Making more money could likely solve a lot of your problems. In the past, we’ve talked about how teens can make money, but for those of us who are a little older, we need something a little more sophisticated than the $10 that comes from mowing lawns.
Luckily, in the age of the internet, making extra money (or your whole paycheck) online is incredibly easy if you know where to look.
Here are 21 ways to make (and save money) online:
1. Take surveys online
While taking online surveys won’t make you rich by any means, a few minutes of your time can earn you a few extra dollars.
Swagbucks allows you to earn points and then redeem them for gift cards.
You earn points by shopping through their portal, filling out surveys, watching videos, etc. The best part is it’s free to sign up! They are currently giving a $10 sign up bonus.
There are a number of other websites that will also pay you to take surveys. They include:
2. Become a freelancer
If you have a talent, chances are, you can sell your skill. Whether you’re a writer, artist, graphic designer, photographer, etc., there’s a freelance gig for you. Let’s cover a few possible freelance angles for you to take.
It’s easier than ever to become a freelance writer (all of our writers at Money Under 30 are freelancers). With that being said, if you’re just starting out it can be difficult to find a writing job that will pay you more than pennies.
We have advice here, on how to actually get hired for a freelance job. Also, a good place to start looking is Fiverr. It’s called Fiverr, because most people would charge just $5 for their services—some people still do that, others charge a lot more.
If you like to teach and have some free time, consider teaching English as a second language. EF, an online teaching company where you could earn up to $2,000 a month, making it a pretty great side-hustle.
VIPkid is another excellent service that connects North American teachers and tutors with students in China for one-on-one English lessons.
The application process is rigorous, but you could make between $14 and $22 an hour—not necessarily the most competitive, but still decent.
Do small tasks
If you’re not prone to creativity, you can still make money online by offering your handyman (or woman) services on TaskRabbit.
Many of the tasks advertised on TaskRabbit involve tasks such as:
- Putting furniture together
- Running errands
- Picking up groceries
Search the gigs section of Craigslist
Along with TaskRabbit, you can search the “gigs” section on Craigslist. Many of the gigs are hoaxes, but there are some that are legit. There are gigs that involve computer skills, writing skills, general labor, cleaning, etc.
3. Invest with a robo-advisor
Robo-advisors are diversified investment accounts that are automatically managed by a computer algorithm (as opposed to a human money manager). If you want to invest, but don’t have the money, or don’t want to invest with a money manager, robo-advisors are for you! Robo-advisors make investing easier—and cheaper—so they’re perfect for new investors.
Betterment is a simple investing platform. You can easily open sub-accounts that use different portfolios for reaching multiple goals. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive! Betterment’s Digital plan charges 0.25 percent annually. You’ll have access to a full suite of services as well as mobile messaging to an advisor
Acorns is an robo-investing app. You can invest as little as $5, making it perfect for young, inexperienced investors.
Acorns charges 0.25 percent a year on accounts over $5,000. The fee on accounts under $5,000 is $1 a month.
Like Betterment, Wealthfront has a lot to offer investors. Perhaps it’s most important quality, Wealthfront doesn’t charge management fees on balances under $10,000. They requires a $500 minimum investment and its fee is 0.25 percent fixed a year on portfolios over $10,000—one of the more quite competitive fees.
4. Invest in real estate
Investing in real estate online is a great form of passive income if you’re open to a little risk.
Real estate crowdfunding involves many investors investing small amounts of money into real estate ventures.
One company on the rise when it comes to real estate crowdfunding— EquityMultiple. You can invest with them for $5,000.
5. Invest with a broker
The stock market scares a lot of folks, but it’s getting easier and easier to invest your money in stocks, even if you don’t have a whole lot of know-how.
If you invest through companies like E*TRADE, they offer tons of investing tools so you can invest on your own, and you can trade stocks and ETFs for just $6.95.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants can make up to $16 an hour. You can work part time or full time, and your schedule can be relatively flexible, as long as it lines up with whomever you’re working for.
What you need to be a virtual assistant:
- Head set or cell phone
- Good communication skills
- Flexible schedule
7. Sell or rent your belongings
This could mean selling a few things here and there on Ebay, running a full-fledged online store, or renting out your home (okay, so that’s not entirely online, but it starts out there).
Ebay may seem old school, what with Amazon and Etsy, but selling stuff you don’t need is a great way to make extra cash.
You can make a free account, but you’ll be limited to how much you can sell. If you want to sell more than 50 items a month online, you’ll need to sign-up for one of Ebay’s subscriptions.
