Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here! And if you’re stressing out about money, trust me – I’m right there with you.
The holidays should be a time for joy and as stress-free as possible, so we’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can make extra money.
Take 2 hours today, complete everything on this list and you’ll be at least $1,325 richer. Pretty cool, right?
1. Go On a Purge
For some reason, my closet is still holding on to my prom outfit I wore nearly 10 years ago. It’s never going to fit again, but some combination of laziness and sentiment has kept it from landing on a Goodwill rack.
And it’s not just clothes; you can clear all the clutter from your life by selling stuff online.
For my old books from college, I use Direct Textbook. Just type your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number — it’s near the book’s barcode and copyright info) into the search bar and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.
Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them — plus your Blu-rays, video games and other electronics like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods.
And for virtually everything else, I use letgo. This intuitive app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. Not only does it remove a lot of the hassle of selling things online, it’s 100% free to use.
So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to let go of all that superfluous stuff?
2. Join a Savings Challenge
One of the best motivators for achieving major goals is, simply, success. Once you see how much you can achieve with just a little effort, the next steps become easier.
The Brightpeak Financial $500 Savings Challenge offers a great start to tackle your savings goals.
Boost your financial health with this challenge to put away $500 in seven days. Sign up for free to get a week’s worth of daily saving activities and expert advice delivered straight to your inbox.
Along with this savings account injection, you’ll also learn tips and tricks to develop smart saving habits, so you can build on this week’s success.
3. Earn Money for Healthy Activities
Need extra motivation for your daily workout? The health app Achievemint lets you earn money for completing healthy activities.
Connect Achievemint to workout apps like Apple’s Healthkit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, Rundouble C25K, Twitter or any other app you already use to track your health and fitness goals. You’ll choose which data to securely share with Achievemint to earn cash for your activities.
For example, you can earn points for logging your weight with MyFitnessPal or hitting step goals with Fitbit.
You can earn cash in $10 increments in cash or an Amazon Gift Card when you reach 10,000 points and there’s no limit on how much you can earn.
Plus, you’ll earn 10 points just for signing up with Achievemint and connecting an app today!
4. Search the Web
A great way to earn extra money is with Microsoft Rewards. The company will actually reward you for making searches on Bing and and for browsing the web.
The rewards come via gift cards and it’s not a ton of money, but think about how many times a day you search for something. Those pennies can start to add up pretty quickly…
5. Download These Apps
There are a number of companies, including Google, that will pay you to install their app on your cell phone. And they’ll pay you for every month you keep them installed.
The apps collect data from your cell phone and help companies better understand web and mobile usage better — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
Here are my favorites (install all of them and earn $400/year or more):
– SavvyConnect – You can earn $5 per device (Phone, Tablet, Computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. That is a total of up to a total of $180 per year to help rank the most popular sites and apps. Make sure you keep installed at least a month to get your 1st $5 per device.
– MobileExpressions for Android – After you’ve installed this app for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). I won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads & Samsung TVs.
– Smart Panel – This panel is open to everyone and once you’ve downloaded the app, they will give you $5. If you keep it installed for at least two weeks, you’ll earn another $10. And then for every month that you keep the Smart App installed, you’ll get another $5. All total, you can earn up to $75 for the 1st year!
– Nielsen Mobile Panel for Ages 45+ – if you have a smartphone and you are 45 years of age or older, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
– Nielsen Mobile for iPhone Users – if you have an iPhone, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
6. Become a Nielsen Family
You’ve heard of Nielsen, right? Yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings. They’ve got a new app that will pay you to scan the groceries in your fridge.
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family, the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can’t download this one from the app store; you’ll need to visit their website first).
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids.
The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles.
7. Go on a Scavenger Hunt Around the Mall
Do you like scavenger hunts? Download the Shopkick app and take it to the mall. Their app will rewards you with points for scanning certain products at hundreds of different stores (you don’t even have to buy them!).
Just to give you an example, my local Target is offering 30 Kicks just for me to walk in the store (the app uses your phone’s GPS to know you’ve arrived), plus I can earn up to 605 Kicks by scanning the 30 items on their “scan list.”
It only takes 1250 Kicks to get a $5 gift card, so if you scan all the products on the list at 8 different stores, you should have enough for a $20 gift card!
One reader told me her and her husband have made it into a game. They both downloaded the app and now they race every time they’re at the store to see who can get all of the scans first.
8. Open a New Checking Account
We’ve put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open a bank account!
There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund & my vacation fund.
The top bank bonus is $500 right now — head over to this list to see all of the banks in your area that are offering free cash.
9. Get Cashback on All Your Shopping from InboxDollars
Are you familiar with cash-back shopping sites like Mypoints? They’ll give you a cash rebate if you do your online shopping through their site.
You just need to create a free account and then use their site to shop at your favorite places like Target, Amazon, and Kohl’s (there are 1000s of stores on there – those are just a few). Mypoints will then give you up to 25% cash-back on whatever you purchase! Crazy, right?
I use this year round, but it’s especially helpful at Christmas time. Consider that the average family spent $801 in gifts last year and you can see how fast this would start to add up.
Use this site for your Christmas shopping, average around 10% in cash-back rebates, and save at least $80 this year!
10. Take 10 Surveys from This Company
The Ipsos Panel is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there (they’re the same company that does most of the political polling during elections).
I’ve heard some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes.
Also, Ipsos rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, etc. (example: 1000 points can be redeemed for $10 Paypal).
We hope this list makes your holidays a little less stressful. Have a Merry Christmas! And thanks for being a reader!
Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.