There are many things you can do in order to learn how to make money. And, some of these extra income ideas can be quite embarrassing, funny, and more.
I published the post 60+ Extreme Things People Have Done To Save Money a few months ago, and there were a lot of crazy interesting things mentioned in that blog post. There was someone shaving their own head to save money, people taping their shoes together, dumpster diving, and more.
Since that post, others have shared their own stories, and due to that I’ve decided to make a post that shares these new (and even more interesting) ways to make money.
And, we've all probably gone to some extreme measures to make money.
There are so many different ways to make money. You can make money at a part-time job, a full-time job, online, offline, and so on.
I believe that learning how to make money can completely change a person’s life for the better. In fact, because of learning how to make money, I was able to pay off $38,000 in student loans within 7 months, I was able to leave my day job to pursue my passion, travel full-time, and more!
By sharing the things that we do, maybe we can all feel a little less embarrassed about our best making money tips and even find new ways of learning how to make money.
Doing one or all of the below may allow you to change your life for the better, such as by allowing you to pay off your debt more quickly, improve your financial habits, help you reach your dream sooner, and more.
Related tips on how to make money:
- 12 Work From Home Jobs That Can Earn You $1,000+ Each Month
- 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money
- 8 Things To Sell To Make Extra Money
- 30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month
- The $20 Savings Challenge
- 80 Ways To Make Money On The Side
Here are 43 interesting ways on how to make money.
The many interesting ways people are learning how to make money (even as a kid), save money, and competing for it.
Sell your smelly shoes to strangers online. “I've sold my smelly shoes on eBay to men who enjoy that sort of thing. They actually turned out to be the nicest customers ever, and it was easy to ‘upgrade' their sales to include photos of my feet I've made over £2,000 to date, around $2,500. Just from selling my old trashed shoes on eBay.” – Emma Drew
How to make money by becoming a sugarbaby. “I signed up for a sugar daddy website (SeekingArrangement) as I was so desperate for money at one stage to pay for university. If you don't know what it is, it's basically where you meet up with rich businessmen and they take you to fancy places and pay you, etc. I had some very weird requests, for example someone had a fetish for massaging people's feet and was prepared to pay US$500 for a meet up! And many guys asked me to travel round the world with them whilst paying me around USD$5000 to just come! I am so embarrassed that I even decided to sign up, wasn't the best decision I have made!” – Emma Lomas
Sell your life. Did you know that you can make money by selling your life? If you don’t know who Ian Usher is, let me tell you all about him. In 2008, he put his life up for sale on eBay. He sold everything as a package, which included his car, job, home, and friends. Someone actually paid for it too! Another interesting take on this is from Mike Merrill. He offered 100,000 shares of himself to investors at a price of $1 a share. Each investor has a voting share and gets to decide how he lives his life. It seems like even more people are learning how to make money this way as well.
Start a blog – This may not seem extreme to you since you're a reader of my blog, but who would have ever thought that you could learn how to make money online like this just a decade ago? Blogging is how I make a living, and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I average over $100,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month, plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial. I have a free blogging course you can also join to help you start and launch a successful blog!
“A while ago, I wanted to make some money… So I started a blog. When I told my husband I was doing it, he looked at me like I had antlers and told me that online journals are really sad. When I told my sister I was doing it she just stared at me and said ‘I don't understand.’ These are not people who generally doubt me. I still haven't told 90% of the people in my real life that I have a blog – despite the fact that I'm making a full time income.” – Carly Campbell
Pose nude for a drawing class. “Well … my first job was detasseling corn. In college I posed nude for a drawing class. And then there is writing for a living, which is pretty ridiculous …” – Emma Johnson
Participate in medical research studies. Medical studies exist to allow you to help with the research and study of diseases, medicine, treatment, and more. Depending on what is being studied, a study asks for certain types people to do the different tasks needed to be performed. To find paid medical research studies and to learn how to make money by doing this, I recommend checking out your local Craigslist listings, contacting universities in your area, and seeing if there are any local medical testing companies. Most cities have these options, and you just have to look for them. When my husband was younger he actually participated in a few medical research studies to help us earn more money. He was usually paid around $1,000 for a week’s worth of time.
