Whether you believe the hysteria surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic or not, one thing is sure:
The Coronavirus is impacting countless households when it comes to finances.
Those who are brave enough to check the status of their 401K accounts have seen steady drops. Investors are scrambling. Events are canceled for the foreseeable future. However, the people hit hardest might be the people who face lay-offs and job uncertainty; the people who work in the everyday sectors.
Shops, restaurants, small businesses, and just about everything else are closing their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. That has left many wondering, “How am I going to make money during the Coronavirus?”
We might not have all the answers, but we decided to ask financial bloggers, work from home business owners, and everyday people what are some of the best ways to make money during the Coronavirus, and here is what they had to offer.
1. Get Paid for Your Opinion
With the closing of many shops, restaurants, and workplaces, many people are stuck at home. Instead of going crazy with boredom, there are lots of ways to make extra money during your downtime.
One of the easiest ways to make money from home is by taking online surveys. Of course, spending a few minutes a day on surveys won’t make you rich, but every little bit helps, especially in a crisis.
So how does it work? Many brands, research groups, and even political organizations are looking for help on the latest trends and what people like YOU think. In exchange for your opinion, you will get paid for the time you put into answering a few questions.
Most surveys take anywhere from 5-30 minutes, and you’ll get paid a few dollars for your time. However, there are sometimes surveys that can pay $50, $100, or more. These usually require a little more involvement, such as being part of an in-person or online focus group, or testing out a new product and providing feedback.
According to Andrew, a personal finance blogger at Wealthy Nickel, two of the best survey apps for newbies are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. They both are highly rated, with a long track record of paying out cash to their members.
So instead of twiddling your thumbs, or staying glued to the TV watching events unfold, take a few minutes out of your day to improve your finances with online surveys.
2. Find a Part-Time Gig ASAP
In a large-scale Coronavirus shutdown both locally and nationally, for schools, offices, and restaurants, two places will continue to remain open pharmacies and grocery stores. The closures, along with quite frankly a bit of public panic, are putting tremendous stress on the supply chain, causing food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and medicine to be in demand.
Right now, grocery stores are working overtime to meet the needs of everyone and need your help. A part-time job at a grocery store is a great way to earn some extra income and help others in your community.
A quick search on indeed, and there are over 35,000 open part-time jobs nationally. Here are a few companies looking for help.
- Whole Foods
A part-time job offers a flexible schedule and can be worked during nights and weekends. Unlike other side gigs that often take time to build an income, a part-time job will pay you within 1-2 weeks.
Brian, a blogger at Debt Discipline, described how a part-time job helped him fund his holiday shopping and avoid debt.
“I worked a part-time job during nights and weekends for six weeks during the holidays and was able to earn over $2K during that time. Yes, I worked a lot of hours, but the short time sacrifice was well worth it to avoid going into debt.”
3. Clean Out and Cash-In!
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Clearing out your clutter while making a little extra coin has financial and environmental benefits!
Use this opportunity of extra time at home to do a deep Spring Clean of your closets, drawers, and attic. Go all Marie Kondo on your stuff and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. Then, see what of your cast-offs you can turn into cash by selling them via various online marketplaces and apps.
- Got a wedding dress to sell? Try out, StillWhite.
- An old cell phone or tablet in your drawer? Try Gazelle.
- Last season’s clothing? Sell it on Poshmark.
- Computers, cameras, video games? Try eBay.
- Purses, Shoes, (unopened) Makeup, etc.? Check out Mercari.
- No matter what you’re trying to sell, there’s probably an app for that.
Of course, take the proper precautions for health and safety. Make sure to clean and disinfect all your items before you box them up and ship them out to their new owners.
4. Offer Childcare & Babysitting Services
Schools, daycares, preschools, and everything in between are shutting down (if not already shut down) for the foreseeable future.
While that might be OK for some folks, for the most part, working parents are scrambling to find childcare solutions.
Even those fortunate enough to work from home need help to manage it all. While it might not be your ideal way of making money, especially if you don’t have kids of your own, you can offer daycare services and make money in the process to offset the pandemic.
Blogger and teacher turned entrepreneur Josh from Money Life Wax had this to say:
“Growing up, my mom ran an in-home daycare. She typically watched 5-6 kids of varying ages and charged $125-$200 per kid, depending on their age. It was how she made a living and got to stay at home and raise her three boys.”
