If you’re looking to make money online, you’ll need to exercise caution. There are a lot of scams out there, but don’t fret: We’ve tested dozens, if not hundreds, of different money-making strategies and included only our favorites.
Yup — none of them involve Nigerian princes, and you really will get paid.
1. Earn $225 Per Month By Watching Cooking Videos
If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called Inbox Dollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, Inbox Dollars won’t replace your full-time day job, but it’s an easy side income you can earn while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone.
Unlike other sites, Inbox Dollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
2. See if You Can Get Free Money From This Company
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash?
Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 5% back every time you swipe.
Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.
Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.
You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?
Enter your email address here, and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
3. Make Money Taking Polls.
What did you think of the new Spiderman movie? Is a hot dog a sandwich? Who’s your favorite Real Housewife?
The research company, MyPoints, has paid people over $236 million to answer poll questions like that over the past 23 years.
And they’re currently recruiting new panelists. You can do it right on your phone, and you’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and complete your first five polls.
Any extra money you can put toward your credit cards is good in our book — but in this editor’s opinion, no, a hot dog is not a sandwich.
4. Get Free Lottery Tickets
Hitting a big jackpot could solve a lot of your problems right now. It’s tempting to buy those scratch-off tickets from the gas station. But that’s not the best use of your money when you’re in a bind.
Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000, in cash or gift cards to popular retailers.
The money-making app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.
It’s not guaranteed money, but at least Lucktastic is free to play. And hey, somebody’s got to win.
Take single dad O’Neil Campbell, from Boston. He was shocked when he won a $5,000 Lucktastic prize.
“I didn’t see that one coming,” Campbell says with a laugh. “I really didn’t. This is something good that happened to me at the right time — when I can really use it.”
5. Search Your Wallet and Cash in on Your Dollar Bills
Specifically, dollar bills with strange serial numbers — ones that aren’t easy to come by. The collectors at CoolSerialNumbers.com will pay you big bucks if you have a bill with a rare sequence in your wallet.
Turns out antique coins aren’t the only currency worth cash to collectors.
Check out their website for a full list to see if you’ve got any of these rare bills, but here’s a rundown of the sort of serial numbers these collectors are looking for:
- 7 repeating digits in a row on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 09999999, 77777776)
- 7 of a kind on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00010000, 99999099)
- Super repeaters on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 67676767)
- Double quads on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00009999)
- and more!
6. Get $5 to Invest in the Stock Market.
It’s no brilliant secret that investing can be a smart way to make money.
Sometimes, though, it feels restricted to a few wealthy elite.
But Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000*.
Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.
Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to give you an extra $5 after your first investment**.
7. Earn up to $69/Hour Working From Home
We get it. There are kids to drop off to school, errands to run and dinner to cook, so the idea of getting a full-time job without any flexibility just doesn’t work for a lot of people.
Truth be told, life would be a lot easier if you could just make money online without leaving the house. But that’s not something most employers offer. But have you considered bookkeeping? It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc Magazine.
And you could earn up to $69 an hour by starting your own bookkeeping business, according to Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.
You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it even gives you the first three classes for free.
It’s helped thousands of people launch their own businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeepers.com, and now he’s making $50,000 a year.
It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule, earns up to $69 an hour and is able to spend more time with his wife than ever.
If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free class. If you stick with it, you could be running your own business in just a few months.
8. Get Paid For Having Opinions on Current News Events.
You could waste hours arguing in comments sections about politics with your mom’s twice-removed uncle. (How are you even connected on Facebook?). Or you could share your opinions with news outlets and get paid for them.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
A website called YouGov America will pay you for taking surveys and sharing your thoughts on the hottest topics, including politics, the economy and reality TV.
YouGov collects data from millions of people about news, brands and celebrities and shares it with news outlets and companies. For example, Yahoo! News recently published an article featuring results from a YouGov America survey revealing only 42% of Americans plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus when the vaccine is available.
When you take a quick survey (some are less than three minutes), you’ll earn points you can exchange for cash or gift cards to places like Visa, Walmart or Amazon. Plus, The Penny Hoarder readers get a 3,000-point boost when they complete their first two surveys.
It takes just a few minutes to sign up and get your first survey (and points!) immediately.
9. Get Paid Every Time You Buy Toilet Paper.
Grocery shopping was never exactly pleasant. But these days, it’s a downright struggle. Fighting crowds; keeping six feet of space — just buying toilet paper is a feat. Shouldn’t you have something to show for it?
A free app called Fetch Rewards will reward you with gift cards just for sharing your grocery receipts. Yep, that includes toilet paper brands like Citronelle and Scott, too.
Just upload the photos of your receipts to the app and Fetch will reward you with gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Chipotle and dozens of other retailers.
And it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to put a ton of work into this. All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.
When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt. Then start snapping photos of your recent receipts to see how many points you can earn without a single trip to the store!
Not so bad for a useless receipt, right?
10. Stop Deleting Your Emails.
It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you money. Intrigued?
One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.
Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.
Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.