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The phone you’re holding in your hands can be one of two things — a giant waste of time or a money-making machine.
Here are twenty-four ways to turn your cell phone into a machine that makes it easy to make some extra money online.
How to Make Money From Your Phone in Your Free Time
There are a number of free apps that give you a fun way to make real money from the comfort of your own home (or anywhere else you have a cell phone signal or wifi access). Here are some of the more popular ones.
- Swagbucks and InboxDollars
- Shop for Instacart
- Sell items on Decluttr
- Sell items on Amazon Handmade
- Sell designs on Amazon Merch
- Uber and Lyft
- Survey Junkie
- Invest with Schwab or Fidelity
- Walk dogs with Rover
- Manage social media
- Become a social influencer
TaskRabbit is an app that can connect you to people in your community who need help with household tasks.
Download the TaskRabbit app, create a profile, and start applying for jobs in your community. You can get paid to mend fences, paint walls, mow lawns, and perform things of that nature. Complete jobs and you’ll get paid and reviewed through the app for a seamless experience.
Working on TaskRabbit is fun and can lead to steady work if you’re willing to hustle. This is a great option for people who live in metropolitan areas where there are a lot of users.
Ibotta is a cashback app that can provide money back on everyday purchases at your favorite stores, including groceries, gas, travel, and apparel. Simply search for offers on Ibotta and get cash back when you buy stuff.
Ibotta is now offering a $20 sign-up bonus for downloading the free app and completing certain tasks. You can use Ibotta on your smartphone or over a web browser.
3. Swagbucks and InboxDollars
Taking online surveys may seem like a waste of time. However, you can rest assured that it’s perfectly legit — if you avoid scams and use the right website.
Swagbucks and InboxDollars are two of the most well-known survey sites on the internet. Sign up for both of them, and you can get paid extra cash to sit on your sofa and fill out surveys asking for your opinion on various items.
Swagbucks also pays users for surfing the internet, watching movies, and playing games. Spend some time on Swagbucks and you’ll see just how lucrative and fun the site can be.
This is something anyone can do while watching Netflix or unwinding after a long day. You can also try Swagbucks and InboxDollars on your lunch break or when waiting for a bus or airplane.
4. Shop for Instacart
Download the Instacart app and start getting paid to shop for groceries for people in your community.
Instacart allows you to connect with customers and actually chat with them and ask questions as you shop for an interactive experience. For example, you may ask someone to clarify an order or ask if they prefer hard or soft avocados. Going the extra mile on Instacart and providing great service is a way to generate better tips.
Pay for the items with an Instacart prepaid debit card and then drop them off at the person’s house. Instacart will compensate you for your time and effort.
5. Sell items on Decluttr
When was the last time you cleaned out your closet or basement? Chances are you have tons of unwanted electronics, old media, and toys sitting around collecting dust and taking up space.
Download the Decluttr app and get some money for these unwanted objects. Decluttr will send you a box, pay for shipping, and give you cash payments. They’ll either recycle and wipe your unwanted tech or turn around and sell your items on their online marketplace.
Trust us: You’re never going to use that old screen again or watch your Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVDs. Get rid of that stuff!
6. Sell items on Amazon Handmade
If you’re a crafty type, download the Amazon Handmade app.
This money-making app can provide you with a marketplace for your handmade items like potholders, shirts, scarves, mittens, drawings, coasters — the list goes on. Amazon Handmade can enable you to sell these items right through your phone, essentially launching and managing an e-commerce business.
7. Sell designs on Amazon Merch
Another way to make money from your phone with Amazon is to sell designs through Amazon Merch.
This app is a bit like Amazon Handmade, except you don’t have to sell the actual items. All you have to do is provide designs that other people can put on things like shirts and mugs.
This way, there is much less overhead and much less hassle. If you’re creative, it can be a great way to earn passive income.
Poshmark is a social commerce platform that enables users to make extra money by selling unwanted old clothes and accessories.
First, round up some unwanted old clothes or go out and buy some cheap clothes from a local thrift store that you can turn around and sell at a higher price online. Then, download the Poshmark app.
Here’s how it works: Take a picture of the item and share it in Poshmark. Shoppers can then discover the items and decide whether they want to make a purchase.
Poshmark will take 20% of the sales price for anything over $15 and a fee of $2.95 for anything less.
There’s nothing like the feeling at the end of a college semester knowing that you’ll never have to read that textbook ever again — and that you can potentially sell it online.
One app that can make this happen is BookScouter. Simply download the free app, search through more than thirty buyback vendors, and compare prices and seller feedback. Then, ship the item for free and the company will pay you. It’s that easy.
You can get good money for your textbooks. It’s much better than letting them rot on your bookshelf or putting them into the trash. Check out BookScouter and start profiting today.
Your community is full of people ordering food on Doordash at all hours of the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t bring them their food, someone else will.
Download the Doordash app (or Uber Eats), get in your car, and start making deliveries. There’s money to be made out there, and these apps make it easy to track it down.
Another cool delivery app to check out is Postmates, which goes beyond fast food and provides on-demand delivery opportunities for things like office supplies and alcohol. Postmates is yet another way to make extra cash driving around in your own car and making deliveries.