“I regularly participated in FMRI studies in college because they paid $25/HR! They were much better than Phyfe studies which paid $16/hr.” – Emilie Lima Burke
Watch several young children at once. “When I was pregnant with my second and still working in a salon as a hairstylist, we were in need of a little extra income and I would volunteer to watch other kids along with my own 1 year old. After work, I came home and found out I said YES to too many people and found myself watching 5 kids all the same ages under 2 years old! Pregnancy brain perhaps? But had made $150 that day for groceries on top of what I made at work! Haha, the things we do!” – Tahnee Smallwood
Find trash in exchange for rebates. “When I was in college, I was into refunding. Phone time wasn't cheap back then (or free). KitKat candy bars had an offer out at the time that for every 10 UPCs you would send in, you got a 10 minute phone card. As luck would have it, there were only three candy bars sold in our dorm, and KitKat was one of them. Every evening, I would go through the lobby every hour or so and pull out the KitKat wrappers. I got over 100 free phone cards doing that. 🙂 To me, that was the same as over $100 because I could call home and call friends for free.” – Jenn Wilson
Get extra tips when you're pregnant. “I was an enormous pregnant lady. Gained almost 90 pounds. At the time, I wanted to work but didn't want to do anything stressful. I worked as a host/coat hanger at a friend's restaurant but was so pregnant that customers just ended up hanging their own coats (bec. They were afraid I would hurt myself and the baby) but they also tipped me as much as $20 – $50 ‘for the baby.’ Easiest and most profitable job of my life!” – Brenda Tolentino
Don't take investing advice from a comedian. “I've taken investing advice from a comedian. Luckily, I only lost $500 from this ‘hot stock’ tip.” – Kate Dore
How to make money by giving massages. “When we arrived in Peru after a year of traveling full time, we managed to borrow a massage table, which my husband pushed around all of the hotels in an old wheelbarrow, offering massages to the guests to earn money.” – Katrina Howe
Become a telemarketer. “Just before entering college, I wanted to make some money to travel with my friends. I ended up getting a temp telemarketing job that required me to call up random folks and persuade them to go for a timeshare talk. I got some nasty responses (some people just hung up on me, some screamed at me). Needless to say, I hated the job!” – Nellie Huang
Demonstrate pet food. “While in college I wanted a job that allowed me to work with my school schedule so I signed up as a pet food demonstrator. I had to go on the weekends, dragging my own folding table, and set up the products and coupons. In business outfits. In a pet store. The other product demonstrators got to wear more casual outfits, but they wanted me in clothes that were completely out of place in a pet store. I had to be there for 4 hours at a time and they didn't want me to bring a chair, but rather stand in heels for 4 hours straight next to the table. I wasn't allowed to bring something to read, and they didn't even want me taking a break! I think it was for about $12 per hour. I think I lasted for about 2 weeks before I quit!” – Maya Lalosh
How to sleep for extra money. Getting paid to sleep sounds interesting, right? Yes, you can actually learn how to make money by allowing others to study your sleep! For some, it can pay fairly well, to the tune of $18,000. All you have to do is lay in a bed for 70 days. You will be in the bed at all times, even to shower or use the bathroom. I think this would be a very difficult study to do as I would probably go crazy not seeing sunlight or walking for that many days, but it does pay well. If you’re accepted into this NASA study, you will receive $1,200 per week for your time.
