In the modern world, most of us have smartphones glued to our hands nearly every waking moment. With smartphone use continuing to rise, many don’t realize the potential these devices have when it comes to making extra money.

With just your phone, there are numerous legitimate ways to earn anything from a few dollars to potentially hundreds of dollars per month. In this guide, we’ll explore 12 methods you can use to make money right from your phone along with tips to get started.

Take Online Surveys

Completing online surveys in your spare time is one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash with just your phone. Survey platforms like SurveyJunkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars allow users to complete quick surveys for monetary rewards.

Most surveys only take 5-20 minutes and pay out anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per survey. The key is taking advantage of small increments of downtime throughout your day like waiting in line, commercial breaks, or a lunch break at work.

While no single survey will make you rich, collectively they can add up to $100-200 per month or more.

Tips for Getting Started:

  • Take advantage of signup bonuses and promos many survey sites offer.
  • Set up account alerts so you don’t miss survey opportunities.
  • Provide accurate demographic info to qualify for more surveys.
  • Cash out earnings frequently instead of letting them accumulate.

Sign Up for Reward Apps

If you frequently shop at major retailers and grocery stores, make sure you have their corresponding rewards apps downloaded. Popular examples include the Fetch Rewards and ReceiptHog apps.

These apps allow you to scan and submit photos of any grocery or shopping receipts. In return, you earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite retailers.

Some apps even give you points just for snapping photos of specific product packages when you come across them in stores. This turns your everyday shopping into a treasure hunt for extra cash back rewards!

With consistent use, you could earn $25-50 per month or more in gift cards.

Tips for Maximizing Earnings:

  • Link the same receipt to multiple reward apps to multiply earnings.
  • Prioritize receipts with high-value items like electronics and appliances.
  • Scan every receipt from every store, even small purchases add up over time.
  • Redeem points for gift cards to places you already shop frequently.

Sell Your Extra Bandwidth

When you aren’t actively using data on your phone, there are apps that will pay you to rent out your unused bandwidth. When you aren’t actively using data on your phone, there are apps that will pay you to rent out your unused bandwidth.

PacketStream is one example of an app that runs quietly in the background and anonymously directs small amounts of data traffic through your phone. As one of many bandwidth sources, this extra traffic is unnoticeable to you. But in return, you earn up to $5-10 per month in crypto just for passively lending out your unused data.

Tips to Maximize Earnings:

  • Set PacketStream to run in the background whenever your phone is idle.
  • Connect devices to wifi whenever possible to preserve more mobile data.
  • Refer friends to increase bandwidth supply and earn referral commissions.
  • Cash out earnings each month into a crypto wallet or PayPal.

Participate in Market Research

Companies developing new products or services will sometimes pay everyday people $50-$200 per hour to participate in focus groups, taste tests, surveys, and other market research.

Sites like Respondent and Prolific connect market research companies with people willing to provide feedback.

While not steady money, participating in a focus group or two per month could earn you a nice chunk of change for each hour-long video call giving your opinions. Sign up and check back periodically for new paid research opportunities that fit your demographics and interests.

Tips for Getting Selected:

  • Provide detailed demographic info to be eligible for more studies.
  • Maintain a high satisfaction rating by providing thoughtful feedback.
  • Check sites daily as studies fill up extremely quickly.
  • Participate consistently over time to get invited to more studies.

Rent Out Your Extra Space

Have an unused parking space or extra storage space taking up room on your property? Renting it out for a fee is easy with apps like Neighbor. List your available space and start earning monthly rental income from others looking for affordable parking and storage in your area.

You can conveniently manage all rentals, scheduling, and payments right through the app. This unique peer-to-peer rental model lets you monetize unused square footage into hundreds of dollars per month.

Tips for a Successful Rental:

  • Take high-quality photos to showcase your space.
  • Competitively price your space based on nearby listings.
  • Specify dimensions, features, rules, and availability details.
  • Promote your listing on social media and local listing sites.
  • Offer discounts for longer-term rentals to fill vacant months.
  • Collect security deposits and rental agreements for protection.

Become a Delivery Driver

Driving for a rideshare company or delivering food for DoorDash, Uber Eats and the like makes for a flexible side gig that can be performed whenever you have free time.

You simply toggle available hours on these apps to start accepting nearby delivery requests. Pay per delivery varies based on factors like distance, time, and current demand. But during peak hours in busy areas you can earn $15-$25 per hour.

All you need is a clean driving record, vehicle, and smartphone to start earning money making deliveries.

Maximizing Your Driving Earnings:

  • Take advantage of promotions and incentive offers in the apps.
  • Drive during peak meal times like breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Position yourself near popular restaurants and busy areas.
  • Maintain excellent ratings to get priority for more delivery requests.

Sell Your Skills and Services

There are a growing number of online platforms like Fiverr and Upwork that connect freelance professionals with clients. Whether your skills are in writing, graphic design, programming, consulting, or more – you can sell your services right from your phone.

Browse open gigs, place bids, communicate with clients, and get paid securely through the platform. This unique freelance model makes it easier than ever to monetize your skills into side income from anywhere.

Getting Started as a Freelancer:

  • Set up an attractive profile highlighting your skills, experience, and portfolio.
  • Price competitively as you build up your first reviews and ratings.
  • Communicate professionally with every client.
  • Deliver quality work quickly to build your reputation.
  • Specialize in a niche skill that is in high demand.

Resell Items Online

Selling used items on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay is a classic way to declutter your life while earning extra cash. Download these apps to quickly take pictures of your items for sale, write listings, communicate with buyers, and collect payments.

Focus on lightly used electronics, furniture, designer clothing, and other unique items likely to sell for large margins over your original purchase price. With some photography skills and research on in-demand items, reselling online can become quite a lucrative side gig earning you $100-500 per month.

Tips for Successful Reselling:

  • Look up sold listings to price items competitively.
  • Clean, repair, and take appealing photos of items.
  • Share listings in relevant local Facebook groups.
  • Offer discounted bundles and negotiate reasonable offers.
  • Meet buyers in public places and accept cash or secure payments.

Start a YouTube Channel

Building an audience and monetizing videos on YouTube has become a hugely popular way to earn passive income in recent years. Through the YouTube app, you can film videos, edit them together, upload content, and enable ads once eligible.

As your channel grows over the months and years, YouTube will begin sharing ad revenue with you. While becoming profitable requires significant time and dedication, this is a strategy for potentially replacing your 9 to 5 entirely with passive YouTube income down the road.

YouTube Channel Success Tips:

  • Find a niche that aligns with your interests and personality.
  • Optimize your titles, tags, and descriptions for discoverability.
  • Promote your content on social media and relevant forums.
  • Analyze your analytics to refine your content approach.
  • Collaborate with others in your niche to cross-promote.

Flip Domain Names

Here’s an unique way to make money – you can actually buy and resell domain names for profit. Scout recently dropped or expired domains that have solid backlinks and traffic histories using a domain app like GoDaddy.

Then purchase the domain for cheap and list it for resale on a marketplace like Flippa for a markup once you secure the rights. For example, buying domains related to hot trends for $10 and reselling for $100+. Requires some initial research but can be quite lucrative at scale.

Domain Flipping Tips:

  • Target high-value domains related to booming niches.
  • Ensure domains don’t have negative associations or expired pages.
  • Redirect to your own landing page after purchase to build value.
  • Write quality sales copy highlighting domain metrics and potential.
  • Promote your listings to motivated buyers willing to pay premium prices.

Trade Stocks and Cryptocurrency

The rise of investment apps like Robinhood and Webull means you can now trade stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies right from your phone with zero commissions. While investing carries risk, day trading small amounts during your free time could earn you consistent profits.

The key is thoroughly researching assets and only investing disposable income you can afford to lose. While risky, buying dips and peaks in volatile assets like Bitcoin can amplify your profits. Just don’t quit your day job until consistent profits validate the opportunity.

Responsible Trading Tips:

  • Use paper trading to test strategies without risking real money.
  • Set stop losses to limit potential downside.
  • Keep emotion out of trades and stick to predetermined entry/exit points.
  • Maintain a balanced portfolio instead of speculative bets.
  • Invest for long-term growth over short-term speculation.

Promote Affiliate Links

If you have an audience through a website, blog, YouTube, or social media – you can earn commissions promoting relevant products through affiliate links. Popular affiliate programs are offered by Amazon Associates and ShareASale.

When one of your readers clicks and purchases through your special link, the affiliate program credits your account with a commission for facilitating the sale. Few other passive income streams are as easy to implement. Just place occasional relevant affiliate links on your content to earn incremental sales commissions over time.

Maximizing Affiliate Income:

  • Join multiple affiliate programs in your niche to diversify options.
  • Transparently disclose affiliate links to build reader trust.
  • Place text links in natural spots that make sense contextually.
  • Refresh old posts with new affiliate links when relevant.
  • Promote affiliate offers via social media, email, and other channels beyond your main site.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is great variety when it comes to money-making side gigs and micro-income streams you can tap into right from your phone. Many require little time and effort for the opportunity to earn incremental cash rewards that can add up significantly.

From completing surveys during commercial breaks to renting your unused parking space, these apps make monetizing your free time and resources quite convenient.

The top options based on income potential, ease of use, and ability to scale over time are selling online through platforms like Ebay and Etsy, monetizing a YouTube following, and promoting affiliate links with an existing audience.

Next time you’re watching TV or waiting in line, open one of these money-making apps and put your time to better use! With your phone in hand, opportunities to earn extra income are never more than a tap away.

Give some of these methods a try and see which you can turn into consistent generators of extra cash over time. Financial freedom starts from your phone!

End