There are many ways to make money online with little to no effort on your part, which can do your finances a world of good. Find out how.

Want to get ‘free money’ to achieve your goals? Here’s how

Right at the outset, let’s spell it out: there’s no such thing as free money. However, with a little help from your smartphone and a little time, you can make money in ways that don’t seem like work. For instance, there are plenty of apps and websites that offer benefits and incentives for doing mundane activities, playing games, or just sharing stuff. 

Looking to make some extra dough? Read on.

Trade your coffee for a retirement fund

You may have heard of the delayed gratification example that cites Starbucks. In simple terms, the money you spend on your daily cuppa, if consistently put aside, can help fund your retirement. Well, now there’s a way to enjoy your coffee and save too! Apps such as Perk and Swagbucks reward you with vouchers from Starbucks and Amazon for playing games and participating in quizzes.

Every time you are able to supplement your expenses towards a cup of coffee or on online shopping, put a similar amount into a recurring deposit or money market fund. Even a modest saving of Rs 200 per day can, at an interest rate of 6%, give you a corpus of Rs 74,300 by the end of the year – and a 7-digit figure at the end of 10 years.

Related6 Ways you can infuse a daily saving habit in your lifestyle

Fund a SIP in your free time

Some apps give out hard cash in lieu of your time. RozDhan app is integrated with Paytm and incentivises you for referring friends, and for downloading and sharing videos/quizzes. The cash lands in your Paytm wallet once the threshold crosses Rs 200.

Similarly, U Speak We Pay is an app that looks to leverage language proficiency (Oriya, Urdu, Kannada, etc.) to build AI-based voice and speech recognition capabilities. All you need to do is read out the messages displayed on your app screen.

Earnings from such quick gigs can be deployed towards an SIP in a good large-cap or diversified equity fund. Over the long term, the corpus can be used to make a down payment on a car or pay off outstanding debt.

RelatedHow much money can you make as a YouTuber and how to get started?

Monetise your hobby

Have a penchant for photography, videography, or writing? Turn your hobby into an income stream! Websites such as Shutterstock, iStock Photo, and SmugMug Pro will put up your images for fair use and pay you each time an image is downloaded. Similarly, your written content can go up on blogs and your vlogging skills can be monetised via YouTube.

There are many examples of people who have been able to successfully turn their hobbies into a passive income stream, if not a full-fledged career. Income from such sources can be deployed towards various financial goals. Depending on the proceeds, you could put the funds into a deposit, mutual fund portfolio etc.

If the income in the beginning is not substantial, you can let the money sit in your dollar payment account if you expect the rupee to depreciate further. This way, you will be able to make money on currency conversion when you do decide to invest.

Related5 Hobbies you can turn into assets for long-term benefits

Last words

Given the clutter of apps that ‘reward’ you for various tasks, you need to be careful about the services you choose. Do not download apps that look dubious or ask for permission to access features of your phone that are not strictly necessary. Always make sure that your personal or financial information is not at risk.

However, collaborating with genuine digital channels can be a rewarding activity, and the ‘free money’ you earn can be used in various ways. You could use the funds to plug gaps in your budget, pay off debt, or even realise a personal goal such as buying a car. How to earn more money with a part-time job?


How I did it

Praveen Nair

Ever since I retired, I have looked forward to the festive season with added zeal. It is the buzz that I need once in a year in my laidback post-retirement life. I like to celebrate the occasion, get the house painted or renovated, buy gifts for my dear ones or go on a vacation. These things… Read more

Swati Mehra

A couple of years ago I was over the moon after landing my first job. I celebrated regally during the festive season that ensued, only to land in a financial soup for the next few months. With gargantuan credit card bills and barely any cash left, I had no other option but to default the payment… Read more

Rohansh Pathak

It is highly unlikely that all the expenses made during the festive season were worth making in the first place. This is the time of the year when unavoidable expenses are bound to upset your budget plans, and you can do little about it. However, I have made it a point to have a look at the… Read more

Shubhra Banerjee

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more