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How to Make Money Without Spending Money - 18 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Home

Updated on June 8, 2016
Michelle Bentley profile image

Freelance writer and author for 20+ years. Mom, grandma and wife. Jesus follower. Love to write about anything under the sun.

Don't Pay to work - Let them pay you!
Don't Pay to work - Let them pay you!

Don't Pay To Work

With nearly half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it isn’t surprising that one of the most popular search engine phrases is “how to make extra income.” Millions of folks are looking for ways to earn extra income. Sometimes, no matter what it takes.

Unfortunately, for as many eager workers there are there are just as many scams. Never, and I repeat, never, should one pay to work for someone. The request for money to hire you or the service of finding a job should be a big red flag. Nobody should be required to pay to work for someone else. After all, a company isn’t a company without employees. The company will earn money from your work. If you’re being asked to pay a fee to work for someone, please, walk away. You shouldn’t pay anyone to work for them. It’s that simple.

As someone who has searched for ways to make extra income online (or anywhere, for that matter) for almost 2 decades, I know how frustrating it can be to find a legitimate online company to work for. Through my years of research I have come across both legitimate companies to work for and some that required a fee. I always, always steer clear of job opportunities that require a fee.

I have compiled a list of 18 ways to earn extra income that won’t cost a dime, unless you go into a business for yourself. If you are a stay-at-home mom, retiree, or someone who is just looking to grab some extra cash in your spare time you may find something on this list that is perfect for your needs.

Legitimate Online Jobs
Legitimate Online Jobs

Online Work

The following list contains online jobs that you can work in your spare time. These are all jobs that you can get started for free. You will not be asked for any credit card information. Most of the websites listed below are for writers. However, you don’t need to have a writing degree. All you need is a basic command of spelling and grammar and a will to succeed. Scroll further for non-writing jobs.

Slice the Pie - If you love music and you do a little writing, earning a small extra income at Slice the Pie might be to your interest. You can get paid by listening to 90 seconds of a new song and then write a short review. You won’t get rich, but it is a fun, entertaining way to earn a few extra bucks in your spare time. Chances are, you are online during your spare time anyway, right? You’ll only receive pennies per review, however, pennies add up and before you know it you will have whole dollars.

Appen - You can join Appen’s Talent Network for free. From there you can search and apply for online jobs Once you’re accepted you can search for both contractual and permanent jobs. Areas of interest are vast and range anywhere from simple data collection to executive positions. You can also opt to receive emails containing new job opportunities. Definitely worth checking out.

Bubblews - Kind of a social website where you can create and share content. Write about anything of your liking, follow other members, share on social media. You’re paid based on views, likes, and comments, so the more you “socialize” the better chance to earn a little income. The more visitors to your content the more money you earn.Bubblews also pays pennies, but it’s easy and fun. The more you write and socialize the more you earn. The downside is that you can not withdraw from your bank until your account reaches $50.

Mechanical Turk - Owned by Amazon, Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace that enables members to perform tedious tasks that computers aren’t able to do. Tasks might include reading a business ad and answering questions about the ad. You might be asked to write a product review or watch a video and comment on it.The amount of cash earned by the jobs varies. Again,it won’t make you a lot of money , but it can be fun and a quick way to add up some cash.

Elance - Here you can sign up to be an Elance freelancer. Whether you’re a web developer, writer, translator, marketing pro, or any other type of freelancer, it’s worth checking out. Elance has clients always looking for a variety of freelancers for different projects. Pay depends on the client you work for and you are able to negotiate a fee as well as set rates.

O’Desk - O’Desk is very similar to Elance. No set-up fees. Free to join.After registering and receiving acceptance you can begin to look for freelance jobs that interest you.

Blogmutt - Geared toward freelance writers and bloggers, Blogmutt is an online blog writing service. Writers are paid $8 per blog. Each blog needs to be a minimum of 350 words. If you can bang out a good blog in 30 minutes this may be worth it. Even if it takes longer, having an extra $8 deposited into your bank account on a regular basis really adds up. I wrote for Blogmutt for 2 years and I loved being surprised at how much money I had banked simply by doing something I loved to do.

LikedReviews - This company is fairly new in the online world. They are always looking for good writers to write a review on any product or topic you want. Likedreviews pays per ad revenues through Google Adsense. You will need to write 10 reviews before Google will start generating ads on your article, but it is a great, ground-floor opportunity. Too good to pass up. If you think you can write good content then you can generate a good income from Likedreviews. Now is the perfect time to get in before they are swamped with writers.

Hubpages - Last, but not least, if you like to write, you can earn extra money through Hubpages. Earning through ad revenues can create a great additional income while doing something you love.




Sell Unwanted Items
Sell Unwanted Items

Got Something to Sell?

If you’re a craftsman of some sort the following websites will allow you to post your items for free.

Amazon - On Amazon you can sell old books, games or gadgets that are in good condition. You just need an Amazon Seller Account. It only takes a few minutes to register. You might not make a ton of money, however, if you have any items that an Amazon member is looking for it’s easy to earn a few extra bucks.

Ebay - Like Amazon you will need to register for an Ebay Seller Account. Here you can sell anything and everything. Look around your home. You’re bound to have clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. that you just don’t use any more. If you’re business-minded, you can even gather up lightly used clothing from garage sales, discount stores, etc. and become a regular seller on Ebay. There are many successful Ebay sellers who make a pretty good living selling products of all kinds.

Etsy - Is there something you’re good at making? Maybe you crochet or knit; make objects out of wood; sew doll clothes. Whatever it maybe Etsy is where you can sell it. You may need to spend a little money with Etsy if you want to advertise with them, however, if you can gain a lot of followers your items will sell themselves.

Online Yard Sales - Another great way to earn fast cash is posting to online yard sales in your area. Please use precaution as you will need to come face-to-face with strangers during the transaction. I always suggest, whenever possible, to bring the item to your local police station and have the buyer meet you there.

Offer Services
Offer Services

Other Money-making Ideas

There are also ways to earn extra income offline. Here are just a few:

Deliver the Local Newspaper - Okay, so you’re not twelve. But, did you know that most newspaper carriers are adults now? And did you know that you can actually make a good income for a few hours per day of work? Yep, newspaper carriers can earn upwards of $450 per week. It depends on the newspaper, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re serious about making extra income.

Offer a Service -There’s plenty of ways to earn extra income by offering a service. Do you babysit? Do you like to iron or do laundry? Cut grass? Shovel snow? Can you offer to drive senior citizens to the store or doctor appointment for a fee? Do you like to clean house? If you love animals, there are always people looking for dog walkers and sitters. There are websites such as Care.com where you can register and apply to jobs of this nature.

One Last Thought

If you’re a business person and you think you can sell, Avon is a great way to earn extra income. There is a small $15 start-up fee, but you receive some great samples and full-size products along with everything you need to get started. If interested, you can sign-up here.


I hope this list was helpful. I am always searching for ways to earn extra income and will be updating this article often. For more ways (70+ ideas and sources), click here.

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    • H Darnell profile image

      Heather Darnell 15 months ago from Quad Cities

      I really enjoyed your article! You have included websites I've never heard of and will check them out! Thanks for the info!

    • Samuel Nombo profile image

      Samuel Nombo 7 months ago

      Your article truly address my situation. Thank you so much for the information.

    • Markeli profile image

      Marco 3 months ago from Italy

      Interesting article with some great ideas about where to start when looking for extra income. Unfortunately Bubblews is out of business now.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 2 weeks ago

      Thanks for the info, nice hub. Last time I checked, Bubblews is out of service though so you might want to update this page.

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