12. Uber and Lyft
Arguably the best way to make money driving is through Uber and Lyft. If you download these rideshare apps, you don’t even have to get out of your car. Just turn on the app and drive around picking people up and dropping them off at various destinations like airports and restaurants.
By working with Uber and Lyft, you’ll get to work flexible hours. So if you’re up at midnight and want to make a few extra bucks, you can get in the car and drive.
Remember: The on-demand economy never stops. When you have apps like Uber and Lyft, you can make money around the clock and work your way to financial freedom while others are sleeping.
Disclaimer: One thing to keep in mind is that Uber and Lyft drivers often pick up drunk passengers. You just need to make sure you are OK with this before getting started.
Gigwalk is an app that pays users to do quick jobs in their local area. Download the app, register your account, link a PayPal account, and then find jobs in your area. It’s that simple.
These jobs are available as gigs, meaning they’re short-term projects that you take on and complete. Once the job is complete, you’ll get paid through Gigwalk.
Mobee is a secret shopper app. Download this app and get sent on local missions. Whatever the task is, you can earn rewards for taking on jobs and completing them.
15. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is a bit like Swagbucks. Sign up and download the app, take paid surveys, and start earning rewards like cash, rebates, and free gift cards.
Survey Junkie is completely legit, and it’s a great way to make money in your spare time without having to work too hard for it. Plus, you can make a difference by helping brands improve their products.
Your phone most likely has a powerful camera built-in that’s capable of taking high-quality images. It’s time to start making money from your photos using a site like Shutterstock.
Open an account through Shutterstock and submit a series of photos for review. Once you get accepted, you can earn royalties any time a site uses your work. Shutterstock is a great way to turn photography into a money-making opportunity.
Foap is another photographer community that enables photographers to sell images to brands for private use. Download Foap, submit pictures and get paid for your work.
18. Invest with Schwab or Fidelity
One of the best ways to make serious money with your phone is to invest with a brokerage app from companies like Schwab or Fidelity. Another service to check out is Acorns.
These apps offer powerful investing tools that can provide users with a range of financial services, making investing easy and intuitive. Of course, investing is risky, and it pays to know what you’re doing.
But thanks to these apps, you can view stocks and funds and trade them when necessary right from a mobile device.
Love playing mobile games? Who doesn’t?
Now you can get paid to play games through sites like MyPoints, a cashback program that incentivizes mobile game playing through cash rewards.
This is the perfect thing to do when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or on the bus. Bust out your phone, play some games, and collect great rewards. What’s not to like?
The only thing better than being the life of the party is being the hero who delivers booze to the party. You can be that person through an app called Saucey, an on-demand alcohol delivery service.
This site works just like Uber Eats. Thirsty consumers make purchases, you pick up their beer, wine, or hard liquor, and deliver it to their doorstep. Then you get paid. Boom.
Sweatcoin is a rewards app that pays you just for walking. Download the app, and it will pay you in a digital currency every time you take 1,000 steps.
Once you start racking up Sweatcoins, you can redeem them for currency in the app’s online marketplace. This is available on both Apple and Android devices.
22. Walk dogs with Rover
If you love dogs, check out the Rover app. This site connects dog sitters and walkers with local pet owners in their communities.
Create a profile and connect with pet owners looking for caretakers for their pets while they’re at work or out of town. This app requires taking on a lot of responsibility, as you’ll be tasked with looking after someone’s animal during specific times of the day. Either way, it can pay decent money and lead to steady work.
This is an excellent option for anyone who loves animals and is looking for consistent side hustle money. The Rover app is easy to use and fun.
23. Manage social media
Some companies will pay you to manage their social media accounts. If you’re savvy with a phone, you can do this from any location — tweeting, updating Facebook, and responding to customers when they make inquiries.
The cool part about this is that you can essentially get paid to be the voice of a company. Companies across all markets — especially small businesses — are looking for help with their social media profiles, and that’s where people like you come into the equation.
24. Become a social influencer
If you’re savvy with social media, you may want to consider becoming a social media influencer and posting social posts with targeted advertisements.
Start by forming a content strategy and figuring out a game plan based on your unique personality. For example, you may be great at Tik Tok, cooking, yoga, or singing. Use a site like Upfluence to land gigs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about making money from your phone.
What is a side hustle?
“Side hustle” is a hip way of describing a job that brings in extra money apart from your full-time profession. There are all sorts of side hustles ranging from social media work to dog walking to completing jobs on TaskRabbit.
Working a side hustle can be a lot of fun and lead to some great new opportunities and career paths that you never knew existed. Plus, you’ll be part of the growing gig economy. Any way you slice it, there is a lot of upside to starting a side hustle.
What should I do with gift cards?
The obvious option is to treat gift cards like cash with participating retailers. The other option is to sell them using an app like Cardcash, which can give you cash in exchange for your unwanted cards.
This is a great way to put some extra cash in your pocket if you’d prefer cold, hard cash to something like an Amazon gift card or Walmart gift card.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, there are countless ways to use your phone to make money fast. If you need more money in your bank account, then it’s time to put your phone to work.
The most important takeaway is to stop wasting time on your phone and start using it to bring in bucks. A phone gives you an easy way to earn extra income. And some apps are so easy to use that they’re essentially like getting free money!
You can get paid for merely opening your phone, shopping, and for trying new apps and services. It’s just a matter of discovering opportunities and pouncing on them.