Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

39 Ways to Make Money Without a Job

Multiple streams of income are the new savings account.

Do people dream of becoming freelancers like they dream of becoming astronauts or doctors? I wanted to be a lawyer.

My whole life was designed around becoming a lawyer. I went to college, planned law school, networked to become an intern. I’ve been cultivating relationships with lawyers since I was 16 years old. My entire focus in life had been on becoming someone who had an un-losable job, made so much money they never worried about a thing, and did cool Matlock-type investigations (I realize that last part was unrealistic— it dawned on me during my senior year of college.)

Once I became a mom, I suddenly realized I hated working. And not because I had kids. I had never previously considered whether or not I was enjoying what I was doing because I was focused on my end goal of becoming rich, secure, and cool. The problem was that none of those goals were inevitable, regardless of what I did. And even if I did achieve one or all, keeping them wasn't guaranteed either. Maintenance makes dreams come true and then keeps them true. Being an employed, rich, lawyer who had time to be cool was going to take a ton of work. My effort sort of ebbs and flows.

The workforce also ebbs and flows. Regardless of my effort, there would always exist outside factors that could impede my progress. Relying on one source of livelihood is a massive risk. Employers sell the idea of stability by framing it as a weekly paycheck and benefits but all this does is create complacency in a worker’s thinking.

People believe because they’re working hard and doing what they’ve been advised is “right,” they’re safe from losing the ability to access survival stock. As long as you have skills you can always find a job. This is only true if there are employers willing and able to hire you. Unless of course, you can find a way to not rely solely on employers.

Many people learned during the pandemic how difficult it is to earn money without a job that allows for physical attendance. For most people, earning money without a job sounds impossible. It’s not.

Online writers typically know how to earn money online. Freelance writing, paid platforms, self-publishing, paid newsletters, editing, and so much more. People who don’t write online don’t have consistent conversations about diversifying their income. Now it’s time we all started talking about diversifying our income. Many of the jobs lost during the pandemic aren’t coming back. We were already headed for a predominantly tech-driven laborforce and the last year has only sped up that development.

Traditional employment is no longer the best and most efficient pathway to security. Diversified income streams are accessible to everyone, as long as you find your thing.

39 Ways to Earn an Income Without a Job

What skills do you possess? What can you do effectively or efficiently?

  1. Write online

2. Influencer/affiliate marketing

3. Sell stock photography

4. Photography lessons for beginners/parents, digital product or in-person

5. Coaching lessons in a specific job/education field

6. YouTube tutorials & product trials


8. Sell drawings/paintings on Etsy

9. Make jewelry sell in retail locations or on Etsy

10. Handmade clothes/hats/mittens to sell in retail, fairs, Etsy

11. Create product box subscriptions

12. Offer in-home organization

13. Sleep training

14. Child discipline classes

15. Sewing classes

16. Crochet classes

17. Knitting classes

18. Cooking classes

19. Virtual assistant

20. Social media management

21. Couples counseling

22. Tutoring, virtual or in-person

23. Private sports coaching

24. Swim lessons, group or private

25. Car detailing

26. Landscaping/lawn mowing

27. Elderly care services (food shopping, laundry, rides)

28. Specialized/Personalized gift shopping

29. Dog walking

30. Dog training

31. Resume writing

32. Job interview coaching

33. Custom birthday decor

34. Custom birthday signs

35. Yard sign rentals

36. House cleaning

37. Powerwashing

38. Junk removal/Dump runs

39. Scrap metal collection

None of these are get-rich-quick schemes. They aren’t even going to make you a thousand dollars right away. The point of creating a consistent stream of income for yourself is to develop a habit of relying on yourself.

When you have a consistent stream of income from an independent venture, you can use that money to earn more. Invest it, create more opportunities to earn, save it.

Relying on one source of income can be disempowering if you lose it. Employers seem like a steady way to earn a living but with technology taking over the workforce, it’s a good idea to start to diversify and adapt now.

Want to chat about it? Come find me on Twitter or join my newsletter on Substack.

Lover of lattes, champagne, avocados, sleep, and my perfect family. The epitome of a liberal millennial snowflake.

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