The internet has made the world seem smaller than it is. You can access opportunities on the other side of the globe. You can speak in real-time while you’re continents apart. But there’s a downside to interconnectivity – it spills over. Whether it’s Brexit, earthquakes, or impeachment.
The news spreads in minutes, and the global impact soon follows. Currently, many parts of the world are experiencing economic ramblings, leading to massive loss of employment. But despite the money problems, you still have to feed your family. How can you make money without a job?
How to Make Money Without a Job
Tip 1: Get Clear
Why don’t you have a job? Did you quit to raise a family, look after elderly dependents, or get retrenched when your company collapsed? This isn’t about shaming yourself. It’s about understanding your circumstances so you can get the right income fit. It’s also useful to define what you mean by ‘job’. Do you need to earn money from home or is your work-day limited?
Are you backpacking and looking for a little spending cash to cover travel expenses? For example, a young mother or father caring for infants may be restricted. On the other hand, a teenager looking for mall money has far more flexibility. So write down the reason you’re unemployed, and describe what you think a ‘job’ is. You can also note your desired weekly pay.
Tip 2: Uber for Stuff
A few years ago, ride-share services were considered a good way to earn money. But you might end up driving 8 to 10 hours a day, maybe more. At that point, it becomes a job, so it doesn’t quite fit here. But you can still use this business model on other things. You could ‘rent’ out your pool, selling pool time to local kids. (With their parents’ approval, of course).
This idea could work well in summer or spring. But you can rent out devices too. A vacuum cleaner, a trampoline, a bouncy castle, a bicycle, camping gear, power tools anything. There’s a risk your renters will damage your property, but you could make a lot of cash from a few hours of use. Check rental sites like Rentalic or Zilok for listing tips before you upload them.
Tip 3: Do Online Gigs
These can sometimes feel like a job, especially if you have a fussy customer. But unlike a regular job, you can pick your own hours. You could work 4 hours or 14 hours, it’s all in your control. Online options include writing product reviews, creating tutorials, or taking surveys. You could also start an affiliate program where you get a cut every time a customer busy using your link.
Websites like Amazon and eBay have well-established affiliate programs, but you can also find smaller companies. You don’t have to sell anything. You just market the product or service by writing a blog post, unboxing video, or similar promotional content. Then if someone followed your link to the check-out page and buys the product, you get your percentage commission.
Other examples of online gigs include SEO articles and paid blogs. Lots of outlets use freelancers these days. You don’t get benefits or even a permanent position. You work on a per-project basis and only when work is available, so it’s technically not a job. Use sites like Freelancer, Upwork, People Per Hour, Writer Access, Guru, and 99Designs to get these kinds of gigs.
Tip 4: Spring Clean and Cash-In!
We’ve all hunted for loose change inside our couch-folds. This is a concept you could extend to the rest of your house. There are hundreds of items you don’t use anymore, and some of them can fetch a good price. Do a thorough clean, sorting as you go. Designate items that can be sold.
You can sell your items at a garage sale, or maybe even online. eBay and Amazon are both thriving marketplaces for pre-loved items, so that’s worth looking into. If you’re unsure of what to sell, explore those sites and see what people are interested in. You could sell old toys, kids’ outgrown clothes, unused garden tools, gadgets you only used one – the list is endless.
If you’d rather not sell at home, you could rent a pop-up stall at the local fair or flea market. It’ll cost more than selling at home or listing online. But it will also give you access to hundreds of niche customers. When they come to the fair or market, they’re already in a ‘buying mentality’ so you have a better chance of making a sale. Plus, fairs are fun if you find the right kind.
Tip 5: Turn a Hobby into Cash
What do you do for fun? During your downtime? Is it something people are interested in? Does it result in a product you can sell? Or is it a skill you can teach? You could offer classes in everything from musical instruments to drawing and baking. Or you could advise people – in exchange for cash. You could teach them to be better organized or to network effectively.
For artistic hobbies like dancing, acting, or painting, you could try busking. That’s when you dance or play music on the street and passers-by pay you for your service. Be careful you’re busking on a legal spot or you could get arrested. Similarly, you could paint caricatures, sketch portraits, or even create henna tattoos. As long as it allowed in public, you can do it.
Tip 6: Run Errands
A job is defined as ‘regular work for income’. So one-time tasks don’t quite count. Still, the people who have regular office hours (or are otherwise indisposed) will gladly pay you to get things done. Available errands are wide-ranging. You could take their pets for grooming.
Or do grocery shopping for house-bound patients. You could wait in line for tickets. Some clients need you to drive them around as they do errands themselves, so you’re less Uber and more chauffeur. You could even tutor students, babysit, grandma-sit, house-sit, or pet-sit.