Josh had this to offer if you’re considering watching kids at your house or helping a neighbor or friend out:
Tips for watching kids during the Coronavirus:
1. Don’t overwhelm yourself; watch 2 or 3 kids max, preferable family members, neighbors, or friend’s kids.
2. Wash your hands often and make them wash theirs too
3. If someone has any flu-like symptoms – they need to stay at home
4. Charge $25 a day for up to 7-8 hours (Get paid upfront).
5. Don’t watch babies unless you have experience (Like full-time daycare experience)
6. Have fun and carve out some daily reading time
5. Sign Up With DoorDash – They Need Help!
The global pandemic has people afraid to go to the grocery store or out to eat. Actually, in many places, grocery stores are low on supplies, and restaurants are shutting down.
The result is that many people are not able to find what they are looking for at the store. And, many are just afraid of catching the virus at a restaurant. That’s where you’ll come in.
Help support your community while making some extra cash by applying to work for food delivery and meal services like Uber Eats, Postmates, or Door Dash.
Sam, a personal finance expert and co-founder of How To FIRE says, “Even the cheapest meal delivery service will make a tough situation easier for those stuck at home. If they can’t find the food they are looking for, help bring it to them. Also, many kids are home from school right now, so make a hectic situation easier for parents!”
Make sure you follow all federal and state guidelines for staying safe and healthy, but you can expect to make upwards of $12 per hour with this side hustle.
Just remember to keep your hands and car clean with frequent washing, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes!
6. Use Symposium to Teach Online
One of the easiest ways to make money online is to become a tutor. However, with social distancing becoming the new normal, many online tutoring platforms may see an influx of new applicants. Also, even the best tutoring jobs only average between 14 to 60 dollars an hour.
It is good to pay, of course; however, higher-skilled workers may find it short in replacing their working wages.
Additionally, most tutoring positions require a bachelor’s degree and training. For those that earned their life experience in the school of hard knocks or the board room instead of the classroom, traditional tutoring may not be an option.
However, hope is not lost to monetize your experience online. Symposium offers the perfect solution for the work-at-home job seeker to launch a viable side gig or even a full-time career.
Symposium is an online app and marketplace that allows anyone with experience to market and sell one-on-one or one-to-many presentations. The possibilities are virtually endless, consultants can use the app to consult with clients virtually, or fitness professionals could use the app to offer one-on-one fitness training to those homebound.
What sets Symposium apart is the ability to teach almost anything, considering social distancing, you could teach anything from how to cook to how to prepare for quarantine. For those looking for a bit of levity during the uncertainty, you could offer lessons on how to make DIY projects and crafts at home.
Think of Symposium like a combination of YouTube and Facebook Live. If the topic made for a great YouTube tutorial, it would make an excellent listing on Symposium. Unlike YouTube, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of views to start making extra money.
With Symposium, you could charge as little to 5 to 10 dollars for people to attend a one-to-many presentation and, with minimal effort, make a few hundred dollars per session. Once your lesson has ended, your funds are instantly transferred to your debit card, making Symposium one of the fastest ways to make money online.
7. Get Your Money Back With Unclaimed.org
One of the easiest ways to potentially make some money is to look for unclaimed property. It only takes a few minutes of your time to search and see if you have any money in your name!
The challenge is that you won’t receive fast, as it took over two months when I had over $300 from an old health savings account. Plus, with any shutdowns happening it may take a bit longer for it to process. But, that doesn’t mean you should not move forward with it either.
There could be refunds, stocks, checkings or savings accounts, trust distributions, and many more instances waiting to be claimed.
Head over to Unclaimed.org, select the state you live in, and follow the instructions on the treasury site to see if there is any unclaimed property in your name. If you have lived in multiple states, ensure to check each state’s treasury too!
It’s easy to make money. Just take a few minutes out of your day.
8. Use Freelance Opportunities
As you may be forced into quarantine, to stay home due to your place of work temporarily closing, or worse, recently got laid off, you need a way to make money fast. Preferably, that way to make money needs to be done from home as things progress through this pandemic.
Freelancing with a specific skill set you have is a great way to make money from home (or anywhere) as it can all be done remotely.
Software engineer and entrepreneur Daniella from I Like To Dabble described how she found her first freelancing gig:
“After I experienced my first lay off was when I first found freelancing. At the time, I was a web engineer for a small startup in St. Louis, and after I was laid off, I looked towards the ‘jobs’ and ‘gigs’ sections on Craigslist for freelancing coding opportunities. I found a former client of the old startup I had worked for and they needed some WordPress custom sites done. They offered $100 an hour for around 20 hours a week and I accepted. It was the perfect opportunity at that time and helped me out.”
Other resources to use to look for freelance opportunities:
3. Freelancer Facebook Groups and Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups
9. Apply for Unemployment Insurance
Many assume that Unemployment Insurance (also known as employment insurance, social security, and job seekers allowance) is only available to people that are laid off from their job. The truth is, if you lost your job or had your hours reduced through no fault of your own, you likely qualify to receive financial assistance.
