Google “passive income” or “make money from home” and you’ll be inundated with get rich quick schemes and work from home scams. Don’t fall for it! There are ways to build additional income streams and none of them should cost you money upfront.

As someone who has to spend over 60% of her take home pay on daycare, finding ways to make extra money from home is extremely important.

(Update: I’ve since quit my job to run my blog from home full time!!!!)

Disclosures: The links in this post may contain referral links through which I may receive some sort of compensation. This in no way affects your use of the company. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion, and identity. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. I only endorse products or services that I believe are worthy of such an endorsement.

If you’re like me, you have no time waste. Literally. You brush your teeth while combing your son’s hair and you pack lunches while putting on your pants. Thank goodness for automated coffee pots. With not a second to spare, you want to make sure that whatever additional income you bring in is actually worth your time.

First, you need to evaluate when and how you’ll be working to build this extra income. If you want something to do while you’re just watching TV for a couple hours each night, then earning $4/hour from Amazon MTurk will leave you with $8 more than you’d have if you’d only watched TV.

$8 is great. $8 is hopefully more than you spend on TV each month. But $8 is still only $8.

As someone who is constantly multitasking (I swear, I even do it in my dreams!) I need to make more than $8 to consider something worth my time.

A Survey Site That Actually Pays – SurveySavvy

There are many different sites available through which you can earn money by completing surveys but I’ll be honest – 95% of them are a huge waste of your time. SurveySavvy is by far the best survey site, making me on average over $15/hour, and I love it so much I wrote a whole separate article about them – check it out SurveySavvy review! (Oct. 2016 Update: My latest check was for over $200!!)

Write for Textbroker

If you can write fairly well, you need to apply for Textbroker. You will fill out some basic information and then provide a short writing sample. Do not make the same mistake I did – give them your best work! Within a few days, you will receive a grade of 2-5 stars on your sample; the real money begins at the 4 star mark, though there is still some earning potential at the 3 star level. If you receive less than a 4, you will be reevaluated after 5 submissions and your rating will be adjusted accordingly. I typically average about $15-$20 per article and have made nearly $800 in the last three months. You can read more about how I’ve made over $1,400 from Textbroker in thisΒ Textbroker review..

Freelance through Upwork

Whether you’re looking to turn freelancing into your full-time gig or you just need a little extra spending money, sign up for Upwork. Not only can you search for jobs that fit what you’re looking for, you may also be offered random opportunities that fit your schedule. I once made $25 in 20 minutes by doing some voice work. I have zero experience in it, but was offered the opportunity by a company doing vocal research.

Write for Infobarrel

Do you like to write but don’t necessarily want to start your own blog? Check out Infobarrel! Unlike many other article sites, Infobarrel gives you 75% of the revenue generated by the ads on your page. I’ve done 8 articles thus far and had only earned about $10, but last month one of my articles went viral and I managed to make $28. Not bad considering I did nothing last month to earn it!

Get Paid to Lose Weight with DietBet or HealthyWage

Are you planning to lose a few pounds any time soon? Check out DietBet! DietBet provides amazing motivation by holding you accountable for your weight loss. There are three different ways to play, depending on where you’re at with your weight loss goals. Thus far I’ve done lose 4% in 4 weeks, but I plan to try for a bigger goal (10% in 6 months) very soon! I’ve only won $34 from the two games I’ve played but still – $34 for something I wanted/needed to do anyway! Not too shabby! I’ve also heard good things about but I have not yet personally tried it out.

*Update* – I’ve since tried out HealthyWage and I won $1,600 in December after losing 70lbs, and I’ve already got a guest post up from someone who won nearly $700 after dropping 50lbs!! Check out this HealthyWage review!

Do Closed Captioning Work with Rev is an online transcription and captioning company. If you can type quickly, I recommend applying. You won’t make a ton of money unless you’re a professional transcriptionist who uses a stenotype. I can type about 98 wpm and I’ve never made more than $7 per working hour with Rev. With that said, though, I very much enjoy the work and that can make all the difference. Thus far I’ve made enough to pay for my Netflix/Hulu subscriptions for the year!

