Looking to make some extra cash? If so—and if time is a factor—you’re actually in luck. Thanks to hundreds of free and affordable platforms, making extra money is easier (and quicker) than ever. From earning extra money through online freelancing services to selling items or even renting out space in your home, you have plenty of options for bringing in extra cash without picking up a second job.
1. Join Online Freelancing Platforms
Joining an online freelancing platform can be a great way to bring in extra money without the commitment of taking on a part-time job. Depending on your skill set, there are a number of online platforms that allow you to make money legitimately. From dog-sitting and delivering meals to writing, editing, and everything in between—there are many freelancing opportunities available.
Fiverr advertises itself as being “the world’s largest freelance services marketplace for lean entrepreneurs to focus on growth and create a successful business at affordable costs.” Here you can find work in a wide range of services, including graphic design, digital marketing, writing, video animation, and more. Simply create “gigs” for your skills and be connected with potential buyers from around the world.
- Clients can leave tips.
- Clients are sent straight to you.
- Quick and easy to get started.
- Fiverr takes a 20% cut.
- Can take time to find clients.
- Relatively low pay for new freelancers.
Previously known as Elance/oDesk, Upwork is a freelancing platform boasting 12 million freelancers and another 5 million paying clients. As one of the most trusted online freelancing platforms, clients use Upwork to find freelancers for everything from short-term tasks to recurring projects and full-time contract work.
- Set your own pay rate.
- Platform is reputable.
- Plenty of work available.
- You must bid on projects individually.
- High level of competition.
- Not always open to new applicants.
The Postmates platform connects freelancers with those looking to have food and other goods delivered to their homes. If you’re looking to make money as a freelance delivery driver, this is a reputable option. It’s also available in most major cities.
- Quick and easy to become a driver.
- No training required.
- Bonuses available.
- Availability of work can be unpredictable.
- Pay can fluctuate.
- Wear and tear on your vehicle and fuel costs.
Taskrabbit specializes in helping people find local help for projects ranging from packing and moving to furniture assembly, home improvement, and other household tasks. This can be a great freelancing platform if you’re handy around the house or don’t mind a little heavy lifting.
- Find local work easily.
- Direct deposit into your bank account.
- Decide your own schedule.
- Pay can take a few days to reach your bank account.
- Can be difficult to get in touch with support.
- App can be hard to use.
Wag is an on-demand dog-walking service that allows you to get paid to walk dogs in your area. If you’re an animal lover and have experience with walking or caring for dogs, this can be a great way to earn some extra money.
- Get paid to walk dogs!
- Easy-to-use app.
- Decide your own schedule/availability.
- High commission taken out by Wag (up to 50%).
- Dog-walking comes with a risk of injury.
- Can be competitive in some areas.
Rover is similar to Wag in the sense that you can find dog-walking gigs in your area. However, Rover also offers dog-sitting and dog-boarding services, so you get paid to dog-sit for others. Again, this can be a great gig if you’re a dog lover and have the ability to accommodate other peoples’ dogs in your home.
- Get paid to play with dogs!
- Customize your schedule.
- Work from home (as a dog-sitter).
- Rover takes a large commission.
- Competition can be high, which often drives prices down.
- Temperament of pets can be unpredictable.
2. Sell Your Unwanted Items Online
If you’re not sure about dipping your toes into the freelancing world, you can always bring in some extra cash by selling unwanted belongings online. Whether you’re looking to ship your unwanted items away for cash or would prefer to meet up with somebody locally, there are a number of platforms that make this possible.
Craigslist is a bare-bones platform that allows users to create free postings seeking or offering different goods and services. No matter what you’re looking to sell on Craigslist, you can create a listing, post your asking price, add photos, and include additional details. The listing is then viewable to Craigslist users in your targeted area, and buyers can contact you privately to arrange for payment and pickup.
- Simple, easy-to-use interface.
- Sell just about anything.
- Reach a wide market in your area.
- Little moderation or support.
- Potential for scams.
OfferUp also makes it easy to buy and sell items locally. Unlike Craigslist, this platform is completely focused on the buying and selling of consumer goods. OfferUp also has a user-friendly and free app that makes it easy to create and publish a listing in minutes. From there, other local users can make you an offer or reach out for additional questions about what you’re selling.
- Buyer/seller profiles add transparency and peace of mind.
