Flexible Ways to Earn Money Outside the Home

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in Tips & Resources

Flexible work outside the homeDo you need a flexible job where you can work independently with flexible hours? Many people who decide to try and work at home want to because that’s exactly what they need. However, if it doesn’t matter to you whether you’re working at home or not as long as this criteria has been met, there are some other options.

I’ve discussed most of these things on my blog before, but here’s a quick rundown of outside the home jobs that are flexible and often let you work independently:

Mystery Shopping

Yes, mystery shopping is a real thing! There are countless companies you can register with to start doing it. But you really have to be careful with this one because there are also a lot of mystery shopping scams out there. The big red flag here is if you are asked to pay money to sign up and do the work. All the legitimate shopping companies will not ask you to pay for registration.

To find some good mystery shopping companies to sign up with, look over the list of places I have reviewed in the past.

Court Research

You can get paid to visit local courthouses and gather data from public records. Most of the companies that hire for this take you on as an independent contractor and pay per record pulled. So this means that your hourly rate might not be that great until you increase your record pulling speed. You can usually do this work on your own time provided that the courthouses you are visiting are open.

Go here to read more about court research.

Product Merchandising

When you do merchandising, you visit stores and set up displays, inventory and order products, and more. Yes, you would think that this is something that major stores would just pay their employees to do, but actually many name brands hire their own outside merchandisers to come in and do this stuff. The pay and hours will vary, but *most* of the time the hours are very flexible and you can  do the work when it’s convenient for you provided the store is open. You also may or may not have someone working with you, but I think usually you’re on your own.

You can read more about product merchandising here and look over the short list of companies I’ve reviewed for it here.

Errand Running

Companies like Task Rabbit and Agent Anything will allow you to register and get paid to do odd jobs for people, which might involve anything from organizing something in their house to running errands for them. We Go Look is another one that is becoming fairly popular.

To learn more about these companies, go here.

Paid to Drive

You might be eligible to get paid to drive your car around as long as you are OK with it being plastered with advertisements for a certain period of time. This alone probably won’t pay all your bills, but it might give you enough extra money each month to cover whatever your car payment is. Keep in mind that the competition for this is pretty intense, so it might not be easy to get selected to do it.

To learn more about getting paid to drive your car, go here. You can also get paid to rent your car out to others!

Product Demonstrations

This type of work sort of goes along with product merchandising. I’m sure that at some point you’ve seen people with little stands set up in Wal-Mart or other stores, trying to get you to try a product. These people are being paid to do these demos, and not usually by the store they are doing them in. Just like with merchandising work, there are certain companies that hire their own people to do these demonstrations.

If you’re interested in getting paid to do product demo work, check out the list of companies here that Traci has put together at All Stay at Home.

Some Things to Think About

Just as it is with most work at home jobs, these outside the home jobs may not always have work consistently. It’s certainly a good idea to be involved in more than just one thing in order to meet your income needs.

Also, because these are jobs that are done outside the home, you also have to think about your commute and the cost of gas. For example, you can do court research work for more than just one county, but you may or may not be reimbursed for your gas mileage depending on what company you’re doing the work for. So if you’re traveling too far and a company isn’t paying you that much, it might not be worth it. Same goes for all of these jobs.

Now it’s your turn to chime in. I’m sure that I’ve missed a few great, flexible “outside the home” money-earning opportunities. What have you had luck with? Have you tried any of the above?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Markato April 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I thought I’d also add, Anna, if you’re visiting county courts, parking costs can be HIGH. I can pay anywhere from $5-$20 a day just to park in a lot near the courthouses here. If you’re going daily to pull records, you do have to consider you could be paying anywhere from $25-$100 a week just to park.

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2 Anna April 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

Good point Markato. I did not think about the parking. But then I live in smaller town and there is no charge for parking at our local courthouse. But in larger cities, I can see how that would be something to think about.

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3 Stephanie @ Our Marriage Adventure April 30, 2012 at 9:48 am

I think these are all great ideas, some others include (If you feel you are qualified) doing ghost-writing. My best friend does this so she’s able to stay at home with her daughter and its worked out really well for her.

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