UPDATE: There is now a part 2 for this post with 8 new ways to make money from home and 4 tools to help you along the way!

Chronic illness can take so much from so many of us.

We march along enjoying our lives, families, hobbies, passions, and work, until one day, the unthinkable happens. Disaster strikes and you quickly find yourself in an entirely new reality. One where you are suddenly dependent on others and you must be willing to ask for help. The simple chores of daily life become mountains to climb.

But often, the most challenging obstacle is losing the ability to work and provide for yourself and your family. We spend so much of our lives working that it can come to define you. Sometimes, it’s not just a loss of income, but the loss of purpose as well. I know how devastating this can be.

But when your world is turned upside down, it’s important to never lose hope. There are ALWAYS opportunities available; you just have to know where to look.

Regardless of your limitations, there are many ways to generate income, even when you’re stuck at home. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can find fulfilling work and start making money again.

Here are 10 ways you can start earning money today:

1) Rent out a room in your home:

If you have an extra bedroom in your house, you can rent it out to travelers on Airbnb.com. If you have never heard of it, Airbnb is a website that connects travelers who are looking for a place to stay with people who want to rent out their entire home or just an extra room. It’s a great way to generate extra income and meet some interesting people. Through Airbnb, people can reserve your extra bedroom, just like they would book a hotel room. You can sign up and start today!

2) Rent out your car:

If you are stuck at home and unable to drive, you can easily rent out your car with Relayrides.com. It works just like Airbnb, except you are renting out your car. The service is available in every state across the US except for New York. Plus they offer a $1 million liability insurance policy to keep you covered in case of an accident. You set the price and availability, and Relayrides takes care of the rest.

3) Hire your friends to drive your car with Uber:

Another way to make money with your car is to hire your friends to drive your car for Uber.com. Uber is an innovative company that enables people to make money by driving their car as a taxi. Drivers sign up, and can work anytime they want, simply by launching the Uber app (Android) (IPhone) on their smartphone. Uber connects their drivers with people nearby who need a ride and handles the entire transaction. If you can’t drive yourself, you can hire a friend to drive for Uber with your car and split the earnings. (You will need to add your friend/family member to the insurance policy for your car)

4) Make money watching other people’s pets:

If you still have some degree of mobility, you can make money by dog sitting from your home. Rover.com and Dogvacay.com are two great websites that connect you with people who need pet sitters. If you love animals, this can be an entertaining way to make extra money. Like all of the other companies listed above, both Rover.com and Dogvacay.com handle the entire transaction. Simply sign up, list your availability and you’re all set.

5) Rent out your driveway as a parking spot:

If you live in a big city, near an airport or train station, or near a tourist attraction, you can make money by renting out your garage, driveway, or parking spot to travelers who need a place to park. You won’t make as much money as the other methods listed here, but if you have the space it may worth it. Remember every little bit adds up. You can list your parking spot for rent on JustPark.com and ParkingSpotter.com.

6) Make money buying and selling on Craigslist:

Craigslist.com is an online classifieds page and a great way to buy and sell things locally. If you happen to be a collector or know a lot about a specific type of product, you can make money through craigslist. By finding undervalued products and getting a great deal, you can turn around and resell those products for a profit. Think of your hobbies. Are there things you know a lot about? Maybe you know a lot about baseball cards or vintage record albums. The more you know about a specific type of product, the better you will be at spotting these deals. Sometimes, people even give stuff away for free on Craigslist. It takes time but if you have a good eye for spotting deals, you can make a lot of money on Craigslist.com.

7) Become a paid consultant:

If you were successful in business and think you can help others in the same line of work be successful too, you can make money as a paid consultant. Clarity.fm is a relatively new platform that connects experts with business owners and entrepreneurs who need advice. When you sign up, you set a per-minute price, and through the app, people will be able to call you and consult with you. If you are knowledgeable, it can be a lucrative opportunity.

