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.
Sell plasma. After passing an initial screening, you can usually sell your plasma for anywhere from $25 to $50 per donation. To qualify, you’ll have to stand in a long line or show up early, be willing to fill out a very personal questionnaire, and endure a painful needle prick or two. Still, selling plasma is a great way to raise money fast – if you can stand the hassle.
Earnest (refinance your student loans): Same idea as above but on your student loans. There is $1.4 trillion in student loan debt outstanding. When you have student loan debt, it can make it hard to get ahead, invest, or to buy a home. If this sounds familiar, refinancing the debt can not only help you pay it off more quickly, but it can save you money on interest too.
The folly of youth is believing that there's always enough time for everything. Youngsters often believe that retirement, or wealth building, is something that comes later in life, and are more preoccupied with the concerns of the now. Unfortunately, this often leads to a cycle of "Oh, I should do that next month," month after month, until before you know it, you're 10 years older and you've missed out on a decade's worth of compounding interest. The first step is to stop procrastinating; saving and investing is scary, but the longer you wait to do it, the fewer advantages you have.
If you have the necessary skills, there are websites on the internet where you can find freelance work that you can do from home. This work usually requires a skill set like writing, editing, computer programming, data entry, etc. There are also surveys you can do for money, but tread with caution. Some surveys are scams and you can end up losing money if they gain access to your bank account. Check for trustworthy surveys.
If you have an old smartphone and you need money today, check out ecoATM. Type in your ZIP code, and with any luck, you’ll find one of their ATMs in your area. If you do, you simply find the kiosk and place the old cell phone in the ecoATM’s test station, where the machine will examine your phone — noting the model number and condition, among other features. It then automatically scans the resale market for similar phones and offers you a price based on its value — if you agree to the price, you’ll get the money on the spot (hence the ATM in the name). They also accept MP3 players and tablets.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. As well, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Break up with your credit card. Did you know that people who use credit cards for purchases end up spending more money than people who use cash? That's because parting with cash is painful. Using a credit card doesn't carry that much of a sting. If you can, divorce your credit card and see how it feels to pay with cash. You'll probably end up saving a boatload of money.
If you don’t live in a bottle deposit state, you can still cash in on recyclables by selling scrap metal. You may not have enough soda or beer cans lying around to make this worthwhile — and steel prices are so low right now, it’s not really worth the bother to go collecting them. But if you do have a lot of aluminum cans on hand, or if you have any scrap metal with copper in it, find a local recycling center and see what you’ll get (prices vary wildly by market). Still, unless you have a lot of copper pipes lying around the garage, or bags and bags and bags of old soda cans, realistically, we’re probably talking about getting $5 to $20 back.
Not only did he get richer than he could have imagined in his wildest dreams, but he also created sustainability. He was humbled by his past failures and he used that to grow, to identify opportunities and progress as a person. That isn't something simple to do. Many of our past beliefs and negative self-talk can easily limit us. But, when you're backed up against the wall, and your entire life is on the line, you'll often do what it takes to succeed.
If you’ve received gifts you really don’t want – and they’re still in the packages – try returning them. Some retailers will take them back up to a year later. If you are not sure where the item was purchased, try going online and searching. If a retailer like Walmart or Target pops up then you can return it there without a receipt and get a gift card.
For that reason, the story of an iconic online marketing legend and founder of, Real Estate World Wide (REWW), Kent Clothier, is one of the most inspirational modern-day fables about, not just attaining wealth at the highest levels, but also in reinvention, revitalization and the ability to produce multiple streams of revenue even when you're emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. This is an individual who played an integral role in building up a nearly $2-billion-dollar-per-year grocery-arbitrage business, but then walked away from it at 30-years old with no ownership retention.
Krystal, I understand what you are saying, but I have made money selling pictures online, and I am no pro. I can get great pictures of wildlife, tropical landscapes, and many things that other photographers may not be able to get. Should I not do this, so that other photographers can? I am also trying to pay bills and run a household. It seems that raising prices could eliminate some of your future clients. I occasionally get calls because someone can’t or won’t pay $250-$500 for someone to take pictures of their family on the beach. I also give them the CD of all of their photo’s, which many photographers won’t do.
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you've built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.
“Great list! I especially like the tutoring stuff. I’m good at Math that’s why I tutored once for my godparent’s 8th grader. I had fun with the her and her mum cooks the most delicious brownies. I don’t think I can donate a plasma or be a human guinea pig. But maybe you should add herb and vegetable planting. This job doesn’t require too many technicalities and is so far the easiest thing to do. There’s a method called square foot gardening for those who don’t have big spaces. It’s so simple to do and gardening in small boxes requires small maintenance. There is plenty of information on the web about how to do so. Once you get growing you can even sell your fresh produce to your neighbours at a cheaper price, and earn some fast money in the process . P.S. I also would want to partake in an online survey. Some people recommended Cash Crate but I’m also curious about what happened to you?
Great list! I have another to consider that I personally have 35+ years experience providing. Clean up litter outside commercial properties on foot using inexpensive hand tools. It’s almost as easy to do as going for a walk! I started doing this as a side gig in 1981 and soon grew it into a profitable full-time business. I share my experience in my book, Cleanlots.
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
Sprinkled with heavy doses of his poetry to savor a point or illustrate required thinking and action, this book isn't an easy or particularly fun read, I found myself wondering if I really wanted to finish it at several points only because of the colloquialisms he spouts while telling his tale which may require stopping to figure out what he actually meant. But, other than that, he does a great job laying out the steps to becoming rich which may surprise the get rich self-help reader who follows this topic, voraciously reading every popular book on the subject.
Even if it’s a mundane task like walking dogs, you could start the next (or only) full-service dog walking and grooming service in your town, where dog owners rave over your business and always refer you to others. You can hire other dog walkers as you grow, and turn your side hustle into a sustainable enterprise. You just have to do the work, and do it well.
My use of the word "secrets" in the title of this article might have brought you here hoping for a guaranteed, almost magical solution to make you wealthy. There isn't one. The fundamental objectives are simple: Make more than you spend, and use the excess to invest wisely. How you invest is up to you (with a few caveats below), but the obvious goal is to make investments that have a high likelihood of making you more money in the future. That's it. The ways to achieve this are by making more money, spending less, and investing more wisely.