Anyone who has ever googled “work from home” or “make money from home” knows that the web is overflowing with sites proclaiming you can make thousands from the comfort of your living room, most of the time requiring you to first buy a book, CD, or DVD to learn how.  Since there is so much of this garbage out there, it can be frustrating looking for legitimate ways to work from home.  Below are some reasonable ideas to consider.  None of these will make you rich, but they’re good options for putting some extra cash in your wallet.

  • Direct Sales Home Businesses – Host “parties” at your home to get discounts and a little cash, or become an independent sales rep yourself to make even more money.  Many of them offer online shops that you can set up under your name.  Some of the most popular ones are:   Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Thirty-One Gifts, or Pampered Chef; there are also numerous companies selling candles, jewelry, children’s books, children’s clothes, etc.)
  • Have an eBay “Garage Sale” – Scour your house from top to bottom for unused items.  Open up a shop on eBay (it’s free), take pictures of your items and let the bidding begin.  You will also get the added benefit of de-cluttering your house!
  • Tutor (In-home or Online) – There is always a need for tutors at any grade level.  You can do this out of your home, or find one of the many opportunities to do it online.
  • Online Surveys – There are tons of sites online that pay you to fill out surveys so they can obtain market data, just make sure the site is free!
  • Dog Walking/Pet Sitting – Dog owners always need someone to walk their dog on a busy work day or pet sit overnight when away on vacation or business.  Research the local pet care companies in your area to review the services they offer.  You may even start off by working for one of them as you get your feet wet.
  • Babysit Kids in Your Home – Many parents are looking for lower cost alternatives to daycare; consider sitting a couple of kids in your home!  If you have your own kids at home, there is the added benefit of playtime and socialization with your kids.
  • Freelance Writing – If you have a flair for writing, there many freelance writer opportunities available such as writing technical or marketing pieces; or articles for journals, newspapers, or magazines.  You can also get paid to write blog articles for various websites like the Yahoo Contributor network, for example.
  • Start a Home Business– Stick with your talents or what you love to do.  For example if you are into:
    • Photography; start a small photography business
    • Crafts; start a shop on Etsy selling your handmade products
    • Sewing; be a seamstress or sell your  handmade clothing items on Etsy
    • Scrapbooking; start a business creating scrapbooks for us less-creative folks!
    • Baking; start a small cake baking business
    • Party planning; start small with birthday parties, etc. and maybe eventually expand into larger events like weddings!
    • Music; based on your talent (piano, voice, guitar, etc.), offer music lessons out of your home

There are some legitimate home-based jobs that you can find online, such as being a Virtual assistant or a Customer Service Rep.  Just be sure not to sign up for anything that requires any kind of upfront fee. and are also fantastic places to start the search for work from home gigs.


This was an oldie but favorite originally published on April 5, 2012.  Back by pooular demand on August 4, 2014.