- Communicate with buyers/sellers directly within the app.
- In-app payment options available.
- Potential for scams.
- Lots of back-and-forth haggling.
- Shipping and boosting fees can eat into profits.
If you’d prefer to list your unwanted items to a larger audience without the hassle of meeting up with buyers in-person, Mercari makes this possible. Using the Mercari website or free app, you can list an item in minutes, sell it, and ship it to your seller using a pre-paid label.
- Eliminates safety concerns of in-person meet-ups.
- Shipments include up to $200 in damage protection insurance.
- Expands your audience of potential buyers beyond your neighborhood.
- 10% commission taken out of your sale.
- Payment not received until after your item is delivered to your seller.
- App can be confusing to navigate.
If you’re still open to the idea of selling your unwanted items locally, consider giving the Letgo platform a try. This easy-to-use app allows you to create an account and begin creating listings within minutes. From there, your listing is categorized and instantly published for users in your area to view.
- 100% free to use (no commissions).
- Quick and easy to create listings.
- Set a price for your item (no haggling).
- Letgo doesn’t process or handle payments directly.
- Need to meet up in-person with seller.
- App is known for having technical issues.
5miles combines the ability to list your unwanted items and the ability to post your own services for hire in a single app. This app uses your device’s GPS to automatically publish and display your listings with other users in your immediate area.
- Profiles make it easier to vet potential buyers.
- In-app payment option provides peace of mind.
- Safe meet-up areas are recommended based on location.
- Buyers can haggle and negotiate.
- Only reaches local buyers.
If you have name-brand apparel or fashion accessories that you’d like to sell, Poshmark is a platform specifically dedicated to that. This can be a great way to bring in some extra cash while freeing up closet space in the process. List your item by posting photos and a description; once it’s sold, mail your item using the pre-paid label and receive payment once it’s delivered.
- Quick and easy to create listings.
- No in-person meet-ups; everything is shipped.
- Reach an audience of millions of buyers.
- Up to 20% commission taken out.
- Payment isn’t received until after shipment is delivered.
- Buyers can return items for any reason.
Ebay has been a trusted name in online sales for decades, and it remains a viable option for those looking to sell just about anything, whether it be new or used. Ebay allows you to create a listing and either set a “Buy it Now” price or allow buyers to bid on your item. From there, you can arrange to ship the item or have it picked up by a local buyer.
- Trusted service with a long-standing reputation.
- Ability to put items up for auction.
- Secure payment through PayPal available.
- Commission taken out of sales.
- Potential listing fees.
- Can take time to become an established seller.
If you use Facebook, their buying and selling platform known as the Facebook Marketplace can be a convenient way to get rid of your unwanted items. Through your existing Facebook account, you can create listings and find local sellers in a matter of minutes.
Facebook Marketplace Pros:
- No need to create an account if you already have a Facebook profile.
- Communicate with buyers in-app and see their profiles.
- Find buyers in your local area.
Facebook Marketplace Cons:
- Must arrange for in-person payment and meet-up.
- Buyers will often try to haggle.
- No buyer or seller protection available.
Gazelle allows you to sell your used electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and more. Simply log in, select the device you’d like to sell, and get an offer in minutes. From there, simply mail your device in and receive payment via PayPal, check, or Amazon gift card.
- No need to search for a buyer.
- Shipping is free on items worth $1 or more.
- Get an instant offer on your device.
- Offers can sometimes be low.
- Not all devices receive offers.
- No payment until your device is received.
3. Get Paid to Take Online Surveys
Even if you aren’t a skilled web designer, writer, or editor, you can make money online by taking surveys at your leisure. There are a few reputable platforms that make it easy to begin earning money in exchange for your opinion.
Survey Junkie is a well established and legitimate platform with more than six million members. It is probably the most popular service to take surveys; simply create an account and fill out a profile to get started. From there, you’ll begin receiving notifications for surveys that you’re eligible to take.
Survey Junkie Pros:
- Decent pay of $1-$3 for most surveys.
- Same-day pay.
- Free to join and no fees to redeem points for cash or other rewards.
Survey Junkie Cons:
- Some surveys can take a long time for little pay.
- Not all members are eligible for all surveys.
- Can take a while to build up points.