- Starter: $4.95/ mo with annual subscription
- Basic: $21.95/ mo with annual subscription
- Premium: $59.95/ mo with annual subscription
- Anchor: $299.95/ mo with annual subscription
- Enterprise: $2,999.95/ mo with annual subscription
Each comes with different selling caps, and the higher the subscription, the lower the fees.
Etsy’s setup is a lot more satisfying than Ebay and even Amazon. But, just like Ebay and Amazon, Etsy does have some fees to consider if you’re planning on just casually selling. The fee schedule goes as follows:
- $0.20 USD for each item that you list for sale
- When you make a sale you’ll be charged a transaction fee of 3.5 percent of the price you display for each listing
If you want to go real old-school, you can sell your items on Craigslist. While there’s a lot that can go wrong on Craigslist, it’s still one of the most used sites—mostly because it’s free.
Sell your text books
Textbooks are expensive—too expensive for most. So, if you have old textbooks you’re never going to look at again—or never looked at in the first place—selling them can make you back some of the money you had to spend.
If you buy your books from Barnes and Noble, they make it easy to sell them back at the end of the year!
Rent your home on Airbnb
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb. If you have an extra room, or even a whole house you’re willing to rent out, you could earn a hefty side income.
There’s a cost when it comes to listing on Airbnb, You’ll be charged three percent of the booking total. Since you can set prices, however, you’ll still have quite a bit of control over how much you can make as an Airbnb host.
8. Get a cash back credit card
Applying online for a cash back credit card is great way to earn money on purchases you already plan on making.
There are many credit cards to choose from—here are just a few we recommend. Let’s dig a little deeper into our favorites.
What we like:
- 5% cash back on select categories each quarter you activate ($1,500 spend max) and 1% cash back on everything else
- Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned your first year
- 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 14 months (13.99% – 24.99% Variable after that).
With the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn 5 percent cashback on different categories each quarter when you activate, up to the quarterly limit. Previous categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and wholesale clubs.
You’ll receive 1 percent on all other purchases.
Discover will also match your cashback at the end of your first year as a card holder!
Rates and Fees
What we like:
- Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- A strong, $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months
- A strong 15 month 0% intro APR on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers (made in the first 120 days)
With the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card you’ll receive an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases. New card members can also earn earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.
Finally, with no annual fee, this card is a great deal for anyone looking for a straight forward cash back card.
What we like:
- 3% cash back in your choice category. Choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
- $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
- 25% – 75% rewards bonus on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards member
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives 1 percent cash back on every purchase, 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3 percent on a choice category for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/choice category purchases each quarter.
It also has a $0 annual fee!
9. Download money-making apps
If you already shop online, downloading money-making apps can earn you cash every time you shop. Let’s take a look at some of the best apps.
We like Drop because it’s easy-to-use and lets you earn gift cards for the money you’re already spending.
All you have to do is sign-up using the Drop app, or online and link a debit or credit card. Then you pick five of your favorite brands from a list Drop provides. Make sure you choose carefully, because you can’t change these once you’ve picked.
Now, all you do is shop at those places and your points will start adding up.
10. Create a blog
If you can create a niche audience for your blog, you can make an entire paycheck—just ask our founder.
To start earning money by blogging, you’ll need to use certain advertising tactics, the best for start-up blogs is:
Advertising and affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing makes it possible for small blogs to stay in business. Rather than getting paid per 1,000 page views or per click—which is the traditional middle—affiliate advertising involves an advertiser paying an affiliate publisher (your blog) when it refers a paying customer.
11. Open an online savings/checking account
Opening an online savings and checking account can earn you a much higher interest rate than at traditional banks. Our favorite banks are below:
Discover Bank Online Savings Account
The Discover Online Savings account earns you a 1.90 percent APY—that’s $95 in interest annually for every $5,000 you deposit. There’s also no minimum balance required to keep your account open.
Aspiration Summit Checking
The Aspiration Summit Checking account lets you earn up to two percent. To get the full two percent, you’ll need to have a balance of $10,000+.
In addition, the Aspiration Summit Checking account has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly services fees, no minimum monthly deposit, and no ATM fees.
12. Unsubscribe from some online services that you don’t use
Making money online is easy, but spending money online is even easier. It’s incredibly easy to sign-up for a service, put it on auto-pay, and forget about it.
Luckily, there’s a service that will go through all your old subscriptions and ask you which ones you want to cancel. This service is Trim.
Trim can even negotiate some of your bills for you! That makes it perfect for millennials who have an aversion to phone calls.
13. Start a podcast
Blogs and podcasts are two of the top side-hustles these days. You can make money doing a podcast similarly to how you make money running a blog. Find a niche topic. This makes it easier to narrow down your audience and affiliate market.