Take as many online surveys as you can. There are several online survey companies that you can sign up for and learn how to make money with. If you sign up for all of them, you may be able to earn anywhere from $25-$100+ a month by taking online surveys. Survey companies I recommend signing up for include Swagbucks, Pinecone Research, Survey Junkie, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
Call in sick and deliver newspapers. “I had my then-fiancé (now husband) call in sick to his Army base when he was a soldier. Then, he helped me deliver the base's newspaper. I drove the route and he wrapped his head in a scarf so no one would recognize him and he threw the papers out the window. He was very nervous driving through the officer's housing section! I made $90 that day.” – Lindsay VanSomeren
Become an Uber or Lyft driver – Spending your spare time driving others around can be a great money maker, and you can learn how to make money by becoming an Uber driver in my blog post – How To Become An Uber Or Lyft Driver. Click here to join Uber and start making money ASAP.
Rent out your home and sleep on people's couches instead. “When times were tight, as they often were, I afforded my NYC rent by airbnb-ing or subletting my apartment and crashing with friends instead.” –Stefanie O'Connell
How to make money by buying and returning. “Buying and returning TVs from Circuit City. Their most expensive television cost me $15,000. Prices were dropping rapidly and it was marked down to $10,000 the next week. They honored their guarantee by rebating me $5,500 before I returned it for $10,000. I bought and returned that television enough times to be able to afford to keep it (not that I ever would).” – Chris DeMuth, Jr.
Resell on eBay, get paid to stay up for 48 hours straight, and extreme couponing. “Lots of crazy things over the years! Most of these I remember from when I was laid off and totally broke. Some things that come to mind: I used to go to yard sales and buy things and resell on eBay, that was a lot of fun and I made good money doing that! I had some friends that would do it too and we had a code: ‘would Angie (or some name) like it?’ That was us asking if the others thought it would sell on eBay or not. I used to do focus groups and I did one that paid $1,000 to say in a hotel for a week and I had to stay up 48 hours straight for something they were testing, it was brutal! I used to do extreme couponing and became friends with the paper guy in my neighborhood and he would bring me 10 extra papers each week so I had tons of coupons. At one point I had a whole closet filled with things I got free or next to free.” – Jenny Kerr
How to make money by becoming a mystery shopper. A few years ago, I mystery shopped a lot to make extra income. I made anywhere from $150 to $200 a month mystery shopping and received free meals, makeup, and more. I only used Bestmark for mystery shopping, so I know that they are a 100% legitimate company. There are other legitimate mystery shopping companies that exist, but you do want to do your research. Read more about how to make money as a mystery shopper at Mystery Shopping – Make Extra Money.
Cuddle with strangers to make extra income. Yes, you can learn how to make money by cuddling with others. There are many cuddling companies that currently exist. You can sell cuddles to strangers, and some people even make a few hundred dollars a day by cuddling with others.
Sell used toilets or get shoes from the trash. “When we built our house (like… we built it, not hired it out) I saved money every possible way, because we didn't actually HAVE much money (we had to work for a week, get our paychecks, then go buy nails and stuff)… So I bought used toilets that had been taken out of other people's houses. I bleached them all up, cost us a fraction of what new toilets cost. And you can't tell they're second hand. Just in case anyone is wondering … if used toilets are too gross, when I was backpacking and had to go to work in these horrible red dirt fields for a month and didn't want to wreck my only shoes – I just got some other shoes – from a garbage can. It seemed like no one was using them.” –Carly Campbell
Pawn stuff, make your food, and sell things from your home. “In college I went to the pawn shop more than a few times. Those were not proud moments! We are super tight on money right now. These aren't crazy things, but we've started making our own food like butter and jelly. I started a garden in the backyard so we don't have to buy any veggies. So far everything is going well, but I've yet to see a veggie. We might just have to eat the veggie leaves – ha! This weekend I am having a garage sale, and I've put just about everything in the house up for sale, but the kids, on eBay! I have to admit, I am NOT turning off the air conditioner down here in Florida. The combination of humidity and my premenopausal moments ain't pretty. No one else wants me to turn it off for those reasons, either. Ha ha!” – Julie Powell Pollitt
