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How to Make Money Without a Job – 15 Ideas

I hate jobs. This is a career site, so I tell people how to get them. And of course, I’ve had my share of jobs.

But these days, I don’t have a job. I don’t work for a boss.

And it’s not because I’m lazy. I’m a hard worker. But I just realized that I’d rather make money on my own then show up and have someone micromanage my time.

In this post, I want to talk about how to make money without a job. I’m guessing that if you are reading this you are in one of two boats. 

  • First, you are tight for cash and need some…quick. Fair enough, I’ve been there. 
  • The second type of person is probably someone who is looking at their life and thinking ,”Jeez, I don’t want to spend everyday going in working for some a******.”

Whether your person A or B, this post has something for you. 

I want to talk about what I’ve learned about how to make money without a job, whether it’s a little bit of money fast, or a lot of money over a period of time.

This post contains affiliate links. These pay us a small commission if you choose to buy something, at no cost to you. This helps support the work we do here at Roostervane. Thanks!

Here’s how to make money without a job.

1. Small business 

This is the obvious place to start. One of the top ways to make money without a job is to start some sort of business.

When I started my own business, it was a big lift. I’d never thought about business before, and I didn’t really have any role models around me. I had to figure out one thing at a time.

But ultimately, starting my own business set me free from the 9-to-5. I didn’t have to show up for crappy bosses. It was tough in other ways, but there was a lot of freedom in it.

Can you start a business? You don’t have to overthink it. If you sell something to someone, a product or service, you have a business. 

Whether you’re mowing laws or fixing cars or – what I do for most of my business – help companies with marketing, you make money without a job.

Here are some super simple small businesses you can start cheap:

  • Mowing lawns
  • Drywall
  • Painting
  • Renos
  • Bookkeeping
  • Hair cutting/styling
  • Fixing cars
  • Cleaning
  • Babysitting
  • Dog walking

(Make sure to check to make sure there are no licenses, etc. needed)

2. Rent a Room

The other well-known way to make money without a job is in real estate. This might come through a house appreciating in value or through flipping, but the most common way to make money in real estate is probably rentals.

The idea is pretty simple. You own a house, duplex, six-plex, whatever. And people pay you rent. A lot of people who do this full-time will buy an old building, fix it up a bit, and remortgage it for the purchase of another one.

But you don’t need to be a real estate tycoon to make money with properties. 

If you rent a two-bedroom apartment and don’t use one bedroom, can you get a roommate? 

If you live somewhere that people want to visit, can you put your place up on Airbnb? You can always just crash at a friend’s house when it gets booked.

I know somebody who lived in a big football town and owned a small house. They would rent it out on game weekends and make a thousand bucks a weekend. And he and his wife would just go visit their parents for the weekend.

There are tons of ways to make money off real estate if you have access to some. Get creative.

3. Start an online business 

Starting an online business is still a pretty awesome way to make money. Tech has just made it easier and easier.

  • Creative? Put something on Etsy to sell.
  • Love thrifting? Start selling your best finds on Amazon
  • Print t-shirts? You can create a Shopify store and sell them.
  • Refinishing furniture? You can sell it on Facebook marketplace.

We’ll break some of these down in more detail below. 

If you’re selling products, it’s even easier to get them. You can easily build digital products, or find physical products to sell. You can buy stuff in bulk on Alibaba to sell. Or, you can set up dropshipping and have a store without ever having to touch anything. 

There are a bunch of different ways to start businesses online. 

This blog is the biggest component of my online business, it brings in an audience month after month and I make money on it, which I’ll talk about a bit below.

If you’re not trying to sell a product, could you sell a service online? Maybe you are really good at writing or photoshop, put that up on up work and see what you get. It takes time to learn, but I have a friend who makes 40 to 50K a year just with editing on Upwork. 

The possibilities are really endless. If you devote yourself to learning online business, there are a ton of opportunities. 

And you’ll never have to go to an office. Heck, you don’t even need to put on pants. 😂

4. Invest

This one is definitely not for the person who’s broke. But if you do have some money and some time, you can start investing. 

Whether you are investing in stocks and index funds, or giving out micro-loans, money can make money.

5. Reselling on Amazon

If you like hanging out in thrift stores and have a good eye for a certain type of product, you can make money reselling on amazon. 

You really do need to know your numbers. You need to choose something you understand, and be able to get some margins on things. Designer clothes. Handbags. Whatever. There’s some great money to be made here. 

And all you have to do is some shopping and some shipping.

6. Start a blog

I don’t what the future of blogging holds, I really don’t. As I write this, people are freaking out about chat GPT and artificial intelligence stealing our writing jobs. But I still started a blog

It’s possible. 

