Want to make a few extra bucks but don’t know where to start? Or have you tried a few ways to make little extra money, but were frustrated with the process or results?
Many of us are looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. A little extra cash can be helpful to help pay down debt, save up for a vacation, or splurge on something you’ve had your eye on.
I’m a budgeter. When I want something that falls outside of my budget, I try to make a few extra bucks to cover the cost. That way I don’t dig myself into a financial hole.
But making a few extra bucks, especially online, can be frustrating. Seemingly simple and quick moneymakers, like taking surveys, can actually take up a lot of time. And it can be a struggle to justify the time spent on the money that you actually earn.
Over the years, I’ve tried many ways to make a few extra bucks. Unfortunately, most of them proved to not be worth my time or energy.
But through trial and error, I have found a few money makers that are worth the effort. And in 2020, my efforts have resulted in a total payout of $845 this year.
I don’t want you to have to sort through all of the ways to make a little extra cash.
So here are four tried-and-true, easy ways of making a little extra cash. These will help you skip the trial and error and get right to the money makers faster.
But let’s first look at what my criteria are for labeling something as an “easy way to make a few extra bucks”.
What Makes Something an Easy Way to Make a Few Extra Bucks
I love making a little extra cash. But I also have a full-time job, run a blog, and want to spend time simply enjoying life.
So when I’m looking to make a few extra bucks, I want the “job” to be as easy as possible. And here is how I define “easy”.
Little to No Learning Curve
When I’m looking for a way to make a little extra cash, I want something that I don’t have to spend hours and hours learning about.
For example, I tried my hand at selling items I sourced at thrift stores on Amazon. While I did make some money doing this there was a huge learning curve.
I spent hours upon hours learning how to source items to sell and then more hours trying to figure out how to price them so I didn’t lose money. If I was looking for a true secondary source of income, then maybe I would have spent the time. But I was only looking to make a few extra bucks here and there. Therefore, the time spent learning the process didn’t feel worth it to me.
For something to be considered an easy way to make money, I have to be able to quickly learn how to do it effectively without watching a million Youtube videos or paying for a course.
The Payout is Worth the Effort
If I’m going to spend time doing something, the payout has to be worth it. I don’t want something that is going to take an hour to earn just $10.
Finding opportunities where the payout was worth the time spent took a lot of trial and error. Most “jobs” ended up taking way too much time for the amount of money I was making. Sites like Swagbucks, where you take surveys and watch videos, took way too much time and effort to make only a few bucks.
I like quick single tasks with a decent payout. I find they are more worth my time versus something where you have to perform several tasks to work your way up to a payout.
Must Be as Stress-Free as Possible
Over the years, I’ve tried a few ways to make a few extra bucks that caused more stress than was worth the money. The most recent example was dog sitting with Rover.com (affiliate link).
I think Rover can be a great way for people to make extra money, especially if you work from home. But for me, a person who is away from home working for 9+ hrs a day, it was stressful to have a dog I didn’t know very well in my home while I was away. I was both worried about the well being of the dog, and whether it was going to do any damage to my home.
The stress was not worth the money for me.
Now I stick with ways to make extra money that are pretty stress-free. There is no need to add extra stress to my life, especially if I was only looking to make money to cover a splurge or save for a vacation.
There you have it. The criteria for what constitutes an easy way to quickly make a few extra bucks. Now let’s dive into the four easy ways I make a few extra bucks from time to time.
How to Make a Few Extra Bucks
Have an Online Rummage Sale
I love making a little extra cash by selling things around the house I no longer use. And with technology and social media, it’s pretty easy to do.
This year we made $265 by simply selling things that we no longer used. It’s great because our unused things get a new home and we made a few extra bucks to help us pay for things we need for our campervan.
I’ve had the most luck selling things online through Facebook Marketplace. I like the ease of dealing with selling things locally through pickups versus shipping items.
Other ways to sell your unused stuff include:
- Poshmark – I buy way more than I sell on this app.
