Making money while disabled can seem like the highest of mountains to climb. I know, I’ve been there myself… For quite some time, even!
A lot of guides out there are just… not great, for us. We need unusual, uncomplicated ways to make some money.
- “Buy my 500$ guide!”
- “Start an entire side hustle!”
- “Stop buying Starbucks!” (this one, particularly, pisses me off… as if I could have afforded it in the first place!)
While I’m doing much better now, I’m still subscribed to a lot of email lists about making money. I cleaned most of those up, but there’s always a new email every couple of days about someone I forgot about, telling me “I can totally make money” with their fill-in-the-blank guide of whatever.
I’m bringing this up because I got an email not that long ago from a “money guru” who “knows how hard it is to be dirt poor” and wants to help… for the super low price of 400$!
I remember my super-broke-as-all-heck days. 400 dollars? That’s insanity.
Making Money as a Disabled person is a challenge
Depending on your disability, it could be challenging because you’re always lacking energy, or you have very limited use of it. It could be because of your pain levels, your mental health situation, your dizziness… There are so many things that can go wrong in these human bodies of ours.
It could also be a challenge because… you’re poor.
Let’s face it, being poor does a number on our mental health… And our fridge.
Eating good foods is kind of an important part of our lives, and when you’re stuck with bland pasta and grilled cheeses if you’re lucky… It affects everything else.
So before we start talking about grand plans for the future, let’s get out of this bind, shall we?
Choose your weapon
I’ll list a few different ways to make money below. You can choose to do them all, or just one or two, but any of these options will help you. Some may not work for your situation, and that’s why I want to list a few of them.
Ready, Set… Play!
I’m sure you’re aware of all these apps out there promising money in return for playing games. I’ve tried many of them, and while most were either 1) complicated to understand, 2) making it super difficult to get rewards or 3) downright scam, I did find a very good app that rewards well. It’s a breeze to get the rewards when you have the points for it, and getting points isn’t terribly difficult (although you certainly won’t be making 10$ an hour here…).
Mistplay is a very trustworthy app, and it delivers my rewards within 2 business days, through email.
Of course, playing games to earn points is not necessarily a quick fix, but it’s possible to get 10-50$ rewards pretty quickly and regularly, if you keep playing newer games. I’d recommend leaving a game behind once you get to level 15 (the levels on the Mistplay app, not in the game itself) because that’s when the points start to die down.
There are PLENTY of games to choose from, and no shortage of reward options. Whether you want an Amazon card, and Uber Eats or a Walmart card, you’ll find it. There are even cards for cinema rewards and the like, although we’d probably have to go for the less fun, more necessary stuff.
While the games may not always be what you’d pick, it’s a very simple and easy way to rake up points and get some money. You can also enter contests for a bunch more points, if you want to.
Get the Mistplay app here and start playing on your down time to get some extra cash!
You’ve Got Skills
This one is fairly broad, because we all have different skillsets.
Whether you’re an artist, someone who’s good at writing stories or blog content, or maybe you’re able to keep other people’s stuff organized… There’s money to be made.
- Art or writing commissions
- Blog post writing
- Being a virtual assistant of some kind
- Podcast transcription services
- Translating services
- Online Tutoring
- Closed Caption writing services
- Data entry services
There are many more options, but I wanted to throw a list together to see just how varied it is! You can find work in these things by going through the appropriate channels. It could be a Discord server, or Reddit (mostly for commission work) while websites like Fiverr could help you list your services and find clients. You could also place ads in Facebook Marketplace and share them in the right groups to find work!
Take on a Job With Your Choice of Hours
A big thing for us disabled people can be that we don’t work well with a 40-hour week job, or more specifically, we don’t do well with scheduled work. Especially if the schedule is pretty heavy.
However, there are ways to making money as a disabled person without a very fixed schedule!
- Dog-walking, dog-sitting our house-sitting would let you take on whatever jobs you’re willing to take, and refuse those that wouldn’t work for you, time-wise or anything else.
- Delivery services and taxi services like Uber, Uber Eats, and DoorDash lets you choose your own hours. Of course, you need a car for that, and I understand not everyone has one of those!
- Pretty much any of the services in the previous list will let you choose your hours for working. It’s just a matter of making sure you do the work in a timely manner and turn it in.
We talked about “right now” money, but we should also cover the “later money” situation. It’s not a bad idea to look to the future and ask yourself now what you want to set up for later. After all, being broke-as-all-heck sucks, and it’s not easy to get out of that state, but it is certainly possible.
Taking your hobbies (or new ones!) to the next level
For example, making stock photos for stock photo re-sellers can be done with just some time and your phone camera! You can then sign up for distributors and leave them be. There’s no real marketing work to be done on your part in this case, really. Just make sure to check if the website you sign up for allows you to put your stock photos in many places, or if it claims exclusive rights to it – we don’t want you in any trouble!