If you’re looking for a platform where you can get paid not only to take surveys, but to watch videos or shop online, Swagbucks may be right for you. Swagbucks allows users to earn points by taking surveys, shopping, purchasing gift cards, signing up for free offers, and more. Those points can then be converted into cash via PayPal or gift cards.
- Low minimum payout of just $3.
- $10 sign-up bonus available.
- Reputable and trustworthy.
- Payouts can be low.
- Takes time to become familiar with the platform.
- Some offers require you to spend money.
One Opinion is a relatively new platform that allows users to earn money for taking surveys and testing products. Specifically, users earn points for each completed task, and those points can be redeemed for cash via PayPal or a Visa gift card.
One Opinion Pros:
- Great customer service and support.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Points can be instantly redeemed.
One Opinion Cons:
- Availability of work can be inconsistent.
- Pay for surveys can be low.
- Not all members qualify for all surveys.
In addition to allowing users to earn points for taking surveys, MyPoints takes things to the next level by rewarding users for printing coupons, shopping, and even playing some online games through their platform. Points can then be redeemed for cash through PayPal, travel miles, or gift cards.
- Many different ways to earn points.
- Referral program allows you to earn bonus points.
- Decide how you want to redeem your points.
- Can be difficult to get in touch with customer service.
- High minimum threshold for payouts.
- Surveys typically have low payout.
4. Make Money Renting Out Stuff You Already Own
Put your house or car to work for you by renting them out when you’re not using them. There are a few reputable platforms that allow you to do this and begin making cash right away.
Rent Out Your House on Airbnb
Airbnb allows you to rent out your entire home or a room within your home for short-term stays. You set the price per-night and allow vetted users to rent out your place based on your availability.
- You get to decide your price per-night.
- Choose to rent out your entire home or portion of your home.
- Set your own guidelines and rules for renters.
- Some cities have laws banning short-term leases on sites like Airbnb.
- Not all renters are clean or respectful of your property.
Rent Out Your Car With Turo
Turo offers a similar service as Airbnb, but for vehicles. Set your vehicle’s availability and earn easy money during times when your car would otherwise be sitting in your garage. We don’t recommend buying a car just to do this gig!
- Set your rental price.
- Decide on availability times and dates.
- Review payment directly through the platform.
- Turo takes a commission from your rental (10%-35%).
- Inherent risk in renting out your car to a stranger.
- Logistical challenges of setting up pick-up/drop-off times.
5. Cut Down on Expenses Using Apps
In addition to earning money online, you can also use some free apps and platforms to budget wisely and save more money.
Mint is a completely free platform that allows you to link your bank accounts, set budgeting goals, and save money in an easy-to-use app. This is a great option for being able to curate all of your financial information in one easily accessible place.
- 100% free to use.
- Real-time updates on your accounts.
- Customize your goals and budget.
- Potential security concerns when linking bank accounts.
- Users can only budget for one month at a time.
Clarity Money runs on a similar concept as Mint; it’s free to sign up for and use, and it allows you to link and view all your accounts in one central location. However, this platform will also negotiate and manage some bills for you in exchange for a commission. For example, they may be able to lower your cable bill by $10 per month in exchange for a 1/3 commission.
Clarity Money Pros:
- Free and easy to use.
- Can help you save on your monthly bills.
- Automated savings feature available.
Clarity Money Cons:
- Lack of budgeting features.
- Users cannot customize spending categories.
Fudget is a personal financing and budgeting app that comes with a number of free features, as well as a paid option for even more detailed features. In its basic form, you can do everything from create a budget to track spending. If you want additional features, such as a built-in calculator and the ability to export your budgets to your favorite spreadsheet app, it may be worth spending the additional $1.49 to use Fudget Pro.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use app.
- No need to link bank accounts.
- Free version has a lot of banner ads.
- No ability to group similar expenses together.
- No ability to set spending limits on categories.
Taking things a step further than most budgeting and personal finance apps, Albert provides you with a virtual “personal assistant” of sorts. This virtual assistant provides you with real-time, customized advice and guidance on spending and saving your money wisely.
- Allows you to set automated deposits into a savings account.
- Provides personalized advice.
- Ability to link accounts for real-time updates.
- Monthly cost of $6.
- Security concerns over linking bank accounts.
The Bottom Line
Whether you have a marketable skill, unwanted items to sell, or a spare room in your house to rent out—there are literally hundreds of platforms available that make earning cash easier than ever before. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of any platform before trying it out for yourself.