Employment Service Specialist and personal finance blogger Amanda of My Life, I Guess says:
“Most people don’t realize that if they quit, were fired, or are sick – including being quarantined or taking time off to care for a sick family member – they may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. Everyone has the right to apply. It’s up to the agency to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements or not.”
The specific requirements will vary between each state, province, and country, as will the amount paid and weeks of entitlement. But thankfully, the government is responding to our current reality and is making it easier to receive this short-term benefit. In the USA, for example, they are allowing states to amend their laws and be more flexible with their eligibility requirements. In Canada, they shortened the waiting period and are prioritizing applications for those under quarantine.
So if you are sick or quarantined and don’t have paid sick days or sick leave through your employer, apply for sickness benefits or disability insurance.
If your company has shut down or reduced your hours, whether it’s temporary or permanent, apply for unemployment insurance.
And if you are the caregiver of someone who is sick, apply for caregiver benefit or file a paid family leave claim.
10. Don’t Sell Your Investments!
That is not an idea of how to make money. It’s more of an idea on how not to lose money! Though, to me, money not lost is money gained.
Alright, enough with the double negatives.
The stock market is facing unprecedented volatility and huge swings day after day. It can make even the most determined long term investor re-think their plans.
But you shouldn’t… long-term plans are called long-term for a reason. You should not make short-term decisions based on what you are reading in the headlines.
A funny, but accurate, snippet I read on Reddit sums it up best:
“Don’t just do something, stand there.”
As Kevin from Just Start Investing put’s it, “Sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing at all. Just wait out the storm, and ten years from now, you might forget this ever happened.”
If you don’t have a long-term plan or are looking to get started with investing, you can learn about getting started with index funds here.
11. Optimize Your Recurring Expenses
Aside from earning extra money, if you find yourself with some free time, now is a perfect chance to go through all of your recurring expenses and shop around for lower prices.
Take a look at your bank statement for the account you use to cover your expenses and see what you’re spending money on each month. You might find some subscriptions you aren’t using anymore and can cancel for instant savings.
Nathan from Millionaire Dojo offers this advice:
Make a list of all your recurring bills and go through each one to shop around for better deals. If you haven’t ever done this, you might end up cutting your monthly expenses by a significant amount! Every little bit that you can cut adds up and will be money saved from this point forward.
It’s also a good idea to optimize your utility expenses. Try to use as little water and electricity (or gas) as possible and watch your power bill drop drastically!
12. Become An Online Tutor
It seems the Coronavirus Pandemic has finally pushed public education into the 21st century. With all of the panic, schools have shut down, and teachers are quickly attempting to adapt to an online learning environment. Now is the perfect time to sign up for an online tutoring platform like VIPKid to help parents and teachers navigate the online education world.
By becoming an online tutor, you can provide much needed additional instruction to kids without worrying about exposing you or the kids to other health risks. Also, by working with VIPKid, you can make up to $22 an hour by working from home! While VIPKid focuses on teaching English as a second language to native Chinese speakers, you don’t need to worry about knowing Chinese – it’s an immersion program!
Ryan from Arrest Your Debt put together this list of online tutoring programs:
- Chegg (various topics from calculus to biology)Pay – $20 per hour
- Brainfuse (variety of topics – elementary to college level)Pay – $10 – $15 per hour
- Tutor.com (must be considered an expert in a subject)Pay – $9 – $13 an hour
- Skooli (K-12 courses as well as college-level classes)Pay – $25 per hour
- Yup (primarily math and science classes)Pay – $10 – $13 per hour
- TutorMe (over 300 subjects to include ACT and GRE tutoring)Pay – $16 per hour
Whether you are trying to sell your stuff online or save money when you shop, adding online tutoring to your daily schedule is a sure bet to improve your finances during this pandemic.
Nobody knows what the result of the Coronavirus pandemic will be. There have been talks about a basic income check for Americans soon.
Regardless, while the majority of people are self-quarantining and practicing social distancing, it’s always good to keep things in perspective when something like this occurs. Your money, your job, your education – all of it – might be on pause for the foreseeable future.
But remember, it will all be OK, and everything will bounce back. How do we know? Because it always does. It’s not a matter of if, just when.
During times like these, though it’s not always easy, do your best to focus on what is most important to you. Things like family, your health, and what you do have are important to keep in mind.
Stay positive, have a solution-seeking mindset, and leverage some of these ways to make money during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it will all work out!
This article originally appeared on The Money Mix.