So you want to learn free ways to make extra money. I get it. Not all of us want to invest money in starting a business or buying in-depth training courses about how to make money fast.
Sometimes we just want to learn how to make an extra $500 a month. We’re not looking to get rich or shake things up too much. We just want to make enough extra money to help us pay off debt faster or afford to travel more. Can you relate?
If you’re looking for free ways to make money, then you’re in the right place. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to make money on the side (with no investment required). And the best part is, many of these ideas can be started today!
There has never been a better time to make extra money in your spare time. With the internet at your fingertips, there are opportunities for people of various skill levels to easily boost their savings. And who wouldn’t want additional income coming in each month?
For instance, an extra $500 a month can help you:
- Pay off credit card debt
- Pay off student loans faster
- Save money for your dream vacation
- Save money for a down payment on a home
- Save money for retirement, and more!
What would you do with an extra $500 a month?
Doing just a few of these ideas can easily add up to an extra few thousand dollars in cash each year. Are you ready to get started?
Here are 20 free (legitimate) ways to make extra money today!
Note: I’ll be updating this list as I discover more money-making ideas. Go ahead and bookmark this page so you can reference it.
- 34 legitimate ways to make extra money in 2019
- How to stop living paycheck to paycheck
- 10 ways to save money fast
1. Take part in market research
Companies like to conduct market research to gain feedback from consumers about their products or services. And they’re always looking for new survey participants. The best part is, companies are willing to pay to get your opinion.
If you’re looking for a free and easy way to make money while sitting at home in your pjs, signing up for online surveys can be a great option. I recommend joining several survey websites to help you earn the most money. They are free to join so you have nothing to lose.
Start out with Survey Junkie. This is one of the best paid survey websites available in the United States and Canada. They currently have a TrustScore rating of 8.7/10 on Trust Pilot, which makes them one of the highest rated survey sites.
How to get started with Survey Junkie:
- Take Surveys: Sign up here to create your free account. This process takes only a few minutes to complete. Then you’ll be matched with surveys.
- Earn Rewards: Complete surveys and you’ll earn virtual points.
- Get Paid: You can redeem virtual points for PayPal cash payments or e-gift cards.
2. Earn cash back with Rakuten
You can make a quick $10 when you join cash back websites, such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates).
Is Rakuten legit? Yup! I’ve been using Rakuten for the past couple of years to earn cash back when shopping online. In fact, I’ve earned over a thousand dollars from using Rakuten. You could say I’m a little obsessed with them!
How does Rakuten work? Rakuten has relationships with over 2,000 stores and offers discounts or cash back when you shop at these stores through Rakuten.com. When you make a purchase through the Rakuten shopping portal, they will earn a commission and share part of this commission with you (as a form of cash back). You can get paid by check or by PayPal cash deposits every quarter.
How to claim your free $10:
- Join For Free: Click here to sign up for Rakuten.
- Shop Through Rakuten.com: Find the store on Rakuten next time you need to buy something. Click “Shop Now” and shop like normal on the store website. You’ll need to spend at least $25 on your first purchase within 90 days.
- Get Paid: Your Rakuten account will be credited with reward points. Get this cash sent to a PayPal account or choose to receive a Big Fat Check from Rakuten. It’s up to you!
For Canadian shoppers, you can click here to sign up for Rakuten (free $5 welcome bonus).
3. Get paid to watch entertaining videos online
Swagbucks can be a great way to passively earn free gift cards to popular retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Starbucks. All you have to do is earn “SB” (Swagbucks) for things you already do online, such as watching short videos. Then you can redeem your “SB” for rewards.
They currently have a TrustScore rating of 8.3/10 on Trust Pilot, which is up there with some of the best survey sites.
How to get started with Swagbucks:
- Join Swagbucks: Get a free $5 bonus when you sign up here.
- Earn Points: Choose from a variety of different videos to watch on your phone, tablet or computer. Earn points for each video you watch.
- Get Free Gift Cards: Redeem your points for free gift cards or get cash deposited in your PayPal account.
4. Earn rewards (the easy way) with the Drop App
Drop is a free app which lets you earn reward points for your everyday spending. Each time you make a purchase at one of your favorite retailers, you’ll earn points. This means you can earn points for going grocery shopping, taking an Uber, grabbing a snack, and more.
One of the big reasons why I love using the Drop App is that it’s an effortless way to earn rewards. Simply link your debit and credit cards to the Drop App (this is completely safe). Then you’ll earn Drop points for purchases you make using any of your linked cards, in addition to debit / credit card rewards points.
Every 1,000 points is worth $1. You can redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite retailers, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, and more.
How to get started with the Drop App:
- Download the App: After you download the app, link your debit and credit cards. You’ll automatically earn points whenever you spend with any of your linked cards.
