Five Ways to make Extra Money While the Boss isn't Looking

Unless you were born into a family of billionaires, chances are that, like most of us, you have to work to pay the bills. Millions of people throughout the US work in offices and in front of computers. And things can get a little boring at times - like when you've been super-efficient and finished your work earlybut you can't leave the office because you have working hours you need to stick to.

So, why not make the best of your downtime during those long days in cubicle hell? If your work is up-to-date and you're just sitting there playing with elastic bands or building paperclip towers, you could always use your time a little more productively and make some extra cash on company time.

Yes, it really can be done! So, put down those elastic bands and keep reading. Here are a few things you could try to get some extra income rolling in while you're at work. There's no need to quit your day job!

Buy and sell on eBay

All you really need to get started here is a working computer, an internet connection and a little extra time - which your workplace can provide. You don't even need to buy anything upfront if you don't want to. Got a squash racquet you bought when you thought you were going to take up the game? If it's just gathering dust in your closet, sell it!

Most of us have items at home that we don't use. But even if you don't use it, others might. Start by doing a sweep of your home to identify the things you don't want or need anymore. Sometimes you may need to be a little brutal. We tend to keep certain things for sentimental reasons, even though they don't really serve any purpose. Take a page out of Marie Kondo's book here. Let go and turn your unwanted items into cash!

On eBay, you can sign up and auction items off, then get paid within about a week. Once you've sold your first few items, you can use the money you've made to buy other items on eBay and sell those at a profit. You'll just need a keen eye and a little time to spot the right bargains.

Online data entry

Data entry may not be the most exciting way to spend your time. But it's a very important job that most businesses need to get done. And it can help you bring in a steady stream of extra cash - without having to think about what you're doing too much.

Data entry (or data capture as it's sometimes called) is, quite simply put, transferring information from one source to another. As a data capturer, you will need toconsolidate information - like customer names and contact details or sales figures - into adatabase. So - for example - you'll get a bunch of documents with names and addresses in them and you'll have to gather all those names and addresses (accurately) into a single Excel spreadsheet.

All you generally need is a computer that's connected to the internet and Microsoft Office programs like Word and Excel. Once you get into the rhythm of doing it, it becomes easier to do quickly. And the beauty of it is, if your boss walks past and you have a spreadsheet open, it'll look like you're working.

Complete online surveys

Want to make money helping brands improve their products and services for people like you? Take a couple of online surveys in your downtime. Sites like Survey Junkie, Ipsos, and RealSurveysThatPay offer legitimate ways for people working from home - or in quiet offices - to make money by completing online surveys.

Payment amounts vary from brand-to-brand. But on a well-paid survey, you can make up to $50. And you can do it all from the comfort of your desk or cubicle. Surveys normally involvehaving to answer a series of questions about your demographic or population group.Payment comes through electronic platforms likePayPal - no mess, no fuss.

Blog, Vlog or Podcast

All over the world, millions of people are learning how to monetize their blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts or even social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Becoming a so-called "influencer" online is not a quick fix (unless you create the next "Gangnam Style" overnight). And reaching the point where you earn money from sharing your ideas can be a slow burn. But if you have the time, why not give it a try? If you have a unique talent or skill - like cooking or drawing, for example - create content about that. Or, create "how to" videos at home and upload or promote them online whenever you have a little downtime at the office.

If you can write, turn your ideas into blogs. If you choose to vlog or podcast, it may be tricky to do that from work, but there's nothing stopping you from writing your scripts or collecting your ideas during those long "elastic band and paper clip" hours.

It can't hurt to try - especially if you have time to kill. And even if you don't get to the point where you're making money from it, at least you'll have a little fun and a potential creative outlet, too.

Try online trading

No, you don't have to work on Wall Street to be a trader. Normal people trade stock, forex and commodities online every day. Online trading has empowered any person on the street to trade. It can be tricky, and while you can make money doing it, you can lose money, too.

Do your research before you start and find a reputable online broker to act as your trading partner. Be careful. There are a few "Fly by Night" types who just want to make a quick buck.

Check out this article on for some insight into who the brokers are that you can trust. Who knows? Casually trading at work may just turn you into the next tycoon.