7 Ways to Make Extra Money From Home

While there are some legitimate ways to make extra money quickly, keep in mind that you won't get rich quickly, and anything promising that you will is almost certainly a work-at-home scam. These seven money-making ideas require little, if any, monetary investment. With most of them, if you gradually expand your time commitment, you'll see your monetary reward expand as well.

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Let Your Cell Phone Pay Its Own Way

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You can use your phone to receive assignments for short tasks that you complete on the phone itself—app testing and surveys, for example—or location-based gigs, such as mystery shopping or gathering information about merchandising displays at stores. You can even sign up for rewards programs that give you points toward gift cards just for walking into certain stores with your phone (no purchase necessary). 

While these ways to make extra money with your phone won't earn a living, if used sensibility, they can help defray the cost of your cell phone and maybe add a little cash to your wallet. But the idea is to make extra money, so be careful that you don't lose money.

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Start Your Own Home-Based Call Center

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If you already own an up-to-date computer and have a landline phone, you could start your own home-based call center without much investment in additional home office equipment. Many companies hire people to work from home as telephone customer service representatives, sales reps, and technical support agents. Hours and pay rates vary from company to company. Many of these companies are looking for part-time, evening workers, so virtual call center work can be perfect for moonlighting from home.

It's a plus if you speak more than one language because many companies have bilingual jobs as well. To get started, take a look at some companies hiring virtual call center agents and apply to some that suit your situation. 

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Do Small Tasks (Online or In Person)

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Small crowdsourcing, online, and real-world tasks, sometimes called  micro jobs, have become an increasingly popular way to pick up extra cash. Short-task websites offer a way for buyers and sellers of services to connect. These gigs generally don't take much effort and, as a result, don't usually pay much. However, if your goal is to earn a few extra dollars, then micro jobs may be just what you need.

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Tutor Online

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If you have a college degree or you're working on getting one, you may qualify to work as an online tutor. Typically, online tutors work for internet-based companies that offer help within a variety of subject areas to students of all ages. However, some websites simply offer ways for established tutors to connect to students online (and then take a cut of the fees you charge). Hours are flexible, and teaching experience may or may not be required. Do some research to figure out which online tutoring jobs might be a good fit for you. 

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Improve the Internet

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Yes, you can make the internet a better place while earning money from home. Home-based website testers provide feedback online about the usability of websites so that companies can improve their customers' experience. Typically, testers are paid a small fee for each review.

Search evaluation, however, is a more lucrative opportunity. In search evaluation positions, workers comb through search engine results and provide the human feedback that computers can't. Unlike website testing, this is an hourly, part-time position, but hours are usually at your own choosing, so you can potentially moonlight with this job.

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Start a Direct Sales Business

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Starting a direct sales business often has a start-up cost because consultants usually must purchase a starter kit of products. Do your homework, learn about direct sales terminology and contracts before laying out any money. But if you enjoy sales, this could be a quick option for starting a home business.

Although direct sales can often take you to other people’s homes, where you choose to hold your events is up to you. Usually, you begin by selling to your friends, so it's important to represent products that you believe in. There are so many options when it comes to direct sales that you'll likely be able to find a product that's right for you. 

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Go Mystery Shopping

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Mystery shopping can be a way to earn a little money moonlighting close to home. Also known as secret shopping, it involves pretending to be a regular customer at a business and then providing feedback on your experience to the company that hires you. That company then aggregates the feedback of multiple mystery shoppers to let the business know how it can improve. However, these types of jobs can also be the bait for work-at-home scams, so you have to be very careful and know the signs of mystery shopping scams.