When you’re a senior, making ends meet can be a challenge. If you’re on a fixed income, any increase in expenses in one area can mean having to cut back in another area. Even if you have a few bucks to spare, many seniors still like to earn money in their spare time, but don’t want the hassle or structure of a formal job.
The good news is that there are an enormous amount of opportunities that allow flexibility in earning money from home. In fact, usually all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. The ideas below represent the best ideas we’ve found for seniors. They are all part-time opportunities that can be done from home in your spare time
1. UserTesting.com (Up to $30 per hour)
If you’re a senior, you may think working in the tech space is best left to young folks. You couldn’t be more wrong. People over 50 are the fastest-growing demographic online, and companies are falling over themselves to learn more about how these people use their websites.
UserTesting.com is a website that pays people like you to walk through tasks on websites and record the process. You can earn up to $30 an hour to give your opinion on websites and apps. The site claims Google, Apple, and eBay, among others, as customers. For instance, you might walk through booking a hotel room on your desktop computer or buying a pair of shoes on your tablet.
Getting started is easy. Once you create an account and download the screen-recording software, UserTesting walks you through exactly what they want to see from their testers. Each test takes about 15-20 minutes and pays you $10 into PayPal. You can learn more about our experience with UserTesting.com here.
2. Transcribe audio/video into text (Up to $39 per hour)
If you have typing skills, then you can make a decent hourly wage transcribing audio files. Even today people still need files transcribed, just as they did 50 years ago. Today, it’s done digitally and can be performed from home instead of an office.
We have personal experience using Rev.com to have translations done. According to their site, transcriptionists are paid between $0.40-$0.65 per audio minute. So transcribing an hour of audio would net you between $24 and $39. There are also other sites out there like Tigerfish and Quicktate to earn additional cash.
3. Savings account bonuses (Up to $500)
If you’re a saver, then you know that your accounts earn next to zero in interest anymore. The good news is that banks will still compete for your money, paying nice bonuses on your savings. If you have money sitting around (say, an emergency fund), then there is no easier way to make money.
Here’s how the bonuses usually work. You open up a new account with a bank, depositing a specified minimum amount. After you have the account open for the required amount of time — usually 90 or 180 days — the bank makes a bonus deposit into the account. Sometimes you may have to meet other requirements, such as having at least one direct deposit a month or opening both a checking and savings account.
We’ve taken advantage of bonuses of up to $500 on our accounts. It’s certainly not enough to live on, but it can help out with Christmas or make ends meet.
4. Research Panels (Up to $250 per session)
You might have participated in a live research panel, where you have to visit a non-descript office building and be watched from behind a one-way mirror while you share your thoughts on a company’s new product.
Research panels are certainly still like that, but they have also moved online, allowing you to participate without leaving the comfort of home (and with no one-way mirrors!). To join a remote panel, you’ll need to have a solid internet connection. If you are near where a research firm has a facility, you can also still participate in the traditional office setting.
The work will be erratic, depending on if someone of your profile is needed for a panel. That’s why if you really want to maximize your earnings, you’ll want to sign up for multiple research firms to increase your chances of being picked. You can get started by checking out FocusScope.com, 2020Panel, MediaBarn Research Services, or MindSwarms.com.
5. Sell on Etsy (Unlimited)
Are you crafty? Or do you love finding cool vintage items at garage sales? You should check out Etsy.com. We know that many people have heard of Etsy, but certainly not everyone is familiar.
Etsy is an online marketplace for vintage or homemade items. You can find everything from antique furniture to handmade baby onesies. The unique thing about Etsy, however, is that the sellers are all individuals. The website gives you a market to sell anything unique that you might be able to produce or find.
Getting started is easy, and it only takes a few minutes to open up a shop. We also like that Etsy charges low fees for selling on the site — just 3.5% of the transaction.
6. Work-from-home Customer Service Rep ($15 per hour/commission)
Setting up a call center is expensive for a company to do. They have to pay for a building to house employees, phone lines, internet, computers, desks, and other equipment. In light of this, many companies outsource their call center needs. Still others use a site like LiveOps.com.
LiveOps is a company that handles call center needs using independent contractors instead of typical full-time employees. As an independent contractor with the company, you get the freedom and flexibility to work when and how long you want. You also get to work from home, instead of commuting to an office.
The opportunities range from customer service calls to inbound sales, depending on what you’d like to do. The payments also vary, with some companies paying commissions on sales, and others simply paying a flat fee for the time you are on the phone.
As LiveOps puts it:
Your business’ revenue is completely dependent upon your performance and the volume of service you provide, as well as the type of program that you choose to participate in. Some of our clients pay a straight talk-time rate, generally 25 cents per minute of talk time, some pay a base rate in addition to a bonus for commission, and some programs pay entirely on commission. Sales incentives can dramatically increase revenue for your home business, so the better service you provide, the greater your revenue potential.
7. Online Researcher ($2,000 per month)
If you want a challenging role that involves learning about and researching new concepts and ideas on a daily basis, then you might be interested in AskWonder.com.
The idea behind the work is simple. Individuals or companies have questions they need answers to. These questions are more in-depth than what a Google search can do; they require some digging.
That’s where you come in. As an AskWonder researcher, you are expected to research and find the best possible answer to the question. Each question has a price the client is willing to pay for an answer. You can decide which questions you want to tackle based on subject matter or the payment amount. According to the site, “Active researches earn $2,000 or more per month.”
To apply you will have to complete a trial assignment. You can get more details here.
Have more work at home ideas for seniors? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to share how much can be earned!