25 Ways to Make Money Online, Offline and at Home

Make money with a side gig and learn how long it will take to see the extra income.
Aug 8, 2022

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Want to make money, but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

And you're not alone. Some 16% of adults performed a side gig in the previous month to help them make extra money and, of those, 64% spent less than 20 hours doing those jobs during that period, according to the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021 report, released in May 2022 by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

NerdWallet rounded up 25 real ways to make money at home, online or out and about. For each potential side job, we list details like what it takes to get started, age requirements and how fast you can get paid. While most people want to make money fast, don’t discount the “slow” gigs, as they may pay more in the long run.

How to make money online

Making money online is the sweet spot people look for in the gig economy. Whether you aspire to be a six-figure social media influencer, or are just looking to supplement your regular income with some online side jobs, we've found some viable options.

A man makes money online with freelance work.

1. Pick up freelance work online

Make money online through websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com. These sites offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or Blend Express, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know if you’re charging too much or too little. Learn how to get started on Upwork.

Total time: It can take a while to get your first gig. Setup: 24 hours. How easy to start: Easy, if you have the expertise. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by site.

Need to know
  • Upwork will approve your profile within 24 hours. But keep in mind it can take time to land your first freelance gig.

  • Payment varies by site. On Upwork, you're paid after you and the client review the work, 10 days after the billing period ends. On Fiverr, you're paid when the work order is complete, but you can't withdraw funds for 14 days.

Requirements
  • Upwork requires users to be at least 18. Fiverr sets the age requirement at 13. And Freelancer.com requires users to be at least 16.

  • Some sites require you be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

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2. Test websites and apps

Another way to make money from home is on sites like UserTesting.com. You get paid for your thoughts on how well — or not so well — certain websites and apps worked. You’ll have to complete a short test to be accepted, then you’ll be paid depending on the test type. UserTesting.com does not disclose an exact amount.

Total time: Approval time can vary. Setup: Less than an hour. How easy to start: Easy, if you have the tech gear and complete a sample test. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: Seven days.

Need to know
  • You typically need to complete a sample test as part of the application process.

  • You will start receiving testing opportunities after your application is approved.

  • The timeline for approval can vary.

  • You get paid seven days after completing a website or app test.

  • Payment is issued via PayPal.

Requirements
  • You need to be at least 18.

  • You need a computer, internet connection and microphone.

  • Mobile app testers also need an Android or iOS mobile phone or tablet.

  • Some sites might have language requirements (e.g., UserTesting.com requires applicants to speak English or German).

3. Pick up tasks on Amazon's Mechanical Turk

Even in the age of automation, some jobs still require a human touch. Companies often outsource those jobs via services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. As a “worker,” the tasks you’ll be assigned can be tedious — tagging images, transcribing videos, classifying receipts — and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Temporary employers or “requesters” set the price for each task and get to approve the finished product before paying you. That can leave room for scams, so do your research. Join a community like the MTurk Crowd forum, or the MTurk and Turker Nation subreddits, which can steer you away from shifty dealers. These communities and fellow “workers” can answer questions and give a realistic idea of how much money you can expect to make. Read more about Mechanical Turk as a way to make quick money online.

Total time: Several days to find out if you're approved. Setup: Depends on the task you choose. How easy to start: Easy if you have certain skills. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: You get paid following work approval, which can take up to 30 days.

Need to know
  • It’s unclear how long it takes Amazon to review your application, but according to the MTurk subreddit, it can take several days to learn if you were approved or denied.

  • After you submit your work, the requester has 30 days to approve it.

  • You can have your earnings deposited into your bank account or put on an Amazon gift card.

Requirements
  • You must be at least 18 to register for Mechanical Turk.

  • You also need an Amazon account to register for Mechanical Turk.

4. Take surveys for money

You can make money from home by taking online surveys, but don’t expect to be rolling in the dough. Survey sites don’t typically offer a big payoff, and many sites are more useful for earning gift cards than cash. Some of the more popular survey sites include Swagbucks and Survey Junkie. Read our analysis of survey sites to find out which one is best suited for you.

