Nearly everyone would like to make more money. The simpler the process, the better. Teens want ways to make money before they reach 15 and qualify for a work permit. Men and women caring for children and the household want easy ways to make some cash at home. Many retirees want to do the same without impacting their Social Security income. Those on disability want extra money without violating their qualification for their monthly income.
You can get as creative as you like in coming up with legal ways to make money. Most people want something simple, straightforward that they can easily show friends so they can replicate it and earn, too. Here are 21 simple, effective ways to earn money legally. Some you can do from home, while others require time outside the home.

This list leaves off the items that you see on most lists that require specialized knowledge or equipment. Most lists include writing from home which does require a college degree and specialized knowledge or photography which requires a professional camera that typically costs about $1,000, plus lights, gels, reflectors, and backgrounds. While those types of at-home business work great for those with start-up funds or a college degree, this list covers the jobs a person aged 13 or older could do to earn money. A handful requires an older person such as someone 18 or 21.

1.    Babysitting: You need to like kids and not everyone does. This also requires a responsible person who keeps the children quiet and well-mannered. You need to reinforce good manners and the parental rules as well as get them to appointments or put them to bed on time. The typical starting age for doing this in-home only is about 13, while older teens with a driver’s license can also drive the children to appointments. 

2.    Dog Walking: People who love dogs and exercise make great dog walkers. Many people adopt a dog and find out that they require more work and time than originally thought. You can help the pet owners by walking their dog for a fee. You can walk multiple dogs at a time so you earn more money using less time.

3.    Pet Sitting: People who love animals can pet sit. You would typically drop by the pet owner’s home to feed and clean up after the pets while the owner travels. This may also include walking the dog or letting the cat out to play. You can specialize if you know how to take care of pets like geckos, iguanas, sugar gliders, or snakes. These animals require special care and handling and many general pet sitters do not have this knowledge and experience.

4.    Mowing Lawns: You do typically need your to own a lawnmower, but you can pick one up for less than $50 at most pawn shops. Otherwise, you can start out mowing for others using their mower, then buy your own once you make your first week’s pay.

5.    Running Errands: It helps to own a car, but in a city, you can pick up groceries on foot or using a bicycle. Market your service to shut-ins, the elderly, busy moms, two-career households. Any person or household who needs help picking up groceries, dry cleaning, the kids, prescriptions, etc. is a potential customer. 

6.    Personal Shopping: Those with impeccable taste can offer their shopping services to busy individuals who need a fashionable wardrobe, smashing gifts to give friends and family for birthday, graduation, or holidays.

7.    Home Organizing: This business provides the perfect opportunity for someone with terrific organizing skills. You would help the individual pair down their kitchens, pantry, closets, etc. The next step would be organizing what remains in bins, baskets, shelving, etc. that makes the most of the space and makes it simple to find and access each item. If you want to specialize, learn how to re-organize a home to be handicapped accessible.

8.    Affiliate Income: Promote various businesses’ using their formal affiliate programs. You earn commission on each sign-up or sale, typically three to 50 percent. A site such as ClickBank can help you get started.

9.    Craft Making: Perhaps you make jewelry, pottery, door wreaths, gift baskets, or something similar. You can sell these at the local farmer’s market as well as online at Etsy or Shopify.

10.    Baked Goods: No need to open a formal bakery. You can bake during the latter part of the week, then sell your items at the local farmer’s market on the weekends. Make a Facebook page to promote your items. Take photos of each type of baked good and provide a price list. That helps people know how much cash to bring to the market and what choices will be available.

11.    Personal Assistant: You can work from home as a personal assistant, also called a virtual assistant. You do the same work as you would in an office, but it gets emailed to you or you pick up your daily assignments on a virtual desk such as Freelancer, Guru, or Upwork. You may type up notes, set someone’s schedule for them, answer their phone, etc.

12.    Appointment Setter: Many companies hire appointment setters to handle inbound or outbound phone calls or email contacts. Look for these positions on FlexJobs or Upwork.

13.    Customer Service Representative (CSR): Another remote position, the CSR responds to customers in need of help with incorrect or lost orders, over-charges, subscription problems, etc. Look for these positions on FlexJobs or Upwork.

14.    Typist: Make use of the typing class you took in high school by hiring yourself out as a typist. Students, professors, the differently-abled, and those who just do not know how to type well need a quick, accurate typist. You need a word processing software with a grammar checker or to use an online service like Grammarly or Paper Rater. Advertise locally plus on Craigslist.

15.    House Cleaning: That pin neat house you keep could be the key to you making extra money. If you clean quickly, but effectively, you have an important skill to sell. Do a bit of research to learn the local rates for Merry Maids or a similar service. Set your rate a bit lower and when you advertise, show photos of your results. Most people with a career do not have time to clean to the level needed for sparkling floors, pristine oven interiors, and dust-free knickknacks.

16.    Party Planning: Some moms lament that once their children made it into junior high school or high school, they no longer wanted birthday parties or holiday parties. The party planning was the fun part for the moms. If this describes you, you can be the salvation of working moms locally by helping them plan their young children’s parties. You can serve as co-hostess, too, helping them corral 20 or 30 grade-schoolers.

17.    Research Assistant: If you did earn a college degree, you probably wrote quite a few term papers and maybe a thesis. Put that degree to work from home as a virtual research assistant. Freelancer, Guru, and Upwork list numerous positions for this type of work in every imaginable industry. You could work for a private company, an independent researcher, a book author, a private or public university, a non-profit, or a startup. Depending on the organization, you would conduct Internet searches, database searches, library research, or assist with field research.

18.    Meal Prep and Delivery: Does everyone comment on what delicious meals you make? If you have become savvy at making delicious, healthy, cost-conscious meals, you can sell that. You can cook meals in bulk, box them in plastic ware, and deliver them. This makes a great choice for parents who have had to learn to cook a special diet, such as a gluten-free, diabetic, or milk- or nut-free diet. Those meals you know inside and out other parents or individuals do not know how to cook and may not have time to learn to cook. You can save them from eating microwavable dinners. Advertise locally plus on Craigslist and through local nutritionists.

19.    Carpooling: You can offer a carpool to take neighborhood children to school every day or to sports or other after school activities. If you live in the countryside and the children attend a private school with no bus service, this can help you earn extra money while helping the other parents free up some time to get ready for work. This makes a great choice for a parent who does not work or who works from home and can set their hours.

20.     At-Home Sales: Whether you choose Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, or another company, you can sell products online and to your neighbors. The companies provide advertising and marketing materials, training, and sometimes, samples. You sell their products and earn a commission.

21.    Newspaper Sales/Delivery: Children with a bicycle and adults with a vehicle can deliver papers. The proverbial paper route provides a simple job that nearly any person with any level training can do.

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