Trying to make money online can leave a sour taste in your mouth. You might run into a scam or two. And don’t forget about the pyramid schemes that want you to “invest in your future.”
Puh-lease. Who has the time?
Instead of messing with fishy ads, check out some legitimate ways you can make extra money without leaving your house (or buying a bunch of inventory to sell to your friends on Facebook).
How to Make Money Online This Week
From getting paid to do things you already do to earning cash back on items you’re already planning to purchase, we found 10 easy ways for you to earn up to $336 this week.
1. Make an Extra $20 Watching Videos
Daniel Min for The Penny Hoarder
Let’s kick things off with an easy one. Most of you already know about InboxDollars, but did you know that it will pay you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news and dozens of other videos?
Plus, you’ll get a bonus $5 just for signing up.
You need to watch all of the shows in a playlist to earn your bucks, so be prepared. InboxDollars lets you know how long the playlist runs before you start watching, and playlists range from a few minutes to about half an hour.
The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!
At the end of the week, try to add $15 on top of that $5 bonus, and pull in a solid $20 from doing something you already do.
2. Find a Hidden $5 or More in Your Inbox
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
To save time, mom and blog manager Aimee B. does the majority of her shopping online — about 90% of it, she estimates. She stocks up on groceries, clothes and household necessities without leaving home.
In the past two years, Paribus has found Aimee $1,315.41 in savings while shopping online.
“It really is as simple as giving your email address,” she says. “It’s kind of a no-brainer.”
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
We know you have some old e-receipts collecting dust in your email, so see if this tool can score you an extra $5 to $10 this week.
Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.
3. Get Paid $20 to Give Your Opinion
Online surveys aren’t going to make you rich, but there’s a certain appeal to clicking a few buttons and earning money while sitting at home.
We’ve tried a lot of paid survey sites, but here are a few others we’ve found and liked. Sign up for all of them, and you can pocket $20 in bonuses this week!
- Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.
- MyPoints: This platform lets you earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online — a great way to cash in on long lines or an endless commute. You’ll earn a $5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.
- Survey Junkie’s clean look keeps you motivated to take as many surveys as you want. It’s relatively quick to reward you with points once you’ve completed a survey. Once you earn 1,000 points — equal to $10 — you can cash out for gift cards or cash via PayPal. Pro tip: Take all the profile surveys to help you earn an easy 200 points or so up front.
- VIP Voice surveys are relatively quick to complete and reward you with points you can redeem for cash or gift cards. Plus, you’ll still get points for taking surveys even if you don’t qualify to take the whole survey. Plan to login a few times each week, and you’ll have no trouble earning extra money this month with almost no work.
4. Earn $12/Hour Doing Random Google Searches
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder
You know how you ask Google all the random questions that pop into your head? You could get paid for that.
Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see — and they don’t always get it right.
They’re vulnerable to errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevance and usefulness. And those humans can get paid around $12 an hour for the work.
If you want to get paid to clean up Google’s mess (or Bing’s or Yahoo!’s) apply for a job with a company like Lionbridge. The company is often hiring, so if you don’t see any openings now, keep an eye on The Penny Hoarder work-from-home jobs page for the next one.
If you did this for one hour every week day, that’s an easy $60 in a week. If you’re feeling money hungry, add an hour on Friday and Saturday to bump your earnings up to $84. Cha-ching.
5. Play Free Scratch-off Tickets for up to $10K
There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.
Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of scratching and losing, then doing it all over again, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets.
The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.
Here’s an instant win we love: Oneil Campbell, a Boston dad, used the app to enter a Monopoly Boardwalk contest and won $5,000 — just for entering the contest.
Even if you’re not feeling lucky, test out this app. Several of us here at The Penny Hoarder have played Lucktastic and have walked away with $1 and some tokens.
6. Invest in Real Estate With as Little as $500
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
Not everyone has “buy a house” kind of money.
You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started with Fundrise. You can get started with a minimum investment of just $500, and Fundrise does all the heavy lifting for you.
Through the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, your money will be split into two portfolios that support private real estate around the United States.
In addition to four rental properties, Christopher and Meghan Miller have invested in a diversified portfolio of real estate projects across the country — from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles — through Fundrise’s automated investment experience.
“I don’t have to manage them; I don’t have to do the work to improve the properties; I don’t have to find tenants, evict tenants,” Christopher says.
They follow the progress of each project they’ve invested money into through Fundrise, and Christopher receives automatic payments directly into his checking account.
(But remember: Investments come with risk. While Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since at least Q2 2016, dividend and principal payments are never guaranteed.)
You’ll pay a 0.85% annual asset management fee and a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee.
7. Earn up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper
Can you open a spreadsheet? Check. Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? Check. How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed? Check, check, check.
Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.
You don’t have to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.
The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful, too.
Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and you have no commute. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.
Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch.
At $60 per hour — Robinson’s recommended target rate — you could earn $600 working just 10 hours a week! Even at about $20 per hour as a new bookkeeper, that’s $200 a week. Still pretty good!
8. Earn $25 for Shopping
Matt Roth for The Penny Hoarder
Heading to the store soon?
Here’s how to make your trip pay off: Before you go, search for items on your shopping list within Ibotta, an app that will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.
When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes to get paid.
Some deals we’ve seen include:
- 25 cents cash back for any item.
- 25 cents back on strawberries.
- 50 cents back on frozen fruit snacks.
- $1 back on a box of tea.
- $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.
Notice a lot of those aren’t tied to a brand — just shop for the staples on your list, and earn money! Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.
You’ve got a lot of groceries on that list, a.k.a. earning potential, so use Ibotta this week to earn $25 in cash back for buying things you already need. You’ve already got $10 guaranteed, so you only have to find deals for another for $15. Easy.
9. Invest in Cannabis, and Get $5 in Free Stocks
You don’t just want to invest. You want to invest in an industry you believe in. One that could take off and make money.
You want to invest in cannabis, and now you can. You don’t have to have tons of money to invest in the cannabis industry. Using a microinvesting app like Stash, you can invest in increments as little as $5.
Need a nudge? Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to give you an extra $5 after your first investment.
Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. It offers more than 40 exchange-traded funds, including one for those who are already seeing green on the cannabis horizon.
But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.
Once you sign up with Stash, take a look at the app’s portfolio options, including one cannabis-related ETF, to find an investment blend that meets your goals. You can be as conservative or aggressive as you need to be.
10. Let This App Grow Your Money 50 Times Faster
Personal finance 101: Where you stash your money is almost as important as how much you have. Believe it or not, you don’t need to start out with a lot to be a smart investor.
With a free app called Worthy, you can start investing with just $10.
No matter how much, that money is yours. You want to grow it safely, right? Your first thought is a savings account, which will earn you an average of 0.10%, according to an April 2019 report by the FDIC. That’s practically stagnant.
You’ve got to think outside your bank.
Worthy is a microinvesting app that pays out a fixed 5% annual interest rate — around 50 times more than what you’d get from the bank. And a lot more stable than investing in stocks.
It invests in bonds that act like a savings account — you can deposit or withdraw money at any time with no fees or penalties. You can even set up a recurring investment or use Worthy’s round-up program to invest your spare change.