Total time: It will take a while. Setup: Just minutes. How easy to start: Very. Just register and begin. Age threshold: 13 to 18+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by site.

Need to know
  • Survey sites could be an option for how to make money online for beginners because you can register with a site and start taking surveys in a matter of minutes.

  • The time it takes to get paid depends on the survey site and how much time you dedicate to taking surveys.

  • Some sites let you cash out only after you hit a minimum earnings threshold.

  • Other survey sites issue points, which can be redeemed for cash (via PayPal) or gift cards.

Requirements
  • Most survey sites have a minimum age requirement, which ranges from 13 to 18 (depending on the site) making these sites one idea for teens to make money online.

  • Individual surveys may have specific requirements. Don't be surprised if you are disqualified from a survey without much explanation.

5. Make money from your blog as an affiliate

If you’re a blogger who gets decent traffic, you could make money by joining an affiliate network. Affiliates (that’s you) get paid when someone clicks through from the website to the partner site and buys something there. Some bloggers make a lot of money this way. Read more about affiliate marketing and other ways bloggers can make money.

Total time: It can take quite a while to build an audience. Setup: With blog templates, building a site is easy. How easy to start: Starting is not that difficult. Creating regular content may be another matter. Age threshold: Any. How fast you'll get paid: A month or two, on average.

Need to know
  • First, you need a blog, social media account or other online presence that draws a healthy number of visitors each month.

  • Then, you need to apply for and be approved by an affiliate marketing network like CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, FlexOffers, Rakuten Advertising or Amazon Associates.

  • Payment schedules and thresholds vary by affiliate network, but expect to wait at least a month or two for your first paycheck.

  • Amazon Associates pays out earnings 60 days after the end of the calendar month in which they were earned. You must have a balance of at least $10 for earnings to be disbursed.

  • ShareASale disburses earnings on the 20th of each month.

Requirements
  • A blog, social media account or other online presence that attracts a steady stream of visitors.

6. Sell your wares on Etsy

Have a penchant for woodworking, jewelry-making, embroidery or pottery? Sell your goods on Etsy, the go-to site for artisans selling home goods, art and knickknacks. Etsy boasted almost 96 million active buyers and grossed over $13.5 billion in merchandise sales in 2021, according to data from Statista. Learn more about how to make money on Etsy.

Total time: It might take quite a while for customers to find you. Setup: Can be quite involved. How easy to start: Leaning toward "hard" on the difficulty meter. Age threshold: 13+. How fast you'll get paid: From the next day to seven days after a sale.

Need to know
  • Opening an Etsy shop is the easy part. It can be done in a few hours.

  • The prep work before you open up shop is more time-consuming. You need merchandise to sell, photos and descriptions to post, a name for your shop and a business plan to help you succeed. Once that’s done, you’ll still need to find customers. Depending on what you’re selling, that could take weeks, which is why you should expect the overall time for this gig to be slow.

  • Once you sell an item, payment is deposited into your Etsy Payments account.

  • In your first 90 days as a seller: Funds are available to deposit seven days after a sale.

  • After your first 90 days, funds are available for deposit the next business day.

Requirements
  • If you’re over 13 years old but under age 18, you can sell on Etsy but would be considered a minor and must follow extra policies.

  • You need to have all necessary rights to the merchandise sold in your shop.

7. Get advertising revenue from your blog or YouTube channel

Turn your cat videos into cash videos. If your YouTube videos or blog posts draw a big audience, you may be able to make money from advertising. YouTube sets 1,000 subscribers as the benchmark creators must make before applying for the YouTube Partners Program. YouTube Partners then get access to Google AdSense, a service businesses pay through to advertise around your content. The service is free, but there are requirements you must meet. Read more about how to make money on YouTube and Google AdSense.

Total time: It can take several weeks to get up and running. Setup: Not that hard. How easy to start: Depends on how good you are at producing interesting videos. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: Could take a long while to earn the first payout; then monthly.