Save Money Shopping Online with Ebates

If youΒ  have not yet signed up for Ebates, please do so now. Like right this second. Not that I want you to stop reading but I can’t tell you how much I regret having not done so myself sooner, especially with how much shopping I do online. Since August of 2015, I have earned $608.12 just from my shopping trips.

Insiders tip: You can use Ebates even for things you need TODAY! How? By going through Ebates to purchase things for in-store pickup. We do this a lot when we need things from Lowes – not only do we get a percentage back from our Lowes purchase but the shopping trip went from an hour long ordeal to a five minute stop!

Check out THIS Ebates review for more insight into how I’ve made nearly $1,000 with Ebates!

Make money online with Ebates

Make Money with InboxDollars

InboxDollars is great because they offer you a multitude of ways to make money through them that don’t necessarily require a lot of time or effort. If you’ve read myΒ InboxDollars Review, you know you can make at least $50 in less than one hour. Beyond that, you can also make money by clipping and using their coupons, doing online searches, completing surveys, and more!

This post is very much a “live” post – meaning I will update it as I discover new and better ways to make money online. Two avenues I’m currently exploring are EJury and UserTesting. Check back soon for an update on how those work out!

Freelance through Fiverr

Do you have a unique talent to showcase? Fiverr is a great site to market your skills and/or products. Whether it’s graphic design, social media marketing, or a physical product, Fiverr is definitely a great way to make money and is also a great platform to buy from!

Declutter for Cash

Hold a garage sale or sell via Facebook Resale Groups! After I spent a couple days thoroughly decluttering my house, I was able to list and resell a lot of my stuff for a whopping $680 and I still have more to sell! I plan to hold a garage sale this summer to sell whatever is left. My garage sales are typically fairly successful and I often make upwards of $500.


What is your favorite way to make extra money?

Are you a saver or a spender?



Make money online through sites that actually pay! Build passive income streams or make easy money working from home. I've made nearly $3,000 thus far! #workfromhome #makemoney #wahm #workonline #surveysites #remotework


    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      Good! Let me know how they work out for you πŸ™‚

  • Brittany Reply

    Great tips! Have you ever heard of You get paid to test out websites. You earn $10 for each site you test.

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      Yep, I’m investigating it now πŸ™‚ unfortunately I don’t seem to be on a computer often enough to get any sites and I never qualify for the mobile ones :-/

  • Quine Atal Reply

    Thanks some great tips! I’ve written 3 philosophy books (Amazon kindle) in the past 2 years and made $50! Your tips sound better!

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      Thank you! Be sure to let me know how they work out for you! πŸ™‚

  • Miranda Nahmias Reply

    Pinned! Great post, Amber! I hadn’t heard about some of these ways to make extra money on the side before.

  • Bilna Sandeep Reply

    These are really great tips!! Would love to try a few of them

  • livebysurprise Reply

    Great tips. Tucking this away for later! Thank you!

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      You are quite welcome! Be sure to let me know how these work out for you πŸ™‚

  • Natalie Reply

    Great tips — for the sites that you are writing for, such as Textbroker and Upwork, do you receive proper credit for your work? I’ve always wanted to join sites like these but I’m always worried that in some way, they’re too good to be true, if that makes sense.

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      For Upwork it depends on the project, but you connect directly with the employer and are able to discuss terms/conditions prior to accepting the position. With Textbroker, you are most definitely a ghost writer. You can contact the employer (sort of) but you have no idea who s/he is or where your writing will be used. It’s not for everyone. That said, there have been numerous times where I’ve made $20 in less than 30 minutes. It really just depends on what YOU’RE comfortable with πŸ™‚

      • Natalie Reply

        Fair enough! I have no problem ghost-writing, but I like to keep track of where my work is (I keep a submissions list… I’m such a nerd). Sounds like it might not be for me, but Upwork might work better.

        I appreciate the info and the super fast response! πŸ™‚

        • Thrifty Guardian Reply

          You are quite welcome! I wish you great success with Upwork!

          • Natalie

            Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • Emily Poisel Reply

    This is an awesome list! I rediscovered Upwork; I had an account and lost interest, and you inspired me to check it out again. I love that you focused on websites that don’t require upfront costs; the internet if full of those!

