Making money from your phone is so easy it almost feels like cheating. You can turn your talent for scrolling, posting, watching videos, and shopping online into an actual side hustle that brings in extra cash.
The list of money-making ideas below range from cash back apps on gas and groceries to more creative outlets, like selling your photographs or managing social media accounts.
There’s no such thing as too much screen time when you take your phone use from time-waster to money-maker.
How to Make Money From Your Phone in 2023
1. Take Online Surveys on Your Phone
If you love online quizzes, taking surveys on your phone can be a fun and profitable way to pass your time. You simply sign up for a survey app, like Branded Surveys, and answer questions about your consumer habits.
We’ll warn you that taking online surveys doesn’t pay very well — we’re talking less than $5 an hour in most situations. However, it’s a decent alternative to playing Candy Crush!
Businesses use the information they collect from surveys to tailor their products to meet customer needs. You can earn $1 to $3/survey without ever leaving your couch, and Branded Surveys pays in points that convert to cash or gift cards.
Check out our Branded Surveys review for more information.
Start making $1 to $3 per survey
Branded Surveys is one of the most popular online survey companies, and they’re always looking for more survey takers.
2. Deliver Food
Food delivery is not just about getting takeout when you don’t feel like cooking. Moms use DoorDash to get cold medicine without having to put the kids in the car. Students satisfy late night cravings with the click of an app.
Because this industry is expected to grow to a $42 billion industry by 2025, drivers are in high demand. As a food delivery driver, the customer orders the food or convenience items they want, and you pick it up and bring it to them. You set your hours and control how frequently you work.
Our top pick for food delivery is Doordash. You can work when you want and where you want, and DoorDash drivers always keep 100% of their tips.
Learn more in our full DoorDash driver review.
Make money on your own time with DoorDash
Use the DoorDash app to make money in your spare time.
3. Make Money With an Investment App
Investing in the stock market from your phone has never been easier. Many apps offer simple plans for beginners that let you earn passive income by choosing a portfolio that the company manages for you.
Experienced investors may choose portfolios with higher risk or opt for a longer term strategy. Many investment apps require just $10 to get started.
If you’re interested in getting started, check out Acorns. This is a micro-investment app that takes your spare change and invests it into fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. You only need $5 to start investing with Acorns.
Learn more in our full Acorns app review.
Grow your spare change with Acorns
Start investing for retirement or just a rainy day with the Acorns app. Plans start at $3/month.
4. Cash Back Apps
Apps like Ibotta and Upside pay you to shop. By uploading your receipts from purchases on groceries, clothes, gas, and more, you earn cash or gift cards.
You can manage the whole process from your phone and take advantage of shopping you were going to do anyway. You won’t make a ton of money, but it’s a great way to earn small amounts fast and every dollar counts.
Earn cash back when you shop with Ibotta
Earning cash back with the Ibotta app is a no-brainer! Ibotta is free, and you earn cash back for shopping in-store or online like you normally would.
5. Sell Your Stuff
When you are motivated to make money fast, it’s amazing how quickly you can look around your house and identify stuff to sell. Use apps like Decluttr to make money from your phone selling your old electronics, DVDs, gaming systems, and more.
If your closet is spilling out into your bedroom, check out Poshmark and ThredUp. Not only can you sell your clothes, jackets, shoes, and accessories, you help the environment by recycling fashion.
Learn more in 20+ Apps to Sell Your Stuff (And Not Get Ripped Off!)
Shopify is a great way to make money from your phone without the hassle of shipping products. You set up an online “boutique space” to market and sell products and maintain your site right from the app.
Shopify caters to beginners and creative types who really enjoy putting their stamp on their store and curating products to sell. Their drop ship feature prevents you ever having to store inventory.
You can try it out with a free 3-day trial. Learn more in Shopify for Beginners.
7. Amazon Trade-In
Trading in your old electronics through Amazon is another convenient way to make money from your phone. You can sell electronics you’ve outgrown to be refurbished for new owners — think cell phones, Kindles, and gaming systems.
If your device is eligible, Amazon offers you credit in the form of a gift card, and you ship the item to Amazon for free. Since Amazon sells everything from toilet paper to fresh produce, it’s almost like getting cash!
8. Manage Social Media Accounts
If you’re a pro at Instagram captions and witty Tweets, you might have what it takes to become a social media manager. Business owners need a consistent online presence that draws in clients, but often don’t have time to post regularly.
You can generate posts, reply to comments, and monitor site traffic on all major platforms right from your phone. You also ensure the company’s brand is represented well and posts stay true to their target market.
A friend of mine has over 13,000 photos on her phone, and it shocks me how diverse and beautiful each shot is. If that sounds like you, consider uploading your best photos and earning royalties when people use them.
With a good photo editing app and a profile on platforms like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock, it’s easy to manage this business from your phone. It may take a little while to build your brand, but with patience you can earn $20 an hour or more all while exercising your artistic flair.
Build your profile on a site like TaskRabbit and people can hire you to do odd jobs. You get to set your hours and decide what services you will offer, like putting furniture together, hanging holiday decorations, or carrying a couch to the curb for pickup.
While you do the work at various locations, you can manage jobs and make money from your phone. You’ll pay an upfront registration fee to get started with TaskRabbit, but after that, you keep 100% of your earnings.
11. Download a Market Research App
Most of us make dozens of decisions on our phone every day — what to buy, what to watch, and what we want on our wish lists. Market research companies are willing to pay for that information to develop understanding of consumer habits.
To make money, sign up with a research company like Nielsen and download their app. It gathers the data behind the scenes, and you get paid for signing up.
12. User Testing
Making money from your phone might be as simple as giving your opinion. Sites like UserTesting will pay you to review products and then make short videos of yourself saying what you like and don’t like.
These reviews allow companies to improve products and understand buyer behavior. The more products you test, the better the app matches products to your buying demographic, and you can earn more money.
The Final Word on How to Make Money From Your Phone
Your phone is a powerful tool for earning extra cash, and you don’t need experience, a degree, or special equipment to get started.
To get paid small amounts fast, concentrate on easy-entry apps like Branded Surveys or Ibotta. To reach the highest earning potential, we recommend Doordash. You can book orders and get paid all through the app on your phone.
Completing online surveys with Branded Surveys requires nothing more than your phone and some couch time. Just sign up, click on surveys, and accumulate points to get paid. Do pay close attention to the surveys and write real answers to the open-ended questions. That way the app can gather legitimate data and will get better at presenting surveys that match up with you.
Investment apps also make earning money really simple and can choose options that require very little monitoring.
Delivering food through Doordash or Instacart has some of the highest earning potential without sacrificing flexibility and convenience. You can take orders at peak hours to maximize pay, and many successful drivers suggest picking up an order on your way home. This work also pays conveniently — weekly or even daily.