By Holly Reisem Hanna
When I got pregnant with my daughter, my brain immediately started planning for my exit from my full-time nursing job. While I didn’t hate my job, I knew that I wouldn’t have the heart to put my baby in daycare and have somebody else watch over her. So throughout my pregnancy, I saved the majority of each paycheck, and by the time nine months had rolled around, I had stashed away a nice nest egg.
The transition from my full-time employee to full-time stay-at-home mom was relatively easy, especially since my husband had us covered under his medical benefits. But as my daughter grew and my savings started to dwindle, I began to worry about money. Since the age of ten, I had been working in some shape or form, and I was used to having a steady stream coming in.
On my quest to make money from home, I not only searched online for work-at-home jobs but I sold used baby and maternity items on Craigslist and at consignment shops. I sold old DVDs, CDs, and books are secondhand shops, and I even participated in paid focus groups.
Anything I could do to make or save money, I did it. Eventually, my job hunting efforts paid off, and in December of 2007, I started working for AWAI completing online marketing tasks, which gave me the means to launch this blog.
If you’re looking to work from home and you need to make money quickly, here are six easy ways to start earning cash fast.
There are many legitimate websites where you can offer your opinion, watch videos, and complete short tasks in exchange for money, rewards, and sweepstake entries. You're not going to get rich using these methods, but it can cover your Starbuck's habit.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their search bar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart. Register now and you'll get a $5.00 sign up bonus.
- Open to residents of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland.
CashCrate is an online platform where you can start earning money by completing offers, taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online using their site. I’ve played around on the site a little bit, and you’ll want to make sure that you read all of the fine print on every offer. Many offers require an email address, which means you’ll receive offers from them and other marketers. Tasks pay out anywhere from a few cents to $30.00 or more, and you’ll receive a $1 for signing up for an account. Payments are made via check or PayPal.
- Users from the US and other English speaking countries will have the most offers available to them, but International users are welcome too.
FusionCash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping, completing short tasks, and much more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 just for joining. Most offers pay between .25 to $30 per offer, and payments are made via PayPal, check, or direct deposit once your account reaches a $25 threshold. Some offers do require a credit card number, so if you don’t feel comfortable giving out that information, just stick to the offers which display the No CC icon. Fusion Cash is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
- Open to US and Canadian residents.
InboxDollars you can earn cash for surveys, reading emails, playing games, redeeming coupons, searching the web, and shopping online. Membership is free, and you’ll receive $5 for signing up. Payments are made via check.
- Open to US, Canadian, and UK residents.
Get Paid for What You’re Already Doing:
I know it sounds weird, but yes, you can get paid for shopping. Competition both online and off is fierce, so companies and brands have become creative with how they reach customers. Instead of spending marketing dollars on traditional advertising methods, brands are reaching out to consumers in unique ways – which has been great for women who are looking to earn money from home.
Ebates is a must for any online shopping that you do. Sign up for a free account and then when you shop online go through the Ebates site to see if the retailer that you’re shopping with is affiliated. If they are affiliated with Ebates, click on their referral link and start shopping. Companies offer anywhere between 2% – 16% cash back on your purchase. Want to make even more money? Refer three friends to Ebates and earn $30. Are you a blogger with a large following? Refer 400 individuals to Ebates and make a whooping $7,000! Ebates is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
- Ebates is open to residents of the US, Canada, China, Korea, Russia, and Singapore.
Ibotta is a smartphone application that you can use to earn money when you go shopping. Before you head out on a shopping trip complete tasks relating to your favorite brands and companies. Next, go shopping at stores like Target and Walgreens and take photos of your receipts. Once your transaction has been verified, your account will be credited with a specified cash back amount. Refer your friends and earn even more money. Payments are made via PayPal and can be transferred as soon as you earn $5.00. Ibotta has been featured on Mashable, Good Morning America, and Business Insider.
- Open to US and Puerto Rico residents.
Receipt Hog pays you money for shopping. Download the app and take photos of your receipts from any grocer, super-center, club store, dollar store, drug store, convenience mart, beauty supply, or pet supply store. Once receipts are inputted into the system, Receipt Hog will award you with virtual coins that can be traded in for cash through PayPal or an Amazon gift card. The information that Receipt Hog collects is summarized and used in market research reports that companies will pay for. The number of coins you earn per receipt depends on how much your total bill is. You can submit 20 receipts per week and trade 1,000 coins in for $5.00.
- Available for use within the United States and the United Kingdom.
