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.
If you want to become rich by your 30s, you should be looking at wealth-building opportunities that pay off quicker than traditional long-term investments. One of the best ways to do this is to get into the entrepreneurial game and own your own business. Once you own a business, you have unlimited potential to earn, although you also assume more risk.
Do you have a knack for writing or a background in development? There are thousands of freelance jobs available for people of all different areas of expertise. Sites like Upwork or Freelancer allow you to create a profile of what you bring to the table, and you can either apply for applicable jobs or get seeked out by people looking for freelancers.
Set up a roadside stand. Depending on where you live, you could profit handsomely by setting up a roadside stand. If you live near a resort area, for example, you could buy cases of bottled water, put them on ice, and sell them to passers by for twice what you paid. Selling fruit and produce you grow yourself is also a smart idea in highly-traveled areas.
Even in the age of automation, some jobs still require a human touch. Companies often outsource those jobs via services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. These jobs can be tedious — tagging images, transcribing videos, classifying receipts — and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Pay depends on the task, and the person requesting the work gets to approve the finished product before paying you. That can leave room for scams, so do your research and join a community like TurkNation, which can steer you away from shifty dealers. Read more about doing tasks on Mechanical Turk.

Monevator: I don’t think a net worth goal is the way to go either, but a lot of people put stock in a number (it’s an easy concept for a lot of people who are new to personal finance). Personally I’m going for exactly what you mentioned – the crossover point where my investments are earning me more money in passive income than my day job. That is when I will feel financially free.
So many people dream of writing a book, but never go through with it. Yet no matter what, I’m sure you have experience and value you could give through writing a book. By packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that helps people learn a skill, advance their careers, or start a businesses, you can change someone’s life and even make good money online.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you'd like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
Honestly, however, this may not be very realistic for a lot of people. I wouldn’t count on this if you’re trying to make your rent, and you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. First, someone has to look at your location and listing photos and say, “Sure, I’d like to stay there,” and that may or may not happen within a month. It may never happen.
Spend your tax refund wisely. In 2007, the average American tax refund was $2,733. That's a lot of money! Can you use that money to pay off debts or create an emergency fund instead of blowing it on something that will lose half its value the second you buy it? If you invest nearly $3,000 wisely, it could be worth ten times that much in as many years.
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.
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