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Finding savvy ways to make money during a down economy, be it a pandemic, housing crisis, or other turns of events, can be difficult. But in today’s world, there are many ways to find side hustles.

Today’s economy uses the term ‘gig economy’ to explain how we have so many side jobs going on. You probably have friends that sell makeup or cooking products.  Or do you have an Uncle that dabbles in selling stock?  These side gigs are great to earn a little extra cash.

If you know me, I have a few side gigs and am not afraid to share what they are. I’ve been doing this for years. My girls’ school clothes have been paid for by selling things on eBay. I call this being savvy with your money.

You too can have side gigs to make money and here are my top picks for doing so.

1. Take Online Surveys

One of my favorite sites to make a quick buck is Swagbucks. The initial questions to get started are annoying but they are worth it because they need to know who you are, what you like, and a few other things so they can make sure you match the right surveys. 

Years ago I used to go over to the Dial company and test products. I would get paid $10 to smell boxes and let them know via a survey which one I liked best. With online surveys’ like Swagbucks, you get to do this right from your phone or tablet.

And as a mom with teens, I love the idea I can sit and wait at an orthodontist appointment making money. Plus, now my kids are old enough (13 years or older) to take surveys. Instead of them spending hours on their games, I have then made money playing games, taking surveys, and more.

Swagbucks is offering a $10 sign up bonus.

Sign up today at Swagbucks.

Inboxdollars has become another popular survey site. They even have a signup bonus. And yes, they are legit. They have a four out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. 

The difference between Inboxdollars and other sites differs in their payout method. You can’t get a payout until you reach $30 but if you put in the time, you will for sure get the bucks. 

To make the most of your time, make sure to take the best surveys first. Make Inboxdollars your home page. Clip your coupons and make sure if you watch videos, watch all the way through. 

Try Inboxdollars today!

Do you like making a quick buck? SurveyTime is a new survey site that pays &1 per survey. I know my survey friends love the idea of knowing exactly what they get for completing a survey.

This legit site has a TrustPilot rating of 4.5 stars. Their payout is instant. Yes, instantly via Paypal, Payoner, Bitcoin, Gift Cards.

Give SurveyTime a try today!

2. Make money while shopping

Who doesn’t like to shop? I have always loved to shop. And I have always loved to get a great deal. Now you can combine those with getting paid to shop online. During the Pandemic I felt trapped not to shop. I realized retail therapy is a real thing for me when I deal with stress. I like the idea of looking and trying on.  

Shopping from home has become a norm for us now. And strangely I’m ok with the privacy of my home to try on clothes. Plus I can see what’s in my closet to make outfits with the clothes or shoes I just purchased.

By adding on MyPoints, I make money for buying clothes.  Plus MyPoints runs specials and gives you $10 Amazon gift cards when you spend $20 or more at any retailer through MyPoints. Who doesn’t like FREE money??

Try MyPoints today! 

3. Invest your money 

This is one of the easiest things to do in today’s world. My first time trying to buy and sell stocks was with my Uncle.  He actually had to write the brokerage firm and vouch for me to invest $5,000. I was probably 25 years old.  Boy, do I wish the investing apps we have now I had back then. Making trades back then was like pulling out teeth.

Today there are new cool investing apps you can invest in stocks and ETFs with $1.  Yup, that’s right. I even bought a .17 cent stock with the .20 cents I made in a dividend off of an ETF. How fun is that. Of course, it is not a lot of money but I wanted to watch a specific penny stock therefore .17 cents it was.  

The app I am referring to is called Robinhood.  There are a handful of apps like it. Even my bank just created one.  I personally like Robinhood because it has everything I need at my fingertips. And if I want to add money in or pull it out, it is done in a few steps. Not like the old days when I had to fill out forms. 

I am by no means a professional stock person. It’s just another savvy way to make money. Even if my .17 stock goes to a $1. 

Try Robinhood today!

Another finance company that is keeping up with times is M1. I stumbled on them the other day and again, kick myself for not taking advantage of the opportunity.

