3 Ways to Make Money Without a Job / $$ Hacks

Sounds like an oxymoron or two-good-to-be-true - I know.
But hold on for a second and trust me. Cuz I'm just as broke as the girl next door and I don't believe in nonsense, either.

TRUTH: It's totally possible to make money without a job (and by job I mean a job at home or anywhere else.) 
ALSO TRUTH: You probably won't make very much (we're talking single digits here) 
ANOTHER TRUTH: Every penny counts. So. You've got nothing to lose.

These are real hacks that I use in my everyday life.
Otherwise, I wouldn't be writing about them because #scamsaredumb

So, hold onto your wallets - this just got real!

Credit @ Dan Gold
{uno} Swagbucks
We're going to start with the least wowing (but still totally legit) way to make money at home: Swagbucks.

Swagbucks is an online site and app that lets you earn "swagbucks" by answering online polls, watching ads, filling out surveys, etc. The payback isn't very much (usually about $0.01-$0.03 per action) but it eventually adds up...after a while. Once in a while, you can snag a really awesome Swagcode to earn a few extra cents. You can cash in your Swagbucks for giftcards to popular stores, or you can link them to a PayPal account. Swagbucks is great if you have a lot of time to spare...which is why I no longer use it. ;)

However, upon writing this post - I discovered I have an unused $5 Amazon giftcard and I'm almost on my way to a second one. Wut?!? *downloads app again*

The cool thing about Swagbucks is that you can have it running in the background for some of the tasks (which is what I'm doing as I write this. lol) 

  • It's an easy way to redeem giftcards and a fun way to pass the time
  • A great way to make extra cash for the holidays *yay*
  • Available for your computer and phone
  • There are lots of special Swagcodes and promotionals available for extra $$
  • Can have it running in the background

  • Takes a while to make enough to redeem a giftcard ($5 minimum)
  • The payback is extremely low
  • You *must* have good internet or it is a pain
  • Can become tedious...extremely
  • Some of the surveys are sketchy, in my personal opinion
  • Speaking of surveys, 90% of the time you won't qualify to answer them

I first started Swagbucks after reading this article here. It'll answer any additional questions you might have!

Overall, Swagbucks is chill. I'm not screaming about it from the rooftops, but it definitely qualifies as an easy way to make money without doing anything.

Credit @ NeONBRAND
{dos} Ibotta
If you don't already have Ibotta on your phone, you should be downloading it as I write. I've made $40 back in rebates so far, so it's been pretty great. My madre is frugal and uses her giftcards back towards groceries, but I use my giftcards as an excuse to splurge (or for gifts. hehe.) My Grammie-in-Love swears by Ibotta, too, and she's just all around awesome. If that's not enough to win you over, nothing will.

Ibotta is an app that lists rebates for certain brand items from popular stores. After you purchase your groceries, you scan in your receipt (or QR code) and receive money back based on how many rebates you redeemed. For instance, you buy Lifeway Keifer that was listed on Ibotta with a $1 rebate, you go home and unpack, scan in your receipt, and Ibotta adds $1 to your account.

It takes a little bit of mental math whether you're getting a good deal or not (I only try to buy things I would *need* or need a good excuse to eat!) I always plan my grocery list, and then check on Ibotta to see what the rebates of the day are (and redeem the ones I plan on purchasing.) It is a bit tedious, but it always motivates me to buy yummy food. Because honestly, I basically buy carrots from Adli for the week sometimes. :P 
(Aldi is not on Ibotta, btw. *sad*)

Like Swagbacks, you can redeem your money at Ibotta through giftcards. 

  • You feel like a champion shopping
  • The payback is like any other coupon
  • You can receive cash back for items you would normally buy
  • The app is practically flawless and manageable
  • It's usually for (more expensive) name brand products
  • You have to scroll through ALL the rebates to find the ones you want to redeem
  • Too bad if you lose your receipt
  • Can be a bit tedious

Some people love it. Some people hate it. 
You can find Ibotta for free on the app store! Annnd you can use my referral (epvppkv) to earn $10 when you sign up. Woohoo! ;)

Credit @ Daniel Frank
{tres} BioLife 
While controversial in my family, this is the best way we've made some side money so far! BioLife is a business that pays you to come in and donate blood plasma. It takes about an hour a donation, and involves a screening process each time you donate (think lots of needles!) 

