You’ve caught the bug. You’re disenchanted with the length of your commute and how little you have to show for it. You’re tired of reporting to a boss. You want to enjoy your coffee at a leisurely pace each morning and if you don’t want to get dressed, you don’t want to have to. If others successfully quit their jobs and earn money from home, why can’t you?
However, there is a large hurdle in your path. What can you actually do that will earn money from home, possibly enough to pay all of your bills and leave you cash to spare? If you can settle on a work-at-home career path that pays sufficiently and brings you joy and the flexibility you crave, you very well may have located your dream job.
Here are types of work you can pursue when you want to earn money from home. Remember, nobody said you have to pick just one. A combination of two or more side jobs can result in enough cash to get you through each month. See what sparks your interest from the following list.
Freelance in Your Field
In 2014, Forbes reported that 34% of the American population are freelancers. Sure, freelancing may not be their main occupation, but more and more people in the U.S. are finding ways to earn money from home as a freelance worker.
There are an endless number of freelance opportunities in the following spheres:
Maybe you have an English degree or you wrote for the college newspaper. You can help businesses sharpen their website information, produce blog posts and articles and craft compelling emails to their clients. You could be a guest contributor on a blog dedicated to topics you love.
- Graphic Design
Businesses always need colorful flyers, logos and business cards to advertise their services. If you are creative and have a magic touch on Photo Shop, your graphic design services may be highly valued in a freelance capacity.
Whether you are a marketing guru or a relationship expert, corporations, small businesses and individuals may be interested in hiring you as a consultant. Be sure to flesh out your resume and present yourself as an expert. As a consultant, the quality of your brand is important to finding and retaining clients on a long-term basis.
Transcriptionists work remotely at translating recordings to the written word. If you are a fast typist, this is the job for you. You must be able to listen closely and research words you’ve never heard of before. You can earn up to $60 per hour for the highly specialized medical field, although medical transcription may require a training course.
- Software and Web Design
Many companies look to outsource website creation and software design. If you have experience in these fields, you may find a plethora of work options waiting for you.
How To Get Started
Visit these websites for available jobs:
- Elance: log in and create a profile, then start applying for jobs. A resume, picture and verified identity help applicants score the higher paying work.
- Fiverr: this website allows freelancers to post their own gig, starting at $5. The services listed range from creating a rap to an Excel spreadsheet, so if you have hidden talents and skills you never thought could earn money, this website might change your mind.
- Problogger: the Problogger job board includes business blog and article jobs posted by corporations, small businesses, individuals and more.
- Freelance Writing Jobs: FWJ provides freelance writers and editors with a daily dose of potential job leads from around the web along with pointers on how to score clients and increase pay along the way.
- Upwork: formerly known as oDesk, the site offers freelancers the opportunity to connect with clients looking for services ranging from mobile web design to information security to translation.
Once you start investigating freelance job opportunities, you will most likely be blown away by the countless options available to you, regardless of skill level and experience. Freelance work is open even if you’re new to the field and it’s a great way to form new networking relationships and gain work experience to add to your resume.
Perform a Service
Maybe you want to pursue a freelance career of a different style. You have services to offer in-person for locals. Here’s a few ways you can earn money from home though you might not stay at home the entire time.
- Dog Walking
If you charge $15 per 30 minute walk and provide services for five dogs per day, that’s $375 per week. Double that and you’re bringing in a cool $3,000 per month. Not a bad haul for hanging out with fun and friendly canine friends all day, is it?
- Hair Cutting
You may need to set up a professional-looking salon in your home, which will incur added costs, but hair stylists can make a pretty penny on the side or as a full-time pursuit. Charge $40 per haircut and schedule 5 clients per day? You’re making $1,000 per week, not including tips. After the supplies and tools, your net income may drop, but it’s still a decent income for a work-at-home individual.
English, math and science tutors are always in high demand. Make business cards to hand out or hang a flyer in the local library. You can meet your students at the library as well or maybe a local bookstore or coffee shop. You can charge at least $30 per hour with a degree and experience in the subject. Just working four hours per day will land you $600 per week.
- Music Lessons
If you know how to play the piano, guitar, drums or trumpet, or any other musical instrument, you can earn at least $20 to $30 an hour for lessons. Contract your services to a local music studio, have students come to your home or go directly to them.
- Personal Training
Everyone wants to get fit and if you have a personal training certification, you can help! On average, personal trainers make over $50,000 per year. You can make your own hours and work in your gym clothes – definitely a plus.
Set up Shop
With the advent of online internet stores like eBay and Etsy, handmade items can be listed for sale by the hundreds and sold in a reasonably short time frame. A quality craftsman or woman can develop quite the following and turn their hobby into a business.
If you like to sew, creating shirts, skirts and pants from scratch is an option, as well as refining vintage clothing for resale. You can knit blankets, scarves, hats and baby clothes. You can design home decoration items like centerpieces or paint original artwork and price it reasonably.
If you cannot or do not want to make items from scratch, peruse thrift stores and antique shops looking for items you can flip online for a profit. Rare records and jewelry are popular.
Rent Out Your Home or Car
Do you have a spare room you could offer to a local college student? Depending on where you live, you could offset the cost of your mortgage by quite a bit if you have a clean bedroom and bathroom available for a young professional looking for a quiet place to live. You could also offer the space on the website Airbnb and decide when it’s available for rent as you wish. This is especially a great idea if you live in a desirable downtown area or vacation destination.
Okay, so you are aware you can rent out space in your home, but did you know you can offer your car as a rental? The website RelayRides.com allows car owners to decide who can rent their vehicle and when. The company provides $1 million insurance on the vehicle and screens each car renter thoroughly before approving their transactions.
If you want to earn money from home but would make an exception to earning money in your car, think about becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft. You can make yourself available within the location you want at the time limits you set. Lyft claims its drivers can make up to $35 per hour and drivers keep the entire tip along with 80% of the fare charge.
Try Out Remote Customer Service
Call centers don’t always require their employees to come to an office. You can work from anywhere for many large corporations who need additional customer service staff. All you need is a home office, a telephone and a quiet atmosphere. A headset and a reliable computer may help too, if the job entails online ordering help or account troubleshooting.
Concerns You Must Consider
Whether you’re starting a business or working as a contractor, your path will be bumpy, filled with unexpected costs and serious sacrifices you may not have anticipated in the beginning. To be specific, here are a few issues to consider before leaving salaried office work for the work-at-home life:
- Self-Employment Taxes
In traditional work settings, employers pay for a portion of the workers’ Medicare and Social Security taxes. Working for yourself means you are responsible for those taxes. In 2014, the IRS required self-employed individuals to pay 15.3% in self-employment tax.
- Health Insurance
Your employer no longer pays for the larger portion of your health care. You can get self-employed health insurance through the government thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Depending on your gross income, you may qualify for cost assistance.
In general, the average American can expect to pay between 2 to 9.5% of their income on health care after cost assistance is calculated. If you bring in $50,000 per year, the minimum you will pay is $83 per month, but costs could extend up to about $400 monthly, depending on the number of people included in the plan, their ages and their location.
- Paid Time Off
There’s no such thing as a paid vacation anymore. Sure, you have an added dose of flexibility throughout your day, but when you earn money from home the game changes. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
If you are just starting out on your solo earning career, you may end up working much more than 40 hours a week. It’s irrational to tell a go-getter they need to slow down, but it’s true: slow down. If you push yourself too much in the beginning, you’ll start yearning for the days of the 9-5. The grass is always greener.
Even though it might make you excited to earn extra with the additional hours you’re putting in, avoid the pull. If you can’t earn enough to sustain your lifestyle while putting in 40 hours, you must either work smarter, raise your rates or consider pursuing a higher paying work-at-home gig.
- Work-Life Separation
Working at home, even if you conduct business outside your actual “home,” makes it difficult to find a balance between work time and down time. Avoid making your kitchen table your office. If you don’t have a room you can use as an office, set up a desk in a corner of the living room – but not your bedroom. Design a space that you only use for work pursuits and ignore it when you decide you are “off the clock.”
How to Avoid “Work from Home” Scams
First of all, never accept a work-at-home job that requires you to front money in order to get involved. You should not have to pay a company any fees in order to work.
Check up on the company’s legitimacy by looking them up on the Better Business Bureau. Try to get in touch with current or former employees to verify information provided by the organization. You should know you are working with a reputable company before you sign any tax forms and provide your Social Security number.
Read any agreements or contracts thoroughly before signing. Any work agreement should specify the duties expected of the contractor and the terms of payment. Prepare to sign up for a PayPal account if you do not already have one. Many companies with remote workers use PayPal to transfer funds.
If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You may want to earn money from home, but you don’t want to get scammed in the process. No matter how desperate you are for cash, don’t believe it if companies swear you’ll make thousands of dollars per day – it’s unrealistic and a sure sign of a con.
Now that you’ve learned about these legit ways to earn money from home, which direction will you take? There’s no better time than the present to make a plan for your work-at-home earning goals and start scoping out clients and jobs that may be an ideal fit for you.