Need to know
  • Signing up for Google AdSense is pretty easy, but it can take anywhere from a day to several weeks for your account to be activated.

  • Allow at least two months for ad revenue to start trickling in.

  • You need to earn at least $100 before you're eligible for a payout.

  • Once you hit the $100 threshold, earnings are issued between the 21st and 26th of the month. It can take four to 10 days to receive a payment via electronic funds transfer and up to 15 days to receive payment as a wire transfer.

Requirements
  • Your own website that has been active for at least six months.

  • For YouTube, you need more than 1,000 subscribers.

  • You must be at least 18.

8. Become an Instagram influencer

Companies are using Instagram influencers — people with large, dedicated followings on the platform — to rep their products. You can get in on the action by applying for opportunities via a marketing platform like Open Influence or Aspire, or by contacting the brands you want to work with. Read more about how to make money on Instagram. (You can also make money on TikTok this way.)

Total time: You'll need to stick with it. Setup: Quick and easy. How easy to start: Not that easy. It's a very competitive platform. Age threshold: 13+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies on partnerships.

Need to know
  • Creating an Instagram account is quick, but building a following takes time. Allow a few months to build a large enough following to attract advertisers.

  • Once you have the numbers, you'll need to find paid opportunities. You can do this via affiliate networks or by pitching brands you want to work with.

  • The time to receive your payment will depend on the terms of your agreement, but affiliate networks typically pay out earnings the month after a campaign is completed.

Requirements
  • An Instagram account with a dedicated, engaged following.

  • You'll also need to meet the requirements of any affiliate network.

9. Monetize your Twitch channel

Gaming could be a way to make money from home if you have a steady following on Twitch, the go-to site for gamers. Broadcasters can receive donations from viewers and even get a share of subscription and ad revenue if they reach Affiliate or Partner status. Learn more about how to make money on Twitch.

Total time: This can be a long game. Setup: Quick and easy. How easy to start: Easy to start; takes a while to build a following. Age threshold: 13+. How fast you'll get paid: Monthly.

Need to know
  • You can launch a Twitch channel and start streaming in a day, but it will take weeks or even months to build a following.

  • Donation revenue can be withdrawn rather quickly, depending on the payout method.

  • Subscription and ad revenue earned as a Twitch Partner or Affiliate is paid out on the 15th of every month, and you must have a balance of at least $50 for most payout methods (it's $100 for wire transfers).

Requirements
  • You need to hit certain viewership and broadcast milestones to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner and qualify for a share of game sales, ads and subscription revenue.

10. Sell your photography

Turn your photographs into cash via sites like Fine Art America, which lets you upload your images to sell as prints, T-shirts, phone cases and more. Other marketplaces for photographers include SmugMug, 500px and PhotoShelter. Some sites require a subscription but may provide features ranging from cloud storage to password-protected galleries and a customized website.

Total time: Buyers need to find you — and like your work. Setup: Just a few hours. How easy to start: If you have a library of photos, you're on the way. Age threshold: Any. How fast you'll get paid: Depends on your sales platform.

Need to know
  • You can set up a profile with sites like SmugMug, PhotoShelter or Fine Art America in a few hours, assuming you have a body of original work.

  • Payment varies widely depending on the site.

  • Fine Art America: Payment issued after 30-day return window expires. Sent on the 15th of each month.

  • PhotoShelter: Payment issued at time of sale to your chosen payment method (PayPal, Stripe, etc.).

  • SmugMug: You can request payment be issued the following month if you have a balance of at least $5.

Requirements
  • Requirements vary by site, but you need to have all necessary rights to the images you sell.

How to make money from home

Some side hustles don't even require you to leave the house. Or if they do, it might just be a short walk around the block with a furry friend. Working from home requires a little creativity and a stick-to-it spirit.

