How to Make a Bit of Extra Cash From Your Living Room

Talk of a global downturn is enough to rattle anybody’s nerves, and rightfully so. As the economy slows, many of those working in roles that can’t be done remotely — roughly 70 percent of U.S. workers in 2017-18 — are losing their jobs. In the coming weeks, even employees lucky enough to work from home are likely to be searching for ways to tighten belts and supplement incomes as the financial future appears increasingly precarious. 

What the Great Recession of 2008 didn’t have, however, is a burgeoning app economy. This offers one bright spot: There are now more ways than ever to earn extra cash online in a quarantine-friendly fashion. To be sure, these sites can’t match a full-time income stream — but they might offer a welcome buffer during crunch time. Here are a few platforms that can help you make money from your couch.

If you watch shows or shop online to relieve stress …

InboxDollars is an app that pays people to watch videos, take online surveys, and shop through specific brands and coupons. Videos can include everything from movie trailers to product demonstrations. Users can also earn money for playing games or reading emails. So, you might be able to influence the next TV show or product launch while self-isolating.

Getting paid to speak your mind? Win-win.

If you have lots of opinions …

Let’s face it — we all want to be heard, right? UserTesting is one route that might be more productive than shouting into the void. Users are paid for providing feedback on websites after experiencing them for the first time. For $10, you complete tasks and record your reactions to the presentation and design of a site. The goal: Help improve the user experience. Each video session takes between 10 and 20 minutes. Getting paid to speak your mind? Win-win.

If you have lots of stuff in your closet …

In times of uncertainty, a thorough spring cleaning can help us gain a sense of control. The closet can be an appealing first line of attack –– and it could put extra dollars in your pocket. Poshmark is an online social commerce site for buying and selling new and used clothing (like yes, even your wedding dress). Just upload a photo, fill in a description and set a price –– your item is then listed on the virtual marketplace. Poshmark takes a chunk of the sale and provides prepaid, pre-addressed shipping labels.

If you’ve got expertise or skills to share… 

Upwork is a digital marketplace for freelancers across industries, in cities across the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. There are short- and long-term freelance contracts on offer, and skill needs include web development, marketing, design, writing, analytics, engineering and more. You can search available job listings, which describe the project and may specify an hourly or fixed rate and project duration.

Random bonus option: If you were one of those Beanie Baby collectors from the ’90s … you now have the time, and motivation, to rummage through and see if you have one of the original nine or other desirable Babies to sell. Mint condition and good-smelling only, of course. More tips here.

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