13 Real Ways to Make Money from Home

It doesn't matter if you're a busy parent, college student or retiree, you can get in on these proven ways to earn extra money from home.

13 Real Ways to Make Money from Home Photo by palidachan / Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for ways to make extra money from home, you’ve come to the right place.

There are more than 4 million Americans working from home. You have to be careful in pursuing these jobs, however, because the internet is full of scams. That’s why we’ve searched through thousands of ideas for you and put together this list of 13 real ways to make money from home:

1. Invest in real estate (with as little as $500)

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You don’t have to have millions — not even thousands — to invest in real estate. With Fundrise you can invest in the real estate market with as little as $500. In the past, this type of real estate investing was available only to the richest, but nowadays any U.S. resident over the age of 18 can invest, regardless of net worth.

With as little as $500 you can open a Fundrise Starter Portfolio. Your investment is backed by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, Fundrise will buy back your investment. You can inspect the properties in your portfolio, and each project is acquired and managed by a team of professionals on your behalf. Fundrise boasts 8.7 to 12.4 percent in historical annual returns.

2. Get paid to answer surveys

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Did you know there are websites that will pay for your opinion? Taking surveys isn’t going to make you rich, but if you have some free time you can quickly earn extra cash with very little effort. We recommend signing up to a few sites that provide access to surveys. By taking more surveys you’ll increase your earnings potential.

Here are our top picks:

  • Swagbucks: Get $5 for signing up and completing your first survey.
  • MyPoints: Earn gift cards for answering surveys and taking polls. You’ll get a $5 bonus after completing your first five surveys
  • Survey Junkie: Take surveys and get virtual points that you can redeem for PayPal cash or gift cards.

3. Make far more interest on your savings

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It is well-known that interest rates on savings accounts are still very low. In fact, the rate on the average savings account is hovering around 0.09 percent. Why not ditch your low-earning savings account and open a high-interest one instead?

Enter CIT Bank, an online bank that offers a 2.45 percent annual percentage yield (APY) with its Savings Builder account. That’s one of the highest interest rates available, and it’s a 100 percent risk-free return and FDIC-insured.

Read our full CIT Bank review to learn more.

4. Make money watching videos

vectorfusionart / Shutterstock.comvectorfusionart / Shutterstock.com

InboxDollars will pay you real cash (not points) to watch clips, the latest news and many other videos. You can choose from topics such as news, celebrities, entertainment, tech, food or health. Not only is joining free, but you’ll also get your first $5 just for signing up.

5. Find out if retailers owe you a refund

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.comAntonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

With Paribus you can find out whether stores owe you a refund without much effort. To get started, sign up for a free account, and then let Paribus scan your email inbox for purchase receipts. If a price drop is discovered on something you have bought, Paribus will let you know and help get back the difference in price.

Paribus also monitors deliveries from Amazon and Walmart, and gets you money back on items that are shipped late.

6. Get cash back when you shop — plus a free $10 gift card

Money in pocketArt_rich / Shutterstock.com

Earn extra money on Ebates, a site that gets you up to 40 percent cash back at more than 2,500 stores. Here’s how they make that possible: Retailers pay Ebates a commission for sending shoppers to their websites. Then Ebates shares that commission with you. So why not get cash back the next time you shop online at Amazon or Walmart?

Signing up has become even more lucrative: As a bonus for being a new Ebates member, you’ll earn $10 when you spend at least $25 within the first 90 days of signing up.

Here’s how to claim your free $10 gift card:

  1. Sign up on Ebates.com. (It only takes a minute.)
  2. Use the Ebates portal to reach an online retailer, and spend at least $25 on your first purchase within 90 days.
  3. Your account will be rewarded points that you can then use to redeem your $10 gift card.

7. Invest effortlessly

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Sit back and let Acorns, a micro-investing app, help you save and invest your spare change automatically.

As you go about your day, Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the difference automatically. So, let’s say you spend $10.25 at the supermarket — the app will take the 75 cents from rounding that purchase price up to $11 and transfer it to your Acorns account. Then, Acorns will get to work and invest your 75 cents in savings into a diversified portfolio.

The Acorns app costs $1 per month, but you’ll earn $5 just by signing up.

8. Keep your receipts and earn cash

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Ibotta is a free app that gets you real cash back — not points — on items you already buy, such as groceries, cosmetics and more.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Before you go shopping, add the items you’ll buy to your shopping list within the Ibotta app.
  2. Shop for the items on your list at participating stores, and don’t forget to save the receipt!
  3. Take a photo of your receipt within Ibotta and earn cash.

Download Ibotta and get a $10 bonus after uploading your first receipt

9. Rent out your place by the day

Iglenas / Shutterstock.comIglenas / Shutterstock.com

Have a spare room? Then why not rent space in your place and earn money as an Airbnb host?

We know, it takes a great deal of trust when people are staying in your home. The good news is that with Airbnb you can decide who gets to book and get to know your guests before their stay. Airbnb also covers all bookings with $1 million in protective insurance — just in case of an accident.

Here’s a few tips to earn more as an Airbnb host:

  • Rent your space during high-demand times, such as during major conferences and concerts.
  • Respond to inquiries quickly. You wouldn’t want your guests booking somewhere else!
  • Cancellations can get messy, so keep your calendar of available dates accurate and up to date.
  • Leave reviews for great guests, and they’ll reward you with reviews too.

Find out how much you could earn with Airbnb’s property value calculator.

10. Lose weight and gain cash

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The only thing better than losing weight is getting paid to do it.

With the HealthyWage website and app, you bet on your own weight-loss goal. If you hit your goal, you win money. If you miss your goal, you lose money.

This might sound crazy, but recent academic research shows that financial incentives and games are powerful weight-loss tools. This is because they add fun, accountability and structure to help you reach your goals.

Play around with the HealthyWage prize calculator to see how much you could make.

11. Drive people around in your car

Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.comTero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve got a four-door car, why not put it to good use and earn money as a driver for Uber? Professional driving experience is not required.

Here’s some secret tips to making more as an Uber driver:

  • Go where the people are during peak hours when folks need rides.
  • Offer free bottles of water, snacks and a phone charger to your passengers. They’ll appreciate the gesture and tip you for it.
  • When dropping off your passengers at the end of their ride, ask them nicely for an “honest” rating. Most passengers don’t give ratings, but when they do, a tip screen will then pop up giving them the option to leave a tip. When you get more ratings more people will see the tip screen.

Here’s why it’s easy to make money with Uber.

12. Sell your stuff

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Decluttr will buy your CDs, DVDs, books, as well as technology like cellphones and game consoles. To sell your stuff, just download the app and scan the item’s barcode, and the site will generate an instant offer. If the price sounds good, ship your items to Decluttr. You’ll get paid the day after they receive your stuff.

13. Watch after doggies and get paid

Grigorita Ko / Shutterstock.comGrigorita Ko / Shutterstock.com

What’s better than playing with a puppy? Getting paid for it!

Rover is a site that connects you to local pet owners who need someone to walk or watch their pooch. So if you love playing with dogs, Rover is a great way to earn more and enjoy doing it.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Create a profile on Rover.com.
  • Once approved, you can start hearing from owners right away.
  • After the job is complete you’ll get paid through PayPal within 48 hours.

Why stop now? If you liked this info, subscribe to our free newsletter. (It only takes 5 seconds.) You’ll get tons of cool ideas to make more, spend less and otherwise enjoy life.

Do you have a cash-generating idea to add to this list? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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