8 Fast and Easy Ways to Make Extra Money from Home

While many people start a home business to create or replace a full-time income, some people simply want to generate a little extra money to pay ​a debt, save for a rainy day, or use as mad money for small expenses, emergencies, or impulse purchases. In the past, those who wished to make extra money needed to find a second job. Fortunately, times have changed. You can use the assets you have, whether it's skills, knowledge, or unused items around the home, to make money from home, often without leaving your house.

If you're looking to make extra money from home, here are eight ideas to consider:

Sell Your Used and Unwanted Items

General Views of eBay Headquarters
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eBay is a popular resource for selling various used and unwanted items. However, you have additional options for selling specific used items, such as books, jewelry, wedding dresses, and electronics, where you may have greater success over eBay.

To maximize earnings from these selling sites, it's important to take a great photo of the item and write a compelling, honest description.

Places to sell used items online include: 

Places to sell items online in your local area include: 

Don't forget about selling items offline, too; you can have a garage sale or visit a local consignment shop. 

Get Paid to Do Tasks as a Microworker

Microwork
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There is a growing number of opportunities to lend your skills as a freelancer in what is now coined the "gig economy." Instead of hiring employees, many businesses of all sizes are hiring project-based freelancers to perform tasks, such as research, website updates, transcription, data entry, and graphic creation.

Microwork sites, sometimes called crowdsourcing, connect freelancers who can perform these time-limited tasks with the businesses that need them. While microwork projects are short-term and often don't pay much, there are people who make $1,000 or more a month moonlighting as a microworker.

Microwork sites advertising freelance jobs include: 

Make Money With Your Smartphone

make money with your smartphone
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It’s amazing the perks you can get from your smartphone, including discounts, coupons, and even cash or points that can be redeemed for gift cards for your favorite retailers and restaurants. While you won’t make a living using these cool phone apps, you can save and earn money using your phone. 

A few money-making apps are: 

Sell Your Photos Online

Photographer
Credit: Thais Lima De Sousa/EyeEm/Getty Images

In an increasingly visual internet, website owners, bloggers, e-publishers, video makers, and others need quality photos for their content. However, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to make money from your pictures. Quality photos from your smartphone are often good enough to sell online.

Most stock photo sites pay 15% to 60% of the sale of your photo, usually through PayPal.

Places to sell your photos and graphics include: 

Make Money With Your Car

Driving
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There are several ways to make money from your car, such as taxiing people, renting out your car, or advertising businesses.

Run the numbers before using your car to make money, especially if you're driving more than usual because it might cost more than you earn to use your car as a money-maker. Factor in depreciation, wear and tear, and gas expenses when you decide if driving is a cost-effective way to make extra money. 

Resources that will pay you to drive your car include: 

Get Paid as a Mystery Shopper

Shopping
Dan Dalton/Getty Images

Mystery shopping isn't going to generate a regular income, but it can be a fun way to earn extra money and get free products. Signing up for mystery shopping should be free. Any place that charges you money is probably not a legitimate mystery shopping company.

Also, companies that use mystery shoppers require professionalism and often require you to perform other tasks beyond visiting a store or restaurant. You may be asked to visit specific departments, purchase particular items, or query others for certain information. After a shopping assignment, you will need to submit a detailed report of your experience and findings.

Places that hire mystery shoppers include: 

Get Paid to Give Your Opinion at Focus Groups

Group discussion
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Companies spend a great deal of money on the development of their products and services. As a result, they don’t want to waste money putting a bad product or service into the market. They use focus groups to obtain feedback on their products and services before making them available to the public.

Some focus groups are held in person, where you have to go to the focus group office, whereas others are held online. Online focus groups have the convenience of working from home, but usually pay less than in-person focus groups. Generally, the pay rate is $50 to $500 per session.

Websites that hire focus group participants include: 

In addition, Find Focus Groups offers a list of current focus groups.

Get Paid Taking Surveys

Pregnant woman working from home office
 damircudic/Getty Images

Another option for making extra money from home is to take surveys. Like many other options on this list, you won't make a living taking surveys, but you can earn cash, prizes, or points toward gift cards. These sites should be free to join and include:

Phone app survey sites include: