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Top 10 Ways I’ve Actually Made Extra Money

Maria is a hard-working mom who tries to make the most out of life with her family and friends.

We’ve all seen the websites that promise you will make thousands of dollars in a week for not doing much. I have to admit—I fell for these scams when they first came out. Who wouldn’t want extra money for doing little or nothing? It seems too good to be true. You shouldn’t expect to make more money than you would from actually working.

Learn 10 easy ways to make extra money outside of your 9–5 job.

Learn 10 easy ways to make extra money outside of your 9–5 job.

Full disclosure: I have a 9–5 job. I was looking for a way to supplement my income because it never seemed enough. Now, I haven’t been able to earn enough money from any one of these sites, but I have been able to earn enough to spend on vacations and things I wouldn’t normally be able to since my money is usually depleted after paying rent and bills.

I thought the easiest and best way to make extra money was to participate in the survey sites. You answer a few questions, and you get points that you can convert to gift cards or even cash, what’s not to like about that. I signed up for a plethora of survey sites but had the same problem with every survey I completed; I never qualified, so I wasn’t entitled to the reward.

Some of the surveys I would spend 10–15 minutes answering questions that I thought related to the survey, only to find out they were qualifying questions, and I would then get rejected. Ultimately, I just gave up on the survey sites but was still looking for ways to make extra money.

  1. Ibotta: I wish I had known about this app sooner than when I downloaded it. Ibotta gives you money back for everyday items that you buy. You pick your store such as Walmart, Target, CVS, Publix, and Sunoco; there are hundreds to choose from. You look for the available offers. If you see something that you are thinking of buying or normally buy, you can clip it. A lot of times, they offer cash back for any purchase. So let’s say you go to Sunoco to buy gas, you clip the offer for any purchase, take a picture of the receipt and instantly receive $0.25 for your gas purchase. When you go to the store and complete your purchases, you simply take a photo of your full receipt, check off the items that you bought, and the money is added to your account. You need to have $20.00 in the account before you can withdraw any funds. Money is deposited into your PayPal account. If you refer a friend to join, you receive $5.00.
  2. Inbox Dollars: This one took a while for me to make any money from it, but I have made some money. There is a variety of things you can do on the site to earn money. What I do daily is click on the emails they send. Each email that I open earns me 1 or 2 cents. I know what you are thinking, 1 cent—why am I even wasting my time. I already said it took a long time for me to earn anything from this site, and this is part of the reason. You can participate in surveys, but, like I said above, surveys never work out for me, I never qualify. You can also use their search tab to search for anything on the internet to earn points that convert to cash. Online shopping is also rewarded.
  3. AppLike/Mistplay: I like to play games. AppLike is an Android-only app that pays you to play games. You earn points for time spent playing games, and you convert the point to either PayPal or gift cards. Not sure if Mistplay is available for Android only, but I use this one also. I recently converted my points to a $10.00 Visa gift card.
  4. eBay: I love this one. I have literally financed vacations from selling things I no longer wanted or needed. I even sold so much stuff that PayPal recognized me as a business and not an individual. Generally, I stick to selling items that my family and I no longer need and use like books, DVDs, and CDs. I’m able to earn some money for things that I was going to throw out and clean my house at the same time.
  5. Amazon Mechanical Turk: Perform small tasks and receive money. Money is credited to your Amazon account, and you can withdraw at any time. Assignments are called HITs. Each hit is worth pennies, sometimes the requestor will offer a bonus, but you should not expect to make hundreds of dollars a day from this. Assignments include transcribing audio, extracting purchase information from receipts, captioning photos, etc. The assignments are meant to be done quickly and efficiently. The more assignments you complete, the more you earn. Even though the assignments are easy to do, they still take time to complete. I find that after completing a few assignments, I’m bored with them and stop for the day. Some assignments require you to take a test before you can complete the test (transcribing audio is a perfect example). If you pass the test, you are able to complete those tasks; if you do not pass the test, you will not be able to accept HITs related to that assignment.
  6. Fiverr: Can you make or edit resume making them stand out to recruiters; are you artistic and can create an image a company can use for their logo; the options are endless. Fiverr charges $5.00 for all "gigs." You can add extras to your gig, such as quicker turnaround for additional money, extra pages to transcribe; the options are endless. A person orders your gig, you complete the task and receive $4.00, Fiverr keeps $1.00. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up. Depending on how many gigs you advertise for, the number of orders you take, and turnaround time, you could make some decent money from this site.
  7. Declutter: I recently discovered this app when I was having a hard time selling some items on eBay. Declutter is great because you can send them up to 200 items in one box. A lot of times, I will list books on eBay that don’t sell. I relist them several times until finally, I just want to give them away. Declutter is great because you simply enter the numbers on the barcode, and they give you an offer for what they will pay. Now, if my book sells on eBay, I can probably make more money on it, but when I list it multiple times, and it’s not selling, I’m happy to just get rid of it. .50 cents may not seem like a lot, but when you add multiple items to your box, you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping because Declutter takes care of that, and you finally get rid of the product that you didn’t want anymore anyway.
  8. Photo-Selling Websites—Foap/iStock: I try to go outdoors as much as possible. While I am out, I am constantly taking pictures of trees, flowers, the ocean, just about anything. I have been able to upload some of my photos to Foap or iStock, where people can purchase the photos if they like. Users create photo albums, and other users will have to opportunity to rate the photos. You can also copy a user’s photo to your photo album. If the photo sells, you both get money. Foap will give you $5.00 for each of your photos that sell.
  9. Fitness Apps—Sweatcoin/Achievement: My husband recently had weight loss surgery; I decided that I would try to get fit as well, but on my own terms. I started going to the gym and go walking in the evenings. I have two apps on my phone that pay me based on how many steps I take. Sweatcoin has two different levels of membership; the free level gives you a maximum of 5 sweatdollars a day for your steps. You can upgrade your account for a $10.00 fee, and you can earn more sweatdollars daily. When you have enough sweatdollars, you can cash them out for gift cards, or PayPal money. Achievement also gives you points for steps that you walk, logging in food, recording sleep, and other activities. When you have enough points, you can cash out for money, no gift cards.
  10. Drive With Uber or Lyft: I’ve known about this for a while but never had the opportunity to take part in it for two reasons; 1. I didn’t have any spare time 2. I drive a lot to get to/from work that doing additional driving was not even a thought in my head 3. I had a car that was older than their requirement. After you register to become a driver, you will need to upload a copy of your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration, and then you consent to a background check. It takes a few hours for them to review everything, but once you are approved, you can start driving right away. Money is deposited into your bank account at your request. You can work as little or as much as you would like, the choice is yours. If you live in a big city, you may have more opportunities for rides. Sometimes, I will step out of work on my lunch hour and pick up a ride or two.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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Carla Chadwick from Georgia on May 29, 2018:

Great list! I particularly want to try Decluttr. We have all kinds of electronics lying around that we were either going to recycle or donate. Thank you so much for the tip.

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