M1 has a no-cost customizable automated investing account. What that means is for free you can manage your investments. No more sending in forms to the guy to process your stock bid!  M1 in my opinion is one step above Robinhood with their brokerage portfolio accounts. 

For those that want to build and create a portfolio, this one is for you. For now, I will just dabble on my Robinhood app buying and selling a few stocks and ETFs. And remember with stocks, buy low, sell high.

Learn more about M1 Finance today!

4. Rent out your space

Have you heard of Neighbor? Neighbor is the new Airbnb of space. Do you have a kid that just moved to college or room in your garage? Then rent that space out.  

What a great idea. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a storage facility, people are now renting out sections of their homes, storage spaces, and other areas such as a piece of their land. If you have space, then rent it out.  Check out neighbor to learn more.

Learn more about Neighbor today!

5. Sell your stuff

We all have stuff. And your stuff may be a treasure to someone else. 

During the pandemic, my kids took their Legos apart, bagged then up and we sold them on Facebook Marketplace.  They made cash and everyone was happy.

Sites like Facebook Marketplace and eBay are a great way to get rid of your stuff. eBay uses Paypal which can tie to a bank account. As I mentioned earlier, I would sell items on eBay to help get extra money to pay for my girl’s school uniforms. 

Selling your items doesn’t have to be perfectly organized but I do however recommend a few things. Don’t overthink it.  Make sure your items are clean. Get the product information ready. Research similar items to get an idea of pricing. Take a clear picture.  In the case of my girls’ Legos, I found a picture and the current price online. I then took a picture of the bag the legos were in. We posted to our neighborhood Facebook Marketplace and set as a porch pickup item. 

6. Offer your services

Do you have a trade that you can offer out? Like a handyman or clean house?  Sites like Handy is a great way to get your services out there and create repeat business. With any business, the key is repeat service.  People go to Handy to find a service.  Handy does the background work and also is great if you don’t want to set up your own business. I’ve done that before and it requires setting up an LLC, paying specific taxes, and a herd of other duties. With sites like Handy, you just offer your services.

Try Handy today!

7. Sell customized goods

The other day I saw a post in my neighborhood. The gal was looking for someone to make customized t-shirts. If you are good with graphics or even using Canva, you can make customized T-shirts, Mugs, and more. 

One site I like to use is Discount Mugs. Besides mugs, they have tons of items you can custom make and sell.  And their platform is easy to use.

Making customized goods is fun and a great way to make a little cash on the side.  When my kids were young and in group leagues, there were a few moms that made the t-shirts for their groups. I once asked if they broke even. One mom said yes and declared she had a little money left over for her mom’s day out mani-pedi days. Now that is a savvy way to make money.

Try Discount Mugs today!

8. Sell products that earn residual income

Residual income means that you make money every month even if you are not selling anything. An example is an insurance. Each month I pay my car insurance. I bought the package a year ago but I pay monthly.  

Finding the right product to sell is important. There are a few companies out there that are scams so make sure if you want to sell Tupperware, make sure its a legit company.  And make sure you believe in the company.  

I personally promote a few products that I use daily. They have saved my life and of course, I want to tell my friends and family.  When they buy the products, I make a small commission. The owner of the company believes that if his customers love the products and share about their success, then the customers should get rewarded for promoting instead of some major box company that just sticks the product on the shelf.   

The products I love to promote are  Univera and Lifewave.  My repeat customers help the products I buy pay for themselves.


Hopefully, these savvy ways to make money can work for you. Finding the right side gig or gigs is important. But it is ok to give a few a try. 

As I shared earlier, I’ve tried a few of these. Some with success. Some I am still doing today and others I have dropped.  You too can get savvy!  Let me know which one you have tried or going to try in the comments.

Julie Bridwell

Julie Bridwell

Julie is the founder of Organizemama. Her passion for organizing comes from her Lean Six Sigma Project Management training. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management.

She believes in the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

If Julie is not organizing something, she is enjoying the outdoors with her two girls and her husband.

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