7 Ways to Make Extra Money and Afford Your Own Place

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Afford Your Own Place

Dismantling the wholesome days of family trips to JC Penney.

Defying the limits of laziness by refusing to wash cereal bowls.

Stripping the world of avocados so as to smash their tender innards on our toast, driving up prices and sabotaging our chances at homeownership in the process. (Because that’s totally how that works.)

Drinking wine out of cans. CANS.

Oh, right — as if we weren’t under enough fire already, millennials are also the first generation in recent memory likely to live with their parents well into their 20s.

All jokes about breakfast habits aside, arrested development is *not* a good look.

Many Millennials Still Live with Their Parents — But You Don’t Have To

Considering the increasing cost of rent, historically low wages and the promise of continued access to free, home-cooked meals (thanks, mom!), living at home might sound like a pretty sweet deal.

That is, until you realize that sound you hear at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday is your dad’s buzzsaw-like snoring, audible through two closed doors and your best pair of earbuds. (Or until you realize the first time you bring your new beau back to your place… will also be the moment they meet your parents.)

But fortunately, you can shake at least this bit of bad millennial reputation, securing sweet, sweet freedom in the process. Think of it as having your avocado toast and eating it, too.

Here are seven ways to make extra money so you can afford your own place.

Ready to Fly the Coop? 7 Easy Ways to Earn & Save Cash for Your Escape

Putting down first, last and security can seem insurmountable, even if you’re splitting with a roommate or three.

But with dedication, persistence and a little bit of know-how, you can earn and save the cash for rent you need to (finally) ditch your childhood homestead.

1. Speak Your Mind

Your folks might be sick of hearing about your “radical” political views, but lots of companies are willing to pay to hear your opinions.

Sites like Survey Junkie and Inbox Dollars offer easy-to-take daily surveys and pay real money when you complete them. It might only be a few cents a pop, but it adds up over time (and can easily be done while watching TV or otherwise lounging). Maybe try your hand at mystery shopping to feel like a PI for a day — and get free food, spa services or roller coaster rides in the bargain.

If you’ve got a way with words, you could also consider freelance writing or blogging. There’s nothing like getting paid to share your two cents with a worldwide audience!

2. Sell Your Stuff

The junior prom dress you regretted as soon as you saw the big night’s photos? List it on Poshmark — it’ll be perfect for someone else’s skin tone.

Those textbooks from freshman year you thought you might revisit? Earn back some of what you spent at BookScouter. (Google’s easier anyway.)

You can even unload your once-prized-but-now-dust-covered DVD collection with Decluttr. Plus, you’ll have a whole lot fewer boxes to lug when moving day finally arrives. Win-win!

3. Find a Side Hustle

You’ve got the skills to pay the bills. You just have to find a way to use them.

From college-student classics (like becoming a barista) to roles a little further from the box (like offering freelance calligraphy services), there are plenty of lucrative side gigs out there to help you stash the cash you need to make a break from the cradle.

4. Open a New Bank Account

Talk about easy money: You can actually earn more cash just by shifting some of yours around!

Many banks offer cash incentives and bonuses to new account openers, and it’s no small change — you could earn up to $300 with these bank promotions (or even more, depending on offers in your area).

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll usually have to comply with some prerequisites, such as maintaining a certain minimum daily balance or setting up direct deposit, to get the dough.

5. Shape Up

You want to look your best when you land in your brand-new crib. After all, you never know who you might have as a neighbor.

Why not double down on your motivation by earning money while you get swole?

Programs like HealthyWage and DietBet help weight-loss hopefuls stay on track with a competitive — and lucrative — flourish: You place a cash wager on your goal that you earn back and then some… but only if you actually make it.

Already part of the #fitfam? Leverage those lats by leading a local fitness class or bootcamp. You could even become a certified personal trainer, though most programs do carry a hefty up-front cost.

(Seriously, though — dating your neighbor is a bad idea. Avoid if possible. All right, PSA over.)

6. Make Gains With the Gig Economy

Whether it’s turning your car into a taxi cab with Lyft, delivering dinner with Postmates or even picking up groceries in your nifty Shipt tee, the modern fleet of app-based, peer-to-peer services have made it easier than ever to earn extra dough in your spare time.

Knock one night of Netflix off your schedule and pick up some hours as an ersatz chauffeur instead. The latest season of “Orange is the New Black” will still be waiting when you get back with your slightly fatter wallet.

7. Go Ahead, Snap a Selfie

Whether it’s an artsy angle in portrait mode, a minimalistic overhead brunch shot or a snap of your friends partaking in your weekend shenanigans of choice, chances are your cell phone is absolutely full of photos.

Why not turn them into cash money?

Apps and websites like Foap and Pay Your Selfie will actually pay you for your pics, provided they’re deemed high-quality enough to be used as stock photos.

So go ahead and take that selfie — or, let’s be real, several. After all, you have to fulfill some millennial stereotypes, don’t you?

Happy apartment hunting!

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) has written for The Penny Hoarder, VinePair, SELF, Ms. Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The Write Life, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog, Santander Bank’s Prosper and Thrive, and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality.