10 Ways to Monetize your Free Time

Having free time is a wonderful thing, especially since we are becoming more and more accessible to our bosses when we are not physically at work. However, some people have more free time than money, which can be a problem if you still have some ends that need to meet.  If you are one of the people who ends up having more month than money more times out of the year than you would like, then you may consider monetizing your free time. Since this is a blog centered on working from home the ways mentioned below will be work from home opportunities, opportunities that offer flexible schedules, or home based opportunities.

Get an Online Part time Job.

This is probably the most common way people make extra money. To be frank, I took this route which is how I found my first job working from home as an ad quality rater with ZeroChaos. Getting an online part time job is pretty much like getting a traditional part time job. I suggest you decide whether you want a phone job or non-phone job before applying for WAH (work at home) jobs. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar jobs, you may never see your boss in person, and you will need to do your own research to make sure the business you are applying to is reputable. If you want to pursue this route visit my job leads board. I have picked these jobs myself, and probably applied to many of them. Though I have done my best to make sure these jobs are legit, I encourage you to still do your own research.

I also suggest you research any company you are applying to by check the BBB, Glassdoor, I’veTriedThat, and Indeed. Checking reviews on forums and other sources is a good idea in conjunction with the sites listed above. Pay close attention to information on when/if the company actually pays, how long people tend to stay with the company, how many times the company itself has changed ownership, and how the company treats its employees. No one wants to be hired for a job with a company that does not pay, has a high turn over because management sucks, and doesn’t treat the employees well.

Start a Small Home- Based Business

The best way to eventually control your own financial destiny is to work for yourself.  If you work for yourself and love what you do you will live a happy life. A good way to start yourself on the path to financial freedom is to open a small business. Starting a small business doesn’t have to be costly and it doesn’t have to be a traditional business.  Your small business could be anything from freelance writing to direct sales. For example, a woman in the parents group that I joined cooks and sells meals. Another mother I know is a notary and does freelance medical coding for local doctors. My husband and I sell travel club memberships and estate plans (shoot me an e-mail if this interests you as a customer or a representative). Many of you may know that I also sell crystals on Etsy and Ebay. If I can sell rocks to people, I am sure you can find something that you love that you can also make some extra cash from. What are your some skills you possess that you can monetize?

*I only say “small” because people who want to monetize their free time probably have other jobs that the bulk of their energies are going to. *

 Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a rewards site that gives you points when you watch videos, try trials/offers, get rebates for items bought through Swagbucks, play games, answer surveys, and search the web. Points rack up pretty quickly and you can cash in your points for anything from actual money to donations to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.

I have always received my cash-outs to PayPal in a timely fashion and I have always been satisfied with my experience with Swagbucks.

Read more about Swagbucks here.

Sign up for free.

FeaturePoints

FeaturePoints is a really awesome way to make a buck. All you have to do is download apps  to your smartphone, play them for two minutes, and repeat. There is a set amount of points per app and the apps you download to get the points has to be an app you have never downloaded on your smartphone before.

You can also make money by telling your friends about Feature Points. When your friends sign up and start downloading apps you get 50% of what your friends make.

Read more about FeaturePoints here, and here.

Turking

Almost everyone has heard about making money on Amazon by selling their stuff on the platform. It seems like less people have heard about making money with Amazon’s mTurk by doing short tasks, otherwise known as Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). Short tasks are simple activities that computers cannot do. A few examples of short tasks on mTurk are transcribing text from pictures of receipts, taking surveys for university students, and recording words with your microphone.

The pay for each individual short task is very low but Turkers have reported making $50-$100 a week consistently with moderate effort. If you are interested in doing short tasks for Amazon consider downloading Turkopticon, an extension for Google that gives you background information and star ratings on individuals offering the short task on mTurk, and consider using the subreddit HITsWorthTurkingFor. The latter resource, especially, has helped me and other turkers maximize our earning potential and avoid HITs that aren’t worth doing.

There is no pay threshold, meaning you can transfer your funds no matter how much is in your account, and you can choose to be paid via direct deposit or in Amazon gift cards.

Read about maximizing your earning potential as a turker here. Read more about mTurk and other ways to earn money with Amazon here.

Fiverr

Fiverr is the largest online market for all kinds of services offered for around $5. I say, “around five” because there is the option of buying package deals for most services. So, you could buy a caricature of one person for $5 or you could add faces and pay $5 per added face, for example. Fiverr is a great place to sell your skills.

I have seen people selling prank calls, advertising on their blogs, artwork, SEO services, WAH job help, and even care packages from Hogwarts.

Sellers are paid 4.50 out of the $5.50 buyers are charged and sellers are paid through Paypal.

Affliate Marketing

According to Google, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. This route is probably better for someone who has a website or has a moderate to large  following. You don’t have to be a great salesman to be an affiliate marketer; you simply have to know where to find the people who are already looking for your product.

If you have a website or can otherwise find people who want what you are offering, all you have to do is strategically advertise your product.

If you do not have a website but you want an affordable option for hosting I suggest BlueHost. I use Bluehost for my hosting and I used them for my domain registration and it was easy.

Here is a post from a great WAH blogger that maybe helpful to those interesting in affiliate marketing. She lists ShopHer, Share-a-Sale, Amazon Associates, and Panthera Network as good affiliate networks to sign-up with.

Monetizing your free time by doing affiliate marketing maybe a good plan to become financially independent, especially if you choose an affiliate marketing network that pays well, is reliable, and that offers something you are willing to put the effort into offering others.

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Flexible Schedule Opportunities

Uber

I recently wrote a post all about monetizing your free time with Uber, so I will only describe Uber briefly. Uber is a service that allows independent contractors to use their own cars to transport people from Point A to Point B. Uber drivers are not required adhere to a schedule and can hop on and off the smartphone app whenever they choose.

Uber drivers are paid via direct deposit and the Uber site states that drivers can make up to $35 an hour.

Read more about Uber.

If you want to sign up for Uber and you want to make a bonus $25 use this link.

OrderUp

OrderUp is a food delivery service that operates in many metropolitan cities across the US. The service employs independent contractors who use their own cars and their own smartphones to receive orders. The OrderUp customer service often calls the order into restaurants and payment is often handled by customer service. If customer service is unable to place an order over the phone with the restaurant then drivers are required to use a credit card, called a PEX card, that will be pre-loaded specifically for the amount of the order. In these cases drivers will have to place the order at the restaurant and wait.

OrderUp is preferred by  some drivers because there is a guarantee of $10 an hour when drivers are on the schedule. Drivers can hop on the app even if they are not scheduled, however.

OrderUp requires drivers that partner with the service to have valid drivers license, registration, and insurance. The service also provides hot/cold bag rentals for $1 a week. You can also use  your own hot/cold bags but you have to upload a receipt showing the proof of purchase. I have no idea why.

Note: The PEX card is only activated when drivers have active orders and cannot be used for purchases at any other time.

Lyft

Lyft is similar to Uber and is based on the same concept. However, some partners with Lyft prefer the service because Lyft, unlike Uber, encourages patrons to tip and also shows the drivers more appreciation. Lyft is also available in metropolitan areas across the US, offers a flexible schedule, and a better work/life balance.

So, how do you monetize your free time? Comment below. Remember to subscribe to receive more cool posts like this directly in your inbox.

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