Here are some excellent ideas for side gigs from home:

11. Become a dog walker or dog sitter

Love dogs? Make money by becoming a dog walker. Apps like Wag and Rover offer on-demand dog walking, so you can pick up walks when your schedule allows. If you have space (and your landlord’s permission, if you rent), you could offer overnight dog boarding. Read the fine print if you sign up for these services

Total time: Building a client base may take some time. Setup: Takes about a week or so. How easy to start: Love pets? You're good to go. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: Two days to a week.

Need to know
  • It takes about five to 10 business days for your Rover profile to be reviewed and approved.

  • The application process for Wag can take from one to three weeks, and you must pass a background check and pet care quiz.

  • Rover: Your payments will be ready for withdrawal two days after completing a service.

  • Wag walkers get paid each Friday for the previous week through Stripe, a third-party system; some are eligible to be paid instantly to a debit card for a small fee.

Requirements
  • For Rover or Wag, you’ll need to live in an area where the service operates.

  • If you want to pet-sit, you’ll need an apartment or house that allows pets.

  • You’ll have to pass a background check.

12. Sell unused gift cards

Make extra money by selling unused gift cards on a site like CardCash or GiftCash. These websites say they will pay you up to 92% of the card’s value. On CardCash, you can also trade in your card for one you’ll use. Read more about what to do with unwanted gift cards.

Total time: Depends on the popularity of the gift card. Setup: Easy. How easy to start: The more gift cards you have to sell, the better. Age threshold: Old enough to have a credit card. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by sale method.

Need to know
  • You can get an instant offer or quote via sites like CardCash and GiftCash.

  • You can sell gift cards at kiosks and participating retail locations to get cash the same day, or try to sell it online. The latter takes longer, but you may get a better offer for your gift card.

Requirements
  • Your gift card may need to meet a minimum balance to be resold. Not all cards will generate offers.

  • Gift cards with explanation dates aren't eligible.

13. List your spare bedroom on Airbnb

Renting out your home or spare bedroom on vacation rental sites is another way to make extra money. Be prepared to spend some money to clean and keep up the property, replace home goods and pay toward service fees. And scrutinize your rental agreement before you get started.

Total time: Demand drives success, and that depends on your location. Setup: A listing can be created and live in hours. How easy to start: If you have a place to rent, it's a simple process. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: About one day.

Need to know
  • You can create a listing and start accepting reservations in the same day.

  • Payment is typically disbursed about 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in time, but processing time for that payment depends on the payout method. PayPal, Western Union, and Payoneer Prepaid debit cards are the fastest options; payment through them appears within one business day.

Requirements
  • Comply with any rules governing short-term or vacation rentals in your property, including city ordinances and rules issued by your landlord, condo board or homeowners association.

How to make money offline

There's online and at-home ways to make extra money — and then there's a third alternative: offline. This version of the gig economy may require a little more legwork, but the upside can be substantial. Here are offline ways to make money:

14. Sell your gently used clothes

A woman makes extra money by selling her clothes.

Selling clothes you no longer wear is a quick way to make some money. Start with local consignment shops for faster cash or use sites like ThredUp and Poshmark to find buyers. If you go the online route, be sure to take clear, well-lit photos of your pieces and research similar items to set competitive prices. Get tips on how to sell your clothing.

Total time: Varies by sales channel. Setup: Easy and fast. You can simply go to a consignment shop or fill a box with clothes and send it in. How easy to start: Easy. Cleaning out the closet may be the hardest part. Age threshold: Any. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by sales channel.

Need to know
  • You can sell used clothing and accessories several ways, but they're all pretty quick to start.

  • Fast: A brick-and-mortar consignment store like Plato's Closet will give you cash on the spot.

  • Medium: Other in-person and online consignment shops pay you when your items sell, or when they receive and inspect your items. Either way, allow at least a month for your payout.

Requirements
  • Gently worn shoes, clothing and accessories.

  • Items will go through various inspections before being accepted. For example, ThredUp checks items for pilling, fading, shrinkage, missing parts (like buttons) and stains. Items previously altered are also not accepted.

