11+ Real Ways How to Make Money While Unemployed

how to make money while unemployed

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You’ve lost your job or otherwise not working and want to know how to make money while unemployed? Being unemployed can be very stressful. But, luckily there are dozens of ways to make money if you’re unemployed.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in May 2023 rose to 3.7%!

Unemployment is affecting many people. You’re not alone.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to find money or earn income if you’re without a job.

In this article, we’re covering 11+ of these money-making options to give you some ideas to make money because you can make money without a job.

Learn about 11+ real ways to make money while unemployed including:

  • Requirements
  • Income potential and,
  • How to make $1,000 a week without a job

Let’s go!

11+ Real Ways How to Make Money While Unemployed

There’s something for everyone in this list, whether you have resources available to you or not. We tried to cover all the bases here and give you some good, quality options for how to make money while unemployed.

1. Freelance work

is freelance writing a good career

One of the most effective ways to make money if you’re unemployed is to freelance. Monetize your skills and work with one or more clients, in a freelance capacity.

Freelancing is desirable because:

  • It can be high-paying
  • It’s flexible
  • It can put money in your pocket fast

If you were previously working, you can do your job on a freelance basis.

For example, if you were a graphic designer for a design company, become a freelance graphic designer and work with design clients one-on-one.

Examples of freelance jobs you can work include:

  • Freelance Writing
  • Web design
  • Computer programming (or coding)
  • Illustration
  • Video editing
  • Social media management

Find freelance jobs on sites like Upwork. You can join online communities where your audience hangs out to find freelance jobs too, like Facebook groups, subreddits, etc.

2. Sell your stuff

sell your stuff

Selling your stuff is a very real way to come up with cash fast. First, go room by room in your space and collect things you could sell for money.

Next, go to Ebay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or in-person to pawn shops or consignment stores. And, sell your stuff!

If you’re in a financial crunch, selling your things is a fast way to raise cash.

This isn’t a long-term solution but, if you need money now, this can help you get money in your hands.

Here are 19 things you can sell fast for cash.

3. Find a part-time job

easy online part time jobs for students

Get a part-time job! A part-time job will help you to close your income gap while you get a new job, full-time. While you won’t be earning the same as a full-time job, it’ll definitely help buy you some time while in search of a full-time gig to make money.

First, review your resume. Next, start your job search. Visit and apply for part-time jobs from sites like Careerbuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and others.

Here are 7 introvert-friendly remote part-time jobs to look into for how to make money while unemployed.

4. Online surveys

prolific survey platform

Paid online surveys are available to anybody who wants to be paid for sharing their honest opinion. You can start with these 11 survey sites that pay up to $100 each.

First, you’ll find and join survey sites. Registration is usually fast and takes a few minutes. Next, you’ll start taking surveys.

How long it takes and how much you can earn per survey will vary. Some surveys pay a few bucks, others pay hundreds of dollars.

For high-paying surveys, an online panel company like Respondent or User Interviews might be a good place to start.

Online panels are more in-depth, higher-paying surveys. You might expect to take 30 to 60 minutes with an online panel. Some panels take several days or several weeks. They pay up to around $500 each.

5. Rent out a room

rent out a room

Put your room or your entire space on Airbnb. You can do this is you own or rent. Renting out a room allows you to continue living in your home while renting out part of it. Or, if you can stay with family or friends, you can rent out your entire home for more money.

Aside from AirBNB, other companies to check out for renting out your room are:

Renting out a room is a great option for earning money passively. There are generally no upfront fees for listing your space on home rental/room rental sites so it’s a solid option if you’re unemployed.

6. Rent your car

ways to make money with a cargo van

For car owners, renting a car is a passive way to earn money while you’re unemployed or any time. Use a site like Turo or GetAround, list your vehicle for rental, and manage the short-term rental with people who book your vehicle.

Like renting a room, there are no upfront fees to rent out your car on many sites.

For Turo, it’s called car sharing and this is what you can expect as a host:

  • $10,000 average annual income for hosts
  • Insurance included
  • Prescreened drivers only
  • An easy-to-use app to manage your car sharing

Read about how to make money with a cargo van!

6. Rent out your stuff


Many people don’t know that you can make money renting your stuff. This goes beyond renting your major assets like your house or car. Everyday things you own can be rented out like:

  • Storage space (Neighbor helps you rent your unused closet space, basement, attic, and other home spaces for storage)
  • An RV or travel trailer (RVShare does this)
  • A DSLR camera (visit ShareGrid)
  • Designer clothing and handbags (head to RentmyWardrobe)
  • Power tools (use Sparetoolz)
  • A parking space (check out SpotHero)

7. Start a gig driving job

doordash driver

For car owners with a clean driving record, look into gig work driving jobs like driving for Doordash, Uber, etc. The requirements to join as a driver will vary but, in general, you should be:

  • 18+ years old
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Have a smartphone

Some driving companies to check out are:

Delivering food as a driver can earn full-time income like doordashing, in itself, based on where you live. The national average salary is around $3,200/month, according to ZipRecruiter.