Shopkick is a rewards program that is available for smartphones. Just download the app to your phone, and when you walk into your favorite stores (Old Navy, Crate & Barrel, Exxon, Target, Macy’s, etc.), you’ll instantly earn kicks. Scan specified barcodes once you’re in the store and earn even more kicks. Link up your credit card, browse through lookbooks or refer your friends for even more kicks. Kicks can be used for gift cards from Target, Old Navy, Starbucks, or on items like clothing, electronics or even a cruise! Shopkick has been featured in The Huffington Post, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.
- Open to US Residents.
Take Online Surveys:
Call Center QA hires Telephone Mystery Shoppers from the US. Work from home making calls and completing short online forms. Flexible hours and good pay. No upfront costs or background checks. Pays via PayPal within 24 – 48 hours.
- Open to US residents only.
Toluna is a survey and product testing site where you can earn points for participation. Most surveys and questionnaires take 15 – 20 minutes and members earn anywhere from 15 – 20,000 points depending on the length. Points can be redeemed for sweepstake tickets for gadgets or getaways, vouchers for stores like Amazon, and even cash. Payments are made via PayPal and check.
- Open worldwide.
Survey Savvy is an online survey site where you’ll get earn money for sharing your opinions with companies. Most surveys pay out between $1.00 to $20.00 depending on the length and topic of the survey. Once your account has reached $1.00 in rewards, you can request payment via check. Survey Savvy has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Open to US residents only.
For more online survey sites, check our 16 spots to get paid for taking surveys.
Sell Used Stuff:
While you can sell your used stuff on Craigslist, to a consignment shop, or in a garage sale, often these methods can be inconvenient. So if you have outgrown children’s clothing, old books, CDs, DVDs, video games, or women’s clothing try selling them online. There are many online outlets that will pay decent prices and make the sale a snap.
- Cash 4 Books is an online portal where you can sell new and used books. Grab your books and head to the website, here you’ll be able to enter each book’s ISBN, which is a 10 or 13 digit number that can be found on the back cover or inside the front cover of almost all books. Once you have entered each code, you’ll receive a quote for each book. Next, send your books in with a pre-paid shipping label. Once they receive your books, you’ll be paid either via check or PayPal.
- thredUP is a way you can sell your old clothing, shoes, and handbags. Simply sign up for or a Clean Out Pack online. Once you receive your Clean Up Pack fill it full of clothing and send it to thredUp with the pre-paid label and packing slip. Upon receiving your package, thredUp will appraise your clothing and issue a credit which can withdraw via PayPal or store credit. Any unsold clothing will be donated with a donation receipt will be issued.
- Listia is a platform where you can trade in your old unwanted stuff for credits and buy new stuff for free. Earn 1,000 free credits for signing up. Listia has been featured on Mashable, ABC, and the Washington Post.
- Decluttr is an online platform where you can sell CDs, DVDs, and video games. Just enter the item's barcode on the site to get a quote. Decide which items you’d like to sell (must be between 10 – 500) and send them in using a pre-paid shipping label. Once items are received, Music Magpie will send you a check.
Sell Your Services:
Everyone has some sort skill or knowledge that they can put to work for them. So take a few minutes and jot down your skills, passions, in-depth knowledge, and prior jobs, and brainstorm how you can sell these services to make money. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Need more ideas? Make sure to check out 99 work-at-home career ideas.
Or want to start your own business, but you don't have any startup funds? Check out six home businesses you can start for free.
Complete Short Tasks:
Short tasks or micro-tasks are just what they sound like – jobs that take a short time to complete, often only minutes. Payouts and tasks vary greatly, so make sure to check out these sites to see what's available.
- Field Agent allows you to make money by completing various short tasks, from checking shelf availability, product reviews, to checking the demo and display compliance. Tasks pay anywhere from $3.00 to $12.00 per job and payments are made via PayPal. Field Agent works with brands like Tyson, Target, Hershey’s and has been featured on CNET, Forbes, and The New York Times. Only available for iPhones.
- Fiverr is an online marketplace where individuals can sell short tasks starting out at $5.00. People sell everything from writing services, design services, voice-overs, to making phone calls, and videos. Once you make a sale, Fiverr will keep of a fee of $1 and payments will be made via PayPal. Doesn’t sound like much money? Connie Brentford is raking it on on Fiverr – she even wrote an e-book about it, How I Made An Extra $1,200 Per Month At Home Using One Free Website.
- GigWalk is a mobile workforce of individuals using their smartphones to perform short tasks. Simply register, apply for an assignment, and then complete the task (usually verifying roads and street signs, geographic landmarks or transportation options). Gigwalk’s workforce is available in multiple US cities. GigWalk has been featured on CNN, Business Insider and Forbes.
Here are some more sites that offer short tasks.
While some people may see these opportunities as extra pocket cash, there are some individuals that have made odd work at home jobs their full-time career. Check out Britney's story to see how she's using sites like these to make a full-time income.
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