6 ways to make more money in 2016

Written by |

We hear a lot about income inequality in this country. But if you felt a pinch in your wallet last year, it doesn’t mean you’re condemned to suffer with the same low income you had in 2015 now that it’s going to be 2016! It’s a new year and a time to try something new. Here are a few ways you can make extra money in the coming year!

Fire up an on-demand app

Maybe you’ve used your smartphone to help you save money, but did you know that it can actually make you money too? Here are a few apps that will let you pick up piecemeal work throughout the year on your own schedule…

  • EasyShiftApp.com: Essentially turns you into an on-demand secret shopper. You’re assigned ‘shifts’ by product manufacturers who want people on the ground to go into stores and confirm that their merchandise is being displayed properly. The pay rate for a shift is between $3 and $8 and the money is remitted to you via PayPal.
  • Field Agent: Find local jobs in your area and complete them within two hours for cash.
  • Amazon Flex – The latest entry to this market space, Flex pays you as an independent contractor around $20 an hour to deliver packages to Prime customers in under 1 hour. You cover gas, maintenance and any other car expenses. Available in Seattle, Richmond, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Baltimore, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis. Coming soon to New York, Chicago, and Portland.

Read more: 9 apps that can make you extra money

Start up a work-from-home gig

With the dramatic changes in the employment landscape in recent years, more people are looking to work from home and find freelance work. The problem is that there are many ripoff work-from-home outfits that claim to find you jobs for an upfront fee. They’re just trying to make a quick buck off you. Here are some opportunities we’ve vetted and determined to be legitimate.

But note this well: These are not ways to get rich; most opportunities just pay enough to allow you to supplement an existing income.

Read more: Clark’s work-at-home guide

Try being an on-demand driver

Uber, Lyft and a handful of smaller ridesharing competitors are all the rage these days. In case you’re not familiar with the idea of ridesharing, it’s where anyone can make themselves available on demand via an app as a car for hire to give you a ride.

But beware that driving for a rideshare service can have a high burnout rate. Read the RideShareGuy.com blog to get the inside scoop on this career. You’ll get the real deal on pitfalls, gotchas and opportunities.

Join a focus group

Getting paid to share your thoughts and opinions is a pretty good deal. Focus groups provide market research opportunities for brands and businesses, and participants in these panels are paid for their time.

Earnings can range anywhere from $10 to $150 per one or two-hour session. You may be able to add to this type of income by participating in research-based activities, like taking online surveys or working as a mystery shopper. Start by checking out FocusGroup.com, which pays $75 to $150 per survey you complete. Other home survey options include Opinion Outpost, Valued Opinions and Pinecone Research. You can easily earn a couple hundred dollars per year doing these at night while watching TV.


Have a garage sale

When spring comes around again, consider having a garage sale…after you do ‘the closet test.’ That’s where you go in your closets and write down everything you have that you didn’t remember you bought, or things that didn’t make it out of the packaging. Then get rid of it by selling it! For two different takes on how to maximize your garage sale revenue, read our contributors Elena Macaluso and Lauren Greutman.

Turn the pictures on your smartphone into money

Americans have gone camera crazy now that more than half of us have smartphones with quality built-in cameras. A lot of times the pictures on our phones just stay there. But there are opportunities to make money on those photos. Marketing companies want the pictures you take on your smartphone. They’re seen as an ultra low-cost source for stock photos for advertising in a magazine or other commercial uses.

Like much in the tech world, this field has seen its shares of startups and business failures. Two players that seem to have stood the test of time (so far) are SnapWi.Re and ScoopShot. So how about it…are you a shutterbug? Start making some money!

For more money money-saving and money-making advice, see our Money section.