Special Report

28 Smart Ways to Make Extra Money

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16. Rent out a spare room

Not everyone might feel comfortable having a stranger living under the same roof — taking in a boarder — but renting out a spare room, whether through Airbnb or individually on Craigslist or in some other classified publication, can bring in a small but steady income. Check local laws before doing it, though, and be sure to do a background check, inform your insurance agent, and write up a rental agreement. What you charge, of course, will depend on where you are and what the room is like, but it should be well below the rental cost of a local studio apartment.

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17. Drive for Amazon Flex

The world’s second largest retailer (after Walmart), Amazon has flourished during the pandemic, delivering goods of every kind (including groceries and restaurant meals) all over the country. While it has its own full-time staff drivers and contracts with other delivery services, it also hires a lot of part-time drivers through Amazon Flex. Flex drivers work fixed shifts for $18 to $25 an hour, depending on location, time of day, and the number of packages their vehicle can carry at one time.

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18. Sign up with Mechanical Turk

Speaking of Amazon, the retail giant’s Mechanical Turk is a business-oriented crowdsourcing site. It basically farms out computer-related tasks that can be performed faster and/or more efficiently by humans than by machines. Photo and video research and screening, information collection, translation, data processing and cleaning, and missing persons searches are among the jobs so-called Turkers undertake. You’ll need to do a lot of work to make any money, though. Minimum payment for a task is one cent, and it has been estimated that the median hourly wage is about $2.

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19. Rent out your car

Instead of working for a ridesharing company, consider putting your car to work for a carsharing company. If your vehicle sits idle for days or weeks at a time, sites like Turo.com and Hyrecar.com can make it possible for you to monetize it. How much you can charge depends on your location, and of course on the car. A Ford might go for $35 a day, a BMW for something closer to $100. You’ll keep between 65% and 85% of the total.

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20. Wash cars

If you’ve got a bucket, some car shampoo, a sponge, a chamois, and maybe a battery-operated mini-vac, advertise your services as a car washer. (You can also go door-to-door offering washes, or contact local used car dealers.) What you charge depends on what the market will bear, but $10 or $15 per wash is reasonable — more if you add a wax job. Your investment in materials should be minimal, by the way, but you might want to investigate liability insurance.

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