8) Become a Freelancer and sell your skills online:

If you have ever held a job at any point in your life, odds are you were being paid to put a skill to work. Through websites like Upwork.com, and Fiverr.com, you can sell your skills as a service. Both of these websites connect people who need work completed with the people who have the skills to do the work.

Can you write well? Maybe you are good at editing and proofreading. Maybe you can build websites or do graphic design. If you can do something well, you will most likely be able to offer it as a service to someone else. Some other common examples are creating PowerPoint presentations, translating documents, computer programming, and much more. You can also become a virtual assistant and help people complete various tasks.

9) Write an EBook and sell it through Amazon

Have you ever thought to yourself that you should write a book? Well, it’s easier now than ever before! Thanks to Amazon, you can now self-publish an EBook quickly and easily through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing website. Within 24 hours of publishing your manuscript, you can have your book for sale in the Amazon Kindle store and start earning royalties.

You can even offer a paperback version through another Amazon owned company called Createspace. After you upload your manuscript to Createspace, people will be able to buy a paperback version of your book on Amazon as well. After each order, a copy of your book is printed on demand, shipped to the customer and you get paid a royalty!

You don’t need to write a long book either. A 10,000 – 15,000 word EBook (this translates to a 30-50 page book) can sell amazingly well on Amazon. To put it in perspective, this article is 1,428 words long. The trick is to plan out your idea and write a little bit each day. If you can write 300 words every day, you can finish your book in a month or two.

Update: My first book, Mind Over Meniere’s: How I Conquered Meniere’s Disease and Learned to Thrive, is now available on Amazon!  At some point in the near future, I plan to write a detailed, step-by-step post, on how you can self-publish your story, too.

10) Teach a course online:

You can make a lot of money by creating a class and teaching students all over the world through websites like Udemy.com and Skillshare.com. If you are good at something and think you can teach it to others, this can be a fun and exciting way to generate money. Not to mention, if you can build a great course and a following of students, you can easily sell your students other courses in the future. Take a few minutes and browse the courses offered for sale. It will give you some ideas for courses you may be able to offer yourself!


If you have been forced out of your job by your chronic illness, it’s a devastating blow, but you still have options. These 10 ideas are a good way to start making money again, but by no means an all-inclusive list. There are more opportunities to make money than ever before and the gatekeepers are gone.

So give these ideas a try! Even if you are still able to work, these opportunities are a great way to generate some extra income on the side.

There is always so much hope. Your chronic illness cannot and will not ever be bigger than your dreams. I wish you the best of luck!

UPDATE: There is now a part 2 for this post with 8 new ways to make money from home and 4 tools to help you along the way!

    • Good catch Karen. Originally I had listed three, but removed one of them before publishing the article. I fixed it now. Thanks!

  1. Hi, great website and article! I like #8: I’m a Master Virtual Assistant of 19 years. I was diagnosed with Menieres and MAV 2 1/2 years ago and thank God every day I’m able to work from home. Not only is it easier for me to manage my symptoms, but the bonus of feeling good about my work while battling Menieres disease is a tremendous boost to my overall wellbeing. I was depressed right ater diagnosis, but then I realized I was in a perfect position because I was able to work from home. Far less stressful for me than for so many others.

    Thanks for doing this website!

  2. Hi, I love that your article is so positive. I will try one or two of the ideas on here. I don’t have Menieres, but have been dizzy 24/7 for 13 years. I hope to find strength and be as positive as your article. Many thanks

  3. Koocam is the perfect site to Teach your hobby or learn a new skill … for those who wants to work from home by selling their knowledge.Any knowledge is required.
    I highly recommend it.

  4. Hi Kathy.
    I’m so glad I came across your post. I have auditory epilepsy and as a result (not knowing what it was for a long time) many seizures later, have menieres. I have been looking for a stay at home job for awhile. It’s unfortunate there are so many crooked people that only want to divesr you of your money. The idea of a virtual assistant asw well as writing fit well into my wheelhouse. You have given me a perfect place to start.
    Thank you so much.

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