CNN recently reported that over half of Americans are at risk of losing their jobs right now due to coronavirus. That’s roughly 80 million jobs. Those who work in travel and leisure, hospitality, transportation, temporary help services, and oil drilling and extraction are at the highest risk of unemployment.
I’m not surprised—are you? Our economy relies on people leaving their homes. We need people to go out to dinner, go to the movies, go on public transit, travel, go to spas, take dance lessons and do all of the many things they do outside of their houses in order for our economy to thrive. And now, we’re being asked to stay inside. As of barely an hour ago, Los Angeles received their “shelter in place” mandate. That means over 10 million individuals were just told to stay inside, and only leave their home for essential items. In other words, the pharmacies, banks, and grocery stores are the only places that will be seeing much business for a while.
People are frightened. And I get it. I’m frightened. Doesn’t it all seem so surreal? Here we are, working hard. Doing what we can to get ahead. We never could have imagined that something so beyond our control—so unrelated to our skill set or our work ethic—could affect whether or not we get to keep our jobs. It feels unfair. It’s okay to say it. I understand we are doing this quarantine to protect vulnerable groups, but can I please, also say, that those facing unemployment are getting royally screwed? Sorry if it’s insensitive to bring up, as people face health threats. But…I’m also not sorry. It’s a real problem. If you are in this high-risk group, you need to know about these ways to make money while you’re stuck at home.
Bunny Studio Writing
Bunny Studio Writing allows you to create a writer’s profile. They’ll put you through a series of tests to assess your skill level as a writer, and then you’ll have access to all sorts of projects that show up in a queue daily. You can set your rates—so keep in mind you’ll have to compete with others—and will just have to meet the requested turn around time. You’ll be paid for every accepted submission. Hint: specialists, like certified nutritionists or therapists, get slightly higher rates.
Take paid surveys
Companies need to know what consumers think. It’s the only way for them to fine-tune their products and their marketing strategies. You know they need your opinion because they hound you with surveys every time you make a purchase. Some companies got wise, and started paying for opinions, since people don’t seem to be giving them out for free. Swagbucks is a good place to find paid surveys.
Make pay-wall protected content
If you already have some traction on social media—say for your recipes, guided meditations, or music—start making pay-wall protected content. Viewers will have to pay a small fee to get that recipe/hear the full song/watch the full yoga video. Why should you be giving that out for free anyways?
Take advantage of some credit card offers
It might be time to take advantage of some credit card offers you’ve been ignoring. Is one card offering you 70,000 points just for signing up? Honey, that’s $700! They will try to taunt you, by telling you that, if you use those rewards towards, say, travel or entertainment, the points will be worth even more. But you need cash right now, so take the cash back. Just pay attention to fine print and fees.
Sell your gift cards on eBay
Maybe what you need more than $75 to Sephora, $50 to AMC theaters, or $35 to Cheesecake Factory right now is cash. So consider selling your unused gift cards at a discounted rate on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Sixty real dollars for a $75 Sephora gift card are more valuable to you than $75 worth of makeup. Makeup will not keep the lights on.
Sell other belongings online
How much do you really need to hold onto that limited edition set of sneakers? Or that designer handbag? Or that old electronic you barely use? If you need cash for things like groceries and rent right now, it may be time to stop holding onto material objects and sell those bad boys off. Try sites like LetGo, OfferUp, NextDoor, or Facebook Marketplace.
If you feel safe doing so, make deliveries for those who cannot. Run errands for those who cannot. Maybe there is someone who is too weak, too busy, or too frightened to simply walk their dog or pick up prescriptions. Offer to do so for $15 a day. If you gather a few “customers,” you can really start raking in the cash.
Take on a roomie
It may be time to get cozy with other people—just make sure they’re healthy and that you are healthy, first. If you have a spare room to rent, rent it. You can easily bring in an extra $700 to $1,200 a month just by doing that if you live in a big city. What do you need most right now? Your own space or more money? A mostly-vacant guest room or cash?
Mow lawns, paint houses etc
Sites like HomeAdvisorPros let you find jobs doing things like mowing lawns and painting fences. Though these do require you to leave your home, you can do so safely. Don’t have any physical contact with the person who hires you. She can pay you on Venmo or Paypal, rather than handing you physical cash or checks.
Make a small loan
If you have some money saved up, you can be of help, and help yourself right now by making a small loan. If you know of a small business that you believe in that just needs cash to stay afloat during quarantine, consider making them a small, low-interest loan. If you know they’re generally successful, then you can make money off that money when they re-open their doors. This option isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth considering if you want to help the economy and have some money to spare.
Rent your car
Uber, Lyft, and other shared ride services are being shut down during quarantine. Between coronavirus and the new AB5 law, freelance workers like Lyft drivers just can’t catch a break, huh? But, what you can do with your car is rent it out. If you planned on mostly staying home now anyways, use a site like Getaround.com to safely rent out your vehicle.
Capitalize on cash back deals
Look deeply into your current credit card deals. Your credit cards probably email you every day, encouraging you to make use of your cash back deals. Stop ignoring those emails. Don’t buy things you don’t need, but, if you see that one card is giving you 10 percent cash back at a certain pharmacy or grocery store right now, go get everything you need at that store.
Join a clinical trial
Do your research. Make sure these are being run through legitimate institutions. Clinical trial participants can make around $1,000 in some studies. If you are truly without work right now, it’s not like you have much else to do besides hang around a lab for a few days while you’re observed, right?
Teach what you know
Do you know how to use Photoshop? Final Draft? Do you know how to speak a second language? Are you excellent at formulating resumes? Offer Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom “classes” that people pay for. You have knowledge others would probably happily pay for—you just have to figure out what that is.
Check this list
This is a great list of sites that list remote jobs. You can find a lot of jobs like virtual assistant work, online bookkeeping, telemarketing, social media manager, blog writer, and the list goes on. Check these daily. It’s a time investment but, you may have plenty of time on your hands right now.