One survey found that one out of three full-time employees took a pay cut due to the pandemic. The same survey found that 28 percent of American workers had their bonuses affected by the pandemic, and there’s been a big drop in employees who believe a pay raise is anywhere in the near future. While some individuals were still fortunate enough to get pay increases in 2020, the number was smaller than it was in 2019. All of these figures are a bit scary and depict a world in which cost of living is certainly rising (it always is), but pay is either stagnating or shrinking. These changes are happening across industries, across the country, and even across the world. While in a healthy economy, if you weren’t happy with your pay you might boldly ask for a raise, now, perhaps you fear your company can’t afford one. Maybe you’d use some leverage and get a better job offer elsewhere before, but perhaps you’re finding that right now, no such offers exist.
For many, keeping up with a rising cost of living and paused pay raises or even job loss can mean one thing: finding another way to make money is a necessity. But who wants to or has the time to learn a whole new, immersive skill when they already have a full-time job or several part-time jobs? When time is of the essence and you’re short on it, you may need to get creative. Here are weird ways to make money online that could help.
Anyone who works in the commercial apartment industry needs to have up-to-date data on properties in order to remain competitive and informed. Gathering this information, however, has to be done the old-fashioned way: through cold calling. Yardi Matrix pays individuals to call rental properties and ask specific questions about current rent, rent specials, and other factors that are subject to frequently change. Yardi Matrix survey conductors call properties under the guise of being an “interested renter” – not a survey conductor. Pay changes slightly depending on the outcome of the survey (did you get someone on the phone? Answering machine only?), but the company guarantees at least minimum wage per hour. Depending on how fast you can conduct the surveys, you can make plenty more.
If there is any sort of security risk or weak spot in a website, big companies know that somebody is bound to find it. They’d rather their people on the inside find it first. That’s why some major companies hire freelance hackers to ethically hack their site, finding any security weak points and reporting them to the company so they can fix it before hackers with bad intentions find them. Some good hackers make up to $500,000 a year doing this work. That’s certainly a better deal than doing it illegally and facing hard time. Companies like iJet and Tesla are two big names known for using the service.
The first thing you may think when you hear this one is that moms who can’t produce adequate or quality breastmilk for their babies but don’t want to go the formula route are the main customers. But there are also members of the kink community who have a lactation fetish that will buy the stuff, as will some bodybuilders who claim it helps them add muscle (hey, it is loaded with nutrients). Either way, it’s a great way for nursing moms who are working from home and need a little extra income for their new little one to make some cash. There are alternative ways to sell, of course, like on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. There are also legitimate sites like OnlyTheBreast.com.
With one poll showing the majority of children going to school online throughout the pandemic and parents still needing to work from home, many moms and dads found themselves in an impossible situation: adding teacher and babysitter to their daytime roles, in addition to their day jobs. For a long time, there was panic around how to get childcare since the pandemic made many feel unsafe about bringing babysitters into their home or sending kids to a group childcare setting. But there are babysitting sites that will arrange for virtual babysitting so your child will be engaged and entertained while you work. And if you’re the one looking for an extra job, you can be a virtual babysitter.
Selling your spam mail
Did you ever think of how much marketing companies could learn from your junk mail? They can learn things about your shopping habits, the marketing strategies of other brands, and so much more. To you, it’s literally junk, but to some companies, it’s valuable information. In fact, the Small Business Knowledge Center will pay you for your junk mail. It’s not a lot, but it can put a little extra cash in your pocket while relieving you of a huge nuisance. They accept junk mail from just about every industry including insurance companies, tobacco brands, travel and leisure, apparel, credit cards, and the list goes on.
Selling your feces
You’ve heard of organ transplants and hair transplants, but have you heard of fecal transplants? For those who suffer from colitis, they can be life-changing. Unfortunately, it’s very tedious and expensive for hospitals to obtain and treat the materials (the materials being, well, poop). That’s why one nonprofit that aims to eliminate this debilitating condition will pay you for your feces. Healthy individuals can sell their feces so that this organization can take the healthy fecal bacteria and other microbes from your stool and transfer it into another individual.
Being a fake juror
Did you have mock trials in high school? Well, real practicing lawyers still do their own version of a mock trial. It’s how they get ready for the real thing. While a real trial has 12 jurors, a mock trial will have about 50 and provides attorneys highly valuable feedback on things like juror attitude towards certain scenarios, which evidence is actually useful, data on the jury selection process, and more. Unlike with real jury duty, you can do this on your own schedule, and from home. You’ll get paid $5 to $10 per case and be informed of the payment ahead of the case. It won’t make you rich but it could be an interesting and entertaining way to earn some extra bucks.
Being a friend
How often have you wanted to play a round of golf, go to a museum exhibit, or engage in some other hobby, only to find that none of your friends are available, or interested in the activity? It’s a common problem and one that RentAFriend.com fixes. RentAFriend.com lets users do just what the name says, and if you’re looking to make extra money, you can be that friend. Think of it like Uber for buddies. “Friends” typically charge anywhere from $10 to $50 per hour, and can provide services like being your wingman/wingwoman, being a prom date, being a wedding date, and much more.
Be a bridesmaid
A bridesmaid lives somewhere in the space between a wedding planner and best friend. She’s there to help you stay organized and on track with your tasks, as well as help with them. She doesn’t have relationships with floral vendors, but she can get specifics on what you want your bridesmaids’ dresses to look like and cost, and find you options. Not everybody has a friend who wants to do this job for free, which is why sites like BridesMaidForHire.com offer this service. If you’re well-organized and personable, you can make money as a virtual bridesmaid. One woman makes a grand a day doing it.
Selling your hair
The beauty of selling your hair is that it keeps growing back, so you basically have a limitless product and zero overhead. Wigmakers need healthy human hair to make excellent wigs. Wigs made from real hair as opposed to synthetic sell for more, and there are some things that will help you sell your locks for more, too, such as never dyeing or relaxing it, and never putting hot tools on it. Hair Sellon is not only a place where you can sell your hair, but it also has a handy calculator that helps you determine how much your hair is worth. There are a few other sites like JustSellMyHair.com and WorldofWigs.com, but you can also go the more casual route of Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.