If so, it may have left you feeling rather discouraged. After all, not everyone has the money to invest in making more. Luckily, I am here to prove that this isn’t always the truth.
So how do you get ahead? You have to learn how to make money for free.
19 Ways To Make Money For Free
1. Sell your things
One man’s trash is another one’s treasure, right? Right.
If you are looking to make a quick buck without any start-up costs, selling things that you already own is a great place to start. All you have to do is look around your home for things that are no longer serving their purpose or simply taking up too much space.
Once you identify what that is in your home, clean it up and take photos. This will help you get the most money possible for your item. Once you are done, all that is left to do is list your item for sale and wait. I recommend doing so on popular online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
2. Charge for your skills
If you have a skill that is of value to others, you could be making money doing it for someone else as a freelancer. Some popular services that people offer freelance include:
- Writing and editing
- Graphic design
- Teaching and tutoring
Just about any skill can be offered as a freelance service, as long as there is a market for it. You can put your services up on sites like Fiverr, TaskRabbit, and Upwork, all of which have helped tons of freelancers take advantage of the gig economy.
3. Take online surveys
Surveys are one of the easiest ways to make extra cash without even getting off your couch, but the best part is that they’re free to take. To find surveys that will pay, check out sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
You should know that your rewards won’t be exactly impressive. You’ll earn a few dollars here and there, but you aren’t making thousands every month. Because of that, taking surveys should never be considered an income, but a fun money-making hobby instead.
4. Become a tutor
Were you, or are you, good in school? If so, you could be making money by teaching others what you know.
If you’re still in school, the easiest way to find tutoring clients is to ask your peers if they are willing to pay you for your help studying. If there aren’t any takers, seek out community bulletin boards where you can post flyers offering your services.
If you are not in school, you may have success finding clients by simply posting on your neighborhood Facebook page or reaching out to local universities.
5. Sell stock photos
Let me let you in on a little industry secret: stock photos.
Stock photos are what help many websites and marketing companies create a cohesive image for their brand without running up a huge design bill. Instead of organizing photoshoots for every image that is needed, brands can go ahead and purchase the rights to use an image within their content.
If you’re a photographer, whether professional or amemature, you could be making money by listing the rights to your photos for sale. Sites, like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, allow users to sell their products in exchange for a small portion of their profits.
6. Become a social media manager
Social media is one of the most powerful tools that businesses use to market themselves, but not everyone understands how to harness its power. If you do (or are willing to learn), you could become a social media manager.
Social media managers help businesses develop marketing strategies that hook in their consumers, manage the creation of content for social media, and publish finished campaigns.
To begin your social media career for free, start by building a following of your own. From there, you can begin approaching potential clients with proof that you know how to keep their customers consistently engaged.
7. Sell your notes
Taking detailed notes while in college can pay off in more ways than just helping you get A’s. By offering them up for sale on sites like Stuvia, you could make a little bit of pocket money without making an additional investment.
To be successful at selling notes, you’ll want to make sure that your notes are reader friendly and topically accurate. Afterall, no one is going to pay for illegible notes that don’t go in-depth!
8. Search for unclaimed money
In the United States alone, there are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds just waiting to be found. If you think that you may have missed an insurance payout, or even forgotten about a safety deposit box, searching for your unclaimed money could pay off big time!
To find out if you have left money unclaimed, search for your state’s unclaimed property office. From there, you will be asked to enter some basic information. If there are any results that match your information, you can follow the instructions to start the claim process.
If you don’t find unclaimed money in your home state, try searching in states that you may have lived or worked in in the past.
9. Rent out your parking space or garage
If you live in a city and have an unused parking space or room in your garage, you may have a prime opportunity to make a little bit of free cash.
Once you identify the amount of space that you have available, create a flier to post around your neighborhood, or create a listing on a local online sales board, like Neighbor or Facebook Marketplace.
If you live in a rented unit or rent your parking space from your city, you will want to get permission to sublet your space beforehand. If not, you could run into legal issues and even lose out on your profits.
