There is an old adage that “you need to spend money to make money”. The idea itself is certainly legitimate in many circumstances, as most business approaches require some capital investment to get rolling, whether it be buying product, creating a contract, hiring employees, or renting a space.
However, having to spend money to start a business is risky! In fact, if you aren’t risking anything at all, you’re likely getting involved in a scam. I can attest to that because I was the victim of a big one of those back when I was in my late 20’s. Even though it was that long ago, I still remember every detail! Doing anything related to business is either going to risk time or money, no matter what.
How to Make Money Without Spending Money
So, what do you do? One method that works really well, even for someone in retirement like I am, is to look for small, easy ways to earn money—side hustles if you want to use today’s term for it. It can be several of them at a time and can be done primarily whenever you decide you want to, but earning some extra money is not only a good idea, it may be a necessity! In any case, if you think about it and apply a little creativity and possibly an internet search, you can find something that spells “extra cash” for you!
Besides just a little common sense, here are some techniques that let you make money without spending a lot of money. Don’t be disappointed by the amount of income you can produce as it can vary. Now having said that, I was able to earn thousands of dollars last year participating in several easy side hustles and you can, too. Try any or all of these!
1. Refer other people’s businesses for money
Promoting other people’s businesses can turn into a great side hustle or even a real full-time job with a real paycheck. There are plenty of successful businesses out there which will pay you just to talk about them. And this is soooooo much easier than you ever could have imagined. You can actually do this job sitting at home!
You could try contacting local businesses in your area and then find ones that are willing to pay you for referrals. Or you can do just a word-of-mouth thing and hope for some action. All you need is a taker who will then “mention your name” or you could give them a card or flyer with the information and even a discount offering on it that will motivate them to contact the business when they shop!
But another and maybe the best and easiest way to make referrals is simply to look for those “Refer a Friend” links you see on most websites. There are a lot of potential earnings in them and I look for them everywhere. These sites that you visit pay you cash or credit for making referrals or essentially doing their advertising for them.
2. Affiliate money makers
There are literally thousands of companies out there offering affiliate programs. FusionCash and InboxDollars are both great starting points for beginners. Both of these sites are collectors of surveys and paid trial offers. They find these paid offers and present them to you—their customer. If you sign up with them for a 100% free account, you can easily earn cash for referring others to their site. Plus you get a free $5 bonus just for signing up at either site, and you can quickly earn more money!
There are many other popular sites that offer affiliate marketing programs and pay out cash commissions, including Amazon and eBay. For these types of affiliate programs, you’re actually promoting a product and not a business.
3. Promote affiliates through blogging
When you’re a blogger, you have a platform that people read and sometimes they’ll click on a link which directs them to one of these affiliates’ sites. In case you never noticed, many of my posts have a disclosure at the top stating that they contain affiliate links (as well as a disclaimer at the bottom of every page).
If your reader clicks through an affiliate link, they may take action on the other site, such as buying a product or signing up for a service. When that happens, a small commission is generated just for you having provided the opportunity to the seller to get a potential customer! Bingo…a commission. That’s affiliate marketing and that means money in your pocket!
Amazon, for example, will pay you 1% to 10% of the purchase, depending on the type of item the customer buys. All affiliate programs differ in how much they pay, how often you get your check, and other ways in which they do things, so you have to check in advance to see if it’s all worth your time.
One important thing to remember is to always be truly excited about the products and services you are referring because in essence you will be advertising these companies. It’s just plain better to promote products and services that you really like and enjoy. You can check out all of your favorite sites to see if they have an affiliate marketing program to sign up with.
Starting a blog does have a start-up cost, but you don’t have to spend a lot (more than $60) to do it. Want to know how you can start your own blog? Check out my how-to guide!
4. Take surveys
Anyone can get paid to take surveys and take part in free offers, especially online. Surveys are the easiest way to make a little extra cash and they can be fun and interesting. There are enough out there to make a fair amount of money doing just surveys, but they are very time consuming and that makes it harder to rake in much money from just doing surveys alone.
Surveys often appeal to people because they are easy. You don’t need any skills whatsoever and the sites are typically simple to get involved with. You may be able to earn some credit by watching videos or even playing games (although you don’t typically earn very much).
If you choose to, you can even be a member of dozens of different survey sites all at the same time. Other ways of earning money are where you may earn credit if you sign up for a paid service or a free trial. Likewise, some sites have a cashback program, which offer credit from shopping at various stores.
An entirely different option is the idea of freelancing. Here, you basically earn money by selling services like writing articles or doing online or offline tasks. The costs involved with doing so are fairly low, particularly as there aren’t any products that you need to buy or sell. Any fees you pay are usually a membership fee or a small fee based on your earnings to belong to a website where you find freelancing jobs.
You can rely on freelancing sites, like Upwork and Freelancer.com, as a way of finding clients. You can join both as a free member. They can be great places to find work, but the competition is fierce. If you’re trying to avoid spending any money, you may be able to find a free place to advertise or you can reach out to potential clients directly.
Writing about side hustles can be a full-time job in itself, but finding ones that require little or no cost to get you into it are harder to find. That is why it is such a good feeling to make something out of nothing and doing a side hustle that way insures that every penny you make is pure profit! Good luck and good fortune when you try, and let me know if you have any success to report back!
Have you tried any of these side hustles? Have you found another side hustle that required little to no start-up cost?