Lost Your Job? Here Are 5 Ways to Make Money During COVID-19
If you’ve been laid off recently, you at least have the comfort of knowing you’re not alone. The COVID-19 crisis has seen millions of Americans lose their jobs or get furloughed, and with long waits for unemployment claims processing, many are wondering how they’re going to pay their bills while they wait for the crisis to resolve.
Of course, the fact that residents in most parts of the country are being asked to stay home and minimize social contact doesn’t help the matter. If it’s hard to find work when everything is open and you’re allowed to go out, it’s that much harder now that most businesses are closed and you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, leave the house. But there are plenty of ways you can scrape up a few bucks without leaving the house, or at least without leaving it much.
1. Sell Your Stuff on eBay
Let’s be honest — you probably thought of this already. You’ve probably already scoured your jewelry box, dresser drawers, closets, and attic for valuable, or at least somewhat valuable, items that you can sell on eBay. And you might have had some luck — more people than ever are doing more shopping than ever online, and with popular retailers like Amazon experiencing shipping delays and product shortages, many online shoppers are turning to eBay to get what they need or want.
But you might be surprised what you can actually get people to pay you money for. Did you know that you can sell toilet paper rolls on eBay? Yep — people buy them for arts and crafts projects, or to start seeds. Other unusual items you might be able to sell online include empty egg cartons, wine corks and bottles, old software installation disks, remote controls, empty makeup containers, large pinecones, and even old prescription glasses.
2. Teach Kids English Online
Are you a native English speaker? Do you like kids? Do you think you’d be a good teacher? There are plenty of companies looking for online English teachers. Many work with kids, and some work with older learners and adults. Many of the pupils will be living in Asia, so you might have to keep weird hours to pull this one off. But, it could turn into a real job for you — or at least something to put on your resume when the pandemic blows over and you’re ready to go back on the job market again. Between teaching English classes and managing your savings carefully with money management software, you could easily get through until your unemployment checks arrive — or even until the job market picks up again.
3. Grocery Shop for Your Neighbors
Companies like InstaCart are adding thousands of new shoppers to meet increased demand for grocery delivery right now, so that’s definitely an option. If you don’t like the idea of signing up for InstaCart or you’re not sure you want to do that much shopping, you could reach out to your neighbors personally and ask if anyone would like to throw you a few bucks in exchange for you picking up their groceries and delivering them. If you want to minimize your time in the store but still grab a few bucks, you could coordinate the trips with your own or add the items to your grocery pickup order — or just offer to pick up grocery orders that your neighbors have placed.
4. Monetize a Skill You Already Have
Are you a good writer? Plenty of companies will pay freelance writers for all kinds of written deliverables, from website content to blog posts, editorials, tweets and Facebook posts, to advertising copy, brochures, white papers, technical manuals, and more.
But that’s not the only skill you can monetize to earn money from home. Plenty of people are making a living streaming video games. If you have voice acting skills and access to recording equipment, you could start a podcast. Or you could put together an online course or build a YouTube channel teaching people to do anything you’re good at — differential equations, knitting, cooking, carpentry, or makeup, for example.
5. Sell Arts and Crafts
With most retail establishments closed, there’s never been a better time to start selling arts and crafts online. Lots of people are stuck inside, going stir crazy, looking for something to do, and turning to some virtual retail therapy to help them get through this crazy time. If you know how to knit, sew, sculpt, do leatherwork, make jewelry, or have another crafting skill, it’s time to set up that Etsy store you’ve been considering.
Making extra money when you’re unemployed is always hard, but it’s even harder with COVID-19 going on. However, all you really have to do is be resourceful, and you’ll soon find that you’ve weathered the storm.