15. Trade in old phones, electronics for cash

Have an old phone, iPad or gaming system lying around? Sell it on a site like Swappa or Gazelle. Check out Amazon’s trade-in program, which pays participants in Amazon gift cards — and eBay, too. If you’re in a rush, try an ecoATM kiosk, which offers cash on the spot for your device.

Total time: Lots of options, so your time spent will vary. Setup: A breeze. How easy to start: Easy. Have phone, sell phone. Age threshold: Any. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by where you sell.

Need to know
  • Selling directly (Swappa, OfferUp, Craigslist): In most cases, you take photos of the phone, verify the electronic serial number is clean and post your listing. Some sites review and approve postings, but the time is minimal. Fees vary. Swappa, for example, charges a seller fee of 3%.

  • Selling to reseller (Gazelle): Answer a few questions online for an instant quote. Then send in your device and get paid once the company confirms your description matches the device.

  • Selling directly: When you get paid depends on how quickly your phone or device sells. Once the item sells, payment is fast.

Requirements
  • A used phone, laptop, gaming system, etc.

  • Cell phones: You need to verify the phone is not stolen or under a repayment plan.

16. Get a babysitting gig

Everyone from college students to recent retirees can make money by watching other people’s children. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are still a great way to get started, but you can also create a profile for free on Care.com or Sittercity to expand your reach. Note any specialized skills, such as CPR certifications, to make yourself more marketable.

Total time: Online setup takes minutes; neighborhood referrals may take a while. Setup: Just minutes. How easy to start: Getting the word out is the main thing. Age threshold: Very young if you're using referrals. 18+ online. How fast you'll get paid: When the parents come home.

Need to know
  • You can create a profile on Care.com or Sittercity in a matter of minutes.

  • You typically get paid when you complete your gig.

Requirements
  • You usually need to be at least 18 to list as a caregiver on Care.com and Sittercity.

  • Must complete a background check.

17. Rent out your car

City-dwellers often don’t use their cars for days or weeks at a time. That idle time can translate to extra money with services like Getaround and Turo, which let you rent out your car by the hour or day. You take home the majority of those earnings, while Getaround or Turo takes a cut for protecting your car while it’s being rented.

Total time: Demand for your car will depend on the local market. Setup: It takes about a half hour to set up an account. How easy to start: With an appropriate vehicle, it's easy. Age threshold: A valid driver's license and 21+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by site.

Need to know
  • You can create a listing on Turo or Getaround in under 30 minutes.

  • Turo initiates payment within three hours of the end of the rental. (This is the case for all trips after the first one, which takes a few days for Turo to send.) Payment is issued via direct deposit and can take up to three business days to appear in your account. For rentals longer than one week, Turo issues partial payments every seven days.

  • Getaround rental earnings accrue monthly and are paid out by the 15th of the following month. Payments are made via check or PayPal.

Requirements
  • You must own your car. Or, if you lease your car, check the terms of your agreement and financing documents to make sure you’re allowed to share it.

  • Your car must meet certain requirements (make/model/year/mileage) and satisfy maintenance and safety standards.

  • You should have a current, valid driver's license.

  • You must meet the site’s age requirement, which is commonly 21 years old.

18. Sign up for TaskRabbit

If you actually enjoy putting together Ikea furniture or standing in long lines, you may be cut out for doing tasks for others. Websites like TaskRabbit can connect you with people who need help with a variety of things, such as moving, cleaning, delivery and handyman services. The site also offers several virtual and online tasks, such as helping with a research project or data entry. Read about how to get started on TaskRabbit.

Total time: Local demand for your skills will determine the time you spend. Setup: A couple of hours, then some time for approval. How easy to start: Easy, though you'll need to do some research. Age threshold: 18+. How fast you'll get paid: A few days after a job.

Need to know
  • You can set up your profile and register in a matter of hours, but can't start accepting tasks until your profile is approved by TaskRabbit.

  • The company processes registration on a rolling basis to avoid oversaturation in a given market. How quickly your application is approved will depend on demand in your area.

  • Note that once approved, you need to pay a $25 fee, so you may first want to research your market and the value of your skills to determine if that fee is worth it to you.