How to make money by selling cookies. “Out of college, I was fundraising for AIDS/LifeCycle – a trans-California bicycle ride. So, I went to where the cyclists were – the younger, social cyclists who like to drink beer and ride bicycles across Los Angeles. Young, hungry, drunk cyclists were easy pickings for my fundraising technique: selling fresh-baked homemade cookies at $5 a pop. I was able to meet the $3,000 fundraising goal without a hitch.” – Jon Luskin
How to make money by creating wood catapult kits. “I once manufactured wood catapult kits to make money. I was 14 haha. And hired my siblings to help. Then paid them out of the profits. Made about 25 bucks an hour doing it for a few summers and little time during school year. Probably made close to $15,000 over the whole time.” – Jacob Brad Johnson
How to make money by selling lingerie. “Years ago, I bought and sold a Lingerie Dropshipping store for like $3,000 from a Flippa auction. Sold for a slight loss but also sold some high profit lingerie. Probably didn’t make money with all the FBN and business license fees. Killed the SEO waiting for the vendors to process my application. Not one of my better investments.” – TJ Pridonoff
Sell your poop for side income. Yes, you can actually make money selling your poop, and this is probably one of the more extreme ways to make money, but you can really help people with this! According to The Washington Post, you can make up to $13,000 a year by selling your poop to the company OpenBiome. OpenBiome needs it because it is “administered to patients who are very sick with infections of a bacteria called C. difficile.” The company is willing to pay so much for these donations because finding a good donor is quite difficult. They need extremely healthy people, with only around 4% of people who have applied actually passing all of their tests. So, what does the company pay? They pay $40 for each sample you give. You receive a $50 weekly bonus on top of that if you donate five days each week. The average donor donates around three to four times a week. If you are interested in learning how to make money by selling your stuff, you can check out the details and how to apply here.
Sell breast milk. Only recently did I realize that some women can learn how to make money by doing this. If you are breastfeeding, you may be able to sell your breast milk and make extra income. Breast milk often goes for $1 to $2.50 per ounce, and sometimes it sells for as much as $4 per ounce. There are many people who are looking to buy breast milk – not just mothers. Athletes, and those looking to boost their immune systems, are buyers as well. Recommended reading: CNN’s With breast milk online, it’s buyer beware.
Donate your eggs or sperm. There are some things that you may be able to sell for a good deal of money, and this includes selling your eggs or sperm. Yes, you can learn how to make money in this way by contacting a company that is in need of eggs or sperm. For eggs, women can earn anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on their characteristics. Egg donors are typically under the age of 30 and healthy. African American women and Asian American women usually earn the most money as there is a larger need for their eggs. This is not super easy money, though. There are a number of doctor’s visits, and extracting the eggs requires a medical procedure. For sperm, the average donation pays anywhere from $50 to $100. It can be quite easy to donate, and some men donate as much as 2-3 times each week.
Sell used bras. “I sold used bras on eBay for a year and make about $10k from bras alone. I found a place where I could buy nice but used bras for a quarter each and turned around and sold them for twenty or more bucks each. That's what got me started with my eBay side hustle.” – Elizabeth Crazy Busy Happy Life
Sell plasma until you reach an iron deficiency count. “I sold plasma for a few weeks until my iron levels dipped low. I tried taking an iron supplement, but that messed with my stomach. I was working part-time, but my hours kept getting cut and I had a part-time internship (unpaid) as well.” – Zina Kumok
“I donated plasma when I was younger. I fainted during it, but made $20. Fail!” – Kristin Larsen
Win at an inflatable horse race. “In high school, we had some company come in to peddle their fundraiser. To drum up support, they offered $50 to the winner of an inflatable horse race. I volunteered, tried, and actually won the race! I looked ridiculous but who cares because $50 is $50!” – Gwen