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      I’m glad you liked it! I definitely recommend staying active on Upwork, you never know what will come your way! Best of luck to you πŸ™‚

  • Amy Reply

    These are some great resources!! Thank you for taking the time to post them.. I def need to re-think Upwork!! πŸ™‚

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      You are very welcome, thank YOU for taking the time to read ’em. Definitely re-think Upwork, you never know what might come your way!

  • Shaylee Field Reply

    Very interesting! I actually had no idea any of these places existed. This is wonderful for us who need a little extra income on the side, thank you so much for the awesome tips!

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      You are quite welcome! Please let me know how they work out for you, I love hearing about those sort of successes! πŸ™‚

  • Ruby Ring Reply

    This is great! I’m wary of the surveys though. I tried inbox dollars and another survey program before and made nothing πŸ™ And I’d always go through all the preliminary survey questions that were time consuming and then be told I didn’t qualify.

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      I would very much encourage you to try SurveySavvy. It’s rare (maybe 1 out of 4) that I don’t qualify and even then, the preliminary isn’t so long that I felt like my time was wasted; it’s usually your age, city, and occupation. I’m closing in on the $100 mark with them and I’m still averaging well above $15/hour!

  • bluecarpaintedgreen Reply

    This is a super helpful post. Many of these things I’d have been intimidated to try, but this gives me motivation.

    • Thrifty Guardian Reply

      I’m so glad!! Please do be sure to let me know how they work out for you πŸ™‚ I haven’t yet updated the post, but I definitely do recommend UserTesting. I don’t get a lot of opportunities, but when I do it’s an easy $10 for 15 minutes of work. I love it!!

  • Megan Comer Reply


    Creating a course and teaching others how to do things. This is so fun AND rewarding!

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      Absolutely!! I love Teachable!

  • Liv Reply

    I heard of a few of these, but not all. Thanks for the tips.

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      You are quite welcome! πŸ™‚

  • Ankit Agarwal Reply

    These are great options. I wish the survey one was available in my country though . Thanks for the articles. Marked for future use

  • Carol Cassara Reply

    I had to pin and tweet this great post, Amber … thanks!

  • Carol A Cassara Reply

    I saw this and loved it. You are an inspiration and so diligent about finding these great ideas!

  • Laurie Stone Reply

    Fantastic, Amber! I will be trying a lot of these. I’m always looking for ways to bring in more money. Thank you.

  • Rosemond Reply

    I do writing and blogging work through upwork (and hire my blogging freelancers there too.) Some really great people there.

  • Silly Mummy Reply

    Impressive additional income! Ooh – closed captioning! I am nowhere near a good enough typist, but I am absolutely obsessed with closed captions – specifically the hilarious errors that occasionally turn up!

  • Stacey W Reply

    This is just what I needed! Looking into some of these suggestions!

  • Carol A Cassara Reply

    These are all such fantastic ideas. So glad you have found success due to your hard work and ingenuity!

  • Patricia B Reply

    Great tips! Bookmarked for later use and thanks for sharing.

  • Ashiyana Reply

    I heard a lot about blog earning. we can earn billions of dollar from a blog very easily.
    Thanks for the tips.

  • christina Reply

    I finally signed up for Ebates!! Thanks for all your financial guidance!

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      Yay!! πŸ˜€

  • Stacey W Reply

    These are amazing! Writing a lot of them down to refer to!

  • Jenni Reply

    Wow, so many ways that I’ve never heard of! Thank you for putting all of this valuable information in one spot! Bookmarking it for later.

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed! <3

  • John Muller Reply

    Ever since we quit our jobs, me and my wife have tried various strategies to earn extra from home. The one that really worked for us was affiliate marketing, but we also found few clients through Fiverr – so we can recommend that. There are many folks that are prospecting the market with small gigs through Fiverr. If they like your work, they will hire for bigger projects.

  • Ryan Biddulph Reply

    Super tips Amber. I found building my own freelance writing business and landing clients through blog commenting and creating helpful content did the trick. Now I mainly promote my eBook but also have 11 income streams open.

Comments make me smile!