31 Clever Ways to Make Money from Home

published Sep 26, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

There’s work from home, and then there’s make money from home. These two are not the same, and, while working retail, picking up a bartending shift, or driving a car-sharing service are great ways to make extra money, sometimes you want a side hustle that lets you stay in. 

If you want to learn how you can make money from home, check out these 30 clever ways to bring in a few extra dollars each month. Some require little more than downloading an app, while others are more of a professional endeavor, but all involve earning cash without ever having to walk through your front door.

1. Sign up for Rakuten.

You’re probably going to do some online shopping at some point, so why not make money while you do it? Sign up for Rakuten or another cash-back platform to earn a percentage back on every purchase. 

2. Write resumes.

Have a knack for spinning experience and nailing keywords? You could get paid anywhere from $50 to $500 to write and polish resumes for everyone from entry-level candidates to executives.

3. Grow extra produce.

If you found yourself with more tomatoes than you could ever use in a season (and your neighbors have started avoiding you on the sidewalk, afraid to end up with another bushel),  then use that extra produce to make money. Offer it in a neighborhood group for pickup to make a few extra dollars.

4. Take surveys.

It might not accrue quickly, but there are apps where you can take surveys to earn money. It’s an easy way to make a few bucks while you’re sitting on the couch in the evening, plus, you get to share your thoughts.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Do laundry.

If you get satisfaction from a freshly laundered pile or clothing or you love the feeling of putting a crisp crease in a pair of pants, you can offer a service to do laundry for others. Clients drop off their laundry or you can pick it up, then you do the laundry at home, and return it. It’s an easy way to make money while you watch TV or listen to a podcast at home.

6. Rent your items.

From Turo, which lets you rent your car out, to advertising items for event displays, to renting out a bike, there are lots of ways you can rent your items for extra cash. Ideally, the renter picks the item up from you, and you get to complete the transaction entirely from home.

7. Sell your photos.

If you have a photography hobby, you can make money by selling your photos. List your images on stock imagery sites or sell them as fine artwork.

8. Take tests.

Websites like UserTesting look for test participants to share their experiences with products and websites, then take tests detailing the pros and cons. Typically, participants receive cash or gift cards after completion.

9. Start an Etsy shop.

From printables to meal planning ideas, there are countless ways to start an Etsy shop without having to leave your home. Choose a digital product that doesn’t involve shipping, and you can run the business without ever setting foot in a post office.

10. Let Nielsen track you.

Nielsen wants to know what people are watching and they’ll pay you to track your viewing and listening habits and occasionally answer questions about it. You can sign up for the chance to be selected.

11. Sell old items.

If you’ve recently cleared out your home, you know there are treasures waiting to be discovered by someone else. Try selling them on Facebook Marketplace or another online forum where you can list the item, have someone pick it up, and receive payment digitally.

12. Pet sit.

If you love animals, then this one is easy. Sign up to pet sit, with the caveat that it’s in your own home. People bring their dogs to you — what could be better?

13. Trade in old tech.

There are websites where you can send in old phones, cameras, and more, and earn cash back. It may not be a significant amount, especially on older items, but it’s better than those pieces of plastic sitting under your bed. 

14. Sell clothing on Poshmark or Depop.

There’s nothing better than the feeling of cleaning out your closet, so why not make money while you get there? Snap a few photos, write a quick listing, and you’re on your way to extra money in your pocket. 

15. Rent your parking space.

If you live in a city or an area that fills up at certain times of the year, consider renting your parking spot either monthly or just for special events. You can list it online, take online payment, and never have to leave your home.

Credit: Angie Yeoh/Shutterstock

16. List an extra room on a short-term rental site.

You don’t have to take in a full-time roommate, but you could list a room in your apartment or home on a short-term rental site during big events in your city. It’s a relatively easy way to make a few hundred dollars.

17. Sell baked goods.

People love bread, cookies, and anything sweet. And they really love when those goodies are homemade. If you have a knack for baking, sell your baked goods via a neighborhood Facebook group or make an Instagram page. This is how more than a few professional bakers got their start!

18. Tutor kids online.

Now that more parents and children are comfortable with the idea of online learning, there’s an opportunity to tutor kids online. You could offer Spanish lessons or math help after school hours, which perfectly lines up with after 9-5 hours, too.

19. Write transcriptions.

From transcribing shows to webinars to interviews, if you’re a fast typer and good listener, this is an easy way to make extra money — and you might learn something new while you’re at it!

20. Become a virtual assistant.

If you’re organized, spending a few hours a day serving as someone’s virtual assistant could be a good way to make money and learn on-the-job skills. You may answer emails, send invoices, or do other administrative tasks.

21. Get a job doing customer service.

While it can be a thankless role at times, customer service is a job that can be done from home during off hours. If you have a day job, you can take an evening shift for a few hours, answering phone calls and doing everything people once did from a call center.

22. Start an e-commerce site.

From stationery to party supplies to accessories, there are countless ways to start a niche e-commerce site where you buy items cheap and sell them at a markup. There are logistics involved, but it runs smoothly once you figure out the flow and shipping process.

23. Become a social media manager.

This isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re creative and social media savvy, then you could manage accounts for brands and influencers. You’ll handle their DMs, posting, and content. It’s not easy to do as a side hustle, but it can be done from home.

Credit: Dima Berlin/Getty Images

24. Pick up freelance projects.

Whether you’re a graphic designer or a coder, you can find freelance projects on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. You upload your portfolio, then apply to projects or wait for potential clients to reach out to you.

25. Publish an e-book.

Have something to say? Use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to publish your thoughts and expertise in an e-book. It may be slow-going, but you’ll make royalties on every sale.

26. Start a YouTube channel.

All you need is a ring light and expertise. Whether you’re making recipes, teaching makeup techniques, or starting a workout channel, once you get big enough, you can monetize through ad revenue.

27. Sell old gift cards.

Is that old Bed Bath and Beyond gift card still sitting in a drawer, five years after your bridal shower? You can sell it online. You won’t get face value, but cash is better than a gift card you won’t use. 

28. Rent your extra space.

Have a garage that’s empty? You can rent out your extra space to neighbors with too much stuff via a website called, fittingly, Neighbor.

Credit: Photo: Alpha Smoot; Prop Styling: Ed Gallagher

29. Refinish furniture.

If you have a creative streak — and a lot of patience — you can get paid to refinish other people’s furniture in your own home. You don’t have to track down pieces to rehab; instead, people bring their old items right to you. You refinish them as requested, then they pick them up. It lets you scratch the DIY itch, without accumulating a house full of furniture you don’t need.

30. Become a chess tutor.

Who knew there are people out there eager to become chess experts? Well, there are. And, if you happen to already be one, then you can tutor others and make major extra cash.

31. Plan travel.

Some people love planning travel, while others hate it. If you happen to love it, then you have a side hustle in the making — one that takes you around the world without leaving your home. Become a virtual travel planner and put together over-the-top or budget-friendly itineraries for others.