- Thred Up – Super easy way to clean out your closet. I find you don’t make as much as you would using Facebook or Poshmark, but it’s the no-hassle way to make a few extra bucks. Simply order a “clean out kit” and ship your clothes free of charge. I made $25 in 2020 selling 2 items. If you have things in your closet to get rid of and don’t want to put in much effort, here is my referral link to get $10 towards a purchase on Thred Up after sending in your cleanout kit (I’ll also get $10 for referring you)
- Craigslist – I’ve had some luck with Craigslist but find I get a lot more spam responses from Craigslist than I do with Facebook Marketplace.
User Testing: Test Websites and Apps on Usertesting
So far in 2020, I’ve made $340 on User Testing. It’s a platform I’ve used for about 5 years, and it’s one of my favorites.
To make money on User Testing, you spend about 10-15 minutes evaluating websites and apps and get paid $10 per test. There is also an option to make more money by speaking live with a customer about a website or prototype they’re testing, which I have not tried out yet.
The only downfall to User Testing is that you do have to qualify to take a test by answering a few preliminary questions (without pay) before you can take the test. Often, they are looking for a specific type of user, so it can be hard to find ones you qualify for.
You can conduct tests on your mobile phone or via your computer. I prefer taking tests on my mobile phone as it takes less time to find a test you qualify for.
Product Tube: Record Short Videos While Shopping or at Home
Product Tube is my new way to make a few extra bucks. I discovered Product Tube in 2020 and have earned $130 in a few months.
With Product Tube, you make money by recording videos while shopping at a store or from the comfort of your own home.
You can earn between $5 and $50 dollars per completed project. Projects typically require you to record a video of yourself shopping and answering a list of questions while you do so.
Note: Make sure to answer all of the questions. They are sticklers on this and I’ve missed out on getting paid twice for not answering all of the questions. I’ve learned I have to write them all down before starting to record the video.
Bank Sign-Up Bonuses
This way to make a few extra dollars is probably the best bang for your buck, in my opinion.
This year I’ve made $170 with bank bonuses. This is something I’m just getting started with, so I hope to make more in the future.
You can make several hundreds of dollars by simply signing up for a new bank account and meeting all of the criteria for the bonus.
For something like a $200 bonus, it may take you an hour to complete all of the tasks. If you ask me, $200 for an hour of work is worth it.
There are a lot of bank sign-up bonuses out there, and a great resource to find current ones you may qualify for is Doctor of Credit.
I recently found one for a $500 bonus to sign up for a local bank’s checking account. Here is what I have to do to earn the bonus:
- Set up direct deposit for a total of $500 within 90 days
- Have an average account balance of greater than $10,000
- Keep the account open for a year or I have to pay the bonus back
If I set up direct deposit and have an average balance of greater than $10,000, I will receive the bonus within 120 days after opening my account.
If $10,000 seems like a lot, don’t worry there are bank bonuses that do not have requirements like this.
For me, I don’t typically have $10,000 sitting in my checking account. But I do have $10,000 in my emergency fund. Therefore I move money dedicated to my emergency fund from my savings to the checking account until I receive the bonus.
The biggest thing with bank sign-on bonuses is that you must meet all of the requirements, and most have a minimum amount of time that you must have the account open. Make sure to keep track of the dates and amount of money in the account through a spreadsheet or keep really good notes to ensure you receive the bonus.
Side-Note on Taxes
It would be wrong of me to tell you about all these easy ways to make a few extra bucks without mentioning the tax implications.
As with any earnings, you are responsible for reporting all earned income and should consult a tax professional if you have any concerns.
Most of these ways of making money will not send you a 1099-MISC, which is the form used to report miscellaneous income. So it is up to you to report these additional earnings.
Don’t worry though, you can easily report these earnings on your taxes come tax time.
I tell you this not to discourage you from trying to make some extra cash but to make sure you aren’t surprised at tax time.
You Got This
Making a little extra cash to help you reach financial goals, or just splurge doesn’t need to require a lot of time and effort.
I’ve tried many ways to quickly and easily make a few extra bucks throughout the years, and these are the four that are truly working for me.
Therefore, if you have your eye on that new bike, looking to take a vacation, or trying to pay down debt, using these ways to make a few easy extra bucks can help you get there.
Do you have any ways you like to make a few extra bucks from time to time?