Once you have a dedicated audience (which could take a while), you can start reaching out to advertisers who’s products would make sense to mention. Here are a few other ways to monetize your podcast.
14. Become YouTube famous
If you’re good at talking in front of a camera and have an idea/product you want to discuss, YouTube could be the perfect platform for you. You can earn money on YouTube in a variety of ways:
Become a YouTube partner
The big money on YouTube is if you meet the requirements to become a partner. This year, YouTube changed the requirements to become a partner. You need to have a channel that has reached 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.
When you’re a partner, you start earning by how many views you receive. Here’s how it works: “YouTube takes around a 45 percent slice of advertising revenue, although the CPM (cost per thousand) that advertisers are charged varies. Most partners earn anywhere between $0.30 to $2.50 CPM.”
Connect to Google AdSense
Once you become a Youtube partner, you can connect to Google AdSense, their advertising system. You’ll be paid based on the number of “impressions” your videos get. That’s when someone clicks on or watches an ad.
If you can get companies to sponsor your videos, or place their products in their videos, you can generate even more income. But you’ll need to inform YouTube of these product placements, or they may pull your partnership.
15. Create online courses
If you have a specific area you’re especially knowledgeable in, creating an online course can make you some decent money. This could be a course in just about anything: Cooking skills, massage therapy, how to play the guitar, etc.
You’ll want to start by creating a course outline—show it to a couple people, have them tell you if they think they’ll actually learn whatever it is you’re trying to teach. Next, it’s time to make your course. Most of them are done through video, with worksheets included.
When it’s time to sell your course, you can sell to places like Zippy Courses.
16. Write an e-book
Writing an e-book and selling it is a lot like making courses online. Again, if you have a topic you want to write about—it could be as simple as the hobbies you like—writing about it should be easy, and if you can find a site willing to buy your book you can rake in a little extra cash.
You can go through Amazon Kindle Publishing—they’ll charge you a commission each time you get a sale, but their reach is huge, so you’re more likely to sell more copies.
17. Sell pictures that you’ve taken
If you’re hobby is photography, or you’re looking to become a professional photographer, there are a couple ways you can get started and make some money online.
First, you can sell your photos to stock photo companies. Some of those companies include:
Or, if the only camera you have access to is your smartphone, you can sell your pictures you take with your phone. Apps and companies you can sell to include:
18. Shop online
Most people shop online these days—and for good reason. It can actually save you money.
If you use coupon sites, you can save money on things you’ll already spend on. Some of these sites include:
19. Subscribe to a food delivery service
Using a food delivery service can’t necessarily earn you money, but it can help you save you money if you constantly find yourself throwing out half the food you buy. Food delivery services send a box of food every week with new, sometimes unique vegetables, meat, fruit, and so on. If you don’t have time to shop and want simple meal-prep that leads to a good meal, a food subscription service may be perfect for you.
20. File your taxes online
While filing your taxes online isn’t a constant source of income, it can help you get your tax return sooner. Here’s three of the best tax softwares that make filing easy!
TurboTax is likely the tax software you’ve heard the most about, and for good reason! If you file a 1040-EZ, 1040, or 1040A you could file your federal return for free, plus, the guided format explains the tax filing process clearly, so you can be done filing in a matter of minutes.
Plus, if you’re self-employed, TurboTax has a Self-Employed product that can save you from having to hire a costly tax expert. It costs $114.99 for the software.
H&R Block has evolved past its brick and mortar beginnings and offers online products that compete with the best of them. If you’ve used past tax software products, you can upload a PDF of last year’s return from any other tax prep service.
H&R Block works like many of the other softwares—H&R Block Online guides you through your tax return to make sure you haven’t missed anything. All along, the Refund Reveal feature shows your estimated refund or balance due in the upper left corner.
TaxAct is one of the cheapest tax software programs, but it still offers a lot. Like TurboTax, it offers a free filing for forms 1040EZ and 1040A. Their Premium services are also cheaper, starting at just $37 for more complicated tax situations.
While TaxAct might not look as fancy as the other tax softwares, it offers many of the same products for a lower cost.
21. Become a graphic designer
A graphic designer creates digital art for their clients. And it’s actually a lot easier to make money as a graphic designer than some might think—it just takes a little persistence.
First, you’ll need to create a portfolio. After that, you can find direct clients to work with by using sites like Fiverr, where you can sell your talents. You can also post videos of you teaching graphic design—with product placement—and get clients that way.
Making money online is becoming easier and easier. As long as you have some technological know-how, you can make a little extra cash on the side. We have just 21 ideas above, but there are an endless amount of things you can do to make money if you get creative.