If your income isn’t cutting it, there are some ways to supplement your housing fund, retirement savings or spending cash that may seem a little out there. While researching creative and easy ways to make extra cash, you may discover that scientific experiments and donations can really pay off.
However, before you consider some of these options, keep in mind that anytime you volunteer for a scientific activity there could be risks associated with even the most run-of-the-mill experiments or donations. Always read the disclosures and forms that are provided for you when you sign up and make sure you’re comfortable with the potential risks.
If you are struggling to decide whether participating in scientific trials or experiments are worth it — after all, donating blood is far less invasive than many other procedures — check out the below list of ways to make money while helping scientists and those in need of medical help.
1. Sell Your Plasma
Plasma, the largest component of human blood, can be used to create therapies that treat people with blood clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases and even burn victims. During donation, blood is drawn and a machine separates the plasma from the other parts of blood, which are returned to you. If you can handle needles and fall within the recommended body weight, the average payout falls between $20 and $50 per donation. You can donate roughly once a month.
2. Donate Your Sperm or Eggs
Egg donors can earn anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, but the process often requires several days of recovery because it’s an invasive procedure. Sperm donations are much easier and can earn anywhere from $30 to $200. Donating sex cells is different than other medical ways to make money because a successful donation can lead to a child that is biologically yours. Even if you meet the strict age, health and background requirements, it’s important to consider the future implication carefully before taking part.
3. Clinical Trials
In clinical trials, participants receive a stipend for being a part of observational research or testing new medical products. You often have to meet specific qualifications and will incur several risks. In general, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward but compensation varies greatly by program and trial. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there are more than 170,000 studies to choose from around the world – check the searchable database at ClinicalTrials.gov if you are interested in supplementing your income by helping with a medical breakthrough.
4. Participate in a Psychological Study
Paid psychological studies that examine behavior and brain function are often not as well paid as other medical studies, but usually require a shorter time commitment and less risk. Check local research universities for studies looking for participants. You can make $10 just for watching a movie or even upwards of $50 if you’re willing to get an MRI or endure mild shocks.
5. Lie in Bed for NASA
If you don’t have many daily commitments and are mentally and physically prepared to spend extended time in bed, you can get $18,000 from NASA. They are looking for participants with traits similar to astronauts to lie in bed for 70 days to simulate some changes that an astronaut’s body will go through during space flight.
6. Become a Surrogate Mother or Sell Breast Milk
Although large commitments, women can make extra money by helping carry a child or selling breast milk. Becoming a surrogate mother requires that you are healthy, can put lots of stress on the body and can take an emotional toll as well. Doing so can come with tens of thousands of dollars in compensation as well as coverage of all associated medical bills. While selling breast milk is less lucrative, a breastfeeding mom producing extra milk can help couples who are unable to provide this themselves.
If you are willing to incur the risks, participating in any of the above activities may help you pay down debt or even build funds for college, a home down payment or an emergency savings account. It’s important that you consult a doctor before taking part in most of these options.
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