19 Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Cash

Need more cash? Here are a bunch of ideas for a side income that can give your finances a boost.

10. Take surveys for cash

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Rather than spending hours in a focus group, you could spend minutes filling out an online survey to make some cash.

To learn more, check out “5 Survey Websites That Will Pay You for Your Opinion.”

11. Enter contests and sweepstakes

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It’s unconventional, but some people make extra money from sweepstakes. It’s probably only a marginally better option than hitting the casino, but at least you won’t lose any money.

To give it a try, head to a site like Online-Sweepstakes.com, which categorizes all the sweeps by date, prize and how often you can enter. There’s also a forum in which you can connect with other sweepstakes fans.

12. Find some gigs online

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Check out Amazon Mechanical Turk, a platform through which businesses and other organizations can crowd-source small tasks to individual workers. You might do something like entering a few bits of data, for example.

It’s easy work that, in some cases, will pay you literally pennies. To maximize your potential earnings on MTurk, check out “The Browser Extension That Can Earn You Thousands of Dollars.”

13. Rent out a room

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A lot of people make extra money by renting out a room in their home to travelers.

Airbnb is the biggest name in the business, but other big sites offering to facilitate room rentals include Homestay.com.

14. Rent your space

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Instead of renting a room at your home, just rent some space.

For example, if a local festival means public parking is at a premium, charge a few dollars for people to park in your driveway or on your lawn. Or, rent out space in your pole barn or garage to those who need to store items. Check out “Need Extra Cash? This App Helps You Rent Out Your Yard (and Hot Tub)” for details.

However, keep it legal by checking with your municipality first to make sure it’s allowed.

15. Rent your friendship

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Of all the things you could rent out to others, your friendship might be the strangest.

Sites such as RentAFriend.com allow people to rent someone’s companionship for a day. Supposedly, it’s all on the up and up, and the outings are strictly platonic.

16. Be a tutor

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You suffered through all those long years of algebra, geometry and grammar. As a tutor, you can get a little payback for the knowledge you gained.

Local schools or colleges might be a good place to look for tutoring opportunities. Otherwise, you can find online gigs at websites such as Tutor.com.

17. Flip items on eBay

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The 50-cent finds you discover at a local thrift store or garage sale might be worth a whole lot more on the global marketplace of eBay.

It might take a little trial and error to learn what’s worth money online. Search for “flipping on eBay” or “reselling on eBay” to learn the tricks of the trade.

Also check out:

18. Become a mystery shopper

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Many years ago, I worked as a mystery shopper, gathering information for businesses about their customer service and compliance with regulations. It was an excellent way to eat for free at high-end restaurants and earn some nice side cash.

Just be aware that mystery shopping isn’t nearly as easy as you might think. My experience was that some shopping scenarios were a bit contrived — for example, requiring you to ask strange questions or make returns immediately after a purchase. Once you finish shopping, you typically need to whip up a narrative of your experience, so good writing skills are a must.

To learn more, check out:

19. Crowdfund your dreams

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Finally, you could simply ask for money. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo enable you to solicit money from others for a wide variety of reasons.

What do you think? Are you going to try any of these unconventional ways to earn money? 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.

Maryalene LaPonsie
Maryalene LaPonsie
After 13 years as a staffer for a Michigan legislator, I decided it was time to quit the commute and work from home instead. For the past three years, I’ve been penning ... More


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