In 2015 I lost my job, and half of my family’s income. My dad had just recently died of lung cancer and I was nine months pregnant with my second son who ended up in the NICU after he was born. It was a terrible, stressful time – with money concerns high on the stress list! However, despite the challenges, I have not returned to work in the traditional sense. Instead, I have been home with my two boys (avoiding childcare costs) and my family has been in “make it work” mode ever since.
I have put in a lot of effort while staying home with my sons to contribute financially to the household. I am highly motivated by my desire to get out of debt. I wanted to share with you today over 16 different ways I have earned money without a job in 2016. This is not the kind of article where an author just lists a million ideas, whether they have tried them or not. Anyone could write that if they wanted to. Every single thing in this post is something I have personally done, this year, to earn money for my family. Enjoy and I hope you find a new way to help yourself financially! 🙂
16+ Ways I Made Money (without a job) in 2016!
I love apps. Especially apps that allow me to earn free money. And the simpler the better. I have not tried every app that exists however. These are my favorites that I have used consistently throughout the year.
SIGN UP RIGHT NOW! <– That’s my referral link and you’re crazy if Ibotta is available in your country and you’re not using it yet. Ibotta is a rebate app and I personally use it most for my grocery shopping. I have earned $338.75 via Ibotta so far in 2016. And this is actual cash (via PayPal or venmo), that I am able to use to pay bills or pay down debt.
I wrote about Receipt Pal here if you want to read more.
I reviewed Panel App here if you want to learn more.
I haven’t written about Shopkick on the blog yet, but I very casually used it throughout 2016. I recently redeemed my earnings for a giftcard that I put towards groceries.
Walmart Savings Catcher
Really loving this one and wish I had started using it earlier in the year! An easy to use app that is putting cash into my pocket by letting me save on groceries. Learn more about my experience with Walmart Savings Catcher by reading this post.
Ebates is a no-brainer if you do ANY online shopping. I do very little shopping, and I still am able to earn some cash back via Ebates. It’s very simple to use. When you are ready to shop, check the ebates website first. You may earn a certain percentage of cash back on purchases you were going to make anyway. They also sometimes have extra coupons or deal codes for you to use! Ebates send “big fat checks” a few times a year, and I am expecting one next month! 🙂 Sign up through my ebates referral link! When you sign up you should get a $10 giftcard!
I have been using Swagbucks for YEARS! I absolutely love it and have used it to varying degrees during different stages of life. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Swagbucks is a way of earning free giftcards by doing a variety of “everyday tasks” online. There is everything from a simple daily poll, to longer surveys, online shopping, special offers and videos you can watch for credit. My favorite way to earn Swagbucks is through their mobile apps. I let the videos run throughout the day, and I let my ‘bucks build up for several months before cashing out.
I’m currently waiting on $75 in PayPal cash via Swagbucks. It will arrive any day now and I’ll be sending it off as an extra debt payment! 🙂 In previous years I have used Swagbucks (turned into Amazon.com giftcards usually) to buy kids birthday and Christmas gifts, diapers, groceries, and household goods. I even wrote about it in the very early days of my blog. Sign up now through my Swagbucks referral link!
Selling Things – In Person
Using local consignment shops I have sold clothes (my own and some of my mom and sister’s), and household items. Here are my best tips for consignment selling success.
Kids consignment is a much bigger money maker for me than the adult stuff! Kids just require so much stuff, and don’t use it for very long. I sold A LOT of baby clothes, shoes, toys, books and gear in 2016!
Used Book Store
We have a used book store locally that is very picky, but I have had some success in selling books to them. Check to see what’s available in your area.
Selling Things – Online
I used the Wallapop app to sell some baby stuff, maternity clothing, and books this year. The app may no longer exist but there are quite a few other options on the market – check the app store! Read my tips for selling online here.
Facebook Yard Sale Groups
Another great option for making money off of your unwanted stuff! Local “yard sale” groups! I have sold a mattress and some other furniture via Facebook groups. Relatively easy and painless, just follow the guidelines and the group you are in.
I had my first taste of writing sponsored posts this year! I have enjoyed the experience so far and will consider more in the future if they are a good fit for my blog and my readers. 🙂
Virtual Assisting & Social Media Marketing
One of the most rewarding ways I have made money so far this year. I have done a few different things for a few different clients. The tasks have varied quite a bit but have included creating Pinterest graphics, updating website links, setting up social media accounts, submitting links to blog link parties, creating quote graphics, posting regularly on a Facebook business page, and writing emails. My clients have been fellow bloggers, local small business owners and local real estate agents.
These fall under the blogging category technically. I have earned money from these avenues, but not enough to cash out and receive the funds yet.
I use Amazon Associates on this blog. When website owners and bloggers who are associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees. It’s free to join and easy to use. If you have a blog, you should definitely sign up! Here’s my associate link to the main Amazon page. If you were to click through that link and then make a purchase, I’d earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Easy peasy.
I use Google AdSense to place advertisements on my blog. I’m not earning the big bucks, since I’m not a huge blogger, but I will get a pay out eventually and I view this as passive income. I set it up once and don’t think about it often!
Chitika is a fairly simple, easy to set up ad network you can add to your blog. Yes, you can use Chitika if you are already using google AdSense! 🙂 They also have a referral program. Click here on my referral link to sign up!
Find What Works For You …
This list is not the be-all, end-all, list of ways to make money without a job. They are things I have tried and had success with. I highly encourage you to find what works for you. It may be something I have not tried yet – like babysitting, dog walking, selling on Etsy, some kind of freelance work, or an app I haven’t discovered.
But Never Sell Yourself Short …
One piece of advice, if you are trying to earn money without a traditional job – please have high expectations for yourself. One of my favorite quotes from Dave Ramsey is when he says “don’t step over dollars to pick up pennies.” Please don’t spend hours of your time on survey websites earning just a few cents for your time. You are better and more capable than that, I’m sure of it! Really think about the skills you have (we ALL have skills!), and ask friends and family if you need help coming up with a list. There are things you can do to earn money from home, you just may need to open your mind to the possibilities!
How did you earn money in 2016?