Aidan donated blood plasma in college and I just started donating again now that I'm not pregnant (and weigh enough.) Each center sets it's own payback incentives which you receive on a debit card. Right now, I donate twice a week for $20 the first time, and $40 the second time. We use this towards groceries, so I literally pay for our food with my blood. 0_o 

Biolife provides free childcare (which Ella strangely loves???) so it's also a nice break for me to sit alone. Sure. I *am* connected to a machine filtering out my blood, but it's still alone. ;) 

  • You're making money for a good cause
  • You do make good money for an hour of your time
  • It's weirdly relaxing
  • You have a debit card of real cash that you can use anywhere
  • BioLife is a well organizedwith an awesome online portal making setting up appointments and managing your card a slice of cake

  • Many restrictions on who can donate 
  • A physical screening each time you donate
  • Needles. duh.
  • You can't do it from home
Weirdly enough, I have a slight aversion to blood - but donating doesn't bother me. The worst part is not the huge needle they stick in your arm, it's the annoying finger prick you have to endure to check your iron levels. Ew. So no, it doesn't hurt and it's strangely relaxing. I rather enjoy it. :P #ConfessionsOfAVampire

There is some controversy whether it's bad for you, and some people think it's inhumane to be paid for your blood. But hey. I don't mind it, and other people have been doing it for years. So. It's all good to me.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Bethany's life hacks to making money without a job. Of course, the easiest way to make money is to get a job, so I highly suggest that, too. ;) 

What are your $$ hacks? Because I'm always ears for being more frugal.
Would you pay for you groceries in blood? :P



  1. You're such a sweetie, Bethany! :) Still lovin' ibotta...I'm a couple of dollars away from my 4th 20 dollar amazon gift card! I had been using them for household things, but the last one I totally spent on craft supplie for me. Felt pretty good to be able to do that and not wreck my budget. LOL Love you!

    1. @ Juanita - your fourth one already?!? Crazy!

  2. Cool post!

    I do piano lessons. I know - very original. ;)

    That Ibotta thing looks like something I need to try. Unfortunately I'm also too cheap to shop anywhere but Aldi (if I can help it) but I can't wait to try it, anyways!! There's usually fifty dollars worth of other stuff that I end up having to get at 'Food Lion' for the month... :P

    1. @ Anna - how do piano lessons work out with Haven? I've had some interest from people, but I'm too scared to try with Ella bug around. ;) But it definitely is no laughing matter - piano lessons are a *great* way to earn income! Good for you.

      Yeah, once upon a time I *thought* they had Aldi on there once? They also have a few other stores (like Joann!) that you can scan in your receipt and get 10% cash back. But yeah. I don't make very much from it, but when I do have to buy something fancy, it comes in handy!

  3. I babysit for a neighbor a couple times a week, and it doesn't feel like work because the kid plays with my kids, in my own home ;)
    Other than that, I might have to check out the blood thing! I think it's fair to be compensated for your time, gas, and ouch factor. I used to donate blood for free but it was a pretty big hassle. That $20 might make the difference on wanting to actually go do it.
    One time, my cousin who was in chiropractor school said I could get paid $50 to act as a dummy patient for a student passing their final exam. I had to say my back hurt or something. What I wasn't prepared for was stripping down to my underwear in front of an entire panel of old professors. Awkward! It only lasted 15 min, but I had too much dignity to sign up again LOL.

    1. @ anon - OH MY GOSH. NOOOOOOO. Why would you have to strip down that far? Eeck. Yeah. Totally not worth the $50! Haha.

      But babysitting at home - that's smart!

  4. For me... I tend to do fundraisers for dance. So far, successful! :)

    I'll have to try Ibotta, definitely! For the last few months, mom has been buying some expensive brands for non-gmo//organic foods, and any time we can find coupons, the better. ;)

    btw Bethany, I ADORE your blog, photography, and designs, but how exactly do you get that "pinterest-y//instagram" look in your photos? Is it like some kind of filter, or what? Whenever I try, I fail miserably. ;P

    1. @ Josephine - fundraisers are cool...if someone else coordinates them! lol

      Thank you! I use the VSCO app (it's free!) for all my photos. My go-to filter is the analog, and then I sharpen the heck out of my fuzzy iphone photos. :D I LOVE IT! I'll occasionally use Fotor (www.fotor.com), but I prefer editing on my phone since I don't get on a computer very much. :)


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Maira Gall