If you’re passionate about some things, you may consider a blog. Building a blog does have some expenses, but – and trust me on that one – it doesn’t require any skill or knowledge about technology.
I used Sadie’s awesome course, Blogging 101, and made a blog without any issues. She’s extremely good at explaining things to people like me who are at level 0. And the best part? Blogging 101 is free! She does have paid courses of all kinds, too, and they’re very useful. She prices things in a way to make it as affordable as possible for us very broke people!
The most important thing though, is that she’s got a heart of gold! She’s also disabled, so she knows what bad days and worse days are. However, her optimism and can-do attitude is seriously contagious! Making money as a disabled person becomes much easier once you have her in your corner!
Blogging can be overwhelming, so I made a guide for you. It’s a tool for you to use so that you can prioritize what to do first and what to do later, and it gives you a solid base to work with. It’s not about setting up the blog, and more about… before the Blog. Check out my Blog Starter Kit here!
If blogging isn’t for you, but you like to work with social media, that could also be an interesting avenue for you. Platforms like Tik Tok or Instagram, or maybe you could have a YouTube channel. In any case, don’t concern yourself too much about the pricy things you “need” to start; all you need is a phone.
Maybe you can finally make the podcast you’ve always wanted to make. Who knows?
Whatever your hobby is, chances are you can make it into something lucrative. Whether it’s more active work (social media/youtube/podcasts will need consistent posting) or more passive work (blogging and stock photos require a lot of work beforehand, but eventually pick up the pace and you can lower your work volume), you will attract people by consistently adding to your project. Heck, how many hours have I spent on TikTok, watching nail art process or funny cat videos? You know what, let’s not answer that.
Note that these are not quick-fixes. These projects are meant to be long-term, and you will not see results within a week. You’ll need a solid base before the money starts coming in, and it needs a lot of upfront work.
Making Your Money Stretch a bit longer
Instead of acquiring more money, you may be able to save it more.
It can be simple things like diluting your soap or shampoo with water (sounds silly, i know!), and dividing a 2-portion meal into 2 slightly smaller portions and a snack-sized version for later.
It could look like drinking a glass of water before meals, and more water throughout the day, so that you feel less hungry.
Or maybe you can cook a batch of extremely low-cost foods to keep in your freezer, for those days where the options are super limited.
Speaking of low-cost meals, here’s a blog post on how to keep a bit of diversity in your food even on a very tight budget. It may not always be the super tastiest thing you’ve ever had, but it’ll do wonders on your mental health to still be able to switch things up a bit!
If you don’t like to drink plain water and you try to keep soda or juice in your fridge, consider diluting that a bit too. In most cases, as long as your drink is more than half or more than two-thirds of your drink, you won’t taste a big difference, and it’ll last you longer. Otherwise, think about whether you want a full glass of soda/juice or if you’re just looking for the taste itself. Sometimes a sip or two is all I really need.
Wherever you are, if you can redeem cans and plastic bottles for a small amount of cash (5 cents is the usual where I live) you should keep a bag for them, wash the cans so they don’t get gross, and turn them in when the bag is full. You could also wait to have multiple bags. While it may only get you a few dollars, it’s a few dollars you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Maybe you can part with some of your belongings, too. Things that you don’t use as much as you thought (or at all, like some of my stuff…) or things you thought you needed but actually don’t. You could sell board games or video games, clothing, gear/equipment/supplies from a hobby you don’t do anymore, etc.
You can also rent tools (or your car!) to others, if you’d prefer doing that.
Other avenues to explore
If you’ve got a tiny little bit of cash, you should consider this 1000$ in 10 days challenge. It’s priced at 10$ and you’ll get your money’s worth. All you need to do is sign up and be prepared to actually work for it!
You have the artsy skill thing? Print-On-Demand services can be used to sell your designs (stickers are especially easy to make AND good sellers!)
E-commerce may also be something to consider; you don’t need to keep stock yourself, and you can price things on your shop however you want.
figuring out How to Pave the Road to Financial Comfort
We’re not even talking about wealth here. There is something way more important (and easier to achieve) to do first, and that is: simply being financially comfortable.
No stress, no worrying about being homeless next month, no Panic! At The Cashier.
Making money as a disabled person can be very difficult, with obstacles galore and so many problems along the way. Still, keep in mind what you want to achieve – getting rid of the money-anxiety – and see what you can do. There’s nothing wrong with working on a project 5 minutes every 3 hours if that’s all you can muster, and there’s no rule saying you can’t take a week-long break if you need one.