Is your job hunt taking longer than expected? Would you like to know some ways to earn cash without being employed? Learn how to make money without a job so you can stay afloat in these challenging times.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 outbreak has created a shockingly tough job market. Companies aren’t hiring as much as they used to, and roles that once attracted few candidates now have numerous people interested. The situation has left many of us reevaluating our job prospects (and in the meantime, struggling financially).
The good news is there are ways to make money without a job (or at least, a traditional 9 to 5 desk job). Most of these involve flexible side gigs or freelance work you can do in your own time. For those of you strapped for cash, these unique opportunities might just be the key to maintaining—or even improving—your lifestyle. Check them out below!
Start selling online now with Shopify
11 ways to make money without a real job
1. Get paid to test websites
Many companies aim to deliver an excellent customer experience through their websites. These firms often hire people to test and provide feedback on the different elements of their site, which helps them identify what needs tweaking or fixing.
You can check out and get paid to evaluate a website. In most cases, you’ll need to create a 20-minute video and voiceover explaining what is good, bad, or confusing about a site. Pay differs from site to site, with UserTesting paying a flat $10 for every review you successfully complete.
Other places to find testing jobs include:
2. Become a crowdworker
Does testing websites seem like too much work? You could always sign up to be a crowdworker and earn money doing simpler, less complicated tasks.
Crowdworkers earn income polishing off to-do lists full of jobs that don’t require specific technical skills. You’ll get paid for things like:
- Watching a video
- Proofreading a document
- Completing a form
- Labeling images
- Updating résumés
There are several crowd job platforms full of clients ready to hire professionals for simple jobs. is great if you’re looking for low-challenge tech tasks, while is perfect for things like filling surveys and collecting data for companies.
3. Design and sell t-shirts
Another way to make money without a traditional job is by selling your own custom-designed t-shirts. You don’t need access to a printing factory or complex equipment these days to get you started. Print-on-Demand let you design your own t-shirts (as well as a host of other items) and post them for sale online. The best part is you don’t pay for the price of making a t-shirt until someone orders from your website.
If you don’t have a website to post your products on, you can use to sell your designs.
You’ll need to invest a little in your t-shirt business if you want to start making a more substantial income, of course. Consider putting your fund toward:
- Promoting your designs on social media
- Paying for ads to help draw more attention to your t-shirts
- Using print-on-demand platform promotional tools like those on
4. Work as a transcriber
Do you have great attention to detail, a set of headphones, and some extra time? You could earn money as a transcriber.
Most companies don’t fully trust automated transcription services, so there’s plenty of room for human beings with competency in listening and typing. All you need to do is list your services on a marketplace like or .
Alternatively, you can bid for transcribing jobs on or list your profile on a .
One advantage of working as a transcriber is the freedom to transcribe in your own time (provided you meet the deadlines). Plus, you get to choose whether you want to transcribe audio or video (or both) and decline any task that doesn’t spark your interest.
5. Shop for others
Shopping might be a lot easier today than it once was, but it’s still a task a lot of people don’t have time for. Fortunately, this means there are earning opportunities out there for you.
Sites like and will pay you to pick up other people’s groceries and household essentials. You can use a car, scooter, or bike, or even walk to some places to deliver the items.
As a personal shopper, you can make anywhere from $5 to $25 per hour. However, your actual earnings will depend on what kind of products you’re buying, how far you need to travel, and whether you’re helping people shop by making suggestions.
6. Sell crafts online
Do you cross-stitch or paint products in your spare time? If you answered yes, making and selling crafts could be your escape from a cash crunch. People love purchasing handmade items as unique gifts or decorations for their homes—which is one of the reasons why sites like Etsy are so popular.
Get started by calculating how much you can reasonably earn from each sale. Keeping material costs low is key to bringing in more profits. A good idea is to buy any materials you’ll be using in several projects in bulk—for wholesale, sellers always quote a lower per-unit price.
Once you’ve got your supply sorted out, go ahead and list your products for sale in one of these places:
- : a specialist store area in Amazon with access to a huge community
- : a US marketplace for handmade items
- : a marketplace for local small business owners and individual sellers
7. Get paid to pet sit
If you prefer paws to paintbrushes, there are plenty of opportunities to make money while nurturing your love for pets.
Many pet owners hire people to look after their fur babies when they have long shifts or need to travel out of town. You can earn cash by offering to sit or care for their pets while they’re away.
Find a pet-sitting gig by handing out flyers in your neighborhood and promoting your services through Instagram and Facebook. Or you can register with pet-sitting platforms like Rover to connect with people looking for trusted sitters.
8. Sell your photos online
Can you shoot good photos? If so, consider capturing and selling stock images, which companies use for all kinds of marketing and branding-related purposes.
You can snap pictures with your smartphone or a digital camera for most websites accepting submissions online, like or . However, you will need to make sure each of your photos meets the guidelines provided by the marketplace you choose for quality and content.
For instance, if you’re , you’ll need to ensure you sell the highest quality photos, videos, and illustrations to make an income. Check the pixel requirements for each site and what kind of content they accept before submitting your photos. Some of the other sites you can look at include:
9. Make money losing weight
Did you know there are websites out there that pay you to trim your waistline?
The most popular site for this is Healthywagee.com.You set your goal weight and a target date (six months or more) and choose a dollar amount to “bet on yourself” each month.
For instance, if you bet $50 per month that you’ll lose 20 pounds in six months, you would get While you might not replace a full-time income with those earnings, you will be making cash doing something good for your health.
10. Rent out your car
If you’re spending more time walking around to earn money, you might as well put your car up for rent (since you won’t be needing it as much, anyway). You can rent it to someone for a couple of hours, a day, or any other period you choose .
Turo lets private car owners list their vehicle as a rental and earn money every time someone makes a booking. You’ll earn anywhere between 65% and 85% of the trip price, with the money credited to your PayPal account within five days of the booking.
11. Sell unused gift cards
Got a bunch of gift cards to stores you’ve never visited? Consider putting them up for sale to earn yourself some extra cash.
Most gift cards remain valid for a period of one to five years from the date of purchase, so there’s a good chance that yours would still be redeemable at the stores that issued them.
Do some research on websites that allow people to sell unwanted gift cards for cash. Some popular ones are:
- : sell gift cards from popular restaurants, grocers, and department stores
- : popular gift cards on this site include PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Google Play
- : sell physical and digital gift cards from more than 150 retail brands
- : use its quote tool to learn whether your card will be accepted and how much it’s worth
Being unemployed doesn’t have to mean being without money
Not having a job is a stressful situation for most people. But there are ways you can manage your emotional wellbeing and make money, even when you’re unemployed. Consider pursuing some of the gigs above to earn income while you look for full-time employment. And keep an open mind, because these nontraditional work options could end up making you way more than what you earned with a 9 to 5 job.
Start selling online now with Shopify