- Shop at Your Favorite Places: Whether it’s grocery shopping or taking an Uber, you’ll easily earn points.
- Get Cash Rewards: Redeem your Drop points for gift cards to where ever you want. Simple.
5. Start investing the easy way
Studies have shown that people who practice investing early are less likely to overspend or be careless with their money in the long run. But no matter your age, it’s never too late to start investing.
If you’re new to investing, a good place to start is with Acorns. This app is great for beginners who want to dip their toes into investing.
How Acorns works:
Every time you make a purchase, Acorns will automatically round it up to the nearest dollar and invest that change towards your future. Your spare change can quickly add up and every nickle and dime counts.
With Acorns, you can also earn cash back on your everyday shopping or set up recurring investments. You’ll even get a $5 welcome bonus just for signing up.
Join Acorns today and claim your free $5 bonus
(Limited time offer!)
Another easy way to start investing is to do peer-to-peer lending. With lending services, such as Lending Club, you get to act like the bank and earn a monthly return on your money. Lending Club is America’s largest marketplace connecting borrowers and inventors.
6. Rent out your car with Turo
Make a dent in your monthly car payments by listing your car on Turo. Hosts can cover their payments by sharing their car just 9 days per month (on average).
Turo is a car sharing marketplace that allows private car owners (such as yourself) to rent out their vehicles via an online or mobile interface.
How to get started with Turo:
- List Your Car: It’s free and takes only 10 minutes to create a listing for your car.
- Determine Price: Turo will determine your car’s price based on market value, location, time of year, and other data to help you maximize your income. If you prefer, you can also manually set your own daily price.
- Get paid: Turo will pay you via PayPal within 5 days. You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price.
7. Pay less on your monthly bills
We’ve all heard this financial advice over and over again: automate your savings. Automation has been shown to improve your finances and save time too.
But chances are, if you were to scan all your credit and debit card statements, I’m sure you’d find at least one subscription you’re not using. You may even find a late fee you’ve forgotten about. Oops!
To help you clean up some bad habits without much effort, consider using Trim. Trim is a digital personal assistant that makes it easy to save money on your monthly bills. All you have to do is sign up here and Trim will do the heavy lifting for you.
Trim will also negotiate your monthly bills, such as your cable, cell phone, and internet bill. Trim works behind the scenes and automates ways to save you money.
Now you can have more money in your pocket to help grow your savings, pay off debt faster, and so on. To get started, you can sign up for free here.
8. Make money from your blog
If you already have your own blog, there are lots of free ways you can start making money from your site.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, but are interested in making money online, blogging can be a good option. You can check out my easy step-by-step tutorial here to start your own blog in minutes.
I also recommend signing up for my free 7-day blogging course that will teach you how to start a successful blog. You can join this free course below:
Some popular ways to make money from blogging include display advertising, affiliate marketing, writing sponsored blog posts, and selling your own products or services.
The best way for new bloggers to make money? I recommend affiliate marketing. This is how I earn thousands of dollars a month from blogging without selling anything. If you’re interested in learning more about making money from affiliate marketing, you’ll want to check out this course. This course has helped me grow my blog from $0 to $10K per month.
9. Freelance writing
Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money online. And the best part is, you don’t need to have a background in English or writing to get started. Many freelance writers who just started their journey as a simple side hustle have been able to replace their full-time jobs.
For example, Gina Horkey started doing freelance writing in her spare time. Within a few months, she was earning an extra $4,000 (on top of her day job) while working full-time and raising 2 active toddlers.
It wasn’t much later that she decided to leave her day job and pursue freelance writing on full-time basis, now earning six-figures from her writing!
She recently put together some great resources to help others get started on making money with freelance writing. I highly recommend checking out the following resources.
Freelance Writing Resources:
- Free Guide: 7 Steps to Become a Paid Freelance Writer
- Find your niche: 200+ freelance writing niches to help you figure out what to write
- 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success
10. Virtual assistant
If you’re not interested in writing or blogging, that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. For those who prefer to handle more administrative or bookkeeping tasks, consider becoming a virtual assistant.
Businesses are always looking to hire VAs to help them with things like answering emails, booking travel, data entry, social media management, and more.
As a virtual assistant, you have the power to set your own rate. This typically falls between $30 and $55 per hour, depending on your level of experience. Many VAs love the high degree of autonomy and their flexible work schedule.
Virtual Assistant Resources:
- Free Guide: How to Become a Virtual Assistant
- Check out over 150 different services you can offer as a VA
- 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success
11. Teach English online
VIPKID is currently looking for part-time online ESL teachers for young children who are based in China. All classes are one-on-one and taught online through the VIPKID portal.
You can make up to $22 /hour teaching English online!
You need a degree and at least 1 year of teaching or tutoring experience. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I highly recommend applying for an opportunity with VIPKID. Learn more about how to get started here.
