10 Ways to Make Money From Nothing

10 ways to make money from nothing. Yup, sometimes all you need to get started is time!When you are just beginning to look for new ways to make money, the last thing you want to do is sink your few precious dollars into expensive startup costs. While the common catchphrase we often hear is “You have to spend money to make money,” that isn’t always true. In fact, it is entirely possible to make money from nothing.

Ways to Make Money From Nothing

Here are 10 ways to make extra money that don’t require any start-up fees.

A few of these are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a commission if you click on those particular links and then sign up. (There’s no charge to you, though.) And yup, becoming an affiliate for services you love is yet another potential way to make money from nothing.

1. Freelance on Upwork

If you are looking to freelance online, give Upwork a try to start building an online resume and network. You can get paid to freelance write, design graphics, be a virtual assistant, or be a computer programmer.

Unlike a few other freelancer sites that require a monthly membership fee or charge you for certification tests, Upwork is completely free to apply for freelance job postings. Upwork does keep up a portion of your earnings, but, other free and paid platforms do as well.

You receive 60 credits each month that allow you to bid on client-listed jobs with your rate. Each proposal normally requires two credits meaning you get 30 bids a month. You can also receive invitations to interview from clients that do not require any credits.

Of course, you can also simply tell everyone you know that you’re available for freelance work — giving specific details about the kinds of work you can do. Even if they don’t need work done themselves, they may know someone who does!

2. Start a Blog or YouTube Channel

Another way you can make money by investing your time (assuming you have access to a computer and/or a camera phone) is to start a blog on a free site like WordPress.com or your very own YouTube channel.

Either option is free and you can eventually make money through advertisements and affiliate marketing for products that you use and recommend once you establish an audience.

You can blog about your favorite interests like personal finance or teaching dog tricks. If you start a video channel, you might show videos of how to beat challenging video games or testing new makeup products. The possibilities are limitless.

Just keep in mind that if you do start out blogging on WordPress.com and are successful at it, you’ll eventually want to switch to using a paid self-hosted plan for maximum control and flexibility (using software from WordPress.org). But you don’t have to start out that way, and making the switch later is completely doable! If all that sounds like gobbledygook, don’t stress. Start out with the free plan to see if you like it.

3. Sell on Craigslist

Instead of giving away the belongings you no longer need, sell them on Craigslist. Listing is free and all you need is the time and ability to meet prospective buyers around town in safe location. You can sell (or buy) just about anything on Craigslist, as well as find gigs.

Whether you are looking to sell equipment from an old hobby you no longer have time for or simply want to clean out your house or garage, selling on Craigslist is an easy way to make money. If you have skills like sewing, photography, the ability to move or haul stuff, etc that people will pay for you can list your services there as well.

4. Become a Street Musician

If you are musically talented, look into becoming a street musician. In the evenings and weekends in big cities, there seems to be somebody playing the guitar, sax, or drums for cash.

Most places do not require a permit to perform and you get paid as passersby drop money into your music case or bucket. Just check with your location to be sure.

5. Teach Music Lessons

In addition to performing on the street to earn a little extra income, you can also teach music lessons. A lot of parents are looking for teachers to help their child learn the piano, guitar, violin, or trumpet. Lessons can typically be 20 to 30 minutes long each week and you just have to be available in the evenings after school is finished for the day or on weekends.

You can start looking for clients by putting up notices advertising your services at your local music store, library, or community center. You can always see if your family friends have a need or if your local school’s music department will refer people to you.

5. Tutor

For the academic-minded, you can make a healthy side income by tutoring. Students of all ages are looking for help when it comes to foreign language, math, science, history, and SAT/ACT college entrance exam prep. Pay can start at $15 per hour depending on your level of expertise and where you live.

Tutoring is a good option for college students looking for some extra cash or working professionals that can meet in the evenings. The best place to advertise your services is at your local library, school message boards, or online at places like Tutor.com. (See their FAQs here.)

6. Become a Handyman

Are you good with your hands or enjoy home improvement projects? If so, you could make money using services like TaskRabbit. With TaskRabbit, you can get paid to help local neighbors with that need an extra hand. Tasks can include pressure washing a house, building a bookshelf, helping a person move houses, or mounting a flatscreen tv. After attending an orientation, selecting the tasks you can complete, and your work schedule, you can begin accepting jobs.

People also often look for help with tasks around the house in neighborhood groups on Facebook and sites like NextDoor. Joining your local neighborhood group is an easy way to let others know about your services (in a non-spammy way) and to meet your neighbors in the process.

7. Take Online Surveys

Surveys can be a good way to make a little extra money in your free time. Some companies such as Survey Junkie or Opinion Outpost allow you to get paid in cash.

Other companies will only pay you in gift cards or credits, like Swagbucks Surveys and Google Opinion Rewards. If you can get a better redemption rate with the gift cards, that payment option can be as equally valuable if it is to a store or restaurant you visit on a regular basis anyway. Then you can use your cash for other things instead.

8. Create Stock Photos

If you have a camera and take great pictures, you can make money with stock photos.

Each time your photos are downloaded by users from sites like Depositphotos, you can earn a royalty ranging from 30% to 42% per download depending on your contributor level and the download method used.

There are several stock photo sites to choose from. Take a few minutes to see which is the best option for you and the photos you can provide, and to see what types of photos are in demand.

9. Design T-Shirts

Fashion is one way we can all express our individuality. Sometimes nothing is better than a t-shirt with an eye-catching design or a witty saying. If you can make crafty t-shirt designs, creating your own store at Cafe Press allows you to connect with shoppers from all over the Internet that are interested in buying your designs.

It is free to create your store and payments are sent via PayPal. In addition to designing shirts, you can also design hats, sandals, and coffee mugs at Cafe Press too.

10. Become a Petsitter

While you might have thought that walking your dog was a chore as a child, you can get paid good money to walk other peoples’ pets while they work or travel. In fact, some professional pet sitters and dog walkers earn over $100,000 a year.

To get started, check with your local veterinarian or pet store to share your contact information. And, you can also list your services on Care.com. If you enjoy it, this paid hobby can quickly replace your full-time profession.

Don’t forget to check with your friends and family as well, especially during peak vacation season. It’s often hard to find good pet sitters, and the fact that they know and trust you can be a big help.


It doesn’t take long to realize that you can make money from nothing if the only asset you have right now is time. There’s no need to get caught up in ventures that require you to pay money up front to join. Whether you are looking for local work or completing projects online for somebody on the other side of the continent, you can get started making money from nothing today!

Want more money-making ideas? Check out the 101 Ways to Make Extra Money in Your Spare Time idea book.

10 ways to make money from nothing.


  • Agreed. I started my YouTube channel with just my phone camera. Most people have smartphones so, there really isn’t any additional investment that needs to be made. I think the vast majority of people overthink these sorts of things and think that they need to get some sort of funding first. Very odd.