Great article, I have tried a few over the years. I had a side business cleaning offices for years. It did great, but I hated never being able to take more than 3-4 days vacation, so I eventually gave up. I tried MTurk, but if you multiplied my earnings on an hourly basis, it was a little over $6/hr. My blog is much worse, probably less than $0.25/hr.
If you’ve got gift cards lying around that you never manage to use – maybe you’ve got $50 to Longhorn Steakhouse, but you’re a vegetarian – you can sell them at a discount through gift card exchange sites such as CardCash.com. Once the site receives and verifies the balance on the card (e-cards are obviously handy, but they’ll pay for you to mail in physical gift cards), you can get paid in as little as two days.
Rent out a room on Airbnb. Living near a tourist area has its perks, including the prospect of renting out a room for a profit. With home sharing sites like Airbnb, you can rent out a room in your home – or even the entire place – for a day, a week, or longer. If you have extra space and might enjoy the company of travelers, renting out a room is great way to earn some extra money with little effort on your part. See our post, “How to Make Money as an AirBNB Host.”
They don’t even have to be your bottles: Plenty of people are too busy or lazy to bother returning a six-pack worth of beer or soda cans for 30 cents and simply leave them out for curbside pickup. It may not be trash day in your neighborhood, but it surely is somewhere. Fill up a 50-gallon trash bag with cast-off cans, and you can redeem them for about $12 – it’s just a start, but you can do it again and again, and all it takes is time and hustle.
How do we account for these cultural losses and non-inventions of Tasmanian society? Flinders Island was even more extreme — that tiny society of 200 people on Flinders Island went extinct several millenia ago. Evidently, there is something about a small, totally isolated human society that causes either very slow innovation or else actual loss of existing inventions. That result applies not just to Tasmania and Flinders, but to other very isolated human societies. There are other examples. The Torres Strait islanders between Australia and New Guinea abandoned canoes. Most Polynesian societies lost bows and arrows, and lost pottery. The Polar Eskimos lost the kayak, Dorset Eskimos lost dogs and bow drills, and Japan lost guns.
Babysitting isn’t just for teens. Everyone from college students to recent retirees can make money 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 on Care.com or Sittercity to expand your reach. Note any specialized skills, such as CPR certifications or experience with special needs children, to make yourself more marketable.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
Earn cash back for shopping. Earning cash back on your purchases is a smart idea, and credit card rewards aren’t the only good cash-back strategy out there. With sites like ShopAtHome.com, eBates.com, and TopCashBack.com, you can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases made with approved merchants. Many frequent shoppers also love the Ibotta app, which lets you earn cash-back on every purchase.
Invest your time. For example, you might like having free time, so you give yourself a few hours a day to do nothing. But if you were to invest those few hours into getting rich, you could work towards having 20 years of free time (24 hours a day!) with early retirement. What can you give up now in exchange for being rich later? Investment advisor Dave Ramsey likes to tell his radio audience, "Live like no one else today so that you can live like no one else tomorrow."
Two thoughts come to mind. First, at 27 you have a whole life in front of you, so whatever you do will be right if it is directed correctly. Second, pick a goal and work towards it (e.g., pay off medical debt; or pay off condo mortgage). Always remember, as you succeed in any one of these, then you can broaden out into other investments opportunities (e.g., stocks, mutual funds, real estates, etc.). The choice and timing are yours to call. My basic point; however, is while you are young “focus” on a GOAL and go after the goal aggressively.
When an airplane leaves from one city to the next, it has a plan. Its plan is called a flight plan. It's a massive action plan that involves speed, altitude, direction of travel and many other facets. But what happens when there's turbulence or air-traffic congestion or it needs to change course for some other reason? The plane changes its plan. But it doesn't change its goal of where it's going. Create and follow a plan, and don't be afraid to change it if you see something isn't working.