There’s nothing like a pandemic to shake up your finances. Even if you’re holding steady, the struggle is far from over. No doubt, there’s no one on the planet, billionaires excluded, who can’t use extra cash to make ends meet or to build a bigger stash because the future is uncertain.
With that in mind, here are ideas to get you thinking beyond Uber or Lyft for ways to make money. Though much depends on tips and the number of rides given, drivers typically make $15-$20 an hour. If you earn $600 or more a year, a 1099-MISC form is sent for tax filing purposes.
Seek out businesses boosted by pandemic
Many companies are barely surviving, but there are opportunities, especially in companies whose products or services are in demand given the coronavirus.
Take cleaning services. Bio Recovery, a disease and crime scene cleanup company headquartered in Patchogue, has seen a big uptick in businesses wanting extensive cleaning. They’ve hired full and part-time workers for jobs that pay $20-$25 an hour, depending on experience. “Because of the large influx of jobs due to the pandemic, we have hired many locals, as well as others out of state for our traveling teams of cleaners,” says Kevin Geick, a Bio Recovery manager.
Take online surveys
“While paid surveys don’t pay much, if you have a few minutes each day, the funds add up,” says Leslie Tayne, a debt resolution attorney with the Tayne Law Group in Melville. Sites such as InboxDollars and Swagbucks send marketing research surveys to users in exchange for money or digital points that can be redeemed for gift cards or cash. While it varies, you can make $3-$35 per survey.
Uber Eats and DoorDash make delivering food easy and provide a flexible way to make extra cash. The service will likely provide you with an insulated bag, but purchasing an extra one, or keeping ice packs handy for cold food in the summer is always a good idea. On average you can earn $15-$25 an hour, depending on the time of day you’re delivering and how many runs you make. Remember though, you pay for your gas and there’s wear and tear on your car.
Become a personal shopper
Platforms such as Shipt, Instacart, and Dumpling allow you to shop for others and earn money on your own time. Get familiar with stores so you can get in and out as painlessly as possible and capitalize on the hours you shop. Expect to make $20-$30 an hour.
Scan your receipts
In addition to using a credit card that rewards you with cash back for all your purchases, make money on your everyday purchases to offset future expenses by using a cash back shopping app like Fetch Rewards. “It’s easy to use — just snap a picture of your receipts and upload them to your account. The amount of points you earn depends on which grocery items you buy. You will also earn points for retailer and restaurant receipts, too, and they award bonus points periodically,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert in Bakersfield, California. If you’re worried about exposing the last 4 digits of your credit card, use a marker or pen to cover it before snapping a pic.
Link your email or Amazon profile to your account to automatically earn money for your online purchases. Points can be redeemed toward free gift cards to stores like Walmart and Amazon.
Review mock trials
Some attorneys use panels of online mock jurors to get feedback on their cases before they go to trial, paying anywhere from $5-$60 depending on the company and time it takes to review the case. “EJury.com pays $5-$10 per case via PayPal and OnlineVerdict.com pays $20-$60. You must be a U.S. citizen to participate. You can't be an attorney, paralegal or legal assistant — or even related to an attorney — to participate,” Woroch says. You can view all the terms and conditions to make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Run errands for others
Run errands or do chores for people in your area, such as grocery shopping, yard work or even assembling furniture, through TaskRabbit. Make money delivering packages through the Roadie app or get paid to walk someone’s dog through Rover.com. “You can make up to $1,000 a month by pet sitting in your own home through the site,” says Woroch.
Host online workshops
Capitalize on your talents, whether it’s yoga, tutoring, or sharing your marketing savvy. Virtual workshops and trainings brought in a few extra thousand dollars for Michelle Wintersteen's brand design company MKW Creative in San Diego. To get the word out, she suggests joining several industry specific Facebook groups to crowdsource your workshop or training topic. LinkedIn is also ideal because your work experience and endorsed skills from current or previous employers can help position you as an expert. What to charge? For a 30-minute training, shoot for 15 attendees at $20-$30 per person. Says Wintersteen, “Under-promise and over deliver to keep them coming back.”