  • You're paid after the task is completed through direct deposit. Payment typically takes a few days to appear in your account.

Requirements
  • You need to be at least 18 to start working with TaskRabbit.

  • Prospective Taskers must also pass a background check.

19. Become a private tutor

Parlay your math, science, foreign-language or test-prep expertise into a lucrative side gig by becoming a private tutor. You can tutor people online or in-person. What you charge can depend on your experience, expertise and what’s in demand. To get started, see what types of tutors are needed on Craigslist or create a profile on sites like Tutor.com or Care.com. You can also advertise your services at local schools and community centers.

Total time: Varies by subject matter. Some companies might require a minimum availability per week (e.g., Tutor.com requires 5 hours). Setup: Can be a bit involved. How easy to start: Students will have to find you, and that might take a while. Age threshold: Any. How fast you'll get paid: Usually pretty fast; often right away.

Need to know
  • Startup time depends on demand in your area. It could take a while before you get your first student.

  • If you haven't tutored before, you'll want to allow for time to prep so students feel like they're getting the most out of their time with you.

  • How quickly you get paid depends on whether you tutor via a platform or in-person; either way, it likely won't take long.

Requirements
  • You'll need deep knowledge in an area that people need help understanding, like mathematics, a foreign language or test prep.

  • Educational requirements might apply. Some tutors might be required to be currently enrolled in a 4-year university or have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited 4-year university.

20. Drive for Uber, Lyft

Join Uber or Lyft (or both) and make money by driving passengers around. Just don’t forget to factor in gas and maintenance costs. You need an eligible car in good condition and must agree to a background check and a review of your driving history. Learn how to become an Uber or Lyft driver.

Total time: Depends on your market demand. Setup: A few weeks. How easy to start: Not difficult, but you'll need the right type of vehicle. Age threshold:  Licensed to drive in your locality with one year of licensed driving experience (or three years if you're under age 25). How fast you'll get paid: Very fast. Either instantly or within days.

Need to know
  • Allow a few weeks for the application process, background check and car inspection.

  • Lyft and Uber can pay you instantly through a debit card or transfer earnings to your bank account pretty quickly.

Requirements
  • A car with four doors. It must also meet other requirements, such as year, physical condition, etc.

  • Let your car insurance company know of your plans before you start driving.

21. Make deliveries for Amazon, Uber Eats

Take advantage of the growing delivery trend and sign up for a service like Instacart, Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash or Amazon Flex. You get paid per delivery, in most cases, and can even earn tips. A car isn’t always required — Postmates and, in some cities, DoorDash, lets you use a bike or scooter to make deliveries. However, a background check almost always is part of the deal. Learn more about how to get started with Amazon Flex, Uber Eats and Instacart.

Total time: Depends on your market demand. Setup: About a week. How easy to start: Easy, if you have dependable transportation. Age threshold: 21+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by vendor.

Need to know
  • The background check can take up to five days, although that timing can vary.

  • Instacart pays weekly. DoorDash pays weekly, daily or instantly, for a fee.

  • Amazon Flex pays twice a week.

  • Uber Eats pays out weekly or daily, depending on the option you select.

Requirements
  • You'll need a way to deliver items. It could be a car, scooter or bike, depending on the service.

  • A smartphone is necessary to accept and process jobs.

  • Each delivery service has a minimum age requirement, but it varies by service.

22. Find work as a housesitter

If you’re willing to watch someone’s home — and maybe feed the pets, water the plants and take out the garbage — become a housesitter. Tap your personal network for referrals or try out HouseSitter.com, which connects homeowners with housesitters. People often make $25 to $45 a day, according to the company’s website.

Total time: Depends on your market demand. Setup: Minutes — or more if you try to drum up business by referrals. How easy to start: That can depend on the need in your area. Age threshold: Varies by site. How fast you'll get paid: At the end of a gig.

Need to know
  • You can create a profile on HouseSitter.com in a matter of minutes, though it may take time to secure your first housesitting gig.