I have no doubt this world is going to change. But I’ll tell you what. I still make awesome passive income on this blog every month. It’s not quite a full-time income yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be soon.

Most blogs can be monetized with things like affiliate marketing or advertising.

This is the blog host I built Roostervane with. 

7. Monetizing an audience 

This is obviously related to online business, but can you monetize an audience? Can you show up consistently and build a following somewhere, whether it’s on Youtube, Instagram, or TikTok?

Anybody who can build an audience is valuable. Advertisers and companies pay to get in front of audiences all the time. 

So if you are good at building an audience, you can monetize it with things like influencer marketing, ads, or affiliates.

8. Flipping furniture

Every year my town has a junk day. People can put out all the junk they want on the curb, and the town will come and take it away.

And every year, there are enterprising people driving around with trailers picking crap up. Some of them want to scrap metal. Some of them want old electronics.

I’m going to talk about furniture, though. I think there’s potential here.

People throw out a lot of solid old furniture. Furniture that can be repaired or repainted and resold for a much higher price.

It’s basically how the site Chris loves Julia got started.

9. Sell unused stuff

We sort of talked about online business above, and I mentioned selling stuff on Facebook marketplace. But there are really a zillion different ways to sell things, and it’s probably the simplest way to get money fast.

Try posting stuff online individually, if you have something to sell.

Yard sales can work, but in my experience, they don’t make as much money. It’s luck of the draw that the people showing up will want the thing you have, and they’ll probably try to get it at a discount.

Try selling individual things instead, on something like Facebook marketplace or Craigslist, where people will actually be looking for that thing.

You can go beyond selling your possessions as well. You could sell things that you make, cakes, cookies, woodworking, anything really.

10. Start a paid community 

This is an online business, but it’s one of the online business models I’m hot on right now. Paid community.

Basically, people get into a group of people and pay a membership fee. Once they’re in the community, you can sell courses, events, or private groups.

I think the neat thing about communities is that people are looking for them anyways. So many of us feel lonely. So by setting up a community dedicated to anything, a video game you like, talking about careers, heck, anything, you can create a monthly cash flow and give people somewhere to belong at the same time.

This is the platform I used for my paid community

11. Teach a course

If you’ve got something that you know how to do, something that people will pay to learn you might have a making course. 

Online courses have been all the range for a few years now, really clear value proposition and customer in mind, you might be able to make it work. You can use platforms like Teachable or Mighty Networks

But just because it’s sexy, doesn’t mean you have to teach a course online. 

Why not teach something in real life? You could start a gymnastics class or dance class and charge admission. If you’re a musical person, you could teach guitar or piano lessons. The sky is the limit. 

12. Host an event

I used to play in a rock band, and there was this promoter. He made a crap ton of money. Basically, he would set up a metal show, get the bands to come, rent the space, and do the promotions. 

And he’d keep the profits.

Obviously, there’s a bit of risk here. And probably a bit up front too. But if you can make the numbers work, and get enough tickets in the door, you can make money this way.

You’re not limited to music either. People will pay to see great speakers or to go to a networking evening

Pick a subject you know something about and host an event around it. That’s how Comic-Con started.

13. Printing t-shirts

It’s too early for me to report yet. But my wife is a graphic designer, and she started selling shirts on Etsy. 

Basically, she creates a shirt design and sets it up in an Etsy store. 

When somebody orders, Printify creates a T-shirt and ships it to them. She never even needs to see it.

14. Consulting

I love consulting. I basically work for companies when they need me, often for a very limited time, but for a high amount of money.

There’s so much good about it, the flexibility, the cash. If you have an in-demand skill, chances are you could start a decent consulting practice. You just need to hang out a shingle for people to find you.

Upwork is great for this obviously. But LinkedIn will have some opportunities too.

If you’re a writer, I have a guide to freelance writing here. 

15. Day trading 

I’m going to close this by talking about something I know nothing about. Day trading. Some of the people I know who work in tech have fun day trading, they devote themselves to it. 

I understand it in theory, you’re constantly buying and trading stocks to try to make money. For me, it would be a little bit like playing the slots in vegas. And heck, even Warren Buffett thinks it’s a stupid idea. So I’m going to listen to him.

But, some of my friends swear they make money on it, so I put it on this list. You better know your stuff though. And get ready to lose some money too.


There you have it. That’s my guide for some realistic ideas to make money without a job. 

Note that I left some stuff off. I’ve never seen online surveys or being a mechanical tech as realistic ways to make money. So until I hear that people have made great money with it, I’m not going to recommend it.

I think all of the above ideas are viable ways to create some actual income. Good luck!

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