Earn money on the side: Here are some cool ways and how much you can make

Ravi Kurani
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Let’s be honest, we’ve found ourselves saying “WTF is going on right now?!” more than once lately. With inflation going through the roof, living is becoming more expensive. The stock market is tanking. Ukraine and Russia are at war. Chris Rock got slapped on stage at the Oscars. It seems like there is no end in sight…

Ok, maybe we’re a little dramatic. But nonetheless, it probably has never been a better time to earn some extra money on the side. A million apps and websites claim they will help you do it, but which ones are legit? And equally important, how much can you make with them?

First of all, there are fundamentally three ways to make money on the side or any money at all for that matter:

  • Sell a good or product (like for example used clothes)
  • Sell a service (i.e., your time)
  • Invest money and earn returns

Next, we did the hard work for you: We looked at a lot of different apps and services out there, and also did the math for you on how much money you can make with them. Here, we present to you three interesting, novel ways to make some cash on the side:

Participate in research interviews at Respondent.io

Respondent.io is an online platform that brings together organizers of customer research projects with people who are willing to participate. Companies or researchers use it to find people to interview via video call (for example someone might look for “iPhone users in Texas”), and participants can apply to participate. You can potentially earn a really good amount of money here, anywhere from $ 30 to over $ 100 for a one-hour survey.

How it works: It’s pretty simple. You can sign up for Respondent for free, provide some information about you, and can then start browsing through surveys right away. Once you find one that you think you can be relevant for, you will have to answer a few short “screener” questions that will determine if you are the type of person they’re looking for. If that’s the case, you will get a notification to sign up for a call to take the survey. Once that’s done, you get paid via PayPal!

How much you can make: Respondent actually pays really well! You will usually earn at least $ 30 for a one-hour call if you are selected, but it can be even more, if you fit into a more “rare” demographic. If you do two calls a week at $ 30 per survey, you would make around $ 270 in extra income every month, or $ 3,240 per year. That’s a really nice summer vacation.

There are similar sites where you can take surveys for money (instead of doing calls) for example Survey Junkie or Swagbucks - this is even easier, but we’ve found that they don’t pay nearly as well.

Get paid to listen to music with Current Music

Current is a music streaming app similar to Spotify, but you get paid for listening to music. The reason Current is able to do that is because they show you ads in the app and play them while listening. Other than Spotify however, you cannot completely freely choose what you listen to. Rather, you listen to playlists or genres that interest you.

How it works:

You need to download the current music app on your phone, verify your information, and then you can start earning by listening to music. In order to enable earning, you need to consent to the app collecting data about your usage. In addition to listening to music, you can also do other tasks like short surveys that will earn you more Current rewards points, which you can eventually convert into cash.

How much you can make:

Current says on their website that you can make about $ 600 per year by listening to music, assuming that you listen to 20 - 30 hours of music every week. Now that’s quite a lot, but if you really like music, it is doable. You can also earn additional points by completing other tasks, as we mentioned above. You don’t get cash right away, but get paid in Current rewards points, where 2,000 rewards points equal roughly one dollar.

Earn high-interest rates on your idle money with Donut

This last idea falls into the third category mentioned above: You don’t earn money through your time, but you make your money work for you. Usually, these days you can only earn very low-interest rates around 0.1% if you keep your money in your traditional bank account. But Donut is one of several apps that invests your money with the help of Decentralized Finance, meaning in financial products in the new cryptocurrency space. This way, you can earn interest rates that are a lot higher. However, you don’t have to buy any cryptocurrency directly, so you don’t have to be part of the price rollercoaster that inevitably comes if you own for example Bitcoin.

How it works:

Download the Donut app to your phone, sign up, and deposit cash into you Donut account. The app will then automatically use your funds to lend it out through Decentralized Finance and generate interest of around 8% annually. While you are not exposed to the usual ups and downs of cryptocurrencies, note that Donut is not insured by deposit insurance, meaning that if Donut as a company goes under, they are not guaranteed by the FDIC, like they would be with any bank.

How much you can make:

Donut allows you to earn 8% interest on funds you deposit into their app. The math is easy - for every $ 100 you deposit, you earn $ 8 every year, so if you deposit $ 10,000, you make a nice extra $ 800 per year.

There are other Decentralized Finance apps out there as well that offer similar interest rates, for example, Seashell or Gelt. Keep in mind that this should not be considered investment advice and depositing your money on these platforms carries risk.

Speaking of investing, another important way to earn extra money for your future is to make sure to receive all of your employer benefits, for example 401(k) employer match. This is where we can help. Matchly helps you get your full 401(k) employer match without having a reduced paycheck today. Check out our website to learn more!

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