How to make money by gambling online. “I don't know if this counts as extreme but in college I used to gamble online back when online casinos were a thing. You deposited $100, got $100 as a bonus, and could withdraw when you put 4X your total ($800 in that case) into play. Casinos got wise and eventually that multiple got up to 20X, which made it no longer profitable. Craziest part was that I'd won and lost several $1,000 hands of blackjack. 🙂 The losses were only palatable because I'd only have $100 of my own money at stake! (illogical yes, but psychologically beneficial after a $1000 loss) I did that for a few years in college and paid for a lot of fun times.” – Jim Wang
How to make money by taking part in a wrestling match. “I did a wrestling match in a boxing ring at an MMA gym. This wasn't the right audience for the show nor was the ring setup for me to be landing on hard. The gym was throwing an anniversary party and they wanted entertainment. I just couldn't say no. I got paid $50 and treated myself to a steak.” – Martin Dasko
Make a video about your acne. “I entered a video contest about how acne had destroyed my adolescence and how a company's product fixed it for me. I made a grainy video at 5 in the morning before I went to my real job in 2010. I won the $250 Visa card for first prize, but I forgot to take the video down until one month ago on YouTube. I can't imagine how many potential clients saw that!” – Laura Pennington
How to make money by competing on a TV show. “I went on a UK TV quiz show. I was desperate and thought I had no chance but felt I had nothing to lose. I walked away with £2,750 (not sure of the exchange rate but I can check tomorrow). I cried when I got into the final as I already knew I'd never gamble any winnings and already had over £1000! One of my creditors took a reduced settlement so cleared half my debts in one day!” – Vicky Eves
Sell calendars to teachers. “In middle school, I sold calendars to a few of my teachers and friends. I made about $50 doing it.” – Jason Butler
Charge children to use the swing and sell pencils. “As a kid, I used to charge the kids to use the swings. Once we got out for recess, I had one of my friends ’guard’ a swing. We'd stand there and ask kids to give us $0.05-$0.10 per ride (depending on the demand) and I'd time it. Just a few minutes, literally counting the seconds. We'd make a couple bucks and use the money to buy candy. At my school, there were few swings but a lot of kids who wanted to ride them. Another thing I did as a kid was ‘raid’ the pencil machine. Basically, I'd get two pencils for $0.25 (really cool pencils with neon designs). All the kids wanted them. Once I emptied out the machine (with some money from my friend and mine), we'd sell the pencils for $0.25 each. Made some serious dough back then as a kid. Though, this was short lived until we got in trouble. Entrepreneurship was looked down upon at my school and the principal asked us to stop. But I didn't. Had a few other ideas and tricks up my sleeve that I took into adulthood.” – Rachel Hernandez
Buy and sell textbooks. “When I was in college, everyone seemed to just buy their textbooks at the campus bookstore because they didn't care or want to look online for better deals. I would go on Chegg or Textbooks R Us, and buy the cheap used textbooks, then contact people who were taking the classes and sell them the textbooks for a higher price than what I bought them for (but still lower than the campus textbook store). It was an easy way to make some quick cash.” – Colin
How to make money by selling origami. “When I was in primary school I had a dream that I wanted to travel the world. But I obviously had no money. Then I found out how to make origami animals from post-it notes. I started selling it to other kids at school (I was 7 at the time). Surprisingly everyone loved it and wanted more of them. I remember I made a full-time adult salary after 2 months.” – Anna Lysakowska
How to make money by selling candy. “At 14 years old I had my mom drive me to Sam's Club and I would buy a $100 worth of Snickers, Milky Ways, and Hershey bars. I could get them at $0.50 – $0.75 per bar. I then sold them out of my backpack at my high school for $1/bar. I made a few hundred dollars the semester and used it to buy a new mountain bike. I eventually stopped because I kept getting in trouble for selling on school property.” – Nick True
“In middle school and high school I used to buy and resell candy for my own profit. I would ask my mom to take me to Costco and buy the bulk size candy packs like Snickers and such. I would take them in my backpack and sell them at break and lunch. I could make about $10 per day in profit. I did for several years!” – Robert Farrington
Take exams for money. “I don't know how crazy this is, but I took a 2.5 hour long ‘competency’ exam in college because they were bribing students with $50 Amazon gift cards. And that was better than working 2.5 more hours at minimum wage!” – Natalie McKee
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