  • You typically get paid by the homeowner when you complete your gig.

Requirements
  • Most sites have an age requirement.

23. Sign up to be a mystery shopper

Businesses often want to know how they’re performing from a customer’s perspective. Sign up to be their eyes and ears. You can apply online via sites like IntelliShop, BestMark and Sinclair Customer Metrics. Just beware of scams and do thorough research before signing on.

Total time: Varies by site. Setup: Applying takes little time, but approval can take a while. How easy to start: Relatively easy if you have required transportation and tech. Age threshold: May vary by site, but typically 18+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by company.

Need to know
  • The application process is typically quick, but then it's in the company's hands. It can take days, or even months, to assess your application, depending on demand.

  • Payout timing varies by company. BestMark, for example, issues payments twice a month and payment is typically received three to four weeks after the mystery shop is complete.

Requirements
  • Most mystery shopping services have an age requirement. You have to be at least 18 to shop for BestMark.

  • Depending on the service, you may need reliable transportation and internet access.

24. Find seasonal work

Need a gig for a few months? Try something seasonal, like being a lifeguard, shoveling snow or working at a retailer during the holidays. Employers typically staff up a month or two before their busy season, so plan ahead to get on their payroll. Check storefront windows, Craigslist and local classifieds for seasonal opportunities.

Total time: Varies by job. Setup: Job searches and interviews can take weeks. How easy to start: Not difficult, particularly if you have skills that fit your market. Age threshold: Minimum age depends on the job. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by company.

Need to know
  • Allow time for interviews, which can take a few weeks.

  • Companies start hiring for seasonal jobs a month or two in advance.

  • Unlike other side gigs, seasonal jobs often operate on a traditional payroll system. That means it may take a month from your start date to earn your first full paycheck.

  • But you can expect a regular paycheck, with payroll taxes already withheld, which is something other side gigs don't offer.

Requirements
  • It depends on the specific job, which could include being a minimum age, having a driver’s license, etc.

25. Put your drone to work

The market for drones is expanding. Companies hire out work like aerial inspection, photography and land mapping. So if you’re already a drone enthusiast, why not make extra money with your aircraft? You first need to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration and obtain certification from the agency for commercial use. Then, you can apply for gigs as a drone pilot. Learn how to make money with drones.

Total time: Depends on demand. Setup: You'll need to make time to pass a test. And then find clients. How easy to start: If you already have a drone, you're likely qualified. Age threshold: 16+. How fast you'll get paid: Varies by company.

Need to know
  • Give yourself more than a month to study, schedule and pass a written test.

  • You also need to find clients.

  • Payment will depend on your client.

Requirements
  • You’ll need a drone.

  • To do this legitimately, you’ll need a certificate that involves passing an aeronautical knowledge test.

  • A background check is also needed.

Watch out for making money scams

The internet is full of opportunities to make money online or from home, but many are questionable, if not outright scams. Be wary of any “opportunity” that asks for an upfront fee, wants you to pay for certification, or requests your Social Security number or any financial information, such as your credit card number.

Still unsure if an opportunity is legit? Look for community forums, like those on Reddit, for unfiltered reviews and complaints. (Workers on TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, for example, each have their own subreddit.) Also, check if the company has a Better Business Bureau profile. The BBB assigns ratings based on reported complaints, business transparency and other factors.

Monitor your money during trying times. If you’re facing financial anxiety, NerdWallet can find ways to save. Join for free.

Frequently asked questions
How can I earn money online easily?

Side jobs such as testing websites, taking surveys and selling your used stuff online take minimal time to set up and have few requirements. You can also earn passive income through affiliate marketing or renting out your vehicle.

How can I make money fast at home?

Some of the fastest ways to make money from home include selling used clothes and electronics, babysitting and renting out a room on a vacation rental website.

How can I make money right now?

It’s tough to find jobs that pay on the spot. You can check local or online job listings for paying gigs like moving couches or painting a fence for someone in your area. If you need money immediately, consider other ways to get fast cash.

» LEARN: How to make money online in Canada

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