If your daily commute has you down, take heart. You don't need to throw away this dreaded time as a wasteful necessity. With a little inspiration, you can turn it around and actually use your commute to make a few bucks. Here are a few creative ways to make money each day just before and after that nine-to-five.
Be someone's lifesaver. Make deliveries with Task Rabbit for others in your neighborhood who need something taken from point A to point B. Each day before commuting, search for delivery jobs that need to be accomplished. Any of them on your way? Swing a few blocks off your route to pick up and deliver something. Think library book returns, someone's kindergarten fundraiser forms, dry cleaning, take-out cuisine, cupcakes for classroom birthdays, and even fresh-cut flowers from one homebound do-gooder to another. Rescue a stuck-at-home (or voluntarily stay-at-home) new parent, elderly neighbor, or someone who can't get out of meetings by using your commute this way. You'll be doing a favor for someone – and for your checking account.
Freelance Writing. No, you cannot write while you drive. But you can dictate. Whatever your expertise, there's a company (or ten) whose corporate blog needs help. Not sure what to publish? Look to your hobbies, interests, and education. Dictate your advice into a free mobile app while you talk hands-free, and edit your oral content later from your home computer. To get started, contact a nonprofit in your field of expertise or interest, and pitch a few blog posts. Specify your willingness to start working for free – at first. If you stay with it (you are stuck on the road, after all), it can turn into paid gigs quickly. You might find it's the perfect way to capitalize on an otherwise boring part of your day.
Give advice real-time while you drive. Want to give your unedited, unfiltered opinion to someone in real-time? Ether is an online advice-sharing network that lets users phone you (after paying you, of course) for advice. You set your own rate. Want to give mommy-to-mommy advice? You may earn a quarter per minute. Medical professionals, on the other hand, charge up to $1k for a 20-minute session. It's free and takes about two minutes to get started.
Get paid to enjoy music. That's right, Viggle will hook you up with your choice of retail rewards or hard cash simply for enjoying some good tunes.
Drive others around. Similar to TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft are networks of folks who need something – a ride – and those who have something – a car. Sign up and check your daily route to and from the office regularly to see if anyone needs a lift at just the right moment for you to combine your commute with this money-making opportunity.
Be a mystery shopper – using phone calls. Instead of shopping at a store and reporting on things like friendliness of staff, complete displays, and volume of the music, Call Center QA lets you do the work from your hands-free phone. The telecommunications group pays you to make calls for them to run simple QA assessments. The work involves posing as an interested potential customer who phones in to ask a series of simple questions. You make a mental note of your experience; was the representative knowledgeable? Friendly? Professional? Your observations are worth $5 per call, and if you can knock out a few of these on each commute, you've made a pretty penny indeed.
Don't stop making money after you've punched out. These creative ways to make money on your commute are just the beginning. What are some other ways to cash in on the dreaded ride home? Comment with suggestions to @CoosaValleyCU!
Image Source: Flickr