Make The Most Of Your Free Time At Home
It’s always good to have a little extra cash in your pocket.
Taking classes online to improve your work skills can help you do that and a lot more
Learning new skills online can help you get a part-time or side job to put some extra money aside. Or, better yet, it could lead to full-time work and the chance to put money in an emergency fund for a rainy day. During Covid-19 and the recession, and even after they end, new job skills could be your way out of financial darkness.
Avoid Online Scammers
There are plenty of online classes you can pay for online. We’re not going to review those, but want to give you a warning on how to make sure they’re legitimate before you pay them.
If you’re considering getting an online degree, here are some things to do:
- Check the accreditation of the school through the Council for Higher Education or the U.S. Department of Education..
- Don’t pay tuition upfront. Universities don’t require all of the fees to be paid at once, but usually in installments.
- Be skeptical of earning online degrees too easily.
- Verify university contact details.
- Look for student services offered.
- Be wary if there is pressure to enroll.
Why Online Classes?
Going to an office, school or other location to take a class so you can learn new, marketable skills can be worthwhile if you have the time. Learning in person can be easier than sitting at home alone in front of a computer.
But online classes can be rewarding in a number ways. One of the best benefits is they can allow you to work at your own pace. Spend an hour here and there throughout the day or evening, and you could learn a new skill in just a few months or hours.
Online classes can also give you a taste of a subject before you invest too much time. If a class is free, you can try a few and see which are right for you.
A good place to start a search is Class Central. It aggregates several learning platforms that are all free.
Below are some free online classes and online money-making opportunities to help you make more money.
A paid plan is available through Coursera to receive official course completion certificates, but much of its content of almost 4,000 courses is free.
You can learn a language, study financial markets, public health, business analytics, and specialize in just about any subject you can think of. There’s a course on self-driving cars.
A timely online class offered through Coursera that could lead to steady employment for awhile is training to become a Covid-19 contact tracing specialist. The workers are needed to reach and assist people exposed to the virus.
Around 250 courses that combine art, design and technology are taught at Kadenze. Classes include:
- Introduction to Sound and Acoustic Sketching
- Generative Art and Computational Creativity
- Visual Storytelling for Film and Video Games
- The Nature of Code
- Fashion Style Icons and Design History
A free account will get you into most Kadenze courses, discussion forums, and a portfolio builder.
There always seem to be job openings in web development. Code Academy can help with a free plan that gives access to 25 courses. For $20 a month, you can upgrade to its Pro plan and expand from 180 hours of content under the free program to 1,800 hours of content.
Learn almost any coding language you can think of to give you the skills to be a sought-after hire.
Many high school students have probably heard about the Khan Academy, which helps students improve their skills in geometry, grammar, science and to prepare for college-entrance tests.
Are you thinking of taking the LSAT so you can get into law school? Free courses at the Khan Academy can help you study for it.
Its free courses are available to anyone, and you don’t have to sign up for an account.
Other Ways To Make Money Online
If taking free online classes isn’t up your alley, you may want to try some simple ways to make money online. Here are a few:
Instead of paying to play your state lottery, Lucktastic gives users of its mobile app the chance to win up to $10,000 in a scratch game on a phone.
That’s one of the top prize amounts, though payouts of $2 to $1,500 are more likely. Here’s how it works:
The game is free to play, but users watch a 15- to 30-second advertisement before they can begin play. If you win, you can cash out through an online account, check in the mail, prepaid Visa gift card, or instant gift card. Payout terms are set at certain dollar amounts for each method. Scratch cards where you must match three items to win aren’t the only way to play. You can also earn tokens, enter contests, and keep a playing streak going to earn more.
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you could earn a little extra money by taking paid online surveys and doing other short tasks on your phone through InboxDollars. The site has a $5 signup bonus for new members.
Members are paid in cash, not points. You must earn $30 to cash out.
The site is a survey aggregator, so clicking on a survey will likely redirect you to a third-party site. You may be asked questions to see if you’re in the demographic the company is looking for in the survey. Surveys can take three to 25 minutes to complete and pay from 50 cents to $5 each.
Here are other ways to make money online at InboxDollars:
- Watch videos.
- Play online games.
- Earn cash back while shopping online.
- Read emails.
- Coupons you can redeem for discounts at stores.
Earn $20 or more in a month by shopping with the Ibotta app. It’s like having a never-ending supply of coupons on your smartphone that can be used at stores and on products that you may already be shopping for.
But instead of using coupons, you look at offers in the app for cash back on certain items. When you buy something listed in one of the offers, you buy it and keep the receipt. Once you get home, you can take a photo of your receipt as proof to Ibotta within 24 hours that you bought something with one of its discount offers, and the cash back offer is put into your Ibotta account.
Once your balance reaches $20, Ibotta can deposit the money into your PayPal or Venmo account.
Other benefits of Ibotta include:
- Link your loyalty accounts to earn cash back faster.
- More than 400 retailers list offers in the Ibotta app.
- Turn on store alerts when you’re near an Ibotta retailer.