If you've already baked, binge-watched and boozed your way through the quarantine, you may be running out of ideas to keep yourself busy.
You may also be looking for ways to make a little extra cash.
While I can't promise you anything as exciting as those scammy "Earn $2,500 working from home!" schemes, I can share a few simple, honest ways to earn some pocket change while you're stuck sitting around the house. It won't make you rich, but it will probably yield slightly more money than looking under the couch cushions would, and with just about the same effort.
Unclaimed funds. So many people I've told about this have found and recovered money they didn't know about.
By law, leftover money in dormant and forgotten accounts with insurance companies, estates, utility companies and the like must be turned over to the state. Right now, there is $16.5 billion sitting unclaimed and some of it may be yours. Go to OSC.state.ny.us and click unclaimed funds. It won't tell you how much you're owed but, get in touch, fill out the paperwork and the state comptroller's office will get your money back to you.
Fiverr. This online marketplace for freelancers is often criticized by those selling their services, who say competition is high and pay is low. But we're not talking about replacing your day job.
The site features the usual professional gigs, such as web design, marketing services and data entry. There are people offering to draw, paint or craft anything a heart desires, or tutor everything from calculus and guitar to yoga, cooking and chess. Then there are other things.
If you're good at something, no matter how silly, you might as well put yourself out there and take a chance, right? I mean, buyers on that site pay people to play their video games for them.
If you try it, just know that Fiverr takes a cut of $2 on sales up to $40, and 5% above that.
Fetch rewards. With this free app, you'll earn a few cents for every grocery receipt you take a picture of. You'll earn extra points if you've bought any of the brands the app features. Receipts from dollar stores, gas stations, drugstores and big boxes such as Target count, too.
But the real money comes rolling in when your friends sign up using your code and scan their first receipt. You'll each get 2,000 points (or more if there's a promotion), which usually comes out to about $2.
You can cash out in gift cards for stores such as Amazon, or donate your rewards to a charity, such as Girls Who Code.
Class action suits. If you're a consumer in the United States, it's only a matter of time before something you've bought will be the subject of a class-action lawsuit. That means you may be owed settlement money – probably more often than once.
The awards don't usually amount to much, unless you're the lawyer filing the suit. Individual payouts could be less than a dollar. But I've gotten $25 here and $50 there. To check and see if you're eligible, visit Consumer-Action.org/lawsuits and click "Open to claims." If you find one, follow the simple directions to file a claim right there online.
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