8. Do virtual assistant work

virtual assistant job

Virtual assistance (VA work) is about being an online assistant to one or more clients you work with. Doing tasks like:

  • Calendar management
  • Email management
  • Setting appointments and meetings
  • Travel planning

Working as a VA is one of the best beginner-friendly online jobs.

This is perfect for people who are helpful, well-organized, and detail-oriented. You don’t need a degree or experience to land a virtual assistant job and it can be high-paying.

9. Online tutoring

online tutoring

Working in online tutoring will connect you with people that need some extra help in a study subject like math or English. Online tutoring is something you can do on the side or work full-time in your tutoring business.

Start by deciding what subjects you’re strong in and can offer tutoring services for. Next, join tutoring sites like Cambly or Chegg Tutors. You can also go to sites like Craigslist and community-based sites to find people that need tutoring services.

10. Affiliate marketing

temu's affiliate program

Affiliate marketing is a business you can start on the side for free. It’s about referring affiliate products to people. When your referral results in an action being taken (like a purchase), you earn a commission.

Affiliate marketers earn around $178,000/year, according to ZipRecruiter.

It is a high-earning online career with even successful part-time affiliate marketers earning a full-time income. Start affiliate marketing by creating content for a niche audience online.

Discover how to make money with Medium affiliate marketing.

11. Write for Medium

write for medium
Making money on medium

Medium is an online publication where you can blog about a variety of topics. It’s free to join as a writer and you can monetize your writing in many ways like the Medium Partner Program, affiliate marketing, and selling your products and services through your writing.

This is an alternative to starting a WordPress blog.

A new blog can take some time to get off the ground and begin making money. The Medium platform has been around for 5+ years. It has established a prominent online authority, helping your content on Medium get ranked faster than from a new blog.

Your earnings as a Medium writer will vary based on many factors. This writer earned up to $11,000/month writing for Medium.

Read this guide shows you how to make money writing for Medium.

12. Check for unemployment

digital marketing online marketing

Last, but not least, check to see if you qualify for unemployment.

The unemployment benefits guidelines may vary from state to state. You should check with your federal/state agency to learn how UI benefits work, how to apply, how much of a weekly benefit amount you qualify for, and how to start getting services.

Earning money from unemployment is a temporary, short-term solution that helps a lot. It may not replace your prior income 100% but, it can go a long way when learning how to make money while unemployed.

How can I make $1,000 a week without a job?

Earning $1,000 a week without a job is possible. Many of the job options in our roundup can potentially make you $1,000 a week or more.

Some examples include:

  • Freelance work
  • Gig work delivery driving
  • Virtual assistance
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Writing for Medium

Making $1,000 a week can come from independent contractor work or running your own business, whether it’s a freelance business, VA business, gig delivery driving, etc.

Bottom line

You see, there are possibilities for how to make money while unemployed.

What to consider?

You’ll want to think that most of these options are not full-time jobs so, benefits like health insurance, life insurance, and other benefits may not be available. Also, income tax, and other things should be kept in mind.

What’s great about this roundup is that each of these ideas can generate extra income which comes in handy after job loss. Some even offer passive income potential!

You don’t have to feel strapped or overwhelmed if you’re in this position and need extra money. There are plenty of options available.

Which money-making option are you pursuing?

Recommended Resources to Increase Your Income and Save Money

Legendary Marketer

This online training program shows you how to start an online business. You can join free then, take their 15-day business builder challenge to learn how to start an online business. Business owner Amalie Lund made $100K in 6 months, after going through this program!


If you’re in a pickle and looking to make some extra money, look at paid online surveys. Swagbucks is one of the best survey companies to use. They offer a multifaceted site with many ways to earn:
  • Surveys
  • Watch videos
  • Listen to music
  • Online shopping
  • Discovering stuff online
It’s free to join and you can start making money sharing your opinion and through other ways as soon as you’re sign up.

Arrived Homes

If you’re looking for a way to earn passive income with no work, look at rental home investing with Arrived Homes. You’ll invest in rental properties with a little as $100 and entirely online. This is a way to make your money work for you and earn passively with rental income.

Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at https://jennleach.substack.com.

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