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Being a stay-at-home parent is a huge job, but, unfortunately, nobody pays you to do it! Despite being chef, admin, chauffeur, psychologist, teacher, and maid, there is no paycheck waiting for you at the end of every month. If you have the time to add a few more jobs to your resume – like survey panelist, product tester, or sales associate – you can start making money today! Thanks to the Internet, there is always a way to make some extra money, fast. Read on to discover the many ways you can make money without the hassle or cost of a commute.
- Paid Survey Sites. Companies pay a lot of money to know exactly what goes on in the minds of their consumers. Share your experiences or opinions, and within a few minutes you can make 5, 10, 15 dollars or rack up points to redeem gift cards or win prizes. Frequency and payments can vary significantly between surveys, but some of my favorite sites include YourCareMoments, it pays cash and is focused on helping more people gain access to quality healthcare (a cause we can all get behind!) and aggregators like Survey Police and Survey Savvy, both of which rank surveys based on user feedback.
- Couponing. Technically this is not a way to make you money, but you can sure save a lot (four words: Extreme Couponing on TLC). To really make a difference in your shopping, you need to do a little more than clip coupons from the Sunday paper. Expand your couponing to the web with Shoppers, CouponMom and Cool Savings – just make sure your printer has plenty of ink. Also, if there is a store loyalty card available, get it; they always give you extra savings and special coupons for next time. And couponing does not have to be reserved to food shopping; sites like Retail Me Not compile coupons for retailers online and in stores. For private discounts on restaurants and experiences there are always Gilt, One Kings Lane, Groupon and Living Social.
- Product Testing. Getting free products straight to your door and endlessly giving your opinion – what’s not to love? You can test anything from detergent to pilot services like HBO did with its streaming service. As an added bonus, companies often let you keep the products you test and pay you to tell them about your experiences. Some companies like McCormick run their own product testing, but there are many other sites like Toluna, iPoll, BzzAgent and Global Test Market on which you to create a profile and get sent products.
- Freelancing. You can do anything from create branded content for companies like Coca-Cola and Google to being a remote personal assistant. Freelancing is the perfect merger of traditional occupations and freedom – you can apply your knowledge from school or past time in the job force, but still choose when and how frequent you want to work – it truly is the best of both worlds. There are many websites that connect job seekers with employers; some like Task Rabbit and ODesk are broader, with everything from sales to web design, while others are more targeted like Elance and Contently, both of which focus on marketing and writing.
- Selling Unused/Gently Used Items. Garage sales, flea markets and consignment stores are a hassle that leave you inexplicably exhausted and produce minimal profits, if any. Instead of using your precious time to set up tables, make flyers, and cart your stuff around, use it to take pictures and post about your items. If you have an abundance of clothes, accessories and books, try sites like Tradsey or Book Scouter and for all the miscellaneous items, Ebay and Craig’s List are always good options.