12. Sell your photos online
If you enjoy taking photos, you can easily make extra money by selling your photos online. Businesses, small and large, are always looking to buy and use photos regularly.
What photos are in high demand? Bloggers and online business owners are looking for photos of people working, food, travel, cities, nature, and tools.
How to get started selling photos:
- Sell photos on your own website. This is the most popular way to sell photos online. You can set your own prices and have 100% control over how you display your photos. Check out this simple guide on how to create your own photography website.
- Shutterstock. This is a great option for those who are not ready to start their own website. Shutterstock has been around for over 15 years and has paid out more than $500 million worldwide to their contributors. To get started, simply upload your content to their easy-to-use platform. Then get paid every time your content is downloaded by a customer.
- Deposit Photos. I love this website because it’s easy to start selling your photos through the platform. Simply click here to create your free account and upload your best content. After your account has been approved, you can start selling and making cash for your photos.
- iStock. This is another popular stock photo website where you can sell your photos online. Simply head to iStock.com and scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Sell Stock” to create your free account.
13. Make money selling your graphic designs
If you enjoy graphic design and want to make some extra cash online, consider selling your designs on Cafepress. This is an online marketplace that allows you to customize and design over 250 products and sell them through free user created shops. This can be a great way to make extra money on the side.
How to get started selling on Cafepress:
- Create and Upload a Design: Upload any image to Cafepress. It’s free and easy.
- Cafepress Sells Your Design on Products: Cafepress will instantly create a collection from your image and their 250+ catalog of awesome products. There’s no shop management necessary – they will market your products for you.
- Get Paid: You can get paid by check or PayPal.
Another great website to sell your graphic designs is Creative Market. I use this website all the time to find graphics to use on Mint Notion. Check out how Nicky Laatz has earned over $1,000,000 selling her work on Creative Market.
14. Sell your textbooks online
Textbooks can be expensive. And there’s no point in keeping them around if they’re just going to sit on a bookshelf collecting dust.
Instead, sell your textbooks online. This can be a great way to make money fast. Plus, it’s easy and free. A popular place to sell your textbooks online is TextBooks.com.
How to get started with TextBooks.com:
- Lock in Your Quote: Check here to get a buyback quote for your book. Your quote is good for 30 days.
- Print the Free UPS Label: Ship your book for free.
- Collect Your Cash: You can get paid by check or PayPal.
15. Get paid to get in shape
Are you interested in getting in shape or even dropping a few pounds? Becoming healthier might seem like motivation enough, but sometimes we need an extra incentive to stay on track.
Enter Healthy Wage. This company will help you meet your weight loss goals by offering a cash prize. Simply make a personalized bet on your own weight loss. If you’re successful with the challenge, you can win up to $10,000.
16. Make money as an Airbnb host
If your home has an extra room, you can make money by renting it out through Airbnb. No matter what kind of home or room you have to share, Airbnb makes is safe and easy to host travelers.
How to get started as an Airbnb Host:
- List Your Space For Free: Describe your space, how many guests you can accommodate, and share photos.
- Decide How You Want To Host: Set your price and choose your own schedule. It’s up to you.
- Welcome Your First Guest: Qualified guests can book your space and you’ll make money. Get paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or wire.
For more details, you can check out my complete guide on how to make money as an Airbnb Host.
17. Make money doing Fiverr gigs
Fiverr is an online marketplace where anyone can sign up for free and sell services. This can be content writing, photo editing, logo design and so on. All you need to do is create a free account and set up your gig. You’ll get notified when you get an order. Then you deliver great work and get paid.
18. Get cash for your mobile phone
Companies want to pay you cash for your mobile phone. A service such as Gazelle will give you cash or an Amazon gift card for your mobile device. This can help offset the cost of a new phone or put more money back in your pocket.
Not only can you sell your mobile phone, but Gazelle will also pay you for your iPad, MacBook, or iPod.
How to get started with Gazelle:
- Get an Offer: Find your item on Gazelle.com. It takes less than a minute to get an offer.
- Ship it Free: It’s free to ship items worth $1 or more.
- Get Paid Fast: You can get paid by check, PayPal, or choose an Amazon gift card.
19. Get paid to grocery shop
As a shopper, you’ll be grocery shopping for people. You can choose to be an in-store shopper (shopping only) or a full-service shopper (shop and deliver orders to customers). During busy shifts, you can earn $20 or more an hour depending on tips.
20. Flip stuff on Facebook marketplace
An easy way to make money online without any investment is to flip stuff on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Entreprenur, Gary Vaynerchuk, has a great article on how you can turn $0 into $1,000.
What’s the catch? There’s no catch. He suggests finding items on the Craiglist’s “free” section. Simply pick up the free item, bring it home, then take a photo of it to share on Facebook Marketplace (or eBay). Make extra money on the weekends or in your spare time, it’s up to you!