,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy 15-minute step-by-step tutorial. You can start a blog for as little as $2.95 a month (less than a cup of coffee!). Create a blog and leverage it into affiliate sales or product endorsement deals. Consider topics like:
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Listverse, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
It works in essentially the same way as the phone apps that were mentioned earlier. If you don’t mind having Google know what you do on a daily basis (anonymously), you can make money by letting them monitor your Internet usage. They use the information they gather to help them market and increase the functionality of their advertising programs when targeting users that are similar to you.
How it works: Simply swipe up, down, left or right to unlock your phone. If you’re interested in what you’re seeing on your lock screen, just tap the “learn more” button. In exchange for allowing S’more to rent your lock screen, the apps awards you points every day. You can redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, Google Play, Starbucks, and more.
There are millions of children in this country, and many of them need babysitters from time to time. You might sit for neighbors' kids, or put up flyers or online notices advertising your services. How much might you earn? One national average figure is $16.75 per hour for one child. You can charge more for two or more kids, and you may also earn more if you're an experienced adult instead of a teenager, and especially if you know CPR or have some other applicable skills. Babysit for six hours per week earning, say, $20 an hour, and you're looking at $120 per week, or more than $6,000 per year.
If so, chances are good that you are not earning as much interest on your savings as you could (and should) be earning. At the time of this writing, the average annual percentage yield (APY) on a savings account in the United States is 0.09%. That means that $1,000 sitting in a savings account will only earn $9 in interest if it sits there for an entire year.
Outside of starting your own business, investing in the stock market has been one of the most consistent ways to create wealth over the past 100 years. In fact, since its inception in 1957, the S&P 500 has consistently returned 8% per year on average. A far higher return than savings accounts, CDs, money markets, or any number of other vehicles for saving and investing your money.
There are also shopping apps like ibotta, MobiSave, and checkout 21 that give you money back for shopping. And the Walmart app has a savings catcher feature where you take a picture of the barcode or upc at the bottom of your receipt and they search all surrounding store and if a lower price is found they give you the difference back. I have made about 50 bucks total from this app and 20-30 from things like ibotta.
Those who enjoy writing may be able to make some money on the side doing freelance writing and perhaps even becoming a contract writer. How much you can earn will vary widely, as some kinds of jobs pay more and some kinds of writers (such as those with many bylines) can command more. Even if you earn just $50 per short piece you write for an online site, doing four of those per week would be $200 -- equivalent to $10,400 per year. You can look for gigs at sites such as Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, and Freelancer.com.
Research. You need to know what others are selling before you decide what wares you will offer. Lots of people sell handmade items, but those who work hard to make their items unique in some way are the ones who truly stand out. After you’ve decided on a product, check out the other sellers on Etsy and find what they’re offering, and then figure out how you can do it differently.
Breaking In. Many people find that once they’ve completed their training, getting their first job can be difficult because many companies require a minimum of two years experience. Many newbies start out by volunteering to get some history under their belt. It’s not impossible to land a job fresh out of school, but you’ll need diligence and persistence, and probably a little luck.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you've got the chops.
So many people dream of writing a book, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online. You'll just need to employ an easy tool like Sellfy in order to quickly sell PDF files (like an eBook) to your readers.
Storage. Depending on how big your business gets, you’ll need ample room to store the books. You can’t get lazy or disorganized about it, either. You have to keep the books in good condition, and you need to be able to find them when someone wants them. For instance, if you list a book in “like new” condition, and then the pages get smashed during storage, you’ll be in a bind if someone places an order before you realize what happened.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
If you have “extra” money sitting around or want to get serious about building wealth for later in life, consider investing it in the stock market with Ally Bank (whose investing branch is included on our list of best investment apps). If you don’t have immediate debts and aren’t currently living paycheck to paycheck, investing can be a powerful tool for generating passive returns.