Websites like Task Rabbit are a good way to source this type of work. But you could also just let friends and family members know you’re available for errands. Ask them to tell their friend and you should soon have a solid client base. Always ask happy customers for referrals.
Tip 7: Acquire Passive Income
It’s not just struggling people that want money without jobs. If you’ve retired, resigned, or you just want some money on the side, you probably have disposable income. Put some of that into passive investments. These include real estate and hedge funds. It’s not a job because you put the money in and wait. You could – and should – hire someone to do the actual work.
This may involve building or repairing the property, collecting rent from tenants, or picking stocks and bonds for your portfolio. These are all things you can do yourself, but then it starts to feel like a job. And remember, the whole point of this project is to make money without a job…
If your finances are a little less disposable, you could rent out your spare rooms through Airbnb. You could convert your garage or garden shed into living spaces and lease them out to students. Check with your local government first – you don’t want to get sued for sub-letting.
Tip 8: Monetize your Recycling
It’s not just bag ladies and conspiracy fans that make money from plastic bottles and cans. You could collect the ones around your house and cash them in at recycling plants. But you can engage in high-end recycling as well. Mobile phones, for example, are quite lucrative. There are lots of sites where you can cash in old phones. So look through your drawers for previous ones.
The average phone is used for a year, so there are bound to be hundreds lying around. Ask friends and relatives to check and give you their old phones as well. Don’t tell them what it’s for or they’ll undercut you. Just say you want to recycle the phones. You can leave out the payment part. Though if you want to widen your stash, you could pay them a few cents and still profit.
Tip 9: Talk to the Tax Man
Most of us hate doing our taxes. And paying our taxes. But ideally, this system was designed to benefit us. So if you do your taxes carefully, you could earn a tax refund of hundreds of dollars. Use websites and guidelines to claim your refund. Learn how the system works.
Once you know your way around, you could charge a small fee to do people’s taxes for them. Bill it as a consultancy. Apart from tax refunds, you can also help people find unclaimed fees such as insurance claims. All you need is patience and internet access. Ask for a commission rather than a service fee. That way, you get a cut from any tax refund you help your clients get.
They won’t feel cheated, and with every happy client, you’ll gain referrals for lots more. Just keep your percentage reasonable – 2% to 5% is fine, most people won’t mind paying that. Especially when it puts cash into their pockets. And now it’s lining yours too!
Tip 10: Shop and Get Paid
Whether you have a job or not, there are things you have to buy. Groceries. Hygiene products. The occasional treat. Some programs give you cash-back on every purchase. Swagbucks and Quidco.com are good examples. You could also get a card with good cash-back options. Apple card gives you between 1% and 3% cash-back on every purchase, and it’s credited daily.
Another ‘shop for money’ option is signing up to be a ‘ghost shopper’ or ‘mystery shopper’. This is the offline equivalent of paid reviews. You’re hired to pose as an ordinary customer and try out a certain company’s products or services. This helps with both advertising and trouble-shooting. You can find these mystery shopping gigs on dedicated websites.
Ghost shopping doesn’t always involve consumables. You could be paid to review a restaurant, but you’re unlikely to break even since you pay will only cover your bill. But you can be paid to window-shop, in a sense. Some ghost shoppers get hired to test drive cars, bikes, or boats.
Tip 11: Strike a Pose
Modeling is a dream career for many teenagers. But it doesn’t have to be Paris Fashion week. You can model specific body parts. Face models are obvious, but you could be a hand model for a nail polish or hand cream brand. Or you could be a foot model for a shoe store. You could even be an ear model for earrings and ENTs. Or a hair model, if you have the right texture.
One option people overlook is art class modeling. Not many of us are comfortable disrobing for strangers, so there’s a market for portrait classes. If that’s too risqué for you, request for modest poses. You’ll still get paid if there are relevant classes available. Of course, if you’re more comfortable on the other side of the camera or easel, you can sell your photos and pictures.
And what about your house, or your gear? Your living spaces could be a cash cow if you let film crews use it as a set. You can also lend them your car, bike, boat, or back yard. If they can light it and shoot, they’ll gladly pay you for it. Plus, you might meet celebrities in the bargain, so it’s a good deal all around. You could even farm yourself out as an extra. You’ll be in the credits!
Grab That Bag!!
So you happened to get fired, downsized, or restructured. Or you might be a struggling student that can’t get a job because of school. Here are some ideas on how to make money without a job.
- Scour your house for sellable items, then have a garage sale or sell online.
- Turn your hobby into an income source, especially music, arts, and crafts.
- Do tasks for people. Things like running errands or babysitting.
- Create a passive income through rentals, investments, or affiliate programs.
Are you recently unemployed? Or looking for a side gig? Tell us about it in the comments!