The Essential Guide and Unique way to make Money from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic
In the aftermath of the new coronavirus outbreak and related shutdowns and shocks instead of orders, more Americans than ever are unemployed, unemployed, or in dire need of some extra money. The March jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Department found that unemployment rose to 4.4 percent and the economy lost 701,000 jobs that month. And in the first week of April, a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment claims. For context, the previous record was 695,000.
At the time of the press, no one knows how long it will take for our lives to return to normal, and that means the unemployment rate could very well deteriorate before it gets better. But don’t despair yet: From getting creative with distant work, to turning your renewed organizational zeal into cash, there are ways to make money during the coronavirus outbreak.
View your budget
One of the easiest ways to “make money” is to find it in your existing budget, recommends Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisor Rebecca Hall, CFP, APMA. Many people find that they spend less on entertainment and eating out these days, which gives you more financial leeway in that area. But if you sit down and watch your expenses, you can determine where else you can cut back.
Now might not be the time to give up streaming services, but Hall recommends looking at other extras like gym memberships and small luxuries. “Now is a good time to reevaluate your budget and see if there are opportunities to save some extra money,” she notes.
Consider temporary delivery work
If you’re not a member of a high-risk population, some companies like Amazon hire additional workers to keep up with sky-high demand. Hall notes that supermarkets and food pickup and delivery services may also be able to use your help as more customers order and stock up to take a seat.
Make sure to keep your health and safety in mind and review the guidelines for personal protective equipment before doing so. If you’d rather not work for a company like Amazon or Instacart, see if any of your neighbors are willing to take out the middleman and pay you a little bit to add their groceries to your groceries. Just be nice: now is not the time to take advantage of anyone.
Look at tutoring
Anyone with an educational background or even a talent for organization and a lot of patience can pick up additional work in education – from afar if your state has taken social distance measures. With many closed schools and children climbing the walls, homework help, distance learning, or even homeschooling can help give parents a much-needed break. “Many families are affected by school closures, while parents may still have to work from home full-time,” Hall emphasizes. “This adaptation can be difficult to juggle, especially as some children adapt to e-learning.”
Teach a class online
Those with specialized skills or talents may also consider offering classes. “If you have a skill that you can pass on, you can be sure there is a market for it,” said Matt Dowling, CEO, and founder of the Freelancer Club.
Think of donation-based crafts, software, or even technology helping others who sit at home and itch to fill their time. Websites such as Teachable can help you build and promote your online courses in any area that matches your expertise.
Help people get fit at home
With so many people stuck outside of their usual gyms, yoga studios, and Crossfit communities, now is a great time for those with fitness certification to take their talents online. Many fitness professionals have started offering classes on video platforms like Zoom, so you may want to check out a few to get an idea of how they run before hosting your own.
And if you love sports and want to go the extra mile, consider getting certified to teach. “Now is a good time to get certified,” Dowling notes. “You can become a qualified personal trainer completely online.” The National Council for Strength and Fitness can get you started.
Offer virtual assistance
With the federal tax term extended to July 15, accountants and tax preparers have as much work to do as ever and on a longer timeline than most years. They may need help entering data or managing their schedules, Hall notes.
Many traditional transcriptions and even translation services still need help and can offer flexible schedules if you also need to juggle parenting tasks with work. And in many industries, from technology support to website design, jobs are available that you can do entirely from home.
Become a podcaster or blogger
While not an infallible money maker, podcasting and blogging can help you build a platform that can pay off in the long run. All you need to get started is your medium of choice – be it Instagram, YouTube, your website, or a podcast. Dowling explains that sponsored posts and affiliate links can generate revenue, especially once you reach an audience. “The most successful names streamline their presence across all platforms, but each is a good way to start,” he added. All you need is a smartphone and something to say and you are on the way.
Start your own resale business
If you find yourself cleaning up your closet to pass the time, make some money while you’re at it. Resale sites like eBay, ThredUp, and Poshmark can help you turn your softly used goods into a real business. Myra Gonzalez has been selling her thrift store finds on Poshmark since 2015. “I had been saving for a long time, so I had enough stock and it worked perfectly,” she explains. “I had to tidy up my closet and use it as a creative outlet that was great for me.”
Gonzalez recommends taking well-lit photos of your gear in a well-organized background to entice buyers and boost your sales. She tries to record the information about a product that the buyer would like to know and send it as soon as possible for good customer service.
For Rosalyn Figueroa, selling on Poshmark helped her earn extra money as a home mom and find an online community. She adds that many experienced sellers like her like to help newcomers learn how to optimize their online stores. Whether it’s measurements to make shopping from home easier or a thank-you note with her shipments, she always puts the customer first. “It’s customer service – if you run a business, you want people to come back,” she says. “So you want to make people feel special.”
Know your help options
To help those in dire need, the U.S. government has enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to mitigate some of the impacts. The CARES Act provides 100 percent federal funding for states to provide up to 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and creates a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program for those who exhaust their standard benefits and employees, such as contractors or freelancers, who would normally not be eligible.
“Make sure you check for eligibility, apply through your state program, and report that you have been affected by Coronavirus,” says Hall. “You may also be eligible if you have lost your job, been fired or your company has been closed due to COVID-19.”