10. Rent out your room or home on Airbnb
Do you have a guest room that barely ever gets used? Or maybe you own a home, but you travel often and the entire place sits empty. Instead of letting this space collect dust, consider renting it out on Airbnb.
Through Airbnb, guests can book your space for rates that are typically cheaper than a hotel room. Because of this, they don’t expect the same level of service or amenities as they would at a hotel. Meaning, renting out your space can come with minimal effort and no real upfront costs.
11. Donate plasma
Donating plasma is not for the faint of heart, but it can be a rewarding experience both emotionally and financially. Depending on the need of your local plasma donation center and how often you donate, your payout will vary. You can expect about $50 – $75 dollars each time.
To get started, you will need to complete a health screening and be deemed healthy enough to donate. Afterwards, you will be hooked up to a machine that separates and collects your plasma.
Since donating plasma is technically a medical procedure, it is smart to check with your doctor before taking part in donation.
12. Take part in your employer’s 401(k) match program
Taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match program is a great way to collect free money for your future self. In fact, if your employer offers one and you aren’t taking advantage of it, you are really just leaving money on the table.
To find out if your employer will match your 401(k) contributions, make an appointment with your HR officer. They should be able to help you further understand your options.
13. Sign-up for cash back apps and browser extensions
Cash back apps and browser extensions are one of my favorite ways to make money without changing up my normal routine. Through apps like Honey and Swagbucks, you can earn cash back by making your regular purchases.
Through cash back apps, you can usually shop through a shopping portal. Meanwhile, with a browser extension like Honey, you can earn by shopping at your normal online retailers.
14. Become an influencer
Influencers get paid by companies to set trends, influence buying power, and promote products. If you have a strong social media following and personality, becoming an influencer could be your key to making money for free!
To become an influencer, start by engaging with your following often and then pick your niche based on their needs. From there, you can begin reaching out to companies for sponsorships and creating content that promotes their brand.
15. Self-publish low content books on KDP
Self-publishing low content books, like notebooks and coloring books, through Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program is a great way to get started in the publishing world while also making money for free.
While self publishing isn’t likely to bring in the big bucks, it could easily become a low-effort passive income stream. In fact, a quick search on YouTube and a free Canva subscription is all you need to get started!
16. Participate in “refer a friend” programs
If you search your email inbox right now, you will likely find at least one offer for “free” money when you refer a friend. The trick to making money off of these offers is convincing your friends that the service you use is worth the effort, and possibly price, of signing up.
Since you likely want the best for your friends, only consider making money off of “refer a friend” programs when you truly believe in the product.
17. Sign-up for clinical trials and scientific studies
If you are interested in making a scientific impact, or an easy $50-$500 per day, participating in clinical trials and scientific studies could prove lucrative for you.
To find studies in your area that are willing to pay out, I recommend starting by contacting local universities. Oftentimes, their students are performing research studies and are searching for participants.
One important thing to remember when applying for these opportunities is the impact that they could have on your future. Before agreeing to any clinical trial or scientific study, make sure that you fully understand the risks, side effects, and potential benefits of any treatments or tests.
18. Consign clothing
When was the last time that you cleaned out your closet? If you are like me and have been putting it off for years, you could be sleeping on some free money!
To get started, round up the clothes that you don’t wear anymore, especially those by name brands, and bring them to your local consignment store. At the store, the workers will look over what you brought and inspect it for damage.
If the store accepts your clothing, they will do all of the legwork involved in selling it and, in return, cut you a piece of their profit.
Through microtasking programs like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, you can perform small, quick, tasks for money. These tasks include everything from identifying objects in photos and summarizing text to transcribing audio and deleting background from pictures.
Although each task will likely only pay out pennies, they add up quickly, especially if you are able to move through tasks with speed! Plus, if you gain qualifications, you can access tasks with higher payouts.
I even micro tasked in college. It was my secret to affording late night pizza!