You can make money with nothing but your phone.
Below, I’ve listed the best ways to turn spare time on your phone into cash.
To be clear, you’re not likely to get rich (at least not quickly) with these methods. We did put together the options that have the most potential, even if they take some extra work.
That’s why we skipped common options like survey apps. They do make money but the hourly rate won’t be nearly as good as the list below.
The investment apps are ridiculously good these days. You can get:
- Automatic savings without having to give anything up
- Free investment trades
- Automatic investing for your entire portfolio
By getting a few of the right apps in place, you can set up an entire investment system that takes care of your future. Check them out:
Acorns: Allows you to invest as little as $1 per month. The app rounds up purchases to the next dollar and invests the difference automatically. It helps you to start investing with such small amounts that you won’t even notice the money missing. There are no account minimums and no overdraft fees. Additionally, Acorns partnered with over 300 companies that offer cash bonuses when you shop at their online store. The money is applied directly to your investment account.
Robinhood: If you’re interested in something a little more complex, Robinhood allows you to trade stocks, funds, and other financial products from your phone. And there aren’t any commission fees on self-directed accounts. This user-friendly option lets you invest as little as $1 in more than 5,000 stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. If you’ve been looking to trade from your phone for free, get this app.
Betterment: Betterment is a combination of investing and savings. You’ll create personal goals (buying a home, paying for a wedding, saving for college, etc.) and Betterment will help you create a personalized investment plan that works for your lifestyle. You can track your investment and make deposits on the app. Betterment charges a .25% annual fee. This is a fantastic option if you want an investment account, plan to set up an automatic monthly deposit, and then never want to think about it again. You’ll be shocked with how much money you made after a few years.
Work for a Delivery Service
If you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, a cell phone, and a reliable car, try working for a grocery delivery service. Once customers place their order, you go shopping for them, then deliver the groceries to their home. Since you get to choose the orders you take, you can maximize your earnings with a bit of planning. The most well-known grocery delivery company is Instacart. If you’re not comfortable delivering to people’s homes, you could sign up just to do the shopping. Ather company that may work in your area is Shipt. The average shopper makes $15-$20 an hour.
Since you’ll receive notifications on your phone, you can take trips that work best for your schedule and earn a little extra cash when you have time.
Work for a Driving Service
If you have a smartphone and you don’t mind driving around town, consider using your cell phone to pick up a side hustle as a driver for Uber or Lyft. The average driver makes between $8.50 and $11.70 an hour. If you’re comfortable driving in bad weather or during rush hour, you could make even more. Uber and Lyft apps notify you when there’s a rider nearby and you can accept or deny a fare at any time. You are responsible for your car and having the proper insurance.
Uber: To snag a gig at Uber, you need to have your driver’s license for at least one year, and a reliable 4-door vehicle. If you’re under 23 years old you need to have at least three years of driving experience. Uber runs a background check and you’ll need to submit copies of your driver’s license, car registration, and insurance. Once you’re approved, you can open the app and start scheduling rides. Uber takes 25% of each of your ride fares.
Lyft: Lyft has a similar system, but they also allow drivers to rent a car to use on their routes, for an extra fee. Lyft takes 20 to 25% of all fares, but drivers get to keep all of their tips. Lyft provides extra insurance for drivers, free, and drivers get to rate passengers. Lyft requires a vehicle inspection and runs a background check. Drivers can withdraw cash from their account immediately through Express Pay.
Use an App to Sell Stuff
One of the fastest ways to earn some extra cash is to sell things you’re no longer using. There are a lot of apps that allow you to sell everything from electronics to clothing, books, and even unused gift cards. Here’s the most popular one’s:
Poshmark: Poshmark allows users to list their items on the website. Once you sign up for an account, snap a photo of the item you want to sell, include a description, and set a price. The app even lets you host a party so your friends can list like-items together. Poshmark supplies the box and postage free! It allows you to list items free but charges a $2.95 fee for items under $15 and a 20% fee on items over $15.
Letgo: When you’re spending time decluttering or cleaning out your garage, you may as well earn a little bit of money while you’re at it. Letgo is akin to an online thrift store. Letgo works a bit like Craigslist, with a more modern platform and app capabilities. The app is free to use and you can negotiate prices if you really want to get rid of something. You are restricted to selling in your area and you can’t be paid through the app, so you’ll have to work out payment arrangements with the buyer (typically cash or Venmo).
Decluttr: Decluttr lets you sell media items like DVDs, CDs, books, electronics, and gaming items. Decluttr also accepts phones. The Decluttr app is particularly helpful because you can use it to scan the barcode of the items you want to sell and they will give you an instant valuation. Once you get your estimate, just request a kit, and send your items in the mail. Once they receive and review your items, they pay. They guarantee their first valuation (within 30 days) or they’ll send your item back.
Sell Your Photos on FOAP
Your obsession with the amazing phone cameras could pay off. FOAP allows creators to sell stock photos from their phones. The app is completely free and you can upload photos right from your phone. You can sell and resell the same photo as many times as you want. Photos sell for $10 and they keep 50% of each sale.
In addition to creating a portfolio of work, you can also submit photos to “missions.” The missions are created by big-name companies looking for a stock image. The pay on these are typically much higher, and companies may even purchase the work of photos that don’t “win.”
If you enjoy taking photos and don’t mind spending a bit of time adding keywords and descriptions to garner attention, this could be a good option. Think of it as Instagram that pays you for photos.
Make sure to look through popular photos to see what type of images are selling, and keep in mind most buyers are companies or small business owners trying to find an image for their website or blog.
Work as a Customer Service Agent
You may be able to make money working as a customer service representative on your phone. Major companies like U-Haul, Upwork, Getty Images, Dollar Flight Club, Delta Airlines, and JetBlue hire people to answer customer service calls from the comfort of their own home.
Working as a customer service agent from your phone will provide a more steady stream of income, but the jobs can be a bit more difficult to come by. You may also be required to go onsite for some training before you can work from home.
Work as a Language Tutor
If you have a smartphone and you’re fluent in English, you could make money working as an ESL tutor on NiceTalk. After you download the app, you can submit your registration form to the company. Once you’re approved, you can log on to your app whenever you want and take requests from students. You’ll need to be able to video chat with students.
You may be assigned a random student or students could choose you from a list of available tutors. Your sole responsibility is to have conversations with students. They are trying to learn English through conversation.
You get paid for each full minute you spend talking to your students. NiceTalk pays $10 per hour. The company only pays via PayPal. While the pay isn’t great, if you have a few extra hours to help a student